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5 Ways Christians Use Magic Without Realizing It | A Christian Witch Talks Culture & Philosophy

Defining magic is a tough thing to do—and that's why people don't know what counts as magic.

Christian Witch, Witchcraft, Mysticism, Magic, Crystals, Bible, Incense, Folklore, Sara Raztresen, God, Spirituality, Tarot, Occult, Evangelical, Demons, Sin, Danger, Possession, Idolatry, Discernment, Church, Solomonic Magic, Occult, Left Hand Path, Demonolatry, Demonology, Corinthians, Paul

It seems it's all the rage to say it in the face of Christians right now: "Christians do magic all the time! All your church services are magic! All your prayers are magic! You literally turn bread and wine into flesh and blood! Jesus Himself was a witch!"


And from the other side of the aisle comes the obvious Christian retort: "These things aren't magic! Magic draws from sources other than God, like demons! Jesus is the Son of God; He was doing miracles! Are you saying you're doing miracles? Are you saying you're God?"


Both of these positions have something a little wonky about them to me—especially the mainstream Christian position (I mean, have they never heard of Saints? Saints never said they were God, but they were slinging miracles all over). And of course, some things in the first position are specifically pointed at the earliest denominations of Christianity, the Catholic and Orthodox denominations (which, arguably, are the witchiest because they actually spawned in a time when religion was actually religion, believing in spirits and supernatural forces and the inherent power of the holy, versus whatever thinly veiled, superstitious atheism people call Christianity now).


The main issue between it all, though, is how people define magic. Some say it's a supernatural power that has to be done with demons, and that therefore it's totally different from miracle. Other people say that miracle is magic, and the only thing that separates it is pure semantics (which any scholar of folk magic, superstition, and religion in antiquity can tell you is the case). But neither of these things tackle what magic actually is: they only guess and grasp at a potential source of it. So for the purposes of this article, I'll define magic for you (a la my upcoming book, Discovering Christian Witchcraft:


Magic: the spiritual energy that exists within our own bodies, emanating from the core of our being (our souls) and given to us by the Breath (or Spirit) of God.


Granted, that last bit shows my Christian bias: if you're not Christian and don't believe the Christian God made us all, you might call the origin of this energy Source, or the Universe, or a different god altogether. For us Christian Witches, though, this magic comes from God—and that's why any accusations of us being "demonic" or worshipping Satan or whatever else are twice as goofy. Still, for Christians specifically, this magic is used to protect ourselves, engage with the spiritual world, stabilize ourselves, and work with God's creation. Our souls, where this energy emanates from, also works like the adapter for your laptop charger (that big box on the end of one of the two charging cords): we channel God's power down into that adapter, focusing it into the intentions we're aiming for and giving God an avenue to work His miracles through us. But all of it is still magic, even with God. Among practitioners of witchcraft or magic of any kind, the only thing that changes is the deity (or lack thereof) you do this work with.


Anyway, now that we know a more clear definition of magic, which catches the pesky topic of miracles in there, too... let's talk about ways Christians do magic without realizing it. My mainstream Christians, you come along, too, because you need to understand how rich and full of mysticism your life is without even realizing it.


Let's go.


#1: Wishing on a Birthday Candle

Christian Witch, Witchcraft, Mysticism, Magic, Crystals, Bible, Incense, Folklore, Sara Raztresen, God, Spirituality, Tarot, Occult, Evangelical, Demons, Sin, Danger, Possession, Idolatry, Discernment, Church, Solomonic Magic, Occult, Left Hand Path, Demonolatry, Demonology, Corinthians, Paul
Pre-order our intro guide on Christian magic.

I can already hear someone crying about this. "That's not magic; it's just a wish!"


To which I ask: what do you think a spell is? I mean, you're wishing on that candle assuming that you wish will be granted, no? You're not even asking when you make the wish: you're fully thinking to yourself, I wish for ___, and sealing that intention with the snuffing of a candle, the same way you might seal a letter in elaborate wax and ship it off.


Even if you want to argue that a "wish" is still a form of a request, I have news for you: early spell formats were often prayers. Specifically, prayers invoking a god and asking for that god's help. Remember when I said that magic and miracle were the same, and the only difference was what god you called on to get the work done? Yeah. The Greek Magical Papyrae are full of elaborate spells, which are little more than super organized petitions to a god for help, with some gifts or praises or what-have-you offered in return.


They appear in Christianity, too—or have you never opened the book of Psalms?


No matter how you slice it, the act of making a wish and blowing out a candle is, for all intents and purposes, a spell format no different than any other. This even counts for when you go to church and light a candle before praying for loved ones (and that especially counts if you include a small donation with that candle lighting). The offering of money, the lighting of a candle to focus your mind, and the active petitioning God for the health and safety of your loved ones? That's a spell, baby; it's got all the right pieces.


You're focusing your mind and sending your energy, your thoughts and prayers, out to God to be heard and acted on. You're asking God to give you a miracle, opening your own soul—and by extension your energy, your magic—to Him to channel those works down through.


You're doing magic. Congratulations.


