Disclaimer: ok, before I actually get to any of the content, I have some things I would like to emphasize. The first is that Wicca & Witchcraft are NOT the same thing. Yes you can be both a Wiccan & a Witch, but they ARE two completely different things. One is a religion, the other is a craft, that simple. Next is that Wicca is NOT an Anti-Christian Religion and that any Wiccan who is constantly going around criticizing Christianity is either not Wiccan or needs to come to some serious reality & mental checks about their religion. That being said onto the content now.
1. An it harm none, do what ye will
2. Wiccans view the divine as having masculine and feminine properties which are manifested through the Goddess & the God
3. Wiccan religion tends to be Polytheistic but can in fact be Monotheistic depending on how the practitioner wishes to practice
4. Pagan deities are usually viewed as manifestations of the Goddess & the God
5. There is no being that holds the equivalent of Satan in Wiccan Religion
6. Wiccans Respect nature and wish to live in harmony with it.
7. Wiccans believe that males and females are equal.
8. Some Wiccans but not all believe in Reincarnation
8. Wiccans believe that whatever you do returns threefold to you, this is called the Rule of Three
Witchcraft has been around for about 28,000 years (At least) prior to Christianity. Wicca is a reconstruction of this ancient religion blended in with elements from Masonic (freemason) rituals. As a result of this Wiccans often incorporate Celtic deities into their beliefs. Wicca is fairly knew and was formed mostly by Gerald Gardner a freemason who lived in Britain around the 1950s. According to Gerald Gardner, Witchcraft has been around since prehistory and was ritual associated with fertility, hunt, agriculture, etc. It continued and eventually developed into the dominant religion of the Celts. Also according to Gerald Gardner, it survived all the attacks of genocide and the "Burning Times" by becoming an underground religion. Many Wiccans do not agree with this... Based on the research I have done so far, and articles I've read written by Traditional Witches, Witchcraft indeed went underground during the Burning Times & managed to survive to present day. It is important to note the Wicca & Witchcraft are not necessarily the same thing and that Wicca has been around since the 1950's where as Witchcraft, Paganism & Magick have been around long before any monotheistic religions. Also, it should be noted that Witchcraft is not a religion, it is a way of life.
"Wicca, as you practice the religion today, is a new religion, barely fifty years old. The techniques you use at present are not entirely what your elders practiced even thirty years ago. Of course, threads of 'what was' weave through the tapestry of 'what is now.' ...in no way can we replicate to perfection the precise circumstances of environment, society, culture, religion and magick a hundred years ago, or a thousand. Why would we want to ? The idea is to go forward with the knowledge of the past, tempered by the tools of our own age." - Silver Ravenwolf, *One of the only good quotes to ever come from her horrible writing*
Want to know why you'll never see a real, hardcore Wiccan wearing a plate-sized pentacle in the supermarket line? They take it much more seriously than that -- seriously enough, and researched enough, to know that the pentacle is a protective amulet, hidden to preserve its power, not just "another symbol like the cross."
I like this religion a lot and think it makes a lot of sense. It is a very practical religion that does not focus too much in Dogma, but more on the individual and how they can make themselves and all around them better. It should be noted that many who consider themselves to practice this religion, are truly practicing a watered down anti-Christian religion and know nothing of Magick or Paganism or Witchcraft or even of Wicca's foundations and of its founders opinions.
I would like to point out that many parallels can be drawn between Wicca and Christianity. While this might shock people at first there are a few reasons it should be obvious. Firstly, both religions (although many Christians do not know this) are steeped in Magick and the Occult - read the bible if you don't believe me about the Christianity bit, it's got a lot of Magick & much more Numerology in it. In addition to this, Wicca is founded off of our not so vast amounts of information pertaining to Celtic Pagan Religions. Now for those of you who know anything about History, the Celts were converted to Christianity one way or another. Contrary to today's world, religion was taken extremely seriously back then, so in order to convert the Celts, the Christians allowed them to keep many of the same practices. Those practices all found their way into Christianity one way or another & are still quite present in it current day.
This religion itself is in my opinion a decent religion. some parallels may be drawn between itself & Christianity (makes sense considering Christianity was influenced greatly by the Celts)