One thing about our tradition of Wicca is that if you had read our “ABC’s of Wicca,” you will notice that a great deal of practical philosophy is within it. Some of it, you may even question: “What does ancient and modern philosophy have to do with the religion of witchcraft?”
My religion is Wicca, which I would describe as the religion of magic and witchcraft, though not every person who practices magic and witchcraft adopts… or is initiated into “the Wicca.”
Wicca does not teach shared beliefs, but does teach shared practice and tradition. It is a very simple religion, though I have heard other folks look at our religion and say it is way too complex, but like most things in nature: the things that are most simple seem to be the most profound of all.
Philosophical ideas and tenets help us to think and give us something to meditate on. If we can rationalize our thoughts and actions and have a better understanding in order to “Know Thyself,” our rituals and spells will be conducted with better precision and go right to the point of the matter.
In our particular tradition, this idea of philosophy may be even more pronounced as Sybil was involved also in Theosophy as well. In fact, that is where she met one of her good friends, Charmaine Day – through the Theosophical Society of Houston, Texas.
The study of philosophy and the study of “God” is not universal to all or many Wiccans, but it could be more pronounced than many realize.
Sybil introduced much philosophy into Wicca, especially when she discussed what has become known as the “Eight Tenets of Wicca” in her best-selling book: “The Complete Art of Witchcraft” published in 1971. Many prominent Wiccan traditions today have incorporated those tenets, though it is unclear how much they may or may not utilize them.
One of the first things that we give to a seeker of Wiccan in our coven is a document that includes 40 some tenets or precepts of the Wicca. The seeker to enter our training group will review this document and try to explore these by meditating on each of these tenets. Through this process, they may find they have a revelation or two – or a new way to look at something. This new way to view something can only aid the seeker in the long run on the path to understanding.
To cast a spell, you must know your needs and wants – to know your true needs and wants, you must Know Thyself as best as you can – so this practical study of tenets, precepts, hulas, etc. only aid the seeker for when it comes time that they inquire if they can be initiated into witchcraft.
The seeker should not try to memorize these precepts like they are trying to remember a grocery list – they should allow these ideas to work themselves into their thought processes so they may draw on this knowledge and wisdom when needed. Even today, I still randomly read this document to try and find new insights. It is a constant struggle to “Know Thyself.”