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How a ‘teen witch’ found the Church

In her teens Elizabeth Dodd delved into the world of Wicca, casting spells and conjuring ‘spirits’. Then one day she went to Mass in secret

By on Wednesday, 16 February 2011

A witch performs a ‘cleansing ceremony’ in Catemaco, Mexico   (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

A witch performs a ‘cleansing ceremony’ in Catemaco, Mexico (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

My parents bought me a cauldron for my 16th birthday. Providing no explanation, I had asked for that and a chalice. At a loss, mum suggested it would look nice outside with the geraniums.

My interest in Wicca began as I entered my teens. Wicca and Witchcraft: Understanding the Danger, the booklet I wrote recently as part of the Catholic Truth Society’s Explanations series, condenses – after some factual basics about the philosophy and practice of “white” witchcraft – the conversations I had with a Catholic friend and her family that eventually led to my conversion to the Catholic faith. The booklet has caused controversy on the blogosphere: it sold out on Amazon.com and cropped up on the websites of the Telegraph and Daily Mail. What began as a small document to inform Catholics about the realities of Wicca – eg that it isn’t Satanism – appears to have re-ignited the persecution complex among Wiccans that I was hoping to diffuse.

I am concerned that as a culture, perhaps as a Church, we can too easily dismiss the spiritual needs of young people. In my family, religion was something to explore and debate. Both my parents are Oxford graduates and historians, my father a Doctor of Maths and Philosophy. His atheism prevailed over my mother’s Anglicanism, and neither I nor my sister were baptised.

One day I came across the Teen Witch Kit by Wiccan author Silver Ravenwolf. It comprised a thin introduction to witchcraft, a pop-up cardboard altar, charms (from a small bell to a pentacle necklace, the five-pointed emblem for Wicca). The book laid out the basic tenets of witchcraft and, crucially, the practice of “magick”. Wiccan spell casting is governed by two ethics: karma (that what you send out will return threefold) and “an’ it harm none, do what you will”. I cast my first spell, for protection, when my mother travelled abroad for a work trip: it was the first time she’d been in an aeroplane. As a teenager, with only a limited amount of say in what I’d have for dinner, for example, the idea of unmitigated supernatural power, coupled with such a self-governed morality, was very appealing.

My interest in Wicca increased, even in the face of frequent magickal failure. In the booklet I suggest that Wicca can be an important stage in spiritual growth for a young person. Like many of my generation, I was looking for a religious home. Wicca is far removed from mainstream western religion; it has no hierarchy or clergy, no central texts or commandments. It is a framework upon which young, spiritually hungry people can construct a religious identity independent of their parents. Wicca suited me because it was, quite literally, an unorthodox religious choice. I embraced the Wiccan “holy days” and the duotheism – belief in a goddess and god – that underpinned them. I lobbied my school to include “Wicca” as an option on their registration database; I gave presentations in Religious Studies classes about the heroines of modern witchcraft.

But within a year I had exhausted the canon of literature marketed to teenage Wiccans. An innate respect for history, if not tradition, led to an uncomfortable awareness that the religion as I knew it had existed for little over 20 years, and had manifestly been created by people. I began to study Wicca’s older literature: books written by Gerald Gardner, the witch who ostensibly re-introduced Britain to witchcraft and others of his circle (literally and figuratively), including the notorious Victorian occultist Aleister Crowley. I learned about ceremonial magic, branched out into the Jewish Kabbalah and familiarised myself with H P Blavatsky’s works on Theosophy. I bought a book about self-initiation into the Golden Dawn tradition – a quasi-Masonic occult order – and began to follow the steps toward its first grade. But my interest in politics, environmentalism and feminism had expanded beyond the questions Wicca could address. If the earth was a deity, did earthquakes suggest she was malicious? Worse, despite some feminist trappings, the occult witchcraft I was studying was at core misogynistic. Crowley wrote some unpleasant things about women; in the works of Anton LaVey, the self-appointed Satanist and a friend of Crowley’s, I encountered rants about women’s intellectual inferiority.

Finally, inevitably, about three years into my study of witchcraft – like any teenager who has ever played with a Ouija board – I became convinced I had communicated with a “spirit” whom I had failed to banish. The accompanying sense of dread lasted for weeks. A Catholic schoolfriend wrote out the Hail Mary for me – I’d never heard it before – and suggested I say it when I felt spiritually threatened. I stopped practising witchcraft soon afterwards.

My subsequent conversion to Catholicism was gradual. I had been exposed for years to the best means of evangelisation in the Church: the example of a generous, loving Catholic family (the parents and siblings of my schoolfriend) who were ready to argue philosophy over the dinner table. I had always known my friend was a better Catholic than I was a Wiccan. She took my foray into witchcraft with a seriousness that I didn’t, challenging me intellectually and morally. She lent me books to explain her Christianity; out of loyalty, I fought her side in the RS lessons in which she was the only vocal Christian. I went to Mass with her family on the eve of a school trip we were taking together. Finally, I sent her a faltering, confused email about where I was, spiritually. Her discretion and her patience were inspiring: it took another three years until I was received into the Catholic Church.

