A Wiccan witch in Manila

Three centuries of Spanish colonization reshaped and transfigured the supernatural beliefs of Filipinos: Ancient worships of Bathala and nature were superseded by devotion to the Catholic Church, venerable diwatas and anitos were replaced by the Virgin Mary, and anting-antings and charms were swapped for scapulars and rosaries.

However, long before the Philippines was colonized by the Spaniards, our ancestors had already established their own beliefs. Witchcraft, distasteful as it may sound, was actually a common practice among ancient Filipinos. And though these days, supernatural beliefs and practices are considered taboo by our pre-dominantly Catholic society, it is a fact that in this day and age, there are witches who still live among us.

Solitary they may be, these witches are not the pointy-black-hat-wearing, green-skinned harpies that are often sensationalized and stereotyped in the media, but something else entirely.

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*Ardora Lur

Born and raised Catholic, *Ardora Lur discovered Wicca at the age of 15, when she accompanied a friend who was exploring witchcraft to a Wiccan store in New York. “My friend left with candles, and I left with an invitation to learn more about it.”

Wicca witchcraft is a modern denomination of paganism that originated in the 1950s, a religion practiced by some witches, but not all. It is a nature-based religion that recognizes the presence of the Divine in all things.

“Wicca rang true for me more than Catholicism did. I was grateful that it had answers for me that Catholicism did not. It gave me a sense and purpose, and allowed me to understand my place in nature,” says Ardora.

That curious-teen-venture in New York happened 21 years ago. Ardora, who is now 36, is married and has two boys of her own. Her husband was a long-time friend and knew about her beliefs and practices as a Wiccan long before they decided to be together. Despite
being a Wiccan, Ardora shares that she and her husband baptized their children as Catholics.

“We have raised them to understand that there are different religions and practices. When they are older, they are free to decide, but we are raising them
with the foundation and love of God we were raised with.”


Divine in all things

“We are not Devil worshippers,” says Ardora matter-of-factly. “First and foremost, we do not believe in the existence of the Devil. We, however, recognize that as there is the light side, there is the dark where evil and malice thrive.”

Ardora mentions, however, that Wiccans believe they are cared for and guided by the Goddess, who is accompanied by her consort, the Horned God.

Other than this, Ardora also talks about the prominent symbols and tools that are used in witchcraft. One of these is the pentacle or pentagram, a five-pointed star used to represent two different concepts: the elements of the universe (earth, air, fire, water, and spirit) or just the element of Earth.

“We also have the Altar, which is the focal point of both magical and religious rights; the Ritual Book or the Book of Shadows, an instruction manual, recipe book, and magical diary; and the Wand, used to focus the Will and to direct personal energies, among others.”

Moreover, there is also the Wiccan Rede and the Rule of Three, which is also known as the Three-Fold Law, The Law of Three, or The Law of Return, to keep in mind.

“If you harm none, do what you will,” the Wiccan Rede states. According to Ardora, Wiccans do as they will, but are also guided by the Rede, that they should act as long as their actions do not harm others.

Meanwhile, the Rule of Three is a tenet, which states that all good and bad a person does to another returns to them threefold, or thrice as much.


On magic

Aside from verifying that Wiccan witches are not devil worshippers, there are other myths and stereotypes that Ardora clarifies.

“Magic is your bunny in a hat kind of performance. The practice of affecting change in nature through will, intent, and purpose is called magick.” Ardora mentions that all witches work on and practice their magickal craft.

White magick, Gray magick, and Black magick are some of the different types of magick practiced by witches, although Ardora shares that some witches only dabble in White magick.

“It is a practice that focuses on the betterment of all or with the purpose of communing with the Divine. Gray magick is used for personal gain and is potentially manipulative to others,” she shares. Meanwhile, Black magick is purposely harmful and is work with darker forces.


Potions and broomsticks

“[Potions] work, but the drinker must also carry the faith in the potion you create. Real potions are most likely made of food and non-toxic recipes containing fruits, herbs, and meat that have corresponding magickal properties.”

