Wicca: Part 3 – Practices, Rituals, and Ceremonies
A Compelling Question
In the eighth chapter of Isaiah, God speaking through the prophet asks this question,
“When they say to you, ‘Consult the mediums and the spiritists who whisper and mutter,’ should not a people consult their God? Should they consult the dead on behalf of the living?” Isaiah 8:19 (NASB95)
As we have been dissecting Wicca through this series of posts (Wicca: Part 1 – Rise of the Witches and Wicca: Part 2 – The Craft Explained), this verse in Isaiah becomes a compelling one – Why do people choose to seek this form of false religion instead of a relationship with the One True God? In other words, how is it that the advice to pursue the knowledge of pagans and the occult so easily captivates their attention, while the Creator of the universe is overlooked? Why would someone want to consult the realm of the dead for secret, hidden information that falsely promises to guide their lives instead of seeking out the Ever-Living God who truly is all-knowing, all-powerful, all-present, and all-loving? Furthermore, why would an individual choose to worship the creation, as Wicca does, over the One who created the creation (although Wiccans do worship a goddess whom they believe is the creator along with mother earth)?
These questions, which are summed up by God in the book of Isaiah, are important to ask as we equip ourselves to connect with and reach out to those trapped in the occult. One thing is for sure though, this trap loses it’s grip on its prey only through the gospel of Jesus Christ by the power of His Holy Spirit. Deliverance comes from the Truth, as Jesus said,
“…you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32 (ESV)
In an attempt to expose the darkness with the light of truth, I will address this compelling question specifically in two parts in this post. The first part will explain some of the practices, rituals, ceremonies, and tools used by witches that appeal to those seeking answers to the questions of this fallen world and in the process ensnares those who become future Wiccans. The second part will address the source of manipulation and misguided power that draws in potential candidates of the Craft.
Part 1 – Practices, Rituals, and Ceremonies
The Practice of Divination
The practice of divination is the pursuit of power and knowledge apart from God. This practice is clearly condemned in scripture for several reasons; as a pathway to idolatry and invitation to demonic possession are two reasons. But to the Wiccan, divination is one of it’s main draws. Often these exercises in clairvoyance are made even more tempting by clouding this mysterious power and hidden knowledge in secrecy. It becomes something that it is only available to those with the special tools and understanding to tap into them.
Some of the hundreds of tools that are implemented in this search for secret knowledge and power would be tarot cards, Ouija boards, seances, psychic readings, past-life readings, palm readings, tea readings, horoscopes, and crystals. Through the use of these special devices, witches believe they are able to see into the future, expose past lives, assess a person’s energy, communicate with the dead, and manipulate the unseen spiritual world.
The Ritual of Magick
Along with divination, magick is another key element that draws individuals to Wicca. The rituals of magick for the Wiccan is differentiated from that of the stage magician. In fact, Aleister Crowley, the modern father of witchcraft and satanism, reinvented the word magic by adding the “k” on the end to separate it from magic used for entertainment. Crowley, who also publicly labeled himself as “the Beast, 666”, truly believed that he possessed genuine occult powers. He defined these magick powers as “the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with the will.” Witches attempt to control these changes by manipulating supernatural powers through spells, incantations, chants, potions, herbs, oils, and even forms of yoga, which Crowley was a strong proponent of.
Another practice of magick which is particularly dangerous is called the eucharist. This is different from the Christian eucharist when believers gratefully celebrate and remember our Lord’s sacrifice and imminent return through the eating and drinking of the symbolic elements of bread and wine. For witches though, the eucharist means something completely different. For the Wiccan, it is the magickal process of infusing food or drink with the divine qualities of unseen deities who inhabit the spirit realm. These are then passed on to the person who eats or drinks the transmuted substance.
The Ceremonies of Sabbat
A third element of the Craft are pagan Sabbats. Sabbats are ceremonies, eight in all, that coincide with the sun, moon, and the different seasons of the year. Different witches interpret these pagan holidays differently. Some covens go to the extreme of holding their celebrations in the nude under a moonlit sky while others claim to simply hold a potluck for their community of witches.
