It seems like every day I run into online articles belittling Wicca. It is often dismissed as “fluffy” or “witchcraft lite.” This is really nothing new, there were witch wars back when I started in the early 2000’s. In fact, there used to be some really awesome Wiccan and witchcraft Yahoo Groups in those days (Yahoo Groups was huge back then), but many were killed off by the infighting over bickering about whose path was valid, and whose wasn’t.
There is no doubt that Wicca is often the starting place for people just coming to Paganism and witchcraft. There are so many books about Wicca, and Scott Cunningham’s book, Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner is possibly the most widely read book on witchcraft. So if you frequent Wicca groups you will find a lot of newbies, and yes, they have some questions that might seem silly or pretty “out there,” but really, they are just finding their way on a new path. We’ve all been there. I remember obsessing about the placement of my altar, and scouring groups and message boards for an answer. It seems petty now, but I so wanted to do everything just right.
Many people never leave the Wiccan fold once they find it. Others try on other paths for size, and some move away from it. Some people find that they don’t really want the religious aspect of Wicca, they are more interested in the practice of witchcraft. There are boatloads of Pagan and witchcraft paths, and someone should easily be able to find one that fits for them. I just don’t get it when someone moves on, then feels that they are somehow required to bad mouth Wicca.
I’d like to discuss a little bit about why I stay on the Wiccan path. I have experimented with other paths, but have always come back to Wicca. I think first and foremost, the fact that Wicca is a religion is a big draw for me. I find witchcraft without spirituality to be too clinical. For me, bringing together the sacredness of the earth, nature, the deities, and magick, works on an emotional level. If I were to simply practice witchcraft without the spiritual aspects, I would find it unfulfilling.
There are those who scoff at the Wiccan Rede or the Three-fold law. I don’t find the basic tenets of Wicca troubling at all. I think they really embody human kindness and reflect my own basic moral principles. If others are comfortable doing curses, or tossing things out into the ether that they wouldn’t want to have returned in kind to them, go for it. That’s just not me.
Some people find Wicca too regimented. I’ve had those thoughts too, but for me, I think it’s probably a good thing. It gives me a structure to hold onto. I can tend to wander aimlessly through life, and Wicca holds me together spiritually. I like being a solitary practitioner, but that can lend itself to inactivity or having a spiritual practice that is all over the place. Wicca sets forth a path forward for me. The Wheel of the Year, the rituals, the sabbats, those just clearly define my spiritual path.
I like combining witchcraft with spirituality because I am not sure I could make magick work without a religious component. Honestly, I can’t really tell you how magick works, but I know that sometimes it does. I need to embrace the God and Goddess (or plural) to aid me in my magick. That is the first time I ever wrote that. In the past, I’ve discounted the belief in the deities being essential to magickal practice. However, the more thought I’ve given that, it has occurred to me that I need to emotionally lean on those deities for some degree of support.
Lastly, Wicca is my emotional lifeline. To me, it conjures up (see how I used that there..) wonderful memories of walking into our local witchcraft store for the first time, the joy of reading books by Cunningham, Farrar, Buckland, Morrison, and others when I began, discovering the marvel of this path, and how Wicca led me to a new life. Because of Wicca, I rediscovered my hippie youth mindset, became less enamored of material possessions, learned to use herbs and essential oils for not only ritual, but for everyday uses, became something of a gardener, a cultivator of herbs, and learned to live a simpler lifestyle. This path has made me a better person. Much more-so, I think, than if I had simply just decided to practice witchcraft without the religious component.
Those are just a few reasons I continue to practice the religion of Wicca.