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Thoughts on Cultural and Spiritual Appropriation
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Apples and Oranges
Article Specs |
Article ID: 3143
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 5,738
Times Read: 6,027
Author: Moonspider [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: December 10th. 2000
Times Viewed: 6,027
Christian witch? Christopagan? Episcopagan? In a word, no. It simply does not compute, the two are diametrically opposed. Our American society is not conducive to having these blended. Our nation is just simply too young. In the blending you wind up with a mess. I see too many confused people trying to be both. At one point in all aspects of our lives we must make choices.
From experience I can speak as a recovered Catholic, that is how I was brought up. And now, speak as a Witch. It is something that I always knew I was. It was always a struggle between the two parts. It was not until adulthood that I realized why. You can't be both. They simply don't mesh.
Neither choice is good or bad. Its just you need to decide which is your bag. And, you will at one point have to choose. Being a Witch isn't for sissies. You will be challenged, and you will have to draw upon the strength inside yourself to prove it. But, I digress.
Let us start at the beginning. Witches have been around a long time. As an accepted religion, that is relatively new. Christians follow a deity called Christ. Witchcraft has no such deity in its structure. Our deities predate that one. We aren't unchristian, we just simply aren't Christian, just like we are not Hindu, Amish, Quaker, etc.
We have magic and mystery. Our Christian brothers and sisters frown on such things. And, when they do have it, it is only for certain members of their clergy. We are all priests and priestesses of the Gods. To say nothing of their lack of female priests. Yes, I do realize some do have heretic fringes that have allowed such things. When I refer to Christians, I'm basically making reference to the Roman Catholic variety, since that is what I'm familiar with.
Christians, as a rule, are less participatory in their services. They are attended with the priest presiding. All Witches are priests or priestesses and can command their own rituals, they need no blessing other than from the Gods. Christian Mass is fed to the people. Witches feed each other. We celebrate.
They have only one God, we have many. Like facets of a jewel, we have a rich collection of aspects to cull from. Our Gods cross many lands, oceans, and languages. Theirs does not.
To quote from there own book, The Bible, "No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and like the other; or he will honor one and despise the other.1" (Matt. 6.24).
I can understand the draw from one to the other, I've been there as I've stated before. There will come a time of choice. It is a disservice to both to try and be both.
Another quote of support, "You cannot burn the candle at both ends. You cannot do two opposite things at one and the same time; you cannot exhaust your energies in one direction, and yet reserve them unimpaired for something else. If you got to bed late you cannot get up early. You cannot eat your cake and have it too. ... You cannot serve two masters.2"
"He who hunts two hares leaves one and loses the other. No one can do well or properly two things at once.3"
Lastly, "Freyja's necklace made by the fairies. Freyja left her husband Odin in order to obtain this necklace; and Odin deserted her because her love was changed into vanity. It is not possible to love Brisingamen and Odin too, for no one can serve two masters.4"
On a more mundane level lets look at the recent activities surrounding our elections. Similarly when we vote, we may like both candidates, yet only one can be elected. That is how most things work. In our institutions, only one can lead, there is only one chairman of the board.
We do need to give understanding to people drawn to our ways, for a time they will be drawn in both directions. Perhaps doubts will appear, did the make the correct decision, etc. To continue supporting both camps at once is tantamount to enabling. We need to remember that our ways are our ways. We are not a hodgepodge and mishmash of religious blending. Isn't life confusing enough without adding to the confusion?!
Haven't we been misunderstood by others long enough? I don't want what I've fought long and hard all my life to obtain, to be made into psycho-pablum. We are different, embrace it. Yes, embrace it in the steps it takes you to become. And, for a while you may have a foot in each camp. That is healthy. To leave the feet in both your remain stuck unable to move forward, that is unhealthy.
Our Amish brethren have a custom, as a child comes of age, he has one year to experience the outer world. After that time has come to pass he must choose to stay, or leave. It is a healthy way for experience to be gained, and then for a choice to be made. So too, must you.
That is why in many covens you have the year-and-a-day trial. At any point during that time you can leave. At the end of that time, you need to make a choice. Perhaps that is the disservice of many people just dabbling in the Craft. This place isn't for dabblers.
The only country I have seen some successful blending is in Ireland. The Irish never forgot their Pagan roots. In pubs today you may be asked if you are Catholic or Protestant. If you reply Pagan. They say, "Oh, yes, but a Catholic one or Protestant." The crosses you see are Celtic, the solar disk imposed on the cross. You rarely see a crucifix. Even church names, they are to Our Lady, or The Lady, not Mary. Many are to Brigid, and all the sacred wells are hers too. You only need to scratch the surface slightly to see Paganism alive and well there.
Maybe because of the isolation of the island has this been able to be accomplished. The ancient roots are alive and well, they never died out. They allowed the veneer of the church to cover them for preservation.
In our American society things are much more black and white. We are also a rootless country. Many peoples have come here but only over hundreds of years, not thousands. The transition back to the other side seems to be a harder path. If people are drawn to our ways-fantastic. People are drawn to it for a variety of reasons, mostly because their path wasn't fulfilling.
One must reconcile themselves to choice. Choose what you want to be, and be it. While we can be between the worlds in many areas, this is not one.
1. Holy Bible from the ancient Eastern text: George M. Lamsa's translations from the Aramaic of the Peshitta. (San Francisco: Harper & Row, , c1968), p. 957.
2. Brewer, E. Cobham. "Burn." Dictionary of phrase and fable. 1898. Available: http://www.bartleby.com/81/2695.html. 1 Dec 2000.
3. Brewer, E. Cobham. "Hunting two hares." Dictionary of phrase and fable. 1898. Available: http://www.bartleby.com/81/8625.html. 1 Dec 2000.
4. Brewer, E. Cobham. "Brisingamen." Dictionary of phrase and fable. 1898. Available: http://www.bartleby.com/81/2515.html. 1 Dec 2000.
Location: Bridgeport, Connecticut
Author's Profile: To learn more about Moonspider - Click HERE
Bio: Mark MoonSpider Sosnowski has been on this path most of his life. Life has dealt him many twists and turns, and usually says he came into the Craft through the back door. He loves books and reading and makes his living as a librarian. Numerology is his main form of divination having worked it for over 15 years. but, his Gemini mind, never at rest, has studied astrology, crystals, runes, I ching and whatever else strikes his fancy. He recently joined a local pagan board as education chair, and will begin formally teaching Craft classes next month.
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