So recently through the magic of Facebook I have reconnected with an old friend. I have very much been enjoying getting acquainted with her and learning about her family and life since we have been out of touch. Now every time I post a new blog entry it updates my Facebook account with a link to that post thanks to an application I use called Networked Blogs. I was very touched to find out that this old friend has been reading my blog, and apparently sharing it with some of the girls in her office who had questions about Wicca, which is where the title of this post comes in. I thought I would try to answer some of those questions for them so here goes.
I am going to tackle these in the order they were sent to me and the first question was; Well, what do you do? Personally as little as possible. I am just the High Priest I have a High Priestess that runs the show. All kidding aside this is sort of a vague question and I may answer it with one of the other answers I give here. A simple answer to this question can come from the first belief of The American Witches Council adopted in 1974 which says; We practice rites to attune ourselves with the natural rhythm of life forces marked by the phases of the Moon and the seasonal Quarters and Cross Quarters. You can find all 13 of these beliefs here. I personaly subscribe to all of them.
Questions two and three asked; Who are you praying to? Are you praying? Let me tackle the easy one first which is are you praying. The answer is yes we pray some of us in the way might be familiar some of us not so much. The question Who are you praying to is a little more complicated. Most Wiccans see the Divine as being of both sex's. Since it is hard for most people to visualize a divine being with no gender we break it down in to male and female, Or a God and Goddess. Then many take that division further and give names to the God and Goddess. For example the circle I am Priest of uses the name Aradia for the Goddess, and Cernunnos for the God. Feel Free to Google the mythology behind these names. Within the tradition of Wicca that my circle practices the Priest and Priestess say what might be considered a prayer at every ritual, know as the charge of the Goddess, which is very beautiful and goes like this;
The High Priest says:
“Listen to the words of the Great Mother; she who of old was also called Artemis, Astarte, Athene, Diana Melusine, Aphrodite, Cerridwen, Arianrhod, Brigid, Isis, and by many other names.”
The High Priestess says:
“Whenever you have need of any thing, once in the month, and better it be when the moon is full, then shall you assemble in some secret place and adore the spirit of Me, who am Queen of all the Witches.
There shall you assemble, you who are fain to learn all sorcery, yet have not won its deepest secrets; to these will I teach things that are yet unknown.
And you shall be free from slavery; and a sign that you be free you shall (be naked in your rights); sing, feast, dance, make music and love, all in My presence.
For mine is the estacy of the spirit, and mine also is joy on earth; for my law is love unto all beings.
Keep pure your highest Ideal; strive ever towards it; let nothing stop you or turn you aside. For mine is the secret door which opens upon the Land of Youth, and mine is the cup of the wine of life and the Cauldron of Cerridwen, which is the Holy Grail of immortality.
I am the gracious Goddess, who gives the gift of joy unto the human heart. Upon earth, I give the knowledge of the spirit eternal; and beyond death, I give peace, and freedom, and reunion with those who have gone before. Nor do I demand sacrifice; for behold, I am the Mother of all things, and my love is poured out upon the earth.”
The High Priest says:
“Hear the words of the Star Goddess; the dust of whose feet are the hosts of heaven, and whose body encircles the universe”
The High Priestess says:
“I who am the beauty of the green earth, and the white moon among the stars, and the mystery of the waters, and the desire of the heart of Man call unto thy soul.
Arise and come unto me. For I am the soul of nature, who gives life to the universe.
From me all things proceed, and unto me all things must return; and before my face, beloved of Gods and Mortals, let your innermost divine self be enfolded in the rapture of the infinite.
Let my worship be within the heart that rejoices; for behold, all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals.
Let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you. And you who seek to know Me, know that your seeking and yearning will avail you not unless you know the Mystery; for if that which you seek, you find not within you, you will never find it without. For behold, I have been with you from the beginning, and I am that which is attained at the end of desire.”
I hope that answers those questions a little bit.
Moving on now, the next question is; Is there a goal or a specific purpose for a ritual? Short answer yes. Long answer yes but it is not the same for every ritual. Some times it is just celebratory. Some times we are working magick to accomplish a goal. But at every circle we have we celebrate the divine within us. I am sure that my answer to this was as clear as mud, and perhaps I should thin of a better way to answer this and come back to it in another post.
Last question; Can you take us through step by step? My answer is I will do my best. We start our ritual with the Priestess casting a circle which in essence is creating a magickal space. A place many Wiccans believe is neither in this world or the next but between the worlds. Once that is complete we invoke the God and Goddess and do what is know as a drawing down of the moon. This is followed by the charge of the Goddess, which is then followed by an invocation to the God. Then we do a chat to work magick. After this we have a prayer of thanks giving and share cakes and ale. After some fellowship within the circle we close.
I hope for those that had these questions this helps you out some. If not let me know and I will try again to answer them for you.