What is Witchcraft?

Witchcraft, in the United States, is a religion that has been tested and upheld in both state and federal courts as a religion that requires, and must be guaranteed, full and equal protection under the Constitution of the United States. Witchcraft is a spiritual path and way of life that is both personal and individual. As a religion, it allows a personal relationship with our concept of deity. In general, it follows a balanced path acknowledging both God and Goddess. Some Witches do primarily emphasize the Goddess. This is a personal choice of individual Witches. Neither way is right or wrong, nor better or worse. Witches maintain an openness and willingness to leave room for the personal choices on an individual's path of life. This is an intrinsic part of our way of life.

Witchcraft is a pantheistic religion, that is, Witches believe that the God and Goddess energy is contained in all things manifest and non-manifest. We include ourselves as part of that divine energy. Witchcraft has been called a polytheistic religion, that is, one having many gods and goddesses. While this is true, upon a deeper study of Witchcraft, one also becomes aware of the belief in one universal energy that is polar and balanced. It is the union of this polar masculine and feminine energy (the God and the Goddess) that creates the perfect whole. All goddesses are part of this energy, as are all gods. This is why Witches are so tolerant and understanding with regards to the religious views of others. I personally like to think of this universal whole as a room with many doors. Many deities and religions can bring me to this room, but only a life of harmony, balance, respect for others, and responsibility for my actions will get me there with the keys that I need.

Witchcraft is also a pre-Christian religion, because of this the religion of Witchcraft does not contain or acknowledge the existence of the Satan or Devil figure contained in the Christian religious structure. The same is true of the Christian concept of Hell. There is no place or counterpart for it in Witchcraft. Most Witches do agree that we are responsible for our own lives. We also agree that, if one chooses to direct energy into creating something (i.e. a religious concept) in one's own life, then that is their right. Witches do not now, and have never had, a Satan figure in our religion. He is a Christian concept, and they have the right to him. In the pantheistic religion of Witchcraft the belief in a totally evil figure or being is excluded, because anything that exists contains the divine God and Goddess energy. While Witchcraft is pre-Christian, it is in no way anti-Christian.

Witches hold a deep reverence for nature and animals. They too are part of the God and Goddess, therefore a Witch would not use any animal as a sacrifice in any ritual. This would go against our basic life views, since Witches are in their religion for the harmony, balance, and peace it can bring them, not the so called "power" that some would have everyone believe us to be interested in. There is no need to try and steal power from another being. Witches are secure in their inner strength and the power that comes from this harmony balance and peace. Some Witches are vegetarians, and some Witches are not. Those that do consume meat try to maintain a respectful attitude for the animal who's life was taken, and often times offer energy to aid in its passing.

Witches believe that we are manifested on this Earth plane to learn and grow towards enlightenment. When one becomes a Witch, they accept a lifetime of learning. Witches believe that we come back to this Earth plane, over several lifetimes if necessary, to complete this learning process (this is very similar to Eastern reincarnation philosophies). As Witches, we acknowledge the existence of many realms. It is because of these views that some people have accused us of living in a "fantasy world". This is far from the truth. Witches learn to exist and explore this realm, as well as others, in an effort to lead a full experiential life. Witches are free to travel to all realms of existence, through the use of their mental energy and abilities, in an effort to broaden and balance their journey toward enlightenment. Some call these realms Fairyland, the Astral Plane, or the Otherworld. Like a foreign country that only a few people visit, these levels of existence do not cease to exist simply because some people choose not to believe in them.

Many misconceptions about Witches came to life during the Burning Times. Witchcraft was a strong force of faith among its followers, and the God and Goddess were well respected. It was no mistake that those who tried to usurp this position of strong faith used lies in an effort to convince everyone of the evil ways of Witches. These religious leaders, in order to gain power, held the people the only way that they knew how, gripped in fear. Those they could not sway with fear were subjected to torture and death, these very acts increasing the fear in others. It is estimated by many sources that somewhere between 9,000 and 9,000,000 men, women, and children were tortured and killed under the wrong definition of the word Witch. I say that if even one person died under this wrong definition, then the Witches of today must never allow those times to be forgotten. Today, Witches refuse to be held by fear. Instead, we strive to gain knowledge and educate. Witches are demanding and standing up for their rights. We wear the title of "Witch" proudly, to be sure that everyone learns the correct definition today.

Some Witches work publicly, wearing their robes and jewelry, to make people notice and ask questions. Other Witches work more quietly, in street clothes, with or without jewelry. There is a place for both of them in our world. Today, every Witch knows that every question and even every nasty remark is an opportunity for them to educate people to the reality of our ways. Remember that even the smallest pebble can make waves that reach the shore.

The God and The Goddess have come out of the shadows, and once again they publicly stand in the love and respect of the Witches. For ourselves, and for our children, we say:
Never Again The Burning!

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