neo-religion

Witchblr: I Need Your Help!

Here’s the deal: for my class, Religion 101, I’m doing a research project on contemporary witchcraft and Neopaganism, specifically on how the Internet and modern technology have shaped this religious practice in unique ways. As part of my research, I’ve created a survey to gather information from actual witches about how they came to identify with witchcraft and how they incorporate the Internet and modern technology into their craft!

Now that you know why I need your help, here’s what you can do to help me:

  • If you’re a witch or other magick-practitioner, answer the survey! The first section is required, and asks about your religious identity and what kind of witchcraft you commonly do, as well as your usage of the Internet and modern technology in witchcraft. The second section is optional, and asks about personal identity (specifically sexual orientation, gender identity, and neurodivergence) and how it relates to your practice.
  • Share the survey! I would love to have a lot of people answer this, so anything you can do to bring attention to the project would be greatly appreciated! If you’re not a witch or magick-practitioner, you can still reblog this post and let people see the survey!

Thank you so much, and please reblog this post to get more people’s attention, especially if you answer the survey. I need all responses in by Friday, December 23rd. As long as you are a witch or magick-practitioner, you qualify to answer!

Click here to go to the survey!

Winter Solstice Druids of Gaul Order of Canada

 The Winter Solstice is the most sacred time of the Druidic year. It is the only celebration that focuses completely inward. It takes the Druid on a journey through reflections on life and death, light and darkness.

  Unlike many modern Neo Pagan religions, the Druid marks the Winter Solstice as the end of a cycle year and a beginning of a new one.

   As the Sun sets on the Winter Solstice we light the fires in mourning of the Suns death as we slip into the darkest night of the year.

At this time we reflect on our loved ones whom have passed away during that year by lighting candles or little fires in their honour, (this symbolizes the Energy of human life or the human spark.)

Many take this time to meditate or to connect with their loved ones in the Otherworld.

Meditations may consist of:

*Reflect on our actions in this World during the now fading year

*On loved ones

*Our service to Nature and community

*Healing

*Our place within Nature

*Our place within cosmic perspective

(This goes on throughout the night.)

Sunrise

   Facing the direction of the rising Sun, the Druid prepares to witness the rebirth of another year,another cycle, with new challenges, new goals, new perspectives.

At this time the Druid reaffirms his/her dedication to the guardianship of Nature, thus continues to be a Druid.

A personal affirmation is said, it could be however long or short you wish, those are Your words, Your dedication to stand guard for All within Nature.

   Your words must come from the heart and must be all inclusive, you cannot promise to serve some select things or creatures within Nature without protecting it all as One, we are all connected.

   After the Druid affirmation and the Greetings to the Sun are completed,

we feast with Family and Friends to celebrate this new beginning, and the birth

of a new solar cycle.

May Peace and Light be upon you in this New Year my Friends.

Bear (Grand Chieftain)

Druids of Gaul Order of Canada

Wiccan or Witch?

When people ask me if I’m a Wiccan, I say no. I am just a Witch. Well, what’s the difference? From my years of research and discovery (I didn’t just wake up one day and decide to become one, it took years of contemplation and theology and religious research, as well as historical connections) I found that the difference between a Witch who practices Witchcraft and a Wiccan who practices Wiccan is this: one is a way of life, and the other is a religion. The main difference between Wicca and Witchcraft comes with the differences in intent. The purpose of Wicca is to honor the deities, Witchcraft, on the other hand, does not have to involve deities. Instead, it is concerned with the use of spells and herbs and energies to achieve a desired end–healing, love, protection, etc. Wicca is a neo-pagan religion, founded in the 1950s, meaning it is a modern interpretation of the old ways, with adjustments from other types of paganism, like Druids, Norse, Buddhism, etc. While, being a Witch, derives from Earth worship and the ancient ways of alchemy and herbal/bodily practice. Call me a traditionalist but I prefer to know the ways of the Ancient Witches, and to perform the craft as it has been for hundreds of years, when the world was new and full of spirits. While I recognise certain deities to aid in my craft, I do not rely on them. I am the vessel and nature is merely my centred focus.

