annon takes away, or works against an

annonThe word “Witchcraft” dates back many hundred of years and means literally”The craft of the wise”. This is because the Witches of the old were thewise ones of their village, knowledgeable in the art of healing, legalmatters and spiritual fulfillment. A Witch had to not only be a religiousleader, but also the doctor, lawyer, and psychologist of the village.Today, people have reclaimed this word in their pursuit of Wiccan religion.A With is an initiate of Wicca, one who has earned the right to callthemselves Priest, or Priestess, through study, self evaluation, andspiritual living. Wicca itself, is an attempt to re-create European(mostly) Shamansistic Nature Religion, adapting it to fit our modern lives.

Witches are worshippers of the Earth and it^s many cycles. We believe thatdeity is found not only outside to our realm, or plane of existence, butthat is found within every living thing and all that support it. Therefore,we attempt to live in harmony with the Earth and each of it^s creatures.Wiccan tend to involve themselves with ecological pursuits.Wicca observe the holidays of Pagan Europe; Eight festivals spaced evenlyabout the wheel of the year, at the quarters (equinox^s and solstices) andthe cross-quarters (midpoints between the equinox^s and solstices). Theyare called: Yule (Dec 21) Tmbolc (Feb2), Lady Day (March 21), Beltaine (May1), Midsummer (June 21), Lugnassed (Aug 1), Mabon (Sept 21), and Samhain(Oct 31).

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Actual dates vary slightly from year to year, as they are basedupon actual celestial events. Many Wiccans also celebrate the Full Moon, ofwhich we have 13 per year.The basis for Wiccans moral conduct is found in the statement “An Ye HarmNone, Do What Thou Wilt.” This is a mock archaic phrase, suggesting thatany behavior that harms none, is morally acceptable. Harm is defined byanything that takes away, or works against an individual^s free will.

Itis, of course, impossible to exist, or even cease to exist, without causingharm, so Wiccans look to fulfill this as closely as possible. A Wiccanattempts to make choices based on what will cause the least harm, andpromote the greatest overall positive effect.Wicca teaches self discipline, personal responsibility kinship with ourplant and its creatures, open-mindedness and the virtues of diversity.Wiccans do not proselytize, as we believe that each must find the path thatis right for them, and that all religions are different paths to the sametruths. We draw our beliefs and practices from our own experiences, andthat of others, understanding that age does not makes a religion any morevalid, not does political support, numbers of followers or materialholdings of it^s temple.

Religion is a very personal thing, one which canonly be validated by the experience of the individual. Wicca provides alink for those who follow similar paths to share their experiences.

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