Monday, August 8, 2011
Pagans, Witches, & Christians
I recently finished this book. While it is a fictionalized account (based on historical details), it gave me a lot to think about. Roughly, it is about the Salem witch trials and a modern day decedent of one of the victims. What I thought the author did a fantastic job of was connecting the close tie between Christianity and pagan beliefs. She really captured that point in time when these ideas were closely linked. So many people think that witchcraft was an "evil" trade. What the author demonstrates, though, is how this was not at all the case. What was "evil", were the accusers condemning innocent people to death. Most of these healers were devout Puritans who started each incantation with the Lord's prayer. They helped through knowledge of herbal medicines and energy transfer (often characterized as New Agey today). The point being, though, it was perfectly acceptable to be a Christian and draw upon the earth's energy - they were not mutually exclusive. Of course, this idea is not unique to the Salem trials. Looking into paganism, it has a long history of partnership with Christianity and Judaism. How did we lose this connection? Why did it become sacrilegious? While I am not planning on converting to full-on paganism, I think it has more to offer then we give it credit. I am thankful, though, that I am part of religion that is completely open to understanding what it brings to the table.