This is a general faq, and therefore does not cover every aspect or detail of Wicca.

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Thanks to all the readers who have contributed to this faq.

1. What does the term witchcraft mean?

2. How old is Witchcraft and Wicca?

3. What is Wicca?

4. What is the difference between witches and wiccans?

5. How is Wicca related to Paganism?

6. What is basic Wiccan theology?

7. Do all Wiccans practice magick?

8. What are spells?

9. Are male witches 'Warlocks'?

10. What is a Coven?

11. Do witches believe in God?

12. Who are the Goddess and the God?

13. Do Wiccans believe in Satan?

14. Are there different 'denominations' of Wicca?

15. What is the Wiccan Rede?

16. Do Wiccans believe in converting others?

17. Do Wiccans believe in Karma?

18. What is a pentagram and why is it worn?

19. What is a Book of Shadows?

20. What are some good books to read about Wicca and related subjects?


1. What does the term witchcraft mean?

Witchcraft, also known as the "Old Religion" means "Craft of the Wise Ones". The term witch may be derived from the Indo-European word wicce.

2. How old is Witchcraft & Wicca?

Practices related to witchcraft can be traced back to the Stone Age (or Neolithic Era). Some do believe all wicca stems from the research and teachings of Gerald Gardner.

3. What is Wicca?

It is a nature religion similar to the religions of Native Americans and is protected by the constitution of the United States. Wicca presents a positive view of nature, is welcoming and empowering to women, and is very toloerant of those of other religions, paths and those of every sexual orientation.

Modern Medicine has its roots in the ancient medicinal practices of the witch.

4. What is the difference between witches and wiccans?

A Wiccan follows the religion of Wicca. A witch practices witchcraft. Most wiccans practice witchcraft, but not all. Therefore not all Wiccans are witches.

5. How is Wicca related to Paganism?

Not all Pagans are Witches. Wicca is a neo-pagan ('new pagan') religion, and most Wiccans are Neo-Pagans. All Wiccans and Witches are Pagans.

6. What is basic Wiccan theology?

(In the word theology, theo means Goddess in Greek)

Wicca is not an "organized" or "dogmatic" religion and not all witches practice the same belief system. Unlike most of the other religions practiced today, Wiccans do not adhere to 'scripture' or 'revealed text'. There are many different myths in Wiccan traditions. Most revolve around the cycles of the seasons, the natural world, and the phases of the moon. Many Wiccans believe in both a God and Goddess and 'interpret the cycles of the season around the birth, courtship and death of these two deities'.

7. Do all Wiccans practice magick?

Not all Wiccans practice magick. It is just one part of the religion.

8. What are spells?

Spells are very much like prayers. Wiccans believe that god is in everything, including us. Spells are used to help us summon this energy inside us needed to bring about change in our lives. It is up to us to do something about a situation, not just ask for the change and sit back and do nothing.

9. Are male witches 'Warlocks'?

Male witches and female witches are called Witches. Warlock is a derogatory term that means 'Traitor".

10. What is a Coven?

It is basically a 'congregation'. Many are very formal and closed to all of those who are not a member. A 'circle' is a much less formal version of a coven and often is larger than a traditional coven. You do not need to be in a coven to be wiccan, just like you do not need to be the member of a temple to practice Judaism.

11. Do witches believe in God?

Yes, and many are monotheists (believe in one god) and believe that god has both a male and female identity. The Goddess and the God are not two different gods, but rather aspects of one god. (Much like the Trinity concept in Christianity). And though they believe in one force, it can have many names. Some are polytheistic, however.

12. Who are the Goddess and the God?

The Goddess represents to many the Mother Earth or Mother Nature. She is usually represented as the Moon. Her power is present during the fertile part of the year when we plant, grow, and harvest food. (May through October). Mother Earth is giving birth to the food that will sustain us.

The God is representative of the hunt. Since many animals have horns, he is represented as a "Horned God". The time of year when things do not grow and in ancient times food had to be hunted for. His power is present the other half of the year (October through May). He later became the "devil" in Christianity.

