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Ask a Christian Witch: Witchcraft as "Playing God," Crystal Recommendations, & Reconnecting with One's Faith | Sara's Witchy Advice Column

Oh boy, do we have some good questions this week. Let's get into it.


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

Alright, as I promised last month, we have it: an advice column for Christian Witches! I put out a Google Form last month for everyone to ask what was on their mind, and what I got in turn were plenty of thoughtful questions that I'm excited to dive into.


Remember: if you have any questions, all you have to do is check out this Google Form right here and fill it out with your question!



It means a lot that folks trust me enough to offer my thoughts for their faith walk, and I'm glad to share what I know. Remember, though: while I'd like to think I know a lot, I don't know everything. Never take someone's word as law when it comes to spiritual matters; you have the right to feel uncomfortable, disagree, and do further research to investigate those feelings and find philosophies or schools of thought that make more sense to you!


Unless, of course, you're disagreeing with me on something like the earth being round or the sun being the center of our solar system or cow cheese being a dairy product. These are just facts. We don't disagree with established facts here; we update our information to match what we, as a species, know. It's important to stay grounded and know facts from philosophy; one can be malleable and vary from person to person, one is concrete, provable information that keeps you in touch with reality. Spiritual psychosis is real, folks. Don't get sucked up by it.


All that aside, let's get into the questions!


Is it Playing God to Practice Witchcraft?

"I was always taught not to play God, and witchcraft feels like playing God. I was just looking for some of your insight into that please." —Anonymous


Hey! I understand why witchcraft would seem like "playing God." I feel like a lot of this comes from an idea of witchcraft that's deeply embedded in popular media and culture: the idea that witches are forcing their will into the world and essentially making things happen against what's "natural" or "destined." The thing is, though, that this isn't really accurate to how magic works, and it's especially not how Christian Witches use it.


With magic, there's only so much that can be done alone, with one's own power, and none of it is like how Hollywood portrays it all. You can't shoot fireballs from your hands or move things with your mind like in the movies. You can't raise skeletons out of the ground and send them to go attack your enemies. You can't turn wood into gold. But you can make some little ripple effects into the universe. If you want to get more money, there are money spells. If you want a boyfriend, there are love attraction spells. If you want better psychic powers, there are spells to open one's psychic senses and intuition. The only thing is, that all of these spells depend on many factors.


What witchcraft even means in the first place, in modern era, is using magic to affect and interact with the world around us. What magic is, is the spiritual energy in our bodies (think like the Breath of Life that God breathed into us all; that's spiritual energy, magic). When we use magic independently, though, just pushing our wants into the world, it's like using a AA battery. It has power and can make some things happen! You can power a small lamp or light with it! But you can't power a whole house with it.


God's power is like the whole electric grid. When you tap into that, yes, you can power the whole damn house. Whatever you could accomplish with your AA battery is still real, still electric, still power—but it's got nothing on the entire grid.


So the reason Christian Witchcraft (or really any witchcraft) isn't playing God is because there's not much anyone can do on their own, with no outside help. That doesn't mean we're powerless alone, but it does mean we can't do enough to do what "playing God" implies: radically change the very fabric of our world. It's when we use those spells as prayers, lifting our energy and wishes up to the Divine and asking them to sponsor our pleas, to energetically fund our work, that we can do anything—and the Divine gets the last say in where that energy goes. If God doesn't want a Christian Witch's works to manifest, they will not. We can ask, we can offer, we can cast, and God can say no to it all. But we want to work in alignment with God's will in the first place, and so we don't go out of our way to ask for things God doesn't want for us (usually; some people can easily get confused or find themselves wanting what's not good for them, which is where God steps in to begin with).


There's a lot of faith and acceptance that goes into Christian Witchcraft. A lot of trust that whatever we cast, whatever we pray, whatever we do, God sees and hears and answers us. And that if the answers aren't what we hoped, then that's because God has something better waiting for us, if we're patient enough to let it unfold.


Where Do We Go When We Die? (Hell?)

