Witches, Wicca and Common Sense

As I was helping my son research information for an article assigned to his English class, I learned something about witches and was inspired to write this post.

As a child, one thinks of a witch as the mythical, evil, ugly, and scary character in a movie or storybook. The witch is always distinguished in the story by their dark clothing, including a pointy hat, claw-like fingernails, and a long, hooked, wart-encrusted nose.

As you get older you learn that witches do not necessarily have those physical characteristics. Witches simply become people that practice witchcraft, good or bad acts, for health reasons, or evil purposes.

Years ago, anyone suspected of possessing the ability to perform these extraordinary acts was considered un-Christian and hunted down in historical witch hunts.  When caught, these individuals were tried in court, with those found guilty either hung or burned to death.  This practice was common in many European countries as well as in North America.  Salem, Massachusetts is renowned for its history of witchcraft.

Today, witches are still believed to be in existence but have adopted the term Wicca, or Pagan Witchcraft, to classify themselves. To clarify, Wicca means witch in the Old English language, and people who follow the beliefs of Wicca are termed Wiccans.  Wiccan traditions are predominantly based on theology, morality, the afterlife, magic, and the five elements of spirit, air, water, earth, and fire.

I discovered that the Wiccan beliefs are not evil-based, and not all that odd.  I must admit, however, that the morality category is the one that intrigued me the most.

The main thought process of Wiccan morality is that all actions, good or bad, performed by any individual, will be returned to that person threefold.  In simple terms, when you perform a good deed, three good or positive things will happen to you in return.   This threefold rule also applies to bad or evil deeds which are rewarded with three bad or negative things happening to the perpetrator.

I was fascinated by this belief since this rule of morality can apply to many common ideologies today:

  • Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  This “golden rule” has been adopted by Boy and Girl Scouts around the world.
  • Pay it forward.  If someone does something nice for you, do something nice for someone else.
  • You reap what you sew.
  • You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
  • What goes around comes around.

I believe that most of us try to do the right and ethical thing in any circumstance.  In fact, the rules of morality listed above are things we humans strive to teach our children.   It just seems like common sense to me…