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Musings of a Massachusetts Witch

September 1st, 2013

Wiccan and Satanism

 

When confronted by individuals who misunderstand Wicca and boldly state that it is a form of or is Satanism, I believe it is important to educate them on what Wicca IS as opposed to what Wicca IS NOT. Yes, I would state that Wicca is not Satanism and that the two spiritual paths are different but I believe that it is important to do so without degrading Satanism in the process.

 

I’ve heard individuals who identify as Wiccan say, “Wicca is not Satanism. We do not worship The Devil and don’t believe in Hell. Why would you assume we do?

 

And I’ve read statements such as:

 

Wiccan is not Satanism. Wiccans do not acknowledge the existence of Satan or God for that matter. To be a Wicca, the concept of a singular supremely evil being responsible for the damnation of man’s eternal soul is ridiculous.”

 

At first one might think that these statements are appropriate and acceptable but what are these statements saying about Satanist? And is this information accurate? How much do these individuals know about what Satanism is and what it is not? And do they even know enough about the origins of Wicca do make such statements?

 

Yes, it is true that Wiccans are not “devil worshipers” but are Satanist? If you believe that Satanists are “devil worshipers” why do you believe this? Are you making judgments based on a name or did you do research into what Satanists believe? Is this the same type of judgment that you are passing on Satanists that you, as a Wiccan or Witch, despise?

 

It may surprise you to discover that the majority of Satanists do not worship a deity known as Satan or The Devil nor do they acknowledge the existence of such an entity. The concept of a singular supremely evil being responsible for the damnation of man’s eternal soul is not something most Satanist believe in and … guess what? They also don’t believe in Hell. They view Satan not as an entity as Christianity does but instead as a driving force or energy. Satan represents: indulgence, vital existence, unified wisdom, kindness (to those who deserve it), vengeance and man.

 

And I am sure it would surprise you that Satanist and Wiccans believe in a lot of the same things … personal responsibility, respect for others and the power of magick. I believe that where we differ is our reaction to particular situations. As I studied the beliefs of Satanism I have seen that while the religion is a Left Hand Path, a belief system that is concerned with the advancement and preservation of the self, Christianity is a Right Hand Path, which holds beliefs in elevating spirituality and worshiping deity, and Wicca … well, I view Wicca as a Crooked Path. We embrace the ideals of self-actualization and self-deification, as well as the altruistic ideals of the Right Hand Path. We walk the path between the two, sharing beliefs and ideals of both – A balance, I would say with a smile.

So for me, understanding the path of Wicca and having some knowledge of Satanism, it bothers me when I read or hear fellow brothers and sisters of Wicca eagerly throw Satanists under the bus when they are being ‘accused’ of being Satanists because they fear that they are being associated with people that others have a distaste for. As I began, I agree it is important to educate others about Wicca but I would stick to discussing what Wicca IS as opposed to what Wicca IS NOT.

This column is FYI… It is all about the basics… Basic info on tools, traditions and Sabbat.. And everything in between. I will post something every month .. Maybe tools, may be important people in Paganism, may be color correspondences. If you are looking for information.. Look no further..

Basic Facts

Wicca
Wicca is an earth-based religion that is centered on the respect of all things living.

Goddess
Goddess is Great Mother Goddess. She wears many faces, to me she is The Goddess.. but  to others she might be Aphrodite or Kuan-Yin. She is in everything, in every person or plant or rock. You can speak to her and pray to her.
She takes many forms. She is the moon, and is often thought of as the Triple Goddess as manifested in the Maiden, the Mother, and the Crone. Her symbol is a full moon flanked by crescent moons. According to Wicca, there is both a Goddess and a God.
The God is the Sun. He is the hunter and Green Man; the father. Goddess and God are lovers. They are equals. They are in everything, according to tradition.

Devil
Wicca is in no way devil worship. In fact, Wicca as a religion does not even believe in a devil. Although pictures of God or Goddess may have horns, this was normal in ancient times and was not a sign of evil.

Pentacle/Pentagram
The point-up pentacle is not the sign of the devil. The five-pointed star is called a pentagram, when inside a circle it is called a pentacle. The circular board that has symbols (such as pentagrams and triangles) carved into it is also called a pentacle. It is used by Wiccans as one of their magical tools.

