Last year New Age Hipster (a.k.a Vix) wrote this post about being a Christian Witch. This was powerful for me. Newly out of the church and exploring a nature-based spiritual path I didn’t want to throw my whole faith heritage and spiritual journey to date out of the window. Yet my own experiences in evangelical/ charismatic churches in my teens had taught me that some people in the church aren’t at all keen on those who follow the old ways. This kept me hiding my new path and firmly in the broom closet.
More recently I’ve “come out” about reading tarot and have posted occasionally on social media about the Celtic Wheel of the Year and festivals. But I’ve still been reluctant to claim my path. Because I am afraid. I’m afraid people won’t understand and I like to be understood… I’m not a different person. I haven’t rejected the values which have steered me through life. I still believe fundamentally we are here to live abundant lives, to have “life to the full“, to love God/dess and our neighbour. But there are some aspects of “belief”, being tied to a creed, that I struggled with for decades and can no longer pretend to adhere to. This is, to me, a more honest way to live, than struggling to bend my mind to claim dogmas which I can’t accept.
But it’s challenging. Stepping outside of the certainty of church life is daunting, letting go of a way of life; it was comfortable and, in many ways, safe. Easier to stay with the known sometimes, even though it’s become unhealthy, than to break free into uncharted territory. Seeking to hold true to a spiritual path outside of orthodoxy means walking into the “cloud of unknowing“, continuing to seek God/dess, to reach out all my love, but into a void space beyond.
I still pray sometimes. Sometimes I talk to Mary. Sometimes to Jesus. And today I remembered a retreat I took in 2001-2002.
In Ignatian Spirituality one practice is to imagine yourself in the Bible story. You visualise the scene. You see the characters. You notice what they are wearing. What you can see and smell around you. Then you see where you are in the story. Are you a bystander? One of the leading characters? If Jesus is there what does he say? Does he speak to you? How do you respond? You then reflect on what this can teach you about the story, and about your own faith journey.
And I wondered how it would be if I had a conversation with Jesus today about my witchy path. And what he would say to me now. It began kind of awkwardly, more on my part, the prodigal daughter seeking an audience…
But I realised pretty quickly that it wasn’t an issue. Jesus isn’t interested in any label I or others ascribe to me. He is interested in how I live. I had a strong sense that he calls some people to serve him in the church, and some to serve him in every other place on earth. He calls people to live radically loving lives, to bring healing, to challenge the dark places in human hearts and seek to bring wholeness. I do not believe that this is dependent on any creed or specific religious path, because God/dess is way too big to be contained in one faith…
I saw him kneeling on the ground with the woman caught in adultery, drawing shapes in the dust, I saw him challenging the status quo, asking the difficult questions, living differently to the way people expected. And I knew that while other people might judge me, he didn’t. That he would ask me to live as honestly as possible. To trust in grace. To stay open. To return accusation with patience. And to be ready to turn over the tables when there is injustice.
I still don’t understand how my faith shifted in the way it did. I still don’t know what spiritual twister took me from that place and dropped me in this. But I will keep walking the path, seeking grace, seeking to serve and seeking to bring love and healing.
Amen, sister. So mote it be.