The Christian Witches of the United States of America


Christian magic receives criticism and ravings from all quarters. It is defined as "Christian" because it depends culturally and traditionally on Christianity. However, it seems logical that any individual, at first glance, both among Christian believers and practitioners of magic, as well as outsiders, would be confused or criticize the fact that Christianity prohibits magic, seeking its elimination along with paganism, and that it is called well to any type of practice. However illogical it may be, the truth is that Christian magic has existed since its inception.

We are not going to go into detail about all the elements that could be called magical within the Christian religion, from exorcisms to lighting candles (well, aren't you, perhaps, making a request in exchange for lighting it?). But it should be noted that in the biblical text, both in the Hebrew corpus and in the Christian corpus itself, there are examples of magical acts coming from divine power, through human beings (see Moses with his staff, or Jesus healing with his saliva). And that, indeed, the presence of God seems to justify all this and in its beginnings witchcraft was persecuted as it already was in their own pre-Christian cultures (let's not forget this). The biggest problem came when pagan rituals were associated with it and equally encouraged. In the Theodosian Code it is meant that magical practice, associated with witchcraft, must be punished. However, the practice cannot always be taken as a pagan continuation, rather, as an adaptation of it, since the thought of protection or use of a symbol evocative of something superior is intrinsic to the human being. 

Beyond this, we have the Coptic magical texts, formally very similar to the PMG, where divine and angelic names are included in the nomina barbara for all kinds of purposes: curses, abortions, sexual magic...We have in the 6th century magical papyri where evangelical texts where Jesus' healing miracles are recounted can be read over the sick, causing the same effect, since the word has power in itself, and also used as amulets to carry on top, something very common in the Greco-Egyptian world. However, in early medieval texts, influenced by Hebrew Kabbalah and astrology, the presence of the God of the three great religions is constant, and it can be seen that in ancient grimoires the name of the Christian God and of Jesus, angels or saints are openly used in esoteric practices such as theurgy, and magic such as obtaining goods or healing. So something later, in the Renaissance, in the work of Agrippa, Mirandola or Dee, where magic is performed with divine permission and with his intercession. Paracelsus proposed that God had made a remedy for each disease, in plants and symbols, and although multiple pseudepigraphies arose after his name with various spells and potions, the truth is that his original statements did not cause much of a stir. In the Key of Solomon itself (probably the most popularly known grimoire, from the 17th century) there is a series of demonic and angelic evocations that evidently accept all Christian theology. In fact, simply accepting that magic originated from demonic contracts (which have their origin in evangelical descriptions of the release of demons), makes it clear that Christian culture was the main influence on magical conceptions, even more than superstition or religion. existing pagan tradition. It is also true that the Jewish cabal ended up leading to a Christian cabal, and just as astrology altered its course towards the classical world, since Judaism and Islam were separated.All of this may clash with current Christian thinking and modern magic, but all you have to do is walk through esoteric shops to check the sale of crosses, virgins, angels, saints, rosaries, crowns, novenas, holy water, medals and candles for purposes amulets and rituals. Moreover, in religious stores we can find the same gadgets. 

So where is the real sticking point? In that the perception of current magic drinks directly from the occult (and also archaeological) boom of the 19th century, where all the esoteric and magical traditions of antiquity were recovered, and consequently, the practices of the moment were traditionally linked with them, and The Christian religion, in check by scientific and philosophical thought, was postulated as an enemy, a conception that had always been subjected, but that is currently in the light, to this day. This approach is the cause of the first confrontation between "Christian" magic and "traditional" magic.The second question is the denomination of the practitioners, in feminine: they call themselves Christian witches, and it is not necessary to explain the direct confrontation that this implies, after the continuous persecutions and the reduction of the feminine will on the part of said religion, together with this the conception that witchcraft is something evil and unorthodox. There are also male followers, but it will not be necessary to exemplify how the male individual has never received the same persecution in the magical field, being a wise man, sorcerer, astrologer, alchemist, magician and even a witch as such, but a man, after all.The third point to discuss is the origin of this "new" and self-proclaimed Christian magic: the United States of America. The conception of magic in these territories is totally different from what can be had in Europe with the previously mentioned elements, since their witchcraft episodes were localized; and also, the country currently has the influence, although biased, of African and pre-Columbian cults, as a fusion of religions. This is not a minor thing, since many followers of these covens and communities belong to ethnic groups where ancestral religion and magic have not been abandoned. For example, to Latin Americans, who despite the assimilation of Christianity, have known how to maintain their esotericism and their pre-European beliefs under mixed or traditional forms and resort more frequently to candles, saints and blessings. Nor the santeros, perhaps the best example of encryption in traditional African religion. As for the Europeans, for most of them this Christian magic is just a refinement of popular folklore, which has always been full of blessings and curses, songs for rain and harvest, offerings, dances, and walks to the saints, amulets, and magical remedies where religion was present, although it had nothing to do with it.

