Why Christianity Hates Witchcraft

Being raised Southern Baptist I have always wondered why Christian churches preach so heavily against witchcraft, when it's a way to grow closer to the Divine, learn about yourself, and learn more about the world around me. Reading in the Bible I find numerous cases of leaders consulting mediums, diviners, and prophets. And often the prophets worked magic! So what is the problem? Power.
Power is, and has always been, the motivating force behind the Jewish and later Christian hierarchies. Tell the people the only way to communicate with the Divine is through a select few, and the people are dependent on you. They need rain for their fields and a blessing for their children? If they can't sacrifice to their god(s), bless, pray, or worship without the consent of a few, the people are powerless. All control over what they think, believe and are able to do is stripped away. This doesn't mean that a leadership structure isn't needed. A leadership structure should be there to help teach and train, to pass on knowledge. Not to be a dictatorship that restricts or forbids contact with the Divine.

1 Samuel 15:23 in the New King James version reads, "For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry." In the time that 1 Samuel was written the Jewish people wanted a King of the Jews to rule them and unify them as a new nation. The Jewish leaders realized that to do this would destroy their relationship with the government, and they would no longer receive the protection and benefits of being citizens. So what do they do? Create fear. To do witchcraft - sacrifice to your god yourself without a priest, to divine your own future, and to pray to your god directly - is rebellion. How can you be unified if the people are rebellious? Look what happened to Moses. The people rebelled and God punished them. Believe you are right and become stubborn? Then you are a sinner and as bad as the idolaters who worship the gods of the ruling government as well as Y-HW-H, the Jewish god. All past stories for the Jews taught that those who worship false gods are the reason they've been enslaved. God will be mad at them for having different opinions and punish them yet again.

A good Jew would be very familiar with the books of the Law and Moses. Deuteronomy 32:35-36 reads, "Vengeance is Mine, and recompense; their foot shall slip in due time; for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things to come hasten upon them.’ 36 “For the LORD will judge His people and have compassion on His servants, When He sees that their power is gone, and there is no one remaining, bond or free." Disobey and god will take vengeance. He will destroy you and your entire family; he will be sure all power is stripped from you. Power and fear.

Power remained the motivating force as the Holy Roman Catholic Church sprang up under the Roman Empire. Power dictates their command structure, their influence over people, and why their priests are raised above the "lay people". The priests were always from the highly educated. They studied history and the Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic texts. They knew that fear and power are the cornerstones for the control they lust after. Their priests were deemed the average persons way of communicating with the Divine. They teach that the Divine will not communicate directly with all people, only through Saints or their ordained ones.

But what happens when people, these witches, laugh at them and say they have direct connection with the Divine? That what the Church teaches is obviously wrong and the people can know this through their own experiences? Their power base is threatened. The whole reason they exist becomes obsolete. Persecutions, wars, and genocides ensue to terrorize the people and to create an iron fist for the Church to rule with. Don't follow the Church? Burn in eternal flames with no rescue. Commit a heresy (the definition of which changes every 50 years if not sooner)? Burn in eternal flames with no rescue.

Judaism, even though its prophets were diviners and Jewish mysticism is still a practiced form of magic, has always taught against witchcraft to maintain power over its people. The Catholic Church has continued this practice, and proclaimed the torture and slaughter of millions to maintain their power. Power and fear, that's why Christianity preaches against witchcraft.

You are have a spark of the Divine within you.
You can communicate directly with the Divine and experience the Divine in a number of ways. It is not wrong to worship, pray, and divine. Each person is an agent of free will on their own path of spiritual development. A High Priestess or High Priest can help you along your path by passing on knowledge and techniques to you.
They are never a replacement for your connection with the Divine; being a witch means you are responsible for yourself.

Ostara 2012

Today, March 20th 2012, is the Spring Equinox often called Ostara (Germanic Goddess of Spring) or Eostre (Saxon version of Ostara). It is the time for celebrating fertility, new life and renewal. The Germanic tribes would celebrated this as the time when Ostara, a lunar goddess, mated with a fertility god (giving birth nine months later to the renewed god at Yule).

Interestingly it is not only the time celebrated by pagans for new life and renewal, but also celebrated by the Jews and Christians. The Jewish Passover feast is celebrated at this time in remembrance of the Angel of Death passing over the Jewish houses in Egypt that painted their doorways with the blood of lambs. Christian Easter is celebrated as the time when Jesus was crucified and rose again.

When is Easter?
The full moon following the vernal (spring) equinox - the same as the feast day of Eostre. All are stories of blood, death and renewal. Despite ardent attempts through two millenias to separate themselves from their pagan  neighbors, Judaism and Christianity follow the flow of nature just like the pagans; exception being the Celts who didn't celebrate Ostara as a holiday.

Where does the myth of the Easter Bunny and Easter Eggs come from?

A popular legend tells that Eostre found a wounded bird laying on the ground. To save it she transformed it into a hare, but it retained the ability to lay eggs. In gratitude the hare would decorate its eggs and leave them as gifts for Eostre.

How do modern pagans celebrate Ostara?
As this is a time when light and dark are equal, celebrate the turning of the Wheel. Start seedlings if danger of severe storms is past and prepare soil for late spring planting. Spend a few moments enjoying the new life beginning around you. Feel the new winds blowing, hear the birds singing and see the plants budding forth with new life.

"In the spring, when night equals day,
time for Ostara to come our way.
When the Sun has reached it's height,
time for Oak and Holly to fight."
- the Wiccan Rede

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