Wands, Witches and Wicca

I’m not one to put down someone else’s faith journey. Our spiritual lives can take us all over the place before we settle. But I just watched a mainstream television show that featured a practicing witch and then I watched a Harry Potter movie. Witchcraft is certainly a prominent subculture in our world right now.

Witchcraft, spells and magic don’t work.

They can’t work. Physics is the mechanism for our universe. Things can’t be changed in our universe except by direct physical intervention. Energy. Real, measurable energy, not metaphoric energy. Not mind power, or thought waves, or the spirit world. Laws of thermodynamics; ee equals em cee squared. What you take out has to equal what you put in.

(For those who want to quibble – God owns all the energy, so He can work miracles. You can’t.)

There are no inherent powers in plants except their chemical composition. A few words and some weeds, dirt, animal blood and whatever are not going to change the course of the universe. Black velvet dresses, red capes and pointy hats mean nothing to the cosmos. Sorry.

Why are people, especially young women, drawn to the world of witches and wicca? I enjoy the Harry Potter movies and books as fiction, a way of understanding the world in which we live and how we relate to each other. It’s whimsical in some ways, brutally honest in others. I like both elements. But it doesn’t make me want to start casting spells with a magic wand, because that is not possible. It is not possible because it is outside the realm of possibility.

People are drawn to the occult in times when they feel they don’t have much control over their lives. They yearn for freedom, individuality, a sense of power. I thought feminism was going to give that to us! But it did fail, and women feel trapped economically, emotionally, even physically by the materialistic culture we have built. Wicca, witchcraft and other pagan practices make them feel like they might gain control. They are looking for empowerment. All they get are lies.

Christian women find empowerment in Christ. It’s a big topic, but one someone should attempt some day. The Church freed women, in Christ, to pursue education, to serve as leaders, to speak out. Christian women, in Christ, find that modesty and chastity are empowering. Generosity, charity and kindness are empowering.

We don’t need magical powers. We have the power of Christ.

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11 thoughts on “Wands, Witches and Wicca

  1. From talking to the few Wicca I know, they were drawn into it because of their concern for “Mother Earth” and the environment. They worship the Earth and Sun and other natural forces. They see it as white magic not the dark twin of black magic. They see nature all around and rather than a Creator, they worship the creation. At least that’s how I understood what they told me.

    Unfortunately, I don’t see this just in the Wicca, but also increasingly among Christians. My friend’s church is more like an environmentalist meeting or social service club than a Christian God-centered service most of the time.

    • I too have encountered the “love the Earth” pagans, but they seem to drift around from one neo-pagan practice to another. I guess the point I was trying to make is that there is no white magic, either. Just physics.

      Christianity is, in my opinion, the most thoroughly nature-based religion ever. God loves His creation, even the trouble-making bipeds in it, and acts at all times to bring it out of its fallen state, and promises an ultimate perfection.

      Look, it’s more fun to save the Earth than human souls, so I’m not surprised that some churches, especially those without strong historic theologies, would drift into environmentalism. It used to be human rights, and before that theosophy – saving the spirit.

  2. magdelaina,

    Brilliant, absolutely Brilliant!!! You are right about the failures of feminism (I am mindful of the commentary elicited upon the passing of Mary Daley – oh my goodness) (excuse spelling) and the message (ultimately dangerous in my thinking, for both women and men) she espoused. I am even more saddened at the frankenstein’s monster we seem to have created for ourselves that harms men and women alike, families, our children and ultimately the world in which we live, because it is unsustainable, ecconomically, socially, theologically and eccologically.

    furthermore, we need more women speaking out on the rich treasure that is to be found in modesty and chastity, for we ‘Daughters of the King’. The present generation of talking heads that inhabit the chattering and coffee house classes simply cannot see it, equating modesty and chastity with repression and the arguments that trail in the wake of such ideologies (we know what they are) To learn the truth, gentle readers, read Magdelaina’s articles here on mens’ and womens’ modesty, plus the articulate, intelegent articles on modesty and such by Frances Fischer over at ‘Quaker jane’. Furthermore Wendy Shallit has penned several titles over the last ten years or so dealing with these issues, ‘A Return to Modesty’ being the most powerful of them all. This is the message feminism should have been, and should be championing; this is one of many ways in which it has let all of us, men and women alike, down. And even now, in the feminist classroom, when the likes of Shallit, Fischer and even the words of Holy Scripture are brought to light, the spurious argument of ‘it is our choice, though and our right to choose’ is trotted out, (by a class where half the girls feel they need to show their empowerment and liberation by attending in their smallclothes, or close enough to it) it is clear that the emperor indeed has no clothes…

    Magdelaina, if you have qualifications at the Ph.D level, you can try and apply to lecture at Australian Catholic University in our Theology department!! 🙂 Oh boy, we need this message!!!!!!!!!!!

