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Wiccans Don’t Worship Satan

Have you ever seen a star with a circle around it and totally freaked out and ran as far from it as possible?

You probably thought immediately of satanic rituals, animal sacrifices, and summoning demons, am I right? That would have that be the first thing to come to mind for most people. In fact, that is what I thought for the longest time.

Though today, I proudly walk around with a pentacle choker around my neck. I do that in hopes of having a conversation with someone about it, because the idea of witchcraft has been so warped by society. The true meaning of Paganism and Wicca has been lost to Hollywood stereotypes of evil old women, hunched over a boiling cauldron, or cloaked figures gathering together in a circle in the woods at 3AM. Let me set the record straight here.

You might be surprised to learn that Wicca and other Pagan beliefs center around one main value: Do. No. Harm.

Yep. We are completely against the idea of hurting anyone or anything. To quote the Wiccan Rede:

“These eight words the Wiccan Rede fulfill – An’ it harm none, do what ye will”

That basically means, as long as you do not hurt anyone or anything, do what you want. Shocking, right? We are lovers of life, whether it is animals, plants, energy, or humans. We believe in choosing your own path in life, and want to live the way humans were meant to live, long before society shaped our mind. Pure and honest kindness to our mother earth.

Religions like Christianity are the root of the warped view of Wicca and Paganism being about human sacrifice, making love with Satan, selling your soul to him, or going around cursing people. This happened because of fear. They converted people by fear of “God,” who was more powerful than all of their Gods combined and could strike them dead at any point or torture them after death, which was powerful because no one knew what happened after they die.

Even today, the fear of the unknown is a powerful thing. If the fear tactic of eternal torture did not work, they resorted to fear for their lives by making Paganism illegal in the 5th century. Pagans were not allowed to practice openly for fear of death and persecution, which caused it to either die out, or its practitioners to go into hiding. Early Christians created these exaggerated stories to justify punishment for Pagan worship, saying they saw them sacrificing babies in the woods, and making love or selling your soul to the devil. These types of stories that were made up and exaggerated over the years ended up convincing people these things actually happened. That is where the stereotype came from.

During the witch trials in the late 15th century, victims were tortured so badly that they eventually confessed to outrageous things to end their suffering. They had no chance to prove themselves if you were accused of witchcraft, there was no hope for them. They were guaranteed to be tortured into confessing something and then hanged. Being accused of witchcraft by anyone was an immediate death sentence. It did not matter how old or young you were–a child or an elder–there was no mercy.

All of these historic events simply left people believing and perpetuating these myths. No one dared speak up and correct them, and you did it in secret. Even in today’s world, witches still have to hide.

Pagans must practice in secret. Pagans go years without telling people because they are afraid. Sure, there may be no risk of death or torture now, but people judge. People disown Pagans, when they find out they will kick them out onto the streets, leaving them abandoned and left with nothing, forced to fend for themselves. They can lose everything, their family, friends, people they loved. They lose their home, stripped bare of everything they know, left alone with nowhere to go and no hope.

I remember the first time I brought up Wicca to my mom. I wanted to stop going to mass so I told her I was reading about it because I was curious, and I did not want her to be surprised that I was interested in that. Of course, being brought up in a strict Catholic household, it did not go well. I had hoped that telling her I was only looking, not actually practicing, would maybe just get me a stern look, a lecture, but at least I would be able to stop going to church, I was eighteen and an adult allowed to make my own choices.

My mom brought my dad into the conversation and that is when things went south. He started yelling at me about how I was going to go murder people or steal, with my friends, or stand by and watch them hurt people, and basically become a major criminal. I have always been the good girl in my family. I was a people pleaser. I was quiet and usually did what I was told. I did not fight back or misbehave, all the time. In fact, if I got in trouble at school for forgetting to bring a red pen to class, I would break down sobbing.

I thought that my parents knew that about me and hoped they knew that I would not do bad things to other people. As my dad was yelling at me, I stood there sobbing and saying, “I wouldn’t do that. I’m not a bad person. I’m not a bad person” Eventually I ran up to my bedroom and locked the door. My parents kept pounding on the door and yelling at me. Eventually, they left for church since they could not force me to go, though they tried. I was left alone in my bedroom sobbing and hurt that my dad thought I would do something so evil just because I was curious about Wicca.

