Due to misleading information which is easily accessible from several sources such as the internet, print media as well as electronic media, Wicca has grossly been misunderstood by many. However this is a harmless religion and practitioners are ordinary people with normal human ambitions.
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Wicca is a nature oriented religion founded and popularized in the U.K by Gerald Gardner in the 1940’s (www.religioustolerance.org), it is based on ancient beliefs and practices with an aim of ensuring the survival of witchcraft values believed to have existed centuries ago. This paper wishes to counter largely believed claims that Wicca is a devil worshiping religion. It will look at the origin of the religion, analyze some of the counter claims and their weaknesses and then present facts as they are, hoping that these facts will state beyond a reasonable doubt the true values and nature of the Wiccans.
Being a member of Wicca religion, I know that it an earth based religion that seeks to bring to life many of the traditionally held practices and beliefs. According to www.religioustolerance.org it is a religion “based on the symbols, seasonal days of celebration, beliefs and deities of ancient Celtic society.” It seeks to revisit the prehistoric period when humanity had a great reverence for the forces of nature. It owes its beginnings to the Paleolithic period where it existed together with other religions in Europe and is believed to have had a great impact on the Christian practices (www.withway.net). This is before millions of followers were persecuted by the Roman Catholics for being perceived to be witches, pagans, and having satanic tendencies.
From 1950’s Wicca religion has witnessed a rapid expansion and growth in Europe and America, capturing the souls of thousands of people who wish to rebel from the mainstream, which are too rigid and conservative. majority of people in the world today either from ignorance or naivety exhibit open hostility to Wiccan’s believing that it is a devil worshiping and satanic oriented cult. There is a self righteous notion among, especially among the Christians, that anything that doesn’t seek to profess the Christian faith is satanic. They tend to have an ill-advised view that there exist only two super-forces: Almighty God and Satan. They vehemently deny the existence of any other super human force.
This belief probably emanates from a widely perceived notion during the medieval ages that was lumping witchcraft and Satanism in the same basket; this is still the widely held belief and has been instilled in most people’s minds through horror movies and books (Bowes. S. 2004 Pg 16-45). This belief may also have been perpetuated by the solitary and secretive lives of most of the Wiccans. However, these claims are widely tolerated by most Wiccan’s for they know that it is based on ignorance and lack of proper knowledge. On the contrary, Wiccan’s are not satanic. We believe in a supreme being (Goddess and her consort, a God), who although is not similar to the Christian God is dissimilar to Satan. Contrary to the belief that our actions are aimed at harming others; Wiccan’s have a code of behavior that stipulates that Wiccan’s are not meant to harm others. All actions and practices are allowed as long as they harm no one (Drew. A. J 2003, 24-60).
Wicca is founded on witchcraft and magic. Once initiated a member is referred to as a priest or priestess. There exists however, in the modern practices, no central authority or dogma. An individual can practice either individually or with a community, but occasionally is expected to meet with other Wiccans and “celebrate on nights of the full moon” or during the eight sabbats (www.witchway.net). For others, they arrange themselves into small groups of maybe 12 members where they are led by a priest or a priestess in a rotational basis or as the group shall deem it fit. These groups bear no evil or satanic motives but are merely a source of religious enrichment.
Satanism is evil and is meant to spread terror to the community. On the contrary, Wiccans are advised to shun evil and any harmful intentions to the humanity. Through their code of ethics or “rule of behavior” called “Wiccan Rede”: “An it harm none, do what thou wilt” meaning that a Wiccan should exercise caution in all that he or she does to ensure that it hurts no one. This is indifferent to the general stand of Satanism that advocates for domination and manipulation of the rest of the humanity (Grimass R. 2003 16-99). This code of ethics emanates from the Law of Three that states that for every deed one commits to another, either positive or negative, shall be paid back in three fold. This ensures that Williams take responsibility of their deeds and misdeeds; this is a big distinction from Satanism
While Satanism is a dialectical opposition to the Creator as Christians and Muslims believe, we Wiccans believe in the existence of a God and a Goddess, who exist and are manifested in the creations of nature and that is why these creations are honored and respected greatly. According to www.wicca.com, “this belief creates a reverence and respect to the environment and all life upon the Earth.”
The claim that Wiccans are devil worshipers are totally misguided and lacking any basis. Wiccan and Satanism has no connection at all, in fact, we believe that Satan is a Christian creation as we have no room for him. Witches strictly adhere to the three laws that guide their beliefs and practices believing that we are to take responsibility of our actions. This truly is not Satanism.
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