(ORDO NEWS) — “A witch once – a witch forever” – isn’t it a relevant statement at all times, if we consider it in the context of the relationship between a man and a woman? However, in reality there is nothing funny about it – this saying is popular among followers of the Wicca religion and denotes their attitude to death: the soul, in order to learn and develop, incarnates several lives in a row in the same form.
Knowing how to keep secrets
Wicca is a neo-pagan religion with certain types of rituals, seasonal rituals and peculiar religious, magical and ethical rules, based on reverence for nature. It became popular in 1954 thanks to Gerald Gardner, a retired English civil servant, who claimed that Wicca was a surviving ancient religion that had secretly existed for centuries and had its roots in pre-Christian European paganism. The truth of Gardner’s claims cannot be unequivocally proven, so many researchers claim that Wiccan theology did not emerge until the 1920s. However, according to some sources, Wicca has its origins in the ancient Celtic beliefs and witchcraft traditions of the northern peoples of Europe.
The religion believes that Wicca has been passed on secretly from mother to daughter and father to son for centuries. Wiccans lived in communities – covens, numbering from 12 to 30 people. The Wiccans were formally Christian, but tacitly followed their original traditions and performed their own Wiccan rituals. It was the ability to keep secrets that saved the followers of Wicca, as they believe, from persecution by the official Christian church, and the belief itself – from complete oblivion and disappearance.
Wiccan communities existed in the north of Ireland, in the southern wooded counties of England and in the coastal northwest of France. Legend has it that the Duke of Normandy William the Conqueror, who made a victorious campaign from continental Europe to the southern coast of England in 1066, enlisted the support of Wiccan sorcerers and witches who, with the help of their magical rituals, allegedly ensured him victory in the Battle of Hastings over the troops of the English king Harold II, who brutally oppressed the Wiccans. On December 25, 1066, William for the Warrior was crowned at Westminster Abbey in London, becoming the founder of a new royal dynasty. Eight years after the death of William, the inspirer of the first crusades, Pope Urban II, having heard about the secret Wiccan communities, attempted to destroy the heretics.
Wiccan morality is based on the Wiccan admonition: “If it doesn’t hurt anyone, do what you want.” This proclamation of free will, along with the responsibility to take responsibility for one’s own actions, is very attractive for those who are tired of the harsh demands of the main world religions. Another part of Wiccan morality lies in the Law of Threefold Return, which is understood as follows: everything, good or bad, that you do to others, will return to you three times (this is similar to the Eastern idea of karma).
Most Wiccans worship God and the Goddess, perceiving them as equal, complementary opposites, embodying the entire set of possible manifestations of nature. God is sometimes symbolically identified with the Sun, the Goddess with the Moon. God is traditionally understood as the Celtic Horned God (Cernunnos). His qualities are sexuality, aggressiveness, fierceness, passion for nature and hunting. The Wiccans depict the Horned God, according to ancient Greek tradition, swarthy, curly, with horns, a beard and goat’s hooves, and sometimes, paying tribute to ancient Egyptian mythology, the majestic Osiris holding a magic trident and a dagger in his hands.
The Goddess is called the Triune, linking three forms of her manifestation – “Virgo”, “Mother” and “Old Woman” – with three lunar phases. Sometimes she is revered as the original essence in relation to God, containing absolutely everything.
The world surrounding Wiccan is full of light, color and creativity. They accept death with joy and consider it a long-awaited opportunity to meet with friends, relatives and relatives who have died before, but most importantly – with the Goddess and the Horned God, who give a long-awaited release from earthly worries.
Holidays and rituals
Wiccans celebrate eight holidays of the Wheel of the Year – the so-called sabbats. Among them are four great festivals that mark the changing seasons and coincide with the ancient Celtic fiery celebrations. The other four minor holidays are the summer and winter solstices and the spring and autumn equinoxes.
Each such holiday is divided into three parts. In the first part, the Wiccans turn to prayer to the powerful gods. In the second part, they carry out lower magic rituals associated with healing, admitting new members to the community and attracting personal well-being. The most coveted, third part, is devoted to feasts, conversations and unrestrained fun.
Secret ceremonies and rituals vary from one coven to another. But initiation, hand-fasting (Wiccan wedding) and Wiccaning (analogous to baptism) are considered mandatory. The following items are used here as magic items: a cauldron, black and white daggers, a bronze wand, a silver bell, a bowl, a crystal ball, a censer and a broom.
The broom has a special place in rituals. Wiccans use this object both as a very strong amulet and as a means of transportation, which gains its momentum if the witch is rubbed with a special ointment.
Description of rituals Wiccans enter in special notebooks, bound in the skin of a milk lamb and called the Book of Shadows. Followers of the religion consider the Book of Shadows to be a secret secret that strangers should not learn about. Therefore, after the death of the compiler of such a notebook, it is either inherited, or burned, and its ashes scatter in the wind …
It is believed that the influence of the followers of Wicca on global world processes is quite large. So, according to British intelligence, in the forties of the last century, immediately after the outbreak of World War II, the English Wiccans took an unprecedented step – December 20-22, 1939 during the celebration of Yule – the holiday of the winter solstice and the beginning of the new year according to the Wiccan calendar – several dozen Covens gathered together in order to perform a grand magic ritual and thereby prevent the transfer of Wehrmacht troops across the English Channel to England. It is known from history that Hitler did not dare to land, limiting himself only to aerial bombardments of Foggy Albion.
American neo-wiccans have made more than one attempt to stop the bloodshed in the Vietnam War, during Operation Desert Storm, and during the American invasion of Afghanistan. Some of these attempts have been successful.
In Russia, neo-Wiccan communities began to appear only at the turn of the XX-XXI centuries. The first covens appeared in the Kaliningrad region and Karelia in 1999-2000 and were informal secret youth associations of a religious orientation, maintaining close ties with their Western counterparts …
Nowadays, both in Russia and in the West, an increasing number of people are disappointed in traditional world religions, not finding in them peace of mind and an answer to burning questions of life. Therefore, every year more and more new beliefs, including Wicca, are making themselves felt. However, whether to be a Wiccan, a Christian, a Muslim, a Jew or an atheist – each person decides for himself individually.
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