The Neo-Pagan religion known as Wicca does not have any formal membership requirements; adherence to the core principles of Wicca is sufficient for a person to declare themselves Wiccan. These core principles include doing no harm and respecting the dual divinity of both goddess and god.Continue Reading
While a central organization exists in the form of the Covenant of the Goddess, membership in this organization is not a requirement of practitioners. Many who identify as Wiccan, regardless of the variety of terms used, are unaffiliated with other groups, even if they share many characteristics with one another. Some are solitary practitioners, while others gather in small groups sometimes referred to as covens. Both group and solitary practitioners operate autonomously and often have distinct practices that are unique to them or their covens.
Wiccans use a single guiding principle known as the Wiccan Rede to help direct them both morally and spiritually. The most common form is the Short Rede. The original form is derived from a 26-line poem thought to date back to the 1910s, though its actual origin is contested. As with any religion, adherents and practitioners encourage those seeking to convert to begin by doing their own research and speaking with practicing members of the faith.
The Wiccan self-dedication ritual involves making a commitment to learn about the Wiccan goddess, god and the ethical demands of Wicca. Believers also commit to maintaining a personal Book of Shadows, which contains magical rituals, religious texts and personal experiences. Some believers also make commitments during the self-dedication rituals to gain the ranks of Priest or Priestess within the religion.
Wicca does not have a religious canon but traditionally has a goddess associated with the moon, stars, and earth and a horned god associated with the forest, sun and animals. The goddess embodies the maiden, the mother and the crone. The goddess and god balance each other. Some Wiccans believe that the deities are symbolic, while others believe that they genuinely exist.Learn more about Religion