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Author Topic: Christianity and Witchcraft  (Read 6065 times)

SonofPan

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Christianity and Witchcraft
« on: September 04, 2011, 02:12:49 pm »
So I have been thinking, Christians everyday go to their god in prayer. Now I was raised in a non-denominational christian church so I have only my own experience to go from...that being said:

Christians everyday pray to their god, now this sort of prayer is very closely related to the type of chanting I do. Focusing my mind and energy on a particular subject and invoke my god's name and power. Does anyone else see this similarity in their own experiences? I only ask because I think it is funny when I tell people I am a witch and I worship Pan they think I am crazy because they themselves are Christians.

Ideas? thoughts?
"Life is about enjoying every moment you have, and with that enjoyment sharing with others!"

Tana

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Re: Christianity and Witchcraft
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2011, 02:32:16 pm »
Quote from: SonofPan;17826

Ideas? thoughts?

 
What is it, that you are asking exactly?
If your chanting equals the habit of a daily prayer like some Christians do it?

And you are wondering, why the Christians you talk to, won't see it the same way?

If it is that, I don't understand why they should.
And btw praying is not unique to Christian faith either.

Would you mind to clarify your question?
\'You had to repay, good or bad. There was more than one type of obligation.
That’s what people never really understood.….Things had to balance.
You couldn’t set out to be a good witch or a bad witch. It never worked out for long.
All you could try to be was a witch, as hard as you could.\'
Terry Pratchett \'Lords and Ladies\'

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SonofPan

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Re: Christianity and Witchcraft
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2011, 02:37:18 pm »
Quote from: Tana;17828

Would you mind to clarify your question?

 
Well I mean, do you think chanting and praying are the same? It was merely a discussion to further my own outlook on matters. I never really stop thinking, it is a horrible trait I have :p I am always thinking and comparing things. To be honest the few Christians I have met since following my path have not outright called me wrong, but have been accepting of my beliefs.
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Starglade

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Re: Christianity and Witchcraft
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2011, 03:24:18 pm »
Quote from: SonofPan;17831
Well I mean, do you think chanting and praying are the same?

Yes and no. Chanting can be merely (that sounds like I'm denigrating it--I'm not) a way of focusing one's attention, or it can be giving thanks, or it can be honoring . . . or it can be asking for help. For myself, it's most often one of those first three. I don't have deities to worship. I have Buddha (and other buddhas--Buddha with a capital B is Shakyamuni Buddha, Gautama Buddha, the historical man) and the bodhisattvas, who aren't deities per se but are divine beings. Each has his or her own mantra (chant), for a specific purpose. Since Buddhism in general is non-theistic (I say in general because Tibetan Buddhism is a strange animal in its own way, with lots of deity-sorts having been brought in from India, Nepal, and China, and re-formatted as it were to fit), the concept of "prayer" isn't one I work with.

That said, I've attended several rituals in the last month that translate to "prayers." Sometimes it's just a limitation of language, to be able to name something properly.
The pujas I attended are hours-long (literally, anywhere from one to three) sessions of chants and sometimes musical interlude as well (bells, cymbals, conch), each with a particular focus. The translations sound a lot like prayers--but there's no deity there to pray *to*.

Tibetan Buddhism is an odd duck in the Buddhist universe. The more I learn, the more I come to see this--and the more difficult it is to explain how we don't pray to gods, but we do ask bodhisattvas and buddhas for clarity (for instance). It's a pretty intellectual differentiation, IMO.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2011, 03:24:36 pm by Starglade »
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nix

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Re: Christianity and Witchcraft
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2011, 07:41:18 pm »
Christians everyday pray to their god, now this sort of prayer is very closely related to the type of chanting I do. Focusing my mind and energy on a particular subject and invoke my god's name and power. Does anyone else see this similarity in their own experiences? I only ask because I think it is funny when I tell people I am a witch and I worship Pan they think I am crazy because they themselves are Christians.

Ideas? thoughts?[/QUOTE]
 
Good points

There are soooo many parallels between the two, invoking a god and chanting, focusing, channeling power etc very similar if not identical to directing prayer to the christian god.  You see it in the Catholic Faith when you pray to a particular saint (which is a good stand in for any particular god/dess that you devote yourself to)

I could go on...you can pray to any figure that you dedicate yourself to, I just think that those with more closed minds towards anything not christian are more likely to jump to conclusion.

SonofPan

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Re: Christianity and Witchcraft
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2011, 09:59:40 am »
Quote from: nix;17891

I could go on...you can pray to any figure that you dedicate yourself to, I just think that those with more closed minds towards anything not christian are more likely to jump to conclusion.

 
I just think it is interesting to compare religious beliefs, because I feel that all religions have their validity. I think everyone has their own path to walk and who says one path is wrong if it reaches the same destination...happiness.
"Life is about enjoying every moment you have, and with that enjoyment sharing with others!"

