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Wicca is a religion created in the 1950s based mainly on the research of Margaret Meade on prehistoric cultures.  Her work has since been undermined.  However, the core of Wicca is simply a belief in a feminine deity as represented by the moon, birth, and earth and a masculine entity which is the sun and fertility.  There is normally an element of magic as well.

Margaret Meade lived in an era when scholarship as we know it was just in its infancy.  However, there are elements in the Wiccan beliefs that suggest she was on the right track.  The Greek, Mesopotamian, Egyptian, and Phoenician religions all had a fertility goddess as well as a young and virile god.  These latter would die as a part of a yearly cycle and would be reborn in conjunction with the spring plantings.  The rebirth of the god and the gift of life and life-giving plants and animals were normally treated as magical.  

In Wicca’s various manifestations the male and female element are treated as a religion of two gods, a religion of many gods, a belief in one god with two aspects, one of archetypes, or simply as symbols for how to see the world.  Magic can be only the mystical elements of reproduction or can exist as a supernatural entity.  The afterlife may or may not be a part of beliefs.  Morality is not consistent, as ceremonies may involve open acts of sexuality or may be simply symbolic in its treatment of the male and female (I found it interesting that the chalice and knife were normally used, something to be found in grail mythology).  There is no equivalent to a Bible or the Ten Commandments.  However, there is a universal philosophy among Wiccan beliefs that the religion is earth-derived and that any deeds one does, good or bad, will be revisited on a person threefold, in mind, body, and spirit.

There is also a strong connection among practitioners with the “witches” of Medieval Europe who were burned for being strong-willed women, even though our knowledge of the beliefs of these women is shaky, limited as it is to their use of the equinoxes and solstices as major holidays.  Granted, Wicca now uses the same four dates in many of its variants, but these are not the four major holidays nor were they a part of the religion from the beginning.  Even if they were, the use of Easter/Eostre, midsummer, Halloween/All Hallow’s Eve, and Christmas/midwinter is a common one throughout the world, necessitating no connection between medieval witchcraft and modern Wicca.

Although not one of the traditional religions and not a derivative, Wicca has not been made fun of from what I’ve seen of popular culture.  The one instance of Wicca I know off hand is to be found in the Buffyverse (as opposed to witchcraft which is everywhere from Harry Potter to Charmed).  There it is strongly linked to the newest technology – computers, and associated strongly with nature and nurturing.  Then again, before Joss Whedon got involved with things Marvel, his creations were always filled with strong and powerful women – Buffy, the Slayers, and Willow, Zoe, and Echo.

http://www.witchvox.com

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/viviannecrowley/2014/04/wicca-and-the-spiritual-quest/

http://www.wicca-spirituality.com/wicca-symbol.html

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