Is Christian witchcraft a thing? Can a Christian be a witch?
Wow, what sticky questions!
The article below tackles this controversial and widely misunderstood issue.
I wanted to know how both Christian and metaphysical communities receive them, whether or not they accept their practice and how they handle the inevitable conflicts.
So, I went on a mission to find self-proclaimed Christian witches and magical practitioners.
This is what they had to say.
The Christian Witch
When I ask Violet Mavrick*, a self-described Christian witch, what she struggles with most in her practice, she echoes the sentiments of many people like her.
“It’s very difficult. There’s not really a safe spot for us besides Christian Witch [sic] groups. I think a lot of us struggle deep down with wondering if God is ok with the magic we feel inside.”
I ask her how she is received by the wider, more mainstream Christian community.
“Almost all Christians will take issue with you in some form or fashion if you use the word ‘witch’ to describe yourself,” Violet points out.
Many more felt trapped or rejected by both worlds.
Ask a group of non-Christian witches how they feel about the integration of Christianity with the practice of witchcraft, and you’ll get a variety of answers.
Some are supportive.
Others are not.
Organized witchcraft is, in large part, made up of folks who left the Christian church, often bitterly, to take up the Craft.
Some of them resent the intrusion of Christian practitioners in their community, where they feel threatened by the very theology they left for witchcraft.
But how does that theology square with witches who still live by it?
Witchcraft, The Bible and a Linguistic Game of Telephone
There are a handful of passages in the Bible that directly address the practice of witchcraft.
Nearly all of them condemn it outright.
So that’s the end of the matter, then, right? Hypocrisy in Christian witchcraft must be unavoidable.
Not so fast, says Amber Long of Portland, Oregon.
Amber is something of a biblical prodigy. She taught herself Aramaic (the language of Jesus) as well as Hebrew.
A self-described Christian mystic and magical practitioner, she spent years decoding the “witchcraft problem” in Christianity.
She explained to me that the specific meaning of the word witchcraft as it is used in the Bible differs greatly from the modern understanding.
Specifically, the Bible terms witchcraft:
-Killers who use poison or malignant toxins to murder people.
-Women who use spoken words or incantations to curse others.
Let’s talk about the first one, because it’s the easiest one to knock out.
Very few people in the modern, mainstream witchcraft culture would disagree that someone who poisons another person to deliberately cause death or injury is anything but a criminal sociopath.
This type of activity has nothing to do with folk or ritual magic.
It isn’t even technically witchcraft. It comes from a misunderstanding during Biblical times that poisons were magical potions with metaphysical properties, instead of neurotoxins that acted directly on the body’s biochemistry.
Now let’s talk about the second one. It’s a little more complicated. There are some indigenous and even modern witches who think curses are a thing.
But there are also lots of forms of witchcraft that stand strictly against this practice and find it morally repugnant.
Ethics and the practice of witchcraft are uniquely complicated by the many and varied personal codes of practitioners themselves.
Before you leap the conclusion that witchcraft is guilty merely by association, remember that a minority of Christians practice genital mutilation in Africa and a whole bunch of them went on a few pretty murderous rampages during the course of their history.
That doesn’t mean they represent you.
Sorcery in Biblical Texts
One of the main arguments of Christian witch groups centers on the idea that the Bible affirms the use of sorcery as often as it forbids it.
For example, the Old Testament pretty clearly condemns divination several times.
Numerous passages specifically address the use of “casting lots.”
However, even on this point, Biblical scripture isn’t entirely clear.
“Joseph had a divination cup,” Violet points out.
And according to Violet, that’s not the only way the Bible mirrors modern witchcraft.
For example: “Leviticus is a grimoire.”
And: “Numbers 5:11-29 has a ‘test for an adulterous wife,’ which is a straight up potion. You can’t get around it.”
I like the way Violet thinks.
More importantly, you don’t have to practice divination, mix potions or keep a grimoire to practice witchcraft, just like you don’t have to go to Sunday school to be a Christian. These things are merely elements of witchcraft.
And if you plan to skip this one based on these Old Testament passages, you may also want to:
-Stop eating cheeseburgers (Exodus 23:19).
-Forget about Crab Fest at Red Lobster (Deuteronomy 14:9-10).
-Skip the keg stands in college (Deuteronomy 21:18-21).
-Tell your boss you can’t work this Sunday (Exodus 20:10).
