There are members of false sects, like Jehovah's Witnesses, that come knocking door-to-door hoping to convert you. Instead of ignoring them, it is we who should try and convert them. In 1 Peter 3:16, our first Pope writes, "But in thy hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks thee to give the reason for the hope that thou hast. But do this with gentleness and respect,..." Before the Great Apostasy, the Church would send missionaries to the ends of the Earth to make as many converts as possible.
Those in false religions don't always come (literally) knocking at your door. It may be a Hindu at work who wants you to try yoga. It could be a "Christian Scientist" who lives next door and invites you to come to their reading room. Each month, I will present a false sect. Unlike the Vatican II sect, I do not see them as a "means of salvation" or possessing "elements of truth" that lead to salvation. That is heresy. They lead to damnation, and the adherents of the various sects must be converted so they may be saved.
In each month's post, I will present one false sect and give an overview of:
- The sect's history
- Their theology
- Tips on how to share the True Faith with them
One of the fastest growing religions in the world today is Wicca, commonly known as "witchcraft," or the Craft (always capitalized). According to Newsweek magazine in 2018:
Witchcraft and other pagan religious practices increased in the U.S. over the past few decades, with millennials turning to astrology and tarot cards as they turn away from Christianity and other traditionally dominant Abrahamic religions.
The number of witches and Americans practicing Wicca religious rituals increased dramatically since the 1990s, with several recent studies indicating there may be at least 1.5 million witches across the country. A Trinity College study conducted in 1990 estimated only about 8,000 Wiccans in the U.S., but the increase has been led by a rejection of mainstream Christianity among young Americans as well as a rise in occultism.
With 1.5 million potential practicing witches across the U.S., witchcraft has more followers than the 1.4 million mainline members of the Presbyterian church. (See https://www.newsweek.com/witchcraft-wiccans-mysticism-astrology-witches-millennials-pagans-religion-1221019).
There are several misconceptions about Wicca. Practitioners of Wicca are not all female; male adherents are called witches also, not "warlocks." While they are occultists, witchcraft or Wicca is not a blanket term for all forms of occult activity. Most do not worship Satan overtly and directly (the large majority deny belief in Satan), and they do not practice human or animal sacrifice. The idea of a witch as an ugly old hag riding a broomstick, was popularized by the 1939 cult classic movie The Wizard of Oz.
The movie was insidious insofar as it began the ever-growing trend of depicting witches as "good" and evil. All forms of occultism are condemned by God specifically in the Bible and in the teachings of His One True Church. The Wizard of Oz was based on a book of the same name written by Frank Baum, an occultist who claimed he had "channeled" the idea from an other-worldly source. (See Michael Patrick Hearn edition; The Annotated Wizard of Oz, New York: Clarkson N. Potter, ) In the movie, the protagonist (Dorothy) and her friends are following the "yellow brick road." In Heaven, it is said there are "streets of gold" (See Apoc. 21). They go to see the "all knowing, all powerful" Wizard of Oz. Only God is omniscient and omnipotent. It turns out the Wizard is just a fake. (Wiccans denigrate or even deny the Christian God). Lastly, they are told that the power to obtain all they want (courage, brains, a heart, and going home) "lies within"--a common theme in both witchcraft and Satanism; independence from God, you are "god."
Why the Wiccan revival? Why are Millennials adopting this form of Neo-paganism? These questions will be explored in this post along with a very serious warning--Wiccans are probably living near you, as covens are not necessarily brick and mortar buildings. You could have a witch next door; and they could try and influence your children.
Whereas my generation, or Generation X (circa 1961-1981) was more conservative than the Baby Boomers (circa 1946-1960), the Millennials who followed are really lost as they have felt the full impact of a post-Catholic, Vatican II sect world. (I shudder to think of those who come after). What's the attraction? First, an examination of Wicca's history.
Modern Wicca is basically paganism revived. Gerald B. Gardner is credited with the modern day revival of Wicca. Throughout his life Gardner was fascinated with many different aspects of the occult. He had been a follower of the Satanist Aleister Crowley and a member of Crowley’s occult lodge Ordo Templi Orientis. It is known that Gardner copied Crowley’s rites and rituals, which fully embrace and promote his doctrines of Satanism, and presented them as Wiccan. Most Wiccans are unaware of the direct connection to Satanism. (See e.g., Witchcraft Today by Gardener ).
It is hard to pin down the belief system of modern Wicca because, like Unitarian Universalists, they are a doctrinal melting pot. Here is an overview of most ideals modern witchcraft holds.
Wicca is polytheistic, its pantheon consisting of the "Horned God" which is viewed as the consort of the Goddess, and the Triple Goddess herself, whose aspects are the maiden, the mother, and the crone. It is a form of Neo-paganism, since they derive their impetus from a spiritual re-emergence and restatement of ancient pagan principles. They are:
- anti-authoritarian: they don't like rules in general.
