Witchcraft

Wicca should be taken seriously because it increases spiritual development and instills great appreciation and concern for the planet and its resources.

“Witchcraft is a spiritual system that fosters the free thought and will of the individual, encourages learning and an understanding of the earth and nature thereby affirming the divinity in all living things.”

Witchcraft involves the belief that the divine is present in nature, and everything from animals, plants, trees, and stones should be honored and respected. Wicca, or practitioners of witchcraft whom sometimes refer to themselves as witches, are very tolerant of other religious views. Wiccans are commonly misjudged by others due to a lack of understanding, therefore Wiccans do not typically involve themselves in criticizing the beliefs of others. Wicca should be taken seriously and respected because although its nature is severely misconstrued, it increases spiritual development and instills great appreciation and concern for the planet and its resources.

Due to a history of misunderstood information, a considerable number of people deny acceptance of Wicca and witchcraft. Although it is predominantly peaceful, it has fallen victim to ignorance. People commonly tend to judge the religion based off fictional assumptions or false information. The typical representation of witchcraft portrays a witch having a villainous role. From the seventeenth-century Salem witch trials, to modern media, the truth about Wicca remains incognito. As a result, witchcraft is generally seen as evil or for devil-worshipers. Another huge factor in why Wicca is seen in such a sinful way is due to conflicting religious views. There are many individuals that are extremely faithful to their own beliefs. The views of Christianity, for instance, have a predetermination set in stone that steer Christians away from associating with Wiccans:

There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.

For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God drives them out from before you.(New King James Bible, Deuteronomy 18.10-12)

Disregarding other religious reasons, common misconceptions about Wicca can be understood after looking at a survey conducted at Macomb Community College, in Clinton Township, Michigan. As seen in the figure above, the evidence concluded that of the twenty students who participated, 85 percent of them were not familiar with Wicca. Although the religion may be heard of by many, it is understood by few. A great example of how information has been misinterpreted is found on Witchcraft Pagan Wiccan Occult and Magic, an online website for educating Wiccans. A page on their website about plant and herb magic reveals, “Over the years the witches began to use codes in their workings, eye of newt and tongue of dog are codes for very simple and attainable flowers and plants.” With a surprisingly low amount, 15 percent of students were familiar with Wicca. it is apparent as to why the perspective of Wicca is so easily influenced, especially with its authenticity being shrouded.

Wicca is more than just a practice or theory; it is a way of life that brings tranquility. Contrary to popular belief, most acts of the craft are done in order to heal and protect one’s self and others. A primary focus and the main law of Wicca is to ensure that no physical or mental harm is brought to others, which is known as harm none. Wiccans see bringing harm to others as the single most unwarranted and illicit action possible with witchcraft. This goes against the false impression of witchcraft given to society, as most people are uninformed on the subject. A common assumption about Wiccans is that no magic should be done without one’s consent, even if beneficial. Those known for using witchcraft against others for personal gain or pleasure are forbidden in most Wiccan circles.

Wiccans are also a huge follower of the rule of three, or three-fold law. This belief of karma states that whatever negative or positive energy is put forth is returned to the individual three times, or three-fold. This idea not only implies punishment for wrong intentions, but also reward for acts of positivity such as compassion, forgiveness and kindness. This principle is one of the basic beliefs of Wicca and is taken very seriously by many witchcraft users. This law is very similar to those in other religions such as the Golden Rule in Christianity that asks you to treat others as you wish to be treated. The major difference in Wicca is that the practitioner’s actions are believed to result in karma based consequences in which the outcome is duplicated. Regardless of what others think about Wicca, the focus on maintaining peace and positive karma in all aspects of life should be the most relevant.

Unlike how it is depicted in Hollywood, the Wiccan way of life promotes oneness with the divine and all that exists. The ability to cause changes utilizing powers beyond the normal range of perception is a hard concept to grasp for most people. Witchcraft is a completely natural art that uses abilities within ourselves and the natural objects of the world. Wiccans are often very open minded and accepting of different religions and faiths, welcoming others into their lives without judgment. Anyone is subject to the respect and hospitality of a witch, as long as they do not violate their law of bringing harm to none. The possibility of coming together as one in order to bring peace to the world and all of its inhabitants is perceived through the eyes of a witch. Perhaps in a world that is crowded with skeptics, believing in yourself is the biggest struggle for a witch.

