Wicca vs. Satanism

Table ofContents

  1. Summary…………………………………………………………………………4

  2. Introduction………………………………………………………………………5

  3. Body and development………………………………………………………….5

  4. Conclusion………………………………………………………………………14

  5. References………………………………………………………………………16

Outline

  1. Provide brief summaries of the report. Proceed to focus on

    • Explain summaries of both Wicca and Satanism including history

    • Compare similarities between the two

    • Compare the differences between the two religions

    • Conclusion

  2. Introduction

  • Explain the concepts of both Wicca and Satanism

  • Explain the contrast between Wicca and Satanism

  1. Body and development

  • Reflective contrast – Does Wicca have any relation to Satanism?

  • Provide a history of both religions and how they came to be

  • Give in depth definition of the concepts both religions citing credible sources

  • Do an in depth comparative analyses of both Wicca and Satanism citing credible sources of information

  1. Conclusion

  • Provide your conclusion based on your thorough analyses of the information you have gathered throughout the report.

Summary

Wicca is a mystery Western religion founded and by Gerald Gardner whodeveloped this concept circa 1950s in the United Kingdom (UK). Notlong after wards came along the very comparable Alexandrian Wiccaright about the 1960s. The practices carried out by the Wiccafaithful put their focus on the veneration of nature, natural cycles,rituals, magical and spiritual learning. Wicca is a derivative ofpseudo-folklore. Wicca holidays are celebrated on the yearly eightSabbats (Crowley 3).

Satanism is a wide term that refers to a collection of philosophicalbeliefs and ideologies. Satanism includes symbolic links with anadmiration for, Satan, whom Satanists faithful’s view as aliberating and inspiring figure (Gaborro 2).

Wicca and Satanism are quite the opposite of each other. Wiccansworship pre-Christian gods (or a contemporary composite ofpre-Christian gods) but do not worship Satan (Marsh 3). SomeSatanists do pledge their allegiance to a pre-Christian deity, butlook at the Christian anti-God as an expression of their deity, whichWiccans don’t. Satanism and Wicca are very different in their toneand goals. Wicca put emphasis on balance and harmony, whereasSatanism stresses on spiritual self-liberation through cathars is andiconoclasm (Follett 5).

The explanation for the confusion is highly evident due to thesimilarities of both Wiccans and Satanist in both practices andtraditions. But there have been clear differences of the two partiesto dispute this debate that Wicca and Satanism are one and the same(Nankervis).

Imagine you are walking through the woods, it’s chilly and from adistance you hear a chanting floating across the wind. The sound hasan eerie lulling sound, urging you to follow the new melody. Yourcuriosity gets the best of you, so you follow the noise. You enter aclearing and witness a group of individuals around a fire, chantingand dancing. What is your first impression? Have you stumbled upon asatanic cult? Or maybe are you witnessing a vibrant, misunderstoodreligion. Wicca is a religion very commonly misunderstood to beaffiliated with the devil and rituals containing black magic. To theuneducated mind, this is what we think when we hear the word Wicca,or more commonly known as Witch (Crowley 10).

Defined by Margot Adler, a writer for Reader’s Companion to U.S.Women’s History said Wicca is the commonly used term in describinga few contradictory traditions of new age Paganism. Wicca is areligion that venerates nature and makes merry of l lunar andseasonal cycles. She also stated that Wicca worship either a goddess,or a few goddesses, and sometimes a god together with a goddess(Follett 6).

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the contentious issue thathas been around for a while now. The issue is that of Wicca andSatanism. Looking at all the similarities evident in both classes ofreligion one has to wonder whether the two religions are similar orrelated in any way. I researched deeply into the topic of Wicca vs.Satanism and came up with some interesting details on both religionsfrom traditions to how they operate. Different people have differentviews on this topic, but this paper is a support of my personal viewsgotten from a deep research on the matter (Passantino&amp Gretchen35).

