VFTB 076: Witchcraft and the Watchers

WITCHCRAFT IS basically harmless — or so you’d think from the way most Americans approach the topic. From Bewitched to Harry Potter, it seems that witchcraft, if it exists at all, is OK as long as one uses it for “good”.

Dr. Judd Burton, author of Interview With the Giant: Ethnohistorical Notes on the Nephilim, discusses the historic and spiritual realities of witches, magic, and their modern manifestations, and traces the origins of witchcraft to a surprising source: the rebellious angels who came to Earth and taught mankind things we were never meant to know.


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  1. Thanks so much for this episode! I really appreciated hearing people talk about Wicca who seemed to actually have done some research into it. So many times I’ve heard Christians talk about Neo-pagan movements and the New Age from a position of total ignorance. I was involved in the Neo-Pagan movement before I started to follow Christ and I can often tell when someone is talking about Neo-paganism who knows nothing about it.

    This was very refreshing!

  2. Sigh…… Here’s yet another case of “the blind leading the blind”. You seem to have no real concept of what witchcraft is. If you did, you’d realize that ALL religions practice magick, though it goes by many names. ALL religions worship the same Diety, though It too has many names.

    That’s ok, you can’t get two Baptists from the same church to agree on the meaning of the same bible verse, it’s no wonder the different sects and religions can’t seem to communicate properly.

    1. Author

      With all due respect, Michael, you may have a better understanding of witchcraft, but you misunderstand or misrepresent what religions believe. Prayer is not magick and religions with mutually exclusive beliefs do not worship the same deity.

  3. Derek, The author Dr. Judd Burton’s book and interview was completely bias from a Judeo-Christian view point. Dr. Burton’s main source was the ancient Jewish religious work “Book of Enoch”. He did not quote any Greek, Roman, or Egyptian historians. He completely ignored anything that might prove contrary to his thesis and just completely ignored it. Also, Dr. Margaret Murray’s book “The Witch-Cult in Western Europe” has been largely discredited due flaws in her use of evidence to prove her thesis outlined in the book. I am very disappointed that you just took the author at his word completely as if it were completely true. I am very disappointed that your listeners were only given this very narrow false viewpoint. The concept of the ‘devil’ and ‘demons’ are a Judeo-Christian creation. The meaning of Neo-pagan means “NEW” as in a modern movement. The Neo-Pagan movement does not nor ever has subscribed, nor believed in the ‘devil’ or ‘demons’. Satanism is based on Christianity and not Paganism and you cannot interchange the two, as they completely separate religions. Had you done any research prior to having this author on, you would have realized that very simple and basic fact. Because I keep an open minded Neo-Pagan, I subscribed to your podcast. Your other listeners need to know that this is a horrifically bias and completely misleading book, and the author interview only presented a very narrow viewpoint based on evidence to support this narrow viewpoint. History is written by the victors, with their bias and spin. The losing side is often completely ignored and rewritten by the victor. The truth is neither black nor white but lies somewhere in-between. It’s too bad that your interview as so one sided and took the author as ‘completely true’ and then sold it to your listeners that way.
    Sadly, I know that I am wasting my breath. My bias is that I believe that most Christian’s are closed minded and work toward the harassment of the Neo-Pagan movement. Not a very ‘Christ like’ view point in my opinion, but that is my personal bias and I state it as such and do not sell it as the truth to anyone. Perhaps one day you might be able to recognize your own personal bias.
    Blessed Be, Tracy.

    1. Author

      Hi, Tracy,

      What you see as bias may simply be the analysis of a man who has examined the historical evidence and concluded that the truth claims of Christianity are compelling.

  4. I’ll address Michael and Tracy in this post. Thank you for the very lively discussion. I always appreciate feedback. Michael, I think I have more than a good handle on witchcraft, both ancient and modern. My master’s thesis for my anthropology degree was an ethnography on a Neopagan community based on over two years of field work, involving observation and interviews. I also studied European witchcraft extensively at the doctoral level. As for your definition of magic, I’d say yours is the narrow derivation. Magic is an attempt to manipulate the natural, prayer is supplication.
    Tracy, with all due respect, did you even read my book? Yes I quote Enoch extensively. 1)As for the accusation that I cite only Jewish or Christian historians, the most cursory survey of my bibliography will reveal that I also cite the Roman historian Livy, the Greek geographer Pausanias, Greek inscriptions from the Corpus Inscriptionum Graecarum, Egyptian inscriptions from Tanis, not to mention the host of secondary sources on Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Native American and world mythology and culture, and myriad archaeological reports. 2) The evidence is not being ignored, I’m re-examining (with more to come). 3) Murray’s thesis is also undergoing reexamination by scholars, especially microhistorians. See historian Carlo Ginzberg’s work on the Benandanti in THE NIGHT BATTLES. Murray was at least partially correct. Do your homework. 4) Actually, demons are perennial in world mythology, the word “demon” is actually Greek. 5) I did not conflate Neopaganism with Satanism in this or any other interview. I’m well aware of the differences. I did allude to occultists who pick and choose in buffet style their own magical path. 6) Truth is always black and white, otherwise it wouldn’t be truth….it would be quasi-truth, or something like that. Perspective is what obscures truth. If you want a rebuttal of the relativity of truth from a pagan philosopher, see Plato’s “Myth of the Cave.”
    You’re not wasting breath either, Tracy. Even though I disagree with you, our dialogue is valuable. To quote Voltaire “I disagree with everything you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it.” Bias can be an albatross. As a scholar, one is not totally divested of bias, and must learn to work with it. Our intent here was not to offend but to share. As an open-minded person, surely you can appreciate this, yes? My dear Pagan friend, Porphyry and Iamblichus couldn’t successfully defend Pagan thought in antiquity against Christian apologists, because they were classically educated too, and countered the Pagan polemicists with their own philosophy. What makes you think the argument has improved 1700 years later? Food for thought. Godspeed to you, and always feel free to contact me.

  5. I am a former sorcerer and witch, actually practicing after my Spirit-filling baptism–and continuing to call myself a Christian throughout my decades of practice, until I was called Home, and finally responded 2 years ago. I could say so much here, but what I feel is important to say is that the Watchers and their children the Nephilim, as well as the mothers who bore the Nephilim (now sirens, or mermaids), are the source of witchcraft. The apocryphal Book of Enoch, obviously loved by Jesus and His Apostles and disciples–for it is often quoted or made reference to in the New Testament, points out that mankind was entrapped and duped by the Watchers, and that they were put into chains forever because of their sin against us. Witchcraft continues because of the spirits of the dead Nephilim who are now the unclean spirits (devils, demons) Jesus drove out and taught His disciples to cast out. The war continues, but let us, as Jesus-minded Christians, be very careful not to make those involved in witchcraft feel that they themselves are hated, but that they are loved and that we are here to deliver them, in the nature (name) of Jesus. In my experience, most druids and witches and Wiccans. ARE FORMER CHRISTIANS who have been hurt by those in the Church who have not carried the loving and supportive warrior-spirit of Jesus. That is what the witch wants, needs, desires–the knowing that there is a power far more formidable than anything witchcraft could offer. Thanks for letting me comment.

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