Portal:Wicca

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Wicca /ˈwɪkə/ is a modern Pagan religious movement. Developing in England in the first half of the 20th century, Wicca was popularised in the 1950s and early 1960s by a Wiccan High Priest named Gerald Gardner, who at the time called it the "witch cult" and "witchcraft," and its adherents "the Wica." From the 1960s onward, the name of the religion was normalised to "Wicca.".

Wicca is typically a duotheistic religion, worshipping a goddess and a god, who are traditionally viewed as the Triple Goddess and Horned God. These two deities are often viewed as being facets of a greater pantheistic godhead, and as manifesting themselves as various polytheistic deities. Nonetheless, there are also other theological positions within Wicca, ranging from monotheism to atheism. The religion also involves the ritual practice of magic, largely influenced by the ceremonial magic of previous centuries, often in conjunction with a broad code of morality known as the Wiccan Rede, although this is not adhered to by all wiccans. Another characteristic of this religion is the celebration of seasonally-based festivals, known as Sabbats, of which there are usually eight in number annually.

There are various denominations within Wicca, which are referred to as traditions. Some, such as Gardnerian and Alexandrian Wicca, follow in the initiatory lineage of Gardner. Others, such as Cochrane's Craft, Feri and the Dianic tradition, take primary influence from other figures and may not insist on any initiatory lineage.

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Stregheria is a form of ethnic Italian form of Wicca originating in the United States, popularized by Raven Grimassi since the 1980s. Stregheria is sometimes referred to as La Vecchia Religione ("the Old Religion"). The word stregheria is an archaic Italian word for "witchcraft", the modern Italian word being stregoneria.

Grimassi taught what he called the Aridian tradition from 1980. He mixed elements of Gardnerian Wicca with ideas inspired by Charles G. Leland's Aradia, or the Gospel of the Witches (1899). The name "Aradia" is due to Leland, who claimed that Erodiade (the Italian name of Herodias) was the object of a " witch-cult" in medieval Tuscany. Since 1998, Grimassi has been advocating what he calls the Arician tradition, described as an "initiate level" variant of the religion, involving an initiation ceremony.

Stregheria has both similarities and differences with Wicca, and in some ways resembles reconstructionist Neopaganism focussed on a specific nation or culture (in this case the folk religion of medieval Italy, allegedly containing traditions derived from Etruscan religion). Stregheria honors a pantheon centered around a Moon Goddess and a Horned God regarded as central, paralleling Wiccan views of divinity.

Selected biography

Fiona Horne (born 1966 in Sydney) is an Australian singer, rock musician, radio and television personality, actress and author. She is famous for her public promotion of Witchcraft and as the singer in Australian band Def FX. She has also written several best selling books on Witchcraft and magic and is considered a worldwide authority on Modern Witchcraft, being invited to speak at Harvard University on the subject in 2006.

In 2001 Fiona starred in the Australian opening season of Eve Ensler's theatrical production. 'The Vagina Monologues'. She has continued to act appearing in four films, 'Unbeatable Harold' with Henry Winkler, 'Cult' with Taryn Manning and the independent fantasy features, 'Fable-Teeth of Beasts' and 'Ember Days'.

Selected holy day

Beltane is one of the four principal festivals of the Irish calendar, one of the four main druidic holy days, and one of the four major Wicca sabbats, and was also celebrated in many European countries. It was also known as La Bealtaine, Bealtainn, Beltain, Beltaine, Boaltinn, Boaldyn, and Belotenia, as well as a few other lesser common used names.

Celebrated most commonly on May 1 (or November 1 in the southern hemisphere), it was dedicated to the sun, and the goddess Maia, as well as the horned god, and the three-fold goddess, also in Irish tradition, the Tuatha De Danann.

One of the common symbols of Beltane was the May Pole, which was later transferred into a symbol of May Day. It is opposite of the festival, Samhain, also celebrated in most druid, Gaelic, pagan, etc. traditions. It is a festival of life and sexuality.

Did you know...

...that because Wicca is a season based religion, many people in the Southern Hemisphere celebrate holidays in opposing times of the year, compared with the Northern Hemisphere?
...that Wiccans often identify as witches, but Wicca and Witchcraft are not necessarily the same thing?
...that Gerald Gardner is credited with re-introducing the word 'Wicca' into the English Language?
...that Wicca was previously an Old English word (pronounced: 'wee-cha'), meaning a male sage or shaman and 'wicce' was the female form?
...that Wiccans observe eight seasonal Sabbats of the year and 12–13 Esbats each year?

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Project Neopaganism
Defining Neo/Paganism at WikiPedia
When should Wikipedia use the term "paganism" as opposed to "neopaganism"? Should these terms be capitalized? Discuss at the project NeoPaganism talk page.

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Athame.JPG
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An Athame or Athamé is a ceremonial dagger, with a double-edged blade and usually a black handle. It is the main ritual implement or magical tool among several used in the religion of Wicca, and is also used in various other neopagan witchcraft traditions.

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Call upon the Goddess and God to protect you and teach you the secrets of magic. Ask stones and plants to reveal their powers - and listen.
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