Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Different Information in Wicca

You will probably have noticed by now that there is an abundance of information on Wicca, witchcraft and magic but much of it is incomplete, inaccurate, or contradictory. Part of learning the path is about exploring the different topics, either through research, meditation, practice, application, divine guidance etc, and finding what “fits” for you.

That said, in different traditions of Wicca (as with different denominations in other religions), specific information is taught as being singularly true and correct; however, it should be remembered that while these things may be correct in that particular tradition, many Wiccans are eclectic and/or solitary so have the freedom to determine their own truths when it comes to practical application and understanding of the technical aspects of the craft.

Another point to remember is that several aspects of Wicca are determined by the natural laws of the earth and these are affected by where you physically are on the planet.

Some things are not negotiable, such as the directions of the compass points – north will always be north, but there are some things that have other considerations, mostly being whether you are in the southern hemisphere or the northern hemisphere. This affects things like the seasons and therefore the Sabbats. Another aspect affected by this is the directions to cast and open circle, often referred to as deosil and widdershins. Widdershins roughly means ‘against the sun’, which is clockwise in the southern hemisphere but anticlockwise in the northern hemisphere while deosil can be defined as ‘with the sun’, which is anticlockwise in the southern hemisphere and clockwise in the northern hemisphere. Often you will find the definitions of the words deosil and widdershins as clockwise and anticlockwise respectively; however, this is based on the northern hemisphere’s viewpoint only and misrepresents the true meanings of the words.

Interestingly enough, the moon phases are the same in both hemispheres although the direction of the crescent when the moon is waxing or waning is reversed. So, in the southern hemisphere, a waxing moon appears are a leftward curved crescent (like the letter “C”) and the opposite in the southern hemisphere during the waning moon phase. This is reversed in the northern hemisphere. A quick visual representation of this is (O) for the southern hemisphere and )O( for the northern hemisphere. Check out this very cool animation to help understand what happens with the moon in different parts of the world.

Other things you will often find differ are correspondences. Some of this is due to overlap, for example, the colour purple is often used to represent intuition but it can also be healing, while blue can also be used for both of these purposes. Red can represent love, but so can pink. The heart chakra is usually represented by the colour green but rose quartz can also be used for various matters of the heart, including working with the heart chakra. When looking at correspondences, consider the impact of conditioning, be it social, spiritual, historical, cultural or just personal experience as this may have played part in the accumulation of the different correspondences. In the end, pre-existing correspondence lists can be used as a guide but your choices in how to use them are broad and open to your own preferences and interpretations.

The point of all this is that the best thing to do is to research and explore all of the various aspects involved in Wicca as you journey along your path with appropriate respect to established teachings in order to determine what works best for you.