Despite the views of Wicca being distorted and even seen as evil to some, a main focal point of the practice is to elevate spiritual awareness. Most of witchcraft requires a deep meditative state for concentration. Meditation aids in increasing the practitioner’s level of spirituality by heightening their consciousness. Through routine and habitual mediation and self-reflection, Wiccans embark on a spiritual journey in order to achieve an immense understanding of themselves. This serene state of awareness and relaxation is essential for receiving optimal results while using witchcraft. This spiritual practice is believed to intensify any metaphysical results during rituals or spells. Such mental clarity is something that, once learned, could be implemented in everyday tasks in order to maintain focus.

In spite of the inevitable disbelief many may have, spiritual practices are a very important necessity in life. “Spiritual practices tend to improve coping skills and social support, foster feelings of optimism and hope, promote healthy behavior, reduce feelings of depression and anxiety, and encourage a sense of relaxation.” Countless people struggle with the acceptance of unearthliness. Fortunately, for those interested in Wicca, anybody can adopt it into their lifestyles. Witchcraft has the flexibility to be performed as a lone practitioner, or in a group that some call a coven or circle. Having the ability to not only solely increase spirituality, but the choice to do so with others may come as a relief to some. Especially in such a problematic world that we live in, the ability to have faith can help lower stress and give a peace of mind.

Wicca honors the spirits of the Earth’s elements: earth, air, fire, and water. Wiccans believe that everything that exists on the planet is created from these four elements. They feel a spiritual connection to the earth, creating compassion and a sense of responsibility for its elements. Everything that a witch may need for folk-crafts, healing, spells, and ‘magical’ teas can be found in nature. Since witches believe that the world has its own energy, they see giving resources to the planet to be recycled and re-purposed as an act of selflessness and good karma. It is normal for a witch to only take the materials required for a particular prayer, spell or ritual, and nothing more. In most cases, witchcraft results in giving back to the planet whenever possible.

With greed being such a problem in today’s world, by respecting resources and only taking what they need, Wiccans set a great example for others. Having devotion for the planet is a great representation of how humans should treat the things around them. Wiccans are known for their restraint regardless of abundance. Being able to commit to something such as honoring available resources instills great discipline to practitioners of witchcraft. Encouraging these types of positive emotions and behaviors in everyday life increases the chances of the individuals having positive actions towards others. These traits are not only helpful to Wiccans, but people from different belief systems can benefit from them as well.

Wiccans not only use the Earth’s natural resources for ceremonial or ritual related reasons, they also have practical, everyday uses for them. When it comes to medical practices, herbalism is one of the main skills used in Wicca. Although modern pharmaceutical medicine has come a long way over the years, herbalism, or botanical medicine is a great alternative medicine that can be learned and practiced at home for little or no cost. “In medical treatment, herbs have three basic functions: to detoxify the body and eliminate waste, to regenerate the organs and enable the body to heal itself.” Having access to this kind of medicinal knowledge and ability is a great resource for anyone to have. Healing others is something Wiccans take pride in and such selflessness and devotion should be looked upon with respect.

Some Wiccans also take up the art creating natural dyes for coloring and essential oils for natural health benefits. Aromatherapy, for instance uses essential oils to enhance physical and psychological well-being and stimulate brain function. Using essential oils for their medicinal properties gives the practitioner one more means of providing healing. The regular use of these skills gives a higher supply of natural dyes and oils for the practitioners’ communities, in which the demand for in America has been increasing as of late. This gives the practitioner a possibility of having a supplementary income selling products of their crafts. These herbal practices depend upon having a consistent access to herbs, plants and flowers. This can easily lead some Wiccans towards gardening as a supplementary skill. Gardening can be a very therapeutic and resourceful hobby that can be done alone or together in a community. Having various gardens for different purposes makes it considerably easy to access the necessary resources needed in witchcraft. Wiccans are conservative when it comes to natural resources out of respect for their capabilities.

There have been a lot of exaggerations about witchcraft and its methods have been misinterpreted. Witchcraft is not just some fabricated nonsense. Some may see Wicca as a pseudo religion, but it is productive and worthwhile. Wicca promotes knowledge of benefits and threats that herbs and plants have as well as the ability to create natural remedies and essential oils. Having this insight and education leaves the potential for Wiccans to practice alternative medicine. Witchcraft is intended to benefit the practitioners, as well as others physically, mentally and spiritually. Wiccans tend to experience an overall euphoric life. The majority of our society fails to realize the level of dedication put forth by Wiccans. It is a selfless lifestyle and disseminates mature and responsible behavior on its practitioners. Although Wiccans receive a bad reputation, they are kind and peaceful individuals. Wiccans are focused on further developing their spiritual beings and giving back to the planet, all while trying to make it a better place.

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