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Author Topic: Christian Witch?  (Read 2903 times)

Kraken

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Christian Witch?
« on: May 16, 2016, 12:11:49 pm »
Is there anyone here who has come from a Christian background and adopted a pagan lifestyle? Or do you integrate both ideas of Christian God and pagan gods/goddesses together? I love the Christian mysteries but I also love feeling connected to my pagan community and exploring Wicca. Wicca is very new to me but feels very good to study and be apart of. I know it seems like an oxymoron, but I'm having a difficult time reconciling the two but would still like to keep them both in my life. I would rather live a Wiccan lifestyle but have Jesus in my life. Any suggestions? Thoughts? History lessons? Experiences?
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RecycledBenedict

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Re: Christian Witch?
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2016, 01:36:18 pm »
Quote from: Kraken;191127
Is there anyone here who has come from a Christian background and adopted a pagan lifestyle? Or do you integrate both ideas of Christian God and pagan gods/goddesses together? I love the Christian mysteries but I also love feeling connected to my pagan community and exploring Wicca. Wicca is very new to me but feels very good to study and be apart of. I know it seems like an oxymoron, but I'm having a difficult time reconciling the two but would still like to keep them both in my life. I would rather live a Wiccan lifestyle but have Jesus in my life. Any suggestions? Thoughts? History lessons? Experiences?


If I stick to the purely historical aspect of the question to begin with:
Back in the times of Reginald Scot (1580s) it seems like those who were afraid of witches (and those who didn't believe in witchcraft, like Scot himself) included cunning men and women under the witchcraft-umbrella, despite the fact that the cunning ones didn't self-identify as witches and, indeed, self-identified as Christians and practiced Christianity. Even the Roman Catholic use of holy water was regarded as witchcraft in 16th century Scotland.

Grimoires - i.e. books about magic of the type prevalent in Europe in the late middle ages, in the renaissance and until the end of the 18th century - did express a Christian worldview (sometimes with a stress on the Old Testament shared by Jews, and with a few Moslem influences via 13th century Spain). If you take a look at the so-called Enchiridion of Leo III, Book of Oberon, Janua Magica Reserata (edited in Skinner & Rankine: Keys to the Gateway of Magic), Liber Iuratus Honorii (soon to be published by Joseph H. Peterson under the name The Sworn Book of Honorius), and Grimoire of Armadel, you will understand what I mean.

The practitioners of these types of magic were (slightly unusual) Christians and magicians.

If we then proceed to a purely personal point of view: I am not the right person to discuss how to combine Christianity and Wicca. I have no clue, though I guess that Cunningham-derived solitary-eclectic Wicca (in contradistinction to British Initiatory Wicca) perhaps could use Sophia, the Divine Wisdom, and Jesus Christ as polarity-deities, but this is just a speculation. I have no personal experience of trying that option.

Two persons, who in the past combined the Christian belief in the Holy Trinity with a positive view on, and practical work with, the Graeco-Roman deities, were the Roman Catholic priest Marsilio Ficino and the Roman Catholic nobleman and author Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa. The books to read, if you are interested in their worldviews, are Marsilio Ficino: Book of Life (which is astrological) and Agrippa: Three Books of Occult Philosophy (which is about magic).

A type of high magic with a very Catholic 'flavour' (mixed with a Masonic 'flavour') emerged in the 18th century: Martinez de Pasqually founded the order of Elus Coens in the 1760s, but there are no pre-Christian deities in that magical system. Lots of angels, though.
 
Another type of high magic was invented in the 1880s by a handful of English freemasons. At the time, archaeology made swift progress in the area of Egyptology, and there was a mood of Egyptomania in the air, noticeable in, among other things,  furniture from the time. Typical for the times, the result of their work was the Order of the Golden Dawn (not to be confused with the modern Greek neo-fascist organization with a similar name, of course). The original Golden Dawn split already in 1901-03, and the original orders went defunct in the 1970s, but there exist several new orders using the Golden Dawn system. It mixes a Christian symbolism and an ancient Egyptian symbolism.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2016, 01:37:35 pm by RecycledBenedict »

RecycledBenedict

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Re: Christian Witch?
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2016, 02:37:08 pm »
Quote from: Kraken;191127
I would rather live a Wiccan lifestyle but have Jesus in my life. Any suggestions? Thoughts? History lessons? Experiences?


Perhaps I ought to add a few other things.

