Confessions of a Teenage Witch
Life is hard enough as it is as a teenager without having to search the whole world just for information to help a teenager who wants to start believing in Wicca. I found it very hard to find information based in that age group. And Wicca’s not all about love potions and hexes. It’s a way of life. I may not do regular rituals and I may forget the sabbats and ebats (holidays and moons) but I still believe and I use it every day. So I’m going to go through the basics of Wicca to help teenagers understand the way of the wise. Also known as the Old Religion.
Misconceptions of Wicca
The word Wicca means wise. And so does the word witch. So witchcraft in sense means ‘the craft of the wise.’ Which is why it is sometimes known as the Craft. A male who studies the craft is a witch. He is not a warlock. Back in the days of witch hunts and burnings, a person would stay behind as witches escape the city to stall the mob that chases them. So they block the path of war. Warlocks can either be witch or mortal. It doesn’t matter. They block the path of war and so they are called warlocks. Another misconception is that we worship the devil. Let me make this very clear. Wiccans and pagans do not worship the devil. We don’t even believe in him so why would we worship him? Wiccans believe in many different gods and the Divine.
The first rule of Wicca is ‘An harm none, do what ye will.” So in other words you can do whatever you want in Wicca as long as it does not harm anyone. Wiccans believe in life and do not want to hurt anyone. So curses, hexes and what not are frowned upon in this religion. Most workings aka spells and rituals are based on a desire or a wish so it’s best to go into spells and rituals with only the best of intentions. Which leads us to the second rule of Wicca.
The Law of Three
Also known as The Law of Attraction and most commonly Karma. What you give out comes back, some believe in threes, some in tens. For example, if you cast a hex, you are putting out negative energy to another person. So when it comes back, you will get hit three or ten times worse. In saying that, the reverse is true. If you cast a good spell or ritual, whatever you sent out comes back. Wouldn’t you rather get good energy and things than bad things? I thought so.
Gods and Goddesses
Way back in the old days, before there was such things as clothes and speech, the stone age people realised that all life seemed to work in cycles, like as if we were at the mercy of some great being who decided what we do. So they thought they would pay worship to this great being. They noticed that women were untouchable one week during the month, just the same as the moon couldn’t be seen once a month. And since women can give birth to life and plants and animals were born everyday they believed that the moon and the earth were governed by a female deity. But the men left the tribe to go hunting. And so they started to worship a god of the hunt who they depicted as having horns so they called him The Horned God. (When Christianity came about, they pointed at The Horned God and claimed that we were worshiping the devil.) Over time they split more things between the God and the Goddess so there became many different gods and goddesses. Wiccans got along well with other religions because they believed that their gods were just another version of their own gods. In fact, Wiccans and Christians got along for about 500 years until they decided that they had the one true religion. I will be putting up posts about the different gods and goddesses.
Triple God and Goddess
Pagans believe that despite the many names, there is one God and one Goddess. Often these are broken down into triple deities. In the Goddess, there is the Maiden, the Mother and the Crone. In the God, there is the Young Lord, Warrior and Sage. The Maiden and the Young Lord represent birth, youth, growth and renewal. The Mother and the Warrior are humans in their peak. The Mother gives birth to life and the Warrior protects this new life. The Crone and the Sage embody wisdom of their many years of life experience. They carry Death but they are the promise of life renewed, of reincarnation and rebirth.
Wiccans work with the elements in most of their workings. There are five elements. Earth, air, fire, water are the most common ones. Depending on what you believe, the fifth element can either be metal or spirit. Understanding the essence of each element as well as the characteristics and workings of each element is the basis of Pagan living and of all magick. Each element is unique and has their own properties. Earth contains all things that grow above and below the soil. Earth sustains us and our food so the essence of earth is stability, consistency and sustenance. It is truth, honor and justice. It is the physical world and the study of herbalism. Air has its roots in the non-physical world. It represents things that cannot be seen. It is wind and smell. It is thought and knowledge. It is study and beauty. And it is the source of inspiration and poetry. Fire is the element of transition and change. It is passion, war, vengeance and victory. It is warmth and fury. Water is the sea and mystery. It is the wonder of universal love. It is the kingdom of intuition and psychic revelation. It is emotion. Each element has its own rulers, characteristics and spirits.
