by Esra Free
Whether it is being lovingly described by its adherents, tallied as a social movement by impartial statisticians, or even decried as "Satanic" by Christian apologists, Wicca is almost universally (alongside its many modern neo-pagan cousins) labeled an "Earth Religion."Wicca is most certainly, in practice, a religion closely aligned with the Living Earth and Her seasonal changes, which lie at the root of our most important celebrations, the Sabbats. But to call Wicca an "Earth Religion"and stop there is to seek the whole of Wicca's thealogical foundation in, and to limit the scope of its meaning and applicability to, the details of human existence on this one tiny planet floating like an anonymous raindrop in the vast ocean of stars, quasars, nebulae and galaxies we now know the universe to be.
Our ancient ancestors did not share our modern understanding of cosmology, as evidenced by the tendency of pretty much every pre-science religion on Earth, pagan or otherwise, to locate this one tiny planet at the center of physical reality (where it surely appears to be to earthbound humans observing the circular movements of stars in the night sky), rather than where we now objectively know it to reside - on the insignificant edge of a minor galaxy nowhere near the center of anything.
Any religion that hopes to maintain its relevance in the age of quantum physics and the Hubbell Space Telescope must be able to offer meaningful spiritual insight into the real grandeur of our universe, on the smallest and largest scales, as it is revealed by modern science, as well as the Earth's place in that grand universe, and Humanity's role - not only in the life of the Earth, but also in that of the real physical Heavens the Earth inhabits, and of everything existing between Heaven and Earth as well. Such a religion must be flexible enough to incorporate new discoveries about Humanity, the Earth and the universe into its beliefs without surrendering its credibility, to welcome new scientific discoveries as puzzle pieces to be fit into a continuing revelation of an infinite spiritual truth.
I believe that Wicca is the one religion on Earth most uniquely equipped to face this challenge of modernity, for, in spite of even well-intentioned misrepresentations, Wicca is not now, nor has it ever been, solely an "Earth Religion." Wicca is a religion that is centered in and reveres Nature - whether that Nature be expressed in the teeming life and wind and water of our planet's biosphere, in the nuclear processes that energize our sun, or in the swirling push and pull of gravity that spins our (and every other) galaxy into being.
Wicca acknowledges that there is only one Nature, and it is everywhere. There is not anything, anywhere - not in galaxies rushing at breakneck speed through the depths of space, not in the Earthly water cycle that brings Alaska's glaciers raining down on China's croplands, not in the invisible bustle of bosons zinging this very moment through my computer's micro-processor, or anyplace in between - that can be rightly labeled un-natural, outside of Nature, whose processes are determined by any force other than Nature's sovereign power.
Wicca is not a supernatural religion like Christianity, Islam or Judaism, although it is often condemned as supernatural by these very institutions. These major Middle Eastern religions all posit a God who exists outside of the physical universe, a male "Creator"deity who is said to have fashioned the universe from dead matter just as a stonemason "creates"a solid wall by gluing together rocks, and who is believed to reside in a "Heaven"located somewhere "outside"the physical universe He created. How much more supernatural can you get? Every aspect of this belief violates the evidence to be found in real, physical Nature as to how things are and came to be - beginning, and very much to the point here, with the supposition of an un-observable "outside"to the physical universe. Wicca, being a natural (as opposed to supernatural) religion, posits no such "outside,"or any deity inhabiting such an unlikely space.
Nor does Wicca posit any such wildly supernatural notions as male-only deity or, really (though many Wiccan authors use the term - in my opinion, quite thoughtlessly), a Created universe or an implied building-block Creator of any kind. Referring to the physical/natural world as Creation immediately centers the discussion in a masculine, Judeo-Christian context, and I feel all Wiccans everywhere should stop using this term at once.
The central deity of the Wiccan religion is the Great Goddess, and we see concrete evidence for Her reality and presence in every living particle of the real natural world. If there is not one single living thing on the Earth, from amoebas to human beings to the whole spectrum of life between them, that can be observed being "created"by anybody out of the "bricks"of "dead matter"(and there's really not - think about it!), then why should we assume that an opposite rule applies to anything else in the universe - let alone to everything else, as is posited by those Middle Eastern religions?
Everything alive, here on Earth, is born of a woman, of a female creature of its own species. In Wicca, we see everything that is - from the sub-atomic particles that make up atoms, to the molecules atoms come together to form, to all matter and energy (and the water and rocks and gases and plants and people and suns and galaxies that arise from their eternal, cosmic dance) - as alive and conscious, varying only in degree. For Wiccans, the physical universe is not a dead thing constructed for Man's pleasure or control by some distant male god. It is Her body, the real, physical, sensually vibrant, lush and beautiful body of the Great Goddess, the Mother of All, and everything we believe as Wiccans flows from this understanding. We exist within Her and participate in the intimate processes of Her being, alongside every other living thing in the universe that, like us, and following the observable pattern to be found in real Nature (as opposed to some unlikely, imagined "super-nature"), was never created at all, but that is rather continually born within Her, and who is composed, just like us, of the real physical substance of Her body.
To view the reality of the Great Goddess of Wicca for ourselves, we need look no further than our own bodies, our own planet, our own universe. Our Goddess is not some distant, invisible, disembodied spirit, nor is she "supernatural"in any way, shape or form. Our Goddess is Nature, in all its manifestations. From the inconceivable whole of the vast, living universe to that universe's tiniest constituent particle, She is physically, spiritually, energetically and personally everywhere. All the time. The Great Goddess of Wicca is All That Is, past, present and future, here on Earth, in every distant corner of the physical cosmos, and in all the seen and unseen spaces in between. There is nothing you can look to that is not Her, that is not born of Her, that does not bear the imprint of Her essence, or that fails to play its assigned role in Her life.
About the Author
From WICCA 404: Advanced Goddess Thealogy by Esra Free, HPS Cosmic Goddess Coven. Find out more at: www.lulu.com/newparadigmpress
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