This is intentionally a concise explanation of Wicca. There are other sources of information for Wicca and Eclectic Paganism on the net. See www.moss.witchesgathering.com for Wicca and related explanations and links.
I have been involved in Wicca, practicing or not, to whatever degree, for 34 years now.

Many things are, or can be included in Wicca. I'll include the indispensible things in this writing. The first and formost is to have an ETHICAL way of living all of your life and conducting all of your affairs.

A major reason I am blending Samkhya with Wicca is quite simply I cannot use or teach either of these spiritual paths without including explanations from the other. As such, I am using terms borrowed from Sanskrit in general, especially from Samkhya and all of Hinduism, to describe Wiccan ethics.
The basic cosmology for the version of Wicca which I believe is that of one God and one Goddess. They have different aspects, and different roles. They are equal in power and they are equal in importance. After death there is an afterlife known as "Summerland".

There is no single set of rules from which to get all laws. As such, the reliance on ethics allows for decisions to be made for some new situation. The rules are generally common sense things. Treat others as you wish to be treated yourself. Do not harm anyone or anything. You can create your own set of ethics for your own life situation. They may change as your role in life changes over time.

Everyone and everything must perform their own duty, or dharma, as it is for them. No one's duty is the same as anyone else's, nor does it remain the same over your lifetime. The duties of a 4 year old are not the duties of a 14 year old are not the duties of a 24 year old are not the duties of a 54 year old are not the duties of a 74 year old are not the duties of a 94 year old. The duties of a corporate president are not the same as those of his secretary are not the same as a worker in a factory are not the same as those of the janitor. None are the same as the security guard's.

It extends farther than this. The duties of a song bird are to fly, eat seeds, build nests, select a mate, and rear young song birds. It has a duty to sing as it does. The duties of a mountain lion are to stalk and kill prey, as well as to select a mate and rear offspring. The duties of a bear are to hibernate in winter, eat, and produce offspring. The duties of a strawerry plant are to germinate, bloom, be pollinated, and produce strawberries. What a strange world this would be otherwise! Pet animals or domestic animals must be allowed to do their duties too. There is not a duty to reproduce in all cases, especially when the population is adequate.

If you assume care for an animal, you must feed it properly. Cats are carnivores and must eat meat. Trying to force the cat into the vegetarian dharma of a rabbit is insane! The poor cat will get sick and die a painful death. If you cannot provide food required by that animal, or care required by that animal, do not get such an animal!

Everything has prana, or "life". This also means some semblance of awareness. Everything has this, from a god to a rock! It's a matter of how much. A pebble has les than a boulder has less than a lichen has less than a tree has less than a snake has less than a bird has less than a dog has less than a human being has less than a god. The question is what is "okay" to kill for food, since we cannot produce our own as do plants. Where on the food chain to eat, somewhere between fruits-only to being a canibal is a matter for each individual, with consideration for applicable laws and customs. To violate those laws involves the karma of whatever sanctions are given for the offense. Be aware of any and all karma. There is some with everything you destroy, and your needs are to destroy something in order to live.

The preceeding paragraphs were more Hindu than Wicca, but for me the two are very intertwined. To read about how that works for me, read the page on Samkhya Wicca.

Karma is a major consideration. I take the Hindu view of Karma, which is action or cause and effect. As you sow, you shall reap. If I put my hand on a hot burner, I will get burned. If I borrow money and do not repay it, soon no one will want to lend me any money, and will likely take steps to recover what they've already lent me. The reaction may be immediate, quickly, over some time, or extend beyond death. But, you cannot get a free lunch, you cannot get away with things. This may be bad or good. Whatever comes back the same way as far as good or bad, but is very likely to take whatever form you can best use - for a lesson or for a reward. Wicca teaches that karma comes back, for good or bad, 3 times over, or "Threefold Law".

Suffice it to say that I am far too selfish to delibertately engage in evil acts. As such, I do not do most of what some popular or religiously distributed misinformation that things say "witches" do. I do not cast evil spells, hurt anyone, sacrifice anything sentient to the gods, engage in wild sexual acts, engage in drug or alcohol abuse, abuse children or animals, eat human beings, or do anything elses which is a violation of the law.

Everyone has both mundane and psychic abilities. These must be developed as much as possible. I am an emotional healer. Other people do other things, but they must be used for good. Ethics also comes into play. It is just as wrong to heal someone for the wrong reasons or against their will as it is to harm them. It's still a psychic assault. A way around this is to include the divine in the equation, and to ask - not just do. The asking can be on a psychic level as well as a physical level, especially if you cannot ask the person physically.
Divine Nature
The divine may divided up in any number of ways. The easiest one to see is male and female. They can further be divided up into ages or periods of a lifetime. They can be divided up with any number of appearances, cultures, or attributes. Any such arbitrary division is as valid as any other such division. You must use the one you can use to see the divine best. This can vary over time, and vary according to purpose. If you should get the wrong one, or the wrong nature, or the wrong form, it must not be worried about. Be sure that your intention will go to the right aspect or facet of the divine.

It is literally impossible to be aware of, let alone properly worship every god or goddess in existence throughout the world. Most people have a few favorite to Whom they are most devoted. No particular God, Goddess, or Gods is innately preferable to any other. I have mine, and you have yours, and everyone else has their own. The nature of this religion is not to have the "best" viewpoint of the divine, but merely to have one that works for you, and Who nurtures you as you need and want it. There is, however, great value in discussing these things. You may see something new in your view of divinity which you can incorporate into your own spirituality. Nothing about any part of my faith involves prosthelytization, a coined-word originating from a typo meaning, "to beat another over the head with the crutch of religion". True spirituality is not a crutch, thus there is nothing with which to beat anyone over the head.

The divine forms that I am most comfortable with tend to be the Hindu pantheon. My primary devotion is to Lord Shiva in all of His forms and aspects. My devotion to the Lady is primarily through His consort, the Dash Mahavidya. This is traditionally a collection of 10 Goddesses, but They are sometimes rolled into one through Ma Krutya. At the same time, I am also comfortable wtih the Celtic Deities, particularly Lord Cerenunnos, Who is my divine Father.

I once had a dream in which Lord Cerenunnos appeared to me. He lovingly held my hands as we spoke and I gazed into His eyes. Before my eyes, He turned into Lord Shiva. I was still gazing into the same loving pair of divine eyes. That dream told me that They are One in the same.
Copyright 2004 by Elizabeth Harper
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