Wiccans and apologetics?


#1

I recently took a class at a local college, and became chummy with a young woman in the class who eventually revealed to me that she considers herself a witch, a member of Wicca. She even has a website on this topic, explaining how good witches are and how they have been defamed in mythology and given a bad name by bigoted narrow minded people, etc etc. She maintained that Wicca is a belief system of peace and gentleness, tolerance and harmony with nature. :frowning:

She and I were only able to have one conversation about Catholicism, which is her religion of origin, and why she left it. (too restrictive, basically.) Nothing I said or offered her seemed to make the slightest difference to her. My Scriptural references were waved off since she does not accept the Bible as an authority. My appeal to history was waved off since “history was written by the winners.” My appeal to reason was waved off as being narrowminded and intolerant of what reason is. Etc etc etc. The only thing she liked about Catholicism, she said, was the candles and Mary.

So I began to pray the Rosary for her, and each time I did felt enormous peace afterwards. I am especially concerned for her as she came from Catholicism and so is accountable to God for knowing better. Then she stopped coming to class… she dropped out! I lost touch with her.

Has anyone ever found a way to address Wiccans with the Truth, successfully? That said I know we don’t have to be “successful”, just faithful, but it bothered me to see this young woman raising up her kiddos in the false faith. I wanted to help her… Those who read this, please offer up a prayer for her.


#2

I have a couple of Wiccan aquantainces.

Personally, the rosary seems to be the most effective way to reach them.


#3

“To those who Believe, no explanation is necessary. To those who do not believe, no explanation will do.”


#4

[quote=Makerteacher]I recently took a class at a local college, and became chummy with a young woman in the class who eventually revealed to me that she considers herself a witch, a member of Wicca. She even has a website on this topic, explaining how good witches are and how they have been defamed in mythology and given a bad name by bigoted narrow minded people, etc etc. She maintained that Wicca is a belief system of peace and gentleness, tolerance and harmony with nature. :frowning:

Has anyone ever found a way to address Wiccans with the Truth, successfully? That said I know we don’t have to be “successful”, just faithful, but it bothered me to see this young woman raising up her kiddos in the false faith. I wanted to help her… Those who read this, please offer up a prayer for her.
[/quote]

I was a believing, if not a practicing Wiccan for many years. Your acquaintance is essentially correct in what she says about her beliefs and practices. It’s a nature based religion, they make the error of worshipping the creation instead of the creator.
It also has a strong strain of humanism in it.
The most false claim modern Wicca makes is it’s alleged connection to pre-Christian European paganism. They often draw this from the book by Robert Graves The White Goddess which is a study in poetic mythology, it’s the closest thing to a universally accepted text they have. They are also usually convinced of the myth of the Inquistion which is called “the Burning Times”. You see elements of protestanism here in that they belief their religion went underground for centuries and has recently been revived. Wicca is very eclectic, there is no dogma or structure. There are different traditions, as they are called, to which groups (covens) can ascribe but there are many ‘solo practicioners’ that pretty much make it up as they go along.
Wicca was essentially created by a British man Gerald Gardiner in the 1950s - the practice of his tradition is not real common in the US and most closely resembles what uninformed people might think witchcraft is about - they perform rituals in the nude, sex is a sacrament, etc… They don’t practice animal or human sacrifice or any of that nonsense in fact the shedding of blood is strictly forbidden. They ascribe to the ‘law of three fold return’ which says whatever energy you send out will be returned to you threefold. They do believe in magic and often practice both ritual and so-called ‘kitchen’ magic - herbalism, candle magic, numerology, dvinination, etc. There is no such thing as a ‘black wiccan/witch’, magic that is created to harm or control others is strictly forbidden and subject to that law of 3-fold return.


