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AN OPEN LETTER TO THE WITCHCRAFT AND MAGICAL COMMUNITY "An ye harm none ... do what ye will." This Wiccan Rede, a salient creed among the witchcraft and magickal community, has been expressed in the hearts of many druids, magickal people, neo-pagans, pagans, wiccans and witches. It has also been expressed by the followers of the Goddess: Artemis, Bast, Brigit, Diana, Hecate, Isis, Lilith, Rhiannon and the Male God: Odin, Ammon- Ra, Baphomet, Cernunnos, Pan, Osiris, Apollo and Lucifer. Witchcraft (Wicca) has been identified as "the Craft of the Wise, as a fissiparous Earth religion characterized by an animistic and polytheistic worship of nature often with an androgynous pantheism. It is a theology lacking in a theodicy, a prophetic faith without prophets, and a religion lacking in bureaucratic rationality; possessing instead magical rituals to re- enchant the social world."[1] When the average person thinks of non-legerdemain magic(k), a mysterious metaphysical dimension normally parallels that person's thoughts. Marcello Truzzi, Professor of Sociology at Eastern Michigan State and an authority on witchcraft, examined the ontological character of magick. "For some witchcraft practitioners, especially the more orthodox ones, magic is viewed as a supernatural phenomenon. The character of magic is such that it involves special spiritual agencies (e.g. elementals, demons, etc.) which are outside the natural physical order available for study by empirical science. Thus, for some witches, magical laws are not natural laws and they can even contradict natural laws. Supernatural agencies and mechanisms are invoked and these are beyond scientific explanation. Most newer witchcraft groups, however, avoid supernaturalism and perfer instead to speak of supernormal or paranormal events."[2] Some witches knowingly even catagorize supernatural powers, which they call upon (invocation or "drawing down the moon") as just a mere extension of the latent powers of the soul in man. Gerald Gardner's (1884-1964) name is still echoed in the witchcraft spiritual Hall of Fame. Gardner, a pioneer in modern and eclectic witchcraft, was an avid follower of the Great Mother Goddess and the Horned God. He was influenced by Annie Besant's daughter and Aleister Crowley, the well-known ceremonial magician. According to Doreen Valiente, who knew Gardner personally, "Gerald Gardner got to know Aleister Crowley when the latter was living at Hastings, a year before Crowley died. He was taken to see Crowley by a friend, and visited him on a number of occasions thereafter, until Crowley's death in 1947. Crowley took a liking to G.B.G. [Gardner], as a fellow-student of magic, and made him an honorary member of Crowley's magical order, the Ordo Templi Orientis. G.B.G. admired Crowley as a poet, and was fond of using quotations from Crowley's works in his rites."[3] Gardner died at sea from heart failure in 1964. Professor Truzzi says, "Yet there is much evidence suggesting that Gardner concocted most of his rituals and legends from his own fertile imagination and that he promoted witchcraft for economic and sexual reasons ... Since so many witches are the result of the diffusion of Gardner's exportations, any coven whose origins cannot be traced prior to 1950 should be highly suspect in regard to its claims of earlier, traditional roots."[4] One of the more modern and prominent witchcraft groups in America today is the "Church of Circle Wicca." According to Margot Adler, a witch and author of "Drawing Down the Moon," who is also the granddaughter of the renowned psychiatrist Alfred Adler, Circle Wicca "is now that group with their finger on the pulse of The Craft scene."[5] The Church of Circle Wicca, (incorporated with the State of Wisconsin, #C-15878) has a 200-acre "nature sanctuary" near Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin. Selena Fox, a psychotherapist, and Jim Alan, who are on the Board of Directors, have been directing the witchcraft community with its monotheistic, polytheistic and animistic viewpoint sprinkled with Theosophy, C.G. Jung psychology and Jane Roberts' Seth Material. "Circle Wicca is one form of the many expressions of Wicca, whose roots go back to the shamanism and Pagan religions of pre-Christian Europe."[6] A common denominator between Shamanism and Pagan religions is the trance state. The most influential witchcraft publication within the present day witchcraft and magickal community in America is the Circle Network News (CNN) of Circle Wicca. In the Fall 83 issue, trance working is discussed in connection with communicating with the departed. "This type of tranceworking should only be practiced after long and intensive training between a priest/ess and student. It is not a state to enter into lightly or when alone ... for the spirit to be contacted actually enters the Wytch's body, using it to deliver a verbal message."