By then I was a fiercely Left-wing, politically active Buddhist vegan: rumours of my conversion would have startled most of my schoolmates. Recognising this, we kept the process low-key. I would accompany her family to the Easter Vigil, amazed by the beauty of the liturgy. I began attending Mass after school, in secret. My life was turbulent. I’d sit in the peace of the Church until the last person was leaving. I realised that the spiritual core of the Buddhism I was trying to practise was Catholicism. I believed in God. From the example of the Catholic family I had grown up around, I believed that Catholicism made you a better person, that it increased your capacity to love.

Soon after leaving school, in my gap year before university, my schoolfriend put me in touch with a wonderful priest. We met almost every week; I studied the Catechism and he, somehow, managed to handle the demands of an intellectually stubborn teenager about to leave to study Theology at Cambridge. After a year’s catechesis I realised that nothing intellectual or spiritual separated me from a faith to which I had never imagined I would subscribe. I was baptised and received into the Church at the Easter Vigil – my schoolfriend was my sponsor and “fairy godmother”.

My experience of neo-pagans had in fact been largely positive: many Wiccans are intelligent, kind, sincere people. Wicca attempts to meet the needs of a generation terrified of hypocrisy: if even our coffee is Fairtrade, a faith needs to be outstanding to convince us. I was now surrounded by outstanding Catholics; as a Catholic, I know the example I should be setting.

Wicca was an important step in a spiritual journey that led me to Catholicism, but when I was asked to write about it in a booklet, written by a Catholic for Catholics, I felt it would be irresponsible not to mention its inherent dangers – not least the lack of a real support structure. Wicca may be adaptable and relevant; but ultimately I found it intellectually and spiritually unfulfilling.

I still struggle with and face challenges in my faith; I know there are areas I need to better understand. But you can love a work of art without translating every reference. If it is beautiful enough, you can accept that there are elements you won’t understand until you meet the artist. The values that brought me into Wicca – ecological, feminist, pacifist – are addressed more deeply by the Catholic Church. It is our responsibility as Catholics to let young people know that these are issues we care about, questions which are posed and answered throughout salvation history.

I passed the cauldron on to my sister: she stores magazines in it.

Wicca and Witchcraft: Understanding the Danger by Elizabeth Dodd is available from the CTS, priced £1.95

  • Laura Reilly3

    Melt the cauldron and the chalice in order never to be tempted to cling to some thread of your past, and you will be tempted.
    Embrace humility and obedience to the Magisterium. You will be sorely tempted; I promise you. Pray, pray, pray often and learn as much as you can about Jesus the Nazorean, the Christ, his mother, Mary and his father Joseph. The more you come to know them the more you will love them, and the more the Holy Trinitarian Love will dilate and overflow your heart, doing us all good.
    In Christ-
    God bless you on your earthly pilgrimage!

    Laura

  • Em Graves

    Your story of a journey through various different religions in quest of spiritual fulfillment speaks wonders to the diversity of the human soul. What wholly comforts one may feel lacking and limited to another. It’s vital for someone to feel a sense of freedom when seeking to choose their faith. We should all remember and respect this before seeking to convert someone who does not seek conversion.

    Em Graves
    Pagan

  • Betoquintas

    “An innate respect for history, if not tradition, led to an uncomfortable awareness that the religion as I knew it had existed for little over 20 years, and had manifestly been created by people.”

    Sure, like Christianism wasn’t created by people and what you cal “tradition” wasn’t a result of a imposed doctrine and dogmas.

