Does our culture promotes an inaccurate picture of Witchcraft and Paganism? Why does it demonize Witches and Wiccans? Why does it demonize terms like magic while using it themselves under the guise of faith? Learn the truth behind this misinformation.
What is it about these systems that Christianity doesn’t want you to know? Why do they demonize everything associated with witchcraft and paganism? Let’s take a little Bible lesson.
Unbelief is as Witchcraft?
Witchcraft gets a bad reputation because of it being the common name for nature based practiced that existed before the advent of the Abrahamic religions. What is wrong with nature? Why did the Church single out these customs and demonize them?
Many scholars tell us the intent of the Church was to create an efficient cash flow system to fuel the Roman Empire by taking over the religions of the area and unifying them under one umbrella. (1) The references are English Revised Version. (2)
1 Samuel 15 23 For rebellion – unbelief is as witchcraft, and stubbornness is as idolatry and teraphim. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.
If you do not believe in the authority of the Church, it is the same a rebellion and the rejection of God. To think for yourself is like idolatry and Idolatry or the worship of idols is the same as witchcraft. Teraphim are small images or objects used commonly by Semitic tribes of the 1st Century.
The writer of this text is equating their own historical practices with witchcraft. They wanted this kind of home-grown practice to stop. It is clear they took the practice of anything outside of their belief system as an attack, as rebellion. That’s good to know, because rebellion is punishable by death.
Exodus 22:18 You must not allow any woman to do evil magic. If she does magic, you must not let her live.
1 Chronicles 10: 13 So Saul died for his breach of faith. He broke faith with the LORD in that he did not keep the command of the LORD, and also consulted a medium, seeking guidance.
Yes, talking to people considered spiritual guides outside the Church is punishable by death. Read the contract of the ten commandments in Exodus 20:3-17. The first five are all about God and what he’ll do if you disobey or think for yourself.
Exodus 20:3 You must not worship any other gods except me.
It sounds insecure and narcissistic for a being that is supposed to be perfect.
4 You must not make any idols. Don’t make any statues or pictures of anything up in the sky or of anything on the earth or of anything down in the water.
Here it’s beginning to sound like a jealous stalker.
5 Don’t worship or serve idols of any kind, because I, the Lord, am your God. I hate my people worshiping other gods. People who sin against me become my enemies, and I will punish them. And I will punish their children, their grandchildren, and even their great-grandchildren.
But, hey, if you obey and worship me, then I’ll be kind. Here we have the example of the abuser.
6 But I will be very kind to people who love me and obey my commands. I will be kind to their families for thousands of generations.
7 You must not use the name of the Lord your God to make empty promises. If you do, the Lord will not let you go unpunished.
Here’s where you must promise to obey; otherwise, the loving God will lay you to waste. He may have created Heaven because he loves you, but don’t forget he created Hell for those who don’t love and obey. It actually fits the definition of extortion when the same person offering you a bribe is also threatening you with punishment if you don’t go along.
8 You must remember to keep the Sabbath a special day.
The Sabbath is better known as show me the money day.
9 You may work six days a week to do your job. 10 But the seventh day is a day of rest in honor of the Lord your God. So on that day, no one should work—not you, your sons and daughters, or your men and women slaves. Even your animals and the foreigners living in your cities must not work! 11 That is because the Lord worked six days and made the sky, the earth, the sea, and everything in them. And on the seventh day, he rested. In this way, the Lord blessed the Sabbath—the day of rest. He made that a very special day. 12 You must honor and respect your father and your mother. Do this so that you will have a full life in the land that the Lord your God gives you. 13 You must murder no one.
Of course, you should not kill, unless God tells you to do so, which is what he does in the next book, Leviticus 17-26. This script is known as the Holiness code, where God outlines the ways to kill those who disobey, including stoning and burning. Both are still popular among religious extremists today.
14 You must not commit adultery. 15 You must steal nothing. 16 You must not tell lies about other people.
Here we have a built-in cavitate. God doesn’t say you should not lie, just not lie about others, which leaves a lot of other things you can lie about and still be okay as far as God is concerned.
