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Beginner With Questions About Combining Faith and Witchcraft

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Beginner With Questions About Combining Faith and Witchcraft

Postby PearlGirl » Fri Aug 03, 2018 9:32 pm

Hello! I'm very new to witchcraft and Wicca and have been exploring the forum for a week or two. I don't consider myself completely Christian or Wicca; I know they contradict each other. I grew up loosely Christian but never read the Bible or went to church much. I do believe in the one God and that there is a heaven and such. However I also believe that we have a closer relationship to Earth than we as living things know and that our energy can do a lot and with the right intention, can affect how we interact with the world.

I have read the Witchcraft and Wicca 101 forum and I'm having some trouble with bringing my beliefs together with what I have been seeing. For example, when discussing altars on SpiritTalker's "Getting Started" post I noticed a lot of discussion about Gods and Goddesses. I've also explored the Christian Witchcraft subforum and there seems to be some Christian witches. How do I combine my beliefs with witchcraft? I think my main interests are not so much in spells per se, but more in kitchen magick and the use of herbs, Tarot cards, crystals and such.
Thank you!
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Re: Beginner With Questions About Combining Faith and Witchc

Postby Shekinah » Fri Aug 03, 2018 10:00 pm

Polytheism seems contrary to the Christian monotheism but in reality it is not if we consider the Wicca Pantheon as numerous aspects of ONE Divinity (The Great Goddess) that is characteristically both male and female. The Wiccan chooses to communicate with the aspect of Spirit that best resonates with him/her. Cosmologically speaking we share a collective oneness in Spirit. "There is only an infinite expanse of unified awareness" (Spirit) & "We are not a lonely collection of separate minds trapped in separate bodies, moving through separate points in time." CIM In the words of Hermes "From one soul of the universe are all souls on countless worlds severally divided."

This is only my personal interpretation there probably are as many as there are Wiccans. :)
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Re: Beginner With Questions About Combining Faith and Witchc

Postby planewalker » Fri Aug 03, 2018 10:38 pm

I'm in the middle of threshing out a Buddism and it's coincidence with quantum physics. After all, we've had Werner Heisenberg, one of the founding fathers of quantum mechanics, and his meeting on the issue with Rabindranath Tagore, the Indian poet, and philosopher, in 1929. Later, the Austrian physicist Fritjof Capra popularised the connection between modern physics and mysticism through his groundbreaking book, The Tao of Physics (1975). We are the Universe become sentient and knowing itself. Drop over to PW Medicine Wheel Contact thread and we can talk religion and Philosophy. Religions, capital "R" religions, there certainly are a lot of them. Take your pick of which one, or none, is right for you. I think it's much more important to remember and exercise the little "r" part of religion. The good things of the human spirit. Things like honesty, forgiveness, charity, patience and caring. Remembering the intrinsic worth and equality of every human being. Striving to make the world a better place. Doing the r of religion isn't like those big showy sacrifices of R religions. Nope! Sorry! No free lunch. It's much harder. You probably won't have many who see it. It's an all the time thing. The only reward is knowing you did what was good and right and just maybe spiritually uplifting, whatever you consider that to be. It can be thankless and exhausting and sometimes you just want to say "Let somebody else do it!". We are all someones somebody else. You have to do all those things you learned when you were little. In case you've forgotten, in this frantically paced world, here's the start of a list. First, BE CIVIL! Work and play well with others. It's really no harder to be calm then it is to act like a screaming idiot bouncing up and down like a Chihauhau on speed. Second, PICK UP AFTER YOURSELF IN PUBLIC. Don't litter. Recycle if possible. I don't care if you have no shelves or clothes hangers at home because you find diving into a huge pile of stuff in the middle of the room to be a great adventure when you're looking for something. I don't have to step in it or trip over it. You see where this is going? We're all on the same page(screen) here. Have a smile and a kind word for someone who needs it, even if you're having the day from he!!. Have a hand to reach out to aid another even when your arm is tired. Be a friend to someone who doesn't have one but needs one. Be a bandage on a suffering bleeding world. That's the kind of religion I can live with.
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Re: Beginner With Questions About Combining Faith and Witchc

Postby SpiritTalker » Sat Aug 04, 2018 1:34 am

Nobody can tell another person how they should reconcile their beliefs. You must use your own critical thinking processes to satisfy yourself. It's danged hard work too. The most someone can do is share what works for them to relieve the anxiety of really not having a clue.

