Wicca

Wicca An Old English masc. noun meaning "male witch, wizard, soothsayer, sorcerer, magician;" see WITCH (Cf. witch). Use of the word in modern contexts traces to English folklorist Gerald Gardner (1884-1964), who is said to have joined circa 1939 an occult group in New Forest, Hampshire, England, for which he claimed an unbroken tradition to medieval times. Gardner seems to have first used it in print in 1954, in his book "Witchcraft Today" (e.g.: "Witches were the Wica or wise people, with herbal knowledge and a working occult teaching usually used for good ...."). In published and unpublished material, he apparently only ever used the word as a mass noun referring to adherents of the practice and not as the name of the practice itself. Some of his followers continue to use it in this sense. According to Gardner's book "The Meaning of Witchcraft" (1959), the word, as used in the initiation ceremony, played a key role in his experience:
I realised that I had stumbled upon something interesting; but I was half-initiated before the word, 'Wica' which they used hit me like a thunderbolt, and I knew where I was, and that the Old Religion still existed. And so I found myself in the Circle, and there took the usual oath of secrecy, which bound me not to reveal certain things.
In the late 1960s the term came into use as the title of a modern pagan movement associated with witchcraft. The first printed reference in this usage seems to be 1969, in "The Truth About Witchcraft" by freelance author Hans Holzer:
If the practice of the Old Religion, which is also called Wicca (Craft of the Wise), and thence, witchcraft, is a reputable and useful cult, then it is worthy of public interest.
And, quoting witch Alex Sanders:
"No, a witch wedding still needs a civil ceremony to make it legal. Wicca itself as a religion is not registered yet. But it is about time somebody registered it, I think. I've done all I can to call attention to our religion."
Sanders was a highly visible representative of neo-pagan Witchcraft in the late 1960s and early 1970s. During this time he appears to have popularized use of the term in this sense. Later books c.1989 teaching modernized witchcraft using the same term account for its rise and popularity, especially in U.S.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Wicca — Wic ca (w[i^]k k[.a]), prop. n. [OE. wicche wizard, AS. wicce, fem., wicca, masc.; see also {witch} and {wicked}.] 1. A religion derived from pre Christian times, also called {Witchcraft}[4], which practices a benevolent reverence for nature, and …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Wicca — ► NOUN ▪ the religious cult of modern witchcraft. DERIVATIVES Wiccan adjective & noun. ORIGIN Old English, «witch» …   English terms dictionary

  • Wicca — [wik′ə] n. [OE, sorcerer (fem. wicce): see WITCH] a form of witchcraft practiced in the 20th cent. esp. in English speaking countries, characterized by pagan nature worship and white magic: sometimes with the Wiccan [wik′ən] adj …   English World dictionary

  • Wicca — Das Pentakel, ein Symbol, das auch von der Wicca Religion verwendet wird Wicca [ˈwɪkə] ist eine neureligiöse Bewegung[1] und versteht sich als eine wiederbelebte Naturreligion und als …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Wicca — This article is about the duotheistic religion. For other uses, see Wicca (disambiguation). This pentacle, worn as a pendant, depicts a pentagram, or five pointed star, used as a symbol of Wicca by many adherents. Wicca (pronounced  …   Wikipedia

  • Wicca — La Wicca est une religion, basée sur l Ancienne Religion. Elle est en général considérée comme une philosophie. Elle inclut des éléments que l on peut trouver dans nombre de croyances telles que le chamanisme, le druidisme, et les mythologies… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Wicca — El pentáculo (un pentagrama dentro de un círculo) es un símbolo de fe usado por muchos wiccanos Wicca Fundador Gerald Gardner sobre 1953 …   Wikipedia Español

  • Wicca — Пентаграмма, символ веры, используется многими викканами. Викка (англ. Wicca)  неоязыческая религия, основанная на почитании природы[1] . Она стала популярна в 1954 году благодаря Джеральду Гарднеру, английскому государственному служащему в… …   Википедия

  • wicca — /wik euh/, n. (sometimes cap.) witchcraft, esp. benevolent, nature oriented practices derived from pre Christian religions. [1970 75; < OE wicca (male) sorcerer (ME wicche, mod. dial. witch); see WITCH] * * * Modern Western witchcraft movement.… …   Universalium

  • Wicca — La Wicca es una religión de las consideradas Neo paganas . Esta religión pretende ser, junto con otras tradiciones neopaganas (como el Asatru y el Druidismo), una recuperación de las antiguas tradiciones paganas que se dieron en Europa antes de… …   Enciclopedia Universal

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