Heathen's Lair

Can you be a Christian and a Witch???

Alter Setup
Past, Present, Future
Make A real difference come out of the broom closet
Bringing ritual into your every day life
America is under Attack!!
A Christian Speaks of Wicca and Witchcraft
The Goddess
The Old Ones Live in New Things Too
The Quest For Power
The Religious Experience: A Wiccan Viewpoint
The Rose
The Skeptical Witch
There Are More Religions in America Than Just Christianity
This Shall Not Be!
To Heal or Not to Heal?
Values in the Balance
Views of Deity
We Are the Other People
Weight of the World
What is drawing down the moon and how do you do it?
Where Did Magick Originate?
Wicca: It's Traditions and Concepts
Wicca and Body Image
Wiccan Basics - What is Magick?
The Celtic Vedic Connection
The Dichotomy Between Sex and Faith
The First Congregational Church of Wicca[credits]
The Fundamentalist's Problem[credits]
The God of the Witches
The 'W' Word (Witch), What Does it Mean?
The Delicate Balance of Pagan Ethics
Safety With Herbs in Healing and Magick
So What is a Blue Moon
Spiritual Conception
Synaesthesia: The Crossing of the Senses
Talking to Goddess
Saturday Morning Cartoons Aren't Pagan-Friendly
Polyamory: Loving Unlimited
Principles of Wiccan Belief
Responses to Nasty Fundies
Ritual - Expression of Will, Art and Creativity
Ritual and Ritual Preparation
Rituals, invocations and sacred space
Pledge to Pagan Spirituality
Irish Witches
Jesus Christ! Youre acting like one of those Christians
Magick and Science
Modern Pagan Persecutions
Music and Magic
Namaste - Meaning and Usage
Nipping Trouble in the Bud: Community and Child Custody Issues Affecting Heathens
Obedience: On Being Sheep
On the heaviness of weight
Our Pagan Village: The Importance and Persuit of Honor
Pagan Fundamentalists
Pagan Musings
Pagan Mythology
Pagan Sexuality and Sexual Freedom
How to find a Coven or Group
Howling at the Moon!
I am Pagan
In Nomine Babalon: Sacred Whoredom in a Thelemic Context
Ethics In Magick
Experiences of a Pagan Practicing Pranic Healing
From Agape to Praxis: The Fourfold Nature of Love
From Self-Doubt to Self-Assurance: The Inner Journey of The Fool
Grounding and Shielding
Healing Routine: How to setup a Healing Ritual
Ethics Or Etiquette
Everyday is Sacred
Crossing Lines
Descent Into Confusion
Disease and The Creative Process in Magick
Can you be a Christian and a Witch???
Creative Visualization and Wicca
Can You Bhoga All Night Long?
Consciousness & Politics
Children of the Gods
Building Shadows
Blood Sacrifice
Chingle Hall
Chinese Dragons
Absent Healing
All One People
An Earth Religion
An Open Letter To The Pagan Community
An Opinion on Magick
An Overview of Clairvoyance
Are there such things as White Witches?
Christianity vs. Paganism: Why?
Come Out Come Out Wherever You Are!
Coming Out as a Witch at Work
Coming Out of the Broom Closet
Asatru, an Ancient Religion Reborn
Aspects of Religion: A Wiccan Viewpoint
Comming Out
Bambi Pagans
A cup of Hemlock
Astronomy in Ancient Civilisations
Being Jewish And Wiccan { One Women's View }

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Can you be a Christian and a Witch???

Dawn Thebarge Hill 2001




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.

Witch" comes 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 Witches.

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.