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  1. What is an earth based religion?
  2. What do all those fancy terms mean?
  3. What is paganism?
  4. What is Wicca?
  5. What is witchcraft?
  6. What is magic?
  7. Haven't you, in the above paragraphs, just described Satanism?
  8. What is a coven?
  9. Common Terms
    1. Esbats
    2. Familiar
    3. Great Rite
    4. Grounding
    5. Totems
  10. Tools
    1. Altar
    2. Athame
    3. Boleen
    4. Cauldron
    5. Chalice
    6. Pentacle
    7. Staff
    8. Sword
    9. Wand

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  What is WCER?

World Coalition of Earth-based Religions,
WCER, is an organization for the unification and awareness of practitioners of earth based religions everywhere.

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Who does WCER represent?

It is our hope to represent just about everyone in the earth based religions community as well as others who through their spiritual beliefs respect and acknowledge the divinity in nature. This includes many types of ceremonial magicians as well as fusion's of Christianity and Judaism with Paganism and Wicca/Witchcraft.

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What is an earth based religion?


An earth based religion is that which focuses on worship of the divine through communion with nature in some way. Some common terms for earth religions are: Paganism, Wicca, Witchcraft, Shamanism, Druidism, and many others, though these are the main terms that will be seen.

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What do all those fancy terms mean?


Well, this is a subject of great debate amongst the earth religions community. Shamanism is pretty easy it is the set of religious practices performed by indigenous peoples of non-technological societies. This also includes (and is usually the term for) native American forms of worship.

Druidism is the shamanic spiritual and magical practice of the druids of England, Ireland and Scotland, as well as some parts of Gaul.

Paganism, Wicca and Witchcraft are not so easy to define, but we shall endeavor to at least simplify the arguments.

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What is paganism?


This is commonly used as a term to indicate persons who worship multiple deities with heavy focus on nature and the individual's communion with nature. While it is not a religion in and of itself, it is a philosophical system of belief which many other earth based religions can be referred to as.

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What is Wicca?

Wicca is a religious heading that includes many specific traditions (or denominations if you prefer) though all have one thing in common: the Wiccan Rede.


The Rede is a statement of belief that is central to Wicca. it says "an it harm none do what thou wilt" or some phrase that is similar, but shifts the words around some. It is commonly taken to mean that you may do whatever you want, however you want, so long as what you do causes no harm to anyone, including the self. Though it is important to say that each tradition has their own individual
set of beliefs that may or may not agree exactly with what is said here.

Wicca is most often centered around the worship of the old gods, and centering along the wheel of the year. It also usually has a focus on the feminine divinity in the form of the goddess. this is also common in many other forms of Paganism.

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What is witchcraft?

An even more difficult question to answer. Witchcraft is like Wicca, in that the worship of old gods is prevalent, as is honoring the wheel of the year and nature. However, many who call themselves Witch rather than Wiccan say that they do not take the Rede as their central tenant of philosophy. Many that we have spoken to also say that Witchcraft is separate from Wicca by the presence of more ceremony and ritual. in any case, the difference is one that we won't try to define, but will leave to each individual to determine for themselves

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What is magic?


This has as many definitions as it does spellings in the earth religions community. most commonly spelled as magick to differentiate it from stage magic and illusion. my favorite definition of magick is: the techniques and process of manipulating the world around us with the effort of will. The techniques will vary from person to person, but the effort of will remains a constant.

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Haven't you, in the above paragraphs, just described Satanism?


NO. Pagan religions are separate from Satanism in many ways. The main one being that Satanism is the worship of a God that Pagans do not believe in as existing. Secondly it's belief that one should do as one wishes without any restraint is normally an anathema to Pagans, as is its
general credo of hate. Another point of difference is that Satanists do not revere nature as a source of power and divinity. at the core of it all is a schism of principle and belief that makes Paganism and Satanism inherently incompatible.

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What is a coven?

This is the common name for any group of pagans worshipping together. Each tradition has specific definitions of what a coven is and how it is organized. Very often covens are an extended family group. They are usually headed by a high priest/ess. Very commonly a coven has 13 members, but this is not as much of a truism as it used to be.

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Common Terms:

Esbats: These are the times of the full moon, when many Pagans gather alone or in covens to worship.

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Familiar: A familiar is an animal which is closely bonded to the self which acts as an assistant and teacher in magical and spiritual workings

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Great Rite: This is a ritualized depiction of the union of the god and goddess. it is performed by the high priest and priestess having sex, either real or simulated, while being imbued with the essence of the deities.

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Grounding: The act of extending one's energies ito the earth so as to channel excess energyout, or to pull extra energy in

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Totem:  A totem animal is the spiritreturn to topual essence of an animal that acts as a spirit guide.

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Wheel of the Year: This is the cycle of the year as noted by the changing of the seasons, as well as the solstices and equinoxes. These dates are known commonly as Sabbats.

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Tools:

Altar: The foundation of the circle, upon it rests the tools and representations of the deities. it is the "root" of the circle to the earth itself

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Athame: A dagger ,usually double edged, that symbolizes air and is used for the directing of energy

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Boleen: A curved, white handled knife used for harvesting herbs and similar duties.

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Chalice: A cup or goblet used to symbolize water and the womb, used for sacramental beverages and salt water for blessings.

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Cauldron: A large iron pot used to symbolize the womb, the ocean, spirit and the goddess (especially Cerridwen)

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Pentacle: The sigil of earth, a five pointed star, usually encircled, that is used to ground and for protection, may be made of wood, stone, or many other materials

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Staff: A large (from 3 ft to six feet)length of wood which is representative of fire, but in a more broad manner than the wand. usually used for the invocation of forces.

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Sword: Used as the director of energies for casting circles (can be replaced by athame)usually only used by covens due to the expense

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Wand: A length of wood (app 18", or the length from the elbow to the tip of the middle finger) used as the tool of fire to manipulate energies, often is a priapic wand