Wicca Coming of Age by LadyHawke My Initiation My Old Coven and Branch My Coven
What is Wicca?
By Lorien Loveshade
"High Priestess Artariel'
This will give you an idea of what Wicca is. You can learn a lot more by searching on the Internet or going to a New Age
bookstore. You can learn about
My Initiation and My First Coven, My Second Coven and My Coven and see LadyHawke's
Coming of Age ceremony.

What is Wicca?

Wicca is a religion that started in the 1950s by Gerald Gardner. Other important people who developed it are Doreen Valiente,
Alexander Sanders, Patricia Monaghan, Silver Ravenwolf, Llewellyn books, Mary Nesnick, Yvonne and Gavin Frost, George
Patterson, and Raymond and Rosemary Buckland. There are also different traditions. These include Gardnerian, Alexandrian,
Celtic, Native American, Asian, Seax, and Dianic. It’s based on Pagan and nature religions that go back thousands of years
long before Christianity.

Wiccans believe in the balance of nature and in harmony. There are natural forces and everyone is a part of those forces.
Wiccans can learn to channel them. Some people think of these forces as magick. There are different forms of Wicca, but
most of this will talk about what my
first coven, my second coven and my new coven believe.

Wiccans believe in a God and Goddess. Some Wiccans and other Pagans think of them as many Gods and Goddesses, and
some think of them as one God and Goddess with different aspects. Some think of them as "The All" which has a female and
male side. Whichever way you see it, all Gods are aspects of the God, and all Goddesses are aspects of the Goddess. They
are the personification of the male and female principles. Some people prefer to invoke one form more than another, while
others keep all forms equal. All these ways are fine.

Do Wiccans have Holidays?

Yes. Wiccans celebrate different times and days of the year. They celebrate the full moon, which usually happens one time a
month but sometimes twice, so there are 12 or 13 full moons in a year. Some have an esbat on the full moon, but some
others have it on a day that’s close and might be more convenient. Some also have esbats on the new moon, and may have
ceremonies and classes on other days.

There are also eight sabbats each year. They are divided into major and minor sabbats. The dates can be slightly different
each year and also are different in the south hemisphere.

For the north hemisphere the minor sabbats are Yule or Winter Solstice which occurs near Dec. 21, Ostara or Spring Equinox
which is near March 21, Midsummer or Summer Solstice which is around June 21, and Mabon or Fall Equinox which is close
to Sept. 21.

The major sabbats are Imbolc on Feb. 2 or Groundhog’s Day, Beltane which is May 1, Lammas on Aug. 1, and Samhain on
Oct. 31.

In the south hemisphere the minor sabbats are Yule or Winter Solstice which is near June 21, Ostara or Spring Equinox
around  Sept. 21, Midsummer or Summer Solstice which happens close to Dec. 21, and Mabon or Fall Equinox which is
around Mar 21.

The major sabbats are Imbolc which happens on Aug. 1, Beltane on Oct. 31, Lammas on Feb. 2, and Samhain on May 1. But
some Wiccans in the south hemisphere have their major sabbats on the same days as in the north.

Not all Wiccan celebrate the sabbats or esbats on exactly the same days. And some Wiccans celebrate other holidays, like
member’s birthdays and other special occasions.

Is there one Wiccan Church?

No. Wiccans are not like the Roman Catholic Church that’s all under the Pope, or like other churches that have boards or
bishops. Each coven and each solitary Wiccan is independent. We don’t believe there’s only one way to do things. The God
and Goddess have many different aspects, so there are many different ways that are good. There isn’t just one.

What is a Coven?

A coven is a group of Wiccans who bond together. Most covens have a maximum number of 13 members. But some covens
have more and a lot of them have less. Covens usually have male and female members, and most of them have a High Priest
and High Priestess who lead the coven. In some the High Priestess is the head, but in others they share the leadership
equally. But everything is done by the consent of the group. A coven is like a church, a club, a group of friends, and a family. But
some Wiccans are solitary.

What is a Solitary Wiccan?

A solitary Wiccan is someone who is Wiccan but isn’t a member of a group. Some Wiccans are solitary by choice. Many of
them are solitary because they don’t know of a group in their area.

Some people say that Solitary Wiccans aren’t true Wiccans, but that is not true. What makes you a Wiccan is your beliefs and
your practices, not what group you belong to.

Are there different levels of Wicca?

Yes. Some covens recognize three levels of initiate. My first coven calls the first level Initiate, the second full Wiccan, and the
third the High Priest and High Priestess of the coven. Usually it takes at least a year and a day to be accepted as an Initiate,
then another year and a day to be accepted as a second level initiate or full Wiccan. It can take many years to be accepted as
the third level. My old coven and some others also recognize Elder Priests and Elder Priestesses, which have even more
years experience that those who are third level. Some of them are early Wiccans.

My second coven has Initiates, Lesser Priest and Priestess which are the same as Priest and Priestess but before you're an
adult by nature, Priest and Priestess, and High Priest and Priestess. We also recognize Elder Priest and Priestess.  My coven
now would be the same, but we're all college students or recent graduates so we don't have Lesser or Elder Priests and
Priestesses.

Some covens call first level Initiates Priest and Priestess, which really they are. Our levels are based in traditional Wicca and
in Shaman and Native Amercan practices.

What’s the difference between Pagan and Wiccan?

A Wiccan is one kind of Pagan. There are many Pagan religions, which usually have more than one God or Goddess and are
usually based in nature. Every Wiccan is a Pagan, but not every Pagan is a Wiccan.

Are Wiccans Witches?

You can say yes, because most are. You can call most Wiccans witches, but some of them don’t call themselves that. That’s
because many people have confused ideas about witches. And not everybody who is a witch is Wiccan. A witch can be anyone
who practices magick arts. And some Wiccans don’t even practice magick! Some witches aren’t even Pagan, and there are
even Christian witches.