You can forget about the potions from Harry Potter, then, for Ardora is quick to point out that eyes of newt, spiders, tongues, and lacewings are not the ingredients used in potion making.

“Broomsticks are ritual items; one of its purposes is to assist in cleaning out negativity by sweeping it out the door.”

No gravity-defying Elphaba here; you cannot fly using your broomstick, ladies and gentlemen, and that’s coming from a Wiccan witch herself.


‘So mote it be.’

It is customary to end modern prayers with an ‘Amen’. ‘So mote it be’ is one of the archaic phrases used by the Pagan community, which translates to ‘so shall it be’. In modern Wiccan practices, the phrase is used as a way to wrap up a ritual or spell.

Ardora admits that their Wiccan rituals are not for public display and since it is not for all, people oftentimes weave tales around it due to fear of what they do not understand. With the Philippines being a predominantly Catholic country, it is true that witchcraft and anything occult is considered anomalous and taboo.

“The generalization is unfair, but expected,” says Ardora. “Wicca is not something you evangelize, it is not for everyone.”

When asked about her advice to Filipino youth who want to explore Wicca, Ardora says: “Read up on it. Religion is a personal practice and faith is your path alone. If Wicca rings true for you, then read more, learn more, and practice. The teacher comes when the student is ready.”

“And if you have read more than enough, then you will know that Wicca is not as glamorous as it is made to be, but as enchanting as you will allow it to be in your life.”

So mote it be.

Cody Cepeda

By Cody Cepeda

24 replies on “A Wiccan witch in Manila”

Im a white witch from Norway. White magic works in mysterious ways, and Im NOT magician who fix rabitts from a hat hehe. I have been trained from my grandmother and she was a witch, a good witch. Many people around the world dont believe in good magic. I can do curse but only for good, I can protect, for the people I Love. And No, I will NOT explane how and why. I am the white witch from Norway, thats enough. Blessed Be )O(

There is no white magic. Take if from a real exorcist: Fr. Amorth: There is no difference between white magic and black magic. When magic works, it is always the work of the demon. Every form of occultism, like this widespread resort to the religions of the East with their esoteric suggestions, are open gateways to the demon. And the devil enters. At once. Read an learn:

Read up also this:

“Let there not be found among you anyone who immolates his son or daughter in the fire, nor a fortuneteller, soothsayer, charmer, diviner, or caster of spells, nor one who consults ghosts and spirits or seeks oracles from the dead. Anyone who does such things is an abomination to the Lord…” (Deuteronomy 18:10-12).

2117 All practices of magic or sorcery, by which one attempts to tame occult powers, so as to place them at one’s service and have a supernatural power over others – even if this were for the sake of restoring their health – are gravely contrary to the virtue of religion. These practices are even more to be condemned when accompanied by the intention of harming someone, or when they have recourse to the intervention of demons. Wearing charms is also reprehensible. Spiritism often implies divination or magical practices; the Church for her part warns the faithful against it. Recourse to so-called traditional cures does not justify either the invocation of evil powers or the exploitation of another’s credulity. (Catechism of the Catholic Church #2117)

As a faithful Christian and Catholic this should be rejected. I keep the commandments of God in the Bible and in the Church!!!

If the Bible says homosexuals should be punished, would you? Because coming from my point of view you are a Catholic that follows the Bible as it is and not seeing love and compassion for others are more important teachings in the Bible than calling or treating people different from you as abominations.

The simple and shortest response to your question or statement comes from St. Paul in his first letters to the Corinthians “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.” (Chapter 13 verse 6)

We know that homosexuality is wrong. It is wrong by two standards: Law of God and Law of Nature. The Word of God condemned it both in the Old testament and New testament. Our biological nature knows that it cannot produce anything. It simply does not work.

I will end this by saying “I am not pushing my morality unto you, you are the one pushing your immorality unto me.”

1 Corinthians 6:9 (ESV)
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice HOMOSEXUALITY,

Romans 1:27(ESV)
and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

Leviticus 18:22 (ESV)
You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.

A God who condemns and hates His own creation is a very cruel God, so much for being a God of forgiveness, love and mercy.