Bodyand Development

Looking athistorical accounts, Wicca can be said to be a present day pagan,witchcraft faith that established its roots in England during theearly years of the 20th century. In essence, the history of Wiccasignificantly contributes to the rise of Neo-pagan religions ofpre-modern Europe. Commonly the neo-pagan movements claim tooriginate from diverse historical pagan values. As such, theinception was developed in the midst of secretive covens in EnglandWicca draws its beliefs and practices from the historical works ofWitch-Cult writers. Wicca was brought to the community in the monthsof 1954 by a retired civil servant of the British known as GeraldGardner. In addition, Gardner, an author and an amateuranthropologist and archeologist founded the tradition of GardnerianWicca. Using his definitive religious contents he brought thereligion to public attention. Wicca bases its fundamental principlesupon a miscellaneous set of ancient hermetic pagan ideas for itsritual practice and theological structure (Crowley 2).

Satanism is awide term that refers to a group of philosophical beliefs andideologies. Satanism comprises of a symbolic association or anadmiration for, Satan, whom Satanists view as aliberating andinspiring figure (Frederickson 19). The history of Satanism isconnected to the post-European Enlightenment period. At the time,famous Romantics and writers debated on the characterization ofSatan. Writings citing Satan as a heroic figure was compiled as wellas writings describing the biblical Satan as a symbol of crisis offaith, wisdom and enlightenment. The descriptions started to developnew meaning outside the frame of Christianity, and as a resultSatanism gained popularity. Today, different Satanism denominationsexist the most common are the Theistic and the Luciferianism.Theistic Satanism commonly known as devil worshipers or traditionalSatanism believes that Satan is an existing force that deserves to berevered and worshiped. The Luciferianism, are a group of believersthat adore the inherent characteristics of Lucifer. Their inspirationis drawn from ancient myths of Rome, Greece and Egypt.

For very many years there seems to be a great deal of both confusionand disagreement about what both Wiccans and Satanists believe andpractice. This is predominantly a situation true amongst sometraditional Christians, fairly due to the context of poor andignorant translations present in some of the outdated English Bibles.Although the words &quotWiccan&quot and &quotWicca&quot arefairly well defined currently, terms such as Paganism and SatanismWitchcraft have many different definitions (Follett 12).

Research indicates that large sections of the human population do notknow or have poor information about who and what the Wicca andSatanist are all about. Even the word &quotChristian&quot isdifferently defined by various groups of people. For example, thinkthrough the following comment heard on a Christian radio show: “Annwas brought up a Roman Catholic, but later on in life became aChristian.&quot (Gaborro 3)

This might be reasonable to azealous Christian, but puzzling and evenquite distressing and insulting to a Catholic faithful. There ispossibly no truthful n or incorrect description in these kinds ofcircumstances. Different groups assign very different meanings to thesame English words. You could say that such a sentence as &quotWiccais a type of Satanism&quot can neither be said to be correctorincorrect (Karson 15). It is a right statement to one group and wrongto many others, depending on the explanations that they use forvarious terms and words. Deliberation is useless. Only settlement onone definition of all terms will help (Crowley 16).

Wiccans and Satanists are often confused for one another. There is asum of explanations for this self-definition as witches. A convictionin magic and the usage of a five-pointed star that is encircled as aholy symbol is one of the few but, simply speaking, the two couldn`tbe farther separated (Roleff 27). What the mix-up ultimately boilsdown to is a simple mix-up of three very different faiths: theisticSatanism, theistic Satanism and Wicca at. A small inspection of eachreligious group is more than satisfactory to correct the errors(Cohen 24).

There are an unanticipated number of Wiccan denominations, orconducts, as they are often referred to, and associated differencesin particular beliefs shared with the spread out, slightly radicalnature of the religion as a whole can make it hard to pin them down.However, a majority of Wiccans are basically duo theistic,worshipping a Goddess and a God in equal measure (Cohen 25). SomeWiccans view both as different characteristics of a greater, solitarydeity. Wiccans do not worship, nor do most even acknowledge thepossibility of, Satan’s existence or any Satan-like being. Theirbeliefs are typically centered on the earth, with observances andrituals concentrated on the seasons and other natural forces andoccurrences (Crowley 12).

