Many of the ancient pagan and Mother Earth cult religions required human sacrifice. Although most witches today deny using human or animal blood sacrifices, cases of witches who used blood letting and sacrifice are replete throughout history even to the present day.
Modern 20th century Wiccans draw their religious ideology from the Mother Earth cults of the Celtic and Nordic peoples of pre-Christian Europe. The word “Wiccan” first appears in an early manuscript of an Anglo-Saxon scribe in the alliterative phrase: wyccan and wælcyrian, “witches and valkyries.“1 The word in Old English has masculine and feminine endings and denotes both men and women using magic arts. The word “victim” in English has the same derivation as wycca and originally meant a living human being “set apart” to be sacrificed to a deity.2
The religion is traced to ancient Celtic and Northern German people who practiced human sacrifice. The Roman historian, Tacitus, records that the ancestors of the English speaking peoples, the Angles, sacrificed to the Mother Earth Goddess. In his Germania, “On the Origin and Geography of Germany,” Tacitus describes this gruesome ritual as “a ceremony performed by slaves who are immediately afterward drowned in the lake.” Some of the victims, astonishingly preserved in peat bogs, are on display in museums in Denmark.3
Modern witches unabashedly make reference to the pagan rituals of pre-Christian Europe in describing their religion. In a paper submitted to the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions, Michael Thorn writes: “Modern Witchcraft (or Wicca) is the most common expression of the religious movement known as Neo-paganism…. Its practitioners are reviving ancient Pagan practices and beliefs of pre-Christian Europe and adapting them to contemporary American life…. Wiccans focus their liturgy and worship around a Goddess and a God. Rituals and services are timed to the phases of the moon and to the Wheel of the Year (i.e., the solstices, equinoxes, and the days falling midway between these such as May Day and Hallowe’en). Most witches treat their practice as a priesthood, somewhat akin to the mystery cults of classical Greece and Rome, involving years of training and passage through life transforming initiatory rituals. All witches agree on the ethical code, ‘An it harm none, do what ye will’; in other words, ‘Do what you believe is right, but let no one be harmed by your actions.’“4
According to a recent Ms. magazine article: “Witchcraft is about wholeness, about celebrating one’s intimacy with the Goddess and the earth, who are one and the same…. [T]here are 200,000 women and men practicing the Old Religion in the United States. The Institute for the Study of American Religion in Santa Barbara, California, claims that Witchcraft and Paganism are the fastest growing religions in the country, countering the rise of Christian fundamentalism.“5
1 The Northern World, ed. David M. Wilson (Harry N. Abrams, Inc., New York, 1980) p.40.
2 Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, 1975.
3 McCrum, The Story of English (Elisabeth Sifton Books, Viking, New York, 1987) p.57.
4 Michael Thorn, “A Portrait of Wicca,” A Sourcebook for the Community of Religions, The Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions.
5 Jan Phillips, “The Craft of the Wise.”
i have no comments but questions concerning the laws of wicca. in the anchient days it was not frowned upon to use blood to concecrate the works of a wiccan. is it illegal as of now to obey and meet the rede halfway. please email me back with any info.
Hello, i have just read two atricles about wiccans that you have written and i am upset at the way you make wiccans out to be. It is obvious that you did not research wiccans properly if at all and the way you show them to apperently be is that of a satenist which they are not. The wiccan religion is one of nature loving and respecting. Wiccans are not the ones who thing abortion, evil doing spells, or harming others is okay. The people who thing that is okay are called Satenists and people who fallow Black Magic. Wiccans by the way do have not just one but hundreds of books they fallow through out their life that are looked at like your one bible is. A wiccan’s biggest rule is to do as you wish as long as you cause no harm in any way shape or form to another being or creature. They have one main god, a main goddess, and then several other goddesses that they fallow. Wiccans do not use any animals or humans in any spells they do because the spells are done to give good luck, happiness, show respect to their god and godesses, and to help heal people. They use only natural things as herbs and stones or chrystals in their spells. But these spells arent something done often. I my self have grown up with a wiccan father and a christian mother so i am not someone coming here to start anything i am simply showing you that the things you seem to think wiccans are is false. if you wish to contact me back please feel free to. i will answer any questions if you have any and am happy to help show wicca is not as Hollywood makes it out to be and that the bible was not ment to be fallowed word by word. thank you.
Wicca is not a cult, it is a recognized religion as far as the United States government and most other world governments are concerned in fact Christianity shares more similarity to a cult system then Wicca.