Gerald Gardner popularized the modern religion of Wicca in the mid-20th century (Register Files)
Wicca is trending as a dark impersonation for the divine. It is a potpourri of occult spirituality and spells, cloaked in nature, exchanging eternal truths for “my truth.”
“Bide within the Law you must, in perfect Love and perfect Trust… These Eight words the Rede fulfill: An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will.’" Those are the first and last lines of the Wiccan Rede. So, what could be the harm in that?
“The first person they harm is themselves,” according to Father Michael (not his real name) who has been the designated exorcist of his diocese for 10 years. The reason, he explained, is that spells call upon powers not from God. So, the devil.
Wiccans claim to call on supernatural powers to bring about good. Yet, “good” is relative such as when Wiccans call for spells against President Trump or to stop Brett Kavanaugh from getting on the Supreme Court. Rather than praying to God that, “thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven,” spells seeks to accomplish a person’s own desires. But as any exorcist will attest, we can’t use the devil; the devil uses us.
There is a growing number of celebrities and others willing to be used by the devil through Wicca. Recently, NFL superstar Tom Brady, although baptized a Catholic, credited his success to his wife's witchcraft. In a video recording Brady said he is convinced that the rituals his “good witch” wife employs is behind his success. There is even a supposed Christian witch claiming Christianity mixes well with witchcraft, that has launched a school to help Christians tap into it.
Around 1.5 million people identified as Wicca in 2014— 0.4 percent of Americans—according to Pew Research Center. Wicca was not delineated from paganism, but a way to gauge growth is that in 2008, Amazon had 395 books on Wicca. In 2016 there were 1,512, and in early 2019, there are over 3,000 titles.
Whether Wicca or another form of paganism, calling on powers not of God leads to evil. “Everyone says they just want to do good,” Father Michael said. But good intentions mean nothing when engaging in the occult, he explained. “One woman was introduced to the occult by her extended family. They made her believe they were really Catholic practices,” he said. “Later, she came in with her daughter who had seen demonic presences in the house. Children are more likely to see demons. The mother was doing all sorts of occult stuff to communicate with dead cousins. I prayed over her three times and she is free now.”
We are all in relationships, Father Mike explained. “What we do affects those around us. Parents can harm their children by getting involved in the occult, because it brings in an evil presence.”
Who Are We Calling On?
“I had a guy who said he was a witch and started his own coven,” Father Michael said. “Men are really warlocks, but he said he was a witch. He came to me because he was concerned that he was possessed.”
“What do you expect?” Father Michael asked him. “You were a witch for seven years!” Father Michael noted, “He had become sullen, dark and brooding. The practice of evil witchcraft had introduced him into a dark and awful world, and he manifested it in his life and personality.”
Such a situation is exactly what we should expect, according to him. “There is God and there is Satan. Who are we calling on? The idea of Mother Earth as a force we can tap into is not Christian. It’s pagan. If you are dialing up Mother Earth, there’s a great chance it’s going to be dark.” The male witch stopped coming in after only a few sessions. “He didn’t want to give up the feeling of power,” Father Michael said.
He explained that possessions can have varying gradations which require a number of sessions to loosen the devil’s grip as a person moves closer to a relationship with God. Not everyone needs an exorcism, either. “Sometimes, I can just pray deliverance prayers over them, especially if the demons’ grip is not as strong, and it will get better.”
The Catholic Church is very clear, Father Michael said, that all forms of divination are to be rejected. “They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone… All practices of magic or sorcery, by which one attempts to tame occult powers, so as to place them at one’s service and have a supernatural power over others, even if this were for the desire of restoring their health, are gravely contrary to the virtue of religion, (CCC 2116-2117).
People often think they can just dabble in the occult and not be at risk. For instance, one man came to Father Michael believing what he read on a website, that he could recite certain words to prevent possession all while casting spells. “He thought he could control Satan, but now he has problems,” Father Michael said, “It’s a huge mistake to think one can tap into evil powers and not come under the control of Satan.”
While the media romanticizes the occult, Father Michael sees the effects. “We get 1-2 cases a week of obsession or oppression or possession,” he said. “At any one time, we are probably praying for 15 people in a week with varying degrees of spiritual problems.”
Through prayer, Father Michael said that all power and grace comes from God. “When the priest gives a blessing, it comes from God. Nature [as used in Wicca] is not an independent force. It’s holy because God made it, but it has no supernatural power. These incantations are dangerous because it does not come from God.”
The first and greatest commandment is: “I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt not have strange gods before me.” Breaking that commandment risks coming under the power of evil. Let us pray for the truth to shine through to those misled souls.