Tuesday October 13, 2015
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By Andrea Peyser
October 12, 2015
Selah Ally Tower is a recovering witch living in New Jersey.
The former practitioner of the dark arts once thought she had it all, and then some. On an average day, she’d cast spells designed to make her richer, stronger, fiercer than her hausfrau neighbors.
She wore flowing broomstick skirts and dramatic capes, read tarot cards, burned incense and had sex with a guy, not her husband. It makes one wonder about the evil lurking in the suburbs.
Looking at Tower, who goes by Ally, her middle name, one would never suspect this ordinary state worker once thought she owned the keys to an existence in which most anything she desired was there for the taking.
“The religion of Wicca took hold of me. It opened a portal into a new world,’’ the 58-year-old mother of three grown children and grandmother of two told me.
“Casting spells, I saw results. Usually, it was like — maybe I needed money or I needed a car. I needed love in my life. It was very selfish. It was all about what I wanted. I was really satisfied with my life.’’ So why give it up?
Could it have something to do with Satan?
Witchcraft is practiced by a growing number of lapsed Christians seeking easy gratification for life’s most pressing needs: sex, hot clothes, relief from rotten marriages.
The Christian Post reported in 2013 that multiple conservative scholars have concluded that there were more than 200,000 people who have declared themselves witches in the United States, and as many as 8 million undeclared practitioners of “the craft.” This makes sorcery the second-fastest-growing religion in the US, after Islam.
And the number of witches reportedly doubles every 30 months.
As Halloween rolls around faster than a Wiccan flying on a broomstick, it’s time to take a look at a faith that’s seducing untold numbers of women and men.
Tower, who was raised an Episcopalian, turned to witchcraft in 1989 after she enrolled in a correspondence course in witchery. She joined a coven operating under the radar in the Garden State.
She had a husband at the time, but told me the marriage was a horror show, and the couple slept separately.
Well, the occult had an answer for that.
“I went outside one night,” she said, “underneath the biggest, brightest full moon I’ve ever seen. I called on the goddess, felt the energy flowing through me. My kids asked why my face was glowing.”
Coven members were pushed by high priests and high priestesses to divorce spouses who were not in the craft, and urged them to fool around with fellow witches.
“It was kind of like a ’70s free-sexual thing,” she said. Tower started a long-term extramarital affair with a man who was not a witch.
“I did not believe that I was worshipping Satan,” she said. “But now I realize I was deceived. I believe it was the spiritual deception [the devil] uses to defeat people.’’
It all came crashing down after Tower was kicked out of the nondenominational church of which she had been a member. She got so angry, she put a “vanishing” spell on the pastor, who had been like a father to her. A month later, she learned that her spell seemed to have worked. The pastor was retiring and moving out of state.
Surprisingly, the man invited Tower back into the church.
There, she was told, “You can’t run from God.” And she started sobbing hysterically.
In 2000, Tower returned to Christianity, changing her clothes from hot to dowdy. She divorced her husband and broke up with her lover.
And she couldn’t be happier.
Under the name S.A. Tower, she has authored two books about her spiritual journey, 2012’s “Taken from the Night: A Witch’s Encounter with God” and “From the Craft to Christ: The Allure of Witchcraft and the Church’s Response” (both from Dwell Publishing).
Halloween is known to Wiccans as the end-of-harvest Gaelic festival of Samhain (pronounced sowin) — a time when, Tower said, the “veils’’ between the living and the dead are the thinnest. But she sees nothing wrong with kids dressing up in costumes and trick-or-treating. “We have to be careful in our choice of costume,” she advised
Is it possible, as Tower evidently believes, to commune with spirits and change one’s circumstances with mumbo jumbo? Could she be used as a potent recruiting tool for the devil? I hope not.
You don’t have to believe in the power of witchcraft to know that anything that comes too easily isn’t worth your soul. In these days of international terrorism and domestic moral relativism, people of all faiths need more God and less temptation.
Ally Tower found her way back to Christianity, a wise path. Happy Halloween!