#5

Con’t

Wiccans are not openly worshipping any kind of Satan, I used to tell people “you go worship him, you created him” in response to that charge. Wiccans have a totally different concept of divinity. I’m not saying that Satan isn’t objectively involved but you will get nowhere with your Wiccan friend taking that approach.
Wicca is essentially pantheistic. They don’t view things such as death as evil or the result of sin but rather as part of the “Wheel of Life” and they believe in reincarnation. Each life of the individual is to teach spiritual lessons that bring them closer to the goddess. The goddess goes by many names - Diana, Isis, Gaia, Artemis are some of the more common ones. There is also a god, the mate and son of the goddess (a bit of complicated mythology involved here I won’t get into) - the most common imagery of him is Pan (the Horned God, fertility god concept). Much of the radical feminist Wicca focuses exclusively on the goddess. They believe that Christianity used the Horned God image for the Christian devil as a way to dissuade pagans from his worship. Wiccan beliefs are often tied up in distorted history.
Wiccans are going to argue that Catholicism stole it’s theology, particularly the theology of Mary, from the pagans of Europe they wanted to convert so be ready for that. Three is an important number in Wiccan mythology so they will tell that is why Christians worship a trinity. They don’t believe in any kind of hiearchy or structure beyond their own covens which are limited to 13 members usually so you will get nowhere talking about obedience to the Pope or the Church.
It’s a religion of private relevation, they are *very *suspicious of dogma. They most likely will regard the Bible as an interesting historical text with some valuable moral and spiritual teachings but they tend to view Christianity as just another myth no more valid than the stories about Greek or Egyptian gods, some will even use elements of Christianity in their personal belief system, but not many. Most view Christianity as oppressive, violent and patriachial.

Be aware that nothing I’ve said applies to to *every *Wiccan - just most of them.


#6

[quote=kjvail]Con’t

Wiccans are going to argue that Catholicism stole it’s theology, particularly the theology of Mary, from the pagans of Europe they wanted to convert so be ready for that. Three is an important number in Wiccan mythology so they will tell that is why Christians worship a trinity. They don’t believe in any kind of hiearchy or structure beyond their own covens which are limited to 13 members usually so you will get nowhere talking about obedience to the Pope or the Church.
It’s a religion of private relevation, they are *very *suspicious of dogma. They most likely will regard the Bible as an interesting historical text with some valuable moral and spiritual teachings but they tend to view Christianity as just another myth no more valid than the stories about Greek or Egyptian gods, some will even use elements of Christianity in their personal belief system, but not many. Most view Christianity as oppressive, violent and patriachial.

[/quote]

Yup. That’s precisely the position my two acquaintances take.
Once they explained ‘their’ views on life, and I saw that most of it is nature based but ‘good’ in its works, goals, aspirations, I didn’t consider it a personal threat to me. And they are very kind, open-minded people who engage in theological discussions with me without getting angry or put off. I will continue to pray for them because anything is possible with God.


#7

[quote=YinYangMom]Yup. That’s precisely the position my two acquaintances take.
Once they explained ‘their’ views on life, and I saw that most of it is nature based but ‘good’ in its works, goals, aspirations, I didn’t consider it a personal threat to me. And they are very kind, open-minded people who engage in theological discussions with me without getting angry or put off. I will continue to pray for them because anything is possible with God.
[/quote]

Those that believe that Wiccans/Witches are running around holding “black masses” and sacrificing animals or children or whatever to Satan are just horribly misinformed.
Sadly the media doesn’t help. I hated movies like “The Craft” when I was a Wiccan, they have enough of the truth to draw people into it they go off on some weird tangent. That movie had a Wiccan advisor from the Convenant of the Goddess, a legal organization that represents Wicca in the US but they obviously ignored her.
Wiccans are usually harmless, a great many are pacifists and environmentalists. I believe now that their immortal soul is in danger particularly if they are fallen away from the Catholic Church but they are not a ‘danger to society’ as they are often potrayed.


#8

I believe that there is much good in most religons to help a person on their quest to find their faith. Is it worng to believe that you should not shed blood or inflict arm on another person? The Wiccan religon says just that. They are very friendly and easy going people (most of them). One thing I really like is how they do not “RECRUIT” people. That is something I see in alot of other religons. I even see it in the Catholic faith. I hear about people praying to bring their friends over to the Catholic faith from the Wiccan religon or some other religon. To me it’s just as bad to pray for someone to change their religon as it is to pray for a winning lottery ticket. Why not lay some knowledge on them and let them make their own descision? Why put it on GOD to change them? Isn’t that selfish? I’m not saying all Catholics “RECRUIT” people but I am seeing it more and more. To me, a persons religon is a very special thing. A thing you are not born into but must find on your own within yourself. Couldn’t it be that all “GOD LOVING” religons are just a little off abit? There are very similar things in most religons that tie together. The love of a god or gods (male & female, Jesus & Mary, etc.), the belief in some kind of after life, the worship of a cross or other item, etc. What if that the Catholic religon and Wiccan religon and all other religons are all based someway on the same thing? I mean can you honestly rule out other possibilities?