Laws/Rules
There are not many rules in Wicca, but one that most Wiccans follow is the Wiccan Rede (also known as the Wiccan Law, Wiccan Rule, etc.): An it harm none do what thou wilt – sounds simple but it is very hard to do. To know in your heart that your action will harm no one.
Another law some Wiccans follow is the Threefold Law or Law of Three. It is that what you do, good or bad, will come back to you three times.
Some believe in Karma, which is similar to the Threefold Law, except that what you give comes back equally as strong.
However, each person must decide for her or himself.

Other Religions
Wicca is not a coercive religion. Meaning, we do not convert or brainwash people. We respect other religions and paths, the only time we have a problem is when another  religion wishes harm upon us.

Magick
Many Wiccans and other Pagans spell magic with a k (magick). This is to differentiate it from stage magic.. Whatever you choose is fine — some even spell it “magyk.”

Warlock
Wicca can be practiced by both men and women. Male witches or Wiccans are not called warlocks; The word warlock means “twister of truth or betrayer ” and is an insult to male witches.

Witchcraft vs. Wicca
Witchcraft and Wicca are sometimes used to mean the same thing. Usually, though, Wicca refers to the way of life the “religious” part , and Witchcraft refers to the practice of magick the spells part.

“The Broom Closet”
When a Pagan, especially a Wiccan, speaks of “coming out of the broom closet,” they are talking about revealing their religion to their family and friends. Often this can be a traumatic moment.  It depends on the open mindedness of your family.

Solitary Wicca vs. Coven Wicca
When a Wiccan practices alone, she or he is called a “Solitary .” When she or he practices with a group (known as a coven), she or he is part of a tradition.. The majority of modern-day Wiccans, in fact, are probably Solitaries. They either cannot find a coven near them, the coven does not fit their needs, they simply prefer to work alone, etc.

Stereotypes
Witches are not green-skinned, warty old crones. We are also not black-clad, pierced, and tattooed (though individual Witches might be). We look like anyone else unless we wish to call attention to ourselves. Anyone who threatens to turn you into a toad is probably not Wiccan.

Spells:
Black, Grey, and White Magic – Most Wiccans do cast spells. However, they are not at all like the ones you see on TV. They are not instant, and there is a certain format that they follow. Also, interfering with someone’s will counts as harming them, so spells that make another person fall in love with you, etc. are out. Almost all Wiccans try to practice what is commonly called “white magic.”

Who Are We?
All Wiccans are not “born witches.” Although some of us have “inherited” the religion from our parents, many Wiccans are what they are by conscious decision.

Becoming Wiccan
Several people have asked how to convert to Wicca. You cannot convert. That would mean that you give up all that your believed before. Initiated  is what you would become. As that is the next step in your life built upon what you have learned in the past.

Language
Wiccan have words that we use with each other. One such saying is “Merry meet and merry part until we merry meet again!” (or “Merry meet, merry part, and merry meet again”, etc.) Because of this we often greet each other by saying “merry meet” and part by saying “merry part”. We also say — usually upon parting — “blessed be” or “brightest blessings.” (In chat rooms , these are often abbreviated to MM, MP, and BB.)

Acceptance
The Wiccan/Pagan community is open to everybody. We tend to accept you for who you are not your race, gender, past religion, sexual orientation, age, etc.

Sexuality
Wicca considers sexuality a sacred and powerful thing. We don’t have rules against homosexuality, sex before marriage, etc. We believe those are personal choices, and must be wisely considered and decided.
HOWEVER: that does not mean that we encourage “promiscuous” behavior. Sacred things must be treated with respect, and each individual needs to decide their own guidelines. Except that we do follow the Laws of our Countries and do not allow minors to be involved in sexual rituals.
Also, a word about nude rituals: you may hear of rituals being preformed “skyclad” — naked. This is NOT forced, of course. Some solitaries and covens choose to perform ritual free of limitations. This is only covens of over-18 members

Blessing until next Month

S.Dunham

Pagan Terminology

Adept

A person that has become highly proficient in a particular magickal art(s)
through dedication, much study, and practice.

Akasha

What some deem the fifth Element, Spirit. It is the ever-present spiritual energy
inherent in all parts of the universe. It occupies the top point of the Pentacle and
is considered the center of the Cardinal directions and their reference Elements.

Akashic Records

Allegedly, there is a vast collection of information somewhere that can be accessed for information such as magickal workings, past lives, healing abilities, ect. The records are accessed through using the mind to “tap into” universal energies, and the information is attained from there.

Altar

A flat surface used exclusively for magickal practices or religious observations.

The lay out of the altar various widely with Tradition, and even further with

individual.

