What is a ChristoWitch?

Those within the Pagan community are connecting to a spiritual path that pre-dates Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Some have unresolved issues with Christianity. A few look to blend a positive experience from their childhood with their new-found Pagan world. I have seen the same thing happen among Pagans of Jewish ancestry.

Those who enter into quest to reframe the old stories are what we might call ChristoWitches. They try to combine a female aspect of divinity and a reverence for this Earth with the male deity that they once knew as loving, teaching, healing, and self-sacrificing. 

Remember that Pagans tend to be polytheists. The either/or choices of deity do not make sense to them. You can observe the same pattern in Japan where Buddhist and Shinto exist side by side. A "Mass in the Morning and the Moon at Night" made sense in medieval Europe. The Pagan and Christian paths have been intertwined for centuries in an attitude of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." It is the patriarchal gods that are jealous and demand no other gods before them. A Pagan would inquire, "How about beside?"

And why might they claim these personal roots? In the working of magick, it is importing to invoke every part of you, down to the tip of your toes. When something is left out, there is a blockage and the magick is weaker.

Those who reframe may choose the first of the two biblical creation stories over the second, . In the first, man and woman are created equal and all the earth is good (Gen. 1:1-2:4). Some say that this first creation was of Adam and Lillith. Lillith left Adam because she chose not to submit. The second creation was of Eve for Adam.

The Flood experienced by Noah may well have occurred around 5600 B.C.E. As sea level rose while the glaciers melted, the Mediterranean can be shown to have burst into the low-lying and fresh-water Black Sea drowning the shoreline communities.

The Book of Job may be a story coming from before the Law of Moses. Here is a contest between a male god and a trickster. They test whether a man will keep his religion even if he were not rewarded with the riches of Babylon.

Throughout the Jewish (or Old) Testament, there are intriguing references to Astoreth, a variation of the Ancient Mother Goddess Inanna of pre-Babylonian Sumer.

The Song of Solomon may be derived from the annual spring wedding ritual between the King of Babylon and the High Priestess of Astoreth.

Within the New (or Christian) Testament, "Mary Mother of God" may be compared to the Goddess Isis protecting her son Horus beneath her wings. Her traditional blue and white robes are reminiscent of Sophia, Goddess of Wisdom. I see the term "virgin" as most linked to male property rights.

Mary the Magdalene may be seen as the first disciple of the Christian Jesus (Luke 8:1-3). Magdalene is perhaps not her last name but her title, as High Priestess of the Temple of Astoresh. Their relationship may be more intimate than church patriarchs would have us believe. Who better than a priestess to be comfort and confident to a god in human form?

Why would one assign a male gender to the Holy Spirit? She perhaps bears a better resemblance to Sophia, the Goddess of Wisdom? Wisdom is referred to as "she" throughout the Book of Proverbs.

The Christian Jesus offered his great commandment to love God and to love one's neighbor. All the other laws were subordinate (Matt. 22:34-40). He said that the Sabbath existed for the people, not the people for the Sabbath (Matt. 2:27) and that the Golden Rule summarizes the law and the prophets (Matt. 7:12).

Jesus stated that his followers were happy because he was a with them and that there would be time for sadness when he was taken away (Matt. 9:14-15). Once there were women serving in the early church and this memory has been obliterated (Luke. 24:9-11, Acts 9:36-42, 12:11-15, 16:40, 18:1-4, 26-27).

Some more harsh aspects of Christianity came later from St Augustine of Hippo (North Africa) in the 400's and were opposed by Pegalus of Britain aka Morgan of Wales.

Some try to combine the Christian and Pagan traditions. Some choose to straddle parallel universes, with a "Mass in the Morning and the Moon at Night." Some say Jesus spent His early years studying in India and that, following His crucifixion, His enlightened teachings were hijacked by patriarchy.

Personally, I make an effort to spin Christian traditions into symbolism more inclusive of the Goddess and the Earth. At the Mass (or Eucharist), I see the bread as a male symbol and a product of the harvest. The chalice is an ancient female symbol and the wine within it a representation of the blood that brings life. Wine is again a product of the harvest.

When entering a Catholic, Episcopal or Lutheran Church, I look to the Mary side of the altar for the bank of candles. Before beginning worship of the male god, I stop and light a candle for the Lady.

The Law (or Holy Scripture) is written upon paper, a product of the forest. It is bound in a cover that once may have been leather, a prize from the hunt. The words are written with ink, once made from soot, a product of fire. This soot is mixed with water, the source of life.

Why must we allow the patriarchal fundamentalists to interpret religion for the rest of us (Luke. 6:43-45)? Better we meld what we read in the crucible of our experience and include a bit of ourselves.

I look at later female figures in Christendom like Joan of Arc, the 11th Century German Mystic Hildegard of Bingen, and the 14th Century English Mystic Julia (Julian, Juliana) of Norwich speaking of Mother Jesus.

And so we each weave our own web through the stories. We each build our own connection to the divine. I look for parallels between my path and the path of others. I look to become more aware when others are in communion with divinity.

--Spelcastor            

Related Readings:

Ashcroft, Mary Ellen, The Magdalene Gospel: What If Women Had Written the Gospels?, Doubleday, NY, 1995.

DeBoer, Ester, Mary Magdalene: Beyond the Myth, 1997.

diZerega, Gus, Pagans & Christians: The Personal Spiritual Experience, Llewellen Press. by Gus.

Eisler, Riane, The Chalice & the Blade, Our History, Our Future, Harper, San Francisco, 1988.

Halen, Scott, Hail, Holy Queen: The Mother of God in the Word of God, Doubleday, 2001.

Haskins, Susan, Mary Magdalene: The Myth and the Metaphor, 1995.

Kinstler, Clysta, The Moon Under Her Feet, Harper & Row, 1989.

McColman, Carl, Embracing Jesus and the Goddess, A Radical Call for Spiritual Sanity, Fair Wind Press, Gloucester, MA, 2001.

Pelikan, Jaroslav, Mary Through the Centuries: Her Place in the History of Culture, Yale University Press, 1998.

Stone, Merlin, When God Was a Woman, Harcourt Brace Jovenovich, New York, 1976.

Torjesen, Karen Jo, When Women Were Priests, HarperSanFrancisco, 1995.

Wolkstein, Diane and Samuel Noah Kramer, Innana, Queen of Heaven and Earth, Her Stories and Hymns from Sumer, Harper & Row, New York, 1983.

Websites:

Celebrating the Mysteries of the Woman Who Knew The All - www.magdalene.org/

Bibles.Net-Online Bibles and References - www.bibles.net/

The Great Flood - www.lexiline.com/lexiline/lexi34.htm

In your favorite search engine, try key words like: "christo witch", "christian witch", "christo pagan", "pagan christian", and find sites like these:

Can You Be a Christian Witch?
Is There Such a Thing as a Christian Witch?
Some Christian Observations on Paganism and Wicca
The Christian Witch
What is a Christian Witch?
The Cauldron and the Cross