posted on May, 4 2006 @ 12:35 PM
People who call themselves witches are, these days, followers of several Neopagan traditions involving worship of a Goddess, and sometimes of a God as
well, meeting usually in small groups, practicing magick (for both spiritual and practical purposes), with a nature-based spirituality and ethic.
Witches tend to be environmentalist, feminist, gay-friendly, and nonviolent. They follow an ethic summed up by "so you harm not, do what you will,"
and believe in some variation of the idea that what you do will come back to you.
Witches are not "people of the Book." Although there is plenty of written material within the religion, there is no Scripture as Christians
understand that idea. There are no fixed doctrines or mandated beliefs, so what I say about what witches believe or do is "unofficial" and may vary
from group to group and individual to individual.
Witches do not believe there is a single true religion that's right for everyone, and so do not proselytize. It takes quite a bit of dedication,
training, and effort to practice witchcraft, so it's not something people can be "converted" to anyway.
In addition to the small groups that typically characterize the practice of witchcraft, there are large-scale festivals that are held in various parts
of the country at various times during the year.
Some witches call their religion "Wicca" and themselves "Wiccans." Others do not use that term. Also, some people who practice something like
the above do not call themselves "witches."
That's part of the truth, and I hope it will do for a start.