Wiccans sometimes combine specific figures from a range ofpre-Christian belief systems into their own cosmology. This is doneeither as equivalents for the God or Goddess or as deities in theirown right (Nankervis 34). Wiccans also believe in and performingmagick which spelled with a “k” to distinguish it from stageillusion — which, in practice, often has a similarity to a highlyritualized form of prayer. Most Wiccans observe some form of theWiccan Rede which states that if it harms no one, do as you will, andthe Three-fold Law of Yields, that states whatever you send out willbe returned back to you, three-fold (Frederickson 33).

While the Satanic individual beliefs are just as diverse as those ofWiccans, almost all theistic Satanists also known sometimes asLuciferians or Setians revere or worship Satan in some form oranother. They are probably closest to what a majority of people inour society think of when they hear or talk about the term Satanist(Roleff 28). However, a big number of theistic Satanists do not viewSatan as a destructive figure of absolute evil neither do theyreally practice areversed form of Christianity (Bowker 16). Theyrather view the God of the Abrahamic faiths as a deity full ofvengeance, and one who seeks to enslave or oppress humankind. Satan,in their view, is the Christian God`s rightful challenger and anembodiment of free thought and humanity`s creative possibility(Roleff 28).

The theistic Satanist`s moral code is based upon an individualpersonal development and self-interest. They are quick to point outthat they neither condone nor perform human sacrifice or any otherform of ritualistic abuse. Theistic Satanist argue that troubledindividuals who do such things some of whom might identifythemselves as Satanists are part of criminal groups and in no wayrepresent of Satanists or their ideologies in general(Smith 24).

Like theistic Satanists, the beliefs atheistic Satanist emphasize onfree thought and personal development. However, as the term suggests,they do not believe in the accurate existence of Satan as adeity-like figure or deity in general. They do not worship any othergod or worship Satan despite being called Satanists (Hume 3). Theirsis rather a more of a ritualized philosophy. Satan is metaphoricallyviewed as a symbol of, individualism, liberty and pride. The largestand mostly known atheistic Satanist organization is the Church ofSatan, which was founded in 1966 by Anton SzandorLaVey. The lessonsof the Satanist church are based on LaVey`s “Satanic Bible”. Theteachings hold that all gods are human creations, personifications ofbasic human ideals and qualities. Theistic Satanistsbelieve thatworshiping any deity or god is essentially self-worship. They believethat self-deification is, therefore, the most direct path toindividual fulfillment and self-actualization (Hume 4).

Clearly, from research Wicca and Satanism are as unlike as any tworeligious belief systems. Although, if there is any one factor thatWiccans and Satanists have in common, it is that they are a lot oftimesbadmouthed and misinterpreted by other people outside of theirparticular religions (Pearson 4). While it may be debated thatSatanists do summon this to some degree by purposely settingthemselves in philosophical conflict to more mainstream religions,they and all the other followers of non-mainstream faiths appreciatethe same defenses under the set up clause of the First Amendment.Understanding them in all their differences and similarities is thekey to ensuring that protection remains in place for everybody(Pearson 5).

From the medieval days to these current ages, the Wicca religion isstill muddled with the not so moral religion of Satanism. The Wiccafaith has been around for many decades. The Christian followers haveharmed the reputation of Wicca by spreading messages of fear thatWicca is an evil religion no superior than the venerating of Lucifer(Pearson 5).From the days of witch burnings in the medieval era upuntil till now, Wicca has been categorized as part of Satanism.Common witch legends and costumes around the period of All HallowsEve portray witches as evil beings, doing terrifying things withmalicious intentions. This is a very common event and is not fair onany scale to all those people that practice the old religion. Giventhe factless informed people would without doubt put Wicca in thesame group as Satanism. This is despite the fact that these tworeligions are totally different from each other (Wicca46).

Due to the efforts of the Catholic Church in the medieval times totry and make sure more pagan worshipers joined their faith, they havemade the pagan’ religions such as Wicca and Satanism into somethingthat seems evil and disturbing (Gaborro 50).

