Question for Wiccans and Catholics

My godmother’s daughter is a Wiccan, and today she said me that using hosts was a tactic by Christians to convert the pagan Celts. There’s actually a rite that mimicks Communion in Wicca (cake and ale)… but I know about more mimicking rites in Mithraism, in Thelema.
My question is: did the ancient Celts do cake and ale? As the Hungarian Celtic-Wicca Tradationalist Page has links to Thelema, which is known to have a ritual modeled after the Orthodox Mass, I thought that this have to do something with Thelema.
Since Jesus had nothing to do with ancient Celts at that time, it is very probable that Communion and that Wiccan ritual are two distinct things (as do Communion and the ritual of Mithraists).

Big difference. one is the most glorious miracle of God while the other is demonic and evil.

I’d remind the youngster that Wicca is a 20th century religion started in in the 1920’s in southern England. If she presses for facts, remind her that there is no historical evidence for Wicca before the 1920’s, and that the religion is so new that the US government only recognized it in the 1980’s.


What’s she’s saying is, for lack of a better word, nonsense. The Eucharist was instituted by Christ, and we perform it in imitation of him, not as some tactic to convert a pagan cult. I can find no quick reference as to when the “ceremony” began, nor any culture that it is attributed to, all the sources about it I saw basically talk about what the ceremony is / how it’s done, rather than it’s origins or how it developed. To be perfectly honest, most everything I’ve read on makes it sound quite the opposite, a bastardization of the Communion ceremony; and considering that, as stated, there was no Wicca “Religion” prior to the early 1900’s, this seems the most logical conclusion.

Don’t tell a Wicca practitioner that their religion was just invented less than a hundred years ago though, all the ones I’ve pointed that out to tend to get fairly angry… It would actually be kind of funny to watch, if it weren’t so sad.

Even the Wiccans have to find something about “hosts”?
Amazing to me they’d even care enough to have their own “mimic ceremony” for lack of better words .@@


The eucharist was well established before any celts were encountered.

I see arguments like this used a lot. Ultimately, some pagan/heathen/non-Judeo-Christian group did some action as part of their prayer/worship/rites or contained some element of belief/creed/theology that also happens to exist (in some form or other) in Judeo-Christian or Catholic beliefs. Therefore, it holds true Judeo-Christians or Catholics ‘stole’ this idea from the other group to ‘build up a false religion’ because the elements exist in both. And, as we have seen by the fact that Wicca was ‘created’ in the 1920s, the same holds true in this example - either coincidental, or (as is sometimes the case), the non-Christian group takes on parts of the Judeo-Christian or Catholic rite, whether for imitation (of form, not belief) or mockery.

I’ll answer this as an educated Pagan.
1: Wicca is neither ancient nor Celtic. As others have said, Wicca was constructed in the early 20th century, from a combination of poetic inspiration (which, to Pagans, isn’t dissimilar to divine inspiration) and the respected scholarship of the day (much of which is no longer respected). There are a few strands of Celtic folklore in it, but it is more influeced by Anglo-Saxon myth, Hindu tantra, and by medieval ritual magic.
2: The Wiccan ‘cakes and wine’ rite isn’t eucharistic. The elements aren’t considered the body and blood of the sacrifice of the rite, but are simply a shared meal of fellowship and love.
3: That said, I think we can find remnants of pre-Christian ritual in the Roman liturgy. The basic worship ritual of Pagan Rome (and Judea, for that matter) was the offering of an animal which was then cooked, and the meat shared among the worshippers. This custom produces the scriptural questions about meat-eating, since almost all meat in Roman shops would have been the result of offerings to idols.

The trend in the first century was away from animal sacrifices to offeirngs of prayer and libations of wine. Judean custom, once the temple was destroyed, replaced sacrifice with prayer, and early Christian liturgy looks to me to be a combination of all of this. The ‘sacrifice’ (sacred work) of the Mass included offering the bread and wine, then sharing some portion of it with the folk.

In religion one no more steals things than one does when writing blues songs. There are traditional motifs that are reinterpreted according to the intention of the specifics at hand.

Well said Ian.

I’ll further observe that demonstrating a particular practice in the church, or judaism, or whatever else, being found in a different earlier culture is a cottage industry. In my experience usually an attempt to discredit the Church/christianity or all religion entirely. The premise being “see you just copied something else” as if this poses a challenge of some sort.