Talvikki Wyntersong

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Re: Christianity and Witchcraft
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2011, 12:26:10 pm »
Quote from: SonofPan;17970
I just think it is interesting to compare religious beliefs, because I feel that all religions have their validity. I think everyone has their own path to walk and who says one path is wrong if it reaches the same destination...happiness.

 
That's how I feel, too.

Now, I can add a little to your original question.  I was raised a Christian and was taught to pray at -least- every night.  I carried some techniques into my pagan path such as how to clear yourself of distraction in order to contact your deity.  I still pray in a sense, but it's not worship... It's honoring, accepting, acknowledging, and sometimes asking.  I also like the idea of lighting incense, and the smoke carrying my words and energy up to the gods.
~Talvi
« Last Edit: September 05, 2011, 12:26:33 pm by Talvikki Wyntersong »

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SonofPan

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Re: Christianity and Witchcraft
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2011, 01:06:12 pm »
Quote from: Talvikki Wyntersong;17990
 I also like the idea of lighting incense, and the smoke carrying my words and energy up to the gods.

 
It is a beautiful thought. Inspiring and Rejuvenating.
"Life is about enjoying every moment you have, and with that enjoyment sharing with others!"

ranran

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Re: Christianity and Witchcraft
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2011, 12:39:59 pm »
Quote from: SonofPan;17826
So I have been thinking, Christians everyday go to their god in prayer. Now I was raised in a non-denominational christian church so I have only my own experience to go from...that being said:

Christians everyday pray to their god, now this sort of prayer is very closely related to the type of chanting I do. Focusing my mind and energy on a particular subject and invoke my god's name and power. Does anyone else see this similarity in their own experiences? I only ask because I think it is funny when I tell people I am a witch and I worship Pan they think I am crazy because they themselves are Christians.

Ideas? thoughts?

 
A Christian Witch is simply a Christian that uses witchcraft. When the word "Christian" is put in front it means that one operates within the framework of Christianity. Example-

Prayers are said to Jesus/ Mary, the Saints and or Angels. Most religions all use the same or similar ideas and concepts. The major difference is to whom their prayers are directed in actual name.

Do they think you're crazy? So be it. They most likely have very little experience with any viewpoint/ religion outside of their own. Also most Christians assume witchcraft involves demonic forces, pacts with Satan, etc.

Tana

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Re: Christianity and Witchcraft
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2011, 12:56:00 pm »
Quote from: ranran;31730
Most religions all use the same or similar ideas and concepts. The major difference is to whom their prayers are directed in actual name.


No, not really.
And it is not only the names one uses, but the major difference is the worldview that comes with a religion and a faith.
I daresay, the similarities between my mindset and worldview and a Christian one are pretty few.
\'You had to repay, good or bad. There was more than one type of obligation.
That’s what people never really understood.….Things had to balance.
You couldn’t set out to be a good witch or a bad witch. It never worked out for long.
All you could try to be was a witch, as hard as you could.\'
Terry Pratchett \'Lords and Ladies\'

Confuzzled and proud. :p

ranran

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Re: Christianity and Witchcraft
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2011, 01:46:12 pm »
Quote from: Tana;31731
No, not really.
And it is not only the names one uses, but the major difference is the worldview that comes with a religion and a faith.
I daresay, the similarities between my mindset and worldview and a Christian one are pretty few.


Worldview - boogers, knew I forgot something;)

MadZealot

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Re: Christianity and Witchcraft
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2011, 12:23:01 am »
Quote from: Tana;31731
No, not really.
And it is not only the names one uses, but the major difference is the worldview that comes with a religion and a faith.
I daresay, the similarities between my mindset and worldview and a Christian one are pretty few.

Yup.  Bear in mind also that as far as worldview(s) go, Christianity has a pretty broad palette.  The 'mainstream' includes everyone from Catholics, to evangelicals, to SDA and LDS.  While most of the body religious will frown on anything 'magic' (outside of cultural folk wisdom or superstition, that is) there are more esoteric versions of the faith that might find it more palatable.
Spider Man 3 never happened. And Epstein didn't kill himself.

GaiaDianne

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Re: Christianity and Witchcraft
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2012, 03:27:17 pm »
Quote from: Tana;31731
No, not really.
And it is not only the names one uses, but the major difference is the worldview that comes with a religion and a faith.
I daresay, the similarities between my mindset and worldview and a Christian one are pretty few.

 

GAIA-D REPLYING:

Hi and Merry Meet --

I'd have to agree with Tana -- There are a great many differences -- philosophically and theologically -- between different religions.

