Every witch has her own point of view, but I would say that the foundation of all Wicca beliefs is this . . .
The Goddess is alive, and Magick is afoot!
This is a recognition that the Goddess is all around us. The Divine is the fabric from which the universe is made.
Everything in the material world - and all other worlds - is a magickal manifestation of the Divine.
The Goddess Is Love
Unlike many other modern religions, the Goddess is primary in Wiccan belief. Not as the winner of some gender competition, but because those qualities ascribed to the Feminine are the starting point of Creation.
This is why the ancient myths speak of the Goddess as the Mother of everything, even the Gods.
Life is born out of love. And unconditional Love is another name for the Goddess.
(But, to avoid the unavoidable confusion with gender politics, on this website we will speak more of the "Divine" than the "Goddess.")
The Many Beliefs Born From This Central Belief of Wicca
All the other central Wicca beliefs arise inevitably from this fundamental belief of Wicca philosophy.
For instance . . . If the Goddess is everywhere, in everyone and everything, then . . .
Life itself must be sacred.
Life is the unfolding of Divinity.
Like clay worked by a tirelessly creative Potter, life expands outward into form, then folds back into the infinite potential of nothingness, until expanding out into new forms, eternally. Nothing really added, nothing really lost.
When you look at the visible world from the perspective of modern science, that's exactly what you see.
Atoms and electrons and the energy fields they are formed of . . . being part of a star . . . then part of the Earth . . . then part of a plant . . . then part of a body . . . then part of the breath of air . . . then part of another body . . . then part of the Earth . . .
Forever in a complex and beautiful dance of beingness.
No divisions anywhere, except what our senses imagine.
Creation As An Expression Of Consciousness
In the view of the greatest scientific minds of our time, all matter is the result of an Infinite Consciousness.
The basic fabric of matter has the qualities that all spiritual sages have attributed to the Divine . . .
the source of all that is.
The part science hasn't yet caught up with is that the force powering all of this, is Love. The generative, generous, expansive, unconditional love of a Mother.
This is well-understood in Wiccan belief, though.
Out Of One, Many Wicca Beliefs
Now, from this conviction, other central Wicca beliefs evolve . . .
Everything that serves life - that is, everything that is a positive force - is sacred. Pleasure, laughter, joy, love, sex, play, creativity, freedom, living your dreams . . . These are as sacred as a heartfelt prayer - or can be, if they are done with the awareness of the Divinity within them.
Life is a never-ending Circle, where the high points and the low points are equally honourable, valuable, and sacred.
Nothing lives forever, as Buddha also wisely points out. Neither life nor death endure. The Circle continues to turn.
The Divine lives in all directions of the universe as well as the Centre - She lives around us and within us.
So the world must be infinitely more magickal than it might seem to a jaded eye. Indeed, all life must be magickal.
And so we must be magickal. Being part of the Divine, we must also have some of Her creative Power.
The Divine is perceived by us bit by bit, being too immensely complex to be understood all at once. So She manifests as all the elements of nature, and all the Wicca gods and goddesses. We may worship Whomever we choose. She is not jealous, because it's all One. All worship is worship of the One That Is.
Central Beliefs of Wicca
The whole philosophy of Wicca flows from that one central Wicca belief. The Goddess is alive. Magick is all around us.
How these central beliefs of Wicca are played out are described by the Wiccan laws, the Wheel of the Year, the celebration of the Moon, Wiccan Gods and Goddesses, and the symbols used in Wicca. Along with what could be termed the Wiccan "scriptures."
A Wiccan Bible?
There is no bible in Wicca.
There is no codification of Wicca beliefs. No one doctrine enforced on all. No one voice can claim to speak ultimate Truth.
Everyone who writes or teaches about Wicca, of course, has her own system of understanding Wicca beliefs. But there is no one right way, no written words that are expected (unreasonably) to be free from translation errors and human misunderstanding.
This is one of Wicca's greatest strengths!
It is this that keeps Wicca a vibrant, living, responsive, spiritual practice. As soon as a spirituality is turned into the dogma of fixed belief, it dies. Its corpse is then dressed up and carried around, quite pointlessly, as religion.
So "Wicca scriptures" does NOT mean Scripture in a biblical sense. Rather, we have Wiccan beliefs that have been written down - the original meaning of "scripture" - which are expressions of Truth, and containers for the Power of spiritual experience.
