In an article called "Move Over, Oprah, It's the Witching Hour" the announcement was made about a new television program promoting the "...love, trust and spiritual healing..." aspects of Witchcraft (Tulsa World, 27 May, 1991, p. A-12).
The program premiered on June 6, 1991 and is titled "Kestryl & Company."
Kestryl Angell is a housewife from Laurel, Maryland, and a self- professed Witch. She explains that she is a "good witch" because she rejects "devil worship and black magic" (Ibid).
Her program, which was aired on Arlington, Virginia, Community Television, a public-access station, has the potential of reaching "47,000 households."
During the first show, Kestryl prepared "...an alter of burning candles, chalices, a dagger, a pair of deer antlers, a tiny bloom and icons of revered Goddesses.
"She purifies her sacred space with the wave of a carved wooden wand, whiffs of burning incense and the tinkling of a bell to vanquish the evil spirits" (Ibid).
After the ceremony was completed, "She peer into the camera an says quietly, 'Good evening. I'm Kestryl. Welcome to my circle.'" Then for the next half hour, she discusses the "wonders of witchcraft."
If this were simply an isolated incident, it would hardly be worthy of note. However, this is not an isolated case. Rather, it is simply another example of the widespread and rampant growth of Witchcraft, Pagan, and Occult philosophies.
Earlier this year, Watchman Fellowship reported on a prominent Methodist university's School of Theology which sponsored a "self- proclaimed witch" and her ceremony to the Goddess Diana (Watchman Expositor, Vol. 7 No.1; see also Dallas Morning News, 2 Feb. 1991).
From television to theological institutions, Witchcraft and Paganism are infiltrating all walks of life. But the infiltration does not stop there. A few years ago, Watchman Fellowship helped to alert Christians to "A Pagan in the Pentagon" (Watchman Expositor, Vol. 5, No.8).
Lt. Col. Michael Aquino, who works in the Pentagon and has "top security clearance" is also the "founder and high priest of one of the country's foremost satanic worship groups..." His organization is known as the Temple of Set.
In his rituals, Aquino promotes the worship of Set, "an ancient Egyptian God of evil," and displays "...a penchant for staging Pagan rituals in old Nazi castles" (also see El Paso Times, 13 April, 1988).
Some may say this is merely three isolated cases and that Christians should not be too concerned about Watchman and Paganism. However, to argue from this perspective would demonstrate either one's uninformed nature or willful distortion of the facts.
It is the position of Watchman Fellowship and many other concerned Christian organizations that a cult or occult group is not required to have millions of followers before it is noteworthy.
The membership of Witchcraft is admittedly an illusive figure.
As Margot Adler, one of the leading authorities in the field of Occultism, asks in her magnum opus, "How many people in the United States consider themselves of the religion Wicca (Witchcraft)?
Susan Roberts wrote in "Witchcraft USA: Witches don't know how many of them there are - much less where they are. There is no census, no master mailing list. Anyone who claims to have such a list is either lying or deluded" (Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess- Worshippers, and other Pagans in America Today, P.107).
While there may not be an exact membership list, the followers of Witchcraft, Pagan and Occult philosophy are growing in numbers and influence.
It is, therefore, the Christian's responsibility to know the beliefs of the various groups, be they cults or occult groups, so that the Christian cults, in turn, may be able to better share the Gospel with that lost person.
Remember, Jesus said, "Beware of false prophets..." However, it is difficult to -- beware -- unless one is first -- aware!