Wicca's belief system is based on the belief and respect for nature. It is believed that Wicca stems from many other pagan religions such as the Ancient Egyptians, other believe that Wicca has its roots in the Paleolithic peoples.
Witchcraft was once known as "The Craft of the Wise", witches were healers, had vast knowledge of herbs, gave council to members of their communities and were highly respected.
It was not until the rise of Christianity that Pagan based religions became threatened. During the 15th through 18th centuries many atrocious acts occurred. The church claimed that paganism was the worship of the devil and demons, only Wiccans do not believe that there is a devil or demons. Wiccans went in to hiding for fear they would be executed.
Today there are many residual affects, such as the continued belief that witches are evil, heathenish and unrighteous. It is estimated that there are 750,000 participants which would make Wicca the 5th largest organized religion in the United States, behind Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Hinduism. Proving these high numbers is hard, many wiccans practice in secret.
Brief Information on Interviewees:
Gender: 2 females, 3 males
Age range: 21-43
Family Descent: Western European
Educational Range: B.A./B.S. to Doctorate
Range of Occupations: Nurse- Freelance aerospace engineer/physicist
Socio-economic status: Middle-upper class
All interviewees were randomly picked, based only on if they practiced Wicca.
I found that the people whom I interviewed were receptive and interested in learning about other religions early in life. All five felt that they needed a different outlook on life then were given through their family's religion. They all practiced Wicca and discovered Wicca for need of self betterment. They all believed that through Wicca they have found more peace and stability in their own lives.
The five people I interviewed explained a few of their rituals and holidays and what importance certain rituals had to them. I found that there are Wiccans that practice alone or in a coven (group of others). Wiccans believe in a God and Goddess, a duality that can be separate or one.
My objective was to find out what Wicca is and how others feel about it. I have much more research and many other people I would like to interview before I can begin to understand the culture behind Wicca.
If you are interested in finding more about Wicca, please check out my outside links as well as links I have posted on my reference page.
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