Welcome back, dear reader. You might be thinking, “That last The Witch post was so long; this guy has more to say?!” I do, in fact. While I tried to walk the reader through the muddled plot of the film in that post, this one will be a more personal, philosophical response to the film. I fear most people will leave the film simply saying to themselves, “That wasn’t scary enough!” and then shrug and forget about it; however, I also think there will be a sizeable portion who will lose sleep trying to ask themselves, “What does it all mean?!” I certainly fall into the second camp, and it is with particular urgency I ask myself that question. As one of the people in the world seeking to claim a connection on some level with the word “witch”, it is important to me to try to decipher as much as I possibly can, to pick the film to the bone for every last scrap of meaning, since the word “witch” is being flashed before the public imagination. It’s important to me to ask what it means that the film goes with the late medieval and early modern conception that witchcraft and Satanism are one and the same. Heck, the film was even endorsed by the Satanic Temple. Is the devil truly inextricably linked to witchcraft? Are witches damned, and if so what does that mean? Let’s take a look.
Many people, when they think of the devil, think of a being without any kind of ethics or morality. I guess it stands to reason that if you believe God is good then the devil should fly in the face of that and just be utterly unethical and immoral in every way possible. But is that really the case? Could it be that the devil actually just has a completely different understanding of ethics? Well, it depends on which version of the devil you are talking about. And the devil’s ethics in the new Fox TV show Lucifer are particularly interesting.
If you watch some scary movies this Halloween season, you are going to see some Satanists. They are going to attempt to sacrifice babies and steal souls to gather great power or maybe even try to summon forth a physical manifestation of their dark lord. But what about the Satanist you might happen to meet in real life? Not that there aren’t any hardcore devil-worshippers out there, but odds are, you are more likely to run into a follower of atheistic strains of Satanism, whose world differs enormously from what you have seen on screen.