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The Truth About Modern Day Wiccans and Witchcraft
Frequently Asked Questions About Modern Day Wiccans and Witchcraft
The Truth About Modern Day Wiccans and Witchcraft: Some Frequently Asked Questions
The neo-Pagan religion of Wicca is one of the fastest growing religions in the United States. Rapid growth leads to the rapid spread of misinformation. What do witches really do? Are they as bad as the rumors say? Let's look at some of the most common questions and myths about modern day witches and Wiccans.
Are Witches and Wiccans the Same Thing?
When Gerald Gardner introduced Wicca to the public in the 1950s Wicca was referred to as the 'religion of the witches.' If you were a witch, the religion you practiced was called 'Wicca.'
Over time other forms of modern witchcraft have emerged. Some incorporate religious or spiritual practices, some do not. Today it is more common that 'Wicca' refers to the neo-Pagan religion. A person of that religion may refer to himself as a 'Wiccan' or as a 'Witch.'
A person who simply calls themselves a 'witch' is someone who practices low magic. They may or may not do so within the framework of religious practice. So today we see people who are hedge witches, kitchen witches, Atheist witches, Jewish witches, Gnostic witches, Christian witches, Pagan witches and Wiccan witches, to name a few.
Do Wiccans Really Conduct Human Sacrifices and Eat Babies?
No. The myth of abducting children, eating babies and conducting human sacrifices is called Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA) or Satanic Panic. Satanic Panic is a form of moral panic. Moral panic has been used throughout history to defame and vilify whichever social group is currently in disfavor.
This type of conspiracy theory was first spread by the Romans in the first century C.E. in an attempt to discredit the early Christians. It was famously effective then and has been used in various forms over the years.
After the Satanic Panic in the 1980s, the F.B.I. spent 10 years investigating Satanic Ritual Abuse in the United States. They were unable to find even one legitimate case. Child abductions and cannibalism has has never been a part of Wicca nor any other form of witchcraft.
Do Wiccans Worship the Devil?
No. Just like the Satanic Ritual Abuse scare, this is another time honored form of creating fear and loathing in the population. The idea of Satan or The Devil belongs to the Christian mythos. It has nothing to do with modern day witchcraft or Wicca.
Are All Witches Women?
No. The term 'witch' is neutral. Both men and women can be witches and Wiccans. In the old days 'witch' was used almost exclusively to refer to women, but today 'witch' is used to identify both genders.
Do Wiccans Cast Evil Spells on Their Enemies?
The smart ones don't.
Although we have the knowledge to cast any spell, we are taught to always use the power wisely. Wicca teaches that what you do to another, you do to yourself. So if a Wiccan curses her enemy, she also curses herself. This basic fact makes cursing unappealing.
Wicca teaches that it is always better to find a positive solution to our problems. Once the ego is removed from the equation, it is almost always easy to find a good way of handling things.
Wicca does believe in using the tools of magic to help bring a criminal to justice. But we don't consider this to be evil.
As you can see, there is a lot of false information being spread about Wicca and witchcraft. Contrary to the rumors, there is no baby stealing, no human sacrifice, no devil worship and no casting of evil spells on one's enemy. Wiccans are normal, average, every day people striving to lead an honorable life. Now that you know the truth about modern day Wiccans you too can help spread the good word.