God is not the only one who condemns. It is also his creation that condemn themselves when they sinned. God pronounced their judgment.

The Bible says that God will punish the wicked. If you think that a “just” God will not punish the wicked then you have your own version of God and certainly it is not the God of the Bible.

2 Thessalonians 2:12 (ESV)
in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

A God is a God, they do as they please. The only problem with the Christian God is that they depict Him as Perfect and Absolute Good, when He is not, He just like any other God archetype.

My friend, by the very definition itself God should mean “perfect”. If he is not perfect then he is not a real God, he could be just a “god” with small g rather than God with big “G”.

The philosophical and theological definition of God is God is a supreme and perfect being. Anything less than that is not God.

Dude you should really take up Introduction to World Religion in college. Jesus was considered a shaman during his time. He practiced “spiritism” by healing the sick and performing exorcisms (e.g. Luke 8:31-36). God and/or Jesus did not write the Bible. It’s a diverse collection of writings from possibly 90 authors from different time periods who had different beliefs, interpretations, values, cultures, and nationalities. Honestly you can’t really venerate the divine authority of the Bible coz it was written by man. In this regard, the Bible is similar to the Hindu Vedas, the most important Hindu scripture. Except the Hindus are smart to admit that their scriptures were written by their priests.

Fyi, Christmas (Dec 25) is not Jesus’ birthday. It’s origin came from the pagan winter festival Saturnalia held Dec 17-24 during the Roman Empire. Gift giving, mistletoes, and decorating trees was also part of this festival. Let’s that’s the pagans for inventing Christmas !?


First of all, Spiritism is a “spiritualistic philosophy codified in the 19th century by the French educator Hippolyte Léon Denizard Rivail under the codename Allan Kardec; it proposed the study of “the nature, origin, and destiny of spirits, and their relation with the corporeal world” (Source: wikipedia) Spiritism only begins during the 19th century while Jesus begun his public ministry on AD 30 and finished it up by AD 33.

Also, can you site me historical sources and scholarly writings (including Early Christian works) that Jesus practiced spiritism and that he is considered a shaman during that time.

Second, we Catholics believed that the bible was written by men so I find no objection in your statement. However I would like to add that though it is written by men it is done so by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. I totally disagree that we cannot revere the author of the bible for we give our reverence “dulia” to the human author and our adoration “latria” to its divine author, God.

Thirdly, the claim or statement is that “Christmas came from the Pagan winter festival called Saturnalia” was already proven to be false and misleading. Since Saturnalia was close to the date of Christ’s birth or Christmas, it is often used by many as the reason why the Church of Rome celebrates Christmas on December 25. However, (A) the dates (December 17 up until December 23 or 24) do not match with Christian’s celebration of Christmas which is on December 25. (B) There are no historical references nor Writings of Early Christians and the Fathers of the Church that states that Church celebrates Christmas in order to compete or replace Saturnalia. If you can provide historical evidences and early christian writings so be it. But i doubt it that you can produce it. (More on this>

Next time, do some research and reading first before making public comments only and please do yourself a favor – educating yourself and stop making this stupid assumptions.

No matter what anyone says to the “Beloved Catholic” or anyone else with closed minds will never understand or accept what anyone else says because of their blind belief/faith in their religion and the human written book. But when they pass to the other side they will see the truth and understand.
We can make life on Earth Heaven or Hell, those who are open minded, understanding, accepting and non-judgemental will be closer to Heaven than those who are close minded with their blind faith while being in physical form.
Animals of all kinds (land, sea or air) have behaved in homosexual act, maybe not all but many. Does that make them an abomination? As far as my opinion … who cares it is nature. For those who are anything other than heterosexual … who cares it is their life, if they are happy and know love that is all that matters.
Who gives a f$%* whose right or wrong, only those who can’t except being wrong. I accept all people except those who hurt, kill, rape, molest others.. or who try to force others to agree with them through fear, anger, hate, belittling, argumentative and any other negative behavior because they believe in something else.