A couple of years later I moved out, and after a while of living on my own, I was finally brave enough to try to learn about Wicca again. Soon enough I was announcing on Facebook that I was Wiccan. I am much more educated about it now, but I am still learning. My mom no longer judges me about it, so that is no longer an issue. She has even dropped me off at my church’s gatherings a couple of times over holidays since they meet just a mile from where she lives. She makes a point to say “God or the Universe for you.” I am so glad to have her as my mom. Now my dad has Alzheimer’s, so he does not understand and even if he could, I would not be able to understand him. His illness affects his speech, so it can be difficult to understand him. Maybe, after he passes I can go see a medium to talk to him. But for now, my mom is okay with it, she is scared for me, but she does not try to force Catholicism on me anymore.

I was hesitant about the God and Goddess concept at first. I thought I had to believe in a physical human form as most people think of with God. Eventually, though, I came to identify the God and Goddess as not beings, but energy. The God is more masculine energy, more bright and happy, while I see the Goddess as more feminine energy, always kind, gentle, and full of life.

Imagining them as energy rather than beings is easier for me to connect to them. In Wicca, you can worship whatever God or Goddess you want. You can even incorporate Christianity into it if you like. With Jesus as your God, and Mary as the Goddess. You can have multiple, or you can just have a couple of patron Gods or Goddesses that you invoke in your rituals. That is another thing I love about Wicca. The choices we have, and how we are encouraged to ask questions and explore the universe, work with different Gods or energies.

I have found a peace that I never felt before, even when I was a good little Catholic girl and on a six-year streak as a wanna-be-nun. Nature is all around us. We can see the change happen right in front of us. Magick is the power of will. Have you heard of affirmations? It is when you pick something you want in life, for example, a new house that is closer to family, and turn it into a statement like, “I love my new house that’s right next to my family.” You say that while imagining yourself standing in the kind house you want, or even a specific house, and then you do that daily. If you see yourself there and believe that you are there, over time, you eventually end up manifesting change in your life. It might not happen right away, but if you keep at it, it will happen.

That is what spells are. They may have other elements like herbs or candles to physically symbolize what you need, and usually include all the elements represented somehow. They usually rhyme, but they don’t have to. Other magick is done by visualizing and meditating. Converging your energy with the energy around you. It is important to connect to the universe on a subconscious level. The more in tune you are with yourself and the universe, the more power you have. But you must respect that power and use it for good, to do no harm. You have probably heard of karma. It is where you receive good things for being a good person, or vice-versa. We have that concept in our Rede. It is called the rule of three, or the Threefold law.

“Mind the Threefold law ye should- three times bad an’ three times good”

This means that whatever you put out into the universe, good or bad, will come back to you three times the amount you put out. If you do harm and hurt people, then you will be punished by the universe three times what you have done to others. If you are good and kind, you will have an abundance of goodness and kindness come back to you in your life.

For me, Wicca is about freedom, love, simplicity, connection, and respect. It is about taking charge of your own fate and destiny, not sitting around and letting the tide take you and wishing things would change. It is about connecting on the deepest, purest, primal parts of ourselves. It is about community, support, and acceptance. I can’t even describe it in a way that gives it justice. There are no words to describe the way that I feel when I am sitting and meditating, or taking part in a ritual with my church. It is like sitting in the most beautiful woods, surrounded by sparkling sunshine, green grass scattered with wildfires, and sitting against a willow tree with a light breeze in my face and the sounds of singing birds. It is this peaceful, content, innocent, and childlike happiness that just washes over me. It is a connection to something pure and good. That is the best way I can even try to put my emotions and feelings about Wicca into words.

Now, I am not expecting you to go to the nearest metaphysical shop and buy sage, candles, and a cauldron. I will never force anyone to believe in a God and Goddess. I just want to help my fellow Pagans to not have to be so afraid to practice openly. I want to make the world more tolerant and accepting of Paganism.

I want that stereotype of an evil witch to be buried with our tragic past and for people to be open to understanding others. If we can just allow others to not judge and attack others based on their beliefs, we can make the world a better place.

I hope you can take something away from this article, and go out and be understanding of others. I hope that if you are still in the “broom closet,” that you find some comfort when your relationships become strained when the people you love find out. I hope that within time they can become more tolerant of it, as my mom did.

Education is key. People are scared because they are ignorant. We must educate people about the truth of Paganism and Wicca. May we part ways today with warmth in our hearts, and a more open and understanding mind.

Merry meet an’ merry part, bright the cheeks and warm the heart. Eight words the Wiccan rede fulfill:

An’ it Harm None- Do What Ye Will

Blessed be.

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SOURCES: {https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_and_Paganism#Prohibition_and_persecution_of_Paganism_in_the_Roman_Empire} {https://www.google.com/search?q=when+were+the+witch+trials&oq=when+were+the+wi&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j0l5.8543j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8}

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