17 You must not want to take your neighbor’s house. You must not want his wife. And you must not want his men and women servants or his cattle or his donkeys. You must not want to take anything that belongs to another person.
Witchcraft and Paganism
Many mystical processes fall under the umbrella of magic. But one must be careful because some things are considered evil. Our cultural programming is the source of our judgments about this subject. Those things we think are evil are programmed with a purpose.
Demonizing makes people and things socially unacceptable. It’s an admission of substance. It means there’s something here which is a direct threat to the belief system. Otherwise, why would people attempt to demonize them? Often you will find there isn’t a difference between these practices and what is acceptable in mainstream religion, just the name.
The people who use these processes create their terminology to make things more confusing. People are curious. What is Magik? Why use a K instead of a C? What exactly is The Craft? These are all exciting terms that our culture has intentionally skewed. All these topics and words intermingle, so we can start almost anywhere. Let’s begin with Witchcraft and Paganism.
So the Abrahamic tree has deep Pagan roots. They are the rebranding of earlier religions sown together from the Assyria, Babylon, Egypt, and Persia mystery religions. There is nothing new in the tree of Abraham. (3) The leading Christian authority admits to origins of their doctrine.
“Symbolism in a greater or lesser degree is essential to every kind of external worship, and we need not shrink from the conclusion that in the matter of baptisms and washings, of genuflection’s and other acts of reverence, of lights and sweet-smelling incense, of flowers and white vestitures, of spiritual unction’s and the imposing of hands, of sacrifice and the rite of the Communion banquet, the Church has borrowed without hesitation from the common stock of significant actions known to all periods and all nations. In such matters as these, Christianity claims no monopoly or originality.” ― The Catholic Encyclopedia and International Work, Vol. 14 (1907).
We are all familiar with the term Magic. Some things in life are magical, like falling in love. Magic can also involve directing energy to achieve some purpose. For example, The Craft is an example of using your intention with a goal.
Most people associate the term The Craft with Witches and Wicca. However, the elements used in The Craft are nearly universal to all rituals. When you break it down, The Craft is simply a ritual combined with intent.
Many believe your own rituals are more effective than using rituals created by others. When you create your own ritual, you infuse it with the power of your intention, emotion, and meaning. This makes the Craft a powerful vehicle for ceremonies.
Observing someone this type of process is something most would identify with as spellcasting. It conjures the image of Witches mixing potions, but it’s much more than this. The form and substance are what others call Ritualistic Prayer. Religions from Buddhism to Catholicism use ritualistic prayer in ceremonies and masses. It’s virtually the same whether you evoke a higher power for healing or material wealth. It’s the same for charging or cleansing a crystal. The exact process is at work when altering a situation or the vibration of the object. Spellcasting uses the same process as using a candle or mirror to enter a trance state. (4)
Magic relies on the personal power of the practitioner. The process may use a variety of objects, natural or metaphysical. However, it is the practitioner who provides energy for the working. Witches often use a Book of Shadows to record and pass along these processes and the outcomes. Many other religions and philosophies use a journal. We refer to this as a spiritual journal. Whatever you call it, it is a valuable tool.
International Scope of The Craft
The Craft includes using words of power like Mantras and Sutras. Mantras and Sutras are sound or word formulas associated with Indian traditions. We also find formulas or words of power in the Abrahamic sects. It’s an essential component of Kabbalah and Christianity’s sacred name sects. We’ll look at this later on under Magik. The processes associated with The Craft are universal and international in scope.
Bottom line. The Craft is a process involving formulas to achieve a purpose. The formula includes intent, emotion, meaning, sound (spoken or non-verbalized words or phrases). What is Magik? It’s how you apply The Craft.
