Saturday, March 6, 2010

Wiccan Beliefs on Satan - My Perspective

Let me begin by stating emphatically that Wicca is not, and has never been, a Satanic faith. For centuries there has been this label of Wiccan means Satanist. Well, I am to discuss my views on this not only as a Wiccan but as a Wiccan religious leader. So how did all of this begin? Well, there are a great many theories out there so here is mine.

One theory has it that it is because we like to wear black all of the time. While many of us do so, it has absolutely no religious significance except that which we give it. I like it because it represents for me an inclusion of every color in the spectrum of color. It is not devoid of all color but contains them all. Much like we as Wiccans are to love everyone, without exception, whenever possible. All colors are represented in nature so it is understandable that many of us wear black.

Another theory has it that we wear black as it is the color of evil. This is an interesting one. Let us look at this as does red always represent anger.....or love......or anything other than the emotion we attach to it? At what point do we make the separation or similarity between the two? Again we must be cautious in our assumptions. I heard it said once that assume makes an ass out of you and me.

Is there a correlation when color is involved? Of course there is in some aspects. As humans we generally are lovers of light naturally. All plants grow when they have sunlight so it makes sense that we, as human beings, would also be attracted to it as well. We are organic, as is everything in nature. We do, as Wiccans, refer to the "light and dark" of magic and to make a comparison of what many would call "good and evil". My understanding of this is that we all are capable of great acts of kindness and good behavior and we call that the light side of humanity. Of course, we are again, as human beings, capable of great atrocities and we generally call that the dark side.

I must point out the fact that all faiths through history, including Christianity, use colors in their worship. Does a Catholic priest wearing a black robe and collar with a white shirt make him evil? Or a nun wearing a habit evil? Of course not.....that would be ludicrous and small minded to say, of course. So enough of the chat about color. I think my point on my thoughts has been made.

So how do we get the Satanic label? Well this is much easier, quite frankly, to explain. During the many years prior to Christ there were Pagan faiths. Then came Christianity and many things changed and suddenly we were labeled evil and there many atrocities against those that fought Christianity, supposedly done in the name of Christ. Behavior like this is still seen every day as we get involved in religious wars around the globe.

The Christian scriptures speak of Satan as being Lucifer, or an angel cast out of heaven by God. As I understand it, Christ wanted to send us here to earth so that we could have free agency and learn and grow as intelligent beings. Lucifer had the idea to force us all to return to God. This was not in agreement with God or his alleged son Jesus Christ so he was cast out when he went against God. (I also do not contest the historical fact that Christ was on earth and concede he was a wise teacher, however, I disagree that he was deity)

Now, here is my major point. At no time in history did the term Satan exist prior to Christianity. There were those that behaved well and those that did not and they were generally dealt with in a number of ways and many of them were admittedly, barbaric. There are still those today that behave in the same way.There are those today that believe capital punishment is barbaric. I will not address my views on this here as that is not my topic.

The Satanic Church of America was not even formed until 1976 in the United States by Anton LaVey, along with his scriptures or gospels of Satanism. Now, I will not argue as to the validity or nullity of the Satanic faith. It has the same protections in this country as any other. They believe what they believe and while I disagree with their theory I will not make any argument against their right to practice, save it that they harm none or be held accountable within the civil laws of our society.

There are many versions of the Rede but I will share this simple one with you here.

Wiccan Rede

"Bide the Wiccan law you must, In perfect love and perfect trust. And these eight words the Rede fulfill: 'An ye harm none do what ye will.

What ye send out comes back to thee, So ever mind the law of three. Follow this with mind and heart, and Merry ye meet, and Merry ye part."

This is a very simplified version of our Rede, however, it is enough to show that we are not hateful, spiteful people that would take the negative side of life and pray for destruction of ourselves or anything in nature. We are a loving and accepting people that only wish to live in tune with nature and other people around us. I am accepting of all others. The funny part of this statement is that Christ also taught this principle when he walked upon this earth so many years ago. So why then do so many so readily go against their own teachings?

In a nutshell here are my views of Satan. Satan has never existed. There are negative poles and negative energies that some would deem evil, however, I do not believe there to be an entity or deity that propagates such deep negativity as to rule a "hell". There is dark and light in all of nature. Night and day. Sun and moon. For each and everyone of us these hold differing meanings. To accept the existence of Satan, that I have already stated did not exist prior to the advent of Christianity, I would have to accept Christ as being deity. I do not, and that makes me simply non-Christian, not anti-Christian.

So my view of what Satan or Satanic represents is this. Satan was made up by people already upon the earth that wanted a scapegoat to blame for their shortcomings, poor behaviors, and absolute atrocities against people and nature. If you were to ask any of the inmates in our prisons if they were guilty the vast majority would say "no.....or it wasn't nearly as bad as the justice system made it out to be". But they find God in there and the same system uses this as a weight of measure every day in parole hearings. I know this because I am a correctional officer.

In summary, we are not here to convert anyone. We do not proselytize or knock on doors. We are not out to get your children and turn them to our ways. We are simply a religion of nature loving, Lord and Lady worshiping, Wiccans. The majority of Wiccans just want to be left alone in peace to worship in the way we wish without being looked down upon and hated for NOT being another faith. I am not by any means negative or Satanic in any way and have never been. I do not follow a path of darkness. I also fully realize that I have within me the same attributes of any human being and that I am capable of great things, or despicable atrocities.

Everything in life is a choice, aside from natures forces. I hope that you will take a long hard look at what your beliefs tell you. I certainly do every day and while at times even the best of us, Wiccan, Pagan,Jewish,Islamic,Mormon, etc. do not fully live up to our teachings, we are all essentially seeking the same fulfillment of life. Peacefully and amicably together. Perhaps one day we will set aside our petty differences and come together as a whole, accepting one another with our similarities as well as our differences.

The majority of the faiths out there teach peace and acceptance and it is my wish that we all will be who we are and live our lives as an example for others so that in the end, regardless of what faith we are, we will return to mother earth with the respect of deity (whatever we wish to label them) and of our fellow man. As I said in the beginning, this is my perspective and does not reflect everyone's views within the Wiccan faith.

Brightest blessings to you all and I wish you all of the love and peace in the world,

Nathan Jeffery

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Nathan Jeffery has been Wiccan for 19 years and remains outspoken about bringing this faith into the public awareness. Not for ridicule or degredation, but for the proud people who also just happen to practice this faith as he does, without secrecy or shame.

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Rebecca Ann said...

WOW Nathan WOW!! I am at loss of words really. I don't think there is a better way,you could of answered anyones questions about our faith. I thank you everyday, as you well know,for helping me become myself again and stand up for my beliefs and find my way back to the Wiccan faith.^_^

Wiccan Things said...

I am happy that I have been able to help you, however, I cannot accept credit for your choice and direction in life. May you continue to discover your true path in life and if I can help you in that I am honored.
Nathan )0(

Arlen Madsen said...

another great post filled with hart keep up the great work!

Damayanthi Jayasinghe said...

Hi Nathan,

Great post as always. Very interesting read. Thanks for sharing.


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