A Conversation for Wicca - a Legacy of Persecution

Wicca History Vs Fantasy

Post 1


Sigh this article is so far out in left field its not in the stadium any more.

For starters the word wicca is old english for magic. It has NOTHING to do with the the old english for wise (which influenced our modern word wizard not witch). Thats a common mistake among new agers.

Second Wicca is a relatively modern revival of an idealized form of ancient paganism from a dozen different cultures. No evidence substantiates a cohesive religiou movement from even the middle ages to today that in any way resembles modern wicca. Lets consider some of the major differences:
1) Sacrafice: Its a fact ancient pagans practiced both human and animal sacrafice. We know for example that Julius Ceaser specificly refferences the druids of England as having these practices (in fairness wicca is not druidism but its an example)
2) gods: Wicca is primarily based on worshipping two deities one male and the other female (inevitably they seem to focus on the female over the male). Historical pagan groups (greeks, romans, egyptians) were polytheistic in nature (worshipping different gods for different requirements and recognizing the divinity of hundreds if not thousands of others). Further wiccans commonly draw gods from cultures seperated both in time and space (ie worshipping an egyptian godess like Isis and a greek god like Pan). Theres no single group that mixed these many religions in the ancient world.
3) Magic: Despite the oppinion of the modern world ancients did not widely practice magic. In fact the Roman Empire outlawed magic and accused the christians of practicing it as one of there many trumped up charges.

Further the idea that the inquisition, and witch trials was a purging of paganism is largely unfounded. The charges were mostly baseless and drawn from a common set of complaints that humans have always used to demonize their enemies (cannabalism, black magic, human sacrafice). In fact some of the same charges were leveled against christians by the Romans and then in turn leveled by the Roman Catholic Church against the Knights Templar.

Mary Magdelene was NOT pagan. First given where she lived she would have been jewish (also why would a pagan follow a monotheist so totally? if she was a pagan she obviously converted). Second the bible doesn't call her a prostitute. It refers to her being possessed by 7 demons and seeking out Jesus for exorcism. Magdaline is probably a refference to her birth place as were most surnames back then. Can you cite any historical source that says she was a pagan priestess? Any biblical book? Any gnostic gospel? Any historian?

Also lets consider how the Romans treated the christians. First drop this nonsense about the romans griping the Christians wouldn't respect there gods. The ROmans persecuted the Jews to (does 60 ad ring a bell? Thats when the "tolerant" romans destroyed the Temple of Solomon). The romans fabricated charges to get an excuse to murder christians (christians did not practice human sacrafice, magic, or cannabalism). For that matter pagans have never gotten along well with monotheists. Read up on the history of Judaism. Its a history of a people beat down, enslaved and murdered by virtually every civilization it came into contact with. Babylonians, Egyptians, Romans all did there part. The Romans also were the ones who executed Jesus. Pagans also wound up murdering many of his followers (notably Peter's inverted crucifiction at the hands of those saintly romans).

Can you back any of Wiccas claims up with hard evidence? heres a fun one for you. Did you know that one of the most reviled names in modern occultism had a hand in this modern religion? Its true Gerald Gardner aside from being one of the founders of modern wicca was a student of Aleister Crowley. Gardner's own ideas were influenced by Crowley and its entirely possible he created his aspects of the religion for Crowley's benefit. Realize please if you can't prove your case don't demand I prove mine. The burden of evidence is on the person making the claim.

Wicca History Vs Fantasy

Post 2


Being as you seem to be allowing usubstatiated claims,

Anyone ever suspect that Jesus may well have been a witch/wizard/warloc.

Apparently he believed in reincarnation too, but the church doesn't tell us that Gem.

Now aren't they supposed to have had thems shaddow books, what's one of them I wonder? Wasn't that what Peter Pan came looking for, his shaddow?

Wouldn't a shaddow book be like one that you could only make sense of if you used a light? I.e. if you see something that doesn't make sense, turn the other cheek and look at it from another angle. It all makes sense then!

Oh no! I must be a reincarnated Heretic, yikes!smiley - laugh

Wicca History Vs Fantasy

Post 3


Whats unsubstantiated in what I said? That Julius Ceaser among other recorded that the Druids practiced human sacrafice? That Wicca is a very modern religion and no evidence exists to the contrary? Please tell me and show how I'm wrong. SHow for that matter how this article is correct. Please substantiate that Wicca was around prior to the 19th century for example.

Wicca History Vs Fantasy

Post 4


There is nothing unsubstantiated in what you said, it's just that you appear to be claiming that Wicca didn't exist before Modern religion's, the word Wicca may not have been used but the idea of witch craft almost definately did, other wise why did the Druids get wiped out. Word of mouth tells me that the Romans killed them all on Anglesey because the Romans accused them of being Witches.

A Celtic "Religion" perhaps relied more on word of mouth than written texts, which is why so little is written down. I use the word Celtic but witch craft was practiced way before they existed. And it survived so long because of its esoteric nature, Free Masonry goes back to Egyptian times.

So if you want proof, you've got a fat chance, 'cause they would have covered their tracks deliberately.

Wicca History Vs Fantasy

Post 5


The romans thought they were witches yes. A witch (up untill VERY recently) was some one who practiced magic. That was the Roman's problem with Christians (well one of the problems) as well as the druids. The practice of MAGIC is ancient. We have grimoire's as old as Summeria and Babylon and evidence that magic of one sort of another predates homo sapiens as a species on this planet. Of course part and parcel with that is a fundamental differentiation between the shamanand the witch.

