Christopaganism & Christian Witchcraft: 2 Legitimate Spiritual Paths
In the pagan community, there’s controversy around the idea of blending Christianity and paganism or witchcraft. Many say the two religions can be blended together harmoniously, while others say there’s no way the two could EVER go together. In this article, we tackle the reasons why both Christopaganism and Christian witchcraft are legitimate spiritual paths.
Christopaganism & Christian Witchcraft
Before we can decide the legitimacy of these paths, we must clearly define each path. What is Christopaganism? Christopaganism is defined by Joyce and River Higginbotham as being a “spirituality that combines beliefs and practices of Christianity and paganism, or that observes them in parallel.” If Christopaganism is a blending of Christianity and Paganism, then Christian witchcraft is a blend of Christianity and witchcraft.
The Argument Against Christopaganism
The main argument against Christopaganism and Christian witchcraft is that the church persecuted pagans and has no place in paganism. Historically, this is true. With the rise of the church thousands were accused, tortured, and executed for “witchcraft”. While theories differ as to the real purpose behind the Inquisition and Witch Trials, the fact remains many people were upholding pagan traditions or simply not obeying the church’s rules. Does the church still persecute pagans today? Yes, it still happens, unfortunately. All you have to do is turn on a televangelist show on TV and listen to them bastardize the pagan faith and community. Pagans are called Satanists, “evil”, and are accused for the wrong in the world. It’s no wonder a majority of pagans refuse to discuss their beliefs with the general public.
Shadows and Light
Another argument is the core beliefs of Christianity don’t “jive” with the freedom and lack of dogma in paganism. The church teaches to live a righteous life, free of “sin” while paganism leaves morality to the individual. Sin to the Christian is liberation to the pagan. For instance, sex outside of marriage is looked at as sin to the fundamentalist Christian, while the pagan may see sex as a form of self-expression in a patriarchal society. The same goes for drinking, dancing, and more! Pagans often embrace the light and the “dark” aspect of nature and humanity – the moon, the darkness, wild creatures, shadow work. While Christians preach to engage with the light only.
Thou Shalt Not Suffer…
A bible verse that’s quoted often when someone claims to be a “Christian witch” is from Exodus 22:18: “thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.” So if the Bible says to kill witches, then surely witches shouldn’t claim a religion that wants them dead. Right? We will examine this bible verse further in the section below. There are many examples of how Paganism and Christianity shouldn’t be blended. On the other side, there are strong arguments to back up the path of Christopaganism.
Support for Christopaganism and Christian Witchcraft
While the argument against Christopaganism and Christian witchcraft has its strengths, it also has weaknesses. I bashed Christianity years ago, and a friend of mine corrected me and said – “Christianity is Paganism.” I was confused at first, but once I began studying the history of Christianity, it became clear. Christianity started as a small cult, just like the various pagan pantheons. All of the world’s major religions started as a cult. Also, if you read the Old Testament, you’ll find they’re God has many names. Those names were originally for different gods that were merged into one (El, Yahweh, El Shaddai, Etc.)
Our Holidays ARE Pagan
How about the holidays? All major modern Christian holidays were originally pagan. For example, Christmas. Historically, Jesus wasn’t born in December. Nor was he born in the Winter. The church celebrates Jesus’ birth in December because the winter solstice marked the return of the sun…the “birth of the sun“. To Christians, it’s the birth of the Son of God. There were other old pagan gods whose births were celebrated in the Winter including the Roman god Mithras. Easter is always scheduled for the Sunday after the first full moon following the Vernal (Spring) Equinox. The renewal of the Earth was celebrated on the Spring Equinox in pagan times, and so it was only natural to put the resurrection of Christ near the same time.
The Trinity & Triple Deities
We could compare the trinity of God to the trinity of the old gods and goddesses: the Morrigan, Brigid, Hecate, Cliodhna, etc. And as for that pesky bible verse that always rears its ugly head “thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.” This is a fairly new interpretation of an ancient Hebrew word of which no one alive knows the original meaning. Scholars debate whether the word “witch” was originally herbalist or poisoner.
I could go on and on about how Christianity’s roots are pagan. At its roots, Christianity is Paganism, whether Christians or Pagans want to admit it or not. It’s just that Christianity is the most popular religion in the world today and Paganism isn’t.
Live and Let Blend
I say live and let live. I am not a Christian witch or Christopagan – I am pagan, pure and simple. However, I know from my years of study that Christianity is akin to Paganism. To the Pagans who bash Christians and Christopagans, I say – go read your religious history. Then they might say – but Christians killed Pagans when they refused to convert. To that I answer, yes, but Pagans killed each other before the church rose to power. Then Christians killed each other when Martin Luther split from the Catholic Church.
People have been killing each other over religion for centuries, but religion wasn’t their core motive. Religion is just a means to justify the ends. And so if someone wants to blend two seemingly-clashing religions together to further their spiritual growth, I say GO FOR IT. Blending Christian and Pagan beliefs and gods shouldn’t be a difficult task…if you truly know your history.
Read More on Christian Witchcraft and Christopaganism:
- ‘The Path of a Christian Witch’ by Adelina St. Clair
- ‘Jesus Through Pagan Eyes’ by Townsend, Fox, and Erskine
- ‘Christopaganism: An Inclusive Path’ by the Higginbothams
- ‘Confessions of Pagan Nun’ by Kate Horsley