It'll make you crazy to debate cosmology, the creation principles. It comes down to what you can get your head around. I don't know about you but i think in pictures. A single gem can be cut and polished with many facets. Each facet could be thought of as an individual & separate image of the one stone. I keep it simple &'stop there. One stone/one creator. Many facets/the perception of multiple separate "beings".

I can entertain many different and opposing creation principles without having to believe any of them and also temporarily believe all of them. If we get stuck on thinking there is only one single way to conceive of a Creation-principle then we'd be limited to our own perception. Well, we are limited.

I wasn't raised with any religious practices but i was exposed to monotheism because that's the dominant belief in my culture &'it bleeds through; it surely influenced why I chose to be Christian when I got around to thinking about it. Before that, going back to around age 3, my earliest experience of "greater than myself" was as a psychic receiver & spirit-traveler which removes a lot of barriers to perception & impacts how I think. I can't not think in terms of psychic perception. Therefore I've always known by simple experience that I am not limited to my physical body. I already knew I'm soul-energy inside a body. That in turn impacts my thinking on god-things. Our perceptions are guided by our experiences.

I can entertain the Christ Consciousness as a principle as well as a Being of Splendor. I try to avoid being preachy. I am not Wiccan but I can write about what I understand of it (hopefully without offense). Wicca is a pagan religion that conceives of dual god-heads. It observes Nature. And Nature is abundant with duality (fe/male being just 1 obvious example) & dual forces of polarity which I'd barely touched on when writing about using balanced arrangements in altar layouts to make our magic work as less hit or miss & more direct hit.

Witchcraft is a practice not a religion. The word means the craft of a witch. A witch observes the principles in Nature & mimics them. We barely know how the human mind actually works but people figured out mimicking what is observed seems to get the job done.

Duality is just an observation of natural forces in motion. It's a perception. (-)/(+), 0/1, current off/current on, passive force/active force, night/day, black/white, death/life. And people noticed the ocean tides go out/come in with the moon & made a whole science out of just observing that planets move in a balanced way. And they observed energy flowing through the Earth & made a science of that too by constructing their temples where the lines of energy crossed. They figured out this energy makes crops grow & injuries heal. It brought "magical" life-force.

You mentioned not being interested so much in spells but in kitchen magic. A spell is just a recipe for influencing a desired effect. Kitchen magic also involves influencing a desired effect through the use of compatible properties. The use of Herbs & crystals involves combining properties of influence. It's all part of the same train. Tarot is a form of divination. How is divination even conceivable? Well, Nature has trends and cycles & by observing these we can discern a pattern & predict.

Experiencing that you're a part of Nature & not separate from it is the very meaning of witchcraft. What deity form you accept doesn't impair your ability to practice the Craft. You don't have to be pagan or Wiccan. You don't have to be a witch to do magic.

I've rambled. Dunno if that is at all what you were looking for.
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Re: Beginner With Questions About Combining Faith and Witchc

Postby Shekinah » Sat Aug 04, 2018 6:55 am

Good job SpiritWalker and Planewalker. Our social order is amok with serendipitous concepts of Religion ALL of which are erroneous. No need to choose, just begin again at the beginning and see what intuition conjures. Star Gate has ferreted from other worldly sources the reality of our origins, potential and ultimate destiny which unfortunately is a very inconvenient truth not to be known by the multitudes. What we believe and $5.00 will get us a cup of coffee. The wheel turns and we trod endlessly on each meandering towards unknown horizons. Belief and faith are of no account and represent only impediments. Be in tune with the infinite and perfect whatever attributes you have to make an indelible imprint in the Field of probability and potential. We are not minions of Religions but are Free to go and do as we will.
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Re: Beginner With Questions About Combining Faith and Witchc

Postby Lady_Lilith » Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:32 am

Hermeticism started combining Christianity and paganism, they do the all gods are aspects of God. In Ancient Christianity, Jesus was depicted with a wand, using it to perform "miracles", as it were. Seems pre-church Christians were not actually against magick. I would also say that with folk Catholicism there is a lot of magick using. In Mexico they have brujeria. It isn't unusual to find a Christian witch.

