Wicca was one of the first and so the best known of many neo pagan religions associated with witchcraft, witchcraft today is a broad term with a broad range of styles of folk magic used around the world which are all termed witchcraft. Wicca is the most known and recognised but there are witches who practice witchcraft that are not Wicca and these usually draw on a specific culture.
The culture of Wicca is heavily based on ceremonial magic and rituals and the term "wicca" was changed from what followers used to call it in the past which was "witch-ah". The religion of Wicca has developed in many ways with rituals and beliefs varying widely from country to country.
Wicca differs from most neo pagan religions in that it is an initiatory religion; this means that the people who choose to follow the Wicca religion believe that by choosing this direction they are setting in motion changes in their lives.
Many different sects of Wicca make this initiation a big ritual or a series of rituals, there are different followers of wicca with some of the best known ones being Gardnerian wicca, Alexandrian wicca, Dianic wicca, the Faery tradition and numerous branches of celtic based wicca.
Ceremonial or ritual magic
All typical ceremonial rituals have common elements whatever religion you are following the ritual serves as a structure for the witch to work safely and effectively in. The ritual is the witch's opportunity to gather together and arrange symbolic elements so they have the biggest impact on the task at hand, by using an established ritual at the beginning of every ceremony there is less chance of forgetting something important. The ritual will normally consist of:
* Preparing the people involved.
* Sanctifying the area which involves, sprinkling and censing, scribing, drawing or painting a circle.
* Performing a ritual such as the lesser banishing pentagram.
* Reciting or reading spells.
* Interacting with the spirits or forces.
* Thanking, dismissing and banishing.
The importance of divination
Divination is an important aspect of any magical work, divination helps to bring up issues which could sharpen the focus on the work at hand and knowing exactly what forces are at play is critical. Divination can be dived into two parts intuitive and objective, when using intuitive forms of divination the witch is seeking visions and the witch will use crystal gazing, candle gazing and dreams.
Objective divination depends on natural phenomena such as the alignment of planets, objects such as dice or cards used in tarot. The ritual you are using will depend on the type of divination you use.
© Copyright 2006 Occultresearch.org - occult, cults, witchcraft & black magic - All rights reserved