[7] Experientially related to the above is Mirror Magic, another popular form of tranceworking. In an article by Selena Fox, she says, "You may wish to get glimpses of and guidance from one or more of your past life selves and/or your Spirit guides and teachers ... If you have been extensively trained and are experienced in mediumship, you may use this tranceworking to contact the Spirits of departed friends and relatives. If you have not had such training and experience, do not attempt this without a knowledgeable teacher present to guide you."[8] Idolatry and Polytheism are an integrated part of witchcraft. Idolatry (Greek: Eidololatreia) comes in many forms; e.g.: Necrolatry (worship of the dead), Dentrology (worship of trees), Litholotry (worship of stones), Pyrolatry (worship of fire), Zoolatry (worship of animals) and Selfolatry. Polytheism opens up Pandora's box of new theologies, new philosophies, new cosmic theories, new gods, and new idols. Professor Leslie Carlson succinctly shows what polytheism leads to. "Originally, religion was monotheistic, but became debased through idolatrous worship, and the true God and his attributes came to be represented by idols, cult objects, and fetishes. Because God was unseen and transcendent, men set up idols as a materialistic expression of him. Soon the created thing was worshipped as a god instead of the Creator. Thus, each nation had its chief god and as many more as they felt were necessary. Not only were idols used, but also various forms of nature as the heavenly bodies, mountains, seas, rivers, insects, birds and animals."[9] Egyptian witchcraft and Shamanism reflect the above which is also a part of the Church of Circle Wicca's philosophical systems. Is there a myriad of gods and goddesses from the Old World now entering the West in order to cosmically fill-in the heart-felt void found in the Wiccan and magickal community? A spiritual collection of such entities is reflected in Circle Wicca's publication, Circle Network News, in their "Invocation and Incantation" section. Examples of these so-called deities are Pan, Siva and Hecate[10]; Marduk, Poseidon, Hestia, Ceres, Athene, Cerridwen, Aradia, Hephaestus, Diana and Selene[11]; Isis, Ashtoreth and Astarte[12]; Danu, Arianrhod, Anubis and Cernunnos[13]; Adonis, Apollo, Dionysus, Hades, Venus and Pegasus[14]; and Nuit, Osirus and Eros[15]. The herstory book of the Goddess rests on a distant island with the pages being blown by a strong conjectural wind, within an optative environment. According to Merlin Stone, "The Upper Paleolithic period, though most of its sites have been found in Europe, is the conjectural [inference from defective or presumptive evidence, a conclusion deduced by surmise or guesswork] foundation of the religion of the Goddess as it emerged in the later Neolithic Age of the Near East. Since it precedes the time of written records and does not directly lead into an historical period that might have helped to explain it, the information on the Paleolithic existence of Goddess worship must at this time remain speculative."[16] In other words, the foundational time period of the Goddess religion supposedly dates back to the Stone Age. The information obtained from that time period, which is carried over to the present day, has a very conjectural thought base which precedes written records. These conjectures spawn a myriad of ipse didixits (assertions made but not proved). Among the Wiccan Feminist community, the Goddess Lilith stands out. Is there something historical, not commonly known, about Her that can be found in old books under some Wiccan ritual tables? The late Gustav Davidson, bibliographer at the Library of Congress and past Secretary Emeritus of the Poetry Society of America, says "Lilith is a female demon, enemy of infants, bride of the evil angel Sammael (Satan)." He also states, "Lilith is in fact drawn from the lili, female demonic spirits in Mesopotamian demonology, and known as ardat lili."[17] Who is the Goddess' consort? The Horned God, Pan. According to Robert Graves, former Professor of English literature at Cairo University, Pan's etymology "is usually derived from paein, 'to pasture', stands for the 'devil' or 'upright man', of the Arcadian fertility cult, which closely resembled the witch cult of North-western Europe."[18] Pan falls under the catagory of nature-demon in Larousse's World Mythology. At Aleister Crowley's funeral, the "Hymn to Pan" was recited. Pan had a way of placing a magickal spell over Crowley's life. Crowley, who claimed to be the Devil's chief emissary on earth, attempted to "Raise Pan" during a ceremonial magick ritual. "Crowley had raised Pan all night. MacAleister [son of Aleister] was dead and Crowley, stripped of his magician's robes, a naked gibbering idiot crouching in the corner. Before he [Crowley] was fit to go about again, he spent four months in a lunatic asylum."