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Wicca and Christianity

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In this paper I will be discussing the treatment of Wicca, Witchcraft, by the Christian religion, since day one. First I will give a brief description of the religions. In the next paragraph I will give a brief history lesson, then I will get into the nitty-gritty. In the next few paragraphs, I will discuss the movie, The Craft, and some reviews by various Witches in the country. Then I will speak of the movie Warlock, and I will give my own review.

Then I will give my own thoughts, and “wrap it all up.”

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In Genesis, it is written that God created Heaven and Earth. It also says he created man and beast and put them in the “Garden of Eden.” It is also stated that a serpent forced Adam and Eve to eat the “forbidden fruit” from “The Tree of Knowledge.” There was no such being known as Satan; in fact, I don’t believe it is mentioned until the New testament.

The only mention of an evil being, before it receives the name ‘Satan,’ is in Revelations, where Job speaks of The Leviathan. Also, there has been a lot of war and violence in the name of God, the so-called ‘Almighty god of love.’

Witchcraft, in most traditions, speaks of a god, Woden, and a goddess, Gaia, giving birth to the world. There is no set “holy book,” Witches live by eight words, not Ten Commandments; Those eight words are: An’ harm ye none, do as thou wilt. There is no being of true “evil,” and they don’t blame anyone for their mistakes.

Witchcraft originates in the Paleolithic era; when primitive wo/man, was finding out what was happening in the world. Excluding the discovery of fire and the wheel, the first religion was “formed.” Wo/men “created” what the gods looked like, Woden has horns and scraggly hair, and Gaia is fat, and her genitals are enlarged. The reasons for these traits were simple, Woden, who was “the god of the hunt,” resembled a beastly humanoid, while Gaia, who was the “goddess of fertility,” showed off the pregnant, fertile role; As wo/man became more civilized the deities changed, and more were “added.” Woden is now known as “The Horned One,” and Gaia received the title of “The Triple Goddess,” personifying the maid, mother and crone. Being a religion based on tradition, the “old ways” were never forgotten, so the rituals were still observed; Then along comes Christianity, and the religions existed peacefully together, until the “Dark Ages.” Shortly after the “New Testament” was written, witches started getting pushed around. After a few years of anti-wiccan writings (the most infamous of these being the Malleus Maleficarum {the Witch Hammer} written by two German monks) and “protests,” the Christian hierarchy ‘decided’ that witches were the minions of “Satan,” and so they must conform, or be destroyed; This is shown in the following quote by Raymond Buckland.

Gradually the hysteria kindled by Kramer and Sprenger began to spread. It spread like a fire-flashing up in unexpected places; spreading quickly across the whole of Europe. For nearly three hundred years the fires of the persecutions raged. Humankind had gone mad. The inhabitants of entire villages were one or two Witches were suspected of living, were put to death with the cry: “destroy them all…the Lord will know his own! (5)

These three hundred years became known as ‘The Burning Times.’ It was during these years that accusations were ‘ripping’ through the countryside’s. It was also during this time when the Salem Witch Trials took place. When the cries of Witch stopped approximately nine million people were burned at the stake, hung or tortured to death, and a good number, probably weren’t even Witches. Does this sound familiar? Hitler destroyed approximately six million people, that’s about three million more. Once it was over, any surviving Witches went “into the shadows,” and continued practicing. A book was written by the coven leaders of the time, and passed from coven to coven. This became known as “The Book of Shadows,” it was intended to keep the religion ‘alive’ until it was ‘safe’ for the religion to resurface. After a few hundred years, sometime in the nineteen-seventies, there was a re-surgence in the Wiccan religion, started by Gerald Gardner and Raymond Buckland; Because of this re-surgence, Hollywood had a “field day.” Also since this time, Wicca was realized by The Parliament of Religions, as a ‘real religion.’

In the early eighties there was a demand for “Witchcraft movies,” and movies such as the Witchcraft series, the Witchboard series, and Warlock were on the “silver screen.” Finally in the early nineteen-nineties, The Craft was introduced to the world, and it was hyped up as having an “authentic Witch” on the set during filming. In a statement I found on the Internet, the COG website, it was strongly stated that COG has no stand on the issue. The same statement, gives a name to this “authentic Witch.”

Pat Devin, currently First Officer of the Southern California Local Council, was hired as a technical consultant on the film. At the time she worked of The Craft she was a National Public Information Officer for the Covenant, but she was not representing COG’s interests or opinions in her work there. Ms. Devin never claimed that she was, but her role in COG did become known to the film company, and it has since appeared in their publicity information and has been spread through outlets such as Entertainment Tonight. (Suliin)

While “surfing” the same website, http://www.cog.org, I came across quite a few reviews of The Craft, made by Witches, some totally against the movie, and some were “on the fence.” Out of all of these reviews, the same basic message was repeated; In the end of the film, Witchcraft was defeated by Witchcraft, not Christianity. To me, one particular review stands out, it was written by Don Frew.

