Wiccans believe that both animate and inanimate objects possess a spirit.
Wicca is a celebration of the life-forces of nature as personified by the Goddess and her consort, the God. Unlike Chrisitianity, which is
based purely on a masculine divinity, Wicca, for the most part, is more balanced between male and female.
Wicca may include the practice of magick which is defined as the process of causing change through the focusing of our natural powers. It
is important to note that magick is natural. [Note the different spelling, adding a "k" ~ this is done to indicate something a little different
than stage or show magic.] There is nothing supernatural about it. Wiccans and witches use certain tools such as spells, visualization,
chants, candles, amulets and meditation to help focus, but the power comes from within, it is not in the tools. Our ancestors knew how to
use it effectively, but it has been largely forgotten in modern times.
Wicca is not a cult. A cult presupposes blind faith in a central figure whose every word is regarded as ultimate truth, and the utter
conviction that no other way or philosophy will lead to this truth. You would be very hard pressed to find a Wiccan anywhere who would
blindly follow anyone else. Wiccans are historically very independent people who seek truth from within through rituals, meditation, magic,
study and communion with nature. Wiccans respect the right of everyone to worship in their own way. We do not feel that Wicca is the only
way -- only that it is our way.
Wicca is not synonymous with Satan worship. The very concept of a supreme evil spirit is alien to Wicca. In fact, most Wiccans do not even
believe in Satan. The devil is a Judeo-Christian construct and as such, it has nothing to do with Wicca. The notion that witches worship
Satan was propounded by the Roman Catholic Church as it made its way across Europe, in an effort to suppress the native earth-based
religions prevalent at the time. They succeeded to the extent that they drove the practitioners of these religions underground where much
of their knowledge and traditions were lost. Through the work of the Golden Dawn, as well as anthropological and archeological research,
many of these traditions have been rediscovered and incorporated into Neo-Paganism, an umbrella term for most modern earth-based and
Wicca does not include flying on brooms. Mostly, witches drive cars or ride bikes, although a flying broom might come in handy during
rush-hour traffic. ;) There are many rituals which include brooms, however, and these may be the source of the flying-broomstick stories.
In parts of Europe, some people run across their fields astride a broom to coax the grain to grow. They may also jump over a broom handle
asking the grain to grow as high as their highest leap. It is also common for a ceremonial broom to be used to sweep away negative forces
from any area one wishes to cleanse.
I hope these brief explanations will help you begin to understand what Wicca and the Craft really are. There is such a wealth of information
on the subject that it is impossible to cover everthing in one little essay. If you are curious, there are hundreds of Internet sites that can
help you learn (the Internet's relative anonymity makes it a great way for Pagans to learn and communicate), and many wonderful books from
beginning to advanced levels, and every step in between.