The name of your thread is about witches. In your first post, you discuss Wiccans. There are witches who are not Wiccans. It is also reasonable to suggest, that there are (non-initiatory) Wiccans, who are not witches (I have personally met one such person). In my former answer I included information about Christian and partly Christian magic-practitioners, in the assumption that your question concerns anyone who combine elements of Christianity and elements of magic. If my assumption is wrong, I apologize.

A few authors, who may be of some interest to you, are Dion Fortune, Gareth Knight, Anthony D. Duncan and Nicholas Whitehead.

Dion Fortune founded Society of the Inner Light in the 1920s. In her worldview and mystical experience Christianity, earth-based spirituality and Neo-Hermetic Kabbalah were brought together (with a veneer of the Theosophical ideas of the time). She is well-known for her saying 'All gods are one God, and all goddesses are one Goddess', but she also organized a Christian Sunday Service in the 1930s which combined visualizations of New testament stories and The Grail with Anglican collect prayers.

Gareth Knight is a retired Jungian analyst with past involvement in several magical initiatory orders in UK. He studied with Society of the Inner Light in his youth, and then went on with other organizations. He is now more than 80 years old, and one of the grand old men of British magic. He wrote an obituary for the British witch Mike Howard recently, when the latter passed. If Christian-style magic would be something interesting for you, Knight's books, especially Experience of the Inner Worlds and the very short The Practice of Ritual Magic could be of interest. Another book in the same current is Nicholas Whitehead's Patterns in Magical Christianity.

Anthony Duncan was an Anglican clergyman who prepared Gareth Knight for Anglican confirmation, and wrote a book called The Christ, Psychotherapy and Magic.

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Re: Christian Witch?
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2016, 02:55:59 pm »
Quote from: Kraken;191127
I would rather live a Wiccan lifestyle but have Jesus in my life.

 
What, exactly, do you mean by 'a Wiccan lifestyle'?

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Re: Christian Witch?
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2016, 10:18:30 pm »
Quote from: SunflowerP;191130
What, exactly, do you mean by 'a Wiccan lifestyle'?


Beat me to the question.
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MadZealot

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Re: Christian Witch?
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2016, 11:10:21 pm »
Quote from: Kraken;191127
Is there anyone here who has come from a Christian background and adopted a pagan lifestyle?

Yep.  Evangelical who went over to eclectic Wicca.  Not sure what you mean by "pagan lifestyle" though.  To me it always meant to have a greater awareness of and reverence for the created world and act accordingly.  But you don't need to be pagan to have that.  

Quote
Or do you integrate both ideas of Christian God and pagan gods/goddesses together?

Mostly the form of that one guy who said love God with everything you've got and treat others how you'd be treated.  IMO, the red lettered passages are the most important; the OT is for context and reference, and the rest of the NT is commentary on the red lettered bits.  Plus, while Paul said some good shit, he also said some bullshit.  (Again, IMO and YMMV.)  
I'd like to integrate more veneration of Mary, and maybe even some badass Saints, but there's an angry latent protestant living in the back of my head, and he's a disagreeable little cuss.  As before, YMMV.  

Quote
I love the Christian mysteries but I also love feeling connected to my pagan community and exploring Wicca.

 Well, you can always take your time and keep reading.  There's nothing saying you can't study and learn more about both, and there's nothing saying you have to practice one, the other, or both, right this instant.  

Sounds like you want to combine the two, and it's doable, and it's been done.  Frater has already spoken about Christian magicians.  You can also google Christian mysticism and Catholic folk magic.  There are also whole traditions arising from a combination of Christianity and ethnic pagan traditions-- but these'll need to be approached with the appropriate level of cultural sensitivity.

Or you can look into Christopaganism, which is actually a thing.  Google will give you lots of links on the subject and Amazon will give you a good list of suggestions, including Christopaganism: An Inclusive Path by J & R Higginbotham.  Good book, and takes a textbook-style approach to building your own faith from the inside outward using what the authors call a "holonic onion" model.  (Basically, you start with core faith and add layers.)  

One book I'd definitely recommend is Jesus Through Pagan Eyes: Bridging Neopagan Perspectives with a Progressive Vision of Christ by Rev Mark Townsend, a former CoE man who defected to OBOD.  Part 1 is by him and part 2 is essays on Christ by a few notable Pagan authors.  The first half is the best, imo, but on the whole the book is out fucking standing.