-Swear off bacon. (Leviticus 11:7–8)
-Tear out your English garden. (Leviticus 19:19)
-Get rid of all the polyblends in your closet (Leviticus 19:19—-and you should really do that one any way).
Plus a whole bunch of other stuff that has little relevance in modern life.
“Okay, I accept that what the Bible calls witchcraft isn’t the same as what modern witches mean by that term. And I’ll skip the divination just to be safe. But my religion tells me that I can’t practice other religions. Isn’t witchcraft a religion?”
Witchcraft isn’t a “religion” any more than prayer is a “religion.” Witchcraft is a component of many religions, and I would argue, it’s already part of yours.
Exorcisms, saying the rosary, maintaining an altar, and keeping religious icons and statuary all have direct implications in witchcraft.
Every time you say, “In the name of Jesus,” you are evoking your god like any good witch.
We need to dispel this idea that we’re so drastically different from each other.
What we have in common is far more striking that what is different about us.
“My friend is a witch, and she says I can’t be one, because witches don’t believe in Jesus.”
With all due respect, your friend is an idiot.
She is both ignorant about Christianity, and apparently about her own practice.
Somewhere along the way, she mistook the Craft for a religion with a centralized doctrine. It’s not.
Your friend has no right to tell you that you can’t be a witch, because she has no religious authority to do so.
Her statement makes as much sense as saying “charity work is only for Catholics” or “you can’t keep an altar if you’re not Hindu.”
You may want to point out to her that lots of witches practice forms of magic that borrow heavily from the Christian tradition, and vice versa.
(This cross-cultural interplay makes for some fascinating spiritual traditions, by the way. Particularly with respect to Central American and Caribbean witchcraft).
She can say, “you can’t be a Wiccan” or “you can’t be Druid.” Because those are specific spiritual traditions that run contrary to your faith.
But she can’t say “You can’t be a witch.”
That’s up to you.
“My clergy says witchcraft is forbidden in any form.”
That’s between you and your clergy. I am not going to get in the middle there because:
1. I am not an expert on theology in every form of Christianity.
2. Ultimately, you have to decide what’s right for you.
If it makes you uncomfortable, or it feels “naughty,” ask yourself why this is.
Is it because you really have strong convictions against the actual practice?
Or is it because you have been conditioned to cringe at a word you may not even be able to clearly define?
Witchcraft isn’t for everyone. And I’m not saying it’s for you. I’m just saying, if you found yourself reading this (and especially if you’ve made it this far), you clearly have a curiosity.
Whether you choose to do something about it or not, curiosity and openness are good things. Kudos to you for thinking outside the constrains of tradition. It takes bravery and courage to ask the hard questions.
Interviews with Amber Long
*Interviews with Violet Mavrick (not her real name)
Witchcraft is a practice within Earth based religions. It is a re-linking with the life force of nature, both on this planet and in the stars and space beyond. Witches are women and men who gather on the new and full Moons and at festival times to join energy and bring themselves in tune with these natural forces. They honor the old Goddesses and Gods, including the Triple Goddess of the Moon and the Horned God of the Sun and the spirits of the animals as visualizations of transcendent nature. If these concepts are not a part your religious belief system then you cannot consider yourself as practicing the basic credos associated with witchcraft.
Witchcraft offers the model of a religion of poetry, not theology. It presents metaphors, not doctrines, and leaves open the possibility of reconciliation of science and religion, of many ways of knowing.” “Witchcraft offers the model of a religion of poetry, not theology. It presents metaphors, not doctrines,and leaves open the possibility of reconciliation of science and religion,
However, the main and may I say, obvious point is that given the Christian Biblical condemnation of witchcraft saying you are a Christian Witch is the equivilant of saying you are a Jewish Nazi.
“They honor the old Goddesses and Gods, including the Triple Goddess of the Moon and the Horned God of the Sun and the spirits of the animals as visualizations of transcendent nature. If these concepts are not a part your religious belief system then you cannot consider yourself as practicing the basic credos associated with witchcraft.””
With all due respect, the term “Triple Goddess” and “the Horned God” is god-form specific to modern revival of neo-European witchcraft.
It’s absurd to say that if those concepts are not part of your “credos,” you’re not really witch.
The idea that only white Europeans can practice witchcraft based on the revival of gods from pre-Christian, white, European culture grossly disregards huge swaths of witchcraft practitioners in the Caribbean, Asia, Africa, Central and South America—many of whom blend Christian theology with indigenous magical practices.
