Can I have true satanism and wicca

From Rev. Andreas Schreiner

Occult activities, witchcraft, black magic and also devil worshipers are reported in the media (especially in the sensational press) more and more often.

But pastors will also be confronted with such phenomena more and more often. Belief in witchcraft, black magic and the devil and his demons did not die out at the end of the 20th century, but rather experienced a real boom in the context of the general wave of occultism. According to surveys by the Institute for Demoscopy in Allensbach, published in 1987 in the magazine "Stern", 16% of (then) German Germans believe in the existence of the devil. 67% are convinced that it doesn't exist (1). According to a survey by the magazine "Brigitte" from 1987, 28% of the German citizens of the time believed in the physical existence of the devil (2).

A survey by the Allensbach Institute from August 1989 on the subject of "belief in witches" produced a surprising result (3). The belief that there are witches has increased steadily over the past few decades. When asked: "In earlier centuries people believed in witches. Do you think that there might be something to it after all, that there might be witches?" The answer (as a percentage):

in the year:"possible":of which "maybe":of which "definitely":"there is not any":

The numbers are terrifying. However, they clearly show that at a time when traditional Christianity is on the decline, other substitute religions, some of which are terrifying and superstitious, are taking their place. The same people who quit the church believe in the devil and in witchcraft at the same time.

Witchcraft and Satanism appear in various forms in our apparently so enlightened world. The range extends from groups of rather naive young people who meet at night in cemeteries, carry symbols of Satan with them and do nothing other than drink beer (4), to the almost "church-like" organized "devil's church" of the American Anton LaVey with its own so-called "bishops" and "priests". This so-called "church" even holds weddings and funerals. In America it is even recognized as a religious association, and here too it is gaining more and more supporters.

Faith in witchcraft and the practice of magic are more common. One would think that these two had been banished into the realm of the imagination at the latest since the beginning of the scientific age. Magicians with long, pointed hats, witches who ride their brooms to the Witches' Sabbath on the Blocksberg - we all know this from fairy tales. But that you really believe in it? In any case, the figures from the Allensbach survey (see above) show that the belief in witches is becoming more and more widespread. Certainly the supporters of the women's movement, some of whom call themselves witches, are also to some extent to blame. However, they do not consider themselves witches in the classic sense. They do not practice magic and have called themselves so because in their concerns they see themselves as successors to the poor women who have been burned innocently as witches a thousand times over. You have achieved one thing: the term "witch" is back in the headlines.

But others take the word "witch" seriously. They call themselves "witches" or "warlocks" and really believe in the power of their magic. The transitions between harmless, supposedly magically effective spells and so-called "black magic" and devil worship are quite fluid.

According to the magazine "P.M." from 1989 there are over 3000 practicing sorcerers in the Federal Republic of Germany alone (only old federal states) (5). They believe in certain gods of nature, practice magic, brew flying ointments, love potions and healing spells. In addition, most of them are organized in a kind of "witches' circle", the so-called "Covens", which belong to the "Wicca" cult.

"Wicca" is the name of the most widespread and best known form of witchcraft of our time. The word comes from the old English "wit", which means "wisdom" or "knowledge". The cult itself originated in England in the 1950s and is a mixture of many pagan religions. The spectrum ranges from ancient Egyptian to Celtic to North American-Indian rituals and religious fragments, which are combined here to form a mishmash of a substitute religion. The general association of the Wicca is divided into so-called "Covens" (see above), which are only allowed to have a maximum of 12 members. If there are more than 12 members, a new coven must be formed.

After an initial training in "practical magic", the new members receive knowledge of the so-called "Book of Shadows", which can only be passed on in handwritten form in order to prevent uncontrolled distribution (through printed books that anyone can buy). This book contains recipes for flying ointments and healing spells as well as for love potions and imprecations. By and large, this work, which originated in the UK, is on the same level as the "6th and 7th Book of Moses", which is easily available from us, but is not so easily accessible to outsiders. The content of the book may only be passed on to those who have been checked beforehand and included in the cult in the first stage: in 1989 that was around 3,000 in the former Federal Republic of Germany, 200 in Switzerland and around 7,006 in Austria.

In the second stage of initiation, the student becomes a master and is allowed to independently pass on the "secret knowledge" to the students.

The third and highest degree of initiation is valid as confirmation that the sorcerer or the witch can embody a nature deity, i.e. that the god slips into the body of the sorcerer. In Germany no witcher has reached this level, but in England and America, where this cult originally came from, there are numerous adepts of this third degree.

The goal of all "applied" sorcery is, quite simply, power. Namely the power to do very concrete things that the magician would not be able to do with his natural abilities alone without the help of magic, e.g. to make a woman / a man fall in love with himself, to heal illnesses, to read minds, to himself To fulfill wishes etc.

There are three types of magical practices that the sorcerer can use to achieve his goals:

-the Analogy act: symbolically what is to be effected by the magic is anticipated in the magic. In a rain spell, for example, a branch is dipped in water and then waved so that drops fall. These drops then symbolize the rain.

-the contagious (contagious) act: here there are objects that are supposed to cause a spell, e.g. an amulet, cut fingernails of the selected victim, or just a coat or a piece of clothing. Power is then transferred through this object.

