PHILOSOPHY OF THE OLD RELIGION
"The basic philosophy of the Old Religion is based on the ways of Nature, and humankind's understanding of spirituality as revealed in sense of a healthy community. It is within the supporting structure of Codes of conduct, common courtesy, and respect for others that the essence of our spirituality can be discerned."
REINCARNATION: The belief that the soul is reborn, after death, into the physical world. The "Afterlife" realm known as Summerland, is where the soul rests before being born again into the physical world. The soul will experience many lifetimes, evolving as a spiritual being. Each life experience will bring to us lessons that will prepare us for a future in a higher nonphysical dimension.
THE GOD AND THE GODDESS: Wiccans believe in a God and a Goddess and being Nature's Religion it focuses on a balance of Masculine and Feminine. There is no aspect of the Devil in our religion. There is no belief in satan.
OCCULT DIMENSIONS: There are 7 high planes that comprise existence... they are:
THREE FOLD LAW: "That which you do shall return to you three-fold" (three times as much).
MAGICK: The ability to make Change....The movement of Natural energies in accordance with personal will or desire.
TIMING on MAGICK: Cycles of the moon....Full...The Goddess is the "Mother" aspect...Waning (last quarter) The Goddess is the "Crone" aspect ...New Moon....The Goddess is the "Enchantress" aspect....Waxing (first quarter) The Goddess is in the "Maiden" aspect.
THE WICCAN REDE: "An as it harm none, do what thou will".
RITUAL: Is both a means of worship and a method of communicating to Deities or spirits.
ELEMENTS: East, Air.....South, Fire.....West, Water.....North, Earth
WATCHERS: Also known as guardians are Humans who have reached incarnation to perfection. They protect the ritual circle, witness the rite being performed and guard the watchtowers in each of the element's four directions. They guard the access points to the astral plane.
WATCHTOWERS: A portal marking each of the four corners of a ritual circle.
ESBATS: The thirteen full moon cycles in which we gather within the year. It is a time to gather and study, as well as doing ritual in covens. The Goddess is symbolized by Moon and is also considered to be a high energy time for magick.
DIVINATION: The ability to discern what the future holds if all factors remain constant. Most common tools are: Rune stones, tarot cards, crystal visions, reading of signs and omens, psychometry.
COVENS: A group of people, usually 13, who come together to celebrate and practice Wicca. Usually any number more than 3 can create a coven with the same beliefs. Covens usually have a High Priest and a High Priestess that deal with concerns of the coven, training, counsel and mediator. In many Traditions of Wicca the High Priestess rules the coven. The High Priestess also represents The Great Goddess in Ritual. The High Priest handles many tasks for the High Priestess and represents the Horned God. There are usually 3 degrees of initiation. Normally a year and a day rule is used to reach the different degree levels.
SOLITARY PRACTIONER: One who practices without a coven. There maybe times when a solitary will do rites with others but no coven is formed.
PERSONAL POWER: Energy zones in the body... Also known as Chakras.
WICCA: There are two basic types. Neo wicca is the new form of the Wicca religion. Most look at the time period from Gerald Gardner on forward. Elder Wicca are the old ways of the religion (Pre-christian practices and beliefs and looked upon as pre-Gardnerian). Many who follow these elder ways do not describe themselves as a Wiccan due to the modern reconstuction of the relgion and will refer to themselves as a pagan instead. There are many sects within Wicca. For example, Pecti-Wita, Celtic, Gardnerian, Alexandrian to name a few. Wicca is a recognised religion in the United States.
POLYTHEISM: The belief that all of the various deities are separate and distinct individuals.
PANTHEISM: The belief in a single deity exhibiting aspects_ a composite or sum of the self-aware universe.
MONOTHEISM: Holds that there is only one deity with a singular aspect & usually places the universe as a product of that deity rather than a part of it.
ARADIA: A Holy woman that lived in the 14th Century in Italy. She taught Wichcraft and is considered to be an Avatar. Her teachings have been passed down through family lines which are incorporated in the Holy Strega.
STREGHERIA: Italian Witchcraft and is one of the oldest forms of documented Witchcraft in Europe. The Word "Stregheria" means religion of Witches. "Stregoneria is the Italian word for sorcery or magickal practices of Witches as opposed to their religion." (quote from Raven Grimassi's Encyclopedia of Wicca and Witchcraft.) Many forms of this religion differs from region to region in Italy. Many forms are Etruscan, medieval magick with Italic Paganism, Rural Forms, mostly in southern Italy and Sicilian Witchcraft.
AVATAR: One who has evolved beyond the need of human exsistance and who returns and teaches the ways of liberation from this physical plane.