Harry Potter has raised ire with many fundamentalist Christian groups who feel strongly that the book opens the door to witchcraft and promotes pagan ideas, rituals and idolatry to readers who are young and impressionable. But what do Wiccans have to say about the Harry Potter controversy? Interestingly enough, there has not been much discussion about what so-called "pagans" feel toward the immensely popular book series penned by JK Rowling. Do they agree that indeed the Harry Potter books are anti-Christian? Do they see the Harry Potter books as essentially Wiccan in nature? This is difficult to say since there is no one Wicca authority who can make a definitive judgment on the Harry Potter books. But it is definitely possible to piece together how the Wicca religion compares to the storylines and images portrayed in the Harry Potter books. Here is a brief overview of how those who practice Wicca feel about the Harry Potter books.
Most practitioners of Wicca believe that magic is simply the channeling of the earth's natural energy, and all of the living things that dwell on this earth. Most practitioners of Wicca agree that the practice is basically a benign religion that has nothing to do with evil or devil worship. Also, the practice of Wicca has to do with channeling one's own natural energy, and it has nothing to do with magic that comes from the power of a wand. In this respect, some would argue, Wicca has nothing to do with the kind of magic that is depicted in the Harry Potter book series.
Another of the main differences between the Harry Potter books and the practice of Wicca has to do with ability. Wicca is known as a craft that can be practiced by just about anyone who feels the desire to do so. Both men and women can practice Wicca. However, in the Harry Potter books, only certain people can practice magic. For instance, those who are born without magical abilities are referred to as "muggles." Muggles cannot practice any kind of magic. However, in 'real' life, anyone can practice Wicca. It does not require any kind of inherent talent or ability.
One of the key differences that many Wicca practitioners see between the Harry Potter book series and the practice of Wicca is very important: Wicca is a religion, while the magic in the Harry Potter books is simply fantasy and magic. Moreover, this leads to another very important point: Wicca is religion that does not have anything to do with charms, spells, or magic. Many Wicca practitioners argue that Wicca is an earth-based religion. It is based on respecting and honoring the elements of the earth: air, fire, water and earth. These are considered sacred elements, as well as all of nature. Some Wicca practitioners also focus on the worship of a male and female deity.
Moreover, many practitioners of Wicca argue that the Harry Potter books are all based on classical (and some would say stereotypical) notions of magic. Witches hats, capes, cloaks, spells, potions, toads, wands, flying broomsticks, werewolves, centaurs, unicornsâ€"are all part of the Harry Potter universe. But these are all elements that we have seen before, many argue, and they do not have anything to do with Wicca or devil worship.
Most importantly, many argue, Wicca has nothing to do with worshipping the devil or coveting evil. In fact, many Wicca practitioners would argue that their religion despises the forces of evil as much as Christianity. One of the principals of Wicca is that committing an evil act brings terrible luck and misfortune, and that bad acts will always 'bounce back' to the doer of evil things.