Pagan Paths

Explore the way that the Christian Myth and the ‘Path of the Wise’ intertwine into a path of wisdom and action in the worlds.

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Looking back at the Journey

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

It’s been 13 years since I walked into a bookstore and picked up my first book on Wicca. It took me another 3 years to bring my Christian heritage back into the mix. I continued my journey to try to define what it meant for me to be a Witch and what it meant to be a Christian. It has been two years since the publication of ‘The Path of a Christian Witch’ and I have to tell you that my definition of both these concepts changes and evolves every day.  It ebbs and flows like the ocean under the moon. It is the only way to keep Spirit alive.

As much as I have reflected and come to integrate my traditions into a seamless whole, I realize that the merging of these two practices does not make general consensus. I am honored to be given this space to write about the thing that animates me most: the way that I honor Spirit. Yet, I know that for many Pagans, the word Christian is synonymous with bigotry, cruelty and short-sightedness. For the most part, I have to agree and I would like to make an apology for all the horrors that have been committed (and still are being committed) in the name of Christ. There is simply no excuse for the abuse and inequities that are being perpetrated by Christian Churches, their pastors and some of its over-zealous practitioners.

I grew up in a Catholic environment. I did not grow up with dogma and formal religious instruction. I grew up with a set of symbols, a number of invisible friends that I talked to whenever I needed, a ritual space that rang with a silent echo and smelled of frankincense and myrrh. That is my Christianity. Then came a day when I discovered that there was a sacred expression of myself as a woman, the Goddess, and I yearned for Her with all my being. With her came all the expression of the magic that had been with me since childhood, the magic that I heard on the wind and that I had forgotten. It felt like home and I could not sacrifice one for the other.

As I said before, my definition of Witchcraft and Christianity has changed considerably over the last decade. Where at the beginning it was mostly a cut and paste of the pieces  that mattered to me, now it is truly an integrated whole where one is really indivisible from the other. Christianity grew from an environment that was rich with different religions and ancient pagan practices. At its core, it was influenced with these rituals, with the rhythm of the land and astrological phenomena. The teachings of Jesus are of inclusion, of reading the signs, of manifesting intent, of magic in its most fundamental aspects. Where at the beginning I still believed in the historicity of the Christian story, I now believe that it has become more than that. I believe that it has become Mythology, which is something infinitely more powerful. It no longer matters to me if the stories of the virgin birth or miracles or even the resurrection actually historically took place. What these stories say in images and symbols is infinitely more important than a simplistic historical recitation.

If Christianity is indeed a mythology, than why could we not use it in a Pagan context, as we do with Egyptian or Celtic pantheons? We can find grounds in our respective practices to re-connect to each other and bring a higher understanding to the world around us. We just need to sit together in sacred space, looking at each other and recognizing the sanctity of our respective Truths. If we can accomplish this, I have much hope for the future. Blessed be!

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Adelina St. Clair is the author of ‘The Path of a Christian Witch’ (Llewellyn Press) and is the founder of the Christian Pagan Fellowship on Facebook. She has been involved in the Pagan community for over 13 years and has studied fields as varied as Wicca, shamanism, microbiology, bioethics, reiki, theology, and herbalism. She works as an occupational therapist with the Cree communities of northern James Bay, Canada. She lives in Montreal with her husband and two children.

Comments

  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven Friday, 14 December 2012

    Words of wisdom, Adelina. I don't officially use the word "Christian" in my self-identity anymore, because I see JC as one of the many godforms in my poly-theist practice, and not even the primary one. But He is a dear friend, and I never found it in my heart to leave Him behind. Welcome to our little online community!

  • Jalene Eden
    Jalene Eden Sunday, 16 December 2012

    I tend to believe that Christianity is a mythology. Unfortunately a mythology that has had contempt for me since a young child to this day. I am Pagan, I am also a lesbian trans woman. Even though I see horrible things from Christianity and literally have been mentally and physically beat with it I also see beautiful things from Christianity. I know many that I love dearly and meet many that radiate love who are Christian. I have people ask me about my religion and to those who are Christian my greatest desire and encouragement is for them to find and walk their own path and make it clear that there truly is more than one path to God. My best friend who has stood with me faithfully for many years is Christian. She made a statement just a few days ago that I believe is quite profound "If everyone would walk their own path and have respect for the path of others the world would be a better place". As for Jesus I have never known Him nor do I have a desire but I certainly have respect for those who do because Jesus has a great deal about living love that can help many and for those who walk the path of love that Jesus guides for them it does bring a smile to my face. Blessed be.

  • Joseph Bloch
    Joseph Bloch Sunday, 16 December 2012

    I've been thinking about similar things, although I never came from a Christian background myself. Of course, it also opens up the theological question of whether or not Satan is an appropriate God-form for contemporary eclectic Pagans to honor, in the same way that they honor other beings from other religious traditions. If Christianity is just one religion out of many from which beings can be incorporated into one's worship, then it begins to muddy the waters when some Pagans insist "We don't even believe in Satan!"

    I don't say I have an answer, largely because I'm not eclectic in my own practice. But it's definitely a discussion worth having, I think.

  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven Sunday, 16 December 2012

    @Joseph: We've debated that question (is Satan Pagan?) previously, notably in PanGaia #50. The consensus seems to be "no" but there's a strong minority of people who believe Satan (they often have variant ways of spelling that name) is an ancient god who is either a) neutral or b) good, but denigrated by the nasty Christians, and whom it is perfectly reasonable to worship. Most people who responded to the question (in Toe to Toe, our old debate department) seemed to think the modern Anton LaVey style Satanists are all crazy, poseurs, or both.

  • Janet Boyer
    Janet Boyer Tuesday, 18 December 2012

    Oh, I love this! I don't know what to call myself, but this sort of thing is pretty darn close. I'm so glad for this blog!

  • Eddie
    Eddie Tuesday, 26 March 2013

    I have only recently discovered this site. This article is very interesting. I have found,(also quite recently), the similarities between the Christian ideology and Paganism. In that Christianity has grass root ties to paganism. Most religious holidays have their basic starting points from the Pagan beliefs.. yet followers of Christ put Pagan believers down. Little do they know or even care to find out where their beliefs come from.

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