To my mind and way of thinking we should not be surprised at similarity we should expect it. Consider the scriptural account, you have a family of 8 people, get off a boat after the deluge and have a sacrifice of some sort. This family had a manner and way of worshiping. They had prayers, songs, ritual and sacrifice. Continuing the scriptural narrative, all people, all cultures, languages, and ergo faiths, descend from this family. Over time this way of worship changed among different people, the stories changed some, the rituals changed some, what was being worshipped changed, but it all changed from a common starting point.

Thus it is not surprising at all that in many ways all the religion of the earth look so very similar. It would be expected. It would be more shocking if the religions bore no resemblance at all.

Now to be sure, I do think that Christianity is the true faith, the others retain various remnants of the original pre Christian faith, Judaism being called up by God with a special purpose to preserve the true faith till the Christ, in much the same way that various “separated brethren” of christendom retain various levels of the original deposit of faith. The amount of remaining truth often being very overshadowed by the opposite.

So I am not saying all ways are equal. I am saying they all descended from a common origin though and thus should be expected to be similar.

@IanCorrigan Jews are known for eating the sacrifice, too, but there was a rule that unattended persons shoudn’t eat from the sacrifical bread. But the laity ate sacrifical meat at Pesach, when the lamb was sacrificed. And Jesus was a Jew. I think that it wasn’t His intent to mimick a pagan rite at a certain Night of Seder (Jewish feast).
And I know that Wicca is not a new religion, but I just want to know where did they take cakes and ale. Since (according to a book by a “founder” (not sure)) Wicca seems to have a connection to Thelema (because of the book), there is a chance that this was actually taken from Thelema.

What should be undetrstood. NeoPaganism is a “revival” of the worship of the Old Gods.

There are no written records of “sacred scripture” for Wiccan/Pagans. Their “bible” is everything around them as well as nature. Nature is both kind and cruel, creative and destructive. The material world to a great extent is a “reflection” of the “world of form”…the Gods are seen as both positive and negative aspects…just like creation.

While the revival started at the beginning of the last century, it is not a “new religion”…but a “reconstruction” of the Old Religion. Each person or tribe has their own acces to deity…and may have various Gods in mind. Modern Neo-Paganism does not claim to have a “historical link” to the past…but a “rediscovery” of a way of believing and being.

While their rituals are a compilation of Western Esoteric practice, to most Neo-Pagans the ritual is not something “sacred” to be passed down in some unbroken line as if contemporary faith is contingent on ancient faith…it’s not…it’s based on a contemporary interaction between modern Pagans and the Old Gods. There is no “teaching authority” other than the observable world and some of the “ancient myths” of the past that give a clue to the nature of deity.

Not all Wiccan/Pagans agree…but they don’t have to…Nature is diverse.

Aleister Crowley, Golden Dawn renegade, founder of several occult-magical (Magik) groups conceived Thelema as his version of religion but saw that it was highly elitist and not that really appealing to most people. He was apparrently friends or aquainted with Gerald Gardner who was working out his ideas of nature religion and Crowley thought that Gardner might be able to popularize Thelema under “nature worship” garb (or in Garnder’s case, ritual nudity) However, Crowley himself said of “witchcraft” that he himself could “never take orders from a ____ woman” Anyway, its rumored among Gardnerian wiccans that several of the rituals were written by Crowley.

@Lion of Narnia Thanks for the information for the rumour. It became more probable that “cakes and ale” comes from Thelema. Even Thelemites talk about a “Cake of light”, which is a perverse imitation of the Host.
I met with the phrase “cakes and wine” (a form of cakes and ale, it should be taken in account that Thelemites drank wine) on an invitation to the Samhain Sabbath.
Then I was reading the article “Magick” on Wikipedia… and at a point… um… I’ve seen that witches copied us.
If we can prove that “cakes and ale” has something to do with a rite that mocks the Mass, then it couldn’t be a rite that is more ancient than Communion.
In my opinion, Thelema is a way more dangerous than Wicca.

BTW, the most corraborated Crowley influence on emergent Wicca is from a wiccan, the anthropologist Richard Hutton’s Triumph of the Moon

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