The whole point of the Wicca belief structure is based on co-habitingin harmony with all things in existence. Despite Wicca being earthcentered they do go beyond this, and they are not limited to theearth, rivers, trees, air, oceans, lakes, and all the creatures ofthe earth, as well as other people without regard to color, sexualorientation, religion, or race (Tieman 5).

Satanism is the religious conviction that focuses on the flesh.Happiness, to the Satanist must be found here on earth and now. Satanists believe that no heaven is in existence for people to go toafter they die and no Hell of eternal burning punishment awaits thesinner or wrongdoer. Strongly connected to Satanists and closeassociations, eventually make excellent friends out of Satanistfaithfuls (Mathew 13). Satanists do not believe that you can treatevery person the same or there being a possibility of lovingeverybody. Satanists have a belief that by failing to hate you makeyourself incapable of loving. Highly feared by their rivals and lovedby their associates, Satanist`s continue to build their grip in thesociety. The term occult means something that is hidden or thoseteachings that are not known to the public, or the knowledge that isacquired beyond the five senses humans have. Therefore, in Satanismand Wicca knowledge is received by some supernatural connection orinvolvement (Mathew 16).

Perhaps the foremost difference between the Wicca and Satanist is thereligious symbol, the Pentacle or pentagram as many people wouldrefer to it. The difference includes the orientation and what theWicca represents. A pentacle, also known as a pentagramis a starwith five points that are even on all sides. The pentagram isever-present throughout history and its symbolism has been adopted bymany religions and cultures around the world, including theBabylonians, the Freemasons, the Christian and the Baha`i faiths.Both Wiccans and Satanists use the pentagram in their symbolism, butthis doesn`t make the two faiths similar (Mathew 49).

In Wicca, the pentagram is a representation the five elements whichare Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Spirit. Often there is a circle shownaround the pentacle. In ancient earth-based religions, circlesrepresent the feminine aspects, the goddess and the interconnectionof all things. The circle surrounding the pentagram is meant to showthe unity of all life. The pentacle is a strong symbol used in thecasting of spells during Wicca rituals (Crowley 69). A pentagram putin an upright position represents the dominance of spirit world overthe material world. The inverted pentagram used by Satanistsymbolizes the exact opposite of the Wicca pentagram (Wicca 56).

The pentacle that symbolizes Satanism is a pentagram which isinverted in nature. The Satanist pentagram is meant to represent thehead of a goat because this is how Satan is portrayed in mythicaldrawings as a man with a goat`s head (Gaborro 47). The two pointsfacing upward are meant to resemble the horns of a goat while thepoints facing sideways are ears. The point that is facing downwardsis a representation of the muzzle. Some worshippers of Satanism usethe three points facing downwards to represent the rejection of theChristianity holy trinity. The pentagram commonly used in Satanistrituals to call upon the powers it supposedly represents (Gaborro48).

While Satanists dedicate their worship to the one ultimate divineauthority, Lucifer, the Wiccans observe a dual deity. Wiccans expressstrong belief in the creative forces of nature this is because thedeities they call upon are not only symbols but forces in theuniverse. Every member of the religion has direct links to thedeities and they believe that the deities dwell within human beings.The supreme divine power is referred to as The All. They demonstratethe physical aspects of the earths cycles with the energy fieldpolarized around the God and Goddess. In this aspect, the Goddess andGod have the same forces that flow in opposite directions but not inopposed directions.

A very common similarity between the Wicca and Satanist is the manymisconceptions that people have about the two pagan faiths. A lot ofpeople regard the two sections as devil worship but this is a greatmisconception created by the major religions with Christians as forerunners. Neither Wiccans nor Satanists worship the devil whom is thenegative deity of a majority of theist religions rather Wicca andSatanism use the deity as mere representation of certain spiritualqualities. But then again one could say that Satanism andChristianity are the two inseparable parts of one idea. You cannotnecessarily believe in the existence of one without having to believein the existence of the other (Roleff 70). Satanists are more ofcounter-believers rather than Anti-Believers of certain Christianprinciples. Satanism is a faith which was developed on the basis of adualistic view of Christian core values. We could say that Satanismis an aggregate movement with a number offeatures that are one-sidedand exaggerated. These exaggerated features are the cause of somehighly distorted and typically destructive behavior of some of itsbelievers. Despite the negativity, it can also be a creative force.Through a combination of the creativity and self-empowermentprinciples Satanism becomes very attractive to many freethinkers andto followers. The most appealing factor, over Christianity, is that`anything goes.` There are no constraints in Satanism and the beliefsthey have. These principles are similar to some of the Wiccaprinciples such as not worshipping the Christian God and freethoughts based on self-empowerment without impending judgment (Roleff72). Further, it is believed that, after being introduced to thetraditions of Wiccans, most of them end up as Satanists. BothSatanists and Wiccans worship the pagan god, Pan, in history thedeity is identified as a sexual predator.