Originally posted by dead-moon-mermaid

the signs as witchy things

Aries: candle magick

Taurus: grounding

Gemini: chaos jar curse

Cancer: amulet to ward off unwanted energies for a friend

Leo: glamour spell

Virgo: motivation sigil

Libra: crystal/herb pouch to attract love

Scorpio: tarot 

Sagittarius: fire ritual to invoke jupiter

Capricorn: success spell

Aquarius: that one aggressively alternative practitioner of an intersectional neo-pagan religion 

Pisces: moon water ritual 

INFORMATION FOR BEGINNERS SERIES, WHAT IS WICCA

What Is Wicca?

History Misconceptions Satan Evil Spells Divinity
Nature Other Faiths Afterlife Sin Ethics
Leadership Churches Magick What is Wicca?

History


Wicca is a neo-pagan religion based on the pre-Christian
traditions of England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. Its
origins can be traced even further back to Paleolithic
peoples who worshipped a Hunter God and a Fertility
Goddess. Cave paintings found in France (and dated at
30,000 years old) depict a man with the head of a stag,
and a woman with a swollen, pregnant belly. They stand in
a circle with eleven mortals. These archetypes of the
divine are worshipped by Wiccans to this very day. By
these standards, the religion that is now called Wicca, is
perhaps the oldest religion in the world.

In 1951, the laws against Witchcraft were repealed in
England. A man named Gerald Gardner was the first to
come into the public eye with a description of what
modern witches were practicing. His information came
from the traditions of a coven called the New Forest
Witches, and from Ceremonial Magick and the Cabballah.
He began what is now called the Gardnerian Tradition of
Wicca. From Gardnerian came Alexandrian Tradition,
and a host of other offshoots that today number in the
hundreds.

Misconceptions


For two thousand years the image of the Witch has been
associated with evil, heathenism, and blasphemy. These
ideas have their origin in Christian myths created to
convert members of the Old Religion to that of the new.
By making the Witch into a diabolical character of ill
intent and action, the Christian missionaries were able to
attach fear to a word that had once meant Healer, Wise
One, and Seer.

These fears are present to this day. When we think of the archetypal image of the Witch, we remember the evil enchantress of childhood tales. We think of an old, wrinkled hag with a nasty wart on her nose. We think of hexes, and devils, and foul incantations chanted around a bubbling cauldron. While we modern witches have been known to stir up herbal remedies in a cauldron, we are a far cry indeed from the horrifying Wicked Witch of the West!


Witches Do Not Worship Satan

To believe in Satan, one must subscribe to the Christian mythos. We do not. Wicca does not have any belief in, nor do we worship a concept of evil incarnate. All life is perceived as a
constant flow of positive and negative energies, which
intertwine to create the balance of life. [From my own
experience, I must say that the only evil I have ever
observed in the world has come from Man. There are no
ax-murderers, or child-abusers to be found in the animal
kingdom, or in nature as a whole.

Witches Do Not Cast Evil Spells

Modern Witches have a very strict belief in the Law of Return. Whatever we send out into our world shall return to us, so even the most ill-tempered Witch would not consider doing magick
to harm another being. The spells that we do involve
things like Healing, Love, Wisdom, Creativity, and Joy.
The “potions” that we stir might be a headache remedy,
or a cold tonic, or an herbal flea bath for the family dog.

Beliefs

Immanent Divinity

Wiccans believe that the spirit of God/dess exists in every living thing: in the trees, the rain, the flowers, the sea, and in each other. This means that we must treat our peers, and all the beings of the Earth as aspects of the Divine. We attempt to honour and respect life, in all its many and diverse expressions.

