Miscellaneous

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:

  1. ‘The Path of a Christian Witch’ by Adelina St. Clair
  2. ‘Jesus Through Pagan Eyes’ by Townsend, Fox, and Erskine
  3. ‘Christopaganism: An Inclusive Path’ by the Higginbothams
  4. ‘Confessions of Pagan Nun’ by Kate Horsley

Is Christopaganism a legitimate path? How about Christian witchcraft?

22 Comments

  1. Gunnar

    April 10, 2020 at 9:34 am

    Wanted to add to my previous comment: if some modern Pagans want to blend Pagan practices and concepts that were never blended historically, go for it, I wasn’t knocking that. I was illustrating that blending elements of Christianity and Paganism – which DOES have historical precedence – is no different. I’d also point out that the very word “religion” comes from the Latin word, “religio” (hard “g”). “Religio” means, “to rebind, to reconnect”. To what? To God/the Gods, but also to one another and to our ancestors – to what came before. Religion is in part, “tradition”. My Norse ancestors for several centuries honored the Christ and Pagan deities together, and even after Christianity became the accepted religion, the memory of the old Gods and their deeds persisted. Look at ancient stave churches in Scandinavia and you’ll see a crucifix over the altar, and the images of one eyed Odin and Thor and Freya carved, painted, or woven elsewhere. My Norwegian ancestors honored Pagan/heathen Gods and Goddesses, then honored Heathen and Christian deities, then honored the Christian God and the saints. ALL of these people worked and sweated and bled and sacrificed and I am part of the end result. I am beholden to all of them, not only to my Pagan ancestors; I connect with them and with the Great Ones above and with us when I worship as they did. It’s as simple as that.

  2. Gunnar

    April 10, 2020 at 9:11 am

    1. Many ancient Pagans DID honor the Christ, either as a main deity or as one of many. I will agree that one cannot be a good MAINSTREAM Catholic for example while honoring Pagan Gods as well, but think outside the box for a minute: early Christianity had DIVERSITY. Look at Christo-Paganism in that light.

    2. Paganism and Christianity existed with overlap for several hundred years. Christianity didn’t evolve in a vacuum. It took cues from the Pagan world. Expressions like “good shepherd”, “son of God”, “virgin birth”, and others have Pagan origins. Pagans had rituals of baptism, concepts of “sin and atonement”, and dying and rising Gods. They also had “eucharists”: followers of Dionysus believed that the God was in the wine that they drank and that he WAS the wine. Followers of Mithras “consumed” that God in a ritual sacrament.

    3. Those who claim that the two are incompatible seem fixated on mainstream Christianity. The hate, dislike, or ignore it, yet QUOTE it when bashing Christo-Paganism. “You can’t do that because the Bible says…!” Why is mainstream Christianity only “true” when you want it to be? Good grief, look at modern day Paganism itself. It’s a mix of reconstruction, made up stuff, and syncretism. The latter was found in the ancient world. I know Pagans who worship the greek Goddess Athena – in a Navaho tipi – while shaking an Egyptian sistrum and chanting the Hindu “aum” and find this to be much more “egregious” than a Pagan honoring Christ or the Blessed Virgin along with other deities because the latter has historical precedence!

    4. Mainstream Christianity wasn’t always the “norm” for Christians. Remember the Gnostics? Other groups that were quashed by what became the officially sanctioned church? Many early Christians saw Christianity as being the logical CONCLUSION to centuries of Pagan thought and practice, not the enemy of it. They looked at Pagan teachings as being harbingers of the Christ, pointing the way. Even before Christianity became “the religion”, Greek Pagan scholars for example were embracing henotheism: the belief that there were many Gods, but that one ruled over all and that all of the Gods and Goddesses acted in concert with an underlying unity! Not monotheism but darn close.

    Again, it makes no sense to me that Pagans – who reject mainstream Christian teachings that say that Paganism is wrong or sinful – will quote other mainstream Christian teachings to prove that a blending of Christianity and Paganism is also wrong. Then again, picking and choosing does seem to be the modus operandi for many modern Pagans. If it feels good, do it, chant “aum” while you worship Athena and Cernunnos with a Native American peace pipe and juju beads – but God/Gods help those who dare to honor Christian deities alongside Pagan ones.

  3. Karrie

    September 22, 2019 at 1:24 pm

    I am a Christian drawn too Pagan path.. I am still learning the path. I am tired of Christians saying Pagan path is evil to control ol people.

  4. Angela

    August 23, 2019 at 4:47 pm

    I have so many questions do you have a social media link beside this page here….a group or anything?

