While surfing the Net yesterday I cam across the piece below from
I found the piece interesting - not only because it refers to me - but because it makes a connection between all spiritual things - from witches to Christianity.
The writer is a very good thinker. All spirituality comes from ONE SOURCE.
We Christians call that GOD and JESUS.
Others have different names.
But as Jesus said: "He who is not against us is with us".
Witches & Christians, with reference to Bishop Pat Buckley
"The picture is actually of Pope St Pius X celebrating Low Mass. I have commented before that he was plainly a man who knew how to dress for church, but he was plainly also a man who knew the value of subtle.
I have a confession to make. It's something that is perhaps unusual among witches, it may even be surprising to anyone who knows me & my history, but I don't actually have a problem with Christianity, myself. I have a problem with certain Christians, their beliefs & actions, obviously, but my opinion is the Christianity is not *that* incompatible with a magical worldview or even a witchcraft milieu.
They don't like to talk about it, but the real reason Christians tend to in-fighting is that there have been two distinct strands to Christianity from the beginning. One I will call the charismatic one, which is (to over-simplify for the purpose of the argument) more spontaneous, inspired, seeks its authority within, & so on. The other is the authoritative strand, which is broadly more conservative, ordered, & seeks its authority outside itself, whether in scripture or church tradition.
What does this have to do with witchcraft? On the surface, nothing. However, when you translate the charismatics as hedgewitches, & the authoritarians as lineaged (or BTW, as they're called in the States), the similarity becomes apparent. The similarity to a magical world-view also becomes apparent when you consider that the two world views can rarely be clearly separated out, as I have above, one form often calls itself the other, & extremes at either end tend to flip over into the opposite, this situation will become familiar to any magical person reading this. In the interests of balance & upsetting everyone equally, the thing that Gardnerian witches don't talk about is that Gardner was also a Christian priest, or even bishop in a rather unusual independent Christian church!
Just in case there are Christians reading this who have not been exposed to a magical world view (welcome, whoever you are), we call this polarity. The entire aim of all magical systems everywhere & at all times has been the reconciliation of all opposites to the pursuit of balance. The nub here (where Christians will part company) is that actually the whole Judaeo-Christian tradition can be understood in magical terms. The best book on this is Morton Smith's Jesus the Magician; Islam has its own magical world that I don't know enough about to write on.
One of the tags on this blog that I find myself using the most often is 'the witch figure'; the fact that I find myself repeatedly chewing this over indicates the ambivalence & multi-faceted nature of the witch figure that we model ourselves on. Some of the characteristics of this figure carry heavy Christian theological ramifications, such as prophet, scapegoat, gathering, time (kairos). The only element which is almost completely missing from witchcraft is sin & redemption. The God of the Christians is plainly Y*hw*h, G*d of Israel, & Jesus is their messiah. We, if we don't have duotheistic views, have often several divinities or a henotheistic God and/or Goddess. I would recognise multiple Jesus figures (downplaying his divinity for Christians) as semi human/divine figures, including each witch herself. I've ignored the Holy Spirit so far, but I would equate the Spirit to any of the entities involved in witchcraft cosmology or even the reality that some witches recognise behind God & Goddess.
This is a roundabout way of saying that since we magical people understand thing happening on several planes of existence (the way things manifest for us represents patterns & systems of reality that we can't physically see on this plane) the way witches would understand this also to Christians, & the way things play out here are part of a cosmic drama representing the realities behind what we see.
|St Patrick the "Druid"|
Which brings me nicely to the subject of Bishop Pat Buckley (http://www.bishoppatbuckley.co.uk/), who is the bishop of what's called an Independent Catholic Church. He was ordained a Catholic priest in his twenties: up to there his career superficially embodies the authoritative side of Christianity. However when in the 1980s his bishop tried to suppress his views about the ordination of women & homosexuality, he felt he had no option to embark on an independent ministry, & ultimately sought consecration as a Bishop in the line of Archbishop Thuc, a bishop who performed many consecrations without the blessing of Rome. His status therefore, as far as Rome is concerned, is 'valid but irregular': no doubt they wouldn't want to regularise him given his history, but he is a bishop. Why I'm going into all this is that his career here tries to reconcile the two sides - charismatic & authoritative - of Christianity, a reconciliation of opposites that is exactly the aim of most magical practitioners.
|St Patrick's Chair|
I find it interesting also how his prophetic role may manifest energies that are unseen. His blog (http://wisecatholic.blogspot.co.uk - to which I subscribe, makes for interesting reading, not least for the prophetic criticism he makes of the church life which surrounds him, even attracting anonymous comments from local priests. This may seem like a disaffected former priest attracting other malcontents but I don't think that's quite what's happening, in fact on a higher level it more manifests a) an ongoing argument in the religious world more generally, & b) when a culture of disaffection is fostered by heavy-handed authoritarianism, it actually creates its opposite (in a polarity philosophy), in this case clusters of people actively resisting the authority. In this case I have no doubt that the local 'proper' Catholic bishop considers him a thorn in his side, but if one were merely to call him a malcontent, in an attempt to make his existence insignificant, it is to ignore a whole layer of meaning, that we humans ignore at our peril.
And he certainly does seem to be filling the roles that are often reflected in the witch figure. Prophet, by his ongoing criticism of the Catholic church as it is. Sanctuary for those nobody else will care for, by his gay marriages & ordination of women. Confidant, in listening to those who also have an unwelcome story to tell. Scapegoat, by his existence as an object of blame for the local Catholic community & others. I feel he was also scapegoated when a local judge decided to divulge his HIV+ status in court (do privacy laws not count in Northern Ireland?). Incidentally he was in court for allegedly conducting sham marriages to enable foreigners to stay in the country. In fact he almost exactly embodies all the aspects of the witch figure despite being a Christian...
Or perhaps because of it. My point here is that if Christians follow where genuine discipleship leads them they will step on toes & upset apple carts. That's the point.
The other point is that from a witch point of view the things they do will have a broader, more cosmic vibrational aspect. In fact, they may have more in common with us than either of us likes to think, just another of those surprises that the universe likes to give us"!