  • Chase

    For anyone who believes in a spiritual reality of any kind, one of the most important things we can learn is that we have no control over spiritual matters. To attempt to control things outside of the self (which Wicca and other witchcraft traditions support) is a clear statement that we desire to be in the place of God- to control and manipulate things according to our will and not His. There is no true power that human beings possess that allows them to completely control things outside themselves. We know this from everything in life, most of our existence relies completely on trust. We trust others, we trust inventions to work properly, we trust God etc. It is when we decide to take matters into our own hands, entering into a realm of reality that we have absolutely no control over that we should be alarmed. Even in witchcraft and such religions, the participant depends on some source of power, (burning incense, candles, crystals, Ouija boards, cards etc.) whether they believe it is from within themselves or from elsewhere. But, the power must come from a source outside the self, for the human person lacks the capacity to manipulate spiritual reality. What is that source that witches and wiccans are tapping into? If it is not of God who is infinitely good, then it is of some source which lives outside of infinite goodness, namely infinite evil. In this, there are no “gray” areas, or more precisely put: there is no room even for things such as “white magic.” Such a thing does not exist, for all magic is an attempt to control and the only one who desires to fully control and manipulate is the devil himself. God never forces, manipulates or bends. He only invites and loves. Christianity, which is the true fulfillment of the Jewish faith (brought into its fullness by Jesus Christ) is not instituted by a man, but by God who is fully man in His divine Son. Sound doctrine is a structure that is set up in the order of this religion and has been put in place to help guide the faithful in the right direction. It is never forced, it is never oppressive (any who have done so must be looked at as individuals and not the Church herself). Witchcraft has been nothing but forceful and oppressive, both to its user and to their target for it thrives on power, gain and desire to find pleasure. Christianity offers peace, love and moral guidance. Christians who follow faithfully the teachings of the Church only ask to receive from God. In their conversions they are constantly being removed from evils such as sin. “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” -Mark 8:34. The story is inspiring, but it is not necessary for anyone to venture into these dark areas of worldly religions to find their way to the fullness of Truth.

  • Fisherman

    I think you mean Christianity, not Christianism. And yes, Christianity started with a Person – Jesus Christ, true God and true Man. Nothing is imposed on Christians other than that which was established by Christ Himself. Nothing is imposed on a Christian except that which comes from Christ. You may have many reasons for disdaining the members of Christ’s Church, but none of those reasons are founded in fact, only in misconceptions and misunderstandings. Luckily, if you search for the truth, you will find it, as God does not hide it from anyone who truly seeks it.

  • http://twitter.com/MamaGaea Mama Gaea

    I am sorry you had such an unfulfilling experience with Wicca. However, what is glaringly clear is you traveled the path of Wicca alone. You never found community. You never found anyone to help you or guide you. You never found a mentor. You found community with Catholicism, and that’s fine. But by saying there is a danger in Wicca is misleading. There’s danger in Catholicism as well in its people. Why do I say that? Because people are human. Humans make mistakes. So, there is danger in all religions if you go with what the people do and say. From what you wrote, I don’t think you ever truly made the connection to God/dess that is truly fulfilling for hundreds of thousands of practitioners. I think if you would have found community, found that connection, felt yourself connected to the earth and the sky and the universe, you wouldn’t have written what you did. I’m sorry you didn’t find what you needed in our faith. But please don’t promote fear towards what you truly don’t understand.

    Mama Gaea

  • Veritas

    Elizabeth, Mama Gaea is your first temptation back.

  • BenFrancis

    Wow!.Just proves a point that i have been pondering on. Jesus said that “what Father would give is son a rock if he asked for bread”…If you are truly looking for the truth he would provide it.

  • Lucyas

    You might have read books on Wicca, but you can’t actually be a Wiccan unless you are initiated into a Wiccan coven by an initiated Wiccan. No covens initiate people under the age of 18. I agree it is dangerous for teenagers to dabble in things they do not understand and do not have support in. That is why anyone interested in Wicca should wait until they are old enough and can then get that proper training and support in a proper coven, rather than try to do potentially scary things when they are too young and on their own.

  • Madmacnab23

    How is trading one superstition for another intellectually fulfilling? Try reading a bit on the history and methodology of philosophy, science, and rational thought first. Then make up your mind about religion.

  • http://solascendans.com/about Alex Sumner

    You continue to assert that Wicca is something to do exclusively with young people. It is not. Wicca is for fully-grown adults, capable of thinking for themselves, and the books which purport to aim at teenagers represent Wicca the least.

    I trust you would not have written a pamphlet with a title so inflammatory as “Judaism and Islam: Understanding the Danger” – so why pick on Witches? Any why act so surprised when you stir up controversy when doing so?

  • maryclare

    It is not trading one superstition with another. Neither is Liz seeking mere ‘intellectual fulfilment’ which I’m sure academic study may well fulfill. She has found God, and experiences His love and power in her life. Jesus is trully present to us particularly when we receive the Blessed Sacrament which is truly His Body and Blood. Once you have tasted the ‘peace which passes all understanding’ in the person of Jesus, mere philosophy, history, science and any amount of intellectual gymnastics are simply no match.

  • Connie Dobbs

    Out of the frying pan, into a different frying pan. Is Hinduism next? Maybe your mid life crisis where you convert to islam, then finally back to catholicism when you’re in your 60 and get scared of going to hell. Sounds like your problem isn’t the wrong religion, it’s inner weakness. If you need to anthromorphosize creation in order to feel fulfilled, then the problem is You.

  • Jordan Stratford

    An intelligent, careful and considered read. Thank you.

  • maryclare

    Yes humans make mistakes. The whole Church is made up of sinners, all needing forgiveness and redemption through the Blood of Christ Jesus Our Lord. What Liz found was this redemption and the love of the Lord Jesus present in her life. There is no better or more fulfilling relationship than that with the Creator. The connectedness you talk about is only real with Jesus.

