Wicca Information

Wicca is a Neopagan religion and a form of modern witchcraft. It is often referred to as Witchcraft or the Craft by its adherents, who are known as Wiccans or Witches. Its disputed origins lie in England in the early 20th century, though it was first popularised during the 1950s by Gerald Gardner, a retired British civil servant, who at the time called it the "witch cult" and "witchcraft", and its adherents "the Wica". From the 1960s the name of the religion was normalised to "Wicca".

Wicca is typically a duotheistic religion, worshipping a Goddess and a God, who are traditionally viewed as the Triple Goddess and Horned God. These two deities are often viewed as being facets of a greater pantheistic Godhead, and as manifesting themselves as various polytheistic deities. Nonetheless, there are also other theological positions within the Craft, ranging from monotheism to atheism. Wicca also involves the ritual practice of magic, largely influenced by the ceremonial magic of previous centuries, often in conjunction with a liberal code of morality known as the Wiccan Rede, although this is not adhered to by all Witches. Another characteristic of the Craft is the celebration of seasonally based festivals known as Sabbats, of which there are usually eight in number annually.

There are various different denominations within Witchcraft, which are referred to as traditions. Some, such as Gardnerian and Alexandrian Wicca, follow in the initiatory lineage of Gardner; these are often collectively termed British Traditional Wicca, and many of their practitioners consider the term "Wicca" to apply only to these lineaged traditions. Others, such as Cochrane's Craft, Feri and the Dianic tradition, take primary influence from other figures and may not insist on any initiatory lineage. Some of these do not use the term "Wicca" at all, instead preferring to be referred to only as "Witchcraft", while others believe that all traditions can be considered "Wiccan".

Wikipedia, Wicca, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wicca (as of Apr 10, 2010)

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