It has come to my attention that there are many Judeo-Christian worshipers that are concerned with the Wiccan viewpoint surrounding sin and redemption. Sin is defined as as act which defies divine law or is an infringement of divine doctrine. The Christian religion bases its entire existence on this concept of sin, specifically the Original Sin of the Genesis Adam and Eve. In order to show the Wiccan outlook on sin, allow me to reprint here, a synopsis of the eight primary principles which define Christianity (from Monica Sjoo and Barbara Mor’s “The Great Cosmic Mother”):
- The Creator is separate from creation and does not, therefore, participate in a continuous evolutionary process.
- The Creator is pure spirit mechanically dichotomized from a creation of impure matter.
- *Human beings have committed a primal sin or crime of disobedience to the will of God.
- *God has condemned the entire human race to continuous suffering and punishment on an evil Earth.
- *To be born is to be born in sin (i.e. from a mother who represents the ‘original sin’ and inherently evil of flesh).
- *To survive a world of sin, the male must dominate nature, while woman, as the embodiment of that sin and nature as its ‘vessel’ must undergo domination.
- *The only way to be saved from life on earth and life after death (in hell) is through submission to Jesus Christ, defined at the ONLY time in the history of the universe that spirit has entered flesh–i.e. incarnated.
- These principles exist because the world is divided mechanically into good and evil eternally at war, eternally irreconcilable. Humans must choose one or [the] other and never transcend or resolve that dichotomy through a holistic awareness or consciousness (as forbidden in the Garden of Eden of the Biblical Genesis)
(* dealing specifically with the concept of ‘sin’)
In Mary Daly’s “Beyond God the Father, Gyn/Ecology” and “Pure Lust” she points out that ‘sin’ derives from a Latin word meaning ‘to be’. That is, ‘to sin’ is ‘to be’. In modern English it has its origins in the Old English word ‘synn’, with the root ‘es’, again meaning ‘to be’. ‘Es’ , being the root of ‘being’ is a basic Indo- European root. (An interesting sideline is that the Hebrew word ‘sin’ means ‘the moon’. Perhaps because at one time, ‘to be’ was to know the Goddess, whose symbol has often been the moon?)
In other words, the original meaning of sin, was to risk being. To risk living life, by living outside of the doctrine and dogma of organized, beauracratic religious frameworks. By looking inward AND outward, but OTHERWARD than the traditional. “The Christian dream has already been written, from beginning to end. It says that only one life was worth living, and its already been lived, and it was his … While promising to save human souls Chrisianity exists by ‘saving humans from’ experiencing our souls … The Christian Church lives upon sin … Christ depends on sin for his existence.” (Sjoo) Essentially, without the concept of original sin, without the myth of the Fall of Adam and Eve, there is no need for the sacrifice of the Son, or for His existence at all.
In Wicca, there is no Holy Book, no written doctrine, no divine law. The only two ‘laws’ that are traditionally Wiccan, and are considered to be those ideals by which we try to live, are :
- 1. An it harm none, do what thou wilt.
- 2. What thou wilt do, will come back three times.
What this means, pure and simple, is that there are no ‘sins’, such as sexual do’s and don’ts, profanity, etc., AS LONG AS YOU STRIVE FOR AND AS MUCH AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE, ATTEMPT TO BRING HARM ON NO ONE!!! And we are promised our punishment and rewards in this life, not in some future, posthumous time. Number two teaches us that (similar perhaps to the ‘golden rule’), what we send out, will return to us but in threefold nature. If we lie, cheat, steal, etc. then woe and evil in like form will be visited on us, in this lifetime, but in a threefold multiple. The same is for our attempts at patience, love, kindness, etc. The Goddess of the Wiccan is a truly all-loving, all-forgiving, all-understanding Deity that recognizes human imperfection and human frailty and strengths. She punishes and rewards as She judges appropriate. And as with the Christian Jehovah, it is not for us to question Her judgment. We do know right and wrong for She has given us that knowledge. Our choice in life will determine our life.
As for ‘evil’ Wiccans do not dichotomize the Universal Truth into ‘good’ and ‘evil’. “In the pagan cosmic view, the supreme creative polarity is that of the Goddess and God principles, for without polarity, from divinity downwards, there can be no manifestation. ‘As above, so below.'” (Stewart and Janet Farrar, in “The Witches’ God”) The Farrars go on to explain that Dualism, (the good and evil theory) is the subsitution that patriarchy replaced Polarity with. Instead of the COMPLEMENTARY relationship of the Goddess and God, it substituted God and the Devil, Good and Evil. Wiccans, instead, have the masculine and feminine principles. Not mutually exclusive ‘items’ but complementary aspects; each “contains the seed of the other, just as in the Chinese Yin-Yang symbol (the perfect expression of the polarity concept) the dark Yin contains a bright Yang spot, and the bright Yang a dark Yin spot. Otherwise they could not relate to each other.” Students of Jungian theory will see this concept on the human level as the anima that is at the heart of man, and the animus that is at the heart of woman.
The Goddess/anima whispering softly to the man, while the God speaks loudly to him. And the God/animus whispering softly to the woman, while the Goddess speaks loudly to her. “Both the whisper and the loud voice must be listened to” in order for us to be complete.
Therefore, Wiccans need no salvation, and the only ‘sacrifice’ that is seen in modern Wicca, is the ritual re-enactment (play) of the God’s annual self-sacrifice for the ‘fertility’ or well-being, of Humanity.
By Heidi-Tanya L. Agin (a.k.a Ceridwen)