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Wicca & Satanism from Islamic Perspective

by Muhammad Vandestra

Publisher - Dragon Promedia Ebook Publisher

Category - Religion

The word wicca comes from the Saxon root wicce, loosely translated as “wise” or “to bend or shape the unseen forces.” Wicca is the largest of the Neopagan religions which are reconstructions of ancient abandoned pagan belief systems, including Celtic, Egyptian, Greek, Norse, Roman, and other traditions.  Thus as an earth-centered religion, Wicca’s origins predate Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism.  Wicca could be termed one of the oldest religions in the world; on the other hand it could be called one of the newest since Wicca, as we know it today, is a recently created, earth-centered, Neopagan religion that  can be traced back to Gardnerian Witchcraft which was founded in the United Kingdom during the late 1940s.  A good general rule is that most Wiccans are Neopagans but not all Neopagans are Wiccans.

Some Wiccans recognize a single supreme being sometimes referred to as “The One” or “The All“, who has female and male aspects referred to as the ‘Goddess and God’.  Others practice Wicca by recognising the existence of many ancient gods and goddesses, including but certainly not limited to: Aphrodite, Artemis, Briget, Diana, Dionysius, Fergus, Hecate, Isis, Pan, Thor, etc.  Wicca has also been called atheistic (no belief in a deity or deities).  Some Wiccans view the Goddess and God as symbols, not as living entities.  Thus many Wiccan might be considered Atheists.  Because Wiccans worship nature and nature goddesses and gods, they could also be called pantheists.

What exactly is Satanism?  The Google dictionary defines it as, “The worship of Satan, typically involving a travesty of Christian symbols and practices, such as placing a cross upside down.  The website wordnetweb.princeton.edu defines it as belief in and reverence for devils (especially Satan) and thefreedictionary.com adds that it is profound wickedness.  Religious Tolerance, the Canadian website dedicated to accurately explaining the full diversity of worldwide religious beliefs states that, “There are probably dozens of different religious belief systems and practices that have been called Satanism”

Thus it becomes almost impossible to estimate just how many Satanists there are in the world.  Depending on the definition and what groups comply with each different definition, the total number of Satanists could be anything from several thousand, to millions or even more.  In North America estimates range from ten to twenty thousand Satanists from several different belief systems and organisations.  According to Statistic Canada, the 1991 census found only 335 Canadians identifying themselves as Satanists.  It is also almost impossible to open up dialogue with, or gather statistical evidence from each of these groups claiming to practice some sort of Satanism.

The Church of Satan, founded by Anton LaVey in 1967, generally regard themselves as strong Atheists, Agnostics, or Deists and membership numbers are kept secret.  However the Church of Satan is quite open about their beliefs and practices.   They describe themselves as, “The first above-ground organization in history openly dedicated to the acceptance of Man’s true nature—that of a carnal beast, living in a cosmos that is indifferent to our existence.  To us, Satan is the symbol of pride, liberty and individualism.”

According to David Shankbone who interviewed the Church’s high priest Peter Gilmour,”LaVey’s teachings are based on individualism, self-indulgence, and ‘eye for an eye’ morality, with influence from Friedrich Nietzsche and Ayn Rand; while its rituals and magic draw heavily from occultists such as Aleister Crowley.” His article makes it quite clear that members of the church of Satan do not worship, nor believe in the Devil or a Christian/ Islamic notion of Satan.  Their Satan has nothing to do with Hell, demons, pitchforks, sadistic torture, buying people’s souls, demonic possession, performing miracles, human sacrifices, cannibalism, and profoundly evil deeds.

One definition of Satanism states that, “Satanism is the utter rejection of the spiritual way of theistic religions, and the honest admittance that we are just animals who evolve as any other complex system.”  On the other hand, what about the religious Satanism that has become the stuff of nightmares and movie plots? Does it actually exist? The church of Satan states openly that, “Satanism respects and exalts life.  Children and animals are the purest expressions of that life force, and as such are held sacred and precious...” Thus, as mentioned above, no human sacrifices.  The majority of Satanists simply follow a lifestyle involving the Satanic statements and rules, while avoiding the Satanic sins.

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