Wicca, Christianity, Rituals, Thoughts


Good grief, I know, I make a bad habit of constantly repeating myself on this blog, but right now, I have a few excuses, namely one: I’m sick, and I’ve been drinking Hot Toddies, so I’m in a position to not be completely in my head.

When I first left fundamentalist/evangelical Christianity and entered into the world of religious exploration, the religions to which I finally came after all was said and done were Wicca and Buddhism. For years, I held these two, and they stayed in conflict theologically. I could never make up my mind which I was, and I simply had to say that I was both Wiccan and Buddhist- a concept that not many people could grasp.

This same cycle repeated itself in recent years with Christianity and Sufism.

The content came down to this: one system would articulate the need for inner transformation and offer Nirvana, and the other system would offer a set of rituals and an external beauty; one religion focused on the inner world, and another the outer world.

More hurtful is the process of trying to explain to others that I don’t actually change my religion, I only change the “language” in which I speak that religion. It has been a long and difficult road, and it’s difficult for me to guess that someone could pick a religion, agree with everything in it, and then go on in life with, “Well, that’s that.”

Yet I do envy those people on one level.

Anyway, the more I reflect on it, the more I realize that perhaps it was not Wicca and Buddhism that were in conflict but rather my idea of what each represented to me: one represented power in this world, one represented liberation from everything.

In other words, one represented a catering to the ego, the other represented its destruction and dissolution.

Now, of course, we also have huge problems with Wicca for other reasons. The system is admirable, to be sure, in its most idealized form- it is, in my opinion, a stripping down of Western religion and an iteration of it through generalized symbols for the archetypes and the Divine. The original form of Wicca with which we are acquainted, from the mid-1900s, actually has several laws and by-laws and so on.

Modern day Wicca isn’t quite the same. Instead, it’s become a Pop Witchcraft phenomenon; there are infinite numbers of cheesy Wicca 101 books to be found in every bookstore, and though some of them have tons of information, they almost invariably miss the point or don’t go deep enough.

Some would say that about 99% of religion, but I’m not here to address that.

Some would also say that I could’ve simply taken the Buddhist deities and inserted them into the Wiccan pantheon and gone from there.

This brings us to one of the most irritating aspects of Wicca: when people, who don’t understand what it is, who haven’t studied it, who have no idea that there is something to be said for organization and tradition, say the damnable words, “It’s whatever you want it to be.”

No. No, the fuck it isn’t. It’s never been “whatever you want it to be” and it never will be. If you want a religion that’s “whatever you want it to be,” go call yourself an Eclecto-Religio-Practice-Person or something, don’t call yourself Wiccan.

Back to the Buddhist pantheon. First, I understood that, while there may be Buddhist deities who cater to the various spheres of life, Wicca, too, was a Western, not an Eastern, thing. Randomly inserting Eastern traditions into the Western mindset would upset some kind of balance I saw in the whole process, and besides, the Buddhists don’t necessarily work with the deities in the way that a Wiccan would, so the process is culturally and theoretically removed.

This, too, was the beginning of trying to make things all fit together, of trying to have the so-called elusive “seamless garment.”

Wicca, on the whole, has turned into a kind of Protestantism. Not Protestant Christianity, but Protestant OF Christianity. The few individuals who would dare take Christ entities and insert them into the Wicca system are immediately dubbed “Christo-Pagans” and ridiculed.

But in a way, that ridicule is understandable; somewhere, hidden in the depths of Wicca, IS the Protestantism FROM Christianity; it’s part of its heritage, its lifeblood, complete with the mythology of the “burning times” and blaming Christianity for everything bad that ever happened, not unlike the dimwitted Modern Atheists™.

A good example of this I read recently was on a series of articles I once praised on witchvox.com. The author did a good job (or so I had thought) in going through Wicca, doing research, and separating what can be traced to ancient religions and cultures and what was most likely an invention of Gardner.

Then I saw a statement about the Cakes and Ale. Now, recently, Michael and I had a conversation about how the Wiccan communion is related to the Holy Eucharist; indeed, this much is obvious, because it maintains a certain thematic integrity.