"This is probably something you’re bored of hearing, but could you talk more about the concept of Hell and the afterlife (I’m aware you do not believe Hell is where human souls go to be punished). Where do you think the souls go and do you believe there is criteria for certain types of afterlife?" —Anonymous


Ooh, this is a great question. I don't think I could ever get bored of talking about Hell and the afterlife because of how much it's misunderstood.


One really important thing people need to know is that the Bible doesn't really talk about hell the way we understand it. The Bible talks about Hades (a Greek general underworld, not at all the punishment zone that Tartarus is), Sheol (a Jewish general underworld that we see is for everyone, "good" or "bad," when the dead prophet Samuel says that both he and Saul and Saul's sons will be there after the war with the Phillistines: 1 Samuel 28:19), or Gehenna (a real place on earth known for being where trash was dumped to be burned; in short, a shithole). We do also have mentions of the Lake of Fire in more apocryphal texts like the Book of Enoch, but that lake of fire is in heaven, not on earth; God shows Enoch the lake of fire in heaven where the sinners will get to skinny dip for a bit. Hell as most people imagine it now comes directly out of Dante's Inferno, which is Biblical fanfiction with the express purpose of dunking on everyone Dante didn't like at the time.


All that aside, though, as you mention, I don't think people go to hell. I think hell is real, and it's the place the Infernal Divine (demons) hang out, but it's not where people go. Where people go depends on a lot of things: whether they're ready to leave this world behind, whether they're ready for a moment of paradise, etc. Because the ultimate goal of those who pass isn't to just hang out in Heaven; it's to reunite with God to the point of losing their ego, identity, and separation from God. In order to get there, though, we need to be completely absolved of every speck of imperfection, dirt, and damage we get while living in the world.


In the words of Italian noblesse and mystic Catherine of Genoa (as quoted in The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism edited/compiled by Bernard McGinn):


Again I say that on God’s part, I see paradise has no gate, but that whoever wants to may enter in because God is all mercy and stands with open arms to admit us to his glory. But I also see that the essence of God is so pure (far more than one can imagine) that should a soul see in itself even the least mote of imperfection, it would rather cast itself into a thousand hells than go with that spot into the presence of the Divine majesty. Therefore, seeing that purgatory is ordained to take away such blemishes, it plunges into it and deems it a great mercy that it can thus remove them (67-68).


Catherine is talking about purgatory, which is effectively that "lake of fire"; when we're finally ready to leave the world behind, we get to bathe in that lake of fire, get a real baptism of fire, and reunite with God. But we don't have to do that right away when we die, as we can see with the Saints (including our own family). Saints maintain their identity and their psyche, which means they also haven't yet gotten back to God in this way Catherine describes; it means they're doing a different job for the time being. Plenty of souls have gotten to that first layer of heaven without going through the lake of fire just yet to return fully to God.


It leads me to believe that until we're ready to enter those gates, we can either hang out in the spirit world for a bit (Heaven/Paradise) or return to earth (reincarnation), from what I know.


What Crystals Should a Beginner Christian Use?

"What kinds of crystals do you recommend a Christian Witch start out with, for those who gravitate towards them?" —Anonymous


Ah, crystals. There are plenty that are mentioned in the Bible, with New Jerusalem (the Kingdom after the world goes kaboom) being described like this in Revelation 21:18-21:


The wall was made of jasper, and the city was made of pure gold, as pure as glass. The foundation stones of the city walls were decorated with every kind of jewel. The first foundation was jasper, the second was sapphire, the third was chalcedony, the fourth was emerald, the fifth was onyx, the sixth was carnelian, the seventh was chrysolite, the eighth was beryl, the ninth was topaz, the tenth was chrysoprase, the eleventh was jacinth, and the twelfth was amethyst. The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate having been made from a single pearl. And the street of the city was made of pure gold as clear as glass.


That gives us a hint of a few really good stones. There's also bloodstone, a well known healing stone which has Christian folklore; it's believed that when Jesus was crucified and His blood hit the ground, it fused with the stone to make bloodstone. Celestite is also a stone believed to help facilitate communication with angels.