I am sure, as with Jesus, you could see his "miracles" as merely an extension of magick.
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Re: Beginner With Questions About Combining Faith and Witchc

Postby PearlGirl » Sat Aug 04, 2018 1:09 pm

So is it okay to have your own beliefs with witchcraft? It seems most of what I've seen discuss certain Gods or Goddesses. My personal beliefs are a combination of Christianity and Wicca and although it isn't as conventional, they work for me. However I haven't done any witchcraft. Do I just substitute the God/Goddess discussed with my own God? What about altar-work?
Like I said, I have never read the bible, haven't gone to church many times. I have prayed, but I don't know the stories, etc. of the bible besides the very basics.
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Re: Beginner With Questions About Combining Faith and Witchc

Postby SpiritTalker » Sat Aug 04, 2018 3:44 pm

It is always OK to have your own beliefs. Always. No exceptions.

It's OK to follow your nose. There is no coordinating, over-seeing ritual police in witchcraft & no governing body that dictates rules. That is a hard thing to get used to after even scant exposure to a mainstream religion. Ritual format is a procedure that is logical to the function & can be changed to fit you.

Substituting and deity plug-&-play is a bit tricky. You work with the energy concepts they represent. Even though I'm Christian & quarters can be assigned to the 4 arch-angelic forces I simply relate better to earth elementals for quarters because the Earth is the Temple. I would not feel comfortable calling Yahweh or Jesus to witness my circle. The 1st would blow steam out his ears & the other would have a giggle fit; &'the one time I'd tried it I dissolved on the floor into knee-slapping laughter. It could have been my bias coming thru, but I knew I had to deal with it. For one thing not every circle needs the rites of quarter calling & invitation to deity. Try to keep it simple. The rituals are not a solemn dirge in a pew-format church. You can get up & move, make noise, laugh. You play all the parts: choir, cantor & pastor.

Define to yourself the natural forces your deity concept represents as you understand it. Since you haven't read the stories you may get along with just an overall birth, death, resurrection theme found in nature & the Green Man. JC referred to himself as the stalk of wheat that must first fall for it's seed to regrow &'resurrect. This is a reference by the man himself (or the author) to the Sumerian god Tammuz. So if he could make the agrarian cult connection, why not use it?

I took a clue from ceremonial magical practice that works with aspects as energies & not as beings, as this was what Gerald Gardner apparently had in mind when he consulted Crowley for Wiccan rituals. It's Nature that holds the symbolism.

Mostly I don't call on a god-form in ritual by name but by titles of Primordial Mother/Star Goddess & her son, the Horned God of Nature & then let the ethers sort it out. it's Nature as the primary jewel of all god-form's creation that I want to evoke, & not a specific god-form. But that's only me. You have to work with your own beliefs.

When you ask "what about altar work"? ... Well, for goodness sake, what about it? There are no altar police either :). Keep a devotional altar if you want one & are comfortable with it. It doesn't need to hold anything that doesn't symbolize or connect to your concept of deity. Sooner or later you need to know to who or what you address those prayers. It's not the place to drop your car keys. Write down some ideas of what you might use as symbols. A cup of water is an acceptable offering but you don't need it if that's not your style. Play around with it to find out what your style IS.

If you want a christian theme there is no shortage of decor. Look at "personal altars" images on your browser as opposed to "wiccan altars" images here on the forum. Maybe keep a Psalms & New Testament Bible handy for reading. Psalms are devotional prayers & many can be adapted as spells. there are oodles of books on devotional practices.

As I noted in "getting started" a working altar for ritual & magic is different from a devotional altar, but lots of people combine them. It's your choice.
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Re: Beginner With Questions About Combining Faith and Witchc

Postby Lady_Lilith » Sat Aug 04, 2018 4:56 pm

PearlGirl wrote:So is it okay to have your own beliefs with witchcraft? It seems most of what I've seen discuss certain Gods or Goddesses. My personal beliefs are a combination of Christianity and Wicca and although it isn't as conventional, they work for me. However I haven't done any witchcraft. Do I just substitute the God/Goddess discussed with my own God? What about altar-work?
Like I said, I have never read the bible, haven't gone to church many times. I have prayed, but I don't know the stories, etc. of the bible besides the very basics.