    And yes, I (unusual in my faith circle) see what you see in HP and, see, in her writings a similar theme to that employed by Roald Daaal, J. R. R. Tolkein and C. S. Lewis.

    Speaking of lewis, A commenter on another blog I read lamented that her studies at university of Lewis’s literature brought the comment from the lecturers that if he were around today, his writings would be different (implying that his message would be ‘softer’ and ‘watered down’…as I read it. hmm…we need more ‘Lewises’…

    Keep on writing, and please, think of following in the footsteps of Wendy Shallit and write a book on this stuff; we women who are Christian are crying out for and thirsting for it!!!!!!!

    Blessings,

    Sarah.

    • Sorry, I don’t have any qualifications beyond my MDiv, and don’t want to rack up the enormous tuition bills for the PhD at my point in life! I’d rather buy a house!

      Don’t you love the way lecturers and writers try to water down what went before, usually because they feel the sting now!

      I love Wendy Shalit’swork,so I may let her keep writing those books. Although, a book from a Christian point of view would be a change, if it made mainstream.

  3. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You! You apparently feel the same way about the HP books and movies that I do. Some people just don’t get it. Especially the Christians who won’t let their children read the books or watch the movies.
    If they had taught them the difference between Fiction and Real Life, that would not be a problem.
    I love the books and the movies, but they ARE FICTION. Like you said, those spells DO NOT WORK! (At least not in real life)!! Obviously, people don’t understand that.

    • Weirdly (ha! little pun there) I heard a “witch” use the term muggle meaning non-magical people. Hello, there! You don’t have magic powers either! And J K Rowling made up the word. By the time they are three, most children know the difference between real and pretend. Unless, of course, adults confuse them.

      I love the Harry Potter world, just as I loved Middle Earth and Narnia. There are life lessons to be taught by inventing these microcosms. Having said that, I don’t get the Twilight thing at all. Is the theme that is important to have a boyfriend, even if he is a life-sucking monster?

  4. I know that most wicca beliefs are nonsense but what about those with powers mentioned in both the OT and NT?

    The magician of Pharaoh’s who challenged Moses?
    The woman cured in the NT?

    And what about Uri Geller?Is he a “wizard”, using the devil’s tricks?

    • The traditional explanation for the witches and sorcerers of the Old Testament , especially the Pharaoh’s magicians, is that they were illusionists, fooling gullible people. I pretty much hold to that theory still. They were not witches in the modern sense, though, but rather priests or priestesses of ancient pagan faiths. They did not live in peaceful coexistence with the people of Israel; they were, as in Egypt, agents of an enemy state, serving a god-king. Thus – “thou shall not suffer a witch to live,” meaning, that Israel will not tolerate spies and traitors in their midst. This was tragically applied to the practicioners of nature religions in Europe in medieval times, taken horrifically out of context. I don’t know which woman in the New Testament you mean; I can’t recall any cures by anyone other than Jesus.

      Uri Geller has been discredited by professional illusionists. He’s nothing more than a stage magician, using sleight-of-hand. Tne only trick of the devil he used was a lying tongue.

  5. I would be interested on your opinion of this:

    Exodus 7
    8And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying,9When Pharaoh shall speak unto you, saying, Shew a miracle for you: then thou shalt say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and cast it before Pharaoh, and it shall become a serpent.10And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so as the LORD had commanded: and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his servants, and it became a serpent.11Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments.12For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods.

    • We can look at this on several levels. It might be myth, or fable; that is, it never happened and it is a story to teach a lesson. That is, Moses and Aaron are more powerful than the sorcerers. I don’t like that as the best answer, obviously, being a Christian who believes the Bible. But that is the point. My best answer, I think, is that while the wise men and sorcerers may have had powers to deceive and may even have had supernatural powers, these were not gifts of God, but the power of evil. And Pharoah is practicing evil in those evil days, so those who support and advice him are not neutral, either. Did they really have supernatural powers? Outside of getting into a long discourse on the existance and powers of the demonic, I would say that they practiced illusion much as fakirs do now. Aaron and Moses were able to perform miracles because they were anointed by God to do so.

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