The Pagan Library
Wed, Oct 22 2014

Satanism vs Wicca

This was written back in 1991 or 1992 C.E. For an update by the author, please see:

Diane Vera


Since your main worry seems to be public relations, here's how I would make the distinction between Wicca and Satanism, in a way that is fair to both sides and does not throw Satanists to the dogs:

Wicca and Satanism are quite distinct. Wiccans worship pre- Christian deities (or a modern-day composite of pre-Christian deities) and do not worship the Christian anti-God. Some Satanists also worship a pre-Christian deity, but regard the Christian anti-God as a manifestation of their deity, which Wiccans do not. Wicca and Satanism are very different in their aims and tone. Wicca emphasizes harmony and balance, whereas Satanism emphasizes spiritual self-liberation via iconoclasm and catharsis.

I should mention, though, there's one possible problem with that last sentence. Some feminist Wiccans might take offense at it, since it implies the more radical forms of feminist Wicca are really more like Satanism than like Wicca. Which in my opinion they are. If you've read some of Mary Daly's books, you'll know what I mean.

I myself identify as a feminist Goddess-oriented neo-Pagan, as well as a Satanist. Indeed, feminist Goddess religion is still my *primary* religious identification. (Satanism is how I relate to "male" energy.) I don't and never did call myself a feminist "Wiccan".

By the way, while I accept today's use of the word Wicca (with a capital W) to refer to a specific European-based religion with a very specific worldview, I do *not* accept the attempt by Wiccans to copyright the words "witch" and "witchcraft". These words are generic terms, not the property of any one religion. They refer to occult practices found in many religions around the world. A Satanist has as much right to the word "witch" as anyone else. (It so happens that *I* don't call myself a "witch", but for a different reason: I think many "witches" are making exaggerated claims to occult power, and I don't want to give the appearance of making such an exaggerated claim.)


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