But the author of this article said that the Eucharist was based on the Celtic ritual of blessing grains and alcohol, and that the Roman Church “borrowed” the ritual, and then Gardner “borrowed” it back.

That’s an example of shitty scholarship, folks.


Now, I’m not going to try to convince anyone, including myself, that the Holy Eucharist is entirely something related to the Passover meal and Jesus’s words and so on, but let’s not forget that DID happen. Pagans and Jews alike pretty much ate bread and drank alcohol, so saying the Celts blessed grain and alcohol (AKA, prayed over food) and that somehow the Catholics stole this idea of blessing food and inserted Jesus into the mix just doesn’t make any sense.

But then, there are the Wiccans who say that the Christians stole all things ritual from them, and then there are the Christians who agree with the Wiccans that the Eucharistic traditions did just that; neither group checks into the rituals written of in the Hebrew Bible, apparently, where there are candles, incense, bread, wine, and prayers everywhere.

Oh, yeah, and there’s that part in Genesis about the High Priest Melchizedek offering bread and wine to God Most High.

So the idea of bread and wine being offered to the Divine is a pretty ancient idea, just saying.

And also, I should point out, I’m not here to defend Christianity or discuss the atrocities committed in Christ’s Name or anything along those lines; Christianity will have a great deal to answer for in the hereafter, even as it has a great deal to answer for in the here and now.

Nor am I here to blast sincere, seeking Wiccans. Wicca has a good theory underlying it, and it’s potentially empowering for the individual. The mysticism in it is underdeveloped, but as it stands, so is the mysticism in modern-day Christianity. We mystics must, in fact, dip rather deep to find it a good deal of the time.

Erik and I discussed these things, and I told him a very true point: after all is said and done, I would MUCH rather be a Pop Wiccan than a Pop Christian. What I mean to say by this is that the “Pop Christian” books by individuals such as Joyce Meyer and Joel Osteen are just awful. The worldview through which they operate, the American Evangelical perspective, is just terrible. I would rather be a Pop Wiccan and do my little rituals and wave my little knife any day of the year.

A good thing about Wicca is that it made me feel like life has meaning; it made me feel as though Nature truly was holy, powerful, and a good thing. I could appreciate the changing of the seasons as part of the Great Happening of reality.
But then, I was always more focused on casting spells than I was on actually practicing a religion, so I mean, yeah.

Gnosticism did offer me a great deal of comfort, as it seems, in many respects, to be the meeting ground of Christianity, Wicca, and Buddhism. So three primary religions influencing me in my life ended up being rolled into one.

Jordan Stratford jokingly says that Gnostics are Catholic on the outside and Buddhist on the inside, and I think this wouldn’t necessarily be far off; I would edit that to say that Gnostics are more like Buddhists wearing Christian vestments or something.

But that doesn’t devalue the more orthodox Christian mysticism, either- Christianity is replete with symbols that have a lot to offer us.
Then again, so is Wicca, and you see how often that devolves into crap.

I think Wicca does have a problem with not being defined enough. It’s the double-edged sword; one is free to do whatever, but one doesn’t necessarily know WHAT to do.

If Wicca had specific symbols associated with the Wheel of the Year, I think it would make it easier. Perhaps there ARE definite symbols, signs, and underlying meaning present in the Wheel, and I’ve just failed to recognize. It wouldn’t be the first time.

When more thoughts come, I’ll write more. I’ve been so into writing lately, all these thoughts pouring through me, even though I’m sick, I can’t help but continue to write down my concepts.
Also, I should point out that in Wicca, the God is associated with Day and the Goddess with Night. I actually encountered the Divine in the opposite way- Sky/Day Mother, Earth/Night Father. It’s very strange that my actual experience would be in contrast to what is constantly repeated in Wicca, and that seems to be a huge problem- people repeating beliefs, repeating ideas, with NO experience to back them up.