- anti-dogmatic: they have a general belief system that each adherent is free to adopt wholly or partially.
- the "Wiccan Rede" or "Pagan Ethic," which states "If you harm none, do as thou please." There is no one correct set of ethics. Each witch decides for himself /herself what is right and wrong and what constitutes "harm" to another.
- We seek to live in harmony with Nature, in ecological balance offering fulfillment to life and consciousness within an evolutionary concept. (See Francis' "encyclical" Laudato si).
- We value sex as pleasure, as the symbol and embodiment of life, and as one of the sources of energies used in magickal (spelled with a "k" magick means the 'art of causing change to occur in conformity with the will' as opposed to sleight of hand magic tricks) practice and religious worship (Therefore homosexuality, bisexuality, and all perversions are encouraged).
- Our only animosity towards Christianity, or toward any other religion or philosophy of life, is to the extent that its institutions have claimed to be "the only way," and have sought to deny freedom to others and to suppress other ways of religious practice and belief.(Emphasis mine; the hatred they bear for the One True Church should be apparent, and it should be equally obvious why they like the Vatican II sect which eschews dogma for ecumenism).
Finally, this disclaimer by the Wiccans, "We do not accept the concept of absolute evil, nor do we worship any entity known as 'Satan' or 'the Devil,' as defined by Christian tradition." Really? 1 Corinthians 10:20, "No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want thee to be participants with demons." (Emphasis mine) Notice "thirteen" principles. Covens are ideally composed of 13 members in mockery of Jesus Christ and His twelve Apostles. Covens cast spells which sometimes mock the Eucharist. They often worship in the nude. Women are seen as equals in all aspects to men, and in some places are given greater deference. In a "banishing spell" published in Canadian witch Robin Skelton's book, The Practice of Witchcraft, the first words read as follows: "If this one has hurt this other one, let him be racked with the same pain." (See The Practice of Witchcraft, Press Porcepic Ltd., 1990, pp. 179). So much for "doing no harm."
Skelton's book also contains a spell to cause a miscarriage, "Take back this gift. Let the womb release the human fish in its bubbled seas. Unclench the gut. Let the birth run out that none may be hurt in flesh or heart." (Ibid, pgs. 169-170). As a result of feminist ideology inherent within Wicca (seeing the genders as equal or females greater), God the Father is viewed as evil (along with His Only Begotten Son), and so are the Ten Commandments which He gave to Moses. In the Wiccan world, Cain is a hero and so are the Sodomites whom God the Father judged and destroyed. Nevertheless, many Wiccans who join are fooled to believe that they only worship nature, and they can control nature because of a type of pagan pantheism, whereby they can manipulate the "force in all things" (think: Star Wars franchise of movies).
According to authors Marla Alupoaicei and Dillon Burroughs, in their book entitled Generation Hex: The Subtle Dangers of Wicca, (2008), women and teens especially seem to be attracted to Wicca, they say, because of the amount of "power" the religion promises. Learning to cast spells gives them the feeling that they can control the people who may have authority over them.
Many women also seem attracted to Wicca’s notion that men and women are absolute equals. They do not adhere to a patriarchal structure like in the Bible and the Church. A woman can become a high priestess in the church just as a man can become a high priest, the author says. The religion is also very open to people with "alternative lifestyles" (i.e., sexual perverts) such as sodomites and the whole "LGBTQIA+++" depravity.
Many of the people that Alupoaicei interviewed for the book had also experienced a lot of pain in their lives before turning to Wicca, which suggests a need for revenge.
The number of television shows and movies that portray Wicca in a positive way is enormous. One need only think of the Harry Potter books and movies as but one very famous example. Just as in The Wizard of Oz, author J.K. Rowling claims to have received her inspiration for Harry Potter from an other worldly source. For Rowling, during a train ride in 1990, she claimed, "I was staring out the window and the idea of Harry Potter just came. He appeared in my mind's eye fully formed." (See Reuters, "Harry Potter Just Strolled into My Head" 7/17/00) She also claims to hear in her head the conversations she writes: "Dialogue just comes to me as if I'm overhearing a conversation."
Movies and TV shows such as Bewitched, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, The Craft, Practical Magic, and Charmed are only some of the propaganda the public (especially teenagers) receive regarding Wicca. According to one Wiccan source, the two favorite movies of witches are:
The Craft (1996), A newcomer to a Vatican II sect prep high school falls in with a trio of outcast teenage girls who practice witchcraft and they all soon conjure up various spells and curses against those who even slightly anger them. The witches like it because "Teen angst meets magic along with some iconic lines that many witches use in their own life. (i.e. Magic is neither black nor white, it is both because nature is both.)"
