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What is Witchcraft?

by Tempress


Witchcraft is a religion. It is far older than Christianity. There are many practitioners of the Craft today, as followers of our religion often refer to themselves. The one thing I want to get straight with everyone up front, is that we are not devil worshipers, nor are we Satanists. These people do exist, and some even refer to themselves as witches. These people however, despite calling themselves such are not followers of Wicca. Wicca is the religion of witchcraft
Many people out there claim to be witches. You should be careful of this. When I talk about witches, I mean a follower of the Wiccan religion. Many people who have seen a movie or two, set themselves up as witches. Many out there are just looking for attention and feel they can get a shock reaction out of people by claiming to be a witch. Some are on a power trip and want people to follow them. These people may call themselves witches, but we don't. Witchcraft in its true form will never ask you to worship any evil entity; desecrate any religious objects or symbols of other religions; break your ties with your family and friends for any reason; harm any person or animal; require you do anything sexual with anyone; ask you to donate large amounts of money; or do anything that you feel uncomfortable doing. If anyone ever asks you to do any of the above, don't do it.


Witches generally worship a God and Goddess. They are different aspects of the same deity. This deity is the ultimate, omnipotent God force in the universe. This is the same God that most people worship. We relate better to both a mother and a father figure. Like true children, we often have a somewhat better affinity with our mother. This is why you often see the Goddess with more emphasis within the Craft.
We worship in small groups called covens, or individually.

 

We celebrate eight holidays during the year. These are the solstices, the equinoxes, and four more days spaced approximately equally between these days. These are as follows:

NORTHERN HEMISPHERE:

Samhain: October 31. Also known as Halloween. Beginning of the dark half of the year.
Yule: December 21. The Winter Solstice. (Date can vary)
Imbolc: February 1. The Earth shows the first signs of waking up after winter.
Ostara: March 22. The Spring Equinox. (Date can vary)
Beltane: May 1. The beginning of the light half of the year.
Litha: June 21. The Summer Solstice. (Date can vary)
Lughnassadh: August 1. The beginning of the harvest season.
Mabon: September 22. The Autumn Equinox. (Date can vary)

SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE:

Samhain: April 31st or May 1st.
Yule: 20th June. The Winter Solstice. (Date can vary)
Imbolc: 1st or 2nd of August. The Earth shows the first signs of waking nup after winter.
Ostara: 21st or 23rd September. The Spring Equinox. (Date can vary)
Beltane: 31st October/1st November. The beginning of the light half of the year.
Litha: December 22nd. The Summer Solstice. (Date can vary)
Lughnassadh: 31st January and the 2nd of February. The beginning of the harvest season.
Mabon: 20th March. The Autumn Equinox. (Date can vary)

 

The Celts viewed the year as only really having two seasons, and many witches today follow suit. These are winter and summer and each begins with a sabbat celebration. Summer begins on May 1st with Beltane, and winter begins on November 1st with Samhain. These two sabbats are considered the most significant of the year. Together with Imbolg (February 1st) and Lughnasadh (August 1st), they make up the Greater Sabbats.

Another thing to be remembered is that a holiday begins at sundown on the day before. It is thus considered normal to have the big celebration on the night preceding the date for the Sabbat.

 

 





Copyrighted 2002 by The Wayfinder for and on behalf of The Temple of the Way. All rights reserved.