Monday, December 17, 2007

Christian Occultism and Christian Craft and the Pagan/Wiccan Community

As a student of the occult and witchcraft and a pratitioner of Christian Witchcraft, I am, of course, always on the look out for writings and opinions of the Christian Witch community within the larger Craft community. I am currently stuying the Christian Wicca entry on Wikipedia and I am constantly writing a consulting various writings and works on the subject.

And the topic is growing, whether it is an essay for or against the idea of Christian Witchcraft. Those who are against any form of Christian Wicca or Witchcraft usually harbor the ugly prejudices one associates with the neo-nazi movement or with the ultra fundamentalists like the Phelpses and their queer philosophy (no pun intended)about American soldiers who pay the ultimate price. But, increasingly, I have noted a more open, progressive attitude, interested in understanding and compassion and sypathetic support.

While these writers may not believe in what we do, they appreciate the fact that we share much of the same knowledge and respect many of the same beliefs. The first time I read an article about the practice of Christian Wicca in a Wiccan publication, was when I read a copy of Llewellyn's 2004 Wiccan Almanac. The article was entitled: "Jesus in the Circle: Blending Christianity and Wicca" by S. Tifulcrum. The article explains that Christians simply use the Christian Archetypes and the Holy Trinity where a Pagan would use the pantheon that appeals the most to them. They do this because they more closely identify with Christianity but do not hold with all traditional practices in the Christian Church or find that the traditional rituals of the Church are lacking. Tifulcrum Writes: "It's easy to imagine a Christian witch when you consider witchcraft as a set of techniques that can be employed by someone of any religion." (233)

In his The New Encyclopedia of the Ocult John Michael Greer writes of Christian Occultism: "Despite two thousand years worth of stereotypes, Christianity and the occult are far from strangers to each other..."(102) He further discusses the power of faithful followers reciting from ICorinthians 12:8-10, "The gifts of the Holy Spirit which includes healing powers, the power of prophesy, and the power to work miracles." (102) He also dicusses the active use of "white" magic by Medieval Christians and the original rules of the Order of the Rosicrusians which said that you must be a Chrsitan or friendly to Christian symbols in the rituals of the order. Today, howver the Rosicrusians have become anti-Christian.

Under the heading Christian Wicca, Greer writes "Christian Wicca has not been well received by the wider Pagan communitywith responses to the movement ranging from reasoned to the hysterical... Still, given that modern Paganism champions absolute religious freedom (and makes room for such dubious creations as Klingon Wicca....) it is hard to come up with a meaningful reason why Christian Wicca should be excluded." (105)

Greer does have an entry for Jesus of Nazareth, but it reflects his own perceptions of who Christ was and was not and since I have a differing view of who Christ is to me, his entry simply reflects various theories and opinions.

Further in his entry for Magic, Greer writes: “In fact with the exception of a few forms of Protestant Christianity, every form of religion in the world deals with spiritual powers by a combination of approaches….” (289)

So, what is the problem? Is it that Pagan groups are still judging Christians by what was done in the Church when the Church was more than religion but also government? Is it that they have forgotten that at one time, the Pagan faith was the majority that tried to stamp out Christianity as a dangerous cult through torture and martyrdoms, just as in the Burning Times? Is it because so many Pagans were formerly some form of Christian who for whatever reason felt put upon, maybe even abused and know have simply become the Pagan version of some closed minded bigot?
I hope not.

At any rate, they must simply get used to us, the Christian witches who are just as much a part of their community as any other.

Brightest Blessings Be
Aslinn Dhan Dragonhawk