What does Wicca mean?

Christians are christians because they believe in Christ.  Atheists are atheists because they are a-theists – without god(s).  But why are Wiccans called Wiccans?  What does Wicca mean?

The origin of the word is no longer debated.  Many believe that Wicca derives from an old British word of the same spelling (different pronunciation), and its meaning was “sorcerer.”  Wicce was the female term.  “Witch” is another word that derives from these two older words.

The term “wicca” was popularized first in Britain in the 1960s, then again in the 70’s as the word and religion moved to the United States.  It is both a broad term for neo-pagan lifestyles, as well as occasionally used to specify specific traditions: Gardnerian and Alexandrian Wicca, a.k.a, “British traditional Wiccan” traditions.

So that’s why Wiccans are called Wiccans, and even, technically, what the word means.  But a man once told me that Wicca also means “wise teacher.”  He told me that to be Wiccan means to be a role model in your community.  To follow the laws of the land, respect your fellow human, and give advice and help where needed.

Now, that man went on to break my heart, but the fact remains that occasionally, he spouted words of wisdom.  I think this tidbit is one.

Wiccans have a reputation (until you get to know some good ones) of being tree-hugging, dirt-kissing hippie satan worshippers.  When Wiccans spout drivel about being attacked by mystical beings and being persecuted by Christians… it sort of looks bad.  And gets old.

Instead of being the person that your coworkers flock to when they “think they’ve seen a ghost,” why not be the person they ask for advice?  Why not be the person that they can rely on when they’re ill?  Be a role model.  Be the person that is a leader without needing “god given authority” to do so.

The word, Wicca, is a reminder.  The wiccae (old english, not us, now) were feared because they possessed skills, objects, or social status that was intimidating to others.  In a way, they had the respect of their villages.  Until the inquisition came through and burned every woman that had a pimple and was disliked by her neighbors.

What do you think Wicca means? Do you disagree?


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