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Author Topic: Some thoughts on Christopaganism  (Read 480 times)

EclecticWheel

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Re: Some thoughts on Christopaganism
« Reply #15 on: July 11, 2019, 05:39:55 pm »
I can imagine that some aspects of folk magic can mix with some folk aspects of Christianity as well. I would like to learn more about that.

I still don't know whether to call some of the things I do magical.  I need to read up on more folk magic to compare, but for my own purposes I just do what comes naturally.

It is all intertwined with prayer and the saints, but I feel like the actions have an effect in themselves, so I'm not sure a hard and fast distinction between prayer and magic works well in my context.

Some prayers simply are ritual gestures, like the sign of the cross, and are sometimes considered to have spiritual or even protective effects.

But one thing I did when I didn't have a job was fill a jar with symbolic items to attract money, and I painted it green.  I took various prayers as well, turning them into sigils, and placed these in the bottle.

While I placed each item in the bottle I made various prayers to saints, blessing each symbolic object.  When I shake the jar, the idea is that I activate the prayers and intentions contained within it, as well as all its symbolic properties, to attract money.

It feels and looks magical to me, but it isn't separable from prayer.  So I plan on reading more on Christian folk magic to see if such distinctions even apply there.

When I described the jar to a Catholic friend of mine, he just compared it to keeping a candle burning as a votive offering, which is in some respects an apt comparison in my opinion.

I only do this kind of thing rarely when in need.  But it worked, and quickly.
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Donal2018

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Re: Some thoughts on Christopaganism
« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2019, 08:02:57 pm »
I still don't know whether to call some of the things I do magical.  I need to read up on more folk magic to compare, but for my own purposes I just do what comes naturally.

It is all intertwined with prayer and the saints, but I feel like the actions have an effect in themselves, so I'm not sure a hard and fast distinction between prayer and magic works well in my context.

Some prayers simply are ritual gestures, like the sign of the cross, and are sometimes considered to have spiritual or even protective effects.

But one thing I did when I didn't have a job was fill a jar with symbolic items to attract money, and I painted it green.  I took various prayers as well, turning them into sigils, and placed these in the bottle.

While I placed each item in the bottle I made various prayers to saints, blessing each symbolic object.  When I shake the jar, the idea is that I activate the prayers and intentions contained within it, as well as all its symbolic properties, to attract money.

It feels and looks magical to me, but it isn't separable from prayer.  So I plan on reading more on Christian folk magic to see if such distinctions even apply there.

When I described the jar to a Catholic friend of mine, he just compared it to keeping a candle burning as a votive offering, which is in some respects an apt comparison in my opinion.

I only do this kind of thing rarely when in need.  But it worked, and quickly.

That's interesting. I would expect that there might be a lot of folk magic, or at least folk lore and practices built around reverence for saints. A friend gave me a New Age style book on folk prayers and saints a while back. I think it a lot of might have come from Afro-Carribean practices. The author was out of New Orleans. It did not really resonate with me.

I would like to find sources on saints and prayers that is a little closer to more conventional Catholicism. I wonder how some other denominations deal with this sort of stuff (saints, related prayers, etc). I know the fundamentalists do not approve of practices involving the saints. Anyway, I find this topic to be interesting.

EclecticWheel

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Re: Some thoughts on Christopaganism
« Reply #17 on: July 11, 2019, 09:19:11 pm »
I wonder how some other denominations deal with this sort of stuff (saints, related prayers, etc). I know the fundamentalists do not approve of practices involving the saints. Anyway, I find this topic to be interesting.

Well, as for Anglicanism, though it's not universal in that communion, my priests have encouraged my veneration of Mother Mary and other saints, and blessed my rosaries.  At least two Anglican clergy I've had, particularly a female deacon, have a special devotion to the blessed Mother, so these things do make their way into some communions with a heritage in the Reformation.

That said, the Reformation is only one aspect of the Anglican heritage.  Some will draw on pre-reformation influences.  For example, one of my very Anglo-Catholic prayer books contains a Sarum use rosary which is quite different from the Dominican one.

Anglicans also tend to be open to the views of other Christian communions because of how they view the nature of the church, so one of my Anglican priests had a view of purgatory influenced by Eastern concepts, a sort of hybrid view.

Other Anglicans are very much opposed to the invocation of saints, but I have not run into many if any Episcopalians that oppose it with any real fervor.  (Episcopalians are hard to rile up.)  But evangelicalism is, I hear from a UK friend, more prominent in the Church of England.

Most of my clergy have been influenced by Anglo-Catholicism of one sort or another.  My Anglican parish encompasses people from all over the spectrum, including people who are Jungian, New Age, and even one neo-pagan.  One of the Jungians invokes saints, but from a different theological background than an Anglo-Catholic.

Anglicanism is really its own animal in the Christian world.  I tend to classify it in its own category apart from Catholicism, Protestantism, and the various Orthodox communions, though Anglicans do argue for its Catholic or Protestant character or for both or neither.

But it's interesting to ask lifelong lay Anglicans how they identify.  I once early on asked some Anglicans if they were Protestants or Catholics.  I kid you not, the whole table burst into animated speech with no consensus.  "Well, I don't know." And they all turned to one another asking among themselves, "Are you a Protestant or Catholic?"

With no consensus reached, a white haired 80 year old woman settled it: "I'm ANGLICAN!"

And everyone seemed satisfied with that.
My personal moral code:

Love wisely, and do what thou wilt.

