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Obscure religion review: Wicca

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It could be said that Wicca isn't obscure at all, given how many people have heard of it from movies like The Craft and television shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but such depictions of the religion are inaccurate for one reason above any other. Magic isn't real. The same is true of Magick, a word invented by new age philosophers to differentiate what they see as true mysticism from other forms like stage magic or christian prayers. Very little about Wicca is widely known, especially in an area like Houston, where a disappointingly large chunk of the population actually fears witchcraft and shuns those who pretend to practice it. This article's intention is to clear up any confusion and hopefully dispel fears about wiccans and the voodoo that they do so well.

(It's not really called voodoo. That's another religion entirely. It was just a joke. Anyway...)

Wicca seems, on its face, like a religion with roots that reach down to ancient times. This is just an illusion. Modern wicca was brought into the public eye in 1954 by a British man named Gerald Gardner. It has no central authorities, making it difficult to pin down what makes a particular symbol, belief, practice, or ritual Wiccan. It all seems to revolve around nature and the seasons.

Wiccans believe in a variety of gods and goddesses, but the main two are a mother goddess and a horned god. The horned god is probably inspired by the pagan god Pan, who is associated with dancing, wine, and sexuality. In Wicca, the goddess represents motherhood and femininity while the horned god represents masculinity. Despite the lack of widely agreed-upon beliefs, the duotheistic view of the world is traditional in most, if not all, Wiccan traditions.

There is no set belief in any particular afterlife in Wicca, though one of the oldest ideas in the religion is that people reincarnate. This fits in well with the reality that when something dies, it becomes food for other living things. The Wiccan belief that magic is a real force and can be manipulated through rituals, however, does not work with what we know of reality.

The Wiccan moral code, which like everything else in Wicca is not strictly adhered to by all of its adherents, is summed up in what is called the Wiccan Rede.

an it harm none, do what ye will

This means they probably won't turn you into a frog or curse you with eternal flatulence, but just in case, try to be nice to everybody you meet just in case one of them is a 10th level wizard with a +1 Wand of Transformation.

There are a few Wiccan meetup groups in Houston for anyone wishing to develop or strengthen their psychic powers.

Better yet, there is a Facebook group for anyone who wants to keep up with the Houston Atheism Examiner!

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