[19] The author of this quote knew Aleister Crowley personally. Baal, consort of the Goddess Ashtoreth and a male God who the ancient Druids worshipped, has been inked in the National Geographic magazine pages (August 1974, pages 166-167). "On a moonlit night, ancient writers say, a priest placed a child, mercifully killed moments earlier, on the outstretched amrs of a statue of Baal." Magick is an important "magical" ingredient within witchcraft. Starhawk defines magick as "the art of sensing and shaping the subtle, unseen forces of the world, of awakening deeper levels of consciousness beyond the rational, is an element common to all traditions of Witchcraft. Craft rituals are magical rites: They stimulate an awareness of the hidden side of reality, and awaken long-forgotten powers of the human mind."[20] What are these "long-forgotten powers of the human mind"? Is it possible that there is another power playing upon the Wiccan and magicians' mind which is not an extension of the human mind? Is it possible that these "unseen forces that flow through the world" are seeking to control the world and everyone therein? A medical, historical, anthropological symposium[21] was held in 1975 at a large major university discussing the area of the "spirit world" and what lies within. Doctors, psychiatrists, scientists, historians, theologians, and college professors took into serious consideration how cultures from all over the world have been and are affected and infected by these normally "unseen forces" in the world. The reality of these unseen forces is succinctly summarized in two books. The first one is "Everyday Witchcraft". "Various malign influences are always loose in the atmosphere. No matter what you do - or don't do - one day these forces may decide to focus on you or your family. However, when you start practicing witchcraft, the chances of drawing the attention of these mischief- makers increases greatly."[22] The second book is the Bible. In Ephesians chapter 6, it states, "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places." These spiritual forces are the force behind The Force (Star Wars). Who are "Elementals"? Who are these "familiars"? Who are these "spirit guides"? Who are these "guardians and watchtowers"? Who are these "spirits of the dead"? And who are these "gods and goddesses"? What powers do they possess? One common denominator that they all possess is thought transference. Through thought transference, the counterfeit spirit dimension is able to pass on auditory and non-auditory information. Telepathy is a form of magic, (see T.C. Lethbridge, "Witches", p. 14) and also a cosmic ingredient used within the magic circle. "At this point the guardian will also telepathically tell the young Wytch their name, 'I am _____.' This is the guardian's secret name that only the young Wytch will know and use."[23] Between the guardian (familiar spirit) and the Wytch there is a cognitive experience demon-strated, but does the Wytch truly "know" what the genesis is of this familar spirit? This alterered state which the witch goes through can be addicting with a very subtle long-term danger. See footnote #21. Tom Sanguinet, a former ordained High Priest in the Celtic tradition of Wicca, took to heart the need for "peace with God." Tom was written up in the New York Times; appeared on "World of People" (syndicated TV show); was involved in the 1980 "Samain Seminar" in Texas[24]; personally knew Selena Fox, Lady Sintana of Ravenswood Church, Gavin Frost (Tom was Gavin's partner), Loy and Louise Stone and many others in the Wiccan and magickal community. Tom had many "familiar spirits". Looking back now, he came to realize that these familiar spirits were not of the true God, but that they were deceiving spirits from Satan. The Bible says that there are seducing spirits and teachings obtained from demons. Tom did believe in God, but didn't want go through with the "Lord of Darkness and the Goddess". He wanted to have a "personal" relationship with God. Religion has been identified as man's search for God and Christianity as God's search for a sincere person. After 32 Wiccan years Tom left the "Old Religion" and invited Jesus Christ into his heart as his personal Lord and Savior. "Deterioration is never sudden. No garden 'suddenly' overgrows with thorns ... No person 'suddenly' becomes base. Slowly, almost imperceptibly, certain things are accepted that once were rejected. Things once considered hurtful are now secretly tolerated. At the outset it appears harmless, perhaps even exciting, but the wedge it brings leaves a gap that grows wider and wider as moral erosion joins hands with spiritual decay. The gap becomes a canyon. That 'way which seems right' becomes, in fact, 'the way of death'. Solomon wrote that. He ought to know."[25] Rationalization is very subtle at times. Evil is first abhored, then ignored, then tolerated, then participated with in a very compromising and sometimes socially accepted means. What was once considered evil is now considered good and what was once considered good is now evil. Also the mind cannot accept what the heart rejects. Every evil system carries its own seed of destruction. Time merely matures its process. The seed of destruction is invisible because Satan has the ability to blind the minds of the unbelieving. Tom left (repentence) the world of idolatry, magick, monism, polytheism, reincarnation (a Sisyphean philosophy) and sky-cladding. He came to realize the forgiving and loving power of Jesus Christ, who is God above all gods and Lord above the "lord of darkness". "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God". Tom is open to talking with anyone about the Lord Jesus for those interested. Jesus Christ is the Great High Priest and loves you ver much. