By Brittany Mercer
We do not own the earth. We are merely a piece of its entirety. Man is not superior to nature. The earth and her creatures have been here long before we have developed. Just because we have a more complex system of communicating, does not make us “top dog,” so to speak. Witchcraft has been practiced for nearly 30,000 years. A lot of the cave paintings found in Ireland, Scotland and Wales show depictions of Paganism and Witchcraft, for that’s where it originated. Witches are peaceful, harmonious and very well balanced. However the past several hundred years we have been mistaken for evil, unrighteousness and heathenism, all of which are misconceptions.
In order to convert followers of the Old Religion, Medieval Churches created these myths. Old Religion Deities, whom go by many more names than you can count, even more so than the Greek Gods and Goddesses, were then transformed into the one evil being, Satan. Our once devoted followers were then fearful of us by the lies that were told to them. Unfortunately, these superstitions have been carried through the generations, damaging even more our old morals and beliefs. This is why we have adapted to call ourselves Wiccans instead of Witches, to escape the Witch Hunters and other persecutors.
Witchcraft is a religion of nature. One must have both free will and thought. By encouraging the learning of earth and nature, we see that divinity is in all living things, and this teaches us responsibility. Our actions and deeds are clearly a result of how much respect we have for our home. Any mistakes, shortcomings and weaknesses on our part must not be blamed on an exterior entity. We have no one but ourselves to blame if our practices bring harm to others, and being a Wiccan means we accept those consequences.
Yes, we use the earth, but to make up for it, we refuse to corrupt it any further. We brew potions made from herbs, roots and the purest of spring water. We cast spells that involve healing, love, harmony, wisdom and creativity. With this we live in harmony and balance with nature, with all things. We believe in the spirit of the One.
The Goddess and the God (yes, Goddess first. Mother Earth comes before oneself, for without her, where would you be?) exist everywhere. For without one, you cannot have the other. The One is in the air you breathe, the ground beneath your feet, the lakes or oceans you ran your toes in as a child, the sight of an apple tree in the Autumn, as beautiful as fire, Orange and Gold, with the wonderful fruits you can taste. The One is Air, Fire, Water, and Earth. These four elements join to Create. To become Spirit. These are the rhythms of our lives, as well as our ancestors who have walked before us. The One is your dog or cat. Perhaps a hamster, or maybe something smaller such as a flea, or an ant.
Wiccans learn from nature; the sun and the moon, and seasons. We see in ourselves the cycles that correspond to nature and we attempt to live in harmony. We have learned from firsthand persecution that religious freedom comes first, therefore we do not believe that ours is the only path to achieve spirituality, but one among many, all of which lead to the same end. We will not convert new members, however we are willing to share our intellect and experience with whomever has the courage to ask. Anyone who is meant to walk the path of the One will find it through their journey, for the Goddess speaks to us all in her way, at a time she sees fit.
Wicca is not a cult. We do not worship Satan or consort with Demons. Satan belongs to the Christians, they can keep him. In order to do the right thing, we do not need a silhouette of eternal damnation and supreme evil. We need only the One’s words in our hearts, bodies and minds. We do
the right thing because it feels good to do it and we love our brothers and sisters, even in other religions. Please wipe away any misconceptions concerning sacrifice, human or animal, stealing the life force or otherwise controlling it, or even casting curses upon someone. That violates our Reed. Our powers come from nature. We draw it in through the goodness in our hearts and with our relationship with the four elements.
Furthermore, for us there is no Heaven or Hell. There is the Summerland, there is reincarnation. In the Summerland we await our new physical being, chosen by the One. This is how we repay the Earth. Our bodies are disintegrated into the ground, revitalizing the soil, which helps with the crops. Our entire lives are walked with the One, and we take nothing for granted.