Because Wicca is such a diverse and personalized religion with no real authority figure or official religious texts it’s quite hard to answer the question “what are Wiccan beliefs?”. However, even if it’s difficult to define these beliefs, there do seem to be some broad concepts and traditions which many people who practice Wicca follow.
In the blog post below, I’ll attempt to summerise some of the most commonly practised Wiccan beliefs and rituals. Keep in mind though, that with Wicca you are always free to define your own rules and rituals. Wiccan religion actually has no governing creed or dogma which must be followed, rather, it encourages practitioners to find and define the terms within which they practice themselves.
What are Wiccan Beliefs?
Wiccans generally believe in the Goddess and God. This means that they follow a ‘polarity of the divine in which both male and female deities are worshipped. Many Wiccans believe in the divinity of nature. For Wiccans, nature comprises part of a divine life-affirming system and living in harmony with the natural rhythms and cycles of the earth forms a key component of many Wiccans’ religious practice. Wiccans may also follow the ethical code of ‘If ye harm none, do what you will’ as well as the ‘rule of three’ which stipulates that every action or deed is returned threefold.
Do Wiccans Pray?
Prayer is a personal choice and it’s entirely up to the individual Wiccan whether or not they choose to engage in prayer. That being said, for many Wiccan’s prayers form an essential part of their religious practice. Seen as a way of ‘getting in touch’ with the divine, prayer is understood by some Wiccan’s to help strengthen the personal connection to the divine.
As stated by a practising Wiccan ‘Prayer is a personal thing, different for each individual. Some Wiccans will do full-on ritual based prayer, others will just talk out loud to the god and goddess as though they are friends. It’s different for everyone”. Another practising Wiccan writes “Some individuals may incorporate prayers into their work. (Victor Anderson used to say, “Every poem is a love letter to the Goddess.”) The Witchcraft prayers of Sybil Leek are a good example. If you’re interested in Wiccan prayers and rituals check out our post on Wiccan rituals.
Do Wiccans Believe in Karma?
The word Karma actually has its origins in Hinduism and as such has little to do with the Wiccan religion itself. However, the basic idea behind karma: that every action has a repercussion and that we are all caught in a cycle of cause and effect, is quite similar to the Wiccan ‘rule of three’.
The Wiccan rule of three states that each action or deed will be returned threefold meaning that each positive or negative action we partake in will be returned to us threefold. An example of this would be that Wiccans believe that if you bring joy, kindness, and love into the world, this will be returned to you threefold. On the other hand, Wiccans believe that if you express hatred, anger or jealousy to those around you this too will be returned to you with the power of three.
Many Wiccans use the principle behind the law of three to help guide and shape their day to day lives, the focus being on maintaining a loving and joyful presence so that this will be returned and magnified through workings of the law of three. As you can see, this concept is really quite similar to the Hindu idea of Karma.
What is the Mark of the Witch?
The mark of the witch has its origins in the witch trials of the 16th and 17th centuries. During this time it was believed that witches could be identified on account of specific physical marks which signified their allegiance to the devil.
The marks, named ‘witches marks’ where thought to be hidden on secret parts of the body, for example, the inside of the lip or under the pit of the arm. It was customary during this time for women accused of being witches to have their entire bodies scrutinized for any sign of the witch’s mark. The mark was considered to be proof of witchcraft and it was argued during the witch trials that the mark indicated an undeniable pact with satan.
A mark could have the appearance of a mole, a freckle or a birthmark although ‘experts’ and inquisitors claimed that they could easily spot the difference between a natural mark and the mark of a witch. What is so awful about this, is that the “experts” were often paid per “successful” witch trial i.e. if they found a witch and that person was convicted. Seems like anything could be a classes as a witches mark if your pay depends on it doesn’t it?
Is Wicca a Recognised Religion?
Yes! Wicca was recognized as an official religion in the United States in 1986 through the case of Dettmer v. Landon. However, Wiccans have also encountered some opposition from “politicians and Christian organizations, including the former president of the United States George W. Bush, who stated that he “did not believe Wicca to be a religion”.
In 2007 the United States Government added the pentagram to the list of symbols that can be included on government-issued markers, headstones, and plaques honouring deceased veterans
The number of practising Wiccans in the United States has proven difficult to estimate. Recent sources state that there may be anywhere between 300,000 to 1 million people practising Wicca in the United States today.
Is Wicca a Recognised Religion in the UK?
Yes, Wicca is listed as one of the relevant belief-systems that people registered when asked what religion they follow. This indicates that it is recognized as an official religion within the United Kingdom.
Hopefully, this has answered some of your questions in regard to “what are Wiccan beliefs. Peace and love to you my darlings, until next time.
Amythest May xx
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