I do believe there is a higher power, i do not agree with bits and pieces of certain religons but make my own assumtion through my own quest for my faith. What if the BIBLE and CROSS are not something to worship but are actually a teaching aid to help us find GOD or that higher power within ones self? You pray from home don’t you? Not just at church. What if church is just the gateway to help you see the power of prayer, prayer that can be done anywhere. I don’t need to ask my cross if i’m doing the right thing, I know if i’m doing the right thing butmy cross helped me get to that point. I don’t need to worship the bible, I have read it and it has TAUGHT me what I need. Don’t forget, the bible is WRITTEN, so doesn’t that mean that when it was written, it was written from someones point of view? Not everyones point of view but one persons.


#9

I think we all agree that god is always with you, inside you, so why do we put the burdden on him to show us whats right? We all have the power to do that ourself. For me, I do not need the help of the church but look to the church for guidence when I am stuck. Personally I have never met a priest that has PUSHED me or tried to RECRUIT me into the Catholic faith. They re-assure me that I am right on my way to finding GOD. The PUSHING and RECRUITING doesn’t come from the Catholic church or priests, but from those who are on their own quest.

This is just my “Point Of View”, you don’t have to agree with it, and I will not ever push any religon on you. I do like critisizm however. But before some of you kiddies (some adults act like it) go and knock down a religon like Wicca or any other religon, please go to the library, talk to your priest or whatever to get real knowledge. Don’t go by what you see in the Movies or other Websites because alot of what you see in the movies or websites is just trash and not the real information.


#10

[quote=Makerteacher]She even has a website on this topic, explaining how good witches are and how they have been defamed in mythology and given a bad name by bigoted narrow minded people, etc etc.
[/quote]

Take it with a grain of salt. If she says Wicca existed before the late 1940s, then she’s having you on (misinformed or misinforming). Witches of old weren’t Wiccans. Wicca is a new religion.

She maintained that Wicca is a belief system of peace and gentleness, tolerance and harmony with nature. :frowning:

Yes, that’s what it’s ideally supposed to be.

My Scriptural references were waved off since she does not accept the Bible as an authority.

That is correct. Wiccans have no sacred scriptures.

The only thing she liked about Catholicism, she said, was the candles and Mary.

Yes, people who embrace Wicca usually do so for emotional reasons. I did too.

Has anyone ever found a way to address Wiccans with the Truth, successfully?

It isn’t intellectual appeal but emotional appeal you need to work on to get a person to leave Wicca. You need to convince her Catholicism is more satisfying than Wicca. Of course Wiccans think their religion is true, but that’s because truth is what works, what one experiences, not what the scientific or historical evidence says.

but it bothered me to see this young woman raising up her kiddos in the false faith.

As far as I know, Wiccan parents usually raise their children to have a knowledge of many religions and let them choose which to follow when they’ve grown up. That’s what I plan to do, at any rate.

Blessed be.


#11

kjvail, kudos for the great accuracy! :thumbsup:


#12

[quote=rmikulas]I think we all agree that god is always with you, inside you, so why do we put the burdden on him to show us whats right? We all have the power to do that ourself. For me, I do not need the help of the church but look to the church for guidence when I am stuck. Personally I have never met a priest that has PUSHED me or tried to RECRUIT me into the Catholic faith. They re-assure me that I am right on my way to finding GOD. The PUSHING and RECRUITING doesn’t come from the Catholic church or priests, but from those who are on their own quest.

This is just my “Point Of View”, you don’t have to agree with it, and I will not ever push any religon on you. I do like critisizm however. But before some of you kiddies (some adults act like it) go and knock down a religon like Wicca or any other religon, please go to the library, talk to your priest or whatever to get real knowledge. Don’t go by what you see in the Movies or other Websites because alot of what you see in the movies or websites is just trash and not the real information.
[/quote]

I think you misunderstand why this discussion is going on here. Since you seem to have an open mind, let me offer a mental exercise to you.

Imagine, for a moment, that there was a piece of information that meant the life or death of every human being on earth, and you knew the truth.

Wouldn’t you do your best to try to educate people? Would you not pray that all people of the earth came to know it so they might live and not die? The idea isn’t to push or recruit them, but to save them!

