Thursday, September 13, 2012
Wicca/Pagan ~ Introduction
When you think of Witchcraft, what comes to mind? Spells? Rituals? Supernatural abilities? Well. most people do who are unaware of the Pagan religions. This post is to introduce one of the many Pagan religions, Wicca!
Wicca is, in simple terms, a nature-based religion. (We do not 'worship' nature, we 'respect and utilize' nature and natural energies) Yes Wiccans do harness a strong power to improve their lives or make things happen...hence spells and rituals...however, that power is not limited to Pagans. We do not possess any greater power than anyone else on this plane of existance, we just know how to use the power that we all naturally have within us.
This power should not be surprising to anyone. Just think about it...how many people use possitive affirmations to improve their mood? How many people say that if you just believe, you can do anything? How many people say have faith in yourself and your God? How many of you wear a lucky outfit or piece of jewelry for a job interview or date? How many knock on wood? 0Believe it or not, this is Magick!
Everybody has the ability to channel energy to bring about change. Technically, everyone has the ability to be a medium, psychic, or cast spells. Growning up it was instilled in all of us that harnessing these energies was wrong. Thus we stopped doing it. The phrase 'if you dont use it you lose it' is actually true.
I probably threw you off when I said Wicca was a Pagan religion. Many people believe these two terms to be two completely separate religions. Some think Wiccans are good while Pagans are evil. Some think we curse people we dont like (that is so silly)...None of these statements are true. To read more about common misconceptions about Wicca click here.
A common saying is all Wiccans are Pagans but not all Pagans are Wiccans! Think of the word Pagan like the word Christian. When you say Christian it covers a variety of different religions (baptist, lutheran, Protestant, Penicostal, Catholic, and more) well pagan is the same way!
A Pagan religion is any religious traditions which are polytheistic (Polytheism is the belief of multiple deities also usually assembled into a pantheon of gods and goddesses, along with their own mythologies and rituals) or indigenous (The word indigenous refers to anything that is native to a particular geographical region).
The different Pagan religions include (May miss a few since they are popping up everywhere):
Brotherhood of the Phoenix ~ American Gay (Homosexual) Men's Neo-pagan group. They provide support for gay, bisexual, and transgender men. As of 2007, they have a temple in Chicago and an office in San Fransisco. Click here for more information.
Druidism ~ Try to recapture the 'old religion'. There are so many different organizations for druidism:
The Order of Bards, Ovates, & Druids (OBOD) was founded in England in 1964
Druid Organizations & Orders is listed in the Bardic Institutes Bard Woodcrafts Wandery > Community
Glastonbury Order of Druids - Origins at the Website of the Arch Druidess of Glastonbury
Arn Draiocht Fein (ADF) (pronounced 'arn ree-ocht fane) American group founded by Isaac Bonewits
Ancient Order of Druids (AOD) was founded in US in 1912 and has 3000+ members. Charitable & social.
The Druid Network
Germanic Heathenry ~ Revival moment of Northern European Paganism. Includes the following:
Asatru (family Oriented association) Look under How to find a heathen group you can trust here.
Anglo-Saxon Heathenry click here for more information
German Neo-Paganism started in 19th Century in Germany and Austria.
Frisian Heathenry were one of the last to hold out against Christianity. Read more here.
Odinism is indegous of Northern Europe. Members may not belong to another organization! click here
Seidhr is the old Nordic for of Shamanism. For more info click here.
These are just a few of the many but it should give you the idea of the different kinds of Pagans.
Stay tuned for more information on The Pagan Religions.