One that was recommended to me (but only read half of) was The Path of a Christian Witch by Adelina St Clair.  I've only gotten 'bout halfway through this one, and though I generally like it, I can't give it a yea or nay yet.  You might want to take a peek, and as always YMMV.

Happy hunting!
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Re: Christian Witch?
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2016, 11:14:06 pm »
Quote from: MadZealot;191154
Yep.  Evangelical who went over to eclectic Wicca.  Not sure what you mean by "pagan lifestyle" though.

 
I believe denotationally "lifestyle" means something near-synonymous with "marketing category". :P  (I find it hilarious that Google search on define:lifestyle actually explicitly states that.)
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MadZealot

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Re: Christian Witch?
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2016, 11:55:09 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;191155
I believe denotationally "lifestyle" means something near-synonymous with "marketing category". :P  (I find it hilarious that Google search on define:lifestyle actually explicitly states that.)


Heh.  And what exactly is a "Pagan" marketing category?  I'm one of those who loves Tolkien, Salem and Game of Thrones, but I haven't been in a Hot Topic in years.  :D:
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Noctua

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Re: Christian Witch?
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2016, 01:58:38 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;191155
I believe denotationally "lifestyle" means something near-synonymous with "marketing category". :P  (I find it hilarious that Google search on define:lifestyle actually explicitly states that.)

 
Having just gone to the Ren Faire this past weekend this sure sounds correct to me. :p

Kraken, there are practices in Italian culture typically referred to as Benedicaria that may be similar to what you have in mind. Catholic saints are invoked, prayers are recited, and ritual items such as holy water or the Rosary are used in ways that any pagan would consider to be spellwork. Vito Quattrocchi wrote and self-published a few books on the subject, but I have yet to read them myself so I can't speak on them much other than letting you know they exist.

MamaThistle

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Re: Christian Witch?
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2016, 11:12:23 am »
Quote from: Kraken;191127
Is there anyone here who has come from a Christian background and adopted a pagan lifestyle? Or do you integrate both ideas of Christian God and pagan gods/goddesses together? I love the Christian mysteries but I also love feeling connected to my pagan community and exploring Wicca. Wicca is very new to me but feels very good to study and be apart of. I know it seems like an oxymoron, but I'm having a difficult time reconciling the two but would still like to keep them both in my life. I would rather live a Wiccan lifestyle but have Jesus in my life. Any suggestions? Thoughts? History lessons? Experiences?


I think this is more common than most people realize. I would say that you can be a witch and not Wiccan. Magic and witchcraft are not exclusive to Wicca, but you can learn about both from studying Wicca.

I think you can still believe in the Christian God and other Gods/Goddesses. Know that this will not be accepted as Christianity by the majority of Christians. As long as you are okay with that I think it's perfectly acceptable to believe in the God/Gods you choose. It's also important to note that no matter what path you choose, you are not doing it right according to someone somewhere. In my personal experience this is a very freeing concept.

Another point of advice I would give, is continue to study a little more until you make a definitive "label" of yourself. You may find, as I have, that you don't fit into Wicca or Christianity. I was drawn to Wicca, I now believe, because I believed in many Gods. However, the religion itself was not for me, but I still practice folk magic as many religions (and some atheists) do.
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Re: Christian Witch?
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2017, 01:07:27 am »
Quote from: Kraken;191127
Is there anyone here who has come from a Christian background and adopted a pagan lifestyle? Or do you integrate both ideas of Christian God and pagan gods/goddesses together?  Any suggestions? Thoughts? History lessons? Experiences?


I have asked much the same question.  In my experience, I do not like organized religion.  They seem too exclusive with all the rules.  I believe in the Christian God, but I also believe in my Goddess and in the other gods/goddesses.  I also believe that the Christian organized faiths often use guilt and fear to tell you why their God and way is the only way.  I believe there is a one true God of all gods, but also that he has an equal mate -- the Goddess.  I believe that there are many gods/goddesses.  In the OT, men had many wives.  Why not God or the gods?

History tells us that much of what was done in the name of the Christian (Catholic) God had very political motives.  I think the key is to separate the spiritual from the political.  Faith is what gets you through life, as I see it.  The more exclusive one is to one path, the less you are willing (or allowed) to accept another point of view.  As others have said, do your own research and pay heed to your intuition and feelings.  They are given to us as part of being human after all, as is free will.

The simple rule:  "An it harm none, do as ye will" rings true to me in these matters.
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