I proposed a topic of discussion with my daughter the other day, the manifestation of witchcraft in contemporary culture.
“Witchcraft” is all around us.
Now I’m not old enough to say anything about the 1960s, but it seems that’s when American spirituality tried to break from religion in the form of rote brainwashing.
Now, don’t read me wrong.
I merely mean that traditionally, religion begins in the family and people typically follow the same spiritual tenets their parents did.
That’s how the system works and how religion and patriarchy go hand-in-hand. But that’s not my point for today nor a conversation I’m willing to have with the internet-at-large. At least not today or anytime soon.
My mother drove me to a local United Methodist Church on Sundays. Even though religion was not a core of my home life, that experience of attending a church shaped my mind.
And for a long time I was strongly Christian.
Attending a liberal arts college (Moravian College), exposed me to other religions for the first time. Maybe I was ignorant and/or blind, but my small town, rural upbringing did not expose me to anything beyond Christian. This was pre-9/11 so concepts like Jewish and Muslim were foreign to me.
And then I had to take my three religion courses for my requirements. I took Old Testament, Religions of China and Japan and maybe something else I can’t recall right now.
Studying the Old Testament’s origins shook my faith in new ways. Yet, my experiences reassured me that the universe has an order and inherent creative power.
Around this time, one of my mother’s friends gave me a Ryder-Waite tarot deck and I really fell in love with Taoism.
So now, I’m a college student dabbling in other religions convinced I’m going to hell for divination.
Present day me might be going to hell for a lot of reasons. Tarot is merely one. But I don’t believe in hell. I can’t believe a god that loves us enough to sacrifice for us would condemn us to hell. I can’t believe a God that promotes forgiveness would condemn us.
I’m no longer “Christian.” My lack of faith in Christianity has nothing to do with Jesus Christ. I just believe that Christianity is a system of bribery and reward. Institutionalized Christianity focuses too much on a Biblically-mandated moral code that prescribes what we need to do to receive eternal life in Heaven.
I want to do what’s right because I’m a good person, not because of repercussion or reward.
That’s not to say I feel Christians, church or religion is bad.
A genuine faith community is a powerful source of support and good, for individuals, families and neighborhoods.
I have met and interacted with deeply beautiful Christians who improve the lives of others through their generosity and faith. I have worshipped with many faith groups that move me to tears.
I believe in my own spiritual concepts and my own higher power. Those are personal to me and they impact how I live my life.
In my next post:
21st Century Witchcraft: Magic in the everyday