With so much misinformation existing regarding Wiccans and Witches alike, I thought I would take a minute to write about some of the common myths that surround us and why they’re wrong to begin with.
Although some myths start out innocently enough and are based on
misunderstandings, others were intentionally started as a means of
encouraging hostility and even hatred and punishment of those who
practiced the Craft. Because this still exists today and people are
still being ostracized for their religious beliefs, no matter how
peacefully they may practice them, it’s important to educate people when
Of course, we also don’t want to be walking information booths,
either. That would be tiring and there are some people that no matter
how hard you try, you’re just not going to get through to.
Myth 1: Witches and Wiccans practice human sacrifice.
Truth: This has deep roots and it’s hard to know where it came from.
While anthropologists will argue that Druids practiced human sacrifice,
it’s hard to say, really, if this is true. It’s important, however, to
note that Paganism has many branches and is an umbrella term that
envelopes many different people. Throughout the years, a lot of
religions have used human sacrifice in some form or another-whether it
was for ceremonial rituals or to simply make statements. (Look at how
many victims the Crusades had, along with other religious wars. I would
argue that these were human sacrifices, just done under another term.)
Wicca, as a rule, does not condone human sacrifices. We do not require
the blood of a newborn (how horrible!) or anyone else. Many times, this
gets confused with Satanism, which is a whole other ballgame.
Myth 2: If you are a Witch, then you must be Wicca.
Truth: Not necessarily. In terms of history, Wicca is a relatively new
term that is used to encompass very old beliefs. There are a lot of
different areas of Paganism and it’s very possible to be a practicing
witch, but to not necessarily be Wiccan. In fact, there are some Witches
that don’t really consider themselves to follow any one part of
Paganism and are solitary, just as there are solitary Wiccans.
Myth 3: You have to belong to a coven.
Truth: This isn’t true, either. You CAN belong to a coven if you feel
that you can practice in a more rewarding manner. You don’t have to,
however. There are lots of solitary Wiccans and Witches. There are some
that practice within covens as well as on their own. There is no rule
saying that you have to join a group.
Myth 4: You have to perform rituals naked (skyclad).
Truth: We do not demand that you take off your clothes to perform a
ritual. As a matter of fact, if you live in the city or have nosy
neighbors, then I would recommend that you don’t. While some Witches and
Wiccans like doing this, others find it uncomfortable. It’s a personal
Myth 5: Your spells have to rhyme.
Truth: This is a funny one for me. I know someone who read a fiction
book about witches and they informed me that every time one of the
witches performed a spell their words always rhymed, even when they came
up with it on the spur of the moment. Now, I like the idea of rhyming
and on occasion mine have. However, I have to admit that sometimes I
just can’t think that quickly. If I spend my time trying to make the
thing rhyme, I lose a lot of precious energy. If I have the time to
really think about it, though, and it’s a ritual or spell that I want to
use again in the future then I might go that extra step. Rhyming is not
necessary, but it does give a chant a certain flow, which might make it
easier to repeat.
Myth 6: We worship the devil.
Truth: Yes, I’m sure you’ve heard this one many times. No, we do not
worship the devil. The devil, as I have said many times before, is a
Christian concept and Christianity is not something that we typically
follow. (I say “typically” because I actually do know a few Christians
who also dabble in witchcraft, although they would never use that word.)
We do believe in a form of evil and I’ll get into that another time,
but we certainly wouldn’t worship it.
Myth 7: We can fly.
Truth: Oh, I wish we could! Wouldn’t that be fun! Not to mention a
gas-saver, too. Unfortunately, we can’t fly. Some people are able to use
astral projection which can probably FEEL like flying to them, but
their physical body remains behind. There are also those who are able to
levitate, but again, we’re talking a few inches-certainly not enough to
send them over the ocean.
Most of the time, I let the misconceptions make me laugh. Sometimes,
they hurt my feelings. The best that we can do, though, is to shake our
heads and try to explain them and then move on. Don’t let negative
energy take over.