Wicca, A Religion? Essay

953 words - 4 pages

Is Wicca a Religion?
Throughout the world, there are many people who do not know exactly what religion is. Religion can be defined as: a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices. If a random person was asked to name all the religions they knew, it would almost be guaranteed that they would mention the ones that are most common such as Christianity, Buddhism, Islamism, and Hinduism. However, if you asked them if they knew a religion called Wicca, they would probably wonder whether that was an actual religion, or if it existed at all. Wicca is in fact a religion. Many could argue that Wicca's different practices and beliefs don't make them a religion, but it has many of the characteristics that make up a religion. Examples of this would include their social institutions, practices, and symbols.
One characteristic that could define a religion is its practices. As do other religions, Wicca has many practices; they may not be seen as traditional practices but they are definitely similar in many ways. Practices can include many things, such as attending church, praying, meditating, fasting, dressing differently, wearing certain symbols, and avoiding the consumption of certain foods. Every religion has its own beliefs and practices, and they are acknowledged by others, however not many people are used to the Wiccan practice of magic. Although it may seem different and odd, it is their religion and that is their practice; it should definitely be acknowledged as any other religion. The wiccans practice different types of magic such as hoodoo, voodoo and casting spells. Hoodoo is known as "bad" magic, it is used to fulfill desires and cast harmful spells. Voodoo is the opposite, and is "good" magic, also known to be used for casting healing spells and love spells. These practices are similar to the practices of Catholics. Catholics pray for happiness and well-being, whereas Wiccans cast spells for the same purpose. Wiccans celebrate the Yule/Midwinter's festival which is typically around December 21st every year. It is the one day of the year when the earth's axis tilts away from the sun in the Northern Hemisphere, reaches its greatest distance from the equatorial plane. As a festival of the Sun, the most important part of any Yule celebration is light, bonfires, candles, and more. The Yule/Midwinter's festival is often compared to Thanksgiving for its bringing together of relatives and thanking/appreciating everything they have and blessing what's to come. The Wiccans like to think that most Pagans or anyone of a spiritual path celebrate Midwinter's Day in the tradition of the ancients, by giving thanks to Mother Earth and the re-birth of the Sun. Although this is not the traditional practice we often see, it is a very important part of Wicca and is a part of their religion.
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