The film includes a few phrases of dialog common to Craft ritual scripts. I would rather these had not been present so as to further distance the girls’ practice from real Craft, but it’s not a big deal. The scriptwriters could have gotten the words from most published books on Craft. The One above all is identified as a male spirit named Manon. Fictitious, fine, but I would rather it had been female or genderless. The second half of the film, as many critics have noted, degenerates from a study of the outsider into a horror flic, but then The Craft is a horror flic so this is hardly suprising.(reviews 4)

Frew goes on to talk about the positive aspects of the film, and how it “teaches” audiences to “identify with positive witch characters, rather than fear them, and this certainly seemed to be true…”(reviews4)

Until this point, I wrote this paper from a neutral standpoint, but this is the part where I take sides. As I mentioned earlier, Warlock was released in the nineteen eighties. It was one of Hollywood’s first Craft films, so it was handled rather distastefully. In the film, Julian Sands, who is a superb actor, plays the title character. The only problem I saw with this film was the script. Sands depicts the Warlock, a.k.a. Satan’s son, and it just so happens that he is a Witch. His role was more of a Wicked Witch of the West, than a Wiccan, but whatever. In the film there were two quotations that “ruffled my feathers;” One of which was said by the “Witch-Hunter,” Redferne, and the other was spoken by Mr. Sands himself. The first quotation takes place in a scene in which Redferne is preparing for his standoff with the Warlock. He is salting the leather of his whip, when another character asks what he is doing, he replies, “Salting the leather…Witches loathe salt.” Witches don’t loathe salt; in fact, I put salt on almost everything. The other quotation is in one of the final scenes, when the Warlock is casting a spell, to bring together the pages of “Satan’s Bible.”

I am he of empty crib and stillborn fole, I am he whose coming the stars hath foretold.

I am he with heart forged by blackest coal,

I am he who makest whole the glorious goal of Satan’s unborn soul.

This quote particularly urks me because of the fact that it could have recreated the panic that those German monks started. From a filmmaker’s standpoint, both of these movies were phenomenal, but as a Witch I am horrified. Granted, The Craft did have some genuine Craft beliefs, such as:

True magick is neither black nor white,

Loving and cruel…all at the same time.

The only good or bad is in the heart of the witch.

Being a Witch isn’t as simple as it seems in the movies. You must try to get along with everyone, and not get angry; Because anger causes bad decision making, which could get someone seriously injured. We choose to always live by the Rede, An’ harm ye none, do as thou wilt. We must also worry about the Three fold law, “Mind the three fold law you should, Three times bad and three times good.”(Wiccan Rede) We really don’t have to worry about anything in the Wiccan Rede if we don’t want to, because it is just a guideline, but all Witches do. In the inner circles of the Craft, the Wiccan Rede isn’t just a guideline on how you should live it is more like a code of honor. The entire Wiccan Rede is as follows:

Light the log and the Horned One rules.

Bright the cheeks and warm the heart.

Three times bad and three times good.

Eight words the Wiccan Rede fulfills;

An’ harm ye none, do as thou wilt.

I didn’t use many quotations in this paper, because most of the paper is common knowledge amongst Witches; Furthermore it may seem a little vague, because I’ve taken an oath of silence, which prevents me from speaking, or writing about much of the religion, (to non-Pagans). I hope this paper enlightens all who read it, to the great wrong that has been done to us, but most importantly the point that must be made is: We are not bitter because of this…in the words of a great man, “That which does not kill me, only makes me stronger.” We must stop the violence in this world or else Nostradamus’ predictions will be correct, and the way the world is going, they will come about before the time he predicted. What I trying to say was already said by Rodney King, “Can’t we all just get along?” Blessed be and have a pleasant existence.

References

  1. Buckland, Raymond. (1975). Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft (Sixteenth edition 1993). Minnesota:
    Llewellyn Publications.
  2. Dunwich, Gerina. (1995). The Wicca Book of Days “Legend and Lore for Every Day of the Year. New Jersey:
    Citadel Press (Carol Publishing Group).
  3. Flemming, Andrew. (Supervising Director) and Nugent, Ginny. (Producer). (1995). The Craft. [Videotape].
  4. Burbank, CA: Columbia Pictures.
    Miner, Steve. (Supervising Director) and Kopelson, Arnold. (Producer). (1988). Warlock. [Videotape]. Burbank,
    CA: New World Pictures.
  5. http://www.cog.org (1996). [Internet Website]. Covenant of the Goddess website.

Cite this Wicca and Christianity

Wicca and Christianity. (2018, Sep 11). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/wicca-and-christianity-essay/

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