  • maryclare

    Its potentially scary not because of the fact that the person is a teenager but because of the fact that there is the mistaken notion that you can control whatever power you connect to. People, when they get involved with tarot, ouijha, white witchcraft etc think that they are out to do good but have no idea of the dark forces they are stirring up, or are getting involved with. No amount of training or of human support (mama gaea as well please note) or human guidance can protect you. We see many who come to the Church seeking release and help, who have become affected and even possessed as a result of dabbling in the dark side. You have an immortal soul and I beg you come to Jesus and seek true redemption and freedom in Him. I will pray for you and mama gaea.

  • maryclare

    When we come to Jesus we acknowlegde that we cannot be changed except though Him. We are indeed weak but He is strong. We cannot save ourselves which you infer we can through inner strength. This is a myth.

  • maryclare

    Please see the comment I have written in reply to Lucyas and mama gaea below. I am not the author of the pamphlet merely someone commenting.
    However ‘old’ or ‘adult’ you are you cannot control the powers you connect with, often evil and may lead on to possession and diabolic attacks. It is very very dangerous. As Christians we should warn people of the danger therefore and tell people of Jesus as Liz’s friends did. You have an immortal soul and eternity without God is a very very long time. Please think about this.

  • http://solascendans.com/about Alex Sumner

    I shall ask the same question of you that I asked of Liz Dodds. Would you witness to Jews, Muslims and those of other religions in this fashion? After all – they are all just as much outside the pale of Christianity as Wicca. And they all invoke evil and potentially dangerous forces just as much as Wicca, i.e. not at all.

  • IvyRose

    Catholicism/Christianity is not for everyone and neither is Wicca just because it does not work out for you does not make it right to demonize what you never truly understood. I grew up Catholic and did the whole bible school thing but never truly found my place there and Goddess knows i tried but it was not to be. I am a practicing witch now and have found the path that is right for me. I have found more fulfillment now than i ever have in a church but hey this is my path.

    Blessed Be

  • http://twitter.com/MamaGaea Mama Gaea

    I actually have a very good relationship with Christ. However, there is something that MANY people do not understand. Christ can be found in MANY different religions, not just with Jesus. So, I’m actually already connected, thanks.

  • http://twitter.com/MamaGaea Mama Gaea

    The entire world is made up of both light and dark. That is why there is summer. That is why there is winter. That is why there is life. That is why there is death. If a person does not come to terms with the dark side of life, then they will never be able to be a complete human being. Ignoring the dark or running away from it, as many Christians have a tendency to do, dooms one to become stuck and never evolve. Wicca is an amazing faith because we purposefully face our darkness so we can integrate it and become whole. We do not fear that which we can not see. We face it head on and conquer it. Can you say the same?

  • http://twitter.com/MamaGaea Mama Gaea

    @Lucyas There are plenty of solitary Wiccans around. You don’t have to be intiated into a coven to be Wiccan. That only holds true if you wish to be initiated into a specific denomination. But it is true that one does need person to person training. There is far too much to learn to only learn from books. Just as if someone was going to Sunday School. A teacher truly is needed to learn all there is that encompasses our faith, for it truly is an academic endeavor. There is SO MUCH to learn.

  • Cavelizard

    As a 66 year old Wiccan and former Catholic, I am curious to learn how the Church has changed since my day when women were inferior to men and could not become priests, gays were abominations, and pedophile priests were protected.

  • Elizabeth

    - Wiccans are not attempting to become God. Wiccans believe that the gods have gifted them the abilities to take care of themselves. If Wiccans were attempting to become gods themselves they would not request for god to help them while casting spells.

    - Candles, etc. are not sources of power. They are tools in the same way that the Catholic church uses many of the exact same items as tools in their own rituals.

    - Yes, there is no such thing as white magic. The vast majority of Wiccans are not simple enough to believe that magic comes in colosr. Just like you do not believe that styles of prayer comes in colors.

    - A religion does not exist without the people who follow it. Christian religons throughout history have been violent, oppressive, and entirely too self-rightous. When it’s very hymns advocate “spiritual warfare” does that sound like a loving place to be in? I’m trying to avoid attacking your faith in favor of discussing what Wicca really is but Wicca is not an oppressive religion. It advocates peace and understanding and acceptance of people regardless of their faith. It advocates finding a different religion, even Christianity, if this isn’t what is meant for you.

    It’s one thing to argue the pro’s and con’s of another religion – it’s another to do so without knowledge of what it is you are speaking about. Even the author seems to lack the fundamental understanding of building blocks of Wicca in this article.

    If you are trying to talk to someone about their faith you are going to do nothing but make them angry and push them further away if you are coming after them with information that is false. Magic is not about power to the witch. Any more than you think praying is going to cause things to happen for you. Is prayer about power? No, it isn’t.

