As Beavis would say, “this sucks”. I can’t sleep (what else is new), I’m semi-congested, and all that’s on at 3.20 a.m. on a Sunday night/Monday morning is a dork-ass animated show on Adult Swim that makes zero sense. Some cross between Oscar the grouch and a terrestrial starfish that wears a baseball cap with a peacock feather shooting out the side. And I thought my right cortical hemisphere could prime for takeoff on a dime. At least the creature can belch and say “son of a bitch”. Silver lining and all.
Anyway, no opportunity should go unseized, so let’s jump into a blog post and talk about something or something.
A few days ago, a good friend asked me about Wicca, and asked me to recommend some introductory books. I obliged and because I felt the force was strong with this soul, I complied with my inner urge to go a step further and volunteer some info I normally wouldn’t. As I wrote, I thought to myself, you know? This might be a good blog post.
Now you may be wondering why the hell I would be so choosy about who I volunteered Wiccan info to and then go and spread such seed all over the internet for all to see.
The answer is easy: this friend knew me by name. Most of the people we talk to actually know our names, if all is right in the head. I don’t necessarily go around telling people I meet face-to-face about Wicca or the fact that I follow such a path. The internet is, unless you go digging, fairly anonymous. Yeah, yeah, privacy and all that. But most people aren’t going to find my name connected with this blog.
First, let’s talk about what Wicca doesn’t mean, because there is a lot of false information, hype, and misconception out there.
To me, Wicca is not a means with which to manipulate or control the universe, your fate, your destiny, or other people. Wicca is not black magic, satan worship, devil worship, or evil. Wicca does not use Ouija boards or black candles (although we might break out the Tarot cards, astrology charts, and regular candles). We’re not goth, cult, commune, or militia. We’re not vampires. We don’t drink blood, sacrifice animals (nor people), have wild orgies, or shun Jesus Christ. We’re not possessed, mentally ill, or the antichrist.
So what is Wicca?
Ask 10 different Wiccans and you’ll get at least 10 different answers. This is because Wicca means different things to different people. See, while a few practice in groups (usually called a coven), the vast majority of us practice by ourselves (referred to as “solitary”). This makes Wicca a highly individual path. This individuality is reinforced by the concept that there is no organized hierarchy. No one needs to talk to God (or whatever you’d like to call him, her, or it) for you. You don’t have to be baptized, confirmed, converted, or receive communion. There are no man-made rules, no man-made books, no let’s-vote-on-how-we’ll-write-history (I’m staring at you, Council of Nicaea members!), no one to whom to answer or by whom to gain acceptance or recognition.
So the more accurate question is, what is Wicca to me? Each Wiccan (or aspiring Wiccan) needs to answer that question for themselves. I answer as follows…
Wicca is indeed a magical path. It’s a very subtle magic – not the kind most people imagine – but it’s very fulfilling just the same. To me it means feeling the palpable rhythm, energy, and magnetism of the Universe. It means being in touch directly with the source not only of all things, but that is itself all things. It means respecting and going with the seasons and life’s up-and-down cycles. It means the ebbing and flowing of energy, and knowing what to do in each part of the cycle (because each has its uses and advantages) rather than trying to ignore the cycles and manipulate the conditions to my needs.
Wicca for me is an appreciation of nature, as beautiful and ugly as it is. Whether living beings (human and animal) are making love, giving birth, nurturing their young, or fighting, killing each other, or mourning a loss. Whether a tree is sprouting or rotting, thriving or wilting, whether it’s sunny or gloomy, cold or warm, windy or calm, dry or damp, whether the moon is waxing or waning, full or new… It’s kind of like that song, “Turn Turn Turn” by the Byrds, they sing about a time for everything.
Wicca to me, is about accepting–and conforming to–the laws of nature, without trying to buck them or assert my own influence. Sure, I use electricity for light when the sun goes down and I sure as hell prefer broadband fiber-optic web access over smoke signals and Morse Code to stay in touch, but everybody’s got to draw the line somewhere, and that’s where I drew mine. I’m not claiming to be tribal or Amish.
What I do, however, is observe moon cycles and seasonal rhythms. I respect my own hormonal cycles, too. I eat Primal Blueprint-style meals made from scratch at home with fresh whole foods. I respect animals and I oppose animal testing.
But I am not vegetarian, because the laws of nature built the human body to be omnivorous, which means eating both plants and animals, to our peril if we do not. Wicca to me is a way of life, about accepting that for something or someone to live, something else must die. Life is part of death and death is part of life. The world will never be a warm, fuzzy place, but just because some concepts appear gruesome doesn’t mean the world is a shit-pit, either. I’m all about putting an end to unnecessary suffering, but it’s a mistake to think we’ll end all suffering.
And laugh at me if you want, but I actually consult an astrological calendar before making big decisions. In fact, there are other activities that aren’t necessarily significant, but I check at least the Moon cycle anyway – things like getting my hair trimmed or colored. Consulting such a calendar has not once failed me; ignoring the data on that calendar has failed me immensely, several times, to the point where it literally took years to recover.
So there you have it. As for spells and magick, well, I’m not quite there yet. My mind is open enough to accept the possibilities that those activities have merit, I haven’t arrived at the stage where I’ll join those ranks just yet. And I have serious doubts that those activities are what people think they are; something tells me they work vastly differently.
Ask me next year…and a day.