#2: Bibliomancy (Bible Divination)

Christian Witch, Witchcraft, Mysticism, Magic, Crystals, Bible, Incense, Folklore, Sara Raztresen, God, Spirituality, Tarot, Occult, Evangelical, Demons, Sin, Danger, Possession, Idolatry, Discernment, Church, Solomonic Magic, Occult, Left Hand Path, Demonolatry, Demonology, Corinthians, Paul

This is probably the funniest one. For all the cries of Christians that "divination is a sin" (because of a serious misunderstanding of the actual words for divination used in places like Deuteronomy), they do it all the time with their own Bibles.


Here's the point where I suppose we need to redefine divination, too. Divination doesn't just mean doing goofy things like trying to scry lottery numbers or foretell future calamity and avoid it. (Granted, as a Christian Witch, I've found that God is, in fact, firmly anti-fortune telling, because He doesn't want you to be like those gamers lazily getting through a Legend of Zelda Water Temple with the IGN playthrough guide. He wants you to navigate that thing without the guide and actually figure it out yourself.) Divination is just the word witches use to mean asking their guides about... literally anything.


God literally commanded His own priests to do this in Exodus, when He introduced the Urim & Thummim: two stones marked to mean yes or no. The scholars would debate on how to interpret something in the laws, and if they found no consensus, they would ask the priest to ask God and get a direct answer. The priest would ask a yes-or-no question, then root around in the pocket on his priestly robes until he pulled a stone out, and whichever one came out would determine the final result, thus closing the matter. This is called cleromancy, and it's also how the Apostles figured out who would replace Judas in Acts after asking God to decide.


Because God isn't a corporeal entity that I can talk to like a regular human, and because Heaven doesn't seem to have Facebook Messenger or Discord, it's gonna have to be divination to get those kinds of direct answers. Christians know this at least subconsciously when they engage in bibliomancy, or divination with books (in this case, the Bible).


The method is simple: ask God a question, then flip through your Bible until you feel pulled to stop. Place your finger where you feel you need to on the page, then inspect the verse. That verse will tell you something about your situation that God wants you to know.


Say it with me: divination. It's a useful tool. And this method is well within Christian psyche.


#3: Prayer Affirmations


There are literally prayer affirmations for "success and prosperity." Just call it what it is, babe: it's a money spell. I mean, look at this:


I DESERVE true abundance and unconditional love.

I DESERVE vibrant health and good feelings.

I DESERVE happiness, peace and joy.

I DESERVE prosperity, freedom, and ease in my financial affairs.

I DESERVE to have my dreams come true.


With these thoughts now,

I allow the God Power into my life

by becoming aware of Its presence in every circumstance,

condition, person and thing in my life.¹


Go off, girl, get that bag, but like... replace God with any pagan deity, and you've got something that could easily fit into a Llewelyn publication to go in the witchcraft section of Barnes & Noble. No, do not start with that "but this isn't magic because it's from God" shtick; we've been over this already. This is magic. It's just magic you're calling on God to activate.


Beyond that, affirmations are powerful. Words themselves are powerful. I mean, is that not the crux of God's creative power in a lot of Christian thought? Genesis starts it off with the concept. I mean, "in the beginning was..." what? Exactly? Oh, right. The Word. And the Word was with God. And the Word was God. So of course, it doesn't take a blog full of prosperity affirmations to tell me that words have power: I know that, and so too do Christians know that. (Though this blog has some pretty cool Scriptural references lined up to go with the affirmations, which only adds to the magic.)


Spoken spells, especially ones that have no tools or set-up, like these here affirmations, are also known as cantrips. Lots of things can be cantrips, including Psalms. In fact, Psalms and Proverbs are the go-to books for quick cantrips, for everything from road opening cantrips to straight up generational curses.


You heard it here, folks: the Bible is a spellbook.


#4 Communion


This is, again, admittedly more of a Catholic-specific jab (love my Catholics; growing up Catholic and with fantasy-loving parents was absolutely my gateway to all things magical), but it still needs to be talked about because it is literally alchemy. There is no other way to slice this. The transubstantiation of bread and wine to what the Catholics believe is actually the "body, blood, soul, and divinity" of Christ is the process of taking one substance and turning it into a completely different one—not unlike the age-old alchemical quest of turning wood into gold.


How does this happen, exactly? Well, because the priest has some kick-ass divine power, that's how. Upon being ordained and going through the rituals required, the priest essentially becomes a representative of God on earth (an idea that had people excusing all the wild curses and blights they would bring down on folks in the middle ages, as Martin Duffy writes about in his book, Anathema Maranatha: Christianity and the Imprecatory Arts). With this initiation into the priesthood, the priest gets the power to activate the Words of Institution necessary to literally transmute simple baked goods and wine into body and blood of Christ. Paul Senz of Catholic Answers outlines it thusly:


There is a consensus in the Latin Rite that the precise words of consecration—the words at which the Eucharist is confected—are the words of institution, the retelling of the Last Supper, at which Christ instituted the Eucharist (cf. Matthew 26:17-30; Mark 14:12-26; Luke 22:7-39; 1 Corinthians 11:17-34). Our Lord said over the bread, “This is my body” and over the chalice, “This is my blood,” and his word made it so.