It should be made clear from the above that people who have no beliefin Christianity who are, Pagans, Buddhists, Hindus, etc. cannot bereferred to as Satanists. This is due to the fact that since the tworeligions, Christianity and Satanism are inseparable mirror images ofeach other and each depends on the other for its existence andjustification (&quotWICCA AND SATANISM Wicca and Satanism WorshipSatan&quot). Evidently Satanists use of a cross that is inverted tosymbolize their complete reversal of all the things that Christianitystands for. Interestingly, many modern day Satanists also use theinverted pentagram, which symbolizes as their complete disagreementof everything that Wiccans represent and stand for, as theright-side-up pentagram is the universal symbol of the Wicca (Tieman88).

Nor isWicca the least bit interested in the Christian or IslamicSatan / Shaitan figure with whom the fundamentalists are highlyobsessed with. One has to be a Muslim or a Christian to believe inthis &quotGod of Evil,&quot representation and frankly, the wholeconcept seems silly to the average Wicca (Mathew 65). GenuineSatanists fall into four categories that are overlapping: Muslims andChristians themselves, who are constantly talking about power andinfluence of &quotSatan`s&quot. Another category is theConservative Orthodox Satanists, who are just purely racists tryingto find a metaphysical excuse to behave the way they do anyway.PunkSatanists or Liberal Heterodox, who are the young individuals doingit to annoy their parents and whom journalist Paul Sulin calls &quottheSincere Sociopaths.&quot Punk Satanists are insane to begin with,but such evil that they are accustomed tooften be a result of growingup in families where they experience a lot of abusive lives. PunkSatanistslater on latch onto the leading Western view of Evil and goahead to enact the disturbing fantasies that the traditionalreligious faiths have created. All of these people (Mathew 68). BothWicca and Satanists are purely stuck in the standard contrast ofconservative monotheism being practiced around the world(&quotWhatIs the Difference Between Wiccans and Satanists?&quot) .

The existing misconception in the belief of Satanists and the Wiccansis based on control. Christianity refers to Satan as an author ofevil plans and events that happen in the spiritual world. As such,the belief tends to imply that Satanists control Wiccans. Thisfollows that Satan is in control of the spiritual world hence leadsWiccans into their existing belief. This is noted as a ploy of Satanto deceive humanity into his world of control. In this respect, beinga Wiccan or a Satanist is noted as one and the same thing though thedeception lies in believing that each is separate from the other. Thecraving for identity in belief plays a major role in separating thetwo beliefs.

The Wiccans are only interested in worshipping Nature and thegoddesses and gods of the Religions of old not the exhausted, oldabortion of monotheistic polarity.Pagan (and in reference I am usingthe Wicca) deities or gods were earlier on present long before thecoming monotheistic religions were even founded (Wicca 90). Thepopular Horned God of the Wildwood was venerated by our ancestors whowere pagan for thousands of years before the Christian faithfulconceived &quotThe Devil.&quot Wicca will stick with MotherNature’s whereas Satanist are welcome to practice their religionfreely without disturbing the (Wicca91).

Similarities in morality bring a connection to Wiccans and Satanism. Their belief system on how they treat people outside their circlesseems to be similar. They both believe in not forcing someone toabandon their religious values. They do not classify people accordingto the deity they worship or dedicate their lives to. They hold ageneral attitude that clearly implies that, whatever deity someoneworships should not be any other persons concern, hence they upholdthe aspect of absolute free will. Cannibalism is strongly opposed inboth beliefs. The Wiccans and Satanists promote children rights andthe fact that children should be protected and not harmed. As much asthey congregate in large numbers, dominating the world in theexisting times or in the future is not part of their agenda. Natureis highly respected in both beliefs, therefore, preserving andmaintaining nature is vital for both Wiccans and Satanists.

