On Wicca, Witchcraft, And Christianity

I was finally baptized recently, and confirmed as a member of the United Church of Canada. As part of the service, I was given an opportunity to share my faith journey, which involved also emphasizing how important my time as a Wiccan was to finally being called to Christianity. And yet, I still encounter many who have no idea what Wicca is, and view it either with puzzlement or downright opposition because of the Bible’s seeming condemnation of all things witchcraft.

Wiccans don’t make it easy either–there is a plethora of views and ways to practice, complicated by the differences between eclectic Wiccans and Wiccans who are part of a coven. That said, I would argue Christianity has as much, if not more variation, among its adherents. I would also submit that the Bible’s condemnation of witchcraft is not quite as black and white as many would like to believe.

While many Christians would argue all faiths are a form of idolatry, and demons act through all other faiths, many others would argue that other faiths are legitimate, even if they don’t capture the entire truth that Christianity does. For myself, I believe the Holy Spirit defies every effort to categorize it, and it seems completely reconcilable with the God I know for the Holy Spirit to reach people through whatever means necessary, up to and including other faiths or even no faith (ie. atheism, agnosticism, secular humanism). Regardless of whether one agrees with me on that or not, the Bible is quite clear that God judges on the whole of the person, seeing into their heart and despising hypocrisy. Thus, if someone practices another faith or no faith, and they live a life of agape love, then I am quite certain God will welcome them as a beloved child on the Day of Judgment.

Yet some would argue witchcraft is an irreconcilable act. The difficulty with such a blanket condemnation is that there are many forms of witchcraft, and not all of them represent the type the Bible most likely had in mind.

It is well-documented that there are indeed forms of demonic witchcraft, or witchcraft demanding blood sacrifice. That type is rightly condemned, and no self-respecting Wiccan would be caught dead practicing such things, as it flies in the face of the Threefold Law (every energy, positive or negative, you put out into the world comes back at you threefold) and the Wiccan Rede (As long as ye harm done, do as ye will).

Then there’s the witchcraft attested to in the Christian Scriptures. This type of witchcraft is characterized by exploitation. It dominated the Middle East–magicians and sorcerers would charge exorbitant rates, claiming to perform miracles, and would often use their powers to gain political influence as the advisers of kings–or at the very least, make a living off the backs of the most vulnerable. While you certainly find some Wiccans charging exorbitant rates, the vast majority of Wiccans recommend running the other direction if you encounter such folks, as it flies in the face of Wiccan practice.

The vast majority of Wiccans only practice witchcraft after careful consideration and with the blessings and aid of the Goddess. They seek to maintain harmony, and only cast spells that help others or provide themselves with an extra boost. In fact, most of their spells are of similar content to Christian prayers–though with an understanding that many Christians have lost, that once the spell is cast (or the prayer said), it must be accompanied by action. On top of this, Wiccans seek to live in harmony with nature, and celebrate the goodness of sexuality and creation. Any coven or Wiccan group that does charge money, most often only charges for the supplies used in the rituals, or possibly for rent if they work out of a building–but that is no different than any church which relies on collection plates to make ends meet.

As an aside, regardless of what one things of Garnder’s claims, this is the type of witchcraft that seems to have largely dominated the British Isles–not at all the same thing as the type prevalent in the Middle East.

I cannot, of course, tell you what to think, especially in the space of a blog post. I will say however, that I do not view my switch from Wicca to Christianity as a conversion–it was simply the next step I felt called to on my faith journey. It was in Wicca that I accepted the existence of the divine, and learned to follow guidance from the divine–guidance that led me to the Christian path where I am today. Wicca will always hold a fond place in my heart, and I will continue to encourage Christians to follow Stendahl’s rules for interfaith engagement and dialogue with Wicca as with other faiths. For all who serve the Light must partner together and learn from each other or lose all to the Shadow.

Published by Devin Hogg

My name is Devin Hogg. I was born and raised in Carnarvon, Ontario, Canada. I moved to Guelph, Ontario, Canada in 2009 for university and lived here ever since. In my free time, I enjoy reading, watching TV and movies, going on long walks, swimming, and practicing Chen style Tai Chi. I love to write poetry and blog regularly about topics such as mental health, sci-fi/fantasy series, faith, sexuality, and politics.

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