To an orthodox Catholic, there is such information. That some priests weren’t concerned with you knowing it is not reflective of the church itself, but it is very sad. Apparently they didn’t have your true welfare in mind. These types of priests do exist and sadly they think they’re doing their job properly by patting people who are ignorant on the back and saying “I’m okay, you’re okay” and leaving at that. Christ himself spoke of these people when he said “you are lukewarm, I will spit you out of my mouth.”

This isn’t to diss other faiths. We need to understand them so we know where they are. But there is Absolute Truth. And the Church has been given a mandate and the authority to teach that Truth. It can teach nothing else. And we, as Catholics, can do no better than to pray for all people to reach the Truth so they might live. It is a matter of life and death. And charity and love demands that we do this and that we share the truth as often as we can.

Of course, one of the best ways of showing the truth is through our behavior. But our most loving and charitable thing to do is pray for someone that God might love them and bring them to him. If that’s such a horrible thing in your eyes, I’m sorry, but I’m very happy to be guilty of it. All I want is for you to be in heaven.

Hope that makes sense.
–Ann


#13

[quote=Sparky]Imagine, for a moment, that there was a piece of information that meant the life or death of every human being on earth, and you knew the truth.

To an orthodox Catholic, there is such information.

But there is Absolute Truth. And the Church has been given a mandate and the authority to teach that Truth.
[/quote]

Ann,

While I sincerely appreciate how you expressed that so clearly and kindly, even as a strong Catholic myself, the Absolute Truth is still something you and I accept out of ‘faith’.

Someone else’s truth is ‘absolute’ for them, though you and I can only see The Absolute Truth as that outlined by ‘our’ Father. Wiccans don’t ascribe to that father so to tell them their truth is not THE truth is kind of arrogant on our part, don’t you think?

I consider myself truly blessed to have the grace of God in me enough to truly ‘believe’. I treasure my faith and pray others will be enlightened as well. I’m just not comfortable denying other peoples’ view of the world order and such outright. Perhaps that’s why I’m still uncomfortable with the charge of evangelization. I’m trying though.


#14

[quote=YinYangMom]Someone else’s truth is ‘absolute’ for them, though you and I can only see The Absolute Truth as that outlined by ‘our’ Father. Wiccans don’t ascribe to that father so to tell them their truth is not THE truth is kind of arrogant on our part, don’t you think?
[/quote]

There’s a difference between objective natural and supernatural reality and subjective understandings of natural and supernatural reality. I agree with you that a person’s understanding of reality can be viewed by him to be “absolute”; but if that subjective understanding of reality is skewed, it doesn’t affect objective natural or supernatural reality.

An analogy: There was a time when men believed the earth was flat. Their understanding of natural reality was that the earth resembled a pizza. Their misunderstanding of the earth’s shape did not mean that the earth actually was shaped like a thin-crust pizza. It always remained spherical. It was men’s understanding that had to adapt to this natural reality; not the earth to man’s understanding.

In the same way there are objective supernatural realities. Man’s understanding of them does not change how they really are. It is man’s understanding that must adapt to supernatural reality; not reality to man’s understanding.

Hope this helps! :slight_smile:


#15

Sandra Miesel has a excellent article here from Crisis Magazine.

A couple of quotes from the article: “Wiccans aren’t Satanists. (Please say this three times before reading further.)” and “Why should Catholics care about a religious system so alien to ours? The simple answer is: It’s there, it’s growing, and some ex-Catholics find it attractive. (A more flippant answer: Look at what we have in common; after all, we’ve both had problems with Protestant Fundamentalists and been maligned in Jack Chick comics.)”

When I had AOL Wiccans would often join Catholic chat rooms for discussion because they felt comfortable there. One told us that she thought Wiccans and Catholics both were misunderstood and persecuted. Unfortunately, a rather evangelical Catholic had to tell the Wiccans types how wrong they were so most didn’t stay around long. Questions, diologue go a lot farther than arguing, insults, “you’re wrong” or “you’re going to hell,” etc.


#16

Hello everyone!

Would I be wrong to suggest that many people turn to Wicca because of what they see as gross hypocrasy among many who claim the title “Christian”? I would like to hear from the Wiccans what was it about Wicca that appealed to you?

What was it about Christianity that turned you off?

Thanks for your time - Mfaustina1


#17

Kevin, thank you for your long, info-filled posts and wonderful insights. Heather Dawn, thank you also for your reply, as a practicing Wiccan. Welcome to our boards.