    Pull the plank out of your eye first and you may have a better chance of truly seeing what you are looking at.

  • Elizabeth

    I would like to add that if the Catholic church finds pagan religions to be such a terrible thing, then the Catholic church would do well to remove all of the pagan symbolism, holidays, and ritual structures from itself. What would be left is something to ponder.

  • Jonathan

    Desperate people do desperate things. Is this a case of “daddy didn’t love me”?

  • Brigid

    Sorry, maryclare, you are just wrong about saying that “no amount of training or human support or human guidance can protect you.” There ARE people who know how to guide and protect others on the path, and part of their job is to teach that to others. It is really not that hard.

    I was a devoted Catholic for 23 years but have been Wiccan/Pagan for 36 years and find it to be a much deeper and more spiritually fulfilling religion. There is beauty and power in most religions; it’s a matter of personal choice as to which one of them any given person finds meeting their spiritual needs.

  • maryclare

    I will witness to any that do not know Christ as their Lord and Saviour. I use the spoken word, the written word, new technologies such as text, internet, email etc I pray and try to preach the Gospel by the life that I lead as much as anything. I have not as it happens written a leaflet but should the Lord ask I would write something. As far as I am aware those of the Jewish faith do not conjure up powers, nor consort with any apart from Almighty God. As far as I am aware neither do those in Islam either. I have personally been witness to the harm that occurs when people who have been involved in tarot, ouijha, divination seances and inviting spirits into themselves. Satan is well known for presenting himself as an angel of light…but he was defeated at Calvary.

  • George

    Sounds like you don’t know what you’re looking for. I strongly suspect you’ll be ditching your current fad as soon as you realize it fails to help in the long run.

    You were better off worshipping nature than you will be worshipping a book, which is all Catholocism offers. I know – I was raised Catholic. Now I’m Pagan, and proud of it. I worship nature and the universe as God. What you’re into now is contradictory and self-conflicting, and requires self-delusion. I prefer a clear path.

  • H Bancroft

    I think it was St Catherine of Sienna who said ‘If you truly are what you should be (i.e.as God intended and created you to be (mywords) then you will set the world on fire.’ She advised and admonished Popes and clerics. I don’t believe that she felt in any way inferior. To be a woman is to be very different from man – whilst a woman may have many skills and indeed may be very capable of being a priest, it has nothing to do with capability, it is simply not our calling/vocation. All of us, gays included, are called to salvation in Jesus, by taking up our cross and following Him, that means being obedient to Him. Heterosexuals who engage in sexual or cohabiting relationships are comiting mortal sin too. Condemn the sin but not the sinner, and please point out to any christian doing other than this that they are lacking in love and charity.
    Re the paedophile priests. Let me make one thing crystal clear – sexual abuse is serious sin and an abuse of power. When this first started coming to light, the received wisdom even from mental health professionals was that if you removed the perpetrator from the particular child/children that the abuse would stop. This happened among teachers for example also (incidentally there is a higher percentage of abuse within the teaching profession than among clergy). Now we know this is not the case.
    To continue with the teaching analogy – would you ban all education and teachers in particular or absent yourself from all education and learning, as you have excluded yourself from a relationship with Jesus and excluded yourseIf from meeting God in the Sacraments, and thus excluded yourself from the kingdom of heaven.
    I too grew up in the 60′s and 70′s when it was all the rage to be self determining, self fulfilled, lets celebrate our humanity and society, mother earth ecology,lesbian and feminist separatist hippy yada yada etc etc. I too bought the cino (catholic in name only) lie that it was possible to be sexually free and expect God to rubberstamp what we wanted as being OK, the cafeteria catholicism, the ‘have your cake and eat it’ philosophy. I found that this was not the gospel but a lie that led into the wilderness – it was very very far away from God and from the relationship I wanted with Him. It was utter emptiness, there was no inner peace to be had, and was a way that literally led to perdition. I returned to Him and to true practice of my faith because my heart and my soul longed for God.
    So you see I speak from experience.
    The Church is made up of sinners all needing the forgiveness and redemption made available to us all by the the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. It does mean taking up our cross and denying ourselves to follow Him. In this is the only true freedom.

  • maryclare

    No Brigid I am not wrong. I have seen the results at first hand – demonic possession for example and poltergeist activity in places where such activity is undertaken. You loose the powers of Satan and darkness when you indulge in such practices.
    No it really isn’t hard – to be deluded by ol’nick into thinking you can control such powers. He likes to be seen as an angel of light (hence the name lucifer) but it is a fraud and deception.
    Re fulfilling your spiritual needs – yes indeed God gives us free will to chose in what direction we go, because He does not want us to be slaves but to freely follow Him. It leaves us free to also turn our backs on our salvation which is in Christ Jesus.
    Did you really explore your relationship with Jesus and all the rich gifts that christian spirituality offers. In my experience many who leave the church have not done this and furthermore believe in many myths and misapprehensions about what the church really believes and teaches. I think it was Archbishop Fulton Sheen who mentioned that many leave believing in what the church is not rather that what the church truly is.