Donal2018

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Re: Some thoughts on Christopaganism
« Reply #18 on: July 11, 2019, 09:50:10 pm »
Well, as for Anglicanism, though it's not universal in that communion, my priests have encouraged my veneration of Mother Mary and other saints, and blessed my rosaries.  At least two Anglican clergy I've had, particularly a female deacon, have a special devotion to the blessed Mother, so these things do make their way into some communions with a heritage in the Reformation.

That said, the Reformation is only one aspect of the Anglican heritage.  Some will draw on pre-reformation influences.  For example, one of my very Anglo-Catholic prayer books contains a Sarum use rosary which is quite different from the Dominican one.

Anglicans also tend to be open to the views of other Christian communions because of how they view the nature of the church, so one of my Anglican priests had a view of purgatory influenced by Eastern concepts, a sort of hybrid view.

Other Anglicans are very much opposed to the invocation of saints, but I have not run into many if any Episcopalians that oppose it with any real fervor.  (Episcopalians are hard to rile up.)  But evangelicalism is, I hear from a UK friend, more prominent in the Church of England.

Most of my clergy have been influenced by Anglo-Catholicism of one sort or another.  My Anglican parish encompasses people from all over the spectrum, including people who are Jungian, New Age, and even one neo-pagan.  One of the Jungians invokes saints, but from a different theological background than an Anglo-Catholic.

Anglicanism is really its own animal in the Christian world.  I tend to classify it in its own category apart from Catholicism, Protestantism, and the various Orthodox communions, though Anglicans do argue for its Catholic or Protestant character or for both or neither.

But it's interesting to ask lifelong lay Anglicans how they identify.  I once early on asked some Anglicans if they were Protestants or Catholics.  I kid you not, the whole table burst into animated speech with no consensus.  "Well, I don't know." And they all turned to one another asking among themselves, "Are you a Protestant or Catholic?"

With no consensus reached, a white haired 80 year old woman settled it: "I'm ANGLICAN!"

And everyone seemed satisfied with that.

Good response, thanks for it. I think that cautious tolerance for different practices is a good way to go. I am glad that for some Anglicans there is at least some tolerance for the veneration of Mary and the Saints, if not outright acceptance.

It is interesting to hear about the diversity within Anglicanism from you, an insider. I have a friend who became an Anglican priest, and he said simply that Anglicanism was different from Catholicism more politically than theologically. I think he meant this as a simplification and certainly not the whole truth, but I thought it was an interesting statement.

Anyway, I really knew him more before he became a priest when he was a Grad Student at my University. I have lost touch with him since he moved out of state and got ordained. It would be interesting to know what he thinks about these sorts of things, particularly veneration of the Saints and Mary from an Anglican perspective.

Thanks again for the response, though. Do you know any good books about saints that address these sort of things? I would like to study it a bit, I think. The Angels and the Saints sort of bridge the gap between monotheism and polytheism for me, and I want to learn more.

For example, there have been some writers who have pointed out that there was a Celtic Folk belief that the Celtic Gods from the various Celtic Mythologies are Angelic Beings that are midway between Unfallen/Heavenly Angels and Fallen/Infernal Angels. I am interested in this sort of view, and also curious how a Celtic Goddess, Brigid, was incorporated into Christianity as a Saint. These things seem to me to be at the intersection between Christianity and Celtic Paganism.

EclecticWheel

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Re: Some thoughts on Christopaganism
« Reply #19 on: July 11, 2019, 10:27:08 pm »
I have a friend who became an Anglican priest, and he said simply that Anglicanism was different from Catholicism more politically than theologically. I think he meant this as a simplification and certainly not the whole truth, but I thought it was an interesting statement.

Well, some Anglicans aren't that different theologically.  I know one who believes in papal infallibility when he speaks ex cathedra.  (Of all things!) One of my priests said that Peter was the rock the church is built on.

But other Anglicans are much more Protestant theologically.  And while I tend to focus on what I've experienced personally, there is global diversity, too.  The African provinces are very conservative whereas the Episcopal province tends toward liberal views.

There would be some convergence on political matters between the Catholic and Episcopal churches, such as a concern for the environment.  On matters of sexuality, the national Episcopal Church takes a much different tone than the Catholic hierarchy, but some Episcopalians are conservative on these matters.

Then again, there is great diversity among Catholics.  There are plenty of liberal nuns and others, and I even know Latin mass attending self-accepting gay Catholics despite the hostility and even hatred that sometimes comes out of that faction of the church.  (To my sorrow, I might add.  I am very much opposed to the suppression of the old rite but also gay affirming.)

What kind of books on saints are you seeking?  Among prayer books, if you're looking for traditional devotions, litanies, and so on, you must have The Anglo-Catholic Book of Common Prayer (2010).

However, it does contain the Divine Mercy Chaplet which I've never been able to ascertain is entirely coherent in its theology.  Nevertheless, it is now a popular devotion as well.
My personal moral code:

Love wisely, and do what thou wilt.

Klaw

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Re: Some thoughts on Christopaganism
« Reply #20 on: July 12, 2019, 06:15:07 am »
I would like to find sources on saints and prayers that is a little closer to more conventional Catholicism. I wonder how some other denominations deal with this sort of stuff (saints, related prayers, etc). I know the fundamentalists do not approve of practices involving the saints. Anyway, I find this topic to be interesting.

Oddly enough the saints are creeping into the Lutheran service. I have been told that some of the Pastors coming out of seminary are starting to include them. I don't think the congregations are responding well.

The talk about Christianity and folk magic brings Celtic Christianity to mind. I read a book on it years ago and it has a lot of folk magic elements. There are lots of books on the subject now.

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