Questions asked about Wicca, a
religion, with our responses.
We continue to receive Emails from people with questions about
Wicca. Most seem to come from young women. Four appear below, with our responses.
I am a Wiccan. How do I convince my boss/teacher/parent that it is OK?
Incoming Email: "My parents are Southern Baptists. Their pastor
has mentioned Wicca several times in sermons, describing it as an evil
religion -- a form of Satanism -- whose followers commit themselves to
committing immoral and criminal acts. How do I convince them that it is not
any of these things?"
We receive many letters like this from Wiccans and people interested in Wicca
who are having difficulty with parents, their employer, teachers, spiritual
Our response: This is not an easy task for two reasons:
- Wicca has been the victim of a great deal of religious propaganda;
Wiccans have long been associated with performing evil, immoral, and
criminal deeds. These beliefs originated in the late Middle Ages when the Christian Church created an imaginary,
nonexistent religion. It involved "Witches" who
worshiped Satan, killed infants, boiled the bodies for potions, and
committed themselves to a life of evil. On the order of 50,000 people were
tried for heresy and witchcraft starting in the 15th century CE and lasting
until 1792 CE in Europe. Tens of thousands were executed in what is often
called "The Burning Times." Those mass murders and crimes against
humanity left a permanent mark on the culture. Many people now associate
present-day Wiccans with fictional stories about these "witches" from long
ago. Some conservative denominations still teach this fiction as fact today.
This problem was severe during the 1980's but dissipated during the late 1990s as more people become aware of what
Wicca teaches, and as increasing numbers of Wiccans come out of the
closet to discuss their religion openly.
- Many Christians believe
that there are only two extremely powerful spiritual forces in the
universe: God and Satan. Some fundamentalist Christians and other religious
conservatives believe that if a person does not worship the Christian
Trinity, then they must be worshiping Satan. They are, by definition,
Satanists. Thus, all other
religions, and perhaps even some Christian denominations, are viewed as
forms of Satanism. These include Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and other religions. They view 65% of the world's population as Satanists. To these
Christians, the term "Satanist" is simply a synonym for "non-Christian,"
or "non-Judeo-Christian." Some might also include as Satanists followers of minority Christian faith groups such as Mormons, Unificationists,
Jehovah's Witnesses, etc. Christian.
This belief is largely based on a few biblical passages which imply that
the gods of other religions are actually Satan or his demons. 1
Corinthians 10:20-21 is the most often cited. It says:
"But I say,
that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils,
and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with
devils. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye
cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils."
Your task is essentially to reeducate people with the truth about Wicca
and other Neopagan religions. Some useful helps are:
||An essay for school teachers by Suzanne "Cecylyna"
||A book by the U.S. Army called: "Religious
Requirements and Practices of Certain Selected Groups: A Handbook for
Chaplains." 1 It helps army chaplains deal
with soldiers in their group who follow minority religions. It includes
fairly accurate essays on Wicca, Satanism and many other small faith
groups. It is rather expensive; it costs $30.00 US from Amazon.com the
last time that we checked. However, it might be available through your
public library. They might keep it in their collection or may be able to
order it on an inter-library loan.
But when dealing with individuals who believe
that all the non-Christian religions in the world -- Buddhism, Hinduism,
Islam, Taoism, Zoroastrianism, Wicca, Druidism, etc. -- are forms of
Satanism, no dialog will probably be possible. After all, the Bible seems to
imply that non-Christian faiths are all worshiping Satan. For those
conservative Christians who believe that God inspired
the authors of the Bible to write error-free text, and who believe that the entire Bible is inerrant, no argument will
probably be successful. To them, Wicca is Satanism, and evil.
Can I be both a Wiccan and a Roman Catholic?
Incoming Email: "Hello, We are a couple of Roman Catholic girls
who are wondering if we could become Wiccans. We want to know if it is alright
to become Wiccan and keep our Catholic religion too."
Our response: We have written an essay which
describes how some people have successfully blended Wicca with their version of
Christianity. If you hold very liberal Christian beliefs, then the two
faiths can be harmonized, with some struggle. However, it is very difficult for
Roman Catholics to do this, without
bending their Christian faith totally out of shape. Wicca and Roman Catholicism teach very different
beliefs about life after death; the nature of deity; moral codes; sexual behavior, ethics;
rituals; intermediaries between the individual and deity; seasonal days of
celebration; the role of women in the church, family and the rest of
society; attitudes towards people with minority sexual orientations; and
probably a few hundred other topics.
My parent won't let me investigate Wicca:
Incoming Email: I am a 14 year old teen. My mother is upset at me
because I want to buy a book on Wicca. She is a Christian and believes that
Wicca is a form of evil witchcraft. I am a Christian too, but feel that I
don't have to limit myself to a single religion. I feel torn between a
desire to study Wicca and being honest with my mother. What can I do.
