WHO ARE WITCHES?
"Here you will find our beliefs, our myths, our holidays, their meanings and all of the foundations for our religion. Our ethics and our actions all arise from our basic beliefs about the nature of the world."
Welcome to the NYC Wiccan Family Temple
(please see the "who we are" link under "home" section)
Common Questions and Answers about Wicca:
What is Wicca?
Wicca (English pronunciation: Wick - A) is a modern pagan, witchcraft religion. It was developed in Englan during the first half of the 20th century and it was introduced to the public in 1952 by Gerald Gardner a retired British civil servant. Wicca draws upon a diverse set of ancient pagan and 20th century hermetic motifs for it's theological structure and ritual practice.
Basic Beliefs of Wicca
First and foremost, Witches do not do evil - They believe that doing evil and harm is against all ethical and moral laws. Further, Witchcraft tells us: "An ye harm none (not even yourself), do what ye will." (wiccan rede first publicly recorded in 1964 by Doreen Valiente)
Witches do not worship Satan - They do not have a Satan/Devil or any all-evil deity in their religious structure. Witchcraft is a religion that underscores polarity and views God and Goddess as equal entities.
The Goddess and God of the Witches are in no way connected to Satanic practices. Satan, or the Devil, it is a Christian creation and they are more than welcome to keep him in all his thought form glory.
A male witch is not a Warlock - The word "Warlock" is a Scottish word meaning "oath breaker" and became a term designating a male Witch during the "burning times" (i.e.; the Inquisition). Male as well as female practitioners of the Craft are known as Witches.
Studying the Craft
If you are interested in pursuing magickal studies, the best advise we can give you is to read, read and guess what... READ! (reputable sources and books)
Other resources available to you are workshops and study groups hosted by your local Pagan or Wiccan witchschools, bookstores, and new age shops. You can network locally and on the internet through participation in newsgroups and on-line study groups.
The Wiccan Family Temple also created the Wiccan Family Temple Academy of Pagan Studies right here in New York City. Some could call it our own Witch School, Hogsworts or Magical realms as they say...
Please visit the academy at:
How do witches view death?
Most Witches believe in reincarnation and/or Summerland. After passing over, Summerland is where the spirit waits to be returned into a new physical form. We do not believe in a Heaven or Hell where the spirit spends eternity as reward or punishment for ones earthly actions.
Who are witches and what do they look like?
Witches come from every economic and ethnic background - Many witches are professional people holding positions of responsibility such as Doctors, Nurses, Police Officers, Teachers, etc. Witchcraft does not discriminate against color or ethnic origin and does view everything as equal in the eyes of the Goddess and God.
Witches wear clothing of every color and every style - Many Witches do choose to wear black clothing or ritual robes during practice. The color black is the culmination of all vibrational rates of light on the material plane. Black absorbs light information and helps Witches be more receptive to psychic impressions and energies.
Since Wicca is an "Earth Religion": We celebrate the Solstices and Equinoxes (the first day of Spring, Summer, Fall, & Winter). We call these "Ostara", "Litha", "Mabon", & "Yule", respectively.
We also celebrate 4 days mid-way between the above dates. These are known as "Imbolc" - 2/2, "Beltane" - 5/1, "Lughnasadh" - 8/1, and "Samhain" - 10/31. On these days, we observe & celebrate the changing of the seasons and seek to attain balance within ourselves and to become attuned to the rhythms of Life.
Please check our Calendar for these events!
Why be called a 'Witch'?
The word "Witch" originally meant "Wise One" -- what's wrong with calling yourself a "Wise One"? ("Witchcraft", therefore, means "Craft of the Wise Ones"). Witches were the doctors, midwives, psychiatrists, and lawyers of a town -- a noble profession. It was only due to Christian distortions that the word became associated with "evil" and "devil-worship".
Witches do use spells - A spell is a thought, a projection, or a prayer. Other religions use prayer, meditation, projection and ritual to produce an intended result. The word "spell" does not imply doing evil or harm.
What does Skyclad mean and why do some Wiccans go Skyclad?
The word Skyclad means going naked in circle, coven, ritual etc. Some traditions do believe in doing so, others do not. The Wiccan Family Temple does not follow this tradition, since whether you are naked or not is quite irrelevant to how powerful your ritual is. At least that is our opinion. So our tradition does not go Skyclad. Others groups and traditions do have strong feelings about this topic and that is perfectly okay. You do what is best for you.
Witches do use magic wands - Often you see the use of magic wands in children's cartoons and movies making the idea seem frivolous. In actuality the magic wand is used in ritual for directing energy.
Witches do use Witchcraft as a science, an art and a Religion - Witches use their knowledge and magic in harmony with the Universe and Nature around them.
Witches do concern themselves with ecology: We believe and will never forget this basic fact: the World is not our enemy. Neither is it inert matter. The Earth and all living things share the same life-force. They are composed of patterns of intelligence, of knowledge, and of divinity. All life is a web. We are woven into it as sisters and brothers of all. Witches need to be grounded in both worlds and awake to their responsibilities for both worlds.
It is only being responsible human beings that we can be responsible Witches, and only responsible Witches will survive.*
Most of these text are *Excerpt from "Power of the Witch" by Laurie Cabot, Delacourt Press. (Dell Publishing) N.Y., N.Y., October 1989 and other internet sources.