Essay on Wicca: A Religion or Just Hocus Pocus?

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How Is Wicca a religion and not all just Hocus Pocus? Although some refuse to acknowledge that Wicca is a religion, it is one because it meets what we generally accept to be the major characteristics of a religion. There are groups of people who believe it is a religion, there are those who do not.
Wicca is thought to be from the old English Wicca meaning Wise One. The definition meaning a “religion influenced by pre-Christian beliefs and practices of western Europe that supports the existence of supernatural power/ magic and both male and females deities who inherent in nature, and that highlights a ritual ceremony of seasonal and life.”
In 1950, Gerald Gardner publicly introduced Wicca. Its ritual and initiatory structure consists of
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Prayers to the Gods and Goddess are then said, energy is raised and spells are sometimes worked. Traditionally, after the circle a meal will follow. Before entering the circle, some traditions will fast for the day, and have a ritual bath. Representations of the God/Goddess are often used.
(Author Unknown. Blessed Be. Online Wicca Resource Center, publisher unknown date of resource creation unknown. Publication unknown. Sept. 30th 2011.)

In many Wiccan rituals, a special set of altar tools are used; these can include a besom (broom), cauldron, chalice (goblet), wand, Book of Shadows, alter cloth, athame (magical knife), boline (mundane knife), candles, and/or incense.
Most Wiccan practice the concept of the classical elements earth, air, fire, water and add a fifth element- akasha (spirit). It claims that the points of the pentagram, symbolizes these five elements. The elements of nature symbolize different places, emotion, object, and natural energies and forces.
(Author Unknown. Blessed Be. Online Wicca Resource Center, publisher unknown date of resource creation unknown. Publication unknown. Sept. 30th 2011.)
Wiccans celebrate eight main holidays: four cross-quarter days called Samhain, Bethane, Imbolc, and Lughnasadh, as well as the solstices, Litha and Yule, and equinoxes, Ostara and Mabon. They also hold Esbats, which are rituals held at full and new moons.
The Esbalts celebrate the moon’s passage around the earth. The Esbats

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