During the Sabbat, different aspects of nature are celebrated along with different stages of life of the goddess symbolized by the moon. Some of the activities associated with these pagan holidays are dancing around the May pole, fairy magick, coloring eggs, and carving pumpkins, all to celebrate the union and relationship of the goddess and god.
All three of these activities associated with Wicca promise power, authority, abilities, and connections with the unseen spirit realm that are beyond what mere humans are capable of. This leads us to the two-fold source of the power of the Craft.
Part 2 – The Source
The Demonic Source
In 1 Timothy 4, we are given a warning concerning the last days that some will fall away and reject the sound doctrine of Jesus Christ and the gospel. In the place of the gospel will be a fascination with “deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons” that will capture people’s attention. These deceptive doctrines are further described as,
“…worldly fables fit only for old women.” 1 Timothy 4:7 (NASB95)
But even though these teachings are described as a type that only elderly, senile women would be interested in because they are so obviously silly, make no bones about it, the occult is wickedly, dangerously evil because the source behind it is demonic. And, yes, demons are real (…Of Devils and Demons).
As we study the philosophy behind Wicca, we find that the source of its teachings are demonic for several reasons. Here is why.
First, and foremost, is the denial by Wiccans of Jesus Christ as the only Way, Truth, and Life. Some Wiccans will add Christianity to their eclectic mix of beliefs and deities by confessing that Christ is a way among many ways, but this isn’t true Christianity. Our faith does not consist of Jesus and other philosophies…it is Jesus only. He is not just one God among many. He is the only name given under heaven by which we must be saved. Demons will try to undermine this truth just as we see in the doctrines of the Craft which teach reincarnation instead of eternal salvation.
The second is similar to the first and is also a denial of Jesus. More specifically, it is a denial of Jesus coming in the flesh to live, die, and rise again for the sins of the world. Consequently, a denial of Jesus’ earthly ministry is a denial of all the implications that are connected to that truth. Scripture gives us further insight into the demonic inspiration behind the rejection of the Word who became flesh,
“By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.” 1 John 4:2-3 (NASB95)
Thirdly, we see the demonic direction behind Wicca as the truth of scripture is rejected in favor of myths and fables. Another mark of the end times is a departure from the God inspired, inerrant, infallible scriptures contained in the Holy Bible. When truth is abandoned the enemy is then free to fill that void with whatever voice he can use to deceive those that will listen.
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.” 2 Timothy 4:3-4 (NASB95)
These myths, to be sure, are inspired and fueled by a demonic influence.
The Satanic Source
Furthermore, beyond the deceptive teachings of demons, scripture also sets the precedent that any and all ability that is exercised by witches has its source in Satan.
Wiccans whole heartedly deny Satan’s influence upon the Craft. Actually, they even deny his existence claiming he is something that was invented by the Christians. But just because they choose to ignore his existence doesn’t mean that he is not real. Just because pagans and occultists turn a blind eye to the devil and don’t directly acknowledge him, doesn’t mean that they are safe from him and his deceptive lies. In fact, those who argue against his existence have probably already succumbed to the trap of his murderous lies. Wiccans are playing right into his hand.
“You are of your father the devil, and you do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44 (NASB95)
Satan is a murderer and a liar and is dangerously powerful. Furthermore, he is called the ruler of this present world, the god of this age, the prince of the power of the air, the dragon and serpent of old, the prowling and devouring lion, the angel of the bottomless pit, and to top it off he disguises himself as an angel of light to deceive everyone possible. Additionally, God’s word teaches that he has been cast out of heaven to the earth along with a third of the angels and as a consequence scripture says,
“Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time.” Revelation 12:12 (NASB95)
Along with this, we find in Revelation that two of Satan’s fallen angels, the Antichrist and the False Prophet, are able to produce signs and wonders and false wisdom that eventually creates a following of all who are not recorded in the Lamb’s book of life.
“He (False Prophet) performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men. And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs…” Revelation 13:13-14 (NASB95)
“And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast (Antichrist) …everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb…” Revelation 13:3, 8 (NASB95)
This Satanic source along with the influence of deceptively demonic teachings produces a tempting, enticing, captivating, even powerfully irresistible alternative to those facing the despair of this dark world along with its misunderstanding and rejection of God Almighty.