Nature

Wiccans learn from and worship nature by
celebrating the cycles of the sun, and the cycles of the
moon. We look into ourselves for the cycles within that
correspond to those of the natural world, and try to
move in harmony with the movement of life. Our teachers
come in the form of trees, rivers, lakes, meadows, and
mountains, as well as other humans who have walked the
path before us. This belief infers a reverence and
respect for the environment, and all of life upon the
Earth We revere the spirits of the elements that create
our world. Air, Fire, Water, and Earth combine to
manifest all creation. From these four elements we gain
wisdom, and understanding of how the universe unfolds.
The rhythms of nature are the rhythms of our lives.
Wiccans attempt to dance in step with the pulse of the
Earth.

Other Faiths

Modern Witches believe in freedom first!
We do not choose to look at our path as the “one true
right way,” but as one path among many to the center.
We do not convert new members to the Craft, nor do we
advertise or prosteletize. We believe that anyone who is
meant for this path will find it through their own search.
Wiccans practice tolerance and acceptance toward all
other religions, as long as those faiths do not preach or
commit harm to others.

Afterlife

Most Witches believe in reincarnation of some
sort, whether it be the Eastern version known as the
Transmigration of Souls (the spirit incarnating one body
after another in an effort to learn all the life lessons
that it can), or Ancestral Incarnation (where the spirit
and life lessons of the grandfather transmute to the
granddaughter, and so on down the genetic line). The
latter is a more traditionally Celtic approach, but both
are accepted.


Sin In Wicca

We do not have a specific concept of sin.
There is no heaven or hell that souls will go to based on
their worldly actions. Wrong-doing is governed and
determined by the individual conscience. With the belief
in the Law of Return, one’s actions will determine one’s
future. The individual is therefore responsible for his or
her own fate, based on what he or she chooses to do
internally and externally in the world.


Ethics

Wicca has but one law of action and ethics. It is
called the Wiccan Rede or the Wiccan Law, and can be
found under the Reading Room category of the same
name. “And ye harm none” covers almost everything that
the Ten Commandments do: don’t lie, don’t steal, don’t
cheat, etc. It encourages us to strive not to harm any
living thing - including ourselves - except perhaps to
survive. Whether this means that you must become a
vegetarian or a passivist is up to the individual. The
Wiccan Law serves as a guideline to action, not a
mandate. The only law that the Ten Commandments
express that is not covered by the Wiccan Law is that of
marriage and adultery. In Wicca, love itself is
sanctified, with or without government authorization. As
long as two individuals share a sincere bond of love that
does not harm either party, it does not matter if they
are legally joined, if they are heterosexual, homosexual,
bisexual, or interracial.

Leadership vs. Hierarchy

There is no Arch Bishop of Wicca. There is no one person or organization that determines the practices and beliefs of Wicca as a whole. Instead, Wicca is formed of small nebulas groups
and solitaries who are charged with the leadership of
themselves. Wicca is a religion of clergy, not followers.
Each person who seriously pursues the Craft, whether it
be through study in a particular tradition, or through
self-teaching and private learning, has the choice to
become a priest or priestess of Wicca. Most modern
traditions of Wicca offer a three year program of
learning that will bring the student to the level of High
Priest or Priestess.

Churches and Temples

Wiccans do not usually have churches created specifically for the worship of the gods. Our temple is found in nature, among the creations of the divine. We meet in a circle that represents the Circle of Life, and the equality that we share. There is no
head, no top, no beginning and no end. When necessary,
our circles take place indoors in houses, apartments, or
wherever we can find a sacred, protected space. But
ideally, a circle will take place in a grove beneath the
stars, with the silver moon shining down from above.


Magick

Witches believe in the power of magick to
create change. A prominent Wiccan author named
Starhawk defines magick as “the art of changing
consciousness at will.” By being in tune with the rhythms
of life, we can create change for ourselves and for our
world. We use herbs, oils, colours, stones, crystals, and
other symbolic materials to represent the change we wish
to create. Wiccans believe that the individual is
responsible for his or her own reality. If there is
something that is not healthy, or conducive to happiness
and growth, we have the power to change it. As aspects
of the divine, we are each Creator and Creatress, filled
with the power to manifest all that we dream of or
desire.

What is Wicca?