But among these stones, we can see some good associations, too:


  • Carnelian: power, creativity, confidence, vigor

  • Amethyst: wisdom, peace, purification, psychic power.

  • Onyx: Anti-negativity, protection, purification

  • Topaz: spiritual healing, restoration, and fortification

  • Sapphire: Creativity, healing, purification of thought, concentration


And these are just a few. In general, I'd say any stone that has to do with peace, purification, creativity, love, empowerment, and protection are great for Christian Witches.


Why Are We Here on Earth and Why Hasn't God Called Us Back to Heaven Yet (Rapture/End Times)?

"I remember you saying one time that God wants us here on earth and that the world hasn’t ended for a reason, but I forgot it. Which makes me sad because it made so much sense. So why does God want us still here?" —Anonymous


I think I know what you're referring to. A while back,, I was explaining my thoughts on anti-cosmic Satanism vs. cosmic creationism, of which I align with the latter. In this philosophy, we want the world to stay as it is because everything is defined, distinct, unique, and able to be experienced from the outside. Anti-cosmic Satanism wants to see the world return to the primordial soup of chaos it was before God started teasing all the stuff in the universe into their own distinct items and categories.


God made this world because it gave Him joy to define Himself and to create the world out of raw parts. Another video of mine, talking about the Rapture, mentioned that the Rapture isn't a when, but an if, and it comes down to that: because God created this world, He doesn't want to see it fall apart any more than we do. That's why we're supposed to bring heaven down to earth, not just let everything fall to ruin. Look what it took for God to waste Sodom and Gomorrah: He said He'd spare the whole city if Abraham could find even one good person in that whole city. When there was none, then God nuked it. So we can see that God will spare everything if there's even one good person, one reason, to keep it all going.


I think in the whole world, there will always be one good person. And so long as that's the case, God won't delete this world. He loves us, and He loves His creation—including the trees and the birds and the waters. He wants to enjoy what He made, and He wants us to enjoy it, too. So we're here because God made us to enjoy and be enjoyed, and this world hasn't ended yet because there's still good in it that deserves the chance to flourish.


How Does God Decide Who is His and Who Another God/Spirit Should Guide?

"How does God decide who is his and who is supposed to be guided by another spirit?" —Anonymous


Honestly, this is a question to ask God directly. He would also rather ask that anyone go to Him directly to ask it rather than have me deliver His answer here. All I can say is my experience, which is that I feel, in my soul, that I was built by God's hands.


When I think about God, I feel a sense of Home that I don't feel with any other deity, entity, or spirit, no matter how much I love their lore or how cool I think they are. God is where my soul feels like it can settle fully. God is who I recognize as mine. Maybe there's a sense of that in reverse, too—that God recognizes and remembers every soul He's made with His own hands.


What Do You Mean When You Say Jesus's Death & Resurrection is Solidarity With Mankind?

Where can I learn more about your views on Jesus's death and resurrection and the idea of His death being a kind of solidarity with mankind? I've never heard that before and I want to learn more about it. —Sonora


I can't see this and not immediately recommend The Crucified God by Jurgen Moltmann. That's where the closest thing I've ever seen to my philosophy really comes from: the idea that Christ's crucifixion was an inherent game changer that works to bring those most wounded, most downtrodden, and most dispossessed into the highest courts of heaven, that prioritizes the hurt and the broken over the ones who are doing fine here on earth.


I got my own ideas, though, from looking at Psalm 82 in relation to the crucifixion and from the idea of Christus Victor, another theory of the reason for Jesus's crucifixion that unfortunately didn't get as popular as penal substitionary atonement (the idea we have now: that Jesus died to save us from sin). In Psalm 82, we see this:


God is in charge of the great meeting;

he judges among the “gods.”

2 He says, “How long will you defend evil people?

How long will you show greater kindness to the wicked? Selah

3 Defend the weak and the orphans;

defend the rights of the poor and suffering.

4 Save the weak and helpless;

free them from the power of the wicked.


5 “You know nothing. You don’t understand.

You walk in the dark,

while the world is falling apart.

6 I said, ‘You are “gods.”

You are all sons of God Most High.’