Some Wiccans are Witches, but not all Witches are Wiccan. A Witch is someone who practices what they call Witchcraft. A Witch is someone who respects the Earth. They follow the Turning of the Wheel, celebrating the movements of the Sun, Sabbats, or “turning of the Moons,” Esbats
Those who practice the Craft learn to use the synergistic power of the circle. The fire and drum circle are ancient community-building tools. When people gather united around a positive central purpose, you can feel the energy.
They may also follow specific moon phases, eclipses, and other feast days. Some use a branch of the Witch’s art, such as herbal medicine or divination. That’s it. That’s a Witch. Following the seasons, using natural remedies, and walking in harmony with nature and other people. Many cultures trace their lineage to 13-month calendars based on the moon’s cycles, rather than the Gregorian calendar was adopted in 1582.
People think Witchcraft and Paganism are the same thing, but they are not. The modern meaning of Paganism is any religion other than Christianity. Whereas Witchcraft is the practice of magic. The confusion of these terms started in the fourth century. Christians began identify those who practiced polytheism as Pagans. Although, technically, Christianity is also polytheistic. It has the trinity of good gods, plus the evil God Satan. And the processes for Salvation in the Christian paradigm are the practice of magic.
It was a way of segregating those they did not desire, which entitled the Catholic Church to ostracize at a minimum. It often led to the confiscation of property and public torture and execution. The Church does not like competition. The truth about the origins of Witchcraft and paganism is an embarrassment to the Church. They stole all of their doctrines, practices, and rituals from these earlier traditions.
If you enjoy nature, you have a lot in common Paganism. Paganism respects the Earth. It is based on Animism, which is the root of all religions. Here is where nature became personified as the ancient gods. The anthropomorphic entities are metaphors of people with animal characteristics.
Someone who practices Wicca, known as a Wiccan, follows a code of ethics known as the Rede. The central tenets of the Rede are the Three-fold Law or the Law of Returns:
1) What you do will return three-fold.
2) Harm None, Do What Ye Will.
They expand this to include the four-step rule of To Will, To Know, To Dare, and To Be Silent. These rules apply to the practice of the Craft. The Craft embodies the rituals whereby the Wiccan appeals to the Universe for the desired positive outcome. Many Witches adopt these elements for their practices. Some Wiccans also worship a higher power, including male/female deities. Their rituals often honor and harmonize feminine and masculine attributes. Many refer to the Earth as a feminine entity. We are all familiar with the term mother Earth.
Okay, Finally, What is Magik or Magick?
Magic with a K Magick is ceremonial magic with pagan roots. We know it by other terms such as Magick or High Magick. Magic with a K comes from the practice we know as Witchcraft and the Craft. Here, they perform magic according to specific ordinances to produce the most beneficial outcome.
Using the circle is one practice that transcends traditions. Many cultures perform ceremonies to celebrate the seasons, the sun’s cycles, and the moon. Examples of paradigms that practice this include Catholicism and Freemasonry. What is Magik in other systems? The Japanese Tea Ceremony is an example of Ceremonial Magick. They use choreographed movements making and serving tea. The intention here is to develop presence. The ritual implements are ceremonial objects often charged with various types of energy.
For example, Judaism uses several ritualistic objects. They have many sacred things like the Torah Scroll and the tzitzis. Tzetze are Tassels that attaches to the tallit and tallit katan. It is like the magical underwear known as the Temple Garment, which you find in Mormonism.
Magical Mystical Appropriation
The formula may include invoking the sacred name, or ceremonial and cleansing (baptism by water). This mystical formula or spell enables you to get the desired object. Sacred name or sacred word sects are concerned with the pronunciation of words. Mystical mental appropriation and faith enable them to say the words correctly. The right formula is key to the concept of salvation. These methods are identical to ceremonial magic.
We find this process in the Sacred Name Sects of Christianity. They claim knowledge of the correct pronunciation of the name of God. Knowing this, they believe, gives them the power to summon God. Some sects use the Tetragrammaton (the Hebrew reference for God), while others say it applies to the Greek name of Jesus—Isous.
