Monday, October 31, 2011

An Explication of the Principles of Belief: Part 12

We do not accept the concept of absolute evil, nor do we worship any entity known as ‘Satan’ or ‘the Devil’ as defined by Christian tradition.  We do not seek power through the suffering of others, nor accept that personal benefit can be derived only by denial to another.
This principle is of extreme importance.  One common error people make is in assuming Wicca is “anti-Christian” and more specifically “Satanic.”  The above principal is designed to address this stereotype, stating that in no part of the Wiccan religion is there reverence for, or worship of Satan.  Wiccan philosophy emphasizes seeking balance through polarities in all of nature.  We seek to utilize the concept of polarities to maintain balance in ourselves and the environment around us.  Thus, it is only natural that Wiccans would recognize the existence of a counterpart to what is good, creative and benevolent.  We view this natural opposite to good as inherent in the necessary destructive force in nature.  We recognize that night follows day, birth eventually culminates in death, and warmth eventually gives way to the cold.  We do not align certain natural forces with any type of Satan figure, as we do not view a single Deity as encompassing all that is evil.

 Within the Wiccan pantheon there are aspects of Gods and Goddesses which are less “cheerful” than others.  There is for example, recognition of the spirit of aggression in Warrior deities, and death in Crone or Sage deities.  These deities are worshiped as keeper of the great mysteries of death and rebirth.  They may not carry the light and carefree energies of some of the other deities symbolically aligned with birth and nurturing, but they are significant and benevolent in their own way.  We do not seek out deities associated with justice, darkness, or harsher realities of nature to do our bidding in order to gain power or revenge.  We recognize their existence and we give honor to them as representations of life forces to which we all eventually succumb.  We do not seek personal gain through the suffering of others, and we do not promote the idea of denigration of others or ourselves.

Individual practitioners and covens have their own interpretations of concepts surrounding evil as a force in nature.  Some practitioners recognize balance in nature in the view of some forces of energy that are malevolent.  Others view all forms of energy as inherently containing their opposite to some degree.  In other words, to some Wiccans all that is “good” contains some potential for “evil” and vice versa.  Even among practitioners who recognize evil in the form of malevolent spirits or entities, there is no concept akin to the Judeo-Christian Devil.  The Devil or Satan as a singular evil being is actually a unique figure in monotheistic philosophy.  In most pagan religions recognition of evil beings or forces are typically seen as negative spirits, but not beings that are ruler over by a being of absolute evil.

Angela Kaufman is the coauthor of Wicca: What’s the Real Deal? Breaking Through the Misconceptions, along with Dayna Winters, and Patricia Gardner.  You can find out more about the book at:

No comments:

Post a Comment