Has religious programming ruined the witchcraft community? If you’re not an especially religious witch, you might be well aware of all the unsolicited advice people get whenever they mention certain types of spells or magical concepts. It seems that every Wiccan and neopagan out there these days feels the unstoppable need to remind everyone about a philosophy that is so often misunderstood. The following post will attempt to highlight some of the trouble that religious thought has brought on witchcraft and how you might benefit by shedding yourself of outdated and often-diluted religious programming.

Witchcraft is ancient
In fact, the practice itself is far older than Wicca or any other similar religion — and at the same time has been displayed in elements of very religious paths for just as long. In other words, it’s a natural ability that humans possess, and how we choose to apply it rests entirely how we believe — which is usually where religion comes to play. Unfortunately, not every person possesses a philosophical mind, and that makes it even easier for religion to cloud skill. That’s not to say there’s anything particularly wrong with being religious, but when you let your religious programming overrule common sense and gut feeling, there’s a problem.
What religions teach us
The most common religions tend to push the ideology that they’re all the “one true path.” Christians believe their way is the truth. Muslims believe their ways are what’s right. Wiccans aren’t any different from these beliefs. Wicca, being the largest and most common witchcraft based religion, shares the idea that anything you do may come back to you. Of course, this comes from the writings of their religion’s founder, Gerald Gardner, who actually wrote that anything done to a witch is to be paid back, times three. How people remain confused by this is anyone’s guess, but I digress. Wiccans tend to strongly believe that any form of negative or ambiguous magic is harmful, and they spare no time to tell you this if you dare speak about such magic in their presence. This is an example of religious programming at play. Religion teaches the religious witch that one rule is a universal rule that applies to all people, and is not confined by the bubble of their religious philosophy. 
Reprogram yourself
Maybe you’re guilty of making universal comments to people who don’t share your beliefs. If you are, you should reprogram yourself. Look at your beliefs and why it is you have the beliefs that you have. Do you really believe in them, or do you simply repeat them because that’s what everyone else does, or it’s something you’ve been taught in a group-think situation? Self-reflection is far more beneficial than offering unsolicited advice to others — especially in a community as varied as the witchcraft community. With so many different paths, philosophies and even religions, it’s impossible to apply any universal rules and beliefs to the community as a whole.