Can you be Wiccan if you dont accept reincarnation?

Hello my blessed friends,

I have been researching and getting my head around Wicca since October. Its been a few months but not long enough for me to categorically say I am a Wiccan.

I LOVE the concepts of Wicca:
The equality but polar opposites of the God and Goddess
The acceptance of all spirtual paths
The love of nature
The use of magick

One thing that seems to be a sticking point is the belief regarding what happens when we leave this world. Many texts linked to Wicca emphasis the belief in reincarnation where the soul comes back in another form.

I have a bit of an issue here as im.not sure that is the belief I can fully commit to. I have lost people close to me and have had experiences which suggest they are with me in spirit, not incarnated elsehere. Im going to digress a bit here just to give you an idea of wjat i mean so i apologise for the long post

My grandfather died 5 years ago. He loved being oit in nature and was always out walking. He said when it was time, he would love to go.while out walking…
He did. The night before he died, i went to visit him to borrow a drill. It was night time and we went out to the shed. The sky was clear and filled with stars. One star caught my grandfathers eye because it was so bright. Me being into astronomy pointed out it was infact the planet Venus. The last words he said to me were “remember…i want that drill back!” He died the next morning.

That night i was sitting in my living room on my own contemplating what had happened. I sat in darkness execpt for a candle I had lit on my coffee table. Next to it sat my astronomy magazine. I asked my grandpa for a sign that he was OK. There was then a gust of air in the living room and the lages of the magazine flipped. They landed on a double page spread with the title VENUS. I got my sign that he was OK on the other side. Since his death, a pigeon has landed on the tree or table in my garden almost every day. He kept racing pigeons, which I used to help him with when I was a boy.

Weeks later, when I was asleep. He appeared in a dream. He wasnt part of the dream. He interupted it! Almost like he had paised a tv screen and walked in front of it. He smiled and said “you’ve still
not taken it back”. I can only.assume he meant his drill!:rofl:

I do get little signs now and then like a feather (normally a pigeons!). I also saw a medium who told me how he had died, right down to the location and clothes he was wearing. She also said he was complaining about the hedges in the back garden. He kept them pristine but they had become overgrown.

Before christmas 2022, i lost my uncle (grandpas son) to cancer. Begore he passed, i asked, practically begged, my grandpa to keep uncle safe and look after him. My grandpa once again appeared in a dream where he said.“ive been to see Tom and told him im here waiting on him”. I got a phonecall early in the morning to say my uncle had died.

My mother was devastated at losing her brother. Like i had done with my grandpa, she asked her brother to show her he was ok. He appeared in one of her dreams and just said a 7 digit number. My mum said it was vivid and she could remember the number clearly. When speaking to my uncles wife, my mum asked if the number meant anything to her. My aunt said it had been my uncles rank number from the army 30 years ago. My uncle was ok too!

Apologies for these long anecdotes but I wanted to share them to make my point. I have had many experiences which almost convince me that we go somewhere else after here. I wiuldnt call it heaven as such but beleive we trully feel the energy and love of those we have lost, as well as that of the god and goddess. Perhaps we even become part of them. This does not tie in with the beleif suggested in Wiccan texts that we are reincarnated. I am at a complete contradiction though because I do believe ive experienced a past life. How can this be though when I so firmly believe our souls go elsewhere? Perhaps our sould are reincarnated but our old energy remains elsewhere.

My thoughts on this issue are all over the place and I am really struggling with whether i can trully class myself as Wiccan with sich conflicting beleifs on the afterlife even though i fully embrace everyhting else

I would love to hear your thoughts on this to help me find a clearing on this somewjat overgrown part of my path.

Blessings to all of you

Alan

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Whew, that sure is a question that a lot of us experience at one point in time or another :sweat_smile: Without giving you a novel to read, I’m just going to try and give some main points that show you that reincarnation doesn’t necessarily invalidate your belief about going to another place when we die. Some of these may be hard to explain, and these are beliefs that I hold myself so if they don’t fit your belief system then that’s totally fine! :blush:

Who says reincarnation happens as soon as we die? There are some beliefs that say yes, as soon as our physical body dies we are immediately reborn into another life. But there are also beliefs that say our souls go to a resting place to be reborn at a time we so choose. Some spirits will move on while others will hang around for a while.

I also have a weird belief in the concept of time. This one is more difficult to explain, so try to hang on :laughing: I don’t view time as linear. There are too many things I have learned in life to think that time runs on a straight line. I mean really, does anything in this life happen in a linear fashion? :sweat_smile: So, I can be living right here in this timeline right now, right? But then I can have a past life that happened hundreds of years ago. I can also have a past life that happens way in the future!