One person, in fact, told me when, I spoke about the Earth Father Archetype, that he thinks of the Earth as both masculine and feminine; he missed the entire point and threw some theoretical, all-inclusive bullshit at me. Then again, if he were to speak of experiencing the Earth as both, that would be a different story.

The point is, this was an experience, an encounter, a real-time happening, not a mental concept that someone wrote about that I said, “Oh, that sounds good.” This was actual.

I can understand the feminine associations with the Earth, but it’s strange that the Earth would appear to me as masculine- and as Christ, no less.

Oh, the games archetypes play with us!

Pax Vobiscum.







This blog entry may be disturbing to some people, as it will directly challenge some of our most dearly-held notions as Americans. Going against the collective mindset can be a difficult thing, but someone has to do it, even if it can get one killed.

That being said, I would like to ask everyone to read very, very carefully (and perhaps multiple times) what I’m going to say here so that we’re all on the same page and no one comes flying at me angrily.

The first premise is that we are all human beings, and simply by the virtue of being a human being, we have inherent dignity and inalienable rights as human beings. Humanity, in the sense of the quality of being human, is important; so the point to be made here is that no one’s life or humanity is superior or inferior to anyone else’s, which is to say that in our human-ness, we are all equal.

Moving beyond that premise, that is where equality stops. That is where the equality of value stops. No matter how much we attempt to deny it, this is something we live out on a daily basis. Some people are simply more valuable to us, for whatever reason. We love some people more. We dislike some people. And so it goes.

But the truly disturbing thing that I want to discuss is something that will challenge both American culture and New Age thought: in terms of purpose, not everyone is equal.

Yes, I went there. I said it.

Now, some people’s mouths are probably hanging open at this point in time, as what I’ve just said is probably one of the most heretical possible things for me to say. My statement has already been qualified by the preceding statement, but let’s continue.

The point I mean to make is that not every human being in this world serves the same purpose, and not every human being is playing as important of a role in the overall “story” of the world. To go further with this, you have to also understand that, as mystics, we often assume that everyone wants to embrace their inner purpose or take up their cross or play an important role, and that just isn’t the case. Some people, believe it or not, just want to live out their lives peacefully, doing whatever it is that people in their culture do.

To sum it up, not everyone is interested in attaining Nirvana. Not everyone is interested in theosis or liberation or salvation or whatever your particular terminology may be. So their role may not be as important in this world as your role, and your role, in turn may not be as important as someone else’s role. This is something that we have to accept, and again, as Americans who want to feel equal about everything, it isn’t easy to suggest that someone may, well, be better than you.

But that doesn’t undermine your essential value, and this is where people get all up in arms and start making mistakes and would want to burn me at the stake. It is absolutely repugnant to suggest that one human being’s life is more valuable than another’s, or that one person is more human than another, or that some people aren’t human, and this is something I condemn whole-heartedly.

These are just more thoughts I have. Maybe a deeper clarification will be offered soon.


A Rant on Many Things


If you venture into the Catholics Answers Forum on catholic.com, you’ll see people who talk about the “stereotypes” of Catholicism and how they’re wrong and so on.

I, too, defend Catholicism quite often, most often from strange Protestant attacks on Catholicism.

But one stereotype that’s interesting had to do with guilt.

Now, you have to remember- this isn’t true for EVERY CATHOLIC- no stereotype is true for EVERYONE in a particular group.

I recently read an excerpt from St. Augustine’s Confessions and was absolutely appalled to see the list of things he mentioned were sins.

Apparently, ANXIETY is a sin- it falls into the category of “distrust.”

In other words, if you experience anxiety, it means you don’t believe in God enough.

I felt guilt pouring into me just reading the list.

So St. Augustine definitely had issues with guilt.

However, I don’t really and truly care for St. Augustine for many reasons- he’s literally one of the biggest hypocrites that has ever existed in the history of the world. While he isn’t without his merit, I always remember his famous statement, “Lord, give me chastity, but not yet.”

