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Wicca, Pagan, And Satanists - Not The Same Thing

When you mention "New Age" to the general population, there are many ideas that come to mind. Some of these ideas are close to the truth and others are way off base. Unless you are on one of the many thousands of paths which are considered New Age, you may not be sure of all the facts and myths about these groups or the spirtual beleifs.

There is absolutely nothing new about New Age. This term coined in the media to brush over beliefs that do not fall under the Judeo/Christian/Muslim or other known mainstream religious faiths is lumped in as New Age. To be more precise, any path that follows any of the ancient thoughts ranging from Babylonian to Celtic paganism or any variations of these paths before or after these eras. New Age thought has existed as long as man. It has only been brought out of the secret closets of the followers to the limelight of the public.

The common thread of New Age thought is metaphysics which means a change or transformation of thought or material which can include the tangible a or invisible realm. The metaphysical beliefs are as wide and varied as the many thousands of paths in existance that are considered New Age. The theory behind this belief is that there is a higher force which manifests itself in many ways and the power of this higher force is what you make of it. This higher force is mostly considered all aspects of male/female and good/evil while others will cultivate on the force as being either he or she and good or evil.

New Age has nothing to do with Satanic worship. Satan is a creation of the Judeo/Christian/Islamic faith. Those who follow in the ancient paths do not acknowledge Satan as any more than a character from those religions. They do not discount the power of those who choose to believe the evil forces of such ones, but many tend not to give any energy to such a negative concept. Most believe you can create any entity out of this higher power that supports all life and you will reap the consequences of what you create. Therefore, many tend to view the higher power in ways of truth and light. They respect the notion of gods of many faiths and will follow the ones that fit in their life path.

What may confuse people is that the New Age movement has roots in the occult which many relate to Satan worship. The term "occult" means hidden. The history of this movement may clarify the difference between New Age and Satanism.

In the early days of man, many tribes of people needed an explanation of all the things they could not explain and attributed many of these things to a specific god which they would worship to appease them so no harm would come to their village. There were special members in these groups which were equivilant to what we know as shamans or medicine men who were reputed to have special powers which were handed to them. These in the elite group would perform all kinds of healings and ceremonies for the tribe as needed. The secrets of this class did not pass outside of the group.

As societies started to grow and people ventured outside of their roots and learn more about why things happen, groups of people found themselves less in need of a magical leader for guidance. In the Middle East, the movement towards worshipping of one powerful god instead of many different gods was growing throughout that region. It eventually spread to Europe where many were still practicing these ancient arts which was considered heresay to the Christians who claimed their territory. Much of these practices had to be hidden, thus the meaning "occult".

As a scare tactic of the Christian leaders of the time, things that were practiced in secret were of an evil nature and must involve Satan. This notion was to scare the members from partaking in the practices of the ancient religions. That stigma, even though false, is believed by many today. Ancient religions had to be practied in secret (occult) to avoid persecution and death. One must also consider the hate campaign was also launched against practicing Jews and Muslims in the same manner.

There is a real difference between Satanism and New Age. A Satanist will use the character of Satan in the spirit of what they believe. Some Satanist believe in an actual Satan while others believe in it as an opposition of the Christian faith and may be either atheist or agnostic. A follower of the ancient faith does not acknowledge such a being.

Many Satanists are accused of, much like the practioners of the ancient faith, slaughtering innocent people or animals in sacrifice while engaging in bouts of debauchery. There are Satanic groups, though not all, who indulge in such acts. A follower of the ancient path respects all life and therefore such acts are against the principles of the beliefs. Rituals of the ancient arts involve only willing participants who are associated within the group. Wiccan do not take part in the practices associated with Satanism. Satanists and followers of the ancient faith both agree you can take this faith to the evil realm or the positive realm.

One of the more known paths of the New Age, Wicca or witchcraft, is usually confused with Satan worship. Those who are practicing witches do not acknowledge Satan and do not believe in its existence. Those unfamiliar with Wicca believe there is good or bad witchcraft. To a Wiccan, there is good in bad and bad in good, therefore there really is no such thing as a good or bad witch.

