Guest Author - Melicia CrowSpirit
In our search for enlightenment each person searches for the one true religion. They pass over ones that do not appeal to them and other religions they have been taught were devil worship. Wicca is one of those misunderstood religions. Over time, Christian based religions, because of lack of understanding or out of fear, have classified Wicca as a devil worshipping religion. Wicca is not devil worship at all. The Devil, Satan or whatever one wants to call him is purely a Christian based deity.
Most dogmatic religions have to have some deity that they can use as a scare tactic on their followers so that they will be “good” followers and the devil is one such deity. Little children are often told when they are bad that if they are not going to change their ways the Devil will get them. This is scary for a child. The image of a horned goat headed half man half goat that ate little children, drank blood and sat around seeing what bad deeds he could get the Christian followers to do is what the devil is said to be. He has followers that dance around a fire, having orgies and doing other deeds that are unthinkable to even the people with a vivid imagination. From where did this image of the Devil come? This image of the devil came from the crusader times.
As the crusaders marched throughout England and other lands trying to bring the pagan/heathen-believing people a new civilized religion they happened on a temple of Pan. Pan is the little mischief-making flute playing half man and half goat deity of the Greeks and Celts. The crusaders believed that they needed something scary to manipulate the people who had believed in the many Gods and Goddesses that they had worshipped for generations. The deities had been the ones they prayed to for a good harvest, to protect a new baby that was born, who blessed their food before they ate and even helped them have a good hunt. The crusaders wanted these people to give up all their Gods and Goddesses for one God.
How could this one God do what their many could do? This is where the devil came in. The crusaders used the image of this horrible Devil thing that would cruse them and make things hard for the ones that did not except the one ”True” God. After many bloodshed and many more loved ones dying most people gave in to the crusaders to save themselves and their loved ones. Over the years there have been many people who gave their lives to have the freedom of worship of the one true god of their heart and soul. This god could be any number of gods and goddesses, any number of traditions and under any name of religion. Wicca is one of those any numbers of religions and traditions. The people who follow Wicca call themselves Pagan.
Edain McCoy is a writer of Wiccan books and she is also a Pagan/Wiccan. She has made comments about being Pagan and what it means to be Pagan.
Edain McCoy states it best when she said "When one defines oneself as Pagan, it means she or he follows an earth or nature religion, one that sees the divine manifest in all creation. The cycles of nature are our holy days, the earth is our temple, its plants and creatures our partners and teachers. We worship a deity that is both male and female, a mother Goddess and father God, who together created all that is, was, or will be. We respect life, cherish the free will of sentient beings, and accept the sacredness of all creation."
Some call what they follow Paganism and others have called it witchcraft. What some believe is actually called Wicca. Some feel that Wicca and witchcraft cannot be used interchangeably. Wicca is the practice of the Magick and the beliefs of the religion, which gives honor to the God and the Goddess. Witchcraft is the practice of magick without the religious beliefs. Wicca is the practice of the religion and the use of witchcraft (magick) whereas witchcraft is the practice of magick without the religion.
The crusaders and the ones bringing the one true religion to these pagan people found that the pagan people had a hard time observing the holidays and went back to observing the holidays they had observed for years. They found that if they set the Christian holidays around the Pagan ones the people did not have trouble with the observation of them and leaving their old ways behind in exchange for the new ones that Christianity offered.