13. Do Wiccans believe in Satan?

Wiccans do not believe in Satan or a devil of any kind. Wiccans do not worship Satan, as you can not worship something you do not believe in. Wiccans also do not believe in sacrificing animals for any reason. Wiccans believe in the value of all life, human and otherwise. Many are vegetarians.

14. Are there different 'denominations' of Wicca?

There are many different types of Wicca, just as there are many forms of Christianity. There is traditional Wicca, such as Georgian, Alexandrian, Garderian, Seax, Faery, and Dianic. There are many other forms of the religion, and many are worshiped in a solitary way or part of a coven. Some wiccan traditions are based on the deities of the area where the tradition began.

15. What is the Wiccan Rede?

The Wiccan Rede.

Bide the Wiccan Laws we must in Perfect Love and Perfect Trust.

Live and let live, fairly take and fairly give.

Cast The Circle thrice about to keep the evil spirits out.

To bind the spell, every time, let the spell be spake in Rhyme.

Soft of eye and light of touch, speak little, listen much.

Deosil go by the waxing moon, chanting out the Witches rune.

When the Lady's moon is new, kiss the hand to Her, times two.

When the moon rides at Her peak, then your heart's desire seek.

Heed the North wind's mighty gale. Lock the door, and drop the sail.

When the wind comes from the South, Love will kiss thee on the mouth.

When the wind blows from the West, departed souls will have no rest.

When the wind blows from the East, expect the new, and set the feast.

Nine woods in the cauldron go. Burn them fast, and burn them slow.

Elder be your Lady's tree. Burn it, nor cursÚd you will be.

When the Wheel begins to turn, let the Beltane fires burn.

When the Wheel has turned a-Yule, light the log, the Horned One rules.

Heed ye Flower, Bush and Tree. By the Lady, BlessÚd be.

Here the rippling waters go. Cast a stone: the truth you will know.

When ye have a full true need, hearken not to other's greed.

With a fool no season spend, nor be counted as his friend.

Merry meet, and merry part! Brighten the cheeks, and warm the heart!

Mind the Threefold Law and, you should, three times bad and three times good.

When Misfortune is enow, wear the Blue Star on thy brow.

True in Love ever be, Unless thy Lover be false to thee.

Eight words the Wiccan Rede fulfill, An' it harm none, do what thou will.

BlessÚd Be.

16. Do Wiccans believe in converting others?

No. Wicca is not a missionary religion such as Christianity or Islam. It is believed you find the path your own way (much like Zoroastrianism). If it is meant to be, it is meant to be. Since wiccans believe that all religions have value, it is not one persons right to convert others to their way of thinking.

17. Do Wiccans believe in Karma?

Yes. Wiccans believe in the 3-Fold Law. Whatever you do comes back to you three fold. Most religions believe in a similar "karmic" law. Many witches believe in reincarnation, and that the deads of a past life can follow into the next. This explains why bad things happen to good people.

18. What is a pentagram and why is it worn?

The Pentagram is a 5 pointed star that represents the elements of life; Fire, Water, Air and Earth, and the the Creator Spirit. The Pentagram with the one point up position is a symbol of Wicca, down is a symbol of Satanism. The circle around the pentagram represents eternity and protection (hence the circle surrounding the elements of life). The pentagram is worn by many for protection. To a few, the pentagram worn facing down is a satanic symbol.

19. What is a Book of Shadows?

It is a sort of reference book or Grimoire for Wiccans. It is a journal that includes myths, records of dreams, poetry, recipes, practices and spells. Some are handed down and some are coven specific. Usually a coven has a group book. Not all Wiccans keep one.

20. What are some good books to read about Wicca and related subjects?

Starhawk; The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Great Goddess

Margot Adler; Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshipers and other Pagans in America Today

Scott Cunningham; Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner

Raymond Buckland; The Complete Book of Witchcraft

Amber K; True Magick- A Beginners Guide

Vivianne Crowley; Wicca: The Old Religion In the New Age

Vivianne Crowley; Pheonix From the Flame: Pagan Spirituality In the Western World

Scott Cunningham; The Complete Book of Incense, Oils and Brews

Ed Fitch; A Grimore of Shadows (www.webcom.com/edfitch) (Thanks DarkRowan for this addition.)