It’s easy to see why the word “wicca” is often associated with a mysterious, mystical, or esoteric practice.
But there is a growing movement of people who are embracing the term and taking the time to create beautiful garden arborals.
Wicca is a term for witchcraft and witchcraft rituals, which are believed to have been practiced by women across Europe during the Middle Ages.
Wicca was originally an ancient French word meaning “witchcraft” and was popularized in the 17th century.
The word wicchas was a term coined by the French author Jean-Baptiste de St. Clair to describe a kind of magic, which involved casting spells that could cause ill effects on the living.
“In 1776, the English writer Thomas Hardy published his seminal work, The Witches’ Sabbath, which brought the term to the attention of the English public,” says Laura Condon, a professor of religion at the University of Toronto who specializes in the study of witchcraft.
“But it was only in the 1920s and 1930s that the term was increasingly used by academics and practitioners.”
Condon says this is not the first time Wiccan has come to the forefront of the public consciousness.
In the 1970s, the term “Wiccan” became the subject of controversy.
Critics claimed that the word, which was also called “Witchcraft,” was an offensive slur and had the potential to lead to physical violence against women.
In a book titled Wiccans’ Sabbath: A History of the Church of Wicchan, published in the early 1980s, author Linda Henson argued that Wicchans were practicing magic for spiritual reasons and that Wiccans’ practices were not inherently harmful.
“I believe Wiccoans are more than just a religion,” Henson wrote in her book.
“They are also a community, a community that believes in a more positive future than what we see around us.
Wiccanism is not a religion; it is a community of faith, community that seeks to live better lives than our world today.”
For many Wiccabans, the name was just a nickname.
But a movement has developed in recent years to reclaim the word for its more positive connotations, says Condon.
“The term is used as a badge of pride,” she says.
“There is a new movement in Wicchantry and a renewed interest in the word.”
A movement is growing within the Wiccommunity to reclaim Wicchini from the mischievous practices associated with it.
“It is time to reclaim and redefine the term Wiccer,” reads a recent Wicican blog post.
“We do not want to be seen as witches, but rather as the community of wiccans.”
For the Wiccantead, this is just the beginning.
“Wiccans want to reclaim their Wiccians’ Sabbats from those who would try to use them for evil,” Condon says.