This is because I don’t view time as a straight line. I see time as being many different things all happening at the same time and, depending on where we are in the Universe and timeline, we will experience different things. This means that when I die in this life, I can potentially be reborn in the past – crazy, I know! I don’t have this fully analyzed and I really don’t think about it too much, but it makes my brain hurt when I try to understand what I believe around death and reincarnation.

I think that there has to be something that happens to us when we die. I don’t think new souls are constantly created, and I haven’t decided if I believe we are all soul or energy fragments of a greater being sent out to explore the universe.

But I do know that death, dying, and reincarnation can be complex topics and no matter what you believe as far as reincarnation, I think you can still find a way to mesh that with Wicca.

I hope all of that made sense! I feel like I kind of just… typed out a bunch of words and hoped they went well together :laughing: Let me know if I need to clarify anything!

:heart: Megan

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Not sure about what others think but I’ll tell you what I think. I think that a thousand years comparatively can pass in the Summerland while only a year will pass here. That’s why new spirits are so confused when they pass. But time is different there and in no way human. So our loved ones can at the same time wait around for us and enjoy the afterlife together and still be reincarnated.

That’s just me though. It’s a fascinating topic.

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Thank you for sharing your experiences @Cosmic_Curiosity, reading such heartfelt true stories of loved ones reaching out from beyond the Veil… it always stops me to appreciate how beautiful and full of wonder this whole existence is :hugs: :stars:

I’m afraid I can’t help with the Wiccan part much, I went into being an eclectic witch pretty soon. I tend to follow my intuition and experiences with my beliefs, and that means I can’t really 100% agree with any pre-existing system of beliefs. Maybe one doesn’t need to if they still feel an affinity to one?

Megan’s thoughts make a lot of sense to me, and yes, it’s a complex topic! I think it comes down to intention, like it usually does. Do you want to believe in reincarnation?

(Tempted to write about my own personal cosmology, but I would need to break it in chapters! :sweat_smile: Maybe a thread for that? :wink:)

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I used to ‘know’ for sure what would happen when I died, when I was Mormon. We were told a specific answer and told to believe it. When I started studying different religions etc, I realized that there are a lot of ‘answers’.

I don’t remember who said it, it might have been Raymond Buckland or Scott Cunningham (who were both Wiccan, Raymond was initiated by Gerald Gardner) that really the only guarantee you have is this life here and now. What you do with it is what matters. Whatever happens afterward is out of our control. And even if reincarnation is a thing, we’d still want to make the best of this life we have now!

Believing in whatever happens next does give comfort, I think… I know there’s something because I’ve experienced some pretty wild things after loved ones have passed, even pets. Not with all of them, just the ones I was REALLY close to. My mother and father had a crazy story as well, about one of her cats. Both of them told the same story, and my father was not one to make things up.

Anyway… that’s my two cents :heart:

Added: I’m with @MeganB , I see time as non-linear, but like a spiral… circling around and building on itself. Like how we can dig straight down and find dinosaur bones from long ago, right under our feet.

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You might have to do some research into various Wiccan sects to find out. In eclectic witchcraft the answer would be yes.

I would like to mention something that I read recently regarding the subject. If you believe in reincarnation and speaking/working with ancestors, how exactly does that work? If you are contacting someone who has been reincarnated aren’t you interfering with their current reincarnated life? How would you respond if someone who knew you in a past life contacted you now for advice about love and lottery tickets? Would you even remember them? The author (Cunningham, I think) leaves the question open. I kind of like @Amethyst 's idea of a 1000 year waiting period.

And that’s my two cents, and no I don’t make change! :rofl::rofl:

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@Undomeher Funnily enough, its this section from Cunninghams book that i read on Monday that got me thinking about this whole subject.

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I love the idea that we wait 1000 years as suggested by @Amethyst. That way we are reunited with loved ones before reincarnation occurs. If wonder if remnants of the old us remain. Afterall, energy cannot be destroyed, only altered.

Fascianting. Maybe part of that energy reincarnates while other part remains elsewhere. There are are so many maybes, perhaps and what ifs. It is definitely something i will have to explore further as i like the idea of being reincarnated but my personal experiences of signs from spirit do not allow me to fully embrace it

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I like this idea, too – it helps to think about it that way, plus the way I view time, that my ancestors can come to me from the past even if they’ve been reincarnated. It’s hard to put into words the feelings that I get when thinking about death and reincarnation.

Oh maybe! You’re right though. So many maybes, what-if’s, and perhaps. I don’t think we will ever know for certain until it comes to be our time. Maybe that’s part of the great mystery of life!

