Wicca and Religion Essay
Wicca and Religion
The age-old Wiccan movement as a Neo-Pagan religion has been found in the different cultures of different countries. Its history as a religion was established in secret for hundreds of years in Europe patterned after ancient Egyptian religious practices. Its theology however was compiled only after the 1920’s where traditions evolved and later used to adapt with specific beliefs, rituals and practices. Some traditions remained a secret particularly among practitioners who wished to conduct their religious beliefs and rituals in solitary rule while others prefer the camaraderie with a group of choice.
Without a centralized organization however, the beliefs and practices substantially vary among individuals but the main principles and ritual structures are basically the same based on tradition, teachings and published works. Contrary to popular criticisms, Wiccan religion is not witchcraft according to Rountree (2004). A few isolated individuals may practice witchcraft and consider Wicca as the religion of choice but the two do not necessarily form part of the whole tradition of Wicca.
Wicca however has incorporated a form of witchcraft in relation to the ritual forms like casting spells, herbology, divination and magic according to Guiley (1999), she provided further that the practice is limited to a good purpose. Although it was derived from the history of witch cults during early modern Europe and has laid basis to its association with witchcraft according to Salomonsen (2002), the historical interpretation is widely criticized.
Other religion based on history have found an ultimate joy in associating Wicca as an evil and demonic craft making it supremely difficult to conclude whether Wicca is a religious form of witchcraft or a religion incorporating witchcraft. The interview Mary Anne, of Florida is a 43 year old Wiccan religious solitary practitioner of Irish descent abiding the traditional principles of the craft. Living in a squat modern house just outside the outskirts of Central Florida, one could never identify her with her belief, practice and adherence to the Wiccan religion.
Her cozy home was filled with country home decors and smelled of fresh rolls and afternoon tea. Her warmth was practically contagious which made me wonder if she was indeed a Wiccan practitioner. I almost regretted my earlier decision to come and see her knowing that I made an apparent mistake in assuming her qualifications for the interview. Although I have heard from friends that she was into the solitary practice after her husband died six years ago, her motherly and kind countenance was so reassuring that associating her with Wicca or witchcraft was quite impossible.
Halfway through our conversation, we started discussing about religion and religious practices which provided an opening for me to ask about her religious beliefs. Animatedly she discussed about the principles of Wicca without verbally admitting that she was a practitioner. She expressed sentiments on respect for other religions and added that man is actually free to practice his own belief while quoting Valiente (1973) provided they do not interfere nor put down other religious denominations.
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 18 May 2017
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