Herne's Ramblings - An Open Letter to Christians
First of all, I wish to make it clear that we have had many letters from visitors who are Christian by faith and have taken the time to explore our pages learning about who Witches' are and what we believe. We have enjoyed sharing thought and perspective with you in an open and mature way resulting in a narrowing of the gap that separates our beliefs. This letter is not intended to bash Christians in any way whatsoever. On the opposite side, we have also had our share of those which are clearly inspired by
hatred, intolerance and complete misconception. This letter is more for that group, so please understand that I am not trying to stereotype all Christians.
This is an open letter to those of the Christian faith who have come here to tell us how lost we are and expound on the tired rhetoric of fire and brimstone without any concept or understanding of what our philosophies really are. I have little patience for those who blindly attack another group based on misconception and ignorance of that groups actual beliefs.
I welcome you to visit our pages, and if possible, you are encouraged to set aside the myth, misconception, superstition and fear which has been presented to you by the misinformed. By doing this, you can evaluate our beliefs with an open mind and begin to see the commonalties between our paths.
We are not the Devil worshippers or evil lost souls you have been lead to believe. Actually, quite the opposite is true of those who truly follow the Old Traditions. We are a peaceful people who celebrate life seeing it as sacred in it's diverse forms. Many of the values and ethics you have been taught as Christian's were adopted from our belief systems hundreds of years ago. I am not trying to entice or incite your anger, but it is an easily documented historical fact that Wicca, Paganism, Witchcraft and
the Nature Based religions predate Christianity by several thousand years.
In getting to the main point of why you may have come here, lets talk about God and the age old controversy which has pitted Christianity against all other belief systems. The often competitive attitude of Christianity has resulted in far too much turmoil, pain and suffering throughout history and needs to stop. The time is long past for misconceptions spawned during the ignorance of the middle ages to be evaluated, accepted as baseless superstitions and the fears, hatred, prejudice and intolerance discarded
as counter productive. There are much better uses of our energy.
All Gods are One God, all Goddesses are One Goddess, all faiths of the divine are One faith, and all things are interconnected through the divine. It is by striving to live ones life with truth, honor, integrity and respect for all that exists that we achieve a true connection to the divine. Regardless of the name we give that supreme creative force for purposes of association, the essence of the divine remains unchanged. Humanity has simply associated the divine by different names according to the cultural
background or experiences of the people following that particular belief.
Most of Christian faith have been taught that the Divine consists of God the Father, the Son which is Jesus and the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost. In essence, the Trinity.
In Wicca, we believe the divine consists of three aspects as well. The One which is the divine force from which all things are created as well as the God and Goddess which are commonly referred to as the Lord and Lady. The One of Wiccan beliefs possess the same characteristics and qualities as God the father within Christian beliefs. The Wiccan Lord is essentially the same as the Christian Jesus and the Wiccan Goddess is the embodiment the feminine aspects as seen in the Christian Holy Spirit.
As a nature based belief, Wiccan's see the divine not as some distant unobtainable force realized only at the end of a journey, but as a tangible connective energy which flows through everything around us here and now. We need not wait until we die to obtain a heaven because it can be found in the magick of everything around us if we allow ourselves to be in tune with it.
We accept that within nature, all creation is the result of masculine and feminine interaction either on a divine or physical level. The evidence of this interaction can be seen in many things around us. We simply associate and define these qualities of masculine and feminine in deity a little closer than some. We do not necessarily worship nature as the divine, but we certainly celebrate divine presence within it.
Because a given culture or faith associates divinity by another name or celebrates a connection to the divine through a different path does not change the qualities or message of the divine. If you tell me that I follow a false God because I find connection to the divine through nature, you are talking about the same God you follow and contradict the teachings of your own bible. Did God not create the whole of nature, and is divine energy and presence not within it?
Instead of seeking the divine in a building, we choose to seek the divine within the mysteries and wonders of nature which the divine created. For myself and many others of the old faiths, the presence of the divine is much stronger within the forests, mountains or at the ocean than it could ever be within a building. If you do not know this, it has been too long since you sat and quietly felt divine presence within them.
