I’m actually not sure where to start with this. There is so much that would need to be taken apart and examined from so many different angles. Let’s give it a shot though. Can someone be a Christian Witch?
From my own examination, which I am noting below (some of it anyway), I would have to say no, they cannot be put together, however, can you be a Christian Magician or even a Christian Pagan? Sure, because that can involve a different worldview to that of the Witch.
If you look into some of the older folk magic then you will find many inclusions of Christianity and the mention of God, Mary and Jesus, especially in the charms (see below). Look into the old healing arte of leechcraft from the Anglo Saxons. Have a look into the practices of Hoodoo with the inclusion of the Saints and the Christian Bible. While you are doing that, take a look at what these practitioners call themselves. In old folk magic they were Christians, not Witches, or they may have referred to themselves as Cunning Folk, Green Gowns, or other such terms. In Hoodoo we find Rootworkers and Conjure Doctors, but not Witches. Although the word “witch” has become a blanket term, and everyone is calling themselves a Witch nowadays, that doesn’t mean they understand what it means to be a Witch, there is an entire worldview that goes along with it, and we can’t always marry those worldviews.
Father, Son, Holy Ghost,
Bitten sall they be
Wha have bitten thee!
Care to their near vein,The Foresworn Water charm traditional to Orkney
Until thou get’st they health again,
Mend thou in God’s name!
You may have heard the saying that Witchcraft is not a religion, it is a Craft, and so we could technically plug Witchcraft into any person’s personal practice. We also have the view that, especially in this current, modern time, that Witchcraft has become a blanket term for many practices, just as Paganism once was, and still very much is, however Witchcraft seems to have taken the spotlight in this regard. This is probably due to the widespread use of the term Wicca which, being Neo-Wicca, is rather different to Initiatory Wicca.
For this reason we find that someone can take any religion and add the technologies of Witchcraft to it, hence, people proclaiming to Christian Witches, i.e. taking the religion of Christianity and adding the technology or craft of Witchcraft, just like so many have done with Wicca, whereby Wicca is the religious aspect. After all, “every Wiccan is a Witch, but not every Witch is a Wiccan,” right? However, that doesn’t always ring true, not every Wiccan will call themselves a Witch.
The problem is that we need to examine worldviews. The worldview of a Christian and a Witch are so vastly different, that to try to combine them is like trying to force a square peg into a round hole.
The number one square peg/round hole scenario here is monotheism vs polytheism. You cannot take Christianity and make it into a polythestic religion, and you cannot take Witchcraft and force it to be monotheistic, its literally impossible. You also cannot make monotheism into polytheism or vice versa, no matter how you try to spin it. If you do, you might create something new, but then you should also call it something different. I could end this right here and just say “I rest my case”, but that isn’t going to be enough for a lot of people. So, let’s examine it.
I did come across some books on Christian Witchcraft, three in particular, two of them are complete trash, but the third was a little more mature, by Adelina St. Clair called The Path of a Christian Witch. This book did look into the combination of these two paths rather well, however it is heavily influenced by Neo-Wicca and Eclectic Witchcraft. One of the main problems with her argument was when she mentions that she chose her god and goddess to be Jesus of Nazareth and Mary of Magdelene. According to Christian doctrine, this can’t happen, for “you shall have no other gods before me.” It’s really as simple as that. By stating that Jesus is her god, she is plain and simply going against the word of her own God, and although I have no problem with that at all, it is no longer Christianity that she would be following. If your argument is that the Christian god is loving and kind, then you really need to examine Christianity, because you are not following the Christian god, and I say, there is nothing wrong with admitting that. Follow your loving and kind god, but ask yourself if you still want to identify with Christianity. I personally don’t like the term Christianity to denote the Teachings of Christ, as the religion has become something different. I would rather use the terms Churchianity or Paulianity but we seem to be stuck with it.
As I said, I have no problem with this. There was also mention of recognizing God within nature and celebrating that. All good, but then we need to examine what God is in this regard, and when properly analyzed, again, this is no longer the Christian god. If you follow Witchcraft you are dealing with many gods. If you follow Christianity, you cannot deal with many gods, only one, and according to the Christian Law, that is it, no arguments, no more thoughts on the matter. As soon as you step beyond that, its not Christianity.
