Wikijunior:World Religions/Wicca

How many people follow Wicca?Edit

About 800,000 people in total. This figure is also very hard to say because many people practise Wicca in secret and do not tell their family. This is because some people think Wicca has to do with the devil in Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.

Wicca is the fastest growing religion in the USA and the UK.

Where is Wicca practiced?Edit

Wicca is practiced mainly in the United States and the United Kingdom. This is because it originates from an old religion of Britain. However, there are a growing number of followers all over the world, in countries such as Germany.

What are the main beliefs of Wicca?Edit

Wicca is a very interesting religion. It is very eclectic, meaning it may draw ideas from many different sources; so there are many different versions of Wicca. Most people who practice Wicca believe in spirits, mystical creatures, elements, and multiple gods and goddesses. Many women find comfort in Wicca, and one of the main reasons for this is because feminine energy and spirit is strongly represented. There is even a version of Wicca that only represents female energy and spirit. Again, there are many versions of Wicca. To every person who practices it, it is unique. It's like going to a candy shop with a box to hold all the candy you want in it, and you pick out only the pieces you like. Wicca is vast, and many people only choose parts of it to practice. In Wicca, you can incorporate other religions into it. It is a very flexible religion.

What texts does Wicca hold sacred?Edit

Wicca has no one central belief so is hard to say what is a sacred text. Many Wiccans regard the Bible as an inspirational book, but do not believe the stories in it. Many followers also do not worship a sacred text, instead choosing to their own path and beliefs.

What are some main holidays and practices of Wicca?Edit

 
The 'wheel of the year'. This is all the festivals in the year.

Wiccans celebrate festivals which happen throughout the year. These holidays are called Sabbats. There are eight sabbats at regular intervals throughout the year, that most Wiccans observe.

Four of these eight are the solstices and equinoxes: the days of the year when the sun is at its lowest, or highest, in the sky (the solstices); and the days when the sun is right in the middle, at the "celestial equator", and the day and night are of equal length (the equinoxes). The more important four festivals are halfway between the solstices and equinoxes. The two most important you may have heard of, if you live in the USA or the UK, under the names "Halloween" and "May Day".

For religious purposes in Wicca, the day begins and ends at sunset. So, for example, we may call Samhain "Halloween", but properly Samhain starts at sundown on October 31 (in the northern hemisphere) and ends at sundown on November 1.

Samhain is the festival of the dead and also the New Year. Wiccans will feast and remember their dead ancestors. This day is commonly referred to under other names, like Halloween in the UK and USA, or the Day of the Dead in Mexico, both of which are related to the old religious traditions that Wicca is based on.

Yule is the equivalent of Christmas. It is to celebrate when the days stop getting shorter and start getting longer. A Yule Log was a huge trunk of a tree that was burnt for three days of the celebration.

Imbolc

Ostara

Beltane

Litha

Lughnasadh

Mabon

What is the history of Wicca?Edit

Wicca was created in the early twentieth century — the 1900s — using ideas from ancient Paganism in England, and other ideas about magic and the occult. Paganism was an old belief in Celtic England. When Christianity came to England and became the main religion there, the older beliefs were practised in secret. In medieval times, believers in the old ways were assumed to be witches working for the Devil. Even until 1960, Wiccans were persecuted.

Who are some famous people who have practiced Wicca?Edit

What is a story from Wicca?Edit

ReferencesEdit