Now returning to the discussion of humanities diversity in its quest for spiritual awareness, let's look at Wiccan tolerance toward other beliefs. While the following example may be simplistic, it is fairly representative of the Wiccan path.
For a moment, visualize divine awareness and connection as a beautiful meadow surrounded by a vast forest. If we were to view this meadow and forest from high above, we may see that there are many trails or paths leading to the meadow from different directions. All with different starting points, all with different experiences along the way, but ultimately, each of them leading toward the same goal or destination.
If we view our quest for spiritual awareness in the same way, we would see that depending on cultural history, beliefs and life experiences of a group of people, there may be many paths through the forest based upon ones starting point. Rightfully, none can truly say that one path is better than the other unless we have traveled that path and have a clear understanding of the lessons and experiences it offers along the way.
At the very least, one would need to research accurate information to understand the course of the other paths before an opinion can be formed. In this way, we can make intelligent decisions based on fact instead of information which may have become distorted by prejudice, misconception or intolerance over time. In support of this, the bible clearly states that Jesus traveled to great extent studying the beliefs of many different cultures and no doubt found many commonalties.
It is my firm belief that it does not matter which path we take to reach this meadow of spiritual awareness and connection as long as we maintain our commitment to ethical behavior, truth, honor, and respect for others as well as all that exists along the way. When we do this, we are following the divine truths and guidance to living a balanced and harmonious life as relayed to us by Jesus or any of the other spiritual teachers we have known throughout history. Gods words were very clear in this regard. "For
all who believe in me shall find the kingdom of heaven." There were no stipulations or limitations to a particular belief or path given here.
Through Wiccan spirituality, we receive our teachings from the experience and wisdom of those who have traveled this path before us, from nature, the earth and her cycles as well as our inner voice as the divine speaks to us. Did God not say that these wisdom's are within us, the earth and the cycles of nature? We who follow the Old Ways are simply learning to listen to that voice and use these divine gifts to help and heal others as well as the damage humanity has done to Mother Earth and Nature.
By following the path of Wicca and the Old Traditions, we have chosen to discard the superstitions and fears spawned through the ignorance of the middle ages for they only serve to restrict our spiritual growth and well being. We choose to follow the beliefs, morals and ethics of our ancestors which include an understanding, respect and closeness to nature as being an inseparable part of spiritual awareness and harmony.
Within our religious structure, maintaining this awareness and attuning our lives with the cycles of the earth and nature are vitally important. In fact, we see it as a vital part of not only our very survival as a species but to all life. This is a point which science is becoming more aware of everyday. When we disregard the interconnection of all things, the result can be nothing but widespread turmoil much as we see in the current state of our environment and society today.
We of Wicca, Witchcraft and the Old Traditions seek to attune ourselves with the divine through maintaining harmony, balance and reverence for nature. We build the strength of our individual family units and those of our clans through the ideals of truth, moral strength, honor, dignity and respect for all living things. We continually strive to learn and understand the gifts the divine has given us to heal and help others as well as the earth.
Considering this, why then are we so evil to you and why are you so afraid of us? Are we really that different, or is it that you simply rush judge without knowing who we are?
If you've made it this far, thank you for listening to my views and perspective. If still so inclined, you are now welcome to tell me how lost I am and that my soul will burn in hell forever for being a Witch... It won't change my path, but you are welcome to do so.
In closing, I followed the Christian path for close to 20 years. It was because of the spiritual void created by intolerance and hypocrisy that led me to seek a different path. So in that respect, I have walked your path to the meadow of spiritual awareness but found it contradictory. Not so much in its teachings, but in those who hide behind selective passages to justify their need to hate or fear something or someone.
I still believe in a divine creative force, but choose to seek it in ways that don't promote hatred, intolerance and prejudice of others who seek the divine differently. If it works for you and all your spiritual needs are complete through it. Wonderful, I'm happy for you. It just didn't work for me.
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