As someone delving into different theologies and practices as a way of finding my own personal path, I have personally gained a lot from exploring Wicca, and have integrated many of the ideas into my daily practice.
Would I call myself Wiccan? I am still yet to find any religion I want to identify with, because so many theologies and practices have influenced where I am today, it wouldn’t feel accurate to say I am this or I am that.
However, Wicca is probably the most dominant in my current practice. Now this isn’t because I have found a deity I resonate with, or that I am busy casting spells to create abundance or love in my life. Actually, my Wicca based practice looks very different to that.
For me personally, I have gained a lot from Wicca in that it provides some real tools for psychological and physical healing. It has helped me connect to myself, to nature, and to spirit in a more tangible way.
At first I felt irritated by the ideas, questioning why tools were necessary when it is really a very internal process. Over time however, I found the tools really helped me focus, far better than any standard meditation practice ever had.
I questioned why deity seemed to be such a necessary part of it, when so many people were saying it was a very individual religion and there were no rules. But as I dived deeper, I found people practicing with all sorts of beliefs, and they certainly were not all pagan. I also found some benefit to deity to integrate aspects of myself, as archetypes I do find deity a beneficial way to connect with parts of myself I have rejected or not been able to believe was part of me.
Unlike other religions, it really does seem to lack any dogma. The apparent rules are really more a result of the individual practitioner you are learning from sharing what worked from them.
The other thing I questioned when I began exploring this, is the fanfare that seemed standard in many prewritten spells. I now know, that this is really more of an example of how it can be done, than a this is the only way it will work (which is what I originally thought). I’ve actually never used a spell from a book, but rather used the ideas from books to create my own process. I found there were processes that were very powerful for me, and other ideas that just were a bit benign.
The only aspect I still cannot find any connection with is ritual. This is probably more a result of growing up without any real religious practice in my house, so ritual seems strange in any form. Obviously I have rituals like brushing my teeth every day, but that is as far as it goes. I do however enjoy taking notice of what the moon is doing, and how it is impacting me emotionally, which is in a small way connecting with the idea of ritual.
The aspect of Wicca though that really has held the most benefit is the idea of the feminine and masculine energies. Many spiritual teachers do talk about this, but I personally have found it very difficult to find harmony between the masculine and feminine within. Experiences in life have had me basically reject my inner masculine, but Wicca has provided some methods to create that harmony and reconnect with that masculine part of myself I previously wanted nothing to do with.
Would I recommend exploring Wicca to others? I personally try not to recommend anything to others, but if asked, I would definitely recommend trying it out and diving deep before making a decision. After all, I do feel we all have different needs when it comes to spirituality, and what works for one may not work for another. If nothing else finding out what Wicca is really all about will open your mind and create understanding, which is always a good thing.