Conclusion

It is a great error to accuse followers of the Wicca religion ofbeing Satanist and worshipping Satan. Wiccans do not in any waywhatsoever acknowledge the existence of Satan the way that Satanistdo. Christianity since its inception, have always accused witches asbeing worshippers of Satan. And the rise of Wicca has not made it anydifferent. The misconception is still there, even in these moderntimes we live in (Crowley 36). The truth of the matter is thatWiccansdo not pledge in any form to Satanist theology or ideologies.The Wicca also do not in any way whatsoever, acknowledge theexistence of Satan, and therefore would have no reason to worship himas many anti-Wicca would claim. Therefore, if you were to ask anyWiccan faithful if they worshipped Satan, they would without doubtsay no (&quotIs Wicca a Form of Satanism?&quot).However, from theChristian viewpoint, we would come to a conclusion that the theologybehind Wicca principles is not from God and that it is definitelyauthored by Satan himself. This has been the foundation of theendless comparing of Wicca and Satanism. Furthermore, Christianswould proclaim that the goddess and god that the Wicca place theiradoration forand the offerings offered by Wiccans is in fact anoffering to Satan or the devil himself. From the Christian angle,this would mean that Wiccans are worshipping Satan just as much asthe Satanists. We must not confuse our-selves with this with thenotion that the Wicca faithful are purposefully or knowinglyworshipping an existence known as Satan. It is my conclusion thatthey do not worship Satan and the misconception that the Wicca arejust as similar, or even part of Satanists is false bearing.

WorkCited

Crowley, Vivianne. Wicca. London: Thorsons, 2000.

Tiernan, Cate. Wicca: 4. New York, N.Y: Puffin Books, 2002.

Wicca. Dun Laoghaire: Wicca Magazine, 1900. .

Gaborro, Allen. Satanism. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2007.

Roleff, Tamara L. Satanism. San Diego, Calif: Greenhaven Press, 2002.

Mathews, Chris. Modern Satanism: Anatomy of a Radical Subculture.Westport, Conn: Praeger Publishers, 2009.

Follett, James. Wicca. Sutton: Severn House, 2000.

Marsh, .Wicca. New York, N.Y: Vantage Press, 2004.

Nankervis, Jean. Wicca.Zennor: J. Nankervis, 1991.

Passantino, Robert, and Gretchen Passantino.Satanism. Grand Rapids,Mich: Zondervan Pub. House, 1995.

Frederickson, Bruce G, and Bruce G. Frederickson.Satanism. St. Louis,Mo: Concordia Pub. House, 1995

Karson, Jill. Cults. San Diego, CA: Greenhaven Press, 2000

Cohen, Daniel. Cults. Brookfield, Conn: Millbrook Press, 1994.

Brown, Alan, John Rankin, and Angela Wood.Religions.Longman, 1988.

Bowker, John. The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. Oxford:Oxford University Press, 1997.

Smith, Huston. The Religions of Man. New York: Harper &amp Row,1958.

Creating Sacred Space: Outer Expressions of Inner Worlds in ModernWiccaLynne Hume Journal: Journal of Contemporary Religion 1998

Belief Beyond Boundaries: Wicca, Celtic Spirituality and the New AgeJoanne Pearson Journal: Nova Religio-journal of Alternative andEmergent Religions 2005

&quotIs Wicca a Form of Satanism?&quot Religious Tolerance — AllPoints of View.N.p., n.d. Web. 9

Oct. 2015.

&quotWhat Is the Difference Between Wiccans and Satanists?&quotPeople – Opposing Views.N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Oct. 2015.

&quotWICCA AND SATANISM: Wicca and Satanism Worship Satan.&quot TheBiggest Little Christian Journal in the World.N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Oct.2015.