For example, Christianity is an orthodox religion - It's about "Belief".  As long as you "believe" in Jesus as the Son of God and Redeemer, and in his "Atonement", you are "reconciled" to God for / in spite of your "sins", and eligible for "salvation".  

Wicca, otoh, (and pardon, i know there are many other kinds of Pagans and Witches here, but Wicca is the path with which i'm most familiar) is an ortho-praxic religion,   "Belief" doesn't really enter into it much - hence there are many different "beliefs" among Wiccans.  Rather, it's a matter of a specific practice.  (Traditional) Wiccans are Priests and Priestesses of particular Gods and Goddesses, serving those Deities in particular ways, with particular rituals and practices.

To illustrate the difference even more dramatically, here's a quote from "The Spiral DAnce by Starhawk. :

   "People often ask me if i believe in the Goddess.  
I reply, "Do you believe in rocks?"  
It is very difficult for most Westerners to grasp the concept of a manifest Deity.  The phrase, "believe in" itself implies that we cannot KNOW the Goddess, that She is somehow intangible, incomprehensible  But we do not "bleieve" in rocks - -we may see them, touch them, dig them out of our gardens, or stop children from throwing them - we know them, we connect with them.  In the Craft, we do not 'beleive in' the Goddess, we connect with Her, through the joon, the stars, the ocean, the earth, etc..."
(End quote from Starhawk, “The Spiral Dance”.)


 Wicca is a Mystery Religion of poetry, myth, symbol, ritual, and PERSONAL EXPERIENCE – One is not Wiccan because they “believe” certain things;  they are Wiccan because they have *experienced* certain things – namely and specifically, the Wiccan Mysteries.

Here’s how High Priest, Sam Wagar put it, in his article, "Wiccan Theology and Practice":

    "Wicca is, after all, an Initiatory Mystery Religion of Clergy worshipping in small closed groups,.... It is not a question of belief but of experience – Wiccans do not, and should not, have a credo. ....
Our intention is to produce a religion of prophets, with direct access to the Gods, using symbols, including images and including our beliefs, as tools. We assume the capacity to connect, the possibility of meaning, and that our experiences are the
foundation of everything, not our ideas. ….

So, Wicca is an elite religion, which most people are not suited to.
Belief is not enough, it takes Talent and the capacity to experience
certain things and to go through a process of personal transformation,
Initiation, before one can practice it."
End quote from Sam Wagar's "Wiccan Theology and Practice",
© Samuel Wagar, 2008 All rights Reserved; used by permission - See:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BeginningWicca/message/31751



That's just one example of the major differences -- There are several others we could discuss, if anyone is interested.

Blessed Be – GaiaDianne   :)

SunflowerP

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Re: Christianity and Witchcraft
« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2012, 04:34:32 am »
Quote from: GaiaDianne;38726
To illustrate the difference even more dramatically, here's a quote from "The Spiral DAnce by Starhawk. :

 
Just a note for clarification:  Though GaiaDianne quotes Starhawk's words as a vivid description of experientiality in religious witchcraft, Starhawk isn't Wiccan and isn't speaking of Wicca per se, but of a different sort of religious witchcraft (Feri and/or its offshoot Reclaiming).  There's been a lot of confusion about this over the last several decades, so I thought I'd mention it explicitly to avoid further confusion.

Sunflower
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SunflowerP

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Re: Christianity and Witchcraft
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2012, 05:11:42 am »
Quote from: GaiaDianne;38726
Here’s how High Priest, Sam Wagar put it, in his article, "Wiccan Theology and Practice":

 
Also - a more minor point, since Sam isn't anywhere near as influential as Starhawk - to the best of my knowledge, neither is Sam Wagar Wiccan in the BTW sense; he, too, is Reclaiming.  He has, regrettably, claimed that what he does is BTW, of no specified trad - I don't think his intent is "fraudnerian", since I've never seen him claim to be an initiate of any trad other than Reclaiming; I think he's just (misleadingly) using "BTW" to indicate that his practice, and that of his group, is more formal in structure, in ways similar to BTW (as exoterically known), than is usual in Reclaiming or in Eclecticism.

He is, though, genuinely a High Priest of religious witchcraft, and (aside from being wilfully ignorant/misleading in his use of terminology) a respected and to the best of my knowledge competent one; it does not surprise me that his words about his own form of religious witchcraft would have applicability to other forms.

I mention this because we do have a number of Canadian members, and he is fairly influential in the Canadian, especially western Canadian, pagan scene - we Canucks should be aware of his misleading usages.

Sunflower
I'm the AntiFa genderqueer commie eclectic wiccan Mod your alt-right bros warned you about.
I do so have a life; I just live part of it online!
“Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.” - Oscar Wilde
"Nobody's good at anything until they practice." - Brina (Yewberry)
My much-neglected blog "If You Ain't Makin' Waves, You Ain't Kickin' Hard Enough"

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