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Bewitched

Paganism has gone mainstream. But here's how to keep you and your loved ones from being ensnared by it.
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19 Comments

BUMPER STICKERS appear on cars around my small town: "Born-again Pagan"; "Witches Heal"; "Life is a witch (lavender broomstick inserted) and then you fly."

Do I live in an odd little enclave of weirdos and eccentrics? No, I live in a major metropolitan area. But I live in the midst of a pagan revival—and so do you.

Of course, you could say it's that season. During Halloween, interest in the occult seems overt. Yet catalogs hawking ready-to-worship statues of Egyptian gods and goddesses come uninvited through my mailbox any time of year. Books on spellcasting and pagan ritual can be found in my local library and bookstores. Television and magazine ads trumpet the services of psychic counselors.

What's going on?

In a word, witchcraft.

Like many Christians, I knew little about the neo-pagan movement until five years ago, when I discovered that the name of a Seattle abortion clinic, "Aradia," named after a "goddess of healing arts," also was cited in witchcraft literature as the daughter of the moon goddess Diana and the sun god Lucifer sent to earth to establish witchcraft.

Witchcraft, or Wicca, is a vital part of the growing neo-pagan movement and is considered to be one of the fastest-growing religions in America. While estimates vary, several sources say there are between 100,000 and 200,000 practicing Wiccans in the U.S. today. If one includes other neo-pagans and New Agers, who share many similarities, that figure likely would be higher.

The Quest for Control
A Wiccan high priestess named Shaune Ralph once wrote in Mademoiselle magazine that she cast her first spell because she was unhappy in her job. She made a talisman, or charm, out of a few objects, "charged" it with energy, and waited. A short time later she was hired as a laboratory administrator for a biotechnology company. Witchcraft, she found to her delight, got results.

Experienced church leaders say that to deny the reality of demonic supernatural power in witchcraft is to be misinformed.

"It's real. It works," says Dr. F. Douglas Pennoyer, a cultural anthropologist and senior pastor of Snohomish Free Methodist Church near Seattle. The son of Christian missionaries, Pennoyer has seen the efficacy of demonic powers in other cultures, and agrees there is a strong pagan revival happening here. But he says the "power" demonstrated by witches and other pagans, which at first seems positive or productive, is doled out by Satan for a purpose: to trap the practitioner. Pennoyer likens occultic powers to the euphoria of illicit drug use: It feels good for a season—but by the time you realize it's hurting you, it may be too late.

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Displaying 1–3 of 19 comments

Wonder

January 27, 2008  9:51pm

Christianity proclaims "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live" and other such violent things while Wicca says "An it harm none do what thou wilt." Wicca is not Christianity and Satan is a creation of Christians, thus it is impossible for Wiccans to worship Satan, as we do not believe in "him".

RadWitch

November 17, 2007  6:50am

I was Pagan since my teenage years, tried to become a Christian in my 20s, and was very disappointed in the Christian God and Christians themselves. Perhaps instead of spending so much time and energy judging other religions, Christians should try to improve their own. As for myself, I am happily back in the arms of the Goddess. Articles like this are unlikely to scare anyone away from Wicca or Paganism... the writing is laughable at best, sadly deluded at worst.

Tom

November 08, 2007  3:33pm

My dear friends and anyone reading this, If you want first hand solution to the witchcraft Subject, go to the site below and here it from a former member of the Council of 13 which are the Highest position in it. Also this mans family brought it to America. There is no white and black witches although they tell thier followers this as does the masons,Catholics.Jesuits and on an on. the lower members are vieled from the truth. There is only two religions on Earth as in the Christs Mysteries scripture he talks of in the conical Bible. 1. The Lamb of the Elohiem, which is Christ Mysteries he taught His disciples,and 2. The church of Satan. Period the end those are the only 100% churches, deep down we all know this. please free yourselves. With Jesus Christ, Hes got the one with a future in it LOL. http://www.kt70.com/~jamesjpn/articles/john_todd_and_the_illuminati.htm

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