Since the Universal Life Church in general, and the ULC Seminary specifically, welcomes and encourages people of all faiths, we have specifically tried to encourage the understanding of all religions. To that end, the Universal Life Church Seminary has provided these FAQs about other religions to facilitate greater understanding of others' beliefs. Below are some frequently asked questions about Wiccans.
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General FAQs - If you want general information about what the can and cannots are about being a minister, this will fill the bill. More the legalities than the specifics.
Ministry FAQs - This is a general list of questions about conducting a ministry. It's less about the legalities and more about the nuts and bolts of having a ministry. There is much to learn about being a minister.
Seminary FAQs - This section has frequently asked questions about our seminary, how it works and what you can expect.
Gnostic FAQs - Gnosticism is an interesting religion. This section has FAQs about it and we also offer a course on this interesting religion.
Wedding FAQs - Along with our wedding training section, we also have this section on wedding FAQs so you can have a few more questions answered about how to do a wedding.
Humanist FAQs - Humanists are people who don't believe in God, but still believe in being human. Here are some answers to your questions. Feel free to send more info. if you have it.
Wiccan/Pagan FAQs - We have a wonderful course on both Wicca and Paganism, but this section will give you some basic answers to determine your interest and whet your appetite.
Druid FAQs- The Druids are fascinating. We have a wonderful courses on Druidism and this course will answer some basic questions about Druidism and get you excited to learn more.
Pantheist FAQs- Many people have not even heard of Pantheism, so these questions will help you learn about this interesting belief system.
Methodist FAQs- This is a more 'mainstream' religion, but there are differences between this denomination of Christianity and others. This explains it.
Buddhist FAQs - We have a wonderful course on Buddhism, as well as these questions to help you get a glimpse of what Buddhism is all about.
Dianic FAQs - These questions deal with a specific area of Wicca, known as Dianic. There are many areas of Wicca, so these questions wil clarify things.
Baptist FAQs - The Baptists are another denomination of Christianity with the core beliefs of Christians, but with their own distinctions that make Baptists unusual.. This will clarify some of the differences.
Mormon FAQs - The Mormon religion is something that holds fascination for a lot of people, like 'do Mormons drink coffee?', among others. Many questions are answered here about this unusual variation on Christianity.
These faq's are compliments of Lord Starwalker, an experienced Wiccan.
1. So......what exactly is Wicca?
Wicca is an earth-based religion having the belief in two Dieties: The God and The Goddess. They also honor them in their many forms, such as Isis, Astarte, Demeter, Kali , Pan, Apollo, Zeus, Mercury, and so on. We believe that all in the world is holy. From the proud eagle, to a rock on a trail, to a butterfly, and even trees. It is a peaceful path, stressing that you should not only show respect for others, but for yourself and our earthly mother.
2. How long has Wicca been around?
The Wiccan religion, sometimes called the old religion, also known to many as "Witchcraft", has existed since pre-Christian times. With the advent of the Christian system of beliefs, the followers of the old religion were forced into hiding. The new Christian followers were attempting to convert the non-Christians, or Wiccans, to their religion. Rumors of the old Gods being devils and therefore no good were quickly spread. The Christians believed that anyone who chose not to follow their religion was a heathen and would be doomed to burn in a place they call "Hell". The non-Christians were called "Witches" and were persecuted and thrown in jail for many years because of the vicious stories created about them.
3. What is the basis of the Wiccan religion?
Today with the freedom to choose any religion that one may want, some of the misconceptions created about the old religion are finally beginning to be cleared up. The Wiccan religion is a nature-oriented religion. The Wiccan, or "Witch" is concerned with preserving nature's beauty and trying to solve some of the present problems of pollution. The Witch has a deep appreciati0on for nature and all of her wondrous woodland creatures as well. With this focus, we are in agreement with one of our fellow pagan groups, the Amerindian.
4. Do Wiccans believe in God?
The belief of most Witches is that "God" is a supreme force which is genderless. This image is hard to picture in the mind's eye. Therefore, in order to create an image that is easy to imagine and relate to, the Wiccan pictures a God and a Goddess as their source of worship. Just as there are male and female in most of nature's creatures, so is there also a male and a female God in the Wiccan religion. The male God of Wicca has been named many different names according to the different traditions of Witchcraft. Some of the names are: Cernunos, Pan, Faunus and Osiris. Different names by which the Goddess is known by are: Aradia, Isis, Diana and Cerridwen. Some Witches prefer to generalize by calling them "Lord and Lady", or simply "God and Goddess". The nighttime and moon are attributes of the Goddess. The sun is associated with the God, hence the terms "Moon Goddess" and "Sun God". The Witch decides upon the image of the supreme being or God and Goddess with whom they feel communication flows most easily.
