Wicca is a positive, polytheistic, nature religion.
Wicca is positive; it is a religion that has nothing to do with evil, hell or the devil. Wiccans do not worship Satan. Wiccans do not sacrifice goats, children, or anything else you may have heard mentioned. Wicca is all about balance – God and Goddess, light and dark, good and bad. You cannot have one without the other, and so you cannot have an all-evil entity, like the devil.
You cannot have an all-good entity either, like the Christian idea of God. Wiccan Gods can be identified with as they are not infallible. They have personalities which hold a mirror up to human nature as we know it, and have virtues and flaws that we can easily relate to.
Wicca is polytheistic; As you may have inferred from the last paragraph, Wiccans believe in more than one God. Wiccans believe that there are many Gods – for example Celtic Gods, Greek Gods, Egyptian Gods. Wiccans may identify with Gods from one particular pantheon, several different ones, or none at all. Polytheistic breaks down into “poly”, meaning many, and “theos” meaning God. Wiccans also believe that the Gods can be male or female, for example Brighid, Celtic Goddess of healing, and Horus, the falcon-headed Egyptian God.
Wicca is a nature religion. Wiccans respect the natural world, and seek to live with the land, and not just on it. Wiccans use things like herbs and gemstones because of the energies these things posess. Wiccans also work in time with the seasons, celebrating the turning of the wheel of the year in the Sabbats and Esbats.
Wiccans generally believe in reincarnation – not everyone does, however. Wiccans don’t believe in a heaven, or hell, instead many believe that after death the soul leaves the body, and returns to Earth in a new form. Some people believe that in between incarnations your soul resides in the Summerland. This is a place somewhat similar to heaven, where you can meet loved ones who have also passed away, and review what you learned in your last life. Alternatively, others believe that you will go to the Summerland once your soul has finished reincarnating, and you have learned everything you need to.
Wiccans will not try to convert you, or to persuade you that their religion is the one right way. There is no set path to divinity; all positive religions are equally valid. In one of Silver RavenWolf’s books she describes the religions of the world as a multi-faceted diamond. No one side is better, or more beautiful than any other; in fact without so many different sides there would be no diamond. Religion is a very personal thing, and what works for one person, may not work for another – nor should it.
Wicca does not necessarily equate to witchcraft. While most Wiccans do practise magic, it’s not a requirement. There are also people out there who practise magic and are not Wiccan. Someone who practises magic is a witch, whether they are male or female. A warlock is not a male witch. The word warlock actually means ‘oath breaker’. Someone who practises Wicca, a form of Neo-Paganism, is Wiccan. Wicca is a Pagan religion, and so Wiccans are Pagan. There are different forms of Paganism other than Wicca though, and so if someone is Pagan it does not always follow that they are Wiccan. If that sounds a little confusing think of it like this; if you are a man, you are definitely a human, however if you are human you are not necessarily a man – you might be a woman instead.