Wiccans do not worship Satan and don’t even believe in Satan. Satan is a Christian belief. Most witches believe in white
magick, in doing good to help people and the earth. Wiccans who practice magick which most of them do can be called good
witches. We do not believe in doing anything evil, and we don't believe in using magick to force people to do things, like love
spells. Male Wiccans can be called witches, but most Wiccans don’t use the term warlock.

What is the Wiccan rede?

There are different versions of it, and some are longer and some are shorter. A short version is “If it harms none, do as you
will.” This means that you should be free to do anything that doesn’t hurt anybody. This is also one of the five
Loveshade
Beliefs.

Do Wiccan believe in Karma?

Yes. Some believe that bad things that you do will return to you three times, which is called the threefold law. Some believe it
comes back to you seven times. And some believe that it balances out exactly so that everything bad you do means something
bad will happen to you. And everything good you do means something good will happen to you. But this might not balance out
in one lifetime.

Do Wiccans believe in Reincarnation?

Different Wiccans have different beliefs. But many do belief in Reincarnation and that’s how Karma develops. What you do in
this life will determine where you are in your next life.

Some believe that as a life passes it goes to the Summerlands. There you can review your life, see what you did that was
good and what you did that was bad. This can help you to improve in your next life. If you did a lot of bad in your past life, you
may have a lot of bad things happen to you in your next life. This is why sometimes bad things happen to good people. But if
you do good in your next life, then you will reap that goodness in the life after that. So for Wiccans who believe in reincarnation,
it is part of their Karma.

Can you be a Wiccan if you’re under 18?

Yes. You can be Wiccan at any age.

There are some covens that don’t accept members younger than 18. Others accept all ages. Some don’t accept members
until they’re at puberty because they believe that’s when you can channel the flow of natural forces. But you can believe in
Wicca at any age if you’re old enough to understand what it is.

Do Wiccans have their ceremonies skyclad?

Some Wiccans do. If you don’t know what skyclad means, it means you're clad only in sky, or clothes free - naked. Wiccan who
have their ceremonies skyclad believe that the absence of clothing gives them greater freedom to celebrate nature. That’s why
it’s called au natural.

Some Wiccans and their covens have ceremonies that are topfree, where members are covered downstairs but uncovered
above the waist. Most covens that do this believe it should be the same for males and females. Many covens have their
ceremonies totally clothed. Some do it differently for different ceremonies. It’s up to the person and the coven and whatever
they’re comfortable doing. If you’re interested in joining a coven, check with their practices first.

Are Wiccans evangelists?

No. Many Wiccans get very excited about their religion and what it offers, and want to share it with their families and friends. But
most Wiccans choose to let others come to them if they’re interested. Most Wiccans don’t believe in trying to force their beliefs
on somebody else. Some even hide their beliefs. That’s not because they are ashamed of them, but because they are afraid
of how others might react to them. They might lose their job or be shunned by their families. Some Wiccans who live at home
with their parents are afraid of how they might react. Some might even be afraid the police might go after them because some
people believe all witches are evil. But of course this isn’t true. And really most police will leave Wiccans alone and some
police are Wiccans and Pagans or consult them to help them solve crimes. And more people are accepting Wiccans. America
nows lets military people have a Wiccan symbol on their tombstone.

Are there a lot of Wiccans?

Yes! There are more Wiccans and Pagans than ever before. Paganism and Wicca, which is a part of it, is the fastest growing
religion in America. More and more people are accepting the importance of protecting the earth and its plants and animals,
and of doing good for others. They are also accepting that nature has a male and female side, and a belief in the God and the
Goddess shows this. Nature is not all male.

Who is Priestess Artariel?

I’ve been a Wiccan since I was in sixth grade, and I’m a college graduate and a teacher now. So I’ve been Wiccan for a long
time. I was accepted as a Wiccan initiate in a coven when I was 13 1/2 and we had seven members then so our coven was
new. I joined with one of my best friends
Becky or Venusina. I still belonged to that coven after I moved, but it was hard. We
formed a branch, which became my second coven. Then when I went to another college, I started a new coven.  Our beliefs
are part traditional Wiccan with mixed traditions, Asian, and part Native American.

After I’d been in my coven for a year and a half, I was made a full Wiccan. Later I was made a Wiccan tutor. In my second
coven, I was called a Priestess.  When Mindy or Sennyoko and I went to a new college in September 2008, we started another
branch or coven and I was named High Priestess. A High Priest or Priestess isn't anymore important than anyone else, but
has more responsibilities.

I usually invoke Artemis, who is Goddess of the Hunt and the Moon. She's the same Goddess as Diana. She is a virgin like I
was until I turned 23, but you don’t have to be a virgin to follow her. I am very closely tied to the moon and to the moon cycles.
Even my period always happens on the New Moon or very close to it.

If you want to learn more about me, read
About Me.

Blessed Be!
Copyright 2005-2013 by The Loveshade Family
Priestess
Artariel
Lorien's Crib
About Me
My Diary
Friends Crib
Opinions on Issues
Party Fun
My Poetry
Slang Guide including our own words!
Stories
Learn about my Wiccan religion
Do Wiccans
have
Holidays?
What is a
coven?
Are Wiccan
the same as
Pagans and
Witches?
Do I have to
join a coven
to be a
Wiccan?
If it harms
none, do as
you will.
I heard you
have to be 18
to be Wiccan.
Is this true?
Wiccans do
all their
ceremonies
naked. Is this
true?
Wicca is one
of the fastest
growing
religions,
especially on
the Internet.
Who is High
Priestess
Artariel?
Blessed Be