  • H Bancroft

    Re your last two sentences in this comment,
    Sorry mama gaea but that is syncretism and that is anathema and heresy.
    God is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omnicient, but your comment has more to do with the one world religion that has been fortold will appear before Our Lords return.

  • maryclare

    I agree that there is light and dark BUT in God there is no darkness only light. satan was cast out of heaven – hell is an eternity without God, eternal fire and torment. There is the darkness. There are many who have had death or near death experiences who testify as to the veracity of that statement. Yes I run from hellfire and damnation, but I have to face head on the effects of my sin and disobedience, I have to admit my responsibility for it and repent (which means turning towards) before God. Sin separates us from God. I face my darkness there – this separation is ended by Christs’ death on the cross which destroyed death. I am washed clean through the Blood of the Lamb.

    Spiritual growth is painful. Running away from pain is not exclusively a christian failing.

    I am afraid that to suggest that in God there is both darkness and light is another heresy, one that St Augustine fell into before his conversion to the true faith. there is no ‘integrating’ that one.

  • Martin

    You Said: The entire world is made up of both light and dark. That is why there is summer. That is why there is winter. That is why there is life. That is why there is death. If a person does not come to terms with the dark side of life, then they will never be able to be a complete human being. Ignoring the dark or running away from it, as many Christians have a tendency to do, dooms one to become stuck and never evolve. Wicca is an amazing faith because we purposefully face our darkness so we can integrate it and become whole. We do not fear that which we can not see. We face it head on and conquer it. Can you say the same?

    Of course we can and as one of your earlier comments said you know Christ really well so i will term my comments in the light of that.

    I would argue that if you have a relationship with Jesus Christ and are sealed by the Holy Spirit of God residing within in you (paul’s letter to the Ephesians), you will agree with the Book of Genesis which was given by him to Moses, when it declares that God himself made Creation, the world and all that is in it and that is why there is are seasons. The light and darkness are simply means to an end, they hold no power in this context at all. I refer particularly to Day 4 Gen 1:14 – 15.

    Death was brought about by the sin of humans against God and God mercifully restricted the amount of years that we could live in order to restrict the damage we can do in one life. Even since eden we haven’t changed. Romans 3 rightfully says, There is no-one righteous, not even one; there is no-one who understands, no-one who seeks God. All have turned away and together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one. Satan is still as much in operation as he was in Eden. He is still repeating the same old lie that Light is not enough. He keeps telling you that you are not whole without it. He wants you to rebel in the same way by desiring to be like God. The same thing he wants. He wants you to worship him and rebellion does exactly that.

    On the other hand you refer to life. Can you as someone who claims to know Christ agree with the Apostle John (who was Jesus’ best friend) when he declares from his time with Jesus and under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit that “In him[Jesus] was life, and that life was the light of men. This is real life, it is understanding he is the Son of God (the second person of the Trinity)and that he had come to reclaim for God all that had been lost through the rebellion of man.

    It is through what Jesus has done in redeeming us from death via his death and resurrection that we are able to have True life. Jesus says in John 14:6 “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, No-one comes to the Father, except by me. Jesus commands us to believe in Him as the Son Of God, (not a son of god), to be Baptised into his Death and Resurrection and receive the forgiveness of Sin , Act 2:38. This is turning from all we know to be wrong and follow him.

    There is no other way to life, all that have come before Christ were thieves and liars (Christ’s own words (John 10:7-9) not mine).

    So we would have to ask if at any point that you disagree with either the Spirit of Christ whom spoke through the prophets or Christ Himself as recorded by the Apostles under the influence of the Holy Spirit, Which Christ do you have a relationship with?

    If it is not the one as revealed in the bible (the most supernatural book on this earth) but some thing else then do you really have access to the Father that my Christ speaks of?

    If you don’t, are you just following Lucifer without knowing it…..or maybe you do know it? Some people that i am aware of openly follow him? But if your Christ is different from the one i have witnessed to about being the Only Begotten Son of God then you are in trouble because your sins still exist and not only do you remain in open opposition to him but actively follow a Spirit that is lying to you and leading you to hell? I am hoping that you really are following Jesus Christ.

    It was however interesting that your argument around Light and Darkness though seems to pattern its self around the Garden of Eden and the deception of Adam and Eve. You seem to think that Darkness is required for life? Now, in the bible light is normally the same as good knowledge and Darkness, Bad knowledge or rebellion. Before Adam and Eve Sinned, they had all the knowledge or light they needed to be able to live forever, it wasnt until they did the thing of Darkness that they actually knew what Sin was and fell from their state of Grace. As you may be able to see, Darkness is only an absence of light and nothing else. Likewise, Sin is the absence of Good. Why do i need both to live. In the Garden it only brought us death!

