4) We are NOT Satanists (a Satanist actually takes elements from Christianity and pagan traditions and warps them into something else. Satan is a Christian myth, so it is NOT something associated with witches)
Well, this is a little better than the commonly-heard claim that all forms of Satanism are “just upside down Christianity.” At least there’s an acknowledgment here that most Satanists draw ideas from other sources besides just Christianity.
However, the intended point here seems to be that modern Pagan Witchcraft, supposedly unlike Satanism in this regard, is supposedly a pure and pristene ancient pagan tradition – which it most definitely is not.
Modern Pagan Witchcraft is a new and thoroughly modern religion, with a thoroughly modern ethic, with theology, practices, and terminology drawn from many different sources both ancient and modern — including the modern but long-discredited idea, held by 1800’s occultists and later by anthropologists such as Margaret Murray, that the post-Renaissance European witchhunts were a persecution of an underground Pagan cult of “the Horned God.” (For more updated scholarly ideas about the witchhunts, see Recent Developments in the Study of The Great European Witch Hunt by Jenny Gibbons (another copy here).)
Also, modern Pagan Witchcraft is far from totally un-influenced by Christianity. Modern Pagan Witchcraft, especially classical Wicca, features some of those aspects of various ancient pagan religions that were preserved within Christianity, especially within Catholicism (e.g. the seasonal holidays, the “dying and rising god” theme, the sacred meal of “cakes and wine,” and various ritual gestures such as the consecration of water). There were plenty of other ancient pagan traditions which Christianity did not preserve, and neither does modern Pagan Witchcraft.
Every new religion takes ideas from older religions and “warps them into something else” (or, to put less of a negative spin on it, changes them into something else) — and there’s nothing wrong with that. Indeed, I would say that Wicca is such a fast-growing religious movement precisely because it is so thoroughly modern and in touch with the spirit of the Western world today.
Comments requested from Satanists and Pagans and occultists only.