The Believer’s Position
As Christians, are we to fear the demonic teachings of Wicca or the Satanic power that fuels the Craft? In short, no. Why not? Because of this fact…
“You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4 (NASB95)
This verse tells us that we have overcome. How? Because of our abilities and strength? Not at all! We have overcome only through the work of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit who dwells within every believer. This is possible because of the power and authority that Jesus has chosen to implement in the lives of His disciples, proving that the greatness of God is infinitely greater than that of the ruler of this world.
“Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.” Luke 10:19-20 (NASB95)
God has given His authority to His children. This authority is a great power over the enemy. As we reach out to our Wiccan neighbors in our communities with the gospel, may we never forget that this authority is grounded in Christ and not of ourselves.
As I conclude this post, I would like to share this testimony from a woman who was a former witch and deceived by Satan, but Jesus Christ set her free.
“And they overcame him (Satan) because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony….” Revelation 12:11 (NASB95)
Testimony of a Former Witch
“You asked how I got into witchcraft (and yes, absolutely, it DOES work!)–well, it’s in the family to begin with. All women in my mom’s family were witches from day 1. She’s German (a war bride) and lived thru WWII. Her hatred of God is unbelievable. She would always tell me her war stories when I was growing up–imagine telling a 4, 5 year old kid about shot up people and bombs and bullets going off everywhere. As she tells the story, you can see evil taking over her. She shakes her fist to heaven and says “Where was God?” Of course that proves he doesn’t exist.
Well, it wore me down and by age 8, I had had enough of this “God” that either (a) did not exist or (b) was so unimaginably horrible, I would hate him too. That night I cursed God (age 8) and decided I would follow Satan. Don’t laugh–my entry point into the occult was fairy tales. I studied those things and learned about trolls, magic wands, fairies, elves, witches, spell casting…all from fairy tales. Spirit guides were assigned to me by age 12 and I really took off. Yes witchcraft works. It’s all about power and control and the power is INSTANT. Immediate gratification.
When I was in the occult, I had an elitist mentality and felt special and chosen. There was power and control over people, yet I was always depressed. Death was my constant companion–I almost died of spinal meningitis as a kid (after coming out of a coma, the doctors said I’d be paralyzed and never walk again, but I did), later on in life, at 16 I tried to commit suicide and failed. In my 20’s, there were always “close calls”, accidents that seemed to have my name on them.
In my 30’s, I lost several children to late miscarriage (consequence of abortion) and almost bled to death on 3 separate occasions. Depression and violent rage tormented me. I hated everyone and became suspicious and paranoid.
I was always empty inside. Always looking for something and never finding it. Maybe I needed to learn astrology or runes..no, maybe crystals and healing. Always searching but coming back empty.
Devils would talk to me, torment, scare, mock me. I heard the voice of Satan himself say to me “Dedicate yourself to the craft. You belong to me”. How true. I did belong to him even though I denied he existed. Of course witches don’t believe in a devil–it’s just a Christian “invention”. Yeah, right. I was a vegetarian because I respected life–animals and mother earth. Yet I didn’t hesitate to kill a 17 week unborn child. How’s that for respecting life?
The price is high. I had an abortion on Walpurgisnacht 1979. I didn’t schedule the appointment for that date–it “happened”–a Satanic present…. It brought me to my knees 5 years later, calling on a God I wasn’t even sure existed. I asked to be sent to hell because I deserved to go there and serve my lord Satan for killing a baby. I have never in my life experienced such an agony and literally “breaking” of my heart. The sobs were uncontrollable. I felt something gentle and warm “washing” over me like water, but I wasn’t wet. There was a calm and peace that entered me.
I knew I had to get rid of my occult things so I threw away everything–books, jewelry, tarot cards, toys I bought for the kids (I even stripped the sheets off the kids beds because of the pictures on them). I went wild cleaning house–there were 19 trash bags out in front of the house next day. I got a King James Bible and devoured it. I read most of the day. After I read the Bible thru once, I began again. I lived and breathed Jesus Christ.
Here I am 14 years later and I thank the Lord Jesus Christ for cleaning me up and setting me on my feet and covering me with Himself. Thank you Lord Jesus! I am free of Satan!”