Even holding meetings in Salem -with the consequent anger of all the related communities- these Christian witches appeal to the Bible as a grimoire, since Jesus is considered a sorcerer, and its texts are taken for ritual prayers. Many other characters are valued as magicians, such as the aforementioned Moses, or King Solomon and his control over demons; they find privileged seers in the prophets or chosen ones who speak with God or his angels, or who even ascend, like Enoch or Elijah; and the direct participation of the angels, Gabriel, Rafael and Miguel, through mediumship and theurgy, gives value and justification, among other curious points, such as considering Leviticus a grimoire in itself, since it gathers the description of sacrifices, consecrations and questions related to the relationship with God and purification.

If we analyze their rituals, it will not be surprising to see that they do not stray, in their basic form, from any other folk magic. Meetings and meditations on days considered important. Requests and offerings to God. Spells with biblical characters as maximum powers to achieve and grant what is desired, be it love, success, money, through different symbolisms. It is worth noting the detail of spells with the gems from the pectoral of the Temple priest for the Urim and the Tunnim, the stones used for divine communication, through a two-answer system similar to many divination systems, and astrology (didn't he point out a star the birth of Jesus, and three wise men followed it?) Amulets of deep meanings, exorcisms and even sympathetic magic.

In fact, the defense of the inclusion of pagan or polytheistic elements is defined by what they call "inclusive monotheism", where the Judeo-Christian god is only one among many. This is specified numerous times in the Bible itself:

"You shall not worship or honor them (the other divinities), for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God" Exodus 20:5

"You shall not follow other gods, nor any of the gods of the peoples that surround you" Deuteronomy 6:14

Thus, the spiritual value of Christian witches resides in the possibility of becoming more closely linked to a specific god to which they are most united or consecrated, without despising other divinities or denying their existence.It seems that the only limit to this magic is the ethical and moral breakdown of love for one's neighbor, something complex in curses or ties, as well as the "official" Christian point of view in many other social issues. However, there are multiple samples of such rituals in communities of Christian magic, with or without religious, spiritual or social justification. In some specific circles, these witches are called Jezebel, the name of the Phoenician queen of Israel who reestablished polytheism, but whose main characteristic was her despotism, abuse and licentiousness. With the new boom in witchy aesthetics and neopaganism, along with interest in traditional cultures, many have decided to leave a Church that seems outdated to them and return to and modify a familiar or ethnic culture, as is the case with pre-Columbian traditions. African religions, or interest in the Celtic and Nordic world on the Old Continent: Icelandic magic brings together many Christian appeals and prayers; Wicca has a Christian branch, Christowicca, where God plays the role of pantheistic force, or the so-called Trinitarian Wicca. But while Europe is a little better used to variety, this is more shocking on the other side of the pond.

Perhaps this is the cause of the frustration and the call for attention in North America, finding itself at an intermediate point, and incomprehensible if the historiography of magic is unknown, of its existence with a Christian God present and not necessarily an enemy. , leaving many people in a limbo of beliefs, in which the hodgepodge is the solution. It is not only that both the practitioners and the detractors ignore, in part, the entire cultural base inherited from the Europeans, but, closed to it, they have tried to develop a base from scratch, something always very difficult to defend.

Pietro Viktor Carracedo Ahumada -

- Aune, D. E. Apocalypticism, Prophecy and Magic in Early Christianity: Collected Essays. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, 2006
-Cameron Bristol, J. Christians, Blasphemers, and Witches: Afro-Mexican Ritual Practice in the Seventeenth Century. University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque. USA 2007.
-Klauck, H.J. Magic and Paganism in Early Christianity: The World of the Acts of the Apostles. T&T Clark, Scotland, 2000
-Love, V. Confessions of a Christian Witch: How an Ex-Jehovah's Witness Lives Magickal, 2018 -Pearson, J. Wicca and the Christian Heritage: Ritual, Sex and Magic. Routledge, NY 2007

Related posts:
>Neopaganism and Magic.
>Modern age and pagan cults: Witchcraft in Western Europe.
>Magicology (II): a distorted picture.
>Christian demonology in Middle Ages
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