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What is Wicca?

The word wicca comes from the Saxon root wicce, loosely translated as “wise” or “to bend or shape the unseen forces.” Wicca is the largest of the Neopagan[1] religions which are reconstructions of ancient abandoned pagan belief systems, including Celtic, Egyptian, Greek, Norse, Roman, and other traditions.

Thus as an earth-centered religion, Wicca’s origins predate Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism. Wicca could be termed one of the oldest religions in the world; on the other hand it could be called one of the newest since Wicca, as we know it today, is a recently created, earth-centered, Neopagan religion that can be traced back to Gardnerian Witchcraft which was founded in the United Kingdom during the late 1940s. A good general rule is that most Wiccans are Neopagans but not all Neopagans are Wiccans.

Wicca is sometimes known as witchcraft or the craft because of its association with spells and charms.  Magic spells can be designed to attempt to either harm or help others, however Wiccans are prohibited by their belief system from engaging in spells or any activities that harm others.  The main rules of behavior are the Wiccan Rede:  “Do whatever you wish as long as it harms no one”, which forbids harming people, including themselves, except in some cases of self-defense, and  the Three-fold Law:  “All good that a person does to another returns three-fold in this life; harm is also returned three-fold.”

According to Mnemosyne’s Realm[2], “Spells are not about turning people into frogs or granting wishes.  A spell is a set of actions and prayers that you do and say in order to ask for divine help with some particular aspect of your life.”

Wiccans believe that the energies that we create influence what happens to us thus negative magic rebounds on the perpetuator, as in the three-fold law.   Other important ethical teachings include living in harmony with others and treating the environment with respect.  There are eight Wiccan days of celebration that follow the phases of the moon and the seasons and are called Sabbats.  The Sabbats are believed to have originated in the cycles associated with hunting, farming, and animal fertility.

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The pentacle and pentagram are the main symbols used by Wiccans and many other neo-Pagans.  Some ritual items are common to almost every Wiccan tradition, such as the athame (ritual knife) and chalice (ritual cup).   Others may be used by some traditions but not others: bells, brooms, candles, cauldrons, cords, drums, incense, jewelry, special plates, scourges, statues, swords, staves and wands.   The meaning of these items, their use and manufacture will differ among traditions and individuals.

Usually a Wiccan ritual will involve some sort of creation of sacred space (casting a circle), invocation of divine power, sharing of dance/song/food or wine and a thankful farewell and ceremonial closing. Rituals may be held at Wiccan “sabbats” or to mark life transitions such as births, coming-of-age, marriages/handfastings, housewarmings, healings, deaths or other rites of passage.[3]

Wiccans do not worship Satan. They do not even acknowledge his existence. Although their belief system often contains a pantheon of gods and goddesses, none of them is an all-evil deity even remotely like the Satan found in Christianity.

In the 15th and 16th centuries the Catholic Church theorized that Satan worship and malevolent witchcraft existed and were massive threats.  This gave rise to the Witch burnings that have come to be termed the burning times or alternatively the female holocaust.  Up to 50,000 people were tried for heresy and tens of thousands were executed.  Many people now associate present-day Wiccans with fictional stories about these witches from the Middle Ages, some conservative denominations still teach this fiction as fact.

When a person establishes that Wicca and Satanism are poles apart it is easy to think that Wicca is a harmless religion.

Although it seems clear that the vast majority of Wiccans neither believe in nor knowingly work with Satan, the Islamic opinion is that Wiccan religion is heavily influenced by Satan, whether the practitioners intend it to be so or not.

First let us examine one of the most basic principles of Islam. As one of the pillars of faith a Muslim believes in Qadr, or divine destiny. Whatever happens in our lives, both the good, and what we perceive as bad, is part of what God decreed long before we even came into existence. Nothing happens without the permission of God, not even a leaf falling from a tree or a raindrop falling on your window pane.  Therefore, to imagine that someone or some magic words are able to change good into bad or bring about desirable outcomes is really quite absurd.  To put our faith in something else other than God Himself is useless, but not only that, for a Muslim it is dangerous.

Believing that God has partners or that there are people who have more access to God than others is a major sin, and Satan wants nothing more than to lead people away from God and onto a path of destruction.  Therein lays the danger in Wicca.

Those who consider Wicca as a religion say that casting spells is little more than asking for divine help.  However God because of his love for His creation has given us the Quran and the authentic  Sunnah (teachings of Prophet Muhammad) from which we learn the correct way to ask for divine help.  Divine help is not found with the aid of bells, candles, brooms, caldrons, wands or other Wiccan paraphernalia.  A person should put his trust in God and ask help from Him alone. God alone is the one who bestows blessings or removes harm and relives distress.

{None in the heavens and the earth knows the Unseen except God, nor can they perceive when they shall be resurrected.} (Quran 27: 65)

Witchcraft, fortune telling and psychic predictions are no more than tricks from Satan designed to lead human beings to their doom.  Having said that however, the existence of magic is confirmed by the Quran and traditions of Prophet Muhammad.  It is a reality and a truth.  The trick lies in making people believe that playing with forces of evil is harmless.  Even if the matter at hand is benign, magic in all its forms turns a person’s face away from God.

Magic is an art that requires skill and proficiency, and it is a type of knowledge that has a foundation, methodology and principles. Learning it is not permissible in Islam. The craft and its close relatives such as Tarot cards, reading tea leaves and horoscopes are forbidden to Muslims.

“Whoever goes to a fortune teller and asks him about anything, his prayers will not be accepted for forty days.”

This speaks volumes about the gravity of the situation and in some countries even fooling with magic and magic implements is punishable by law.

People who claim to be able to tell you what will happen in the future are for the most part making false predictions based on their knowledge of personalities, body language etc.  However there is another category of people who really do deal with Satan and his minions both from the jinn and from mankind.  These people are enveloped in evil whether they realize it or not and sadly a great deal of harm can be done by people who think they are doing good or indulging in a harmless pastime.

There is a kind of magic that is aimed at creating hatred or love.  It is done by tying knots and blowing on them, and using potions.  This magic is capable of making a man love or hate his wife, or a woman love or hate her husband. It may also affect a person’s relationship with people other than his or her spouse.  Hence God has commanded us to seek refuge with Him from the evil of those who blow onto knots, and to seek refuge with Him from every evil.

{Say: “I seek refuge with God, the Lord of the daybreak, From the evil of what He has created, And from the evil of the darkening (night) as it comes with its darkness; (or the moon as it sets or goes away), And from the evil of those who practice witchcraft when they blow in the knots, And from the evil of the envier when he envies.} (Quran 113)

In conclusion ancient pagan belief systems are just that, ancient pagan belief systems. There is no need to reinvent beliefs thousands of years old. God has given us a religion (i.e. Islam) worthy of humankind and it truly does hold all the answers.

Wicca may seem like a peaceful oasis to many but true peace lies in obeying the commandments of God and living the life predetermined for you by God.




[1] Neopagan means new pagan.  Pagan – derived from the Latin paganus meaning country dweller.

[2] “What is Wicca,” Mnemosyne’s Realm, at: (

[3] From The Wicca Cook Book by Jamie Wood and Tara Seefeldt

About Aisha Stacey
Aisha Stacey is the mother of three adult children. She embraced Islam in 2002 and spent the next five years in Doha, Qatar studying Islam and working at the Fanar Cultural Centre. In 2006 Aisha returned to university for a second time and completed at Bachelor of Arts and a Graduate Certificate in Writing. Aisha is also a published writer in both internet and print media and in 2009 -10 she was the Queensland editor at a national Australian Islamic newspaper ~ Crescent Times.