Practical Magic (1998), Two witch sisters, raised by their eccentric aunts in a small town, face closed-minded prejudice and a curse which threatens to prevent them ever finding lasting love. The witches like it because "it is the closest thing Hollywood has ever come to real witchcraft. Herbal magic, judgement, finding acceptance within yourself, the wonderful family of women, this movie covers it all."
This has lead to much disinformation. An article on familyeducation.com entitled "Wicca: Many Girls Find it Spellbinding" had some "facts" about Wicca which are not entirely accurate. It portrays Wicca positively as a "religion, not a cult." I will list their alleged facts (some of which I have truncated to the most important part) in red and comment on each.
- People who practice Wicca (which is old English for "wise") believe that God has a masculine and feminine side, and that both sides are equal. Basically true, although "God" is not the God of Christianity but of pagan pantheism, "yin and yang."
- Wiccans strongly believe in the importance of nature and the need to act responsibly in protecting the environment. They are nature worshiping heathens like Bergoglio
- They believe in the "supernatural" powers of the mind, including extrasensory perception (ESP), which are believed to be "gifts" available to everyone, not just witches. For those who subscribe to pantheism, this is true enough, but not true of all. Some call on demonic forces
- They believe in reincarnation. Many do as it comports with pantheistic pagan belief systems
- Wiccans don't believe in Satan or a Devil. False. Many may not, but some do, or realize there are other forces at work besides "nature."
- There is no central governing body. Wiccan groups are autonomous. True
- There are many Wicca sects. Some Wiccans are part of groups called covens; others practice their craft alone. There are no formal sects; those whose beliefs comport most closely stick together and some go it alone
- Wiccan celebrations, often in the form of services held in peoples' homes, sometimes follow the seasons of the year or phases of the moon. True
- Wiccans believe in "sacred space," the rough equivalent of a cathedral (which can be created anywhere) in which is cast a "magick circle" to protect them from "negative energy." True
- Wiccans often wear a pentacle -- a five-pointed star surrounded by a circle -- as a symbol of their beliefs, and liken it to Christians wearing a crucifix or Jews wearing a Star of David. It is a Satanic symbol used in Freemasonry [also called the pentagram] and it is blasphemous to liken it to a Crucifix.
- Spells are seen as a form of prayer. "Spells are an integral form of witchcraft, just as confession is in Catholicism," wrote Sonia S., 17, in Teen Voices. Spells and the Sacrament of Penance have nothing in common except that those who use the former are in need of repentance, conversion and then penance.
- Wiccan beliefs and practices do not require anyone to give up their faith of origin. Technically true, as they claim all faiths are good (except Traditional Catholicism). Yet how can anyone merge, e.g., Protestant religion with Wicca? They are mutually exclusive
First, you must be aware of what they are and not fall for the propaganda. Make sure your children know their Faith, and realize what Neo-paganism/occultism is so as to avoid it. This garbage is ubiquitous, so always monitor what they read and watch. This will help protect your family.
As to Wiccans themselves:
- Always pray before engaging them. Especially pray to St Joseph, Terror of demons, and St. Michael the Archangel. Wear a St. Benedict medal-crucifix
- They are hard to reach as they believe there is no One True Religion for all. They think the Church is "bad" for having "discriminated" and "persecuted" them
- Do NOT call them Satanists even though they stem from Satan, as they will stop listening to you
- The best way to approach them is to get them thinking. Ask, "How do you know Wicca is true?" "If all religions are good, why be Wiccan?" "How do you know Christianity is not true?" Be prepared to counter the lies against the Church, and just like Unitarian Universalists, ask what they personally believe. Find out where they stand ideologically. Wiccans are all over the place. You could be talking to an occultist who believes in Satan, or a feminist pagan. It is important to find out what they believe so as to point out the inconsistencies and internal contradictions of their beliefs when combined with being Wiccan. If they are pantheistic, ask how can God be personal, as in Christianity, and also an impersonal force in nature as with pantheism. Wouldn't one need to be true and the other false? That would mean that a Christian does need to give up their beliefs to be a Wiccan, right?
- If all religions are basically good, ask them to pray with you! This is the best you can do to one given over to the occult. See if they will accept a Green Scapular
ConclusionWiccans are in desperate need of Christ and His Church. They, unknowingly or otherwise, have Satan and his demons as their leaders. Be careful in what your children watch and read, including such "harmless" books and movies like Harry Potter, and "innocent shows" like the old Bewitched series on television. Do not allow them to associate with those who are Wiccans or dabble in witchcraft. If you engage a witch, please do so only after much prayer and preparation, if possible. There is always time for a quick prayer to St. Michael and St. Joseph, Terror of demons. There are no "good" witches.
If you don't believe witches are to be taken seriously, remember the Biblical warning, "Witches thou shalt not suffer to live" (Exodus 22:18).