1. Your book is titled The Path of a Christian Witch. How exactly do you define a “Christian Witch?”
There are probably as many definitions of Christian Witchcraft as there are Christian Witches. For me, a Christian Witch is someone who practices Witchcraft while continuing to follow the teachings of Jesus. She practices magic, recognizes the Sacred Feminine, and reveres all Nature as a manifestation of the Divine. Much as certain Witches ascribe to an Egyptian or Celtic pantheon, the Christian Witch practices within a Judeo-Christian pantheon, using the symbol and deity figures found within this tradition.
2. You were raised as a Christian. How were you introduced to Paganism?
I was introduced to Paganism quite unexpectedly. While I was in university, I would study in a bookstore coffee shop. Whenever I needed a break, I would browse the shelves and pick a book at random. One day, I picked up a book about Wicca and it absorbed me completely. It brought back pieces of myself that I had forgotten about, like my connection to the supernatural, and it awoke a great need to re-connect to the Sacred Feminine. It was a true revelation! From there, I met other Pagans in my community, took classes, and went to Pagan festivals so that I could learn as much as I could about this beautiful way of seeing the worlds.
3. Once introduced to Paganism, what made you decide not to entirely forgo all aspects of your Christian beliefs?
Casting aside my Christian roots was never really an option for me; it would have been like turning my back on a good friend. I keep a very simple Christian practice: I essentially try to understand what Jesus taught and what he is still teaching us. That is the Christianity that I practice; it is not bogged down by a lot of man-made rules. It is a relationship more than it is a religion. Whenever I have been in need of anything, it was granted in the most extraordinary of ways. That is why I could not forgo this essential part of myself.
4. Many Christian (especially Catholic) traditions are amalgamations of Pagan rites and rituals. Has this been a comfort as you created your new path?
Absolutely! The more I study theology and history, the more it is apparent how much pagan symbols and mythology permeate the rituals of the Church. The most striking example is in the Christian feast days and the Sabbats. You can read more about this in my article, "The Christian Witch Wheel of the Year." There are also countless symbols in Christian sanctuaries and pagan elements in Christian rituals; it becomes quite obvious once you start looking for them. It is a great gift and comfort for someone who is trying to reconcile Paganism and Christianity.
5. How do you deal with those Christians that may not be as open to Paganism and Pagan ways?
I have not had many negative experiences with Christians disagreeing with my spiritual practice. Most people are quite interested and want to know more about it. I always make a point of letting people know me before talking about my affiliations with Witchcraft. This way, they see the person before they see the Witch. I think that fosters more interest and less discrimination.
6. What advice do you have for others looking to explore Paganism, especially those that are Christian?
Find a safe, loving place where you can explore your interest for Witchcraft. It is important to share with others at the beginning to test your observations and gifts, especially when it comes to manipulating energy and working magic. You should find a place where you are accepted and where you do not feel the pressure to become something you are not. Read a lot, meet teachers from various disciplines, and do not be afraid to ask yourselves some crucial questions: What do you believe in? What is your tradition? What are your gifts? Why Paganism? Why continue to be Christian? What does it all mean to you?
I’ve compiled a number of resources on my web site (www.adelinastclair.com), including a list of books of relevance to studies in Christian Witchcraft as well as some places where I have studied and that I find trustworthy. I also have a space for discussion on my blog (wwww.adelinastclair.wordpress.com), and I am always available to answer questions. I guess the main advice that I can give is, "Do not stay alone!" I hope that The Path of a Christian Witch will be a first step in bringing Christian Witches together. We have much to learn from each other!