5. What holidays do Wiccans celebrate?
Most Witches celebrate full moons and holidays that are called "Sabbats. These are times when natural Earth energies are a peak. Sabbat gatherings are celebrational services acknowledging seasonal changes. In ancient times, the common people used the forces of these periods to aid in the growing of their crops, which were necessary for their survival.
6. What are some of the holidays?
In order to help facilitate the inbringing of Pagans to Christianity, the Christians adopted many Pagan holydays, such as what is celebrated as Easter, names after Eostre (one of the Wiccan Goddesses) in March, and of course, Christmas. Wiccans celebrate the birth of the sun, not the son. December 21st, the day the sun comes back to life, is called Yule. All of the non-religious items usually associated with Christmas, such as a tree, yule log, and so on, were Pagan first.
7. What is Sympathetic magick?
Wiccans use a type of visualization or meditation which is often termed "Magic(k)". One type of magick that some Witches utilize is called "Sympathetic" magick. Sympathetic magic has been used for centuries. It is the theory that like attracts like. It is believed that prehistoric man also used this type of magick for successful hunting. As an example; the prehistoric man would make an image of a bison out of mud and sticks. He would then hunt and kill the image with the thought that this is what he would do to the real bison. It was believed that this ritual would bring them good luck. After the bison was killed, the prehistoric man would thank the spirit of the bison for its gift. In the same way, some Witches may use a clay or wax image of the object they wish to obtain, or a person who needs to be healed.
8. Are there other types of magick?
Another type of magick used by the Wiccan is when he or she will picture in his or her mind the goal that is wished to come true. The person will concentrate and/or meditate on this picture in his or her mind as if it had ALREADY come true. This method of magick is often called "Creative Visualization".
9. How does the moon relate to Wiccan ceremonies?
Whatever type of magick utilized, the ritual is performed according to the different phases of the moon. During the time that the moon is waxing (growing larger) positive spells for increase, beginning a new job, good luck and fertility are performed. During the time that the moon is waning (growing smaller) negative spells such as for decrease, ending a job or breaking a bad habit are performed. Wiccans celebrate both the new and full moons. So there are 13 of each, approx. every 2 weeks, plus the 8 Sabbats.
10. What do Wiccans use to do their spells?
Wiccans use "tools" to help them with their magical practices. The tools are articles that help the Wiccan to concentrate on what he or she is trying to accomplish. Tools such as the athame and wand are simply objects through which the Wiccan and direct his or her energy for use during the ritual.
11. What does it mean to ‘cast a circle'?
An invisible circle is often drawn by the Witch with his or her tool of choice. The circle is drawn to mark the sacred space where the ritual will occur. It is also believed that this invisible boundary will keep out all negative vibrations, and condense the persons personal energies. The use of herbs, incense and candles are all means of helping to "set the mood".
12. Do Wiccans do animal sacrifices?
WITCHES TO NOT SACRIFICE ANIALS OR PERFORM BLACK MAGIC OR ANY KIND OF HARMFUL RITUALS!!!!!!. Hollywood movies and television both depict horrid scenes of people worshipping Satan and performing black magic. Many people construe this as being the same thing as Witchcraft. There is a very distinct difference between Witchcraft, black magic and satanisn.
13. The first law of Witchcraft comes from old English and states: "AN' IT HARM NONE, DO WHAT THOU WILT" Do Wiccans worship Satan?
Witches do not believe in Satan or perform fiendish acts of black magic. The followers of the old religion believe in the three-fold law of karma. This law states that any type of magick being performed, whether for good or evil, will eventually "boomerang" back to the sender three times as potent as whatever is being sent out. For example: a spell performed to make a person sprain his wrist may come back to the sender and cause him to break his leg, a fate considered three times worse. Likewise a spell performed to send a person good luck will also come back to the sender. He may receive three times as much good luck as he or she has sent out in the spell. A Witch would obviously not want to perform any evil spells for this reason.
14. Do Wiccans try to convert people?
The goal of today's Witch is not to convert anyone back to the old religion. The Wiccan respects the fact that everyone has his or her own religious choices and that everybody may or may not hold the same opinions as the next guy. Witchcraft does not claim to be the ONLY way. Each person in every different religious tradition interprets his or her own religion in a slightly different way then everyone else. This writing may not reflect the EXACT feelings of all witches. It is only and explanation of the basics of Wiccan beliefs so that the religion may be viewed for what it really is. The Wiccan religion is a natural, peaceful religion. For further information concerning Witchcraft, please contact the following source:
The Witches League for Public Awareness
P O Box 8736
15. What is the difference between Pagan and Wiccan?
All Wiccans are pagans, but not all pagans are Wiccan. You can compare it to saying, all Baptists are Christian, but not all Christians are Baptist. Wiccan is just one branch of Paganism, as are Amerindians, Buddhists, Satanists, voodoo, etc.