The main point here by knowing the name, they get a membership in a special club! Now, they alone can call on the name of the Lord. They believe this gives them an entry ticket to an Afterlife in Heaven while everyone else goes to Hell. That’s because God loves everyone so much he created Hell for those who can’t pronounce the sacred name. These examples are identical to Witchcraft’s processes and other so-called pagan practices. The dominant cultural narrative simply tries to rebrand these practices as their own.
Ritual or Magical Procedures
Many people are drawn to rituals because we are creatures of habit. Ancient rites are mysterious, and some have roots back before recorded history. It doesn’t matter to what belief system you ascribe. You can be an Atheist, Theist, Deist and still be interested in or engage in habits associated with magic. The concept of magic permeates our lives—for instance, a rabbit’s foot on a key chain. If you take the time to study other traditions, you will find several similarities.
Witchcraft has ties to traditions that pre-date written history. The people who practice Witchcraft have much in common with our indigenous cultures. You can see the practices of Witchcraft mirroring techniques from ancient Shamanic cultures. Witches individualize their Craftwork much like the ancient traditions of the Crone.
The Shamanic Journey is likely the first form of magic. It is an ancient process for reaching an altered state of consciousness. This form of consciousness exploration is prolific. You find it in almost every ancient culture. The ancient practitioners, the Shaman, are the original magical athletes of the spirit world.
Finally, any discussion on magic must include superstition. Many people believe Magic is nothing more than superstition. The rabbit’s foot mentioned above is an example of a good luck omen. Not that it was good luck for the poor rabbit. This lucky charm is found in North American folklore. We can trace it to African-American folk spirituality known as Voodoo. Superstition means the belief in anything irrational. If that is the case, then most religions would be superstitious.
Science tells us many things that don’t fit nicely into our religious beliefs are true. Western religious leaders often discounted the proofs for higher states of consciousness. Scientists hooked up people meditating to an Electroencephalography (EEG) and discovered unique ranges of physiological changes in brainwave patterns and breathing. There’s the proof.
A Little Logic Goes a Long Way
The science of logical reasoning helps us to understand that you can provide evidence to prove something doesn’t exist. You can’t prove gods don’t exist, but that doesn’t mean they do. You can’t disprove that Apollo, Zeus, Mithra, Dyonisys, or any other god doesn’t exist. But, because there is no proof they don’t exist doesn’t mean they do. Similarly, anecdotal evidence does not prove the existence of gods.
Does Odin Exist?
Here’s an example of how this argument works. First, no ice giants exist. Odin promised to wipe out the ice giants. So, since there are no ice giants, this is proof of Odin’s existence. Second, Odin is prolific in early paganism dating back to oral traditions in Germanic mythology. Odin (from Old Norse Óðinn). It’s this kind of evidence of anecdotal stories which are prevalent in early forms of paganism. Old English calls Odin Wóden and shows up in Old Saxon as Wōden. He’s in stories from Germany as Wuotan or Wodan. With so much evidence from so many cultures, it’s evident that Odin exists. Maybe not.
The answer, no, you’re mistaken; these legends aren’t evidence of the existence of Odin. Sorry, but the absence of imaginary creatures does not represent evidence they ever existed. The lack of proof is not proof of absence. And telling stories, no matter their age, does not suffice as proof for the existence of Odin. These points apply to all gods, not just Odin.
Enhancing your critical thinking capabilities will help you break cultural programming.
If someone asks, what is Magik? You’ll be able to explain it. Plus, you’ll know all different terms mean everything from the Craft to Ceremonial Magic. More importantly, you’ll know those in charge of the cultural narrative use misinformation to hide the truth. Remember, your unbelief is as witchcraft. So keep questioning and maintain a strong level of unbelief.
(1) Church History in Plain Language: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/111596.Church_History_in_Plain_Language
(2) New English Revised Bible: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_English_Bible
(3) Abrahamic Religions: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abrahamic_religions
(4) Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft: https://www.scribd.com/book/275210950/Buckland-s-Complete-Book-of-Witchcraft