Didn't you know it? Of course, I had to build a section for frequently asked questions to answer so many of those good and 'good' questions I receive almost everyday. As most of you could probably expect, they were mostly repetitive. (As you may have read elsewhere on this site, this is my main motivation for putting up a wicca section to begin with. I babble a bit like this in the beginning of all the pages, if you haven't noticed, but it's just my thing.
Q. What is FAQ?
A. (Someone did ask what this stood for, and chances are, if they are here, they didn't read the intro.) Frequently Asked Questions.
Q. What is Wicca?
A. As much as Trancendentalism is a philosophy, Wicca is the interpretive Earth-based (or Nature/Natural) religion to which this sub-site is dedicated. (WWWebster says: a religion influenced by pre-Christian beliefs and practises of western Europe that affirms the existence of supernatural power (as magic) and of both male and female deities who inhere in nature, and that emphasizes ritual observance of seasonal and life cycles .) Contrary to popular media portrayal, Wicca is not all about spells, chants, and rituals. For some, it is a way to get in touch with their inner selves. For others, it is a way to get in touch (or keep in touch) with Mother Nature. Wicca is not Satanism or Devil-Worship that some Christian propaganda states (some of which is left over from the time of the Crusades). Some of that propaganda (and I insist on using this word) had been used during the Salem Witchhunt Trials and earlier in an effort to make converts. (Similar theological arguments have been used against Native Americans and Pacific Islanders.)
Q. Um, what's Trancendentalism?
A. Trancendentalism is a philosophy which in and of itself is not defined. It stresses the difference between "reason" and "understanding" and insists that the classification that we, as humans, perform on our world is a superficial attempt to understand. Most Trancendentalist philosophers would agree that all things are one (i.e. everything is part of everything else) and should not be divided into neat little categories. It is well associated with many of the great people of the 19th century such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Walt Whitman, among others. (Some of you are saying "this has very little to do with Wicca" but when you think about it, there are many parallels.)
Q. What is a Sabbat?
A. A Sabbat is a Wiccan holiday of which there are eight. Click here for more information.
Q. What's the difference between a pentacle and a pentagram?
A. A pentagram is simply a five pointed star. A pentacle is an inscribed pentagram. See here: (The one on the left is a pentagram, on the right, a pentacle.)
By the way, this is NOT a Satanic symbol, for those who don't know better. That would be upside down, with two points up. Right side up, it represents a person with outstreched arms, mind over matter. Upside down, it is matter over mind.
Q. What's up with the different spelling of magic(k)?
A. Some people use the "k" to distance this type of nature-based magick from the showbiz optical illusion stuff. Some use it to emphasize that witchcraft is in fact a religion. Some people use it because it looks cool. There's also other spellings too: majick, maj'k, maj'c, among others.
Q. What is the difference between black magick and white magick?
A. To answer this honestly, I must say there is no difference. Magick is magick. The differentiation comes into how you use it. Did you learn to fight like a tiger to defend yourself or to attack someone? A deed is only as good as its intention. Whether magick is black or white is up to the user.
Q. What is the difference between a witch, a wiccan, and a pagan?
A. Generally speaking, "pagan" refers to any person who is not Christian, Jewish, or Islamic. That is a very general term that includes Buddhism, Hinduism, all Native American religions, and of course, wicca, the Craft of the Wise, the Old Religion, and the systems of GrecoRoman mythology, and folklore from all over the world. A Wiccan is a believer of wicca. Not all wiccans are active practitioners--some are "philosophers," or so to speak. Some wiccans are witches. (Is this understandable? Witches generally are wiccans, but not all wiccans are witches.) Witchcraft comes from an old word: wiccae craeft or Craft of the Wise, according to the Merriam-Webster's CollegiateŽ Dictionary.
Q. How did you come to be involved with wicca?
A. A friend and I were discussing some philosophy (and ethics) when he mentioned "an it harm none" and I asked what it meant. He told me to do a search for "wicca" to find out, which I did, but I had never heard of the word. I had actually been looking into witchcraft in 7th grade, but had not come across wicca (or perhaps I had and not looked further... either way, my search was not in the net). The Hawai'ian concept of Mana was especially interesting. After reading a few sites about wicca (and this was several years ago already), I wanted to find out more, and so I turned to books, etc. From that time forth, I had begun incorporating wiccan ideas into my beliefs.
Q. Will you teach me?
A. I'm afraid I would not be able to do that. There are too many people asking, and that is the main problem. Of course, if you live within 15 miles of me, I may consider. The most I would be able to teach, however, is probably some meditation techniques, and I'm always open to discuss questions and ideas by email. Long distance teaching has a tendency to be difficult and ineffective in my experience.
Q. Do you recommend any books?
A. Yes, of course. Please read the Recommended Reading page. If you would like to name a few books to put on there, feel free to let me know what they are. Learning is a life-long process, and there will always be new books up whenever I update it.
Q. How do I start?
A. Reread (or just read) my advice to newbies. Go to your nearest bookstore or library and read all your brain can handle. If you still have questions, come to me, but I won't do your research for you. That, you'll have to do yourself. I'll try my best to answer your questions, but just to let you know, I don't have time to read all my mail.