In the Mass down through the ages, the Greek concept of anamnesis is important to our understanding of what happens. Anamnesis is a recalling, remembering, but more than that: it is making something present by the act of remembering. This is the re-presentation of the sacrifice on Calvary, which Our Lord presented at the Last Supper.²


Of course, it's a little different for Orthodox denominations, but the principle still stands: there is magic happening, because the potential of the priests to channel down the miracles of God is there, and it has been opened through the sacrament of ordination.


(As Christian Witches, though, we bypass the bureaucracy and get our stamp of approval to start doing hard magic straight from God. No wonder the Church as an institution never liked mystic types until long enough after they died.)


#5: Exorcisms


This is, and always has been, the cornerstone of Jewish and Christian magic: healing the afflicted of the "unclean" or "evil" spirits that were once thought to cause illness. You see so many videos these days of people going around doing exorcisms, or laying on hands to heal other people, and driving out illness and misfortune in the name of God. Granted, a lot of those videos you see are by clout-chasing types who engage in a little bit of holy deception for clicks and views, but back in the day—like, Jesus's day—this was par for the course. Jewish magicians were known for their capacity to throw out evil spirits, to the point that in the Greek magical papyrae, Greek magicians would even invoke angels of God to help them deal with problems—even if they themselves weren't Jewish in any way!


Jesus casts out demons left and right in the Bible, usually as a way to heal people of some kind of malady (a lot of which, by the descriptions given in the Gospels, seem to be things like mental illness, epilepsy, or other issues, like the hemorrhaging woman who was healed just by touching Jesus's cloak). However, what most Christians don't know is that the miracles Jesus worked were actually comparable in effect and form to those of pagan wonderworkers like Apollonius of Tyana and Jewish miracle-workers like Hanina ben Dosa. Another source from antiquity, the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, in his Antiquities of the Jews, even talks a little bit about the specifics of how God Himself taught King Solomon to exorcise and command demons:


God also enabled him to learn that skill which expels demons, which is a science useful and sanative to men. He composed such incantations also by which distempers are alleviated. And he left behind him the manner of using exorcisms, by which they drive away demons, so that they never return; and this method of cure is of great force unto this day; for I have seen a certain man of my own country, whose name was Eleazar, releasing people that were demoniacal in the presence of Vespasian, and his sons, and his captains, and the whole multitude of his soldiers.³


Beyond that, once again, we're returning to the Catholics! You knew we were going to. So many of the awesome ghostly horror movies, from The Exorcist (1973) to The Pope's Exorcist (2023), feature a Catholic priest with all his ritual elements coming to cast demons out of some poor, tormented soul.


It's not just a Hollywood gimmick, though. This is a "specific form of prayer that the Church uses against the power of the devil," and it really is a whole ritual and a half if you're getting the solemn, or major exorcism. Even now, you can request an exorcism with your diocese (here's an example for Washington D.C.). Whether for a person or even a "minor exorcism" of a place, that webpage will detail how to go about getting a priest in your home to solve some issues of demonic or negative spiritual activity. How about that?


But the truth is: exorcisms happen in witchcraft all the time, too. Most non-Christian witches just call them banishments (major exorcisms) or cleansings (minor exorcisms). For us Christian Witches, though (and even some other religions where cleansing one's space and person regularly is important), they're exorcisms through and through. And that's—you guessed it—magic. Congrats!


So the next time someone tells you that Christians don't use magic, go ahead and link this here blog page so they can understand how analogous these terms really are—and that the only thing that separates a Christian from the witches they're so uncomfortable with is, frankly, a boatload of semantics and maybe a different god to pray to. That's it.


And us Christian Witches? Well, we're just out here calling a spade a spade. It's about time everybody did, so we can tear down one more useless partition between us all.


Sources Directly Quoted in This Blog:


¹ "Affirmation Prayer for Abundance." Unity of Farmington Hills.

² Senz, Paul. "When Does the Host Become the Eucharist?" Catholic Answers. 2022.

³ Flavius Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 8.21-8.60

⁴ "Exorcism." United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. https:/ /www.usccb.org/prayer-and-

 

Christian Witch, Witchcraft, Mysticism, Magic, Crystals, Bible, Incense, Folklore, Sara Raztresen, God, Spirituality, Tarot, Occult, Evangelical, Demons, Sin, Danger, Possession, Idolatry

Sara Raztresen is a Slovene-American writer, screenwriter, and Christian witch. Her fantasy works draw heavily on the wisdom she gathers from her own personal and spiritual experience, and her s


piritual practice borrows much of the whimsy and wonder that modern society has relegated to fairy-and-folktale. Her goal is to help people regain their spiritual footing and discover


God through a new (yet old) lens of mysticism.



Follow Sara on Tiktok, Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube, and explore her fiction writing here.


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1 Comment


Jean Chaney
Jean Chaney
Oct 12, 2023

I am bookmarking many of your posts to try to build up my resistance to haters. Thank you.

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