Our response: Your options are limited, mainly because of your
age. The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Child expresses the principle that teens should have some religious freedom to
deviate from their parent's religion(s). It rapidly became the most widely ratified human rights treaty. But, alone among all of the
governments in the world, the U.S. still refuses to ratify the convention. In
the U.S., teens under the age of 18 are under almost total control of their
parents: physically and spiritually.
Many Christians are opposed to Wicca because they misunderstand its nature
and confuse it with an imaginary and non-existent Satan-worshiping "Witchcraft" of the Middle Ages.
They don't realize that Wicca is a gentle, benign, Earth-centered religion. We have an essay that introduces Wicca to school teachers
that might be helpful to show your mother.
Most conservative followers of Christianity, Islam, Judaism and other
monotheistic religions are exclusivist in belief:
they believe that theirs is the only truly valid religion, and that all
other religions are generally false. However, some more liberal followers of
these religions hold inclusive or pluralist beliefs towards other faith
groups. They generally feel that there is some merit in all religions. Some of the
latter believe that it is quite possible for a person to follow elements
from two or more religions. Following two or three spiritual paths is quite
common in some countries, like Japan. We have an essay about people who regard themselves as being both Wiccan and Christian.
If you want to pursue an interest in Wicca, you could ask your parent for
permission to read some Wiccan books in your public library. In most
libraries, you don't have to have a membership card to read books on the
premises. You could also ask your parent if you could contact a fellow
Wiccan in your area. The Witches' Voice has a section for teens
called "Young Pagan Contacts" at: http://www.witchvox.com You need to
approach these contacts with care. There is always the possibility that a
person or group may misrepresent themselves in the listing. A person
describing themselves as a 13 year old could conceivably be a 40 year old
predator! We recommend that you proceed cautiously and make the first
meeting in a public location, like a mall. Witches' Voice at http://www.witchvox.net/ has listings for covens as
well. However, most covens will not accept trainees under the age of
Do Wiccans harm others?
Incoming Email: "Your essays say that Wiccans don't use their
powers to harm others. We have two friends that call themselves Wiccans, who say that they
practice black magic. One of them told us that he had summoned his
girlfriend to Hell. She also says she is a Wiccan and does black magic. Is
this possible? We want to become Wiccans because
it appeals to us, but we don't want to harm people either."
Our response: One widespread problem with religions is that there
are often no universally accepted meanings to common religious words. We
have seen the term "Christian" defined in such a way that fewer than
1% of North American adults could be considered Christian; others define it
much more inclusively, so that about 75% of the population is viewed as
Anybody can call themselves a Christian. Anybody can call themselves a
Wiccan. There are no religious police out there (yet) enforcing any rules.
The two individuals that you mention appear to be following what we call "Gothic
Satanism" This is an evil belief system created by the Christian church near the
end of the Middle Ages. At the time, it didn't actually exist, except in the
minds of some Christians. It involved people who were thought to worship Satan, who sold their souls to him;
and who devoted their lives to killing babies, calling up storms to destroy
crops, and performing other evil acts. They never really existed in ancient
times. But the entire "Witch Burning" tragedy was
based on these beliefs. Some modern-day teens have adopted this
pseudo-religion. Some might refer to themselves as Wiccans. But, in our
opinion, the students that you mention cannot legitimately be called Wiccans
for a number of reasons:
||The concept of eternal torture in Hell after
death does not form a part of any Wiccan group that we have heard of. It is
found in conservative Christianity, Islam and a few other religions.
||The essence of Wicca is the Wiccan Rede which is often expressed as: "An it harm none, do what thou wilt." In modern English, this is : "Do
whatever you wish as long as it harms no one." Thus, Wiccans don't issue curses.
They are prohibited from doing harm to others through domination, manipulation, or
||An integral belief of almost all Wiccans is the Three-Fold Law: "All good that a person does to
another returns three-fold in this life; harm is also returned three-fold." A Wiccan who believes in this law would obviously not attempt to harm
another person, because they would risk being much more seriously harmed
when the universe retaliates upon them.
- U.S. Department of the Army, "Religious
Requirements and Practices of Certain Selected Groups: A Handbook for
Chaplains," University Press of the Pacific. As of 2015-AUG, it is available for $30.00 in paperback format, or $8.13 in Kindle format. Read
reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store. It
received a rating of 3.4 stars out of 5 by six reviewers.
Copyright © 2002 to 2015 by Ontario Consultants on
First created 2002-NOV-7
Latest update: 2015-AUG-09
Author: B.A. Robinson