    Likewise Jesus is the true light, Jesus Christ came to us as the light of the World, in HIM was life and that life was the life of men, The Light shines in the Darkness but darkness has not understood it. He was in the world and though the world was made through him his own did not receive him. Yet to all that did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become Children of God, – Children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. (John 1: 7 – 13).

    I am truly interested in your thoughts

  • Cheryl

    In believing in Jesus Christ, one receives the grace and faith to know that He has conquered death, sin, and evil, namely Satan. Being a Christian is about being in relationship with Christ. It’s not about seasons, and Christians do not fear ‘the darkness’.

    Jesus calls us into a relationship of love in the trinity: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, along with the Saints and Angels. A Christian’s life should never be orientated towards the self, but towards the other. Am I my brother’s (sister’s) keeper? Yes – we are in community, we all belong to the one family, in Christ. Is Earth our home? No, we journey towards our home through our life, striving to love as much as Christ loved – is this easy? No, but this is the purpose of a Christian’s life. Not to gain power, not to face darkness, not to become whole in our selves, but to be fully united to Jesus Christ for this is why He died for our sakes – so that we may gain His love and an everlasting Life.

  • maryclare

    This is yet another myth that the Church is pagan in origin.This is why many protestant denominations think that we are not Christian.
    The Church has adopted many basically Jewish rituals – there are feasts and holydays which we have inherited from our Fathers in Faith. Even the Mass mirrors both scripturally and in action the Temple Sacrifice in Jerusalem (The Supper of the Lamb by Scott Hahn would explain better).
    Oh and by the way, when I pray in faith I do expect things to happen, and they do but through the power of God not through any strength of mine.

  • maryclare

    Which book did you worship when you said you were Catholic? That’s yet another myth about the Church George. Come to think of it there is a great deal about what the Church isn’t in these comments rather than what the Church really is, believes and teaches.
    I don’t worship a book, but the one True God, Father Son and Holy Spirit.

  • http://twitter.com/alexsumner Alex Sumner

    When St Paul witnessed for his faith to the pagans at the Areopagus in Athens, what he did not do was start quoting the Bible at them. Instead, he argued that the worship of the one true God, and Jesus Christ His Son, was justified by quoting *pagan* writings to them. At one point he even quoted from a poem written about Zeus (“we are all His children”) and effectively said that Zeus was to be conflated with the Lord God, since this applied to Him.

    In short, when St Paul spoke to the pagans, he did so with respect, without at any time losing his integrity. And because he spoke with respect, the pagans did him the courtesy of listening to him.

    Fast-forward two thousand years, and it seems to me that present day Christians do not treat pagans with the any of the respect that St Paul showed his contemporaries. From reading the comments on this page I get the impression that Christians think that paganism is either a joke-religion or is something inherently evil. This is not respect. Respect would consist of starting from the basis that: (a) Paganism is a valid or at least well intentioned spiritual path; (b) despite dangers perceived to be attached to it it is NOT inherently evil; (c) pagans, wiccans and so forth are actually seeking the exact same things that Christians are seeking i.e. the real God, real Divinity, real Morality, etc – even though they don’t happen to use those terms when referrring to them.

    Start talking to pagans and wiccans with respect, and they may listen to you. Continue the way you have been doing up to now and they will not.

  • Martin

    Alex, with all due respect but you are wrong in regard to Paul not using the bible as his basis for arguement.

    Paul after introducing himself in Acts went straight to the book of Genesis with the thrust of his arguement being centred firstly on Creation and then onto Abraham.

    He was pretty blunt in Act 17: 30 – 31. Far blunter than anyone is being here.

    Respect is indeed the way forward and hopefully no one is acting in disrespect, if it sounds like it, it definately is not meant that way, only to question the views of others.

    The problem is that no one does take the view that Wiccan is a Joke. If you have been involved in these Cults then it maybe you don’t understand the gravity of being pulled away from Jesus Christ by Spiritual forces, especially if they were Christian before. I would refer you to the book of Hebrews. (I am not being offensive here, its just unlike language i cant control the pitch of my typing, that sentence sounds harder than intended).

    The bottom line is that I/we are not out to offend, if however what is said in good intention offends then that cannot really be helped. If you saw a child running around with a broken bottle i would presume you would say something, in this case it is adult and in the eternal; it is about their soul.

    What they do with what I/you write is up to them, i can only say i am definately not against them but for them, if i wasnt i wouldn’t be trying to challenge them to consider Jesus Christ. God bless Alex

  • Martin

    Sorry typo above – For Abraham read Adam.

