Witchcraft = Satanism?
This is a very common misconception that people have about Wicca. Satanism is a construct of Christianity. Satanism was formed due to the inadequacies and contradictions of the Christian faith, during the latter half of the last millennium when Christianity was at its intolerant prime. Satanism was the insolent rebel against doctrine and therefore became its adversary.
Satanism itself calls Wicca "Sanctimonious guilt ridden gibberish" as one of its main tenets "The Rede" which equates easily as "Do onto others as you would have those do onto you". Obviously not its opposite!
Indeed, Satanism appears to have as big an axe to grind against Wicca that it calls it faux Christianity. It also claims that wiccans are Christians in denial!
This is from a path which Wicca is most commonly allied with, so how can Wicca be allied with Satanism when Satanism itself considers it to be "guilt ridden" gibberish?
To obtain a modicum of understanding of the differences between the two paths you have to read the literature of the two paths. To make things simple I shall merge the Wiccan Core Beliefs and the Nine Satanic Statements (The Satanic Bible by Anton Szandor LaVey) for comparison.
It is noted that Satanism is not LaVeyan in its entirety, but it is being utilised here as it is the most cited source for "satanic thought" and would do as a common frame of reference for the purposes of the primary comparison.
|1||We believe that we should seek within Nature that which is contributory to our health and well-being.||Satan represents indulgence instead of abstinence.|
|2||We recognise both outer worlds and inner, or psychological, worlds sometimes known as the Spiritual World, the Collective Unconsciousness, Inner Planes, etc. - and we see in the inter-action of these two dimensions the basis for paranormal phenomena, and magical exercises. We neglect neither dimension for the other, seeing both as necessary for our fulfillment.||Satan represents vital existence instead of spiritual pipedreams.|
|3||We do not recognise any authoritarian hierarchy, but do honour those who teach, respect those who share their greater knowledge and wisdom, and acknowledge those who have courageously given of themselves in leadership.||Satan represents undefiled wisdom, instead of hypocritical self-deceit.|
|4||We do not accept the concept of absolute evil, nor do we worship any entity known as "Satan" or "the Devil," as defined by Christian tradition. We do not seek power through the suffering of others, nor accept that personal benefit can be derived only by denial to another.||Satan represents kindness to those who deserve it, instead of love wasted on ingrates.|
|5||We acknowledge a depth of power far greater than that apparent to the average person. Because it is far greater than ordinary, it is sometimes called "supernatural," but we see it as lying within that which is naturally potential to all.||Satan represents vengeance, instead of turning the other cheek.|
|6||We see religion, magic and wisdom in living as being united in the way one views the world and lives within it - a world view and philosophy of life which we identify as Witchcraft - The Wiccan Way.||Satan represents responsibility to the responsible, instead of concern for psychic vampires.|
|7||We recognise that our intelligence gives us a unique responsibility toward our environment. We seek to live in harmony with Nature, in ecological balance offering fulfillment of life and consciousness within an evolutionary concept.||Satan represents man as just another animal sometimes better, more often worse than those that walk on all fours, who because of his "divine spiritual and intellectual development" has become the most vicious animal of all.|
|8||We conceive of the Creative Power in the universe as manifesting through polarity - as masculine and feminine - and that this same Creative Power lies in all people, and functions through the interaction of the masculine and the feminine. We value neither above the other, knowing each to be supportive of the other. We value sex as pleasure, as the symbol and embodiment of life, and as one of the sources of energies used in magical practice and religious worship.||Satan represents all of the so-called sins, as they all lead to physical, mental, or emotional gratification.|
|9||Our only animosity towards Christianity, or towards any other religion or philosophy of life, is to the extent that its institutions have claims to the "the only way," and have sought to deny freedom to others and to suppress other ways of religious practice and belief.||Satan has been the best friend the church has ever had, as he had kept it in business all these years.|
|10||Calling oneself "witch" does not make a witch - but neither does heredity itself, nor the collecting of titles, degrees and initiations. A witch seeks to control the forces within her/himself that makes life possible in order to live wisely and well without harm to others and in harmony with nature.||N/A|
|11||We practice rites to attune ourselves with the natural rhythm of life forces marked by the phases of the Moon, and the seasonal Quarters, and Cross Quarters.||N/A|
|12||As Witches, we are not threatened by debates on the history of the Craft, the origins of various terms, the legitimacy of various aspects of different traditions. We are concerned with our present and our future.||N/A|
|13||We believe in the affirmation and fulfillment of life in a continuation of evolution and development of consciousness giving meaning to the Universe we know and our personal role within it.||N/A|
The respective statements are in order for the Satanic Statements with the Wiccan Statements sorted to their most appropriate spot for comparison of them both.
The specific difference between Satanism and Wicca are:
Satanic View on Wicca
It can be seen, clearly, that the moral code of the wiccan is vastly more enhanced than the Satanist. The Satanist is free to adopt and utilise any moral he/she sees fit. If their conscience can take the action then, presumably, they are on the track to full enlightenment. The Satanist may see the Wiccan Rede or codes of conduct and call this type of moral framework a masochistic indulgence, at best, and a self-hypocritical delusion, at worst.
The Satanist chooses his actions with disregard to any "spiritual" ramifications, apart from self imposed ones (which are an indulgence) but they are more concerned with the corporeal or earthly ramifications of breaking a law, for example, for those where the freedoms and privileges of freedom are denied, is against Satanic practice. Satanic practice deliberately endorses all that the "Seven Deadly Sins" forbid, as "it brings about physical, mental or spiritual gratification". This, apparently, is in the confines of a consenting partnership (if interaction is required).
Wiccan View of Satanism
A way of life brought about by the harshness and the restrictions brought about by the Christian religion, from the 1600's onwards. Satanists are generally those who wish to rebel against the contradictions and of the freedoms of society imposed by Christian doctrine.
The Satanic path, now away from the confines of Christianity is free to explore the aspects of occult which Christianity forbade them to partake in, hence those that choose to practice magic is free to do so, and for any wish they desire, whether it is a positive or negative consequence.
Some may believe in the entity of Satan and therefore under ritual call upon the aspect of the divine source that is destructive and malevolent, causing potential difficulties to the practitioner or to others which are sensitive to the aspect, involved.
The Satanic way of life is acceptable until such times as they infringe upon the rights of others and the 'rights' of nature in general, show their path as the "one true way" and others are "sadly deficient" and to impose their will upon any one against their wishes.
A criticism of this is that wicca allows for "evil" to occur without challenge. This, unfortunately, is up to each practitioner. Some challenge, some do not. It is up to the conscience, rather than the religion to make judgment.
There are other similarities between Satanism and Wicca but most of them are prosthetic, similar to those displayed by Satanism and Christianity. The similarities are on a basic level, and those confluential beliefs are from different origins, common to most religions and ways of life.