16. Do Wiccans have Church?
Wiccans meet in Covens, usually having 13 members in it, but that is not a rule. Thirteen is a manageable number of people to contain within a 9 foot circle (or 13 foot). Wiccans meet in something called a covenstead, which is usually a members home, different each time. However some covens meet in the Unitarian Universalist churches, which are very friendly towards us.
17. Do Wiccans have funerals, baptisms and weddings and if so, how do they differ?
Yes, we have all those. A wedding is called a handfasting,and may be legal or not as the people prefer. If not legal, it is usually called for one year, and then performed again this time for 9 years if both parties wish to continue. I have done many, both legal and otherwise. Baptisms are called Wiccannings, and are done when the baby is new born, and then again, at age 13 or thereabouts, when the child is ready to commit, since we have no right to commit a child to something he/she might not want as they grow older. We do have ceremonies for weddings. Yes, we have funerals, sometimes an entire ceremony, or sometimes a high priest or priestess will speak a few words at a Christian ceremony providing the minister/priest will let us.
18. Isn't this witchcraft?
I seen some spells on your page, and I’ve read in the bible that Witches were evil and worshiped the Devil.
19. Is this true?
Okay first question. Is this witchcraft? To some degree yes. But no all Wiccans practice witchcraft and not all Witches are Wiccan. Think of it as like this: Wicca is the Job, and Witchcraft is a tool used in that job. Witchcraft is nothing more than prayers that use natural object to increase their force. In answer to the second question... No, No.. no no no, and no. Wiccans do not believe in the devil/Satan. We believe that by giving evil a name, it gives it power. Thus our reasons for not even paying a grain of sand’s worth attention to this devil/Satan guy. Satan is a Christian concept, and they can keep him.
20. So you hate Christians right?
No. As a matter of fact, some of my very dear friends are Christians. Though I may not believe what they believe, I accept and respect that they have those beliefs and they do the same for me. What I do not like is Christians who proclaim that Christianity is the only right and true path, and who constantly try to shove their beliefs down my throat. All we ask is to be accepted, and we will do the same for you.
21. If you don’t worship Satan, why are you wearing that Satanic symbol?
This symbol is a pentacle. It is a five-pointed star incased in a circle. It represents the four elements (Earth air fire and water) and Akasha (Spirit) Upright (one point up) It is a positive symbol, just like the Christian Cross, and the Jewish Star of David. Inverted (two point up) is much the same as an inverted cross, it is a holy symbol corrupted by Satanists.
22. Are you Jewish?
No, a Jewish star has six points, my pentacle has five.
23. Do you wear black everyday (is it required?)
No, but I do favor it. I also wear purple, green, blue and even sometimes white. Black is not an evil color, it is a mixture of all colors known, thus having the energies of all the colors. It is a calming, protective color and those are my reasons for wearing it.
24. Can you give me a love spell to make someone fall in love with me?
Okay let me create a picture for you. Imagine the most vile person on the planet. You know the kind I’m talking about. The kind that hasn’t met the wonders of a shower in about 3 months, has greasy hair, pimples and is totally rude and obnoxious. Lets call this person.. Frank/Sue. Well Frank/Sue has a HUGE Crush on you. Yes you, my friend..... you. And one day he/she hops on the wonderful internet and finds him/herself a love spell. Then casts it on you (oh the horror! THE HORROR!) and you fall madly head over heals in love with him/her. And you get married and live happily ever after hand-feeding him/her grapes and popping their pimples. THE END. Did I scare you? Good. This is why we do not do love spells. They control the will of others, and that is against the rede. Which will lead to bad Karma.
25. Can you fly?
Yes. on an air plane just like everyone else. Though I will not be doing that any time soon, because I have a big fear of flying.
26. Can you shoot fire out of your hands?
No. That is not humanly possible. Besides, if you could, wouldn’t you get a massive third degree burn each time you did it?
27. I want to be a king warlock. Can you help me?
Yes, I will help you. I will educate you about some terminology. A warlock is not a male witch. Warlock comes from the Scottish word for oath-breaker, and was bestowed upon people who ratted out members of their Coven during the burning times. This is not a desirable title. In Wicca, men are also called Witches.
28. What is this "burning times" You speak of?
The burning times happened when the Witch Trials of England, Salem and various other countries took place. Millions were killed by being beheaded, hanged, crushed, and burned alive at the stake. And the sad thing is, a vast majority of these people were Christian. But their "friends" had something against them, so they cried "WITCH!" getting them murdered. This was a very scary time for Pagans. Much of our teachings, books and other texts had to be burned to keep people alive. Thankfully oral traditions continued.