A shaman is a position in the tribe. Shamans are picked at a young age and trained for years (and usually exclusively male). A witch is an independent practicioner. They are not recognized by the tribe and are usually considered extremely evil (see for example the skinwalker beliefs common to native american tribes particularly the Navajo).

Wicca is not the same thing as historical shamanism or historical witch craft. Its a modern religion that cherry picks aspects of traditional magical practices and traditional pagan practices. You really should consider studying some anthropology and grimoire's of ancient magic (consider for example the Key of Solomon (probably written 1300s) or the Sacred book of Abramerlin the mage). Compare that to modern wicca. For that matter even today wicca and witchcraft are not synonomous. Many call themselves witch but are not members of the wiccan religion and a few wiccans do not practice magic and do not consider themselves witches.

Wicca History Vs Fantasy

Post 6


Thanks for that Kevin,

Although Wicca is a modern invention, it does draw attention to ancient practices. It is used a bit like a badge as in all Wiccan's do ,such and such and if you do that you must be a wiccan, which is wholly wrong. It's like saying all Christians go to church on Sunday, well maybe not quite that extreme but I think you know what I mean.

In drawing attention to ancient practices it has potential benefits in that it can help relate us to the past. If used with certain other tenements it can be a useful tool so I don't think that this article should be entirely condemned. It has raised interest, well yours and mine anyway which can't be a bad thing. I feel that I have a little more knowledge now than when I first posted on this.

Thanks againsmiley - smiley

Wicca History Vs Fantasy

Post 7


Of course your disregarding a few problems. First most wiccan texts claim to be a religion from ancient times, that was persecuted by the church during the middle ages I've certainly known enough neo pagans that whine about what they think the church did to earlier members of their religion). Since the religion didn't exist in the middle ages claiming they were persecuted in that time is of course ubsurd (might as well accuse the romans of murdering communists). Also what we have today is considerably removed from historical pagan practices. Its a jumbling up of religious traditions from all over the world and then editing out the parts modern people don't want to deal with (the Roman outlawing of magic, the druidic practice of human sacrafice, and the idea of spiritual evil in its entirety). Some of the choices I can understand (human sacrafice for example) but some of their editing is actually quite dangerous.

How so? Well historically magicians trained in how to break curses and cast out demons. We know this from oral traditions, examining religions still practicing ancient magical traditions (as in native americans, aborigines, etc) and existant ancient grimoires (as far back as Summeria and Babylon). I can say from personal first hand experience black magic and evil spirits are still out there and even on the rise. By ignoring this part of their traditions witches and neo pagans are failing to furfill one of the oldest roles shaman has taken in human history.

Wicca History Vs Fantasy

Post 8


And being as we don't study it anymore, whose to say that human sacrifice wasn't just a form of voluntary euthanasia, that was glorified. I know that many people see it nowadays as barbaric but did it start out as something a bit more ethical than we today could imagine it?

The voluntary bit is kind of key, if it wasn't then it was barbaric however, which is more so, getting your own way in having the right to die if you want, or the perpetual torture of sticking around watching your fellow man subjecting himself to slavery. I understand from at least some cultures the sacrifices were willing.

More study required I thinksmiley - erm

Wicca History Vs Fantasy

Post 9


Yes in some cultures human sacrafice was volentary (notably the Meso American tribes particularly the Aztecs and Mayans). It was hardly euthenasia: they chose women, children, healthy adults captured in battle. Most cultures I've studied I haven't found a lot of evidence that sacrafices were willing (although its become a common if hard to demonstrate defense). Even in the times it was often you are looking at a culture raised to beleive that it is proper to be killed for some (often petty) purpose. I.E. slaves being killed to continue serving their lord in the after life, or less directly the once common practice of sati in hinduism (the self immolation of women on their husband's funeral pyres. Many other examples are far less volentary like the thugee cults that practiced ritual strangulation of travellers untill being mostly wiped out by the British empire in the 19th century. Sacrafice has long been a way of appeasing the gods, and blood sacrafice has been seen as the ultamite way to do so. Several religions in the modern world sacrafice living things to their gods and offer the blood as appeasement, most deny the practice of human sacrafice but if you dig deep enough it's still their in the more isolated parts of the world. Even in Christianity we hold that blood was required to end condemnation. What's been interesting (at least to me) is that where the pagan gods asked man to sacrafice each other our God became flesh and made a sacrafice of himself.

Wicca History Vs Fantasy

Post 10


Thanks for helping me gen up a bit. It would appear that the message presented by all these ideas of sacrifice is that physical death is not the end.

The idea of appeasing the Gods, may just be derrived from the need for population control, and as bad things do generally happen naturally when we overpopalate, the reasoning being contrived it is far easier to say to the masses that these were acts of God. When the elements conspire against you, that's due to the actions of a Pantheistic God. And when scientific experiments indicate something that is because the something is what this Pantheistic God wants you to know. However asigning stuff to God these days doesn't help as many people don't believe and scientific explanation works better, this isn't helped when pillars of the Church allocate natural disasters to sexual "immoralty".

Just because one believes in Wicca, fantasy and some myths, doesn't mean that we seek to abandon, Christian ideas. A Pantheistic God survives physical death, no problem. Are we all part of the one Pantheistic God, I suppose we must be. So we all survive death in some way.

Part of the trouble with some of the Religions today, is the record appears stuck, as a race, we have got ourselves out of the mire and increasing our population has helped, so some of the religious Dogma helped up to a point, unfortunately we now find that we are overpopulating, and some of the old religious dogma doesn't help, in fact it down right gets in the way.

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