Yesterday I attended a seminar on “traditional witchcraft” that was quite interesting. In some ways, it was a reinforcement of what my Wiccan teachers have taught me. In other ways, it was different. In the midst of the presentation I asked if grounding and centering were a part of the tradition the teacher came from. I told her for me it was the most important thing we can do since the working of magic is more about will, intent and focus rather than any of the physical tools we use such as wands and athames. She asked me a counter-question and I outed myself as a Christian witch, i.e. a Christian who works with the energies of nature and the Divine Presence in order to promote healing in the lives of others.
She was very receptive to my presence in the class and totally got where I was coming from. But I noticed another individual in attendance who completely withdrew into her self. It was obviously that Christianity was a painful subject for her and my presence there was stressful for her. Her eyes were focused downward from that moment on. Unfortunately, I did not have a chance to speak to her afterward but the experience reminded me of how much work we have to do to promote understanding and healing between Christians and Pagans.
Coming out of the closet as a “Christian witch” creates some uneasiness on both sides. Some Christians think I’ve booked a ticket on the express train to hell. Little do they know that Christianity has a long history of people who have worked with spells, amulets, herbs, etc. as a part of their spiritual practice. Many of these Christian healers have practiced their craft in secret for obvious reasons. Others were the ones everyone in the village went to when they need help. Some suffered the same fate as their Pagan neighbors during the burning times.
Some Pagans also mistrust me because they have been treated harshly by Christianity in general, and individual Christians in particular. I totally understand their reluctance but hope they will give me a chance to prove I’m their ally. Once they get to know me they will see I have a deep respect for their religious beliefs and practices. I sometimes feel more at home with them than I do with other Christians!
So there. I’ve said it! I’m a Christian. I’m a witch. I have a profoundly deep connection to Jesus and Sophia as well as the Unnamable who created us all. I also cast circles, call the quarters and use magic to do positive healing work on behalf of others and the earth. My houses of worship are both the church and the majestic mountains where I live. I am a spiritual eclectic who has incorporated into my personal spiritual path practices from a number of traditions including Christianity, Wicca and Buddhism. I refuse to be defined by one faith over the others and appreciate what each tradition has taught me about the Divine Presence.
My goal on this blog is to lift up the connections I see between Christianity and Paganism, as well as try to rediscover some of the Christian Ancient Ones who may not have called themselves witches, but they were witches nonetheless. I hope you’ll join me on this journey of discovery. Blessed be and Amen!
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