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10 Facts About Wiccan Rituals and Practices

While Wiccan Solitaries do not join congregations (known as ‘covens’), they do attend gatherings and other events that take place within the community. Unlike covens, solitaries will keep their spiritual practices to themselves, which include Sabbats, Esbats, magical workings, worship, and casting spells. It is not uncommon for a Wiccan to work with a community without being a member of a coven. Below you will find ten facts concerning the rituals and practices of Wiccans.

1) When a Wiccan wedding takes place, it is called a “bonding,” “joining,” or “eclipse.” The most common reference and practice is called ‘handfasting,’ which often involves the clasped hands of a couple.

2) There is an ancient Celtic practice for marriage within the Wiccan religion that observes a trial marriage that takes place for a year and a day.

3) When an initiation into a coven takes place, it is considered traditional to study for a year and a day before they can participate in the final initiation into the religion. This is a common practice amongst Solitary Wiccans , to study the religion for a year and a day as part of a dedication to the faith.

4) While some Wiccans follow Gardnerian Wicca and practice in the nude, others wear a robe made out of pure cotton as an attempt to symbolize purity of the body. A cord holds the robe together, which serves as a symbol for interdependence.

5) A magic circle is a significant part of typical rites of Wiccans. Drawn out in a ritual manner and followed by a cleansing, Wiccans eventually bless the spaces they use during rituals. The preparation used in this ritual is called “casting the circle.” Sometimes, one will utter a spell, while others say prayers to the God and Goddess.

6) Cakes, wine (or ale) are common items used during Wiccan circle rituals.

7) Before entering a circle during a ritual, some practitioners will fast for that particular day and undergo a thorough wash.

8) A lot of Wiccans rely on a set of specialized altar tools for their rituals. Common objects include a broom (besom), wand, cauldron, chalice (or goblet), altar cloth, ritual dagger (known as an athame), altar knife, boline, candles, incense, and a cauldron. Other items that represent the God and Goddess are also used. When trying to understand the religion, it is important to note that none of the tools mentioned are supposed to possess any specific powers on their own. They are used to serve varied purposes for Wiccans.

9) The celebrations and festivals associated with the Wiccan religion are based on the changes of the seasons and on nature. The Neopagan seasonal cycle is called ‘the Wheel of the Year,’ which is comprised of eight major Sabbats. These Sabbats are occasions full of joy that center on celebrations of a festive nature. They are also much similar to Jewish Sabbats, where the festivities start at sunset on the day before the holiday is scheduled.

10) Known as cross-quarter days, four of the Shabbats possess origins connected to the Celtic culture , also keeping the original Celtic names. The other Shabbats represent significant portions of the solar calendar, such as the June 22nd celebration that takes place midsummer (summer solstice).