I know this young woman was not “worshipping Satan” or killing little babies. I appreciate everyone who has posted a reply. I have sadly lost touch with this young woman, as I stated, and cannot have conversations with her, but no doubt I will meet another Wiccan in my life, and now I feel slightly more prepared to converse intelligently with them.

That said, time for another Rosary! :smiley:


#18

[quote=YinYangMom]Ann,

While I sincerely appreciate how you expressed that so clearly and kindly, even as a strong Catholic myself, the Absolute Truth is still something you and I accept out of ‘faith’.

Someone else’s truth is ‘absolute’ for them, though you and I can only see The Absolute Truth as that outlined by ‘our’ Father. Wiccans don’t ascribe to that father so to tell them their truth is not THE truth is kind of arrogant on our part, don’t you think?
[/quote]

Okay, what you’re describing here is “relativism” - which is actually a heresy in the Church (sorry for the h-bomb…people hate that word, but all it means is “incorrect teaching”). The Church has never taught relativism. Is it arrogant for the Church to teach that there is an objective (thanks, Mia Storm), absolute Truth? I don’t think so - not when St. Paul calls the Church the “Pillar and Foundation of Truth”. It cannot help but do it, because that’s it’s job - per Christ ("to testify to the Truth).

The key difference, I think, between Wicca and Catholicism, as with Catholicism and Protestant faiths, is authority (Wicca has none) and the concept of an absolute, objective truth.

I mean, there is a difference between:

“There is God’s Truth, and it is there for us to know it” (Catholic view)

and

“Everyone has their own truth and we must accept that.” (Relitavistic/Modernist therefore Wiccan view)

You make an interesting point about faith. But faith, at its core, *is what we know to be true. *

Let me give you an example of how the absolute Truth and faith work together. In Matthew 16, Christ asks the apostles “who do people say that I am?” Peter answers without hesitation, “you are the Christ, the son of the living God.” Jesus says to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar Jonah, because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to you, but my Father who is in heaven.”

So - the absolute, objective Truth (note the captial T I’m using) is REVEALED. Peter had faith - Peter knew it to be true. Christ said God the Father revealed to him. And I’ll propose to you - that he does the same with us.

Now, to be fair - a God’s truth may not have been revealed to a given Wiccan individual. That’s why they believe in relative truth. And so - we pray that the obective Truth may be revealed to them, that they might know it and that they may live in Christ.

—continued in next post


#19

(continued)

I consider myself truly blessed to have the grace of God in me enough to truly ‘believe’. I treasure my faith and pray others will be enlightened as well. I’m just not comfortable denying other peoples’ view of the world order and such outright. Perhaps that’s why I’m still uncomfortable with the charge of evangelization. I’m trying though.

Well, you’re not alone there, I’ll admit. I’m not all that comfortable with evangelization either. And most Catholics aren’t. For the most part, we’re comfortable with trying to live our lives as an example. And we can reveal the Truth through that, I think. But also through casual conversation we can state what we believe and try to educate people about our faith, because most are ignorant of it. But remember - you’re not “denying” them their right to their own view. You’re doing as Christ asked - praying that we might be one in him. And by discussing your faith openly, you can at least educate people who may be against you. My own experience with Wiccans has been some good, some bad. Most have shown a great ignorance of my faith and a great hostility toward it. All I can do then is just be a good Catholic and pray for them.

–Ann


#20

Oh, and about “worshipping Satan” thing -

No, Wiccans don’t worship Satan as an individual god or whatever, that much I do understand. Satan worshippers don’t worship him either. If you actually read the Satanic Bible, Satan worship is actually a worship of self - it is humanism taken to it’s ultimate state.

So my question becomes: isn’t Wicca is a self-styled faith, where each Wiccan might choose their own gods and fashion their rituals to their own desires? Each Wicca fashions their own faith to their own comfort level. Are they not, then, worshipping themselves and working on their own power?

It is a different focus, I’ll admit. I mean, for me God is our focus of worship. I am his creation, he made me. He gives me life, and gives me his spirit that I might do his will.

A Wiccan (excuse me if I don’t get this right, I’m going on memory) tries to develop themselves, their own power, by tapping forces around them.

In that sense (and believe me, I mean no offense by this) it is “satanic” (note quotes here!) in that it focuses on the self and not on giving glory to the being who created them.

I’d be happy to be corrected here, because I’m not trying to start a fight or anything. Trust me.

–Ann


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.