Many who follow the ancient practices believe that you are, in essence, a part of the higher power. All living things are part of this higher power, therefore all should be given the same respect as you would treat the higher power directly. When you hurt another, you only end up hurting yourself in the end. What goes around comes around.

Some of the many paths of faiths of New Age include the following:

Alchemy - The belief of transformation. Alchemy is more along the lines of what people think about when you mention witchcraft. An alchemist believes one can change the elemental nature of any object or being through certain rituals, formulas, or potions. There are many gnostic overtones within alchemy. Although many equate this art solely with turning metal to gold, it was only symbolic of the deeper issue. It was really the search to purify and transform the sould to perfection in order to obtain divine knowledge.

Fourth Way - The Fourth Way movement is an ancient system of mental/psychological/emotional development which is now known as the scientific thinking. They believe capacity to love consciously marks the highest achievement in earthly life for a human being. The Fourth Way is a means of contacting higher power and connecting with it for the purpose to awaken your soul.

Gnosticism - During the infancy of Christianity, there were many sects in the making which all arose from the Hebrew faith. With the influence of gentile religions which were heavily involved in myths and mystic thinking, some of these new sects have adopted the surrounding around them while the mainstream Christian churches adapted barely enough to survive. The central belief is that both the seen and unseen world is the making of one creator. They believe that mankind fell from grace in the divine world and had to serve time in the material world. The spark of God within all man will one day be freed to return to the Kingdom of God.

Grecian mysteries - Also Egyptian, Roman, and other cultures which have developed beliefs embodied in their mythologies. Although these mythologies are looked upon as only stories, back then these were teaching tools to guide and direct the people according to their beliefs at the time. Within the myths are very many great truths that still are valid today. Many in this path also view the Hebrew mysteries, as embodied in the Torah, Kabbalah, and Bible are also like the other mythological stories of that era and view them in the same respect.

Jewish mysticism (Kabbalah) - The Kabbalah is a manuscript believed to have been given by God to Moses along with the Law. It was supposed to contain the true meaning of life and the proper interpretation of the Law. Followers of this type of mysticism believe there is much power behind the practice of this manuscript. This particular document came from Pico della Mirandola who produced a so-called Christianized version mixed in with Greek Hermeticism along with the original Jewish mysticism.

Spiritualism - In the mid-1800's a movement grew that believed the answers to all of life could be found in death. Many have tried different methods from hypnotism to seances to contact the dead in order to reassure the living that life does not end in the material realm.

Theosophy - Madame H.P.Blavatsky, also known as HPB, was the founder of modern era New Age. She took the European esoteric teachings along with the Spiritualism movement and Oriental thought to form a movement supposed to be headed by the White Brotherhood. She claimed to have received a key to the mysteries of mankind from ascended masters. Theosophy stressed the importance of development of intuitive insight through the practice of Eastern disciplines such as Raja yoga and meditation. The founder had a grand vision of the universe which was contrary to the dogmatic outlook of Christianity. She re-introduced to modern times, ideas of reincarnation and karma.

Links and resources:

New Age

Ageless wisdom in modern form

The New Age Movement

The Mystica encyclopedia

Egyptian Antiquity Information

About Theosophy

Theosophy International - Ancient wisdom for a New Age. Independent Theosophists

The three greats in H.P.Blavatsky's Mysticism, and other links

Wicca

Wicca Principles of Wicca by Vivianne Crowley

Wicca and Witchcraft

Wicca 101

Pagan Paths: Wicca and Witchcraft

The Craft And Paganism

Satanism

The Satanic Bible by Anton Szandor LaVey

The Satanic Rituals: Companion to The Satanic Bible by Anton Szandor Lavey

The Book of the Law by Aleister Crowley

The Book of Lies by Aleister Crowley

Satanists Online

Pagans

The Pagan Library

Pagan Home

The Pagan Path

Pagan.org

Native/Tribal Religions (Ancient religions)

Native Religions in Newfoundland and Labrador

Native American Spirituality

Native American Religions

Belief Systems In Africa

African Religions

Sumerian Mythology

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