Now, although I found the other two books to be complete garbage, what was evident is that the authors had no idea what Withcraft actually is. In fact apart from the mention of “Witchcraft” in the beginning of the book, one of them only used the word “magic” throughout. There are various meditations mentions, the use of spellwork, and such things, under the framework of “magic”, but is that Witchcraft? No, it is not. Sure, we use magic in Witchcraft, but we also use magic in Ceremonial Magick and a variety of other paths which are not Witchcraft. And here is one of the problems. Witchcraft has become a blanket term for anyone following a spiritual path that uses magic and spellwork, however, there is more to it than that. Unfortunately not many people want to challenge their own perceptions or worldviews in order to examine that further. In case you are interested, the other two books I mention are The Basics of Christian Witchcraft by Charlz Angel and The Christian Witch by Albertus Crowley. Quite honestly it felt like I was reading Christian porpoganda that was written to get people straying from the flock to find their way back and say that its ok what they are practicing, as long as you follow the word of Jesus Christ, without trying to force them to see it their way. It’s pure trickery.
Actually, let’s take this apart a little more. Let’s have a look at a quote from The Christian Witch:
“As a Christian Witch, you ought to realize the truth that you have no power of your own, and all powers and graces that are given to you by God, you also surrender to God at the same time.”
Now, consider what that entails for a Witch. You are told that you do not have any power, that magic itself is not used to alter your circumstances through conformity of your own Will. That you are subject to a superintelligence and you have no choice. That you have no power and everything that happens to you is a result of this superintelligence.
This gives you no free will to begin with, which is against what Christians tell us to begin with. It means that magic itself is completely useless, if we are to understand what magic really is. So although you may think you are removing yourself from the grips of the Christian religion, you are just jumping over the fence to the churchyard next door, and nothing changes.
But coming back to worldviews. Where are you going to go when you die? Can’t go to Heaven because that’s not part of the Witch worldview. Can’t go to any Witch afterlife because that’s not part of the Christian worldview. Oh, sorry, did you not think this far ahead? Ok, let’s think a bit more immediate.
Witchcraft is immersed in this existence. Although we speak of the Other Worlds, part of those Other Worlds is this reality that we find ourselves in. It encompasses the spiritual and the profane. Witches honor the flesh as much as the Spirit. There is no separation from them, they are all part of existence. Christian worldview separates them. We are to remove ourselves from this sinful world and move toward a god which is removed from it, as it says in Romans 12:2, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind”.
We can have a look at the World Tree, and if we consider the three worlds of Heaven, Earth and Hell to be a World Tree, it doesn’t match up with that of any other tradition especially that of the Witch which holds the Underworld as the place where our Dead go and where we find our Ancestors. It’s not the Christian Hell, and the two maps are too diverse to even consider relating.
On the topic of the Beloved Dead, what of reincarnation? The Christian worldview is one of a straight line. We are born, we live, we die and go to Heaven. The Witch worldview is a cycle. We are born, we live, we die, we become Ancestor, we are born, we live, we die, we become Ancestor, we are born…….
There are just so many things within the two worldviews that are completely opposed. Finding similarities such as saying that Christ is the Morning Star and the Lightbringer and is therefore a lucifer, or saying that there are three Worlds in both. Taking the Saints, Christ, Mary the Mother and Mary of Magdelene, John the Baptist and all of the Biblical figures and making them your Pantheon. All of these things can be quite valid, but you are then removing yourself from Christianity because within that religion, Christ cannot be a lucifer, the three Worlds incorporate a Christian Hell which is not part of Witchcraft, creating a Pantheon starts to become something different to monotheism.
Maybe you want to reinvent your Christianity, and that is great, I’d probably help you with that, but you won’t be able to call it Christianity anymore, just as combining an apple and an orange becomes something different. Rename it, reinvent it, and considering the name Christianity has made for itself, the tarnish that it has gotten, I personally wouldn’t want to place myself in that camp anymore.
Having said all of that, you are free to do whatever you wish. This is all just my personal opinion. However, I hope it will make you think a little deeper than just the surface level. Just because everyone is calling themselves a Witch now doesn’t mean they all understand what that means. Just because Christ’s Teachings were and are valuable, doesn’t mean those claiming to follow those teachings, calling themselves Christ’s Followers and Christians, actually are.