The God of the bible evolved out of the Canaanite El, (El = literally means "God".) he was later syncretized with Yahweh in the Old Testament. In both the bible, ancient Israelite beliefs/religion, and in Canaan, El had a wife named Asherah. Her other name was like "Elat" or literally "Goddess". (She also is associated with magic and sorcerers.) I think then, you could add El/Yahweh/Jehovah and Asherah/Ellat on your altar as God and Goddess, Lord and Lady. Jesus could be seen as their Son and placed in the middle. (Similar to how Tameran Wicca is Osiris, Isis, and Horus.) Some see Asherah not only as God's female counterpart, but also as his female side.

In trad Wicca, there are usually three figures; God and Goddess, and "the One" in the middle who created all things. So it is easy to use this scheme based on the bible.

In witchcraft you can have any beliefs you want. Wicca is similar, it's based on right practice not right belief. So, you care able to believe in God in any way you want.

A basic altar for Wicca is set up with tools such as athame, salt, statues (could use candles as stand ins), wand, cup, and cauldron. But you don't have to have all these items at once.

Recommended reading on God and his wife: The Hebrew Goddess by Raphael Patai.
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Re: Beginner With Questions About Combining Faith and Witchc

Postby planewalker » Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:29 pm

To go to the most basic: we all follow our own beliefs and those alone. They may have come to us in many ways, from many sources {be they person or literary}. We combine the things that we have been taught, have internalized from personal observation, been convinced of by someone and/or intimidated into by what we see as an authority figure or organization. We are among those happy independent-minded few who look and question and make up our own minds. That is our right by being an entity. As we have rights, we recognize that that gives us responsibilities. It is enough to say - "I will believe AS I WILL. I will act AS I SEE FIT. I must always remember that my actions have consequences for myself, on others, and on the environment, both seen and unseen, and I WILL HARM NONE."

Thank you Captain Obvious. The obvious sometimes needs to be stated to stand by itself.
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Re: Beginner With Questions About Combining Faith and Witchc

Postby SpiritTalker » Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:13 am

@LL - I've been browsing Amazon for some time re: God's wife theme and couldn't make up my mind. Your recommendation of The Hebrew Goddess by Raphael Patai has shifted the weight of reviews. Thanks. I just ordered it.
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Re: Beginner With Questions About Combining Faith and Witchc

Postby Shekinah » Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:29 pm

WARNING If you are enamored with religion and wish to entangle it with Witchcraft you might not wish to read this.

The Gods and Goddesses have no affinities to, nor use for any of our religious belief systems. Only we humans concern ourselves with such silly trivia. Divinities were around long before we humans invented religion. We are infants in cosmic time (only 200,000 years old) and the sentient life phenomenon has been around for at least 13.7 billion years. Beings on many worlds have come and gone long before our planet was even formed. I am very much apposed to especially the prevailing somewhat tyrannical Abrahamic religions and guess what? My Goddess is omnipotent in the Jewish Tradition (Goddess Shekinah) and we have an awesome intimate relationship for many decades now. Remember:We need not be religious to be spiritual. In fact religion is an impediment to open minded free Spirits questing Truth and Wisdom. If a religious belief does not accommodate life on all worlds and cannot be singularly descriptive of Cosmological fact and Natural Law you can bet it is foolishness. Spirit pervades the vastness of Infinity beyond the little boxes of religions.
http://shekinah.elysiumgates.com/

Bet I catch hell for this post but beyond political correctness it needed to be said.
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Re: Beginner With Questions About Combining Faith and Witchc

Postby Lady_Lilith » Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:04 pm

SpiritTalker wrote:@LL - I've been browsing Amazon for some time re: God's wife theme and couldn't make up my mind. Your recommendation of The Hebrew Goddess by Raphael Patai has shifted the weight of reviews. Thanks. I just ordered it.

I figured it would be of help! :-) It's an eye opener and very useful for many reasons. It's more academic than spiritual, however, it's written to be easily read. There's a good forward in the 3rd enlarged edition from a pagan though.
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Re: Beginner With Questions About Combining Faith and Witchc

Postby SpiritTalker » Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:25 am

@Shekinah - actually this was one of your better posts because it states a principle you accept without bashing someone else's beliefs.

I wish you'd post more about "the divinities" to which you refer (over in the gods & goddesses section maybe?) as you seem to have a lot to say on it that would be informative.
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