The following article goes into secular (religious) subjects that are particularly sensitive in nature. Only read further if you have an open mind to new ideas, faiths, and practices. I will not tolerate discrimination, hate-speeches, nor generalizations.
What is Wicca?
Wicca is a nature-based religion that has existed for more than 10,000 years. There is no single text, such as the Christian Bible, Islamic Koran, or Jewish Tanakh, that we follow. Individual families passed down books of spiritual trials, spells, prayers, and more from generation to generation, called Book of Shadows (it is only named that way because of the Salem Witch trials and other devastating massacres that happened in order to get rid of us, so we had to be secretive, thus the Book of Shadows forever symbolizes the terror we had to go through). Some use the text explicitly for rituals, some even adding to the pages written by their great-great-grandmothers or grandfathers. Wiccans generally follow the one main rule that all religions teach: harm no one (do as you will).
The thing about Wicca is that, yes, there is a Goddess that we believe in and pray to. She has just as much power, influence, and strength as Father God. In Wicca, women and men are equal–both have qualities that the other needs and a man has no higher power than the woman has, and vice-versa.
I am pretty sure you have seen the symbol above in many places before–from horror movies, Halloween decor, TV shows, the internet, etc. The picture, in reality, is NOT the proper Wiccan symbol. The correct one is with the tip of the star pointing up, not down. In fact, Satanism has stolen this symbol and associated it with us, when we do not believe in the Devil at all.
The symbol to the left has been used for Satanism as well; however, the text in the photo is correct. There should be a different symbol for satanism all together, but the Wiccan star should be viewed positively (NOT the one above, but the proper version of it, which is the first symbol shown in this article, with the edge of the star pointing up).
The idea that the Christian Devil was associated with our practices is because our God is normally shown with horns: through artwork, drawings, statues or otherwise. However, the horns are only depicted to symbolize masculinity, which is apparent on many animals in nature (bulls, rams, deer, and so on). Remember this the next time you see a pentagram in a horror film–if it is inverted, it is showing the common misconceptions. If the Star is not inverted, and they are illustrating sacrifices, killings, mysterious, robed individuals and other eerie depictions, the directors are merely using the symbol for what past ethnic cleansers and wacky religious leaders want you to believe about Wicca or “witches” (I do not like the term witch because of its negative connotations).
For millenniums, Wiccans and pagans alike have been known as spiritual healers–even when Christianity came around (“…during the early modern period in Europe were not, as the persecutors had claimed, followers of Satanism, but were instead adherents of a surviving pre-Christian pagan religion“), we still aided those in battle, though we had to hide from radical religious people and even pretend that we were Christian or Catholic to save ourselves from being tortured, or in most cases, murdered. Wicca has always focused on being one with nature, one with your spirit, and connecting with others on a deeper level, regardless of where they came from, their faiths, race, gender, or otherwise. We celebrate the seasons with offerings to Mother Goddess and Father God, thanking them for the blessings they give us, just like how Muslims pray to Allah by bowing their heads, or Catholics hold clasped hands in front of their faces. Our way of praying is meditation, and it isn’t any different from what is observed of Buddhism, Hinduism, or pretty much any other religion.
Whether you believe in a higher being or not, you have to realize that there are hundreds of religions in the world. Tolerance is key to living in this day and age, and just because you don’t understand something, doesn’t mean you should go against it, or hate those people for it. Every faith has their own respects, culture, and identity, just like yours, and just like mine.
Have a blessed Yule, and happy holidays on this wonderful Earth we call home.