Wicca: A Nature Based Religion

Witches, magic, paganism, and nature.


An illustration of a witch, a figure that was commonly perceived as evil by early Christians in Europe. Due to this belief, witches inspired the iconic Halloween figure.

Autumn is marked by many things: pretty leaves, sweaters, and pumpkin spice lattes. Most of all, fall brings to light Halloween, a holiday full of trick-or-treat-ers, pumpkins, horror movies and scary stories. However, some of the ideas associated with Halloween make things a little more difficult for certain groups of people. Wicca, a nature-based religion, is often thought of as a cult linked to Satanism, as most Wiccans call themselves witches, but this is not the case and rather a stereotype of witches and the occult. 

Wicca, a religion recognized by countries such as the U.S. and Canada, is mainly composed of common pre-Christian beliefs from Northwestern Europe. While it is similar to witchcraft, Wicca is not the same since it is officially recognized as a religion while witchcraft is not. Thought of as a pantheistic (the belief that god is the universe and is a part of everything, similar to Animism) or polytheistic religion, Wicca is mostly tied to the concept that god is a part of every natural part of the universe (such as mountains, rivers, stars, trees) and that the universe is beautiful and therefore we should take care of it. 

All Wiccans also live by the Wiccan Rede, the saying, “An it harm none, do as ye will”, which essentially translates to “as long as you’re not hurting anyone, then you can do as you want.” This lays out the foundation for a Wiccan lifestyle, as many Wiccans try to take care of the earth and indulge in veganism as to not hurt anything that god has created. Since Wicca is a very individualized religion, many aspects can be interpreted differently. For instance, some witches (whether male, female or non-binary, since they are all referred to as a witch in Wicca) will choose to delve into magic and perform spells, while others choose not. In no way are Wiccans allowed to cast spells that can cause harm to others, but some may choose to use magic in their everyday lives. As Wicca is extremely self-driven, Wiccans do not take on the role of a missionary or try to force their religion onto others. Wiccans are instead very accepting and take on the position of role models so that they may influence others to treat the earth with more kindness. 

When Halloween approaches this year, rather than adhering to the stereotypical beliefs that people have around the holiday’s traditions and witches in general, try to take on a new perspective. Samhain, as Halloween is known in Wicca, is a holiday to celebrate Autumn and the passing of another year. While some typical Halloween traditions are part of Wiccan culture, many aspects are not and instead try to appreciate nature and Wiccan ancestors. As 2020 has marked a time in our history of overcoming racial injustice and all forms of discrimination, we could continue to look for the best in people and see what makes up a huge part in their life. Wiccans are just like any other person and deserve for their religion to be validated and respected. The various aspects of Wicca teach us to love others and the Earth alternatively than to continue on the vicious path of hatred. So this year, let’s break the stereotypes and cherish what our surroundings have to offer.