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Hello, Merry Meet, I am sorry to hear of your losses. First and foremost, I don’t believe that Wicca requires you to believe in any doctrine concerning the afterlife. I was not raised with the belief of reincarnation, but after years of study, including the areas of past life regression and near death experiences, not only do I believe in it, but the thought that we are only here for one short life no longer makes sense to me. Also, I have a distinct memory of playing in my sandbox when I was three or four, with a friend. This was back in the mid 1950’s when you really didn’t see a lot of planes. My friend and I heard a sound and looked up. We both stood up at the same time because neither of us had seen a plane before, although we lived right outside of Boston. I will never forget that the first thing I thought as we watched in awe as the plane traced its way across the sky was…oh, they have those, now? Why would I have had that thought if I had not been here, before? As someone else mentioned, time is linear, it is also an illusion. Even the Catholic Church taught that everything really happens at once…or in the ‘now’. Also, we have both higher and lower selves…our higher self stays in our true home…heaven/summerland/the other realm/beyond the veil, whatever you want to call it, while our lower self incarnates here. It is like a virtual reality game where you are still in your living room, but a part of you is “in”"your avatar, so to speak. Soon, as technology improves, you won’t be able to tell the difference. We are here to learn life lessons and to evolve our souls, something that could not happen in just one lifetime. There is so much more to all of this. But again, I don’t believe that reincarnation is a doctrinal requirement to be Wiccan. There are many Christians who are Wiccan who do not believe in it. If you are interested in learning more, however, I would be happy to recommend some books to get you started. Blessings, Valentina ps…I forgot to add, but I see that others have mentioned…we don’t always reincarnate right away. 1,000 years to us in this realm is but a blink of the eye in the Otherworld.

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For what it’s worth- I came to witchcraft and paganism from Christianity in part because I did believe in reincarnation and that didn’t jive with what I was constantly told (in modern American Christianity at least).

I started doing some meditation work and while
Researching I discovered the idea of the Akashi records. So I made an attempt to connect with that space and was flabbergasted at what happened. Granted, things appear and manifest differently for everyone- but the understanding I gleaned from that event really helped me see what I believed about reincarnation much clearer.

After meeting my spirit guide (a whole other post lol) I found myself in a long room with a super high vaulted ceiling and the walls were just bookshelves everywhere. But the shelves were not full of books. There were clusters of books in some places, seemingly randomly placed single volumes, and large stretches where the shelves were empty.

I realized almost immediately that this was my room- and the books were my lives. But it wasn’t one after another, but there wasn’t always space between them either. Sometimes it was several in a row, and sometimes it was just one and then a long time of not going back.

I remember that we discussed something- something I had agreed to before this life- but of course I couldn’t remember what it was. But there was this sense that I had some control over when and why and how I would return.

So it would make sense to me that some would stay and help their descendants- maybe for several thousand years at a time, while in other cases, some people can’t seem to contact their passed loved one no matter how hard they try, and it could be because they had already come back for some reason of their own.

In any case, I was able to peek into at least one previous life, which is what I was hoping for- some confirmation that I was headed in the right direction for me.

I was able to verify enough details to feel confident that it had been a legitimate experience, and I can still very clearly picture the room. I haven’t really tried to go back, but mostly because I haven’t felt the need to dig anymore- I got what I needed.

But even though I believe it, I also don’t think it is a requirement of Wicca (maybe for some sects but not in general).

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I’ve heard of the Akashic Records (and even made a meditation for them myself based on previous CIA documents) but I’ve never managed to find my way there yet. Hearing your experience is amazing! Thank you for sharing it :blush: I’m like you - I believe that we come here for some reason and decide when and how that is. I haven’t really figured out what I believe in terms of soul contracts or the level of control I have over why I come back or what I experience :thinking: It really gets you thinking, though!

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Thank you to everyone who took the time to share their thoughts, ideas and experiences with me regarding this topic. I realise it is quite a sensitive area to discuss and that there are so many, often conflicting, ideas about what happens when we leave this world. You have given me lots to think about. It is such a fascinating but complex to delve into and I know that I will not reach a firm conclusion as to my beleifs overngiht and I think I have accepted that. It means I can continue to develop my practice and learn along the way, examining different ideas, weighing them up and determining whether they truly fit in with the path I ultimately want to take.

blessed be to you all

Alan

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As an eclectic pagan that is moving more and more towards Norse practices, I wanted to share some of what the Norse believed about death and reincarnation. It is important to note that our understanding of Norse beliefs are sparse as they left us no written record until their interaction with and eventual spiritual conquest by Christianity. The scholars that preserved Norse beliefs omitted some details that they found distasteful.