7 But you will die like any other person;

you will fall like all the leaders.”


8 God, come and judge the earth,

because you own all the nations.


That part I bolded was wild to me, because it suggests that gods who do wrong will die like any other person; they'll fall like any other king. In my look at other myths, we see gods die all the time, actually (though this doesn't mean they stay dead): the Dagda, Pan, Osiris, Inari, Baldur etc. They're beaten in battle, they're killed by family, they're killed in childbirth, they're tricked into having accidents—all very mortal deaths. And in Psalm 82, God says they die mortal deaths like this because they've allowed wickedness to flourish.


Well, was the world looking exactly hot and awesome in the time of Jesus? No. Is it looking hot and awesome now? Also no. So it would only be logical to assume that there's wickedness flourishing under God's jurisdiction, too. The weak and orphaned aren't doing great; the weak and helpless are getting beat up by people using God's name to win themselves all kinds of status and riches at the expense of their whole communities. One might cry "free will!" and that would hold to some extent, but God's proven perfectly capable of shouting "Hey, what the hell?" and smiting whole cities before, so it's not like that's out of His power, free will or no.


So then we have the Crucifixion. Jesus is considered God's Son, AKA God incarnate; God come to walk among us in flesh. Not only did God experience the emotions, physical realities, and general experience of humanity in this time, but He also gave His Son (Himself in flesh) up to die a mortal death on that cross. More than that, He gave His Son up to die a criminal's death, an extremely humiliating death, not the death of some great warrior or a mother bringing forth the next generation. And He did that after speaking about the upliftment and empowerment of the last, the weakest, the lowest, of society.


So that's why I see this as God practicing what He preaches and living by His own rules, too. He told these other gods that they'd be punished for allowing wickedness to flourish, and He didn't exempt Himself from that, either; He took responsibility and came down to us, to live among us and like us and with us, so He could be ever closer to us. He did all of this as both a sign of solidarity and a sign of responsibility, and through Christ's defeat of death and sin by His resurrection (Christus Victor), He also gave us the means and power to act in His name and beat back the wickedness of the world with Him standing at our sides.


Where Do I Begin in My Walk with God as Someone With Religious Trauma?

"While I feel unmoored in how to channel my spirituality, I have recently found a comfort in your videos and a have been called to explore this folk Catholicism further. I know for a fact my morals and beliefs do not align with the Church but want to actually look into the actual teachings of Jesus and learn about him and Mary and the Saints etc.


How do I even begin? Where even? I don’t know a good version of the Bible to get, or what books to read (I already have yours on my To Buy list!! 💕). Would I need to convert to Catholicism/Christianity to do so? (I imagine so, but then how to find a church that is true and ACTUALLY practices what they preach without condemning everyone else?)" —D.W.


Hey, fellow Balkan friend! I'm sorry you've had a hard time with religion early on because of others in your life, but I'm glad to see you taking steps towards what speaks to you!


When it comes to beginning, though, I'd start not with a certain denomination, but just with the Bible. You want a good study Bible that has plenty of scholarly, unbiased footnotes and explanations, and that's why I always recommend the Jewish Study Bible and Jewish Annotated New Testament; both are written in easily accessible, plain English and are full of in-text footnotes, as well as extra essays and ideas that show off all kinds of angles of Jewish and Christian thought. (It's especially important to understand Jewish texts, like the entire of what Christians call the Old Testament, from the perspective of its native religion, and to understand Jesus's messages in the context of the religion He operated in).


As for finding a church, honestly, there's no need to formally convert if you don't feel the need to. I've recently been exploring the Episcopal church, which seems to match what you're looking for: they believe in the Via Media, or "Middle Way," which means they hold all ideas and beliefs in tension (while not compromising on the most fundamental tenets of the faith: love God, love one another). The way I found this church was by making friends with Father Kyle, an Episcopal priest, who suggested I look into them, and I found one near me that had their 10AM sermons livestreamed to YouTube. I was able to watch a few and get a sense of the church beliefs/dynamics before taking the plunge and showing up myself, and I've been loving it ever since. It may take some trial and error, but don't be afraid to investigate a church! Ask the priest to meet with you over coffee to discuss your beliefs and the church's beliefs, sit in on a couple sermons, the whole thing. If you like the vibe, stay! If not, keep looking!


