Wiccans what do you believe?
I am trying to get to know more about others beliefs.
The following is a bit long, but it should answer most of your questions.
Wicca is a very complex faith which embraces widely varying practices and many different Traditions. The following, however, is what I consider to be “the basics”.
Wicca is about 60 years old, with roots in Masonic practices, ceremonial magic, and the Romantic era’s ideas of classical religions. Its founder was a British civil servant named Gerald Gardner.
It is in many ways a postmodern faith, embracing religious relativism, and one that resonates powerfully for increasing numbers of people.
The central tenet of the Wiccan religion is the Wiccan Rede: “If you harm none, do what you will.” This is a deceptively simple “commandment” which can take a lifetime to contemplate and to master. Many Wiccans also believe in the Law of Threefold Return, sometimes called the Rule of Three: “Whatever you do, for good or ill, will come back upon you three times over.”
Wiccans honor Deity as both male and female, God and Goddess — or at the very least as Goddess. Many Wiccans believe that the universe is the body of God/dess, and therefore that all things contain Divine energy and that the world itself is sacred. Some Wiccans are polytheists (many God/desses); others are duotheists (God and Goddess, of whom all other Gods and Goddesses are simply aspects); others are monotheists (God and Goddess Themselves are simply aspects of an unknowable Source).
Wiccans generally do not believe that God/dess is separate from the world; therefore, we have no concept of salvation, since God/dess is present to all and always. Many Wiccans believe that God/dess is too big to fit inside one religion — all religions/spiritual paths are ways of reaching the same goal, and atheism and agnosticism are honorable perspectives on the mystery of life.
Each Wiccan operates as their own priest/ess. We do not have a distinction between clergy and laity. Therefore, each Wiccan is responsible for their own personal development and for forging their own relationship with God/dess. Some Wiccans practice in covens, which are generally initiatory and require a long period of study (traditionally a year and a day) before entering. Others practice in loosely affiliated groups of solitaries, which are Wiccans who practice outside of traditional coven structure. Others simply practice alone.
Wiccans do not usually have churches. We create sacred space as and where needed, by casting “circles” of energy which function as temples. When inside those circles, we invite the spirits of the four Platonic elements (air, fire, water, and earth) to join us, as well as the Goddess and the God (or at minimum the Goddess).
Wiccans have celebrations which are timed to both the solar and lunar calendars. The solar festivals — held at the solstices, the equinoxes, and four points in between them — are called sabbats.
The lunar holy days are called esbats, and are held at the full moon each month, and sometimes at the new moon as well.
Many Wiccans practice witchcraft, which we see as working with the Divine energy that permeates the world to bring about change. In accordance with the Wiccan Rede, the vast majority of Wiccans will not curse or perform magic to bring harm upon anyone else.
A relatively objective (non-Wiccan) set of articles on what Wiccans do and believe:
Another useful article:
A good site by Wiccans:
An explanation of the religion by a Wiccan:
And the US Army Chaplains Handbook excerpt on Wicca:
If you’re looking to do some reading, I’d recommend “Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner” by Scott Cunningham, and “The Triumph of the Moon” by Ronald Hutton. I advise you to stay away from anything by Silver Ravenwolf, for reasons outlined in the following essay:
If you have any further questions, please feel free to email me via my profile.