Back in October, I briefly touched on the idea that, while there are an abundance of right ways to practice Wicca, there is also a definite wrong way. That statement may have ruffled a few feathers, so I wanted to discuss the concept a little further.
When I say that there is a wrong way to practice Wicca, I don’t mean that one’s individual practice, if it isn’t strictly Wiccan, is inherently wrong. You decide what’s right for you and, if you aren’t hurting other living creatures, no one can tell you what to do. Your path is your own.
That said, a lot of people seem to call every Pagan practice they find Wicca. This is infuriating, to say the least. At this point, I feel like a broken record when I say that Wicca is a religion with rules, as are most other established religions. Wicca may not be mainstream, but it’s still one of the more popular religions in the US.
Unlike its mainstream counterparts, Wicca isn’t very strict about the methods we use to worship. And like many other Pagan paths, Wicca is flexible enough to be woven into almost any other faith system. So, it’s understandable that there is a lot of confusion and debate throughout the community as to which version of Wicca is the right one.
As I’ve stated, there are many “right” paths. However, if we look at the main and most important tenet of Wicca—If you harm none, do as you will—as more than just a “golden rule” archetype, we can see that this rule alone means that there are certain acts of magick that, by their nature, go against Wicca.
A few days ago, a friend asked my opinion on hexing, the act of casting a spell or curse with the intention of causing someone harm. I have to admit, I hardly ever think much about hexing. In the past, I cast a couple, one with potent results, but hexes aren’t really something I like to bother with on a regular basis. In my experience, people who are harmful or don’t belong in my life have a way of disappearing from my inner circle with or without any help.
The question was whether Wicca allows hexing. My answer, like many things, was yes and no. (Is this because I’m a Gemini? Probably not, but let’s say it is.) To give the simplest answer, I would have to say no. Hexing is one of the things that goes against the Rede and is inherently not Wiccan. Therefore, hexing is an act that true Wiccan would never do. Right?
This is similar to my (also feather-ruffling) theory that one can’t be Christian and Wiccan. I know, how dare I say such a thing? But take it from someone who was born and raised in a Christian home and spent a good chunk of her early adolescence trying to read the entire Bible, from beginning to end: Christianity does not allow Wicca.
Don’t believe me? Read what Revelation 21:8 has to say. Wicca is a magick religion. Whether you work spells or not, you work magick by merit of being Wiccan. You work magick in meditation, when you commune with spirits, or do any kind of divination. That means you are not wanted in Christianity and are promised to burn.
Yet, still, I have friends who consider themselves both Wiccan and Christian and it seems to be working just fine for them. As far as I know, no one’s been struck down.
Similarly, while Wicca doesn’t technically allow hexing, it doesn’t stop Wiccans from doing so. Plus, there’s no threat of fire and brimstone for a Wiccan who hexes.
I believe this inclusiveness of Wicca is the source of the confusion of what constitutes Wicca as a religion. In my opinion, you’re a Wiccan if you practice any pure form of Wicca—be it Gardnerian, Alexandrian, Celtic, Dianic, whatever. You’re an Eclectic Pagan if you practice any other magick system that goes against the Rede.
Obviously, I believe it’s totally fine to practice this way. But we have to be honest when we are doing something that is inherently not Wiccan. I prefer to say that I’m an “eclectic Pagan” or “eclectic Wiccan” when asked, because I don’t want to give the impression that my practice is what Wicca is.
Wicca is the core of my faith, it’s my anchor. Over the years, though, I’ve studied quite a few non-Wiccan magickal systems and incorporated them to tailor my practice to find my personal connection with my higher power, as well as a deeper understanding of myself.
I think it would be dishonest to claim that the other crafts I practice are Wicca. I think anyone who does is wrong. We have a responsibility to be educated about our religious practice and to educate others.
It’s bears repeating that Wicca is not a “do-anything” religion. People who claim so are using Wicca in a way it wasn’t intended. They use the “Wicca is what you make it” mantra to justify nasty behavior and acts of hatred. Forgive me, but screw those people for making Wicca so confusing for the newer generation.
Yes, Wicca takes numerous forms—all of which have their own beautiful traditions—but, not every magickal tradition is Wicca. You would greater serve yourself and your fellow witchfolk if you are truthful up front about the different paths you take. Don’t be ashamed to have a diverse and deeply personal Pagan lifestyle.
Say it out loud: “I do Wicca the wrong way. And that’s okay.”
Remember always, I love you.
Lady Morgana Brighid HP MCCA
Do you think there is a “right” or “wrong” way to practice Wicca? Let me know in the comments!