As for books to read: look for unbiased, critical scholarship (not apologetics that twists themselves in pretzels to justify or make excuses for the Bible) and liberation theology (which is all about uplifting the marginalized). Some great scholars include Robert Louis Wilken, Francesca Stavrakopolou, James L. Kugel, and Bart D. Ehrman. Some great liberation theologists include Howard Thurman, Matthew Fox, Meggan Watterson, and Christena Cleveland. Their books are all fantastic!


Whatever you do, though, I wish you nothing but peace on your path forward! Thank you for grabbing a copy of Discovering Christian Witchcraft, too! ♥


What Other Gods Do You Plan to Speak To for Future Deity Interviews?

"Hey man! Big fan of your work! Your interviews with the old gods are nothing short of fascinating and inspiring. I was wondering if you plan on interviewing more of the Irish gods or the Tuatha De Danann? If you do, would you be willing to do an interview with The Dagda?" —Anonymous


Hey, there!


It has been a hot minute since I talked to any Irish deities, hasn't it? I would love to continue exploring that path and would be interested in talking to the Dagda, absolutely! It would require some more research on my part, but it could very well crop up in my last 10 interviews before the sequel to Where the Gods Left Off. Glad you're enjoying the interviews, and thank you for the kind words!


What Other Gods Do You Plan to Speak To for Future Deity Interviews?

"Hi Sara, do you have any tips or mind sharing your morning ritual/practice (if it's not too personal of course!)? I am a true creature of habit and tend to do any prayer, bible reading, etc. in the morning over coffee. That being said, since I am in my deconstructive period, I am trying to pull away from those more evangelical bible studies and am slowly incorporating card readings, a more natural prayer, and so forth, but still feel I am missing that repetitiveness or bible time. Any suggestions, thoughts?" —Melissa


Hey, there!


So, I don't really have much of a spiritual morning routine. I try, but I'm a mess and tend to have every morning looking a little different. For the most part, though, I really try to at least pull a few cards and ask God what I should think about or focus on each day. Doing that gives me a second with God, a chance to wake up, and some good advice that I can (hopefully) use throughout the day.


But deconstructing doesn't mean you have to give up Bible time or anything like that. In fact, I might recommend doing some morning meditation or spellwork to start your day. Picking (or asking God to pick) a Psalm, then lighting a candle and singing or chanting the Psalm as a way to get your mind primed for a good day may be really grounding and stabilizing. You might also make your coffee into a potion by asking God to bless it and brewing it with specific herbs. If you have a coffee machine, you can easily make Pumpkin Spice coffee by including a little ground cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, allspice, and ginger into the coffee grounds before brewing.


What do you need to make you feel ready for the day? How can you invite God to share those activities with you? The answers to that will help you find your routine!


How Do You Find the Elemental Associations of Spirits/Entities?

"So, how do you figure out the elements of certain entities? I've been looking more into working with angels/demons the 'net is giving nothing." —Anonymous


For this, there are several methods. The most direct is to just ask the spirit themselves, but there's also looking at online references, or, if that fails, finding the original grimoires that mention them or finding their folklore and identifying relevant symbols. (For example: a deity or entity that's always associated with flowers and beauty strikes me as very Libra coded, which is an air sign. A deity that loves fruits like apricots, lemons, apples, or plums, which are all water based, may be a more water-aligned spirit.)


Angels and demons I often find in grimoires, though. S. Connolly's The Complete Book of Demonolatry has all the elements for all the demons of the Ars Goetia, for instance. Cornelius Agrippa's works detail what elemental associations line up with certain casts of angels; if you know an angel is a cherub and that cherubim are associated with X element, then there you go!


Ask Your Questions!


Remember, all your questions can go to this Google form, so don't hesitate to reach out! I'm looking forward to seeing what questions people have in the future, and I hope this has been a helpful read! Thank you everyone who participated!


-Sara


 

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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