What is Wicca, is Wicca witchcraft, and is there such a thing as white magic?
Wicca is a contemporary spiritual movement involving the practice of nature worship, magic, and witchcraft. Practitioners of Wicca may refer to their belief system as “Pagan Witchcraft,” “The Craft,” “The Craft of the Wise,” or “Neo-paganism.”
Wicca was developed in England during the first half of the 20th century. It was introduced to the public in 1954 by Gerald Gardner, a retired British civil servant. As a “religion,” Wicca is loosely organized and has a system of leaders, but no central or absolute authority. Wiccans may carry out their worship practices as they wish, whether alone (as solitary practitioners) or as a part of a group (also called a coven).
Most Wiccans embrace a duotheistic belief system involving a goddess (the Moon Goddess) and a god (the Horned God). Others may embrace a polytheistic system involving many gods. Wiccans view their deities as forms of ancient, pre-Christian divinities. Some worship gods and goddesses from a variety of pantheons (Greek, Roman, and so on). Wiccan appeals to a broad variety of people and especially to women. This is due largely to the reverence for the Moon Goddess, the respect for nature, and the care for the earth.
Rather than strictly following a single holy text like the Bible, the Koran, or the Gita, Wiccans utilize a book called the Book of Shadows which includes a variety of texts from different authors. This Book contains instructions for how to perform rituals and spells, as well as religious poetry and chants. Wiccan festivals known as “estabats” follow the cycles of the Moon and the Sun. Esbats are associated with the Moon Goddess, and seasonal festivals known as Sabbats are associated with the Sun, or the Horned God. Many Wiccan celebrations correspond closely with the practices and dates/seasons of Christian holidays or the festivals of other religions (such as Samhain on Halloween and Yuletide on December 22, a few days before Christmas).
Over the past twenty years, our culture has seen a meteoric rise of interest in Wicca and magic. This is due to, in part, to the popularity of book series such as Harry Potter, Twilight, and witchcraft-related TV shows and movies. As a result, Wicca has become one of the fastest-growing spiritual movements in America.
Is Wicca witchcraft? Yes, without a doubt. In fact, the term Wicca itself derives from the Old English term for “witch.” Many Wiccan practitioners wear necklaces or other jewelry bearing symbols called “pentacles,” which bear the five-pointed star (or pentagram) used as a symbol of Wicca. The five points of the star represent the five classical elements, or symbolic representations of the phases of matter (air, fire, water, earth, and spirit). These five elements are invoked during Wiccan celebrations and rituals, especially when practitioners form a magic circle.
A creed called the Wiccan Rede (pronounced “reed”) provides the foundational moral principle of the Wiccan belief system. A common form of the Rede is, “An it harm none, do what ye will.” This may be translated as, “As long as your actions do not harm anyone, do whatever you want.” However, this creed is somewhat vague, and the concept of “harm” can be interpreted in a variety of ways.
Some practitioners of Wicca and witchcraft may attempt to differentiate between what they call “white magic” (which they may claim is “harmless”) and “black magic.” However, the Bible prohibits all practices of sorcery, the magic arts, and witchcraft. The Old Testament states that any person who became involved in these idolatrous acts was to be put to death.
Deuteronomy 18:10-11 says, “Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead.”
The apostle Paul also wrote in Galatians 5:19-21, “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Most Wiccans embrace a polytheistic belief system encompassing many gods. According to the Bible, this is considered to be idolatry, or idol worship (the worship of any god or gods other than Yahweh, the One True God). Deuteronomy 6:4-5 states, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”
Many Wiccans may refer to their practices as “white magic,” “nature worship,” “spirituality” or simply a “pagan way of life.” Some adherents may not even realize that they are practicing witchcraft. In fact, there is a branch of Wicca called “Christian Wicca” in which practitioners attempt to meld aspects of Christianity with nature worship, idol worship, and other pagan practices. However, the Bible indicates that a true, committed follower of God must not be involved in the worship of idols, sorcery, or the practice of magic.
Rather than focusing on determining absolute truth, Wiccans perform their rituals for the purpose of creating a religious or spiritual experience that will alter their consciousness. Their belief system is more experiential than theological. Some believe that the Moon Goddess, the Horned God, and other pagan deities are literal beings, while others consider them to be simply archetypes, “thoughtforms,” or myths.
The Bible does not differentiate between so-called “white magic” and “black magic.” All magic is categorized as witchcraft—a manipulative and deceptive force involving sorcery, tricks or illusions, the attempt to channel powers, and the performing of rituals and spells in order to harm a person, control him or her, or produce a desired outcome. Witchcraft seeks to channel the powers of darkness rather than trusting in God and His power to move and to change circumstances according to His divine will.
Despite the teaching of the Wiccan Rede, the practice of magic, idol worship, sorcery, and spells can (and do) cause fear and harm both to the practitioners and to their victims. Wicca’s teachings and practices do constitute witchcraft, which is strictly forbidden in multiple passages found in both the Old Testament and the New Testament of the Bible.
Those who would like to read more on this topic are encouraged to check out:
--- ONLINE RESOURCES ---
CARM – What is Wicca?
Catherine Sanders – The Hidden Traps of Wicca.
Got Questions – What Does the Bible Say About White Magic?
--- PRINT RESOURCES ---
Dillon Burroughs & Marla Alupoaicei – Generation Hex
Kristine McGuire – Escaping the Cauldron
Steve Russo – What’s the Deal with Wicca?
Catherine Sanders – Wicca’s Charm