  5. Ariana

    June 28, 2019 at 1:53 pm

    I know fully well that the author ment absolutely no harm by this title so that’s why I’m directing this towards people who don’t think that my path is valid. First off let’s just say my path is whatever the fuck I choose it to be. For anyone who think that being a christian witch isn’t valid do your fucking research! That scripture is false and was never ment to be translated in the bible in the first place. The reason for that being translated in the bible was to keep Catholics in the Catholic church and to stop and or slow down the number of Catholics spreading to other branches of Christianity. I gathered this info from historians that studied that history of Christianity. Not only that but one of the many books that were taken out of the bible quotes jesus teaching his followers to use the power of the mind. Combing thought with emotion to manifest our desires. Yes Jesus taught us that but guess what that was taken a out of the bible. Sounds familiar does it? That’s the book of Thomas if any christian witch want to read up on that. To others knowledge is just a click away use it!

    1. admin

      June 30, 2019 at 2:50 pm

      Did you read the article? The whole thing is backing up why they are legitimate paths.

  6. Michelle Cancél

    June 25, 2019 at 4:56 am

    Thank you for the article. I was raised a Christian and didn’t wanna give up MY beliefs but have always felt a pull for nature and felt God more thru nature than in a church. I believe in the magik in nature and have admired some of the traditions of Paganism and Wicca. I’ve always had an open mind and lately have identified as just spiritual. Its encouraging to know that this is a “thing”. I will have to read up more on it and I lends me to believe I’m not alone or crazy

    1. sheila collins

      April 18, 2021 at 7:06 pm

      I agree. Ive identified as Christian all my life. And yet,
      I’m drawn to aspects of Paganism. Mine is nature, herbs and crystals and rituals. I wish that everyone could co exist.

    2. Vee

      July 17, 2021 at 9:39 am

      Love your comment 💗

  7. Christianity's Pagan Roots: Traditions, Practices and Holidays

    May 21, 2019 at 5:04 pm

    […] The roots of Christianity are pagan, and so I beg to differ with those who argue you can’t be Christian and pagan. Read on to learn more about Christianity’s pagan traditions, holidays and […]

  8. Ithildis

    April 22, 2019 at 5:16 pm

    Interesting article 🙂
    Just one small addition/correction… Easter only is celebrated around the spring equinox because early Christians celebrated the Resurrection of Christ around the Jewish Pesach/Passover… and this normally is celebrated on a full moon night after the northern vernal equinox…
    I do agree with you that Christianity has some roots in paganism… (just look at Catholic customs in the Alps, e.g. ) … but there are many symbols and customs that also derive from Judaism…

  9. Veronica Evers

    March 27, 2019 at 10:52 am

    I practice Christian Wicca and there is so much to learn. I didn’t want to lose my Christian faith but I love the way I can use nature and express myself through Wicca. It’s such a beautiful thing!

    1. admin

      March 27, 2019 at 11:16 am

      Veronica – It IS a beautiful thing! Keep following your heart.

    2. Charlotte Susanne Arena

      June 29, 2019 at 5:21 am

      Hi Veronica
      How do you do that, I am struggling? Thanks

    3. Christine A Bullock

      July 10, 2019 at 12:57 am

      Would love to talk with you further. Just beginning my journey.

    4. Anonymous

      August 19, 2019 at 6:18 pm

      There are more of us then you think! I am strughling to find other Christian witches to form a community with. Not like you can bring this up at Sunday dinner for most of us.

  10. Alisha Keffer

    February 4, 2019 at 1:51 am

    There is also Christians who practice witchcraft. There religious beliefs fall somewhere within the Christian spectrum. There is a lot under that tent, but it is has.been pitched. Beliefs and practices are completely different and can also be intertwined.

  11. Crowharp

    December 7, 2018 at 3:51 pm

    There is an intersect between paganism and my specific Christian faith that I cherish; in the scriptural Doctrine of my LDS faith, the earth and all of its components were created spiritually before they were created physically. All things have a spirit – people, plants, trees, animals, fungi, oceans, the very rocks. The places where we intersect are places of pure truth. I just love that, and the connectedness which it can engender in us all. 💙

  12. Moonsparkle (ZM)

    November 17, 2018 at 10:37 pm

    Interesting article. I’ve heard of Christian witchcraft but didn’t know much about it. Thanks for explaining more about it, and Christopaganism. I agree that people have the right to practise as Christopagan if that feels right to them. 🙂

    1. admin

      November 18, 2018 at 1:40 pm

      Moonsparkle – Yes! Thank you!

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