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The post below was written back in 1991 or 1992 e.v. For an update by the author, please see:

Satanism vs. Wicca

by Diane Vera

Since your main worry seems to be public relations, here's how I would make the distinctionbetween Wicca and Satanism, in a way that is fair to both sides and does not throw Satanists tothe dogs:

Wicca and Satanism are quite distinct. Wiccans worship pre-Christian deities (or a modern-daycomposite of pre-Christian deities) and do not worship the Christian anti-God. Some Satanistsalso worship a pre-Christian deity, but regard the Christian anti-God as a manifestation of theirdeity, which Wiccans do not. Wicca and Satanism are very different in their aims and tone. Wicca emphasizes harmony and balance, whereas Satanism emphasizes spiritual self-liberation viaiconoclasm and catharsis.

I should mention, though, there's one possible problem with that last sentence. Some feminist Wiccans might take offense at it, since it implies the more radical forms of feminist Wicca are really more like Satanism than like Wicca. Which in my opinion they are. If you've read some of Mary Daly's books, you'll know what I mean.

I myself identify as a feminist Goddess-oriented neo-Pagan, as well as a Satanist. Indeed,feminist Goddess religion is still my primary religious identification. (Satanism is how Irelate to "male" energy.) I don't and never did call myself a feminist "Wiccan".

By the way, while I accept today's use of the word Wicca (with a capital W) to refer to aspecific European-based religion with a very specific worldview, I do not accept the attempt by Wiccans to copyright the words "witch" and "witchcraft". Thesewords are generic terms, not the property of any one religion. They refer to occult practices found in many religions around the world. A Satanist has as much right to the word "witch" as anyone else. (It so happens that I don't call myself a"witch", but for a different reason: I think many "witches" are making exaggerated claims to occult power, and I don't want to give the appearance of making such an exaggerated claim.)

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