St. Augustine makes me angry for that very reason. He is the epitome of Christian hypocrisy and what I see happen so often in the religious world- Christians who go live half their lives in so-called sin, doing whatever the hell they please, then having a conversion experience (which incidentally almost always lines up at the point in their life when their body is just too old to handle copious amounts of drugs, alcohol, loud music, partying, and sexuality), and THEN proceed to condemn people who are doing the exact same things they were just doing when they were younger.

I really want to blow a gasket when I see that happen.

St. Augustine argues using a lot of faulty presuppositions, and I think that’s where his ideas in general fall apart. Not all of them are terrible, but, as with anything, they shouldn’t be taken as absolutes, rather as outlines.

I find it interesting to see Christians invoke the “you’re just moral relativists” clauses when anyone challenges Christian morality while themselves being “morally relativist” when it comes to inconvenient things mentioned in Christianity such as helping the poor, taking care of the sick, stoning people who eat shrimp, and throwing women on the rag outside of the city for a week.

I mean, seriously, folks- come ON. It’s not about being a moral relativist- you can apprehend what morals make sense and which ones don’t. Obviously gay buttsex does not cause Yahweh to rain fire on people on a habitual basis, and stoning a woman who has committed adultery is just ridiculous, much less suggesting that she has to stay outside of the city while on her period.

Christianity, along with most religions, “cherry picks” from the very beginning.

But no one bothers to point out that maybe the reason people “cherry pick” is because they’re trying to make sense of things- and some ideas proscribed in the Hebrew Bible are nonsensical.

I find it strange, too, that so many ignorant Christians are quick to condemn Muslims and point out horrible things about the Koran while conveniently ignoring the Hebrew Bible. There are some PRETTY TERRIBLE THINGS IN THERE.

Again, I invoke the Gnostic approach of allegorical interpretation as the proper mode of understanding. Otherwise, we’re left with a great deal of nonsense mixed into a bit of history and a few wise sayings that quickly falls out of relevance in the modern world and produces nut-jobs that cause heavy devastation to people who are decent and actually interested in the depths of spirituality.

Going back to the original subject, I think many Catholics would stand to argue that yes, indeed, Catholicism breeds a hell of a lot guilt into an individual.

Guilt is a method of control, people. That’s the whole reason it’s a bad thing. I’m not saying guilt is never a necessary response of a person- indeed, someone who has a true moral failing may feel guilty, and the decent among us probably bear more guilt than we should- but creating guilt where it should not be and would not naturally occur is the real problem here.

Anyway, Catholicism has at least made an attempt to move forward regarding gay people. Many Catholics have no problem with gays, and many Catholics are gay- I mean the number of gay Catholics is absolutely ridiculous.

But where it’s stopped is at the relabeling “sodomites” as individuals who experience “SSA.” SSA means “Same Sex Attraction.” It’s a step in the right direction- but the tone is still one of condemnation, and ultimately gay people are disparaged because the only right and holy sex is when a man and a woman are in the missionary position and trying to make babies. Any other kind of sex, and any kind of contraception, is 100% horrible and evil and wrong- summarily, having sex for pleasure is BAD.

But that doesn’t make any sense. Using an individual, having sex with someone only for your own pleasure, leading them on and telling them that you care about them when you only want their body and have no intentions to be faithful to them after using their body- this is wrong, because it involves deceit, manipulation, and emotional abuse. You willingly and willfully hurt another human being.

Two people who are a couple aren’t doing that. They’re together because they care about each other, because they want to build a life together, because they want to experience the world in a united way. The sexuality is a nice part, an important part of a relationship, but it isn’t everything, and most people with half a brain are aware of that.

As I often say, it isn’t rocket science.

To say that if they have sex for the pleasure thereof (because it’s a natural by-product of their mutual attraction and consent with one another ) that it’s a sin is not a negotiable idea here- it’s not worthy of consideration- it’s just stupidity in the works.

Concisely, no one thrusts their hips in bed screaming, “PRAISE GOD, PRAISE GOD, WE’RE MAKING A BABY, PRAISE GOD, PRAISE GOD!” and anyone who thinks that’s actually what goes on is deceiving himself about reality.

Just some thoughts. Venting done.