Where do Wiccans and Christians believe they will go when life on earth ends? This article will explore the notions of afterlife as it pertains to both religions, as well as mention various religious roles and concepts of God (or Gods) for Wicca and Christianity.
Thoughts on the Afterlife
When it comes to thoughts regarding the afterlife, Wiccans believe that reincarnation exists until they reach a place known as ‘Summerland.’ Not only does the Summerland serve as the afterlife for Wiccans, but also for those who are worshipping earth-based religions. It is believed that after one has gone through the experience of life to their fullest extent, they are expected to become well versed in the ways and emotions of life. It is assumed that it takes a great deal of reincarnations before someone is able to reach this point. It is at this point that their deity allows them to enter the Summerland, which also serves as a location for resting when one is undergoing their various reincarnations. Summerland is linked to a beautiful realm filled with peace. It is not uncommon to associated ‘rolling green hills’ and similar to Summerland.
As for Christianity, it is believed that followers undergo a resurrection and judgment, which is then followed by eternal heaven or hell.
How Many Gods?
Wicca is a polytheist religion, meaning that many gods are worshipped. This belief system is also associated with pantheism, which means that the god or gods are part of nature. The Goddess and the horned god are the prime figures of the Wiccan religion. Other pagan deities (like Thor, Zeus, and Diana) are also worshipped depending on the version of Wicca you are following. Christianity is a monotheist religion, where one god is worshipped, who is also separate from nature. There is one God, who is a Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Supporting Religious Roles
Outside of the Goddess and God of Wicca, some of the male figures that are significant to the religion includes Adonis, Apollo, Dionysus, Odin, Osiris, Pan, Thor, and Zeus. Female figures of Wicca beyond the Goddess include Athena, Brigit, Ceridwen, Diana, Hecate, Ishtar, Isis, and Venus. As for Christianity, Jesus Christ and saints (such as Anthony and Francis) serve as prominent male figures within the religion. The Blessed Virgin Mary (alongside saints like Mary Magdalene, Teresa, and Bridget) has also secured an important place in regards of the religion.
Rituals and Practices
When worshippers gather to practice Wicca, they join a coven, whereas Christians belong to churches and congregations. Worship takes place outdoors for Wiccans, while Christians worship inside of a church, chapel, meeting center, and at times – outside.
Wiccans rely on prayer, dancing, singing, casting circles, Drawing Down the Moon, and reciting spells as part of their routine rituals. They also enjoy sharing cakes, wine and beer. While Christians also praying and singing, they also recite Scripture, as well as follow Eucharist (a ritual that utilizes bread and wine).