|Fast Facts: Wiccan practices|
|Overview||Prayer, casting a circle, Drawing Down the Moon, reciting spells, dancing, singing, sharing cakes and wine or beer|
Some Wiccans join congregations of witches called "covens," though others work alone and are called "solitaries." Some solitaries do, however, attend "gatherings" and other community events, but reserve their spiritual practices (Sabbats, Esbats, spell-casting, worship, magical work, etc.) for when they are alone. Some Wiccans work with a community without being part of a coven.
Wiccans weddings can be called "bondings", "joinings", or "eclipses" but are commonly called "handfastings." Some Wiccans observe an ancient Celtic practice of a trial marriage for a year and a day, contracted on Lughnasadh, although this is far from universal. When someone is being initiated into a coven, it is also traditional to study with the coven for a year and a day before their actual initiation into to the religion. Simiarly, some Solitary Wiccans choose to study for a year and a day before dedicating themselves to the religion.
A much sensationalized aspect of Wicca, particularly in Gardnerian Wicca, is that some Wiccans practice skyclad (naked). Though many Wiccans do this, many others do not. Some Wiccans wear a pure cotton robe, to symbolise bodily purity, and a cord, to symbolise interdependence and which is often used during rituals. Others wear normal clothes or whatever they think is appropriate. Robes and even Renaissance-Faire-type clothing are not uncommon.
In usual rites the Wiccans assemble inside a magic circle, which is drawn out in a ritual manner followed by a cleansing and then blessing of the space. This preparatory ritual is called "casting the circle." Prayers to the God and Goddess are said, and spells are sometimes worked. Traditionally, the circle rituals are followed by a festive meal of cakes and wine or ale. Before entering the circle, some Traditions fast for the day, and have a thorough wash.
Many Wiccans use a special set of altar tools in their rituals; these can include a broom (besom), cauldron, chalice (goblet), wand, Book of Shadows (a personal journal of rituals, spells and thoughts), altar cloth, athame (ritual dagger), altar knife, boline, candles, and/or incense. Representations of the God/Goddess are often also used, which may be direct, representative, or abstract. The tools are not regarded as having any innate powers of their own, though they are usually dedicated or charged with a particular purpose and used only in that context.