Christian witches/occultists vs. mainstream Christians
The Christian witches/ occultists vs. mainstream Christian tumblr fight has seriously brought out the worst of ignorance in Christians and has made me facepalm harder than ever before. It’s just become long-winded rhetoric about not judging others while failing to get to the core of the misunderstandings. The occult can be a good or bad thing, just like the study of any philosophy or spirituality. Many Christians don’t know that most western occult traditions stem from Judeo-Christian philosophy and are mere variations of mystical Christianity. Some study it to grow in union with God and draw knowledge from the angels and saints; others use it to conjure demons to do their bidding. Some try to do both.
You can’t just lump everyone together and claim that the Bible preaches against discovering how the spiritual universe works. Let’s not forget that the most prominent of Catholic saints were mystics, visionaries, and healers who used their ability to speak with God and the angels for the benefit of others: writing down their conversations in volumes of books with the good of the faithful. Ven. Mary of Agreda, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Hildegard von Bingen, and St. Julian of Norwich are the first to come to my mind. This isn’t some recent fad that’s come in as a form of syncretism between occult and Christianity; it’s an ancient path that has been paved by the saints which is almost just as old as the Church (other forms are even older). The most prominent of alchemists and herbal healers were Catholic monks and priests who covered massive ground in discovering alchemical and spiritual proceses that would form the basis of modern chemistry. It’s not just about mixing fancy chemicals and chanting around circles with the names of God and angels; it’s about the transmutation of the soul to its highest form to unify with God.
What us Catholics do is almost indistinguishable. Blessing ourselves with salt infused holy water, walking around in glimmering robes and Latin chants, consecrating churches and altars with holy oil, swinging incense, touching sacred relics and icons, and using a variety of sacramentals that range from wax figures to blessed ropes and cords, are all ways we connect with God. Personally, I use the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentegram from the Golden Dawn to spiritially cleanse areas, ask the Holy Spirit’s presence when I’m fixing up some whacky herbal teas when my friends and relatives are sick, cast circles before I do Lectio Divina, read loads on Jewish and Catholic mysticism to deepen my understanding of God, and pray to specific angels to illuminate me with the information and wisdom I need at that moment. What exactly in this contradicts the basic tenats of Catholicism?
What are most mainstream Christians’ definition of Christian occult anyway? Is it necromancy and conjuring Satan? Summoning demons from the Goetia? Is it trying to predict the future? Because I can assure you that the Christian witches and occultists I know don’t do any of those things and focus on hermetic philosophy, spellwork (literally intention infused with ritual- an elaborate form of prayer), and the angels. What exactly are the objections that mainstream Christians have towards this? It just seems to be a knee-jerk reaction without much research into what it actually is.