The religion of Wicca—extra familiarly referred to as Witchcraft—has origins pre-dating the Abrahamic religions, some tracing it again to as early as 25,000 B.C.E. It encompasses those that determine as Naturalistic or Humanistic Pagans and Druids in addition to these ladies and men who determine as witches. There are presently an estimated 1.5 million Americans who so determine, and the quantity is rising.
Opposite to misconceptions of witches which have bred concern and led to the torture and slaughter of many hundreds of innocents, the Wiccan religion includes no principle past “Hurt none and do as you’ll,” and no dogma past bringing constructive power, respecting the planet, acknowledging the regulation of karma and inspiring love all the time. As Rose Ariadne, herself a witch, observes, “Witchcraft encompasses many mystical traditions…and nearly all of them are light, pure, empowering Earth-based religions.” There nonetheless are plenty of misconceptions and lots of witches nonetheless will not be comfy popping out of the “broom closet.” Although tolerance has improved it’s nonetheless not even near the place it must be.
As a pure outgrowth of their beliefs, then, the presents of Wicca and paganism manifest themselves in a dedication to preserving the surroundings and a perception in magic—fairly actually, not figuratively—as an open door to religious consciousness.
Wiccans, pagans and Druids help charities that protect the Earth and which heal indiscriminately, donating their money and time to such charities as Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace, and supporting teams that assist indigenous peoples defend their lives and lands, like Survival International. There are even pagan charity organizations like Pagan Aid that increase funds for tasks that assist individuals residing in poverty to enhance their lives and the surroundings by residing in better concord with the pure world.
The presents of Wicca embrace a sorely-needed revival of magic as a key part of life, in addition to a reverence for all times itself and the Earth that nurtures it.
Hopefully, in time, the world will as soon as extra—because it did in millennia previous—welcome the Wiccans who honor it, and so allow many extra to emerge from that “broom closet” and into the proud sunshine.