Wicca is a forest in the light of the silvery moon…a glade enchanted by the light of the Faery. It is the dewdrop on the petals of a flower in bloom, the warmth of the summer sun on the skin, the fall of colourful autumn leaves, and the softness of winter snow upon the Earth. It is light, and shadow and all that
lies in between. It is the song of the wind, and the tune of the tides. It is the symphony of life! To be a Witch is to be a healer, a teacher, a seeker, a giver, and a protector of all things living and alive. If this path be yours, may you tread it with honour and with light!

.Posted by, Phynxrizng

Why EVERYONE has a right to have Spirit animals

There have been several posts on Tumblr circulating “explaining” why “white folk” don’t have a right to believe in Spirit Animals. 

Allow me to provide bullet points as to why this post is hideously wrong and shockingly narrow minded and bigoted in it’s own right.  

1.    Spirit animals exist in cultures the world over.  

Germanic Pagans / Asatru (Heathen) have Vættir / wihtiz who often could shapeshift into animals.  And ånd dyr.

The Gaelic / Celtic have Spirit animals.  In fact when white men came to North America the term Spirit animal was applied to Totems because “Spirit animal” (by the English words) was a concept they already understood.  Ironic to have rants about appropriation without considering this…

Wiccans and other witches have familiars, which is an animal helper, beloved pet, or a… spirit guide in an animal form.  This concept is quite old and can be traced to fifteenth century Grimoires found in Germany and France.

The Ancient Japanese, Chinese and traditional Korean have spirit animals too.   Korean Spirit Animals are  Jangseung.  And similar can be found in other Asian cultures.  

The Ancient Polish had rodnidze whose meaning and purpose is virtually identical to the Native American Totems.   So what the anti-White person Spirit Animal posts did is telling Polish Pagans not to honor their past or believe anything from their own culture’s history because of what the descendants of other Europeans had done to a similar culture.  I’m pretty sure the Ancient Polish were not appropriating anything.

Australian Aborigine (besides North American) also had Spirit Animals that you could communicate with in the “Dream Time.”  

Roma / Romani (impolitely called gypsy) also have Spirit Animals.  This stems out of Hungary and parts of Eastern Europe.    

In many parts of India cows are sacred. 

Cats were believed to be messengers of the Gods in Egypt.

Ravens and wolves are believed to be servants of Odin in Nordic tradition and are also powerful figures in Gaelic folklore.

And last but not least we have Shetani in East Africa.

There are others but those are the ones I list here to prove a point.  The concept is literally everywhere.

2.  The term Spirit animal is not Native American.  Notice, for starters that the words are … you know… ENGLISH!    The more common term for the Native American version is Totem.

The concept is literally world-over.  Just about every Ancient Culture had a version.   Some existing into present day, some fading into obscurity.    

3.   Telling anyone that they do not have a right to follow a particular religion because of an accident of birth is an insult to several cultures.  Many Native American tribes welcome new members or want people to share their beliefs.  “The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb.”  Skin color and race does not determine what religion a person has a “Right” to follow.

4.   It only proves how little respect you have for a belief if you think some people do not have a right to believe in it.  That heavily indicates you do not humor the notion that the belief to be a truth / fact of reality but rather treat it as nothing more than a badge or trinket to be jealously guarded away from others.

5.   Segregation and telling people to “keep to their own kind” and that they only have a right to things their “own people” created is not okay, no matter who is saying it.  All that does is perpetuate a cycle of hate and resentment.   We are all human.

Respect the opinions of others.  Respect the religion of others and never, ever, ever go so low and pretentious as to tell someone what they can or cannot believe in.

3

There’s That Cute Term Again: Broom Closet

I have always felt immensely uncomfortable when someone asks me what denomination I belong to. They are always referring to Lutheran, Methodist, Catholic, Mormon, etc. If I say that I belong to none it’s like their immediate reaction is that I need to be saved. That I am too pretty to burn in Hell. It is the same thing when someone asks me what I believe in. I tell them that I follow a pagan faith and then I become some weird chick who should be wearing some fru-fru witch’s hat and boiling children in a cauldron. It’s hard to tell people that I’m pagan because they do not understand. They do not allow themselves to listen. Instead they simply nod, turn away, or slip a little bible in my purse - “for when you’re ready”. What is that supposed to mean?