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life."[26] Whoever can specifically include Adler, Bonewits, Buckland, Budapest, Cabot, Fox, Frost, Heidrick, Forfreedom, Martello, Sintana, Slater, Starhawk, Stone, and Zell. The whoever also includes the solitary witch, feminist wiccan, magicians, druids, neo- pagans, god/dess worshippers, satanists, voodooists, etc. "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, but which we must be saved."[27] That name is Jesus. When pondering about our Creator, "we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man."[28] Witchcraft leads to Self-Realization, self-deification and self- glorification. In Scripture it says that Man is appointed to die once and after this comes the judgement.[29] Reincarnation does not have its name carved on the pillars of Heaven, but on the deceptive pillars of Hell. There will be a physical resurrection (after Rites of Passage) that will lead to eternal separation from (opposite from Summerland) from the Almighty God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth. There will also be a physical resurrection for the believer in Jesus Christ, (who died for their sins and rose, physically[30]). That will be a glorious Day. Tom came to know "the real purpose in life". "There are depths of love that I cannot know till I cross the narrow sea. There are heights of joy that I may not reach till I rest in peace with Thee"[31] -- Jesus will give you that peace, for He is the True and Almighty God of Peace. Reading the Gospel of John will give you an eternal glimpse of what He has done for you. Tom Sanguinet, former wiccan, can be reached at 544 Edna St., Wills Point, TX 75169, (212) 873-4340. (for further reference material see _The Two Babylons_ by Alexander Hislop, New Jersey. Pub: Loizeaux Brothers, p.311). FOOTNOTES 1. Kirkpatrick, R. George, Prof. _Abstract on Wicca_, California State University-San Diego. 1983, p. 1. 2. Truzzi, Marcello, "Towards a Sociology of the Occult: Notes on Modern Witchcraft." 3. Valiente, Doreen. An ABC of Witchcraft Past and Present. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1973, p. 157. 4. Truzzi, ob-cit, pp. 636-637. 5. Personal letter from Margot Adler to Jack Roper. November 26, 1982. 6. The Circle Wicca Program, pub: Circle Wicca, Wisc., October, 1982. 7. "Communicating with the Departed: Four Paths." Circle Network News. Fall 1983, p. 13. 8. Fox, Selena, "Mirror Magick." Circle Network News, Fall 1980, p. 4. 9. Carlson, E. Leslie, "Gods" as seen in Baker's Dictionary of Theology. Ed: E. Harrison, Baker Book House, 1975, p. 248. 10. Circle Network News (CNN), Summer '81, Vol. 3, No. 2, p. 3. 11. CNN, Fall '81, Vol. 3, No. 3, p. 3. 12. CNN, Fall '82, Vol. 4, No. 3, p. 2. 13. CNN, Winter '82-'83, Vol. 4, No. 4, p. 3. 14. CNN, Spring '83, Vol. 4, No. 1, p. 3. 15. CNN, Fall '83, Vol. 5, No. 3, p. 3. 16. Stone, Merlin. "The Great Goddess: Who Was She?" in _The Politics of Women's Spirituality_. Edit: Charlene Spretnak, New York, Anchor Press/ Double Day, 1982, p. 8. 17. Davidson, Gustav. "A Dictionary of Angels." New York, The Free Press, 1967, p. 174. 18. Graves, Robert. "The Greek Myths." Great Britain, Pelican Books, 1960, Vol. 1, p. 102. 19. Wheatley, Dennis. "The Devil and All His Works." New York: American Heritage Press, 1971, p. 276. 20. Starhawk. "Witchcraft as Goddess Religion," as seen in _The Politics of Women's Spirituality_. op-cit, p. 55. 21. "Demon Possession" Edit: John Warwick Montgomery. Minneapolis, Bethany Fellowship, 1976. 22. Lyons, Delphine C. "Everyday Witchcraft." New York, Dell Publishing Co., p. 31. 23. Circle Network News, Fall 1983, p. 17. 24. Op-cit. CMM, Fall 1980, p. 6. 25. Swindoll, Charles. "Growing Strong In The Seasons of Life." Oregon, Multnomah Press, p. 94. 26. Scripture: John 3:16 27. Acts 4:12 28. Acts 17:29 29. Hebrews 9:27 30. I Corinthians 15 31. "I Am Thine O Lord," Fanny Crosby. _Hymns for the Living Church_, Carol Stream, Ill., Hope Publishing Co., 1974, p. 354. "In the Holy Scriptures wisdom, when used of God and good men, always carries a strong moral connotation. It is conceived as being pure, loving, and good. Wisdom that is mere shrewdness is often attributed to evil men, but such wisdom is treacherous and false. These two kinds of wisdom are in perpetual conflict. Indeed, when seen from the lofty peak of Sinai or Calvary, the whole history of the world is discovered to be but a contest between the wisdom of God and the cunning of Satan and fallen men. The outcome of the contest is not in doubt. The imperfect must fall before the perfect at last." _The Knowledge of the Holy_ A. W. Tozer For more information, please, contact: C A R I S Christian Apologetics: Research and Information Service Jack Roper * P.O. Box 1659 * Milwaukee, WI 53201


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