Astral Projection

The process of separating your astral body from your material body allowing

motion through astral (non-physical) planes.

Bolline

Another knife used by Wiccans in ritual, unlike the Athame, however, this white

handled blade is used to perform the physical purposed of cutting.

Book of Shadows

A new term for a collection of Craft references. It often includes ritual

procedures, herb lore, definitions, recipes, ect. Many individuals have their own

Book, as do many Covens. (Also called Grimoires.)

Cardinal Directions

See elements

The four familiar directions of the compass and their relative Elements. Many

Crafters utilize the Cardinal directions to attune with the elements of the

universe. The directions and their reference Elements are:

North = Earth

East = Air

South = Fire

West = Water

Center= Akasha

Chakras

There are seven prominent energy channels in the body, each associated with

a color. Smaller channels are found in the hands and feet. The major channels

and their colors are:

Crown = White

Forehead = Purple

Throat = Blue

Chest = Pink or Green

Navel = Yellow

Abdomen = Orange

Groin = Red

Circle

A spherical boundary of energy used to protect the magick person from outside

influences that may disrupt the ritual. Some also use a physical boundary to

assist in the establishing and maintaining of the sphere. Wiccans and

Ceremonial Magicians use Magick Circles all the time, while Tradecrafters use

them not at all.

Cleansing

The use of positive energy to remove negativity from an object or place.

Consecration

Charging a object or space with positive energy.

Coven

“A group of Wiccans, who meet to work or worship in an organized fashion. Said

to be usually limited to 13 members or less.”

Craft, The

“Another name for the practice of magick, esp. Witchcraft.”

Deosil

A clockwise motion, symbolic of positive, constructive energies. It is the Sun’s

apparent motion “around” the Earth in the Northern Hemisphere. Often used in

ritual to “produce” positive energies in the surrounding environment.

Deity

A Divine entity (God or Goddess) honored in a religious “doctrine.”

divination

The magickal art of interpreting the patterns of energies (often displayed

through tools as mediums) in order to discover the unknown.

Earth Mother

The identification as the Earth being the bringer of life, hence the idea of

“Mother Earth.”

Earth Religion

“A religion wherein the worshipper strives to be in harmony with the Earth and

with all life-forms. These religions are opposed to the Christian view that the

world is a resource to be subdued and exploited; or that humans have the right

to dominate and / or subjugate other life-forms.”

Elements, The Four

The four traditional elements that make up our universe. Everything that exists or

has the potential to exist, is a product of an Element or combination of Elements.

of their energies. They are Earth, Fire, Air, and Water (Many also add Akasha to

make a fifth element.) Also see Cardinal Directions and Akasha.

Esbat

“This is a Wiccan term for the monthly meeting of a Wiccan Coven, usually held

during the full of the moon. (There are about 13 full moons each year.) Some

groups also meet at the dark of the moon. (note: not observed by tradcrafters.)”

Goddess, The Trinity

The concept of the Goddess having three aspects: The Maiden, The Mother,

and The Crone. (This belief predates the similar Christian Trinity.)

Guardians of the Four Quarters (Watchtowers)

Astral entities associated with the Elements of the four Cardinal Directions. The

Guardians are used by Ceremonial Magicians and many Wiccans to watch

over a ritual and provide protection at the Four Quarters of the Magick Circle.

Guardian Spirits

Spirits that are present in our lives, and serve as protectors of our person and

spirit. It is believed that everyone has Guardian Spirits, though very few are

aware of the role they play.

Handfasting

A Pagan marriage ceremony.

Horned God, The

“The Horned God is an ancient symbol predating Judaism (and therefore

Christianity.) The Horned God has NOTHING in common with ‘Satan’ (a

Judaeo-Christian Deity) except for his ‘horns’. Actually the horns are antlers, not

little pointy things. ”

Karma

The belief that one’s spiritual path can be affected multiple times by the

intentions within thoughts and actions. The center principle is cause and effect,

all energy one sends out are returned to that person equally. (“For every action

there is an equal and opposite reaction.) Also see Polarity.

Magick

“Spelt with a ‘k’ to differentiate it from the ‘Magic of David Copperfield’; this word

means the conscious focusing of will, often with attendant ritual, to accomplish

a goal.”

Neo-Paganism

“A modern Earth Religion which adapts aspects of the pre-Christian Pagan

religions; (most often from the ancient Norse traditions) and couples these

practices with additions from contemporary religious thinkers.”

Occult

“‘Of or pertaining to supernatural phenomena or influences.’ This word is also

used to denote the study of secret practices.”

