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By Rev. Paul Seiler

Witchcraft has a very long history, it usually referred to someone who would caste spells and perform magic. Modern witchcraft while holding some characteristics of this ancient practice has its own pecularities which are exceedingly evil.

By Rev. Paul Seiler


Witchcraft has a very long history, it usually referred to someone who would caste spells and perform magic. Modern witchcraft while holding some characteristics of this ancient practice has its own pecularities which are exceedingly evil.


William Petersen gives the following explanation of the practice of modern witchcraft:

“Raymond Buckland, high priest of about a score of covens from Boston to San Francisco, explains that witchcraft is a “religion of freedom, joy in the sensual appetites and in nature.” In Buckland esbats, which are a bit more subdued than those of the typical coven, the witches go down into the Buckland basement, take off their clothes (they call it becoming skyclad,”) and immerse themselves in salt water to become purified. Then stark-naked they form a nine-foot circle and sing (“Yod He, Van He-Blessed be”), chant and dance to tape-recorded music until they work up a good ecstatic sweat, while incense is burning in a brass censer. Broomsticks are sometimes used, following an ancient fertility ceremony, but the witches don’t fly away on them. Finally, as they drink wine and tea, they hear readings from the The Book of Shadows.”331

Petersen goes on to describe how new members are initiated into witchcraft:

“Each new member is initiated into the coven in a traumatic ceremony. Blindfolded with hands tied behind her back, the new member is led naked (or sometimes clad in a light robe) into the midst of the ring of witches and wizards. After the high priest reads the charge, which usually refers to the belief in reincarnation and the worship of the powers of nature as represented by the female principle of fertility and creation and the male principle of procreation and providing the necessities of life, the postulant is scourged then lifted to her feet and given the ‘witches’ five-fold kiss, including the feet, the knees, the sexual organs, the breasts and the lips. Finally, after taking an oath, the initiate has the blindfold removed and has passed into the first degree of witchcraft. If it is a man who is initiated, the ceremony is conducted by the high priestess.” 332

It is evident from the above that the modern practice of witchcraft is very clearly sinful and wicked in the extreme. It involves practices that are clearly condemned in the Bible. It would appear that the modern practice of witchcraft is a religion, in which its adherants worship the goddess of nature. McDowell and Stewart regard witchcraft as pantheistic:

Witches are more interested in magical arts and the divinity of nature. Their world view is pantheistic to the degree that they serve gods and goddesses in the divinity of all. 333

It is hard to believe that educated people living in modern societies could be involved in the practice of witchcraft. Yet there are 30,000 witches practicing in England334.


There are those who would treat the modern practice of witchcraft as nothing more than silly superstitious nonesense. They would argue that any supposed magic performed by modern witches is to be explained in terms of hallucinations, hysteria, and auto-suggestion. They completely dismiss the idea that witches could have any real power to perform magic. While it is no doubt true that much so-called magic performed by witches is to be explained in such terms, it is not true that all their magic can be explained this way. Some modern witches really do obtain power from the devil to perform their magic and caste their spells. It is clear from the Bible itself that the practice of witchcraft is not simply to be explained in terms of hallucination, hysteria and auto-suggestion. The clearest proof that witches and spiritist have power is surely evident in the book of Exodus. Exodus gives an account of the Egyptian magicians duplicating some of the supernatural phenomena that was done by Moses through the power of God, such as changing his staff into a snake. The devil is capable of granting people real power to perform miracles. The apostle Paul warns that the man of lawlessness, when he arises will come with amazing abilities to perform counterfiet miracles. (2 Thess. 2:9) The reality of evil in witchcraft is surely indicated in the strong prohibition that is given against it in Scripture.


The modern witchcraft craze can be traced back to about the seventies, when it began to become increasingly popular in the Western world. In the Europe and the United States, witchcraft has seen an immense growth in popularity in recent times. Josh McDowell and Don Stewart comment on the practice of witchcraft in America today:

“Up until a couple of decades ago, and for previous centuries, there were no admitted witches anywhere. Most people have thought of witchcraft as something that only the superstitious gave any credence to. Witch hunts and broomsticks were filed away together in a little-used corner of the mind. Today, in a massive spin-off from the culture-wide interest in the occult, this has all changed. Tens of thousands across America – come of them with university degrees – are dabbling in witchcraft, Satanism, voodoo, and other forms of black and white magic. Witches appear openly on television. Every high school is said to have its own witch. In Cleveland you can rent a witch to liven up your party. There are some 80,000 persons practicing white magic in the United States, with 6000 in Chicago alone.”335

The growing popularity of witchcraft is equally true in Australia. Note the following excerpt from the Melbourne ‘Age’ of 18th Semptember 1993, regarding the practice of witchcraft and occultism in Australia:

“Before long, a ritualised battle of the sexes takes place in which everyone participates, dancing wildly to tribal rhythms provided by drums, rattles and gongs. Afterwards worshippers pour out of the tents to collapse on the grass outside – exhausted, excited and, in some cases, in a trance … The occasion is the annual Pagan Summer Gathering – a festival of witches, druids, goddess-worshippers, practitioners of voodoo, shamanism and rune magic held to celebrate the summer solstice.”

There is a wide interest in witchcraft in Australia today. There was a much publicised incident in that occurred in Warwick, Queensland, in 1990, in which some young people broke into a paddock and butchered numerous sheep and other animals. Investigations revealed that the offenders were influenced by witchcraft. Other incidents recorded in the Media would indicate that this was not an isolated instance. All the evidence suggests that the practice of witchcraft is widespreadon the in Australia. It is not uncommon to find public schools including literature about witchcraft as part of their carriculum.


This refers to the person who speaks to the spirits of the dead, or rather professes to do so. They do not in actually speak to the dead, but rather they speak to evil demons who masquerade as the departed dead.

There is an alarming growth in Western society of those who involve themseves in speaking to the dead. The two most common means of communicating with the dead are through the means of a seance and through the use of a ouiji board. By these means people commonly seek to contact family and friends who have died. An inquiry into occult activities in Australia, conducted by the Anglican Church in 1974, indicates widespread interest and involvement in consorting with evil spirits. They conducted a survey of secondary school students in Adelaide in 1973, of the 216 students questioned, it was found that over half had been to a seance. A similar survey was conducted Brisbane with much the same result.

Such direct contact with the spirit world with ouija boards and through seances are an open invitation (albeit unintentional) to evil spirits and Satan. Continual dabbling in such practices involves one in exposure to Satanic influences which can lead to demon possession. The stories are numerous of those who began to dabble with a ouija board and who are now controlled by evil spirits. Some, who having become involved in seances, have shown disturbing signs of personality disorder as evil spirits have gained increasing power in their life.


331 ibid,.67,68.

332 ibid p.68

333 Josh McDowell & Don Stewart op cit p.199

334 William Petersen op cit p.62

335 ibid p.210