To: VietVet; John H K
I never knew that the nuttier of the witchcraft-obsessed types ACTUALLY BELIEVE that witchcraft WORKS..that is, that you REALLY can curse people and do magic with the power of Satan. Of course, believing that it actually works is probably the best advertisement for Satanic witchcraft there is.
If witchcraft only involves the Devil, the witches and the tacit permission of God (Who allows us to choose Evil so that we have a truely Free Will), then the magic talked about in the Harry Potter books cannot be witchcraft, because the Devil is no-where present. Indeed, worship is no-where present in those books, that I know (and I certainly have not wasted my time reading the entire series of what are, after all, childrens' books), which rules out both Satanic Witchcraft and neo-pagan Wicca.
Ignorance is bliss, ne?
Satan is a christian invention, witches(wiccans, pagans, etc) don't even believe in the existance of satan.
"Satan is a *Christian* invention, witches (wiccans and pagans) don't even believe in the existance of Satan."
This is why I separated witches and wiccan/neo-pagans in my statement.
First, Satan is not a Christian invention. The idea of a specific adversary to God is found in pre-Christian Judeism. It is also found in Persian Mithraism, and a number of other religions and folklores around the world. It is not found in Graco/Roman mythology, where the gods fight among themselves, but in Germanic myth, the gods are opposed by the giants, and Loki (Logi, Ignis) one of the Asgardians (and a firegod) sides with the giants at Ragnorok, making Loki a Satan cognate. (Many North European folktales about encounters with the Devil have parallels to Old Norse folktales about encounters with Loki) Irish Celtic myth has the demi-god-like Tuatha da Daanan fighting with the demon-like Formorians. So the concept of a once devine being or creature turning away from good to become the leader of evil is not a Christian concept only.
Wiccans may not believe in Satan (or they may, it depends on the cult), but none deny that there are Satanists out there, whom they may regard as deluded or evil or both. And the 'witches' that were persecuted in the 14th through the 17th Centuries were persecuted because they were (or were believed to be) a Satanic cult. Thus witchcraft is a religion which worships the Devil in return for the granting of certain magical powers. (I have never understood why the wiccans adopted the term for themselves, and then tried to deny that 'witch' really meant what it has meant in the English language for over 1000 years.) On the other hand, wiccans and some neo-pagans also attempt to gain magical powers through the worship/performance of religious rites in honor of supernatural beings. Since in the theology of some Christians, the supernatural is divided into God and his Angels on one hand, and the Devil and all his works on the other, any worship of supernatural creatures other than God is at best mistaken veneration of Angelic beings, or devil worship, by definition.
All of which is irrelevant to the Harry Potter fictional universe, because I have yet to hear of an example of an occasion in the books when Harry (or any other character) *worships* a supernatural entity to gain magical powers. (Invoking a subernatural spirit, and binding it to one's service via spells, doesn't count. That is a completely different brand of wizardry) So the books have nothing to do with witchcraft, save for the use of the word to describe the curriculum at Hoggwarts.
posted on 12/13/2001 8:23:12 PM PST
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