The origins of Magick are unknown as is the origins of religion. There is much speculation about when humankind became aware of "supreme creation forces" and many a lengthy debate - bordering on academic wars - has been waged on this very topic. The same applies to Magick. Did Magick precede "belief" or did "belief" precede Magick. A bit of a chicken and egg question, and one we will not be able to answer unless some life changing discovery is made by archaeologists in the future.

What is notable is that there must have been shamans around some 50,000 years ago. The rock paintings found from that era have a religious overtone and the caves where these were discovered may well have been places of worship. The earliest artifacts around these sites were carbon dated to 27,000 years ago - during the Paleolithic period. Was Magick practiced then? Perhaps it was, but then perhaps not.

What we do know is that later civilizations did. The walls of pyramids and scrolls discovered from several later, ancient civilizations contained spells and rituals. So, we can trace Magick to about 6,000 to 8,000 years ago. At that point, the practice of Magick was intertwined with religion and extensively used to ensure - for example - that the annual floods of the Nile would be great so as to avoid famine and pestilence.

Now you may wonder what this has to do with Wicca as a young, 60 year old religious path. Perhaps a little, but perhaps everything. The Wiccan religion is polytheistic, worshiping multiple male and female deities. This form of worship can in fact be tied back to the Paleolithic period.

Assuming that the polytheistic worship of subsequent cultures like the Sumerians, the Egyptians and even later the Greeks and the Romans all evolved from there, and considering that modern Wiccans worship some of those very same deities venerated by the Egyptians, Sumerians, Romans and Greeks (amongst others), then it logically follows that there is a bond. The bond may have been severed at some point in time, but retied it becomes a bond yet again.

This retied bond necessarily means that the practice of Magick is - or at least should be - an integrated religious practice for Modern Wiccans.

Interestingly it only holds true for some. There are many Wiccans who do not practice Magick and whilst one can probably take the view that it is a matter of free choice, perhaps it renders those Wiccans not true Wiccans after all, but general pagans instead. A controversial statement, maybe but perhaps one worth some thought.
Rose Ariadne has been practicing ancient forms of Witchcraft for over 25 years. Get more info about how magick relates to wicca here:
http://www.askroseariadne.com/editorials/how-does-magick-relate-to-wicca.html

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