Pagan History

Paganism has been around and alive since the beginning of time. Documentation of magic and witchcraft exists even in the oldest texts. Numerous cave drawings all over the world depict symbols of the gods and goddesses worshiped throughout history. Paganism is the oldest form of religion.

Wicca is a Nature oriented religion, that puts emphasis on honoring both The God and The Goddess, and living in harmony with all things in the Universe. It can be practiced in a group, called a Coven, or it can be practiced as a Solitary Witch. We do not worship satan!

The devil is an anti-Pagan propaganda device invented by the Christian church. He (or, more appropriately, "it") had never existed in written literature prior to the New Testament. The Craft is a pre-Christian religion which has been around much longer than the church or its concept of satan, who was never worshiped as a deity of the Old Religion. The devil is strictly a part of the Christian belief system, not the Nature-loving earth religion of Wicca. However, we do acknowledge the light and the dark sides of things, including religions.

There are also some very special Wiccan Holidays that are celebrated throughout the year. These holidays represent the honoring of The God and The Goddess, and the cycle of Nature.

Witches have an inseparable partnership to Mother Earth and celebrate Her turns of the wheel as Sabbats and Esbats. The Wheel of the Year marks the Sun's journey across the sky, the solstices, equinoxes and the Earth's changing seasons. Each spoke of the wheel marks an important moment of progression and change in the Earth. Witches will celebrate the holiday starting the day before until the day after the Sabbat date.

The Wiccan religious calendar contains 13 Full Moon celebrations and 8 Sabbats or days of power. The Sabbats are solar rituals, marking the points of the Sun’s yearly cycle, and are but half of the Wiccan ritual year. The Esbats are the Wiccan Full Moon celebrations. There are 12-13 Full Moons yearly, or one every 28¼ days. The Moon is a symbol of the Goddess as well as a source of energy. Thus, after the religious aspects of the Esbats, Wiccans often practice magick, tapping into the larger amounts of energy which are thought to exist at these times. Most rites are held at night. The eight Sabbats represent seasonal birth, death, and rebirth.

Witchcraft is recognized in the United States and in at least some parts of Canada as a legitimate religion. In 1985, Dettmer v. Landon, the District Court of Virginia pursuant to rule 52 (a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, ruled that Witchcraft falls within a recognizable religious category and therefore is protected by the Constitution. I'm sure it is also recognized in other countries as well. Also, check out The U.S. Armed Forces Chaplain's Handbook section on Wicca.

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