Can you be a
Christian and a Witch???
Dawn Thebarge Hill
This is a question
I get a lot when I teach Intro to Wicca. My answer is, " Of course you can be anything you want to be!" Although I know there
are many out there that disagree with me the reasons I feel this way are not really all that complicated.
I have heard
the debate rage from both sides of the fence. The Christian community is on one side and the Pagan community on the other.
"How can you be Christian and a witch?" "Christian Witch is an oxymoron." "There's no such thing as a Christian Witch! You
can't be both." "Christian Witches are wannabe witches." "You can't be a real Christian and a Witch." "You can't be a real
Witch and Christian." "If someone calls themselves a Christian Witch it is just because they can not face facts." " They just
say that so people will accept them," etc. Well, I hate to burst anyone's bubble (and you are definitely entitled to your
opinion), however, if you look at the true definition of Witch you will see that it is not an impossibility to be both.
from the Anglo-Saxon wicce which derives from an Indo-European root word meaning to bend or change. To me, and to many pagans
out there, a Witch is a person who moves, changes or bends energy/ Therefore, ANYONE, who moves, bends or changes energy is
a Witch. So if you are a Christian, Satanist, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, Pagan, Druid, Wiccan, Shaman, or any other faith, and
you move or bend energy you can consider yourself a Witch. The problem comes when we equate all Witches. This is not only
wrong to do, but unfair to those who are practicing the differing forms of Witchcraft. You would never lump all Catholics,
Baptists or Protestants together. They have differing beliefs but still consider themselves Christian. This is how many witches
feel. They are practicing different religious doctrines but are still moving, bending and changing energy and consider themselves
So, you may ask,
if they are "true" Witches, why don't they just forget about their Christian beliefs and embrace those Pagan traditions that
they seem to be drawn to? Why do they continue to straddle the fence on the issue? The answer is, that while there are definitely
Christian beliefs that they no longer personally believe, there also many beliefs and rituals that they find helpful in finding
and communicating with their sense of the Divine.
In all honesty,
my concern isn't really about the validity of calling one's self a Christian Witch, or whether anyone does or does not believe
in this term. It is about the reaction of many people in the Pagan community to those that use the term. Aren't they
allowed to call themselves whatever they want? No one needs your judgment because they decided to be part of a spiritual path
that doesn't make sense to you. Is that not one of the reasons so many of us get aggravated at people who preach to us? They
do not believe we can or should do what we want to do and that is unacceptable to us. The same can be said to those of you
who say to the Christian Witches that they cannot be both.
There seems to
be a belief among some Pagans that one needs to completely renounce all things remotely considered Christian in order to be
a "real" Pagan. Why is this? If there are things that still work for them then why shouldn't they keep them as part of their
spirituality? So long as they are causing no harm to themselves or others why does it matter to you? Most of us come to our
Pagan path from a Christian one, and no matter how much we want to deny it, it is extremely difficult to rid one's self completely
of all Christian beliefs, ritual and structure after having them indoctrinated in us for most of our lives. It has made us,
in some way, the persons we are right in this moment. If these folks see fit to embrace that part of their lives then I say
let them do so in peace and with acceptance. This is not an "Us against Them" issue. It is about accepting and being accepted
for who we are and not the label that is on us.