A Wicca practitioner is called a witch, but a little off the mark is the perception many people have of witches. Most people think of a witch as a warty woman who lives with her cats in the woods, bewitches innocent travelers, and at night flies across the sky with her broomstick. Now, of course, some witches do like cats, and some have broomsticks for reasons other than just sweeping. But for magical travel, broomsticks have never been used. The broomstick, symbolically, represents the marriage in Wicca between the God and the Goddess and is used in magic to sweep away bad energies. Even more, myths surround Wicca, and we intend to clear up some of them below.
Skyclad worship is, perhaps, one of the most divisive rituals of Wicca. For those who don’t know, skyclad means “complete nudity.” The principle of naked worship might be odd to many people, but it is not an especially recent religious activity and dates back to the Roman Empire. Neither was it limited to pagans; as far back as the Middle Ages, there were branches of Christianity that have done such practices.
Wicca is a religion of fertility, so babies are treated as a great blessing, of course. There is even a ritual called Wiccaning to welcome a new baby into the realm of Wiccans. It is proposed that when the moon is waxing or full and associated with the astrological sign of the infant, new Wiccan parents conduct the ritual. Then, as they would with any sorcery, a practitioner would cast a circle and light a candle inscribed with the infant’s name, astrological sign, and date of birth.
You met a new Wiccan friend of yours, and everything seemed to be going well until you called him a warlock. He appears to be offended now, but you don’t understand why. He’s a male practitioner, so what does that give? As it turns out, the term warlock has very derogatory connotations, and to describe all genders, Wiccans use the word witch. Warlock has a long history and many definitions, but oath-breaker is the old Scottish meaning that the Wiccans are speaking about.
Many people have a vision of witches and herbs coming directly from Shakespeare’s Macbeth, complete with a bubbling cauldron and tossing in all kinds of vile stuff. However, in a witch’s herbal concoctions, the traditional interpretation of the ingredients has less to do with Shakespeare and more to do with a straightforward misunderstanding. Many components have folk names that most of us would sound very scary but that only represent herbs. For example, wild vanilla was often referred to as the tongue of the deer, and dandelions were referred to as the tooth of the lion.
Many individuals believe that Wiccans use dark magic or demons of worship, but this is complete nonsense. At its heart, Wicca is very much a neo-pagan faith. In other words, it is based on the principles of the old pagan religions that died out as Christianity became popular around the time. The definition of black magic by most people has nothing to do with Wicca at all.