“Wicca” is a religion that practices Witchcraft. “Though it’s hard to know the exact numbers, Wicca may be one of the fastest growing religions among high school and college students,” reported National Public Radio in 2004.1 Recently, as I have spoken about Wicca in seminars and at events, many have confided to me that family members, neighbors, or friends are into the Craft. In July of 2005 alone I was interviewed on over 30 radio and TV shows discussing whether Pottermania was fueling teenage interest in Witchcraft. Most of these shows were call-ins. Many who phoned were Wiccans.
What do Wiccans believe anyway? Believe it or not, Christians are often quite mixed-up about this. When the average churchgoer thinks “Witch”, they imagine dark, sinister, scary folk who worship Satan, drink blood, and sacrifice animals in rituals. While some occultists do practice such things, most Wiccans don’t. Surprisingly, most are great pet lovers, are squeamish before blood like the rest of us, and as for Satan – are you ready for this? – they don’t believe such an entity exists.
“Well, to begin with, they [Wiccans] don’t believe in the Devil. The Devil belongs to the Christian religion, not to the Old Ways,” writes bestselling Wiccan author Silver Ravenwolf in Teen Witch: Wicca for a New Generation.2 Attempting to expose “dumb rumors about Witchcraft”, Silver writes, “Real Witches do not…
- …hurt people
- …take illegal drugs
- …work black magic
- …eat babies
- …kill animals
- …tell fibs or whopper lies
- …get into sexual perversions
- …drink or use blood in any way from animals
- …steal or take part in criminal behavior
- …summon demons3
In a nutshell Ravenwolf says, “Witchcraft is a nature based, life-affirming religion that follows a moral code and seeks to build harmony among people, and empower the self and others”.4 Teen Witch calls Wicca “…the art and science of white magick, a gentle, loving practice”.5 With such claims to wholesomeness, perhaps you can understand why Wicca is growing so rapidly.
White magic – this is Wicca, or so Wicca says. And for all who deny any connection between J.K. Rowling’s books and real occultism, the fact is: it’s Harry Potter also. In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (as in every Potter book), Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger are all depicted as good witches who learn good magic at Hogwarts to defend themselves from He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named (the evil Lord Voldemort) and his repulsive gang of Death Eaters who practice black magic. Whether you discern the connection or not: the popularity of Harry Potter parallels Wiccan growth. Both are booming.
I don’t doubt Ravenwolf’s sincerity, nor of other Wiccan authors, or of Wiccans and Pagans themselves. My question is: Is what Wicca claims, or is what Wiccans think, really the truth about Wicca? Or is there a dark side that Wiccans themselves don’t grasp? A few Saturday nights ago I was guest on a midnight New York radio show discussing Harry Potter and Witchcraft. When the show ended and we were off-air, the host then said something surprising. “Steve,” I was solemnly informed, “I’ve been in law enforcement for years, have seen the dark side of Wicca, and have witnessed behind the scenes what the pubic doesn’t see. I want you back on our show to discuss this more fully.” This confirmed what I already knew, for I have friends who have exited the Craft.
Witches themselves are often puzzled over what happens behind Wiccan walls. “New Worlds” is the official Journal of Llewellyn Publications, which not only publishes Silver Ravenwolf’s books but is also the biggest occult publisher in the world. The March/April 2005 issue features an enlightening article entitled, “Protection Magic,” by “Natalie Harter, Acquisitions Specialist: Witchcraft, Paganism, Magick.” After opening with, “Protection magic is always a popular topic in magic circles [SW-it’s also big in Harry Potter],” Natalie wrote that for some strange reason those who delve deeply into magic often become the targets of “not-so-helpful energies.” Becoming more graphic, Natalie wrote that Witches are often “ransacked by bad spirits” to the point of being recipients of “psychic attack.” Attempting to offer insights on “protecting ourselves from malevolent forces,” Natalie naively recommends positive thinking, laughter, and protective spells to counteract “harmful voices in your head.”6
What are those “harmful voices” pounding inside many Witches heads? Wiccans offer a variety of explanations, but one eludes them – Satan and his angels. The reason is they don’t believe they exist. Have you heard the phrase, “What you don’t know can’t hurt you”? The awful truth is, “What Wiccans don’t know can kill them.”
The only way to truly understand Wicca (or any religion for that matter) is to look at through the penetrating perspective of Holy Scripture. Does the Devil exist? Ask the BTK (Bind, Torture, Kill) serial killer now behind bars. He recently confessed it was “a demon” that entered him when he was “very young” (7) which prompted his cruelty.
Better yet, read the Bible. God’s Word declares, “The great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world, he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him” (Revelation 12:9).
Most Wiccans are nice people. Many are honest searchers for truth. The problem is: they have no clue what they’re dealing with.
But God does.
That’s why we all need Jesus Christ.
To be continued…
- National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, report by Barbara Bradley Hagerty: “Part 4: Teens and Wicca.” May 13, 2004. See http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1895496
- Ravenwolf, Silver, Teen Witch: Wicca for a New Generation , p. xx. Llewellyn Publications, St. Paul, Minnesota (2003).
- Ibid. pps. 13-14
- Ibid. p. 4
- Ibid. (Back page)
- “Protection Magic”, by Natalie Harter, pp. 8-9. New Worlds of Mind and Spirit, Llewellyn Publications (March/April 2005).