Being a central system of beliefs throughout Wicca, these texts act as a bond with other witches. We may never meet other witches, but we know we do not worship alone. Others honour these central beliefs of Wicca with us.
These central Wicca beliefs are expressed in . . .
In the same way, we could say that the central beliefs of Wicca form the central Wiccan doctrine . . .
The Wheel of the Year.
The Wheel of the Year is an organisation of the central beliefs of Wicca. It is the basis for much of Wiccan spiritual practice.
It describes the Circle of Life, the facets of the Divine, the turning points of the cycle - for which celebration is appropriate.
The Central Wicca Doctrine
The Wheel of the Year describes the four directions (North, East, South, West, plus Centre), and their connection with the four elements (Earth, Air, Fire, Water, plus Spirit).
It illustrates the cyclic pattern of life, on every level. While it is structurally a solar calendar, it represents the Circle of days, months, lifetimes, and eons.
That seems pretty ambitious, but it's actually easy . . . The same cycles of growth and decline, birth and death and rebirth are found everywhere in Nature.
The Wheel also delineates the High Holy Days, creating a calendar of Wiccan festivals and celebrations.
Wicca Calendar Of Holy Days
Witches celebrate the cycles of both the Moon and the Sun. The Wiccan calendar is based on the solar cycle.
The year is divided up into Quarters and Cross-Quarters, which signify major turning points of the Wheel.
These turning points are celebrated not only for the physical process they reveal of our planet, but also for their symbolic meanings - the cycles of the human soul.
What Does Death Mean To A Witch?
In Wicca the beliefs about death can be summed up as . . .
Dying is merely a shift in planes of existence,
We remain connected with our beloved, even after death,
Wicca is consistent with a peaceful acceptance of dying,
Honouring the cycles of life includes honouring its passing.
The root of the word Wicca means to bend. In Wicca our beliefs encourage us to be flexible with things. We willingly release what's time is past . . . even when it is our own youth, health, and life. Or what we love.
At least that is the intention.
Acceptance is not necessarily easy or immediate. Grieving is a process that can't be avoided through philosophy or logic.
Bereavement brings up every feeling and process in a witch that it does with every other human being.
But it is not the philosophy of Wicca to fear or avoid the natural conclusion of life.
The Moon is a Deity central to Wiccan worship. There are lots of likely reasons why. Primarily, I believe, it is because Wicca is a mystical religion.
Witches generally celebrate at least some of the cycles of the Moon.
The Full Moon is the most commonly celebrated Wiccan Holy Day. Others may also celebrate the Dark Moon or New Moon.
Each phase of the Moon has its own Power. Not only symbolically, but in effects that are measurable on Earth - in the tides, the growth of plants, the menstrual cycle, and human emotions, for example.
Wiccan Gods and Goddesses
There are a few other Wicca Gods and Goddesses that are specific to pagan tradition. These include the Triple Goddess, the Triple God.
There is also a relationship with the Earth, Gaia, that is reminiscent of shamanic spiritualities.
Other than that handful, most Witches are quite eclectic in their worship of deities.
The primary source for pagan gods and goddesses is the Roman pantheon. (Or the Greek version of the same. The Romans took over the Greek divinities and melded them with their own, so today they are virtually indistinguishable.)
Plus a few adopted from Celtic druidism: Cerridwen, Brigid, and the Green Man, for example, are commonly celebrated.
And some favourites are borrowed from more exotic locales, such as Quan Yin and Kali.
All in all, witches will generally invoke whatever deity they feel is called for, regardless of Her or His origin.
(This is one of the principles of true spirituality that Wicca expresses.)
These are the very basics of Wicca beliefs: the ideas that make Wicca what it is . . . a spiritual path of beauty, joy, and highest potential.
And all of these central Wicca beliefs stem from that first understanding of the universe: The Goddess is alive and Magick is afoot.
Over time, these beliefs have found voice - and ink - and were shared among all witches.
"Scripture" and "doctrine" are words too strong for these Wicca beliefs - and dangerously religious - but they do convey the level of spiritual truth expressed in these writings. And how central they are to Wicca belief everywhere.
But whatever we call them, poems or scriptures, beliefs or doctrines, we can't change the nature of Wicca . . .
If it is not an expression of your heartfelt spirit, then it is only an imitation of Wicca. The real thing must be completely authentic.
With these as the central Wicca beliefs, the stage is set for a spiritual practice that is as nurturing of life and spirit as any spiritual tradition can be.
With Bright Blessings,
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