Shamanism is often referred to as the first “religion.” Shamans were considered wise, the healers of their people. Shamans discovered, through the use of herbs, hallucinogens, and eventually drums how to transcend our physical plane and venture out into the spiritual realm. They gained new knowledge there, discovered magic, nature, and creation. Planes and realms, new levels of existence gave the shamans insight into life. It allowed them to heal, interpret dreams, and develop an understanding of energies both in the physical and spiritual worlds. They shared some of their knowledge with their people, keeping select information for themselves.
This is how religion came to be. As the understanding of creation and nature was developed, so were the concepts of gods and deities. Of beings other than ourselves. Wicca, as many of you might know, is also nature based. Creation and the power of nature are highly respected, as was true with the shamans. And so is magic. Wicca embraces magic, most in the form of thought and prayer. The energies learned by the shaman of ancient times are what we are learning to use and influence in our magic.
To be Wicca is to understand and acknowledge magic, but you do not have to be Wicca to understand and acknowledge magic. Anyone can learn magic and witchcraft without being Wicca. But to be Wicca, a certain respect at the very least must be given to magic. Some Wicca practice magic in the form of prayer and thoughts, while others dive headlong into witchcraft. The beauty of Wicca is that everything is your choice. Don’t feel comfortable with spells and hexes, don’t go there. Want more than ceremonies and prayer, go for it. The range is endless and unique to every Wicca who walks this path.
As we delve into Wicca and the deities, it’s important to remember the practitioners that came before us; we would not know what we do now if it weren’t for them. They made the discoveries that we now have access to. The knowledge, and therefore power, has been passed down to us, regardless of our heritage. They are our ancestors in the sense that they have passed down knowledge to us, that we are united by nature and the beauty of creation. All who worship nature and creation are connected through nature and creation. We walk the spiritual paths they have made and pray to the Goddess and God they have found. We should honor them, and give respect where it is due.