-the sympathetic act: here the spoken word itself is supposed to produce the magic directly. This category includes the well-known magic spells from fairy tales, but also the incantations of popular superstition when discussing diseases.

In order for the magic to work, of course, some requirements must be met:

-The magic formula must be pronounced 100% correctly. The sorcerers believe that the words date back to ancient times and have been passed on from generation to generation. If parts of the formula are not pronounced correctly or even left out, the spell will not work and may even strike back at the witcher himself. The problem is that nobody really knows how to really pronounce the many fantasy words of the alleged magic formulas.

-The ritual must be correct and complete. It consists of actions that are supposed to steer the power of incantation in the right direction. If the ritual is not adhered to, the supposed power of incantation fizzles out into the void.

-The personal behavior of the magician himself must also correspond exactly to the regulations, e.g. a certain diet before a certain spell. Or he has to abstain from sexual abstinence for a certain period of time with one spell, and the opposite again with another spell. There is such an abundance of rules and prohibitions and commands that it is almost impossible to know and obey them all.

On the one hand this is very burdensome for the magician, on the other hand it is very welcome if the spell (of course) does not work. Because then the magician can be sure that he accidentally ignored or did not know one of the many rules. Perhaps a word was pronounced incorrectly or even left out, perhaps a gesture was wrong, etc. Should everything have been correct, but the spell still fails, the counter-spell of a malevolent competitor was to blame for the misery.

"Modern" witchcraft goes back to an Englishman named Gerald Gardner who published a book in 1954 called "Witchcraft Today"(7), which has become the cult book not only of the witch believers, but of almost the entire New Age movement. In this book he describes that there are (1954) a dozen "Covens" (see above) in England who practice witchcraft. A few years earlier he had published another book (entitled "High Magic's Aid"), in which he describes various magical practices supposedly already practiced by medieval witches.

"Witchcraft Today" is a really fascinating book. The anthropologist Dr. Margret Murray, who wrote the introduction to the book, writes, among other things, that Gardner has shown through intensive research that "much of so-called witchcraft stems from early rituals and has nothing to do with hexing and other evil practices" (8). Many of the witch believers refer to this.

That doesn't sound bad, but it is utter nonsense nonetheless. Dr. Murray himself, albeit unsuccessfully, had already represented the thesis in 1924, which Gardner took up in his book in 1954 and made a huge success. According to this, witchcraft goes back to an ancient pagan religion, the so-called "Dianic cult", which is said to be far older than Christianity. Murray and Gardner trace this cult back to a prehistoric cult of the "Great Mother" and the so-called "Horned God", the supposedly prehistoric god of strength and the hunt.

Gardner claims that witchcraft was the first religion of the people of Britain. These first inhabitants are said to have been a kind of pygmies, or a so-called "little people" or "little people" as he calls them. They are supposed to be the starting point for the fairy tales and legends about dwarfs, elves, fairies etc. Under the onslaught of immigrants, the ancestors of today's British, they were pushed into secluded hiding places and took their religion with them. When the rest of Britain was then Christianized, the "little people" continued to hold their rites in hidden places, watched and supported by a few initiated helpers who also still belong to this ancient religion to this day, the so-called "witches" in English called "witches". The same has happened outside of Britain, including on the European mainland. Unfortunately, all of this is fictitious and cannot be substantiated by any scientific findings. The whole book springs mainly from the flowering imagination of Dr. Murray and Gerald Gardner.

Nevertheless it has gained a great influence in the New Age movement (see chapter) and in the so-called "modern witchcraft". The ideas of the book are also widespread in the "fantasy" literature of our time, for example in the work of the author Marion Zimmer-Bradley, especially in her bestseller "The Mists of Avalon" (9).

Even if most of the so-called witches do not see themselves as successors of the medieval "harmful magicians", the transitions between the modern Gardnerian witches and actual Satanism are fluid. There are several reasons for this.

Sometimes the devil is simply viewed as the "horned god" mentioned above, whom the Christians made the personification of evil. For these witches, Lucifer is the real god of nature, who is much older than the god of Christians. They worship the devil as a god of nature, as a "male principle", which forms the opposite pole to the otherwise revered "great mother" or "great goddess", the "female principle". Here the devil is no longer the manifestation of evil, but an old pagan deity that has been forgotten and slandered by Christians.


1. "Stern" magazine, issue of 8/4/87, p. 7 (back to text)

2. "Brigitte" magazine, issue of April 22nd, 1987, p. 3 (back)

3. after: Studienbriefe S24, Stuttgart 1990, p. 2 (back)

4. This description comes from a conversation with an affected young person who asked in astonishment what this is supposed to have to do with Satanism. Original quote: "It's just creepy and scary. It's more fun than sitting in the pub. Besides, nobody bothers us there." (Back)

5. P.M. Parapsychology special issue, Munich 1989 (back)

6. ibid. (Back)

7. in German: Gardner, G. B., Origin and Reality of Witches, Weilheim 1965 (back)

8.ibid. (Back)

9. see: Marion Zimmer-Bradley, Die Nebel von Avalon, Frankfurt 1987 (back)

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The churches fail, the sects thrive. Article by Eugen Drewermann in the Süddeutsche Zeitung No. 137 (June 17/18, 1995, page 10)