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Destigmatizing Tarot and Wicca

A witch. A Satanist. When I talk about being Wiccan, people immediately assume those things about me. The word pagan is a worse word, invoking thoughts of blood and animal sacrifice. That’s because it’s what we have been led to believe that these religions practice, and unless you really research these religions, that is all you know of them. Until recently, I had no religious affiliation, and even when my mom’s friend read my tarot cards, I assumed I would never have one. But I got my own tarot cards and got sucked into the world of Wicca and paganism.

Here are some things to debunk about this religion:

  1. I am a Witch, but not in the way you might think. No, I do not have an oversize cauldron where I stir the eyes of toad and virgin blood around. One quote summarizes it perfectly: One can be a Witch, without being a Wiccan, just as a person can be a Christian, without being a Baptist.  Wicca is a recognized religion, while Witchcraft itself is not considered a religion. Thus, Wicca might best be described as a modern religion, based on ancient Witchcraft traditions.” Being a Witch means that I can cast spells and make potions, but in basic ways that are more herbal and helpful. For example, I did a smudging prayer recently where I burnt a bundle of sage in my room and cleansed it so my body when I enter it may be more energetic and ready to face the new day. A potion is just a herbal remedy, such as a concoction of milk and honey that one stirs while thinking “I feel good” and enjoy! Most Witches use spells and potions to feel good about themselves or others, and do not harm anyone or anything.
  2. Witches do not harm. The Wicca Rede is one of the major Wicca rules that Witches follow. It has one simple rule– do not harm others and do what, makes you happy. While to some that seems like an oxymoron, the consequence of harming others is that the wrongness that you have done to others will return to you, yet three times as bad. So it goes that, while the concepts of Christian beliefs such as heaven and hell do not apply to us, we do recognize that there are severe consequences to our actions.
  3. I am not a Satanist. Simply put, God and Satan are Christian beliefs. We do not believe in God, so why should we believe in Satan? And in any way, we see no purpose in having Satan in our faith. He is an evil figure that is used to make people follow the rules constructed by other people that were ordered by God. We don’t believe in higher beings that control our lives, we believe that we are responsible for ourselves. Every action we make, and word we say, we take responsibility for.
  4. I am using a lot of new words to discuss Wicca, Paganism, and Witchcraft. Paganism is the umbrella term. It is an earth religion, where one admires and deeply respects nature around them. Wicca is a religion of Witchcraft that falls under the umbrella of Paganism, but not every Pagan is a believer of Wicca. Every Wicca member believes in Witchcraft. In Paganism, believers feel that there is an entity simply called One who is male or female and is simply a helpful and guiding being. Those Wicca members believe in the God and the Goddess, two entities who are equal in power and are meant to just assist us in life without directly controlling us.

There are many people who use tarot who are not Wiccan or Pagan– they are just spiritual people who believe in a higher power. They can burn sage, make potions or spells or follow Wicca beliefs like anyone can. You can be any religion and follow some of our beliefs,– we are open to all. People tend to believe what everyone says– that we are a cult (we are individuals), we wear black capes (most of us don’t), and while we may not actively look to convert people, if you want to learn more there are hundreds of us!

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