Those who follow the Old Religion celebrate each full moon which are called esbats. Depending on geography, the lunar cycles have different names. In America and in Europe, the first full moon rises in October just before Halloween or Samhain to Wiccans.
The Blood Moon rises in October. It is associated with the colour red and reflects the time to slaughter animals for the winter and storing food.
The Snow Moon is the moon in November. Its colour is pale blue-silver. The earth begins its slumber beneath a blanket of snow.
The Oak Moon arrived in December. It is often called the black moon and is associated with the Sage of the Triple God ideology. The oak is the Sages symbol and is burned in the Yule fire.
The Ice Moon (or Wolf Moon) comes in January. Its colour is purple. It is often in the popular Greek myth of Persephone being locked in the underworld as death and winter reign.
The Storm Moon comes in February with the melting of the frozen water. Its colour is blue and is dedicated with the Goddess Brigit.
The Chaste Moon reflects the release of Persephone from the land of the dead. It is the return of spring. Its colour is white and rises in March.
The Seed Moon heralds the time of the seeds that were buried beneath the snow to come through. Its colour is light green and comes to us in April.
The Hare Moon rises in May. It is dedicated to the Goddess and to fertility. Pink, the colour of love, is the colour for this moon. As spring approaches, romance is on the mind of every young man and woman.
The Dyad Moon rises as at the same time of the Summer Solstice in June. Dyad means pair which is reflected in the visible presence of the bright sun and the green fields. This Moon is considered orange.
The Mead Moon rises in July and is the time when Pagans of old made the mead for the coming celebrations. The colour is yellow for the yellow honey that goes into the mead.
The Wort Moon is the dark green moon of August. The harvest starts and we give praise for the food that will fill our bellies.
The Barley Moon rises before the Fall Equinox in September. The food has been harvested. It is the end of the season. Brown is the colour of grain and of the Barley Moon.
The Wine Moon is the odd moon of the year. It represents the changing of the lunar calendar to a solar one, there is an overlap in some months because there are sometimes thirteen months instead of twelve. When this moon rises, its usually in September or October. This Moon honours wine and its colour is burgundy, the colour of wine.
Sabbats are the Wiccan holidays. Many Christian holidays came from Pagan beginnings. It depends on which end of the hemisphere you are to when the holidays are. I’m going to do the Southern Hemisphere because I live in New Zealand.
Samhain April 30th/May 1st
In the Northern Hemisphere it’s on October 31st. It is also known as All Hallows Eve and Halloween. It is the beginning of the Pagan year. It is the time of reflection. It is when the veil between life and death is at its thinnest. All communication to the ‘Other Side’ is strengthened on this day.
Yule June 20th-23rd
Celebrates Yule, the witches Christmas. It marks the end of winter. A Yule tree is placed in the house with a pentagram on top to represent the elements. Pagans exchange gifts and stay up all night to watch the sunrise which symbolises the Goddess giving birth to the God.
Imbolc July 31st/August 1st
Imbolc is also known as the Feast of Torches and Brigid’s Day. It is the time to consider the next year and what you want to do with it. Brigid’s Day is named after the Celtic goddess Brigid.
Ostara September 20-23
The Spring Equinox. All manner of eggs and just-life are celebrated. Ostara is associated with childhood and new life. A time to honour the masculine and to celebrate life.
Beltane October 31
Also known as May Day. It is the great sexual union between the Goddess and the God. It is the most popular time for Pagans to get handfasted. During Beltane rituals, a May Queen and a Horn God are crowned.
Lithas December 20-23
Longest day of the year and a time of joy and strength and when the powers of nature are at their fullest.
Lammas February 2
It is the first harvest of early grain. Lammas is about facing up to change. The God loses strength as the days grow shorter.
Mabon March 20-23
Mabon is the balancing point between light and dark. It is also the second harvest. Pagans celebrate this rite as Thanksgiving. It is a time to reflect on what it means to be a witch.