I’d be very careful about casually throwing around the term “Jewish Nazi.”
That is your narrow view of witchcraft. Lose the dogma, and realize that it existed to the beginnings of humanity, not just after Gerald Gardner made it cool and the “Me” generation filtered it through the lense of the new age movements.
Well oh my…
Ok..I was “raised” Christian, but there was little church going…My paternal grandmother would take me now and again…I asked her question and she would try to find answers for my questions, but as a native American, she had thoughts of her own…She never spoke against the church, even though one branch threw her out when she was discovered wearing pants that belonged to her deceased husband when plowing her farm as she struggled to raise and feed 9 children…Instead she just found a new church that accepted her…
As her natural culture was different, she was always doing things that were questionable, had others been witness to her practices…
My maternal grandmother was of the mind she was reincarnated and had psychic abilities…So…at the tender age of 5, I was forming my own understanding of the mystics….
Now..as far as any religion..all written accounts and all dogma..are human made…Yep…None can be entirely correct or complete…As practitioners of witchcraft..many folks use Gods/Goddesses from many different cultures…I believe the basic tenements of each religion has some profound truths…With that in mind I have no problem accepting the Jehovah or Jesus or Mary…They hold the same respect as other deities…It is the humans that have bastardized the message..for power..from fear…
Just as you would be selective in what food you eat for your body..so too, you should be selective of the moral compass you hold and that may be an amalgamation of many beliefs…I would counsel others to seek the base message to learn the nature of any belief and toss out what centuries of politics by man and the dogma they imposed…
I wish you the best of mental health and long lived happiness…???
I greatly appreciate the research you dived into for this article. As a self proclaimed Christian Witch (or Christian Mystic, or Spiritual Christian, or what ever my path is called), I am hit with a lot of questions like the ones above. I believe that my spiritual path has made my connection with God deeper than it other wise would have been. Plus my path has changed some of my pagan friends’ minds about Christians. They don’t assume that all Christians hate them and are mean. That is win in my book.
Merry meet Aubree…
I can appreciate the fullness of your newly developed spiritualism…As in my comment earlier..I believe there is truly a oneness to the source..with multi-faceted personalities…There has always been a beginning and all comes of that…Whether you call on Hekete or Morgana or Jesus…They all are parts of the whole…
If a person ascribes to plants or deities the power to aid..they are touching the source…Once the human factor is removed from any religion..the message can be attained…
I personally have an affinity to plants/herbs..crystals/minerals..heavenly bodies/astrology..tarot and runes…As a youngster I battled my claire-audience..hearing…I was assailed by the torment of this world…After I committed to work with the forces..the cacophony subsided and now I seldom have the pains of the rabble…
I am glad that there has been acceptance in some of your friends..it’s a hard road…May all good things come to your door..???…???
Maybe it’s because it’s 2020, but I’ve found an interest in this kind of thing recently after being dead-set against it ever since I became a Christian as a teenager.
One of my biggest questions is this:. Does it work? Does it really gel with what the Bible says? Or are we exploring a sinful side to ourselves because we are fascinated by this stuff, and don’t want to admit the truth?
I’m not trying to start an argument; I’m legitimately looking for answers. Solid ones. Not feel-good ones.
Thus far, every time I read articles like this trying to argue that certain things God ordained are actually sorcery or magic or something, I feel like it’s a really bad interpretation and misunderstanding of scripture. There’s a huge difference between God’s instruction and whatever this is. There’s a difference between relying on and praying to God for help, and having faith in Him, and having faith in some earthly force that doesn’t care about you. (That includes planets, stars, the sun, and the moon.) It just seems odd to me.
What’s worse, I can’t get a clear answer as to what a Christian witch is suppised to believe. What’s the ‘witch’ part? Burning sage? Using tarot cards? Wearing a pointy hat? I’m very confused!
Fo Christian witches believe that Jesus is the Christ? That God is God alone, and that any other dieties are fake? Or is it a (bad) attempt to fold Christ in other with separate belief systems as an additional deity ir prophet?
I would love some direct answers. All this ‘it’s whatever you want it to be!” stuff is getting in my last nerve. I get it, and I understand it, but it’s like cottin candy: all fluff and sweetness, but no real nourishment, and it will probably give me a stomach ache and diabetes.
