Monday, January 13, 2020

Christian and Wiccan beliefs Essay

Two miles south of where Mary Anne lived, I encountered Sheila, a 36 year old self-professed astrology and tarot card reader working part-time for a local pharmacy. My initial data revealed that Sheila belonged to the Wiccan Rede principle which is currently considered radical among traditional Wiccan groups. Fortunately, Sheila was at home on her day-off and was talking animatedly with a client in her front porch. While waiting for her client to leave, I was allowed to wander around her house which was surrounded by huge trees making her home look gloomy. After a few minutes, I was ushered in and Sheila welcomed me graciously knowing full well about my intentions. She began by explaining how their group had grown lesser over the years as the other wiccan practitioners complained on the religious incorporation of Christian and Wiccan beliefs. Sheila added that the element of Wicca which includes fertility and reincarnation is incorporated in the key points of the divinity of Jehovah, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit as retained from Christianity that was also quoted in Guiley (1999). According to her, the combination of two religions, which was traditionally at odds with one another, is frequently criticized by members of other wiccan sects. For her, there is no other One God as the greatest and the Lord of all and that the Earth is the Goddess of common Wicca. She has equated the Holy Spirit as a Feminine deity that may be regarded as the Great Mother Goddess similar to the Christian thought. With this in mind, she showed me a picture of the Madonna and Child and claimed that the Holy Spirit is actually embodied in the Virgin Mary. Their small liberalized group was initiated by the BTW or the British Traditional Witchcraft coven. They were widely criticized according to her because many Wiccan practitioners consider Christianity to be incompatible with the pagan philosophy. She added that the merging of Christian and pagan beliefs was considered a lambaste to the Wiccan religion since the Christian faith is male-dominated and an insufficient acceptance of true Wiccan belief. She explained that Wicca, as a ditheistic religion may contain a male god and female goddess giving equal emphasis to the aspects of both divine beings. Admittedly, she said that the principal tenets of Christian Wicca elevate the status of a God which altogether makes it different as there is no equality between the male and female according to Guiley (1999). In the elements of nature symbolically represented by different objects, the Christian wicca believes in the instance of crystals and stones as objects for the element earth, and seashells for the water element in Salomonsen (2002). Sheila added that their group also worships and observes the eight sabbats of the year and the full moon. Most of the practitioners in their group may practice in solitaries but do attend gatherings and other community events but reserve other rituals when they are alone. Their initiation into a coven begins with a one-year study before the actual initiation that spins a religious dedication. She related her initial experience at the thrill of being able to join the coven six years ago which had been a long time dream for her. She had already ventured in yoga and Asian Buddhism before finally exploring the Christian wicca. Sheila unlike Mary Ann does not want to show me her altar and her wares but pointed out a small hut beside the family house as her â€Å"solitary camp† to prevent family members from disturbing her. For Sheila, wicca should not be mistaken for witchcraft as they are simply a religion with ethical standards to live by.

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