And then I feel bad. I feel bad because I do not usually admit that I am a pagan unless I am close to said person. I do not want to listen to their lectures. I do not want them to ask such moronic questions. I do not want their scorn. I do not want them to try and change me. So when they ask I say, “I was baptized Methodist” (which is kind of nice considering they’re one of the first churches to allow homosexual marriages) but still… That’s not who I am and I feel like I’m hiding when I shouldn’t have to.

A lot of people seem to be under the common misconception that ‘Blessed Be’ is a Wiccan only term.
It’s not.
Many other groups of pagans use it too, very notably druids and Celtic Reconstructionalists.
Maybe it’s a U.k thing, but please realise that it’s not just Wiccans that use the phrase, and there are some pieces of historical evidence (I want to say in Prof. Huttons works, I can’t quite remember) that date it back to before Wicca.
(As in before the 1950s, when Wicca was founded, possibly only to the Bricketwood coven)
But the phrase does not come from a Wiccan blessing, Wicca incorporated it into fertility and creativity rites long after the phrase had been around.
Once again, I point to the handy history book by Professor Hutton on the neo-pagan religions of the British isles! :)

anonymous asked:

Hey, I don't understand the difference between witches and those who practice Wicca? Is it a big difference?

This is answered briefly in our FAQ but I’ll expand on it a bit.

Yes, the difference between witchcraft and Wicca is HUGE. Wicca is a neo-pagan religion founded in the 1950′s that often incorporates witchcraft while also honoring the God and Goddess. 

Witchcraft is a craft of magic. It can be used as a religion itself, as part of a religion, or not in any religion at all. Many, many witches are not Wiccans. The belief that most witches are wiccan and therefore the terms should be used interchangeably is one pushed by neo-Wiccan writers who either don’t know any better or know better but are intentionally putting out wrong information to make a quick buck (see: Silver Ravenwolf). 

Since the two aren’t interchangeable, this means that not all witches follow popular Wiccan rules. Many witches don’t believe in the Threefold Law, the Rede, or saying blessed be to other people for any reason. A problem we run into a lot in the community is Wiccans assuming every witch is wiccan and follows these rules or are comfortable with certain phrases, when in fact witches are very diverse and many have their own rules that are not dictated by Wicca.

~Wanderings

oceanis-the-otamer-girl  asked:

Hello, last saturday i find some Wiccas in a party and spent time with them, and they told me a lots of things about Witchcraft and I want to practice too! Could you give some advice on who to start practicing Witchcraft? Thank you~

Before anything else, a couple things:

  • Wicca: a mystery religion with a Goddess and God as its primary divine figures, requiring initiation by High Priest/esses.  Most of what is known and practiced within Wicca is kept within itself.
  • Neo-Wicca: a religion very similar to Wicca except that it doesn’t require initiation and allows for self-dedication.  It’s formed on the precepts that have escaped the traditional secrecy of Wicca, which means that it isn’t an accurate reflection of Wicca simply because not all the details kept within Wiccan covens have been released to the uninitiated.
  • Witchcraft: usually spelled with a lowercase ‘w,’ witchcraft is a secular practice, meaning that it has no inherent religious paradigm.  Witchcraft and Wicca/Neo-Wicca, as well as witch and Wiccan, tend to be used interchangeably, but this is inaccurate.

The most important point, however, is that Wicca and Neo-Wicca are actual religions.  They have cool toys sometimes, but coming into any religion without understanding that it isn’t a fun weekend hobby is highly disrespectful.  Anyone of any religion or irreligion can practice witchcraft, Christian or atheist or Pagan or whomever, but getting into it because it makes you feel edgy, spooky, or powerful means completely missing the point as well as whatever potential was there in the first place.

If you’re willing to approach Wicca and/or witchcraft with thoughtfulness rather than novelty, the FAQ has a number of resources to get you started.

- mountain hound