Satanism and Witchcraft: The Occult and the East

by Dr. John Ankerberg, Dr. John Weldon In her Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers and Other Pagans in America Today, Margo Adler interviewed numerous prominent witches who discussed the experience and philosophy of witchcraft. The parallels to Eastern religion and occultism were obvious.

These witches make correlations to yoga, shamanism, developing altered states of consciousness, the realization of inner divinity, and alleged connection to the “infinite.” Witches themselves speak of witchcraft as being “the Yoga of the West” and that “a Witch is a type of European shaman”:

Adrian Kelly told me, “What really defines a Witch is a type of experience people go through. These experiences depend on altered states of consciousness. The Craft is really the Yoga of the West.” Morning Glory Zell said that a Witch is a type of European shaman, and being a Witch involves being a priestess or priest, a psychopomp, a healer, a guide....

Most Witches stressed that the goal of the Craft was helping people to reclaim their lost spiritual heritage, their affinity with the earth, with “the gods,” with the infinite.1

It is well documented that numerous perversions (including human sacrifice) occur in witchcraft and Satanism, and yet these also have a rich tradition in Eastern religion (e.g., Hinduism), as well as pagan occult religion in general.2 In his Occultism, Witchcraft and Cultural Fashions, the noted cultural anthropologist Mircea Eliade of the University of Chicago refers to the interconnections between European witchcraft and Hindu Tantric yoga. He points out that “even a rapid perusal of the Hindu and Tibetan documents” reveals the connection:

As a matter of fact, all the features associated with European witches are—with the exception of Satan and the sabbath—claimed also by Indo-Tibetan yogis and magicians. They too are supposed to fly through the air, render themselves invisible, kill at a distance, master demons and ghosts, and so on. Moreover, some of these eccentric Indian sectarians boast that they break all the religious taboos and social rules: that they practice human sacrifice, cannibalism, and all manner of orgies, including incestuous intercourse, and that they eat excrement, nauseating animals, and devour human corpses. In other words, they proudly claim all the crimes and horrible ceremonies cited ad nauseam in the western European witch trials.3

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