Pagan

“A word used to describe ancient people(s) who did not acknowledge the

Christian, Islamic or Judaic God as their own. The word comes from the Latin

word paganus, which meant ‘a country dweller’. This word is used in

contemporary occult parlance to denote any person or group who follows an

Earth based religion or practice.”

Pendulum

A tool of divination in which a string (16″ to 18″) is attached to a weight. The free

end is held in the hand and the elbow steadied. The swing of the weight

determines the answer to the posed question.

Polarity

The notion of equal and opposite energies. Polarity implies balance: Good/Evil,

Light/Dark, Positive/Negative, Sun/Moon, Hot/Cold, ect. (An excellent example

is the Yin Yang symbol.)

Priest/Priestess

A person (term depends on gender) dedicated to the service of a chosen deity

or group of deities, and helping mankind. Note: Neither gender has a

dominating position in Paganism.

Reincarnation

Rebirth. A cycle of repeated incarnation in the human form to provide time for

the timeless soul to progress toward perfection.

Ritual

A set of movements, words, actions designed to accomplish a variety of effects.

Ritual can involve Magick, honoring a diety, communion with nature, etc.

Rituals need not be mechanically planned, spontaneous rituals filled with joy

are often more effective than pre-planned, repetitive, and bland performances.

Sabbat

“One of the eight seasonal Wiccan festivals equally spaced during the year,

celebrated by individuals and covens of Wiccans. (note: Tradcrafters observe

“Tides” not Sabbats.)”

Shaman

A person (male or female) that possesses knowledge of the subtle energies of

the world. Many Shaman were considered “Wise Men” (or Women) within their

cultures. Their understanding of the subtle energies allowed them to perform

magick.

Shamanism

The act of practicing Shamanistic abilities. Some times a religious practices,

sometimes magickal, and at times both.

Sigil

A magickal seal or sign that is used during a magickal work. They can be used

to tranfser, carry, or magnify energy, and have a large variety of applications.

Spells

Mental, emotional, and/or spiritual energy expended to bring about a change

in one’s environment. The energy can be spoken, written, clapped, danced, or

drawn, but must follow a few basic “guidelines” in order for it to be effective.

Talisman

A magickally enhanced object designed to attract a specific type of energy.

Tarot Cards

A deck of (traditionally) 78 cards which hold images that connect the diviner

with the energies of the universe. The cards can be used to determine energies

from the past, present, and future, and can also be used as tools in ritual or

magick. The specific origin is vague.

Tradecraft

“This word is often used to differentiate between the practices of traditional /

hereditary witchs and the practices of Wiccans.”

Tradition

Can be thought of as “denomination” of Paganism, the path one follows.

Tradition does no imply a recognized religion, for there are many more personal

religions than there are recognized religions.

Wicca

“An earth based religion which was formed (circa 1940) by Gerald Gardner,

which blended magical practices from diverse cultures with the writings of

authors (such as H.P. Lovecraft,) and incorporated aspects of pagan ritual,

tradcraft, as well as ancient concepts of deity. To this base, other concepts of

fact and myth are added (or subtracted) to make up the various ‘traditions’ (in

this case synonymous with ‘denominations,’) around which covens and

individual practitioners base their practices. Some of the ‘trads’ of Wicca are:”

Alexandrian

Celtic

Circle

Dianic

Faerie

Gardnerian

Wiccan

“One who follows the earth based religion known as Wicca; worships at least

one aspect of the triple Goddess, and (sometimes) Her Consort, the Horned God.

Wiccans often call themselves ‘witches’. (note: few tradcrafters, who are the

‘witches’ of antiquity, will call themselves a witch.) A Wiccan would never

dream of harming anything, be it beast, earth or mankind. In short, Wicca is a

benign religion.”

Widdershins

Counter clockwise motion. In the Northern Hemisphere it is opposite the Sun’s

movement in the sky, and would be considered to produce negative energies.

It is faulty to think that any counter clockwise motion produces negative energy,

the motion is simply symbolic of the energies around us.

Witch

“One who practices a way of life consistent with the natural rhythms of the

earth. Witches have a reverence and respect for their ancestors (lineal,

collateral or adopted) and contrary to popular conceptions of witches, and

witchcraft; there is no blood sacrifice, worshipping of Satan, or trafficking in

abortion. In fact, most ‘witches’ go to great lengths to not stand out in their dress

or mannerisms.

Blessing until next Month

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