Someine give me some meat and potatoes on all this! Thanks.
(I am pretty new to this, so if there is any misinformation, please let me know!)
I do consider myself as a Christian witch. I use pendulums, tarot, oracles, crystals, and believe in the use of spells. Do keep in mind that most of us witches only perform spells with good intentions because we don’t want to involve ourselves with the effects of karma. We believe the use of tarot and oracles as only tools of guidance and does not have anything to do with Satan (as most of us are not Christian and Satan is based in Christianity). Pendulums, on the other hand, is put into effect only by our subconsciousness unless you ask for help from your higher self or spirit of highest good and compassion (we don’t want any negative energies!)
As for the Christian part, yes, I do believe in God. However, I do not think deities are fake. I think of them as a form of spirit and energy that is here as extra guidance and help to us. If you only worship God and only God, it would not be a sin.
In summary, most of us witches are not “evil” or “bad.” We are merely just very spiritually people that believe everything around us have energies and are just taking advantage of it. I hope this helps, and like I said, I am very new to this and have so much more to learn 🙂
I’m stuck in the middle. I want to do witchcraft again. It almost pains me to have quit the craft. I was very skilled and still find myself “drawn” in. I turned away thinking I was doing the right thing. I got rid of all of my stuff. I turned away and for 6 months now stayed on the path to Christ. I strongly believe in Christ. I feel like a failure. I’m stuck in the middle of this horrible war of both things I believe in. Even though I know that it does not matter my ancestors were pagan and many died for this. The part of my family were Christians. I do not know why I am writing this. I am sure you have no answers. But am I alone. Have you heard of someone like me?
I struggle hard and never have settled easily into the Christian Witch path though I have enjoyed and felt fulfilled by it many times. It just feels like who I really am. I try to reconcile biblical concepts with my witchy practices and of course I am also a “white witch” because I aim to please and serve the Lord God Almighty by doing good only. Maybe I should abandon the term “witch” since it is so controversial heavily tainted by historical bias. I liked the term “Christian Mystic” better. The solution I believe, is to explore other labels.
Christian Mystic here. Still learning.
I have often wondered if my decision to accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior was a decision I made for myself or to get those around me to just stop harassing me about it. But after sitting down, breathing, and really looking at things I came to some realizations.
I left an “abusive” relationship with what everyone was calling witchcraft and it’s dogma. I felt pressured to cast spells, perform rituals, and follow a strict sry of guidelines based on today’s mass interpretation of witches and witchcraft. I was exhausted, stressed, and feeling drained of all the things that made my life the beautiful thing I was blessed with.
After sitting down with an acquaintance after a Bible study I had been going to for close to a year, I was shown all the abuse I was under going. It made me realize that I was getting no joy from the dogma that I overlooked. So when I accept Christ, I did so with the intention of leaving the dogma and embracing an entity who simply wanted to love me, flaws and all.
Since taking on the Christian path, I struggled a bit with still having my beliefs that I’ve always had and I connect with my heritage of Irish/Scottish. Again, I had to sit back and really think and feel, listening closely to what I heard in my heart. And I did so with Jesus on my mind. I have found a peace in knowing that so long as I attribute the gifts I’m blessed with (aura reading, empathy, crystal, plant, and dream interpretation) to God, I’m honoring Him and what He has called me to do, which is help people. And things like oracle cards, tarot cards, pendulums, and things of the ilk are just ways to help us focus any messages we get from God. Or for me, the belief that the fae are just beings like us with extraordinary gifts and are not deities (you make your own belief of the fae is what I have heard from several sources), they can also help us receive and interpret messages from God.
Honestly though if you can say that you abide by the rule of doing no harm, loving people like Jesus would, being grateful for all of your blessings, and doing good deeds to further the teachings of peace, love, and salvation, then that’s all you need to say. We are all entitled to believe how we feel comfortable and it’s not right for anyone to tell you that you are wrong, demonic, sinful, or whatever. Just be a good person. It really can be that simple.
Thank you for this. I have some gifts that have long confused me , since I am a Christian. I have struggled to reconcile my gifts with what I have been taught to believe. I am learning to realize that all gifts are from God. I have them because He intended me to…for a purpose. Just not sure yet exactly what that purpose is. Your words are very encouraging to me and make me realize that I am not wrong, bad or crazy. What I have experienced is very real. Be blessed!!!