As far as the bible, koran, or any other “holy scripture”… those who wrote them were not those who the scriptures are written about. But the possibility of them speaking to or hearing the divine spirits to help in writing the “scriptures” is there, Does that mean they were prophets, soothsayers, mediums etc… Most definitely but it depends on the label someone puts them as that will determine who will except or deny the words within the scripture.
Its my two cents worth take it or leave but be happy.

Catholic church is based on patriarchal system of course they condemned witches for the purpose of religious war and monopoly over lands and politics in ancient times. That also goes with Roman Catholic spreading in the Philippines where Spaniards controlled us with religion.

The bible itself was edited translated re edited and retranslated too many times. And if you must catholic practices and feasts are largely based on pagan traditions. Using smoke to ward off evil, drinking wine, offering gifts under the trees, celebrating feasts (St. Valentines=Spring celebration; Christmas=autumn/Winter; and many more.

There was even an ancient pagan goddess called Brigid who was turned into Saint BRIGID. HAHAHA

Would you condemn someone who can fortune tell, linked with nature, can heal and can see their past lives since they were 5 years old? An innocent child? Would you still say that it is an abomination? Well that hurts. ??

Excuse me? I do not see the connection between witches and religious war and monopoly over lands? Do witch owns large land? Can you site historical facts/sources that the Church does this for reason stated above? You can also check your fact straight as although the Catholic church has their fair share of persecution of witch but the large numbers of these did not come from Catholics but from the Protestants. Many of the Catholic countries were in southern Europe, and the “witch craze” hold more in the northern part of Europe, like Germany, France and Scotland. A little research and reading would reveal these facts.

“The bible itself was edited translated re edited and retranslated too many times.” Yes, it was translated into different translation especially in English but we do have the original manuscripts of the bible and we can compare it if we study and learn the ancient language of Scriptures which is Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek (Koine). I don’t see what’s wrong with different translation of the Bible. As longs as it is faithful to the original text/manuscript and it convey to the readers the message of Scriptures.

Just because Catholic feasts happened to fall under the same date or close enough to a pagan feast does not mean that we are celebrating the same thing. There is no historical facts that Christmas is a pagan celebrations (you might site Sol Invictus, Saturnalia, etc… but I can prove it otherwise) and Valentines is not connected to any pagan as the Church even have 3 Saints Valentine to celebrate for on that day.

Okay, what’s the source of St. Brigid being a pagan goddess? Honestly, you seems to be worst than fake news.

Lastly, “Would you condemn someone who can fortune tell, linked with nature, can heal and can see their past lives since they were 5 years old? An innocent child? Would you still say that it is an abomination?”

2 Cents: The Church does not condemn person, the Church condemns ideology most especially ideologies that endangers the souls or salvation of a person.
Second, have you tried bringing the child to a psychology? LOL

To conclude my reply: patriarchal system does not always denote evil or means a bad thing. There is bad patriarchal system and a good patriarchal system and the Church is more than that. It is not just a patriarchal system as you would called it but it is the “Family of God” and if you have time to study and discover its beauty maybe you will be able to understand how the church recognized the different roles of male and females on its ranks. How each compliment each other rather than competes with each other.

Thank you for the time reading this. Godspeed!

Curiosity may bring new discovery.In the case of religion,don’t explore if your faith is weak otherwise darf forces may engulf you. Faith in the Divine is your armour against evil forces.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church compels us not to try these practices whether your faith is in great shape or not. Our Holy Mother Church simply does not allow it in view of her loved for God and for the salvation of her children who are attracted to this scheme.

“All practices of magic or sorcery, by which one attempts to tame occult powers, so as to place them at one’s service and have a supernatural power over others – even if this were for the sake of restoring their health – are gravely contrary to the virtue of religion. These practices are even more to be condemned when accompanied by the intention of harming someone, or when they have recourse to the intervention of demons. Wearing charms is also reprehensible. Spiritism often implies divination or magical practices; the Church for her part warns the faithful against it. Recourse to so-called traditional cures does not justify either the invocation of evil powers or the exploitation of another’s credulity.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 2117)

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