Nowadays, growing numbers of people are dissatisfied with traditional religious structures. Many individuals are looking for a religion that involves them personally, a religion celebrating both physical and spiritual realities. They are also looking for a religion in which the contact with deity is linked with the practice of magic.
Wicca is exactly this type of religion.
All magic and religion arouse from the primitive beginnings of shamanism. Wicca is no exception. But, unfortunately, its magical texts and rituals were secret within many traditions of Wicca. Information started appearing for the public in the 80s. And we have to thank Scott Cunningham for that.
In 1980, when he was 24 years old, Cunningham began initiate training under Raven Grimassi, an influential neo-pagan and scholar. Cunningham remained as a first-degree initiate until 1982, when he left the tradition and started pursuing a solitary practice of witchcraft. From that moment until his death in 1993, he wrote many texts about Wicca and its practice of magic.
Cunningham published the book Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner in 1988. In this text, he states that the term “Wicca” describes both the religion itself and its practitioners. Wicca is a loosely organized pagan religion that centers towards reverence for the creative forces of nature. These natural forces are usually symbolized by a Goddess and a God.
Nature contains a broad spectrum of spiritual and mental states. Most of us are ignorant of some aspects of this spectrum. Wiccan rituals enable us to enter into these states, allowing communion with the Goddess and the God. Magic plays a special role in Wicca because it makes possible the development of a special bond with deity.
And what is magic according to Wicca?
Magic is the practice of moving natural energies in a harmonious way to cause changes that are needed. It is used as a tool to sanctify ritual areas and to upgrade ourselves and the world we inhabit. However, magic is not a means of forcing nature to do our will. This is an incorrect notion, propelled by the belief that magic is supernatural. For Wiccans, nothing exists outside of nature.
If you wish to practice magic Wicca-style, the thoughts of it being supernatural have to be forgotten. Magic is natural. And through working with the powers that the God and the Goddess embody, you can grow closer to them. For example, calling upon the God and the Goddess names’ and visualizing their presence when casting spells and holding rites creates a connection between deity and human. And this is magical.
Therefore, in Wicca, magic is a religious practice.