1. Wicca is a religion of veneration of Nature and the worship of Divinity as containing both feminine and masculine aspects. It is founded upon the spiritual roots of pre-Christian European beliefs and practices. When Wicca first came to public attention in the early 1950s through the efforts of Gerald Gardner, it was portrayed as the remnant of an ancient European fertility cult. Practitioners referred to Wicca as the Old Religion. It was also known as the Craft of the Wise. On the surface modern Wicca appears to be a folklore and folk magick system. On the inner initiate level Wicca contains pre-Christian European Mystery Teachings.
2. The single largest tradition within Paganism, which is earth-centered, celebrates the eight Pagan holidays, envisions Deity as both male and female (which it calls the God and the Goddess), practices magick, and believes in an afterlife known as the Summerland. The Wiccan ethical system is stated in the Rede and the Rule of Threes. The Rede contains the ethical instruction to "harm none and do what you will." The Rule of Threes states that whatever you send out from yourself will come back threefold.
3. A contemporary Pagan religion in which the divine is worshipped as the Goddess and God. Rituals include the creation of sacred space with magic; invocation to the deities; ritual enactments or celebrations of seasonal phenomena; power-raising (for magic); and a simple meal. Wicca has no links or associations with “Satanism” or other quasi-Christian reactionary groups.
SOURCE: Dreaming the Divine, Scott Cunningham (Llewellyn Publications)
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