The Norse believed that our souls are made of four parts:

  • Hamr - one’s physical appearance which would and could change.
  • Hugr - one’s personality or character which is continued on after death.
  • Fylgja - one’s totem or familiar spirit which was unique to an individual and mirror their hugr; a shy person might have a deer while a warrior would have a wolf
  • Hamingja - one’s inherent success in life, seen as a quality (or protective spirit) which was both caused by a person’s hugr and formed on it; one’s hamingja would be passed down through the family, for good or ill.

The Norse believed that one’s hugr would pass into the body of a newborn relative, one’s hamingja continued on in the family, and one’s fylgja ceased to exist after death. These parts may or may not go to a single destination after death. There was no judgement by the gods involved in the soul’s final destination, it went where it wanted to go.

There are multiple realms of the afterlife to the Norse.

  • Valhalla, which we are all familiar with, is the hall of heroes. When a warrior dies in battle, the soul went to Odin’s hall where they would meet old friends, talk and drink, and fight in preparation for Ragnarok. Half of all warriors will go here.
  • Folkvangr is presided over by Freyja, the fertility goddess, and is known as “The Field of the People.” There is little mention of Folkvangr but it is believed to be a benevolent, giving, and kind place like its ruler. The other half of the warriors will end here, but also waiting for Ragnarok.
  • Hel (Helheim) is ruled by the goddess Hel and where the majority of souls go. Any one who does of illness or old age ends up here.
  • Niflhel or Nastrondr: an unpleasant destination for oathbreakers, murderers, and adulterers.
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I haven’t made a proper answer, mainly because I’m still kind of sorting out how to answer & where my beliefs lie… but I will also say that I am not Wiccan. So my beliefs are a bit different as far as time & after passing away. So if I can figure out how to explain it in words… I will properly answer.

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@Cosmic_Curiosity
Hi Alan, I see that you haven’t been with us for a long while, If I haven’t welcomed you, let me do so now.
Your question is valid and, both easy and difficult to answer.
In Christianity, the rules as they were is written in stone. (the 10 commandments) In this belief system, no one says you must believe this or that for whatever reason. No one can force a certain belief on you.
I think that Wicca is a conscious-driven system. You set your ethics as you start and grow. Strong suggestions, like "Be nice. Don’t wish evil on anyone. Treat others as you want them to treat you.
Personally, I believe in reincarnation. I’ve done past life regression. I was a doctor in ancient Egypt, not a queen or king, but a physician. I didn’t ask for nor want a delusion of grandeur. In another regression, I was a civil war widow. It was a fleeting memory but that was what my mind held onto. But that’s me.
Alan, don’t be afraid to ask questions here, no one will criticize you.
I don’t recruit. Stay with us for a while. Look into the courses.
Your beliefs are yours, no one should try to change them.
Be blessed, stay safe, and know you are loved
Garnet

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Thats very interesting and on par with how i see things…almost like different planes for different energies in the beyond. The idea of soul parts is very interesting too, similair to ancient Egypt,where the soul comprised of the ka, ba and akh. Although these were judged and your life actions determined your prospects in the afterlife. Its fascinating. So many different ideas to consider.

Thank you for your honest response. It can be difficult to put such complex and deep beliefs down into words. I appreciate your input and look.forward to reading your response should you find yourself able to write it down.

That is fascinating and something I would like to explore. I do feel like ive been here before in a past life and have a deep connection to ancient Egypt, which is why i have difficulty in understanding my resistance to beleiving in reincarnation. It may be a fear of taking away that feeling of comfort from communication ive experienced with loved ones who have passed.

Alan

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You’re welcome, I’m really thinking because it is a complex subject & it requires some extra thought for me.

I’m having an overwhelming week so sorting out how to word things is taking some time. :smiling_face:

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@Cosmic_Curiosity
I’ve read the responses to your questions and they support the issue of an afterlife.
Your body will deteriorate and cease to function. What happens then?
The Christian belief is ‘heaven’ is happiness, joy, and fine mansions. Muslins get a bunch of virgins. The Norse are carried away by a beautiful warrior woman to Vallhalla, a place where they fight all day and party all night.
I know that sounded condescending and maybe it was. All I know for sure is my karma is good and my soul is prepared for anything.
Take care,
Garnet

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An odd little musing of mine (when are they not odd…)

String theory suggests there are more dimensions than we are aware of. We are already Multi-dimensional beings - length, width, depth and time at least.

Imagine a two dimensional plane. Now place a paper cup on it. To a two dimensional bug, that cup would appear as a circle. Now imagine water comes and destroys the bottom of the cup. Does the rest of the cup cease to exist in higher dimensions merely because the bottom ceased to exist on the two dimensional plane?

If our bodies cease to exist here, does that mean that we cease to exist in higher dimensions? Maybe it does, but maybe it doesn’t.

The moral of the story is be the best person you can, because it might matter regardless of what we believe or can prove.

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