  • http://twitter.com/MamaGaea Mama Gaea

    If there is only one God, then yes, syncretism is the way to go because then all people who wish to reach Spirit truly are worshipping only one God. And that God is present throughout the Universe and that God is also both God and Goddess as there is no gender for the true Spirit of the Universe. All paths lead to the top of the mountain. Each person just has a different way of getting there.

  • http://twitter.com/MamaGaea Mama Gaea

    The Christ energy I speak of transcends Jesus. Yes, Jesus emanated Christ energy, which was wonderful. But he is not the only person who can access Christ energy. Here is a good example of how one can access Christ energy:

    http://moonsdesigns.com/averill/energy.html

    Christ energy isn’t limited to just one person who lived 2000 years ago. Everyone can connect with that same energy. And it also isn’t limited to what a book says (which has been translated so many ways much of the wisdom is lost in translation).

  • Marie

    It is more a case of respecting everyone’s free will rather than respecting the actual beliefs. If someone chooses to worship Satan, we respect their free will to choose what they want to believe but it does not mean we respect Satanism. A parent who points out and corrects a child for doing wrong does so out of love and compassion not out of disrespect or hatred. It is important that you realise that nobody will force you to go to Heaven; God came to offer everyone salvation, not to force it down our throats. The core of Christianity is love and since love is the freest of all things, it is only by your own free will that you can open your mind to the Truth that God has revealed and love Him and His Laws. Don’t you think God knows that so many people, including pagans are searching for Him? No human being can comprehend God so how can someone think they can find what they cannot even comprehend? More importantly if God wants to be found and knows that our eternal salvation depends upon it, don’t you think He would at least give us the directions? You cannot find God without God’s help! This is why He has revealed “THE Way, the Truth and the Life” through Jesus. I am perplexed by people who seem to think they know the path to God better than God Himself. In the light of this revelation would it not be downright deceitful and in opposition to God for a Christian to pretend that there is some other path? Personally, my conscience would not allow me to do something like that to someone when the most precious thing of all, their eternal destiny, is at stake. That is true respect.

  • Baldpagan

    I didn’t come into paganism until I was much, much older (in my 40′s) after a very traumatic period in my life…I read the Bible, The Koran (Qu’ran) & even the book of Mormon…I found the start of my path when studying for a celtic tattoo…In the end I discovered Gaia, a Goddess who isn’t an all powerful omniesient unseen being who has cruel intentions toward the Human Race! She helps us, she provides the neccesary where-with-all to grow.

  • Baldpagan

    What a ridiculous statement this is “often evil and may lead on to possession and diabolic attacks.” What possible proof do have for this stupid & highly flammable statement? How many deaths are caused by Catholics? How many innocent people have been put do death because they don’t follow the religion that is in power at the time… A religion is only as evil as the person following it! I know many so-called-God botherers who have a horrible way of looking at life, there is no sympathy or empathy within them, no tolerence what-so-ever! Paganism (wicca) has far more feeling for humanity & nature than you so called Abrahamaic religions!

  • Baldpagan

    I do not believe I have any powers, I try to live as a good human should, I try to keep the family together, to have good morals, to be polite & indutrious, to have a wonderful imagination, to ask questions & to keep asking. I give as much back to the Goddess as I can & try to take as little as possible. This to me is what being human, being Pagan is all about. Greed belongs to others not to us…I have yet to see a Pagan on the streets demanding that everyone should be a Pagan…& yet I see Islam & Christianity touted crudely as a business!

  • Baldpagan

    By the way, I’m a solitary pagan…Always have, no doubt always will be, however I am a member of the Pagan Federation!

  • Harrybendelow

    Dear Baldpagan,
    Anything condemned by God is very dangerous; it has the power to separate you from God for eternity. May I suggest that this outweighs any damage done to you or others by overzealous followers of Abraham? The quote comes from Deuteronomy 18. “ You are not to learn how to follow the abominable practises…there must not be found among you anyone who makes his son or daughter pass through fire, a diviner, a soothsayer, an enchanter, a sorcerer, a spell caster, a consulter of ghosts or spirits or a necromancer. For whoever does these things is an abomination in the eyes of God.” God must have his reasons for such a strong statement.
    I have seen an ex Wicca, who spent a long time in a mental institution, who eventually needed exorcism to find peace in the arms of Christ. Please do not be stubborn – I say these things because I will and pray the best for you – eternity is a very, very long time.
    Michael Arch.

  • Highlander

    There is no such thing as (White Magic) there is only (Black Magic) which is satanic in influence and leaves the gate open to eventual demonic infestation. Take it from a man who know best, Fr.Gabriele Amorth, read (An Exorcist Tells His Story) Or, if you are still not convinced, Fr. Malachi Martin (Hostage To The Devil) every Christian should have a copy, know your spiritual enemy.