History of Wicca religion Essay

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The Wiccan religion is one of the fastest growing religions in the United States as well one of the most misunderstood due to the controversies surrounding its history and mystery shrouding its beliefs and doctrines. Due to a series of popular TV series that have shown Witchcraft in a positive light, such as Sabrina, the Teen-aged Witch and Charmed, the popularity of Wicca has grown, especially amongst teenagers; but sadly this popularity has not been partnered with a growth in understanding and respect (Kaminer). Although Wicca offers a nature-oriented, egalitarian belief system with a rich collection of customs and rituals, ignorance and historically-rooted misconceptions still dominate public opinion.
The controversies that surround
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There are many who are Wiccan today that do not believe that the origin of their religion is in Witchcraft; while others believe that these religious practices are part of the foundation of Wicca. Because paganism was not an organized religion and was primarily passed on through oral traditions, there is questionable historical evidence to support a direct connection between the two.
The development of Wicca in the modern times is associated with a gentleman named Gerald Gardner (1884-1964). He was a British civil servant and amateur archaeologist, who spent most of his working years in Southern Asia. Upon his return to England, he authored the book Witchcraft Today, which outlined many of the rituals and doctrines of the religion that is now called Wicca. Although Gardner claimed his book was inspired from Celtic traditions, it is actually a combination of Western faith, Asian magic, god and goddess worship, and Masonic rituals (Melton). The religion Gardner outlined in his book is a nature-oriented faith where a low emphasis on magic predominates. While there is a tendency to see Wicca and Witchcraft as one and the same and some Wiccans may identify themselves as witches, it is a personal choice and many modern Wiccans do not see themselves as witches. Witchcraft describes a magically-oriented practice but lacks the spiritual foundation that Wicca as a religion embodies. Today=s modern Wiccan religion is not the religion that Christians tried to
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