Chapter 3: Introduction to Wicca
“The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft…I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”–Galatians 5:19-21
Searching for answers to my traumatic state of affairs led me on a path where I considered all religions. That felt like the fair and objective thing to do, as I had been taught by the world that it would be rude to assume that the God of my childhood was the only correct way to heaven. Granted, I was always more drawn to mystical worldviews than ascetic ones, so I started there.
One night after my shift at the health food store, I was having some beers at a coworker’s place when she began to talk about Wicca. I had been curious about Wicca since college, but I hadn’t dared dabble in it. My father had told me once that it was real, and not to mess with it. Despite his warning, I still longed to experience God in a tangible way, a powerful way. Don’t get me wrong, I knew that messing around with ouija boards and astral projection was dangerous and occultic, but the rest of the mystical world seemed like kind of a gray area to me. My coworker was quick to reassure me with the widely believed lie, that not all Wicca was dark like what I feared… but that instead magic depended on the heart of the practitioner. For instance, if a witch had dark intent, then the magic would be dark. However, if the witch had a loving heart and wanted to help others it would be called ‘white magic’, and the magic would be ‘good’. She told me that there was no ‘devil’ in the craft, and that the only evil that exists was in the heart of the witch. I wanted so much to believe her, believe that magic was an outward expression of what was already in my heart. It sounded like a lovely concept, and it tickled my ears that I could be in charge of everything. If I could control my life more, I could be safe and happy. When I asked her about any dangers in Wicca, she did inform me that she’d seen ‘bad spirits’, or ‘negative entities, as she called them. However, she told me I could protect myself from that by certain objects called amulets that held magical protection, and that my own psychic strength or willpower would also keep me safe–all lies she believed as well. I wasn’t too rattled hearing this, mainly because the Christian worldview also talked about getting attacked by demons, so Wicca didn’t seem much different in that respect. I had always been terrified of demon attacks, but it felt empowering to have more control over the spirit world. I would later learn that even though the surface of witchcraft may look glittery and alluring, that all magic is indeed demonic, and the only protection from the demonic world is in the power of the Cross and the name of Jesus Christ.
However, young and naive I felt reassured by her description of Wicca so I decided to open up to her as one would a counselor. I told her a little bit about my situation: I was heartbroken from the breakup of my college boyfriend, and I needed a rebound romance, anything to make me feel less miserable. There was a guy at work that I had a little crush on, and so I wanted him to like me but I was getting mixed signals. She showed me a simple spell I could do that would keep me on this man’s mind. I immediately objected, telling her I didn’t want to manipulate any man to have feelings for me. She informed me that this wouldn’t be anything like that. Instead, it would be a simple mental affirmation that would keep me on his mind—kind of like manifesting my deepest wishes. I was intrigued, so I wrote down the wording of the love spell. She also gave me a simple ritual to protect me from any anxiety I had. This ritual involved keeping a white candle under my bed, coupled with a sprig of lavender.
Some might think this sounds silly, that someone could be so weak in their thinking to put faith in some words, a candle and a plant, but at the time it seemed like a life raft. That’s the seduction of the new age. It puts the power in the individual’s hands, instead of God’s. I had been feeling nervous to be back in my hometown, the place where my childhood abuse happened…and I wanted to feel safe and not afraid all the time. I had also recently seen the movie ‘Practical Magic’, and it was all about beautiful women taking charge of their own destiny through magic. As cheesy and derivative as it sounds, I wanted to be like the character of Sandra Bullock. I wanted to find my true love and break the family curse of heartache and sorrow.
So, I went home, said the love spell and put the candle and the lavender under my bed. I felt like I was being proactive about my life for the first time, and like I was taking specific steps to change things for the better. Maybe my life could be different… like the kind of women you only read about, women who have amazing lives and fascinating stories to tell in their old age. However, little did I know, I had just taken my first steps away from God’s protection. I had dabbled in a forbidden sin called Spiritism.
A few months went by, and I had forgotten all about the rebound guy at work, so I figured it must not be ‘meant to be’, or maybe I didn’t want it badly enough. Wicca taught that intent was very important to any spell or ritual. So, working a spell was more about the power behind the spell, and less about the ritual—although both were important. So, I thought I would have to increase my desire and will to have the things I wanted in life. If I wanted something enough, I could mentally ‘will’ it into existence. This was the start of a sorcerer type mindset, creating things from thin air..being my own ‘god’ instead of crying out to God for help.