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The Long Year to Discovering Christian Witchcraft | Scholarship, Friendship, and Perseverance

What a long ride it's been.


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

They say that you don't really come to fully grasp a concept until you can teach it yourself. And between doing the work to write about Christian witchery with my good friend Mimi, and actually becoming a real professor to class after class of students learning how to research, plan, and write on topics dear to them, I've come to understand that more than ever.


Which is why today, the official release day of Discovering Christian Witchcraft, means so much to me as both a religious person and a spiritual scholar: because it's a symbol of the blood, sweat, and tears that have gone into not only reading about Christianity and witchery (and finding ways to cross them together), but also of the many decades of having to figure out all of these things on our own: myself from a more Slovenian folk Catholic perspective, and Mimi from a more Pentecostal Appalachian perspective.


(And of course, this day is made most special of all knowing it's also Mimi's birthday! Be sure to stop by her Tiktok, Instagram, or YouTube and give her plenty of love today!)


But over the past year, we've had quite the time putting together this book. It feels, honestly, like we wrote a 300 page college paper together, with all the information stuffed between those two covers. So let me walk you through a little bit of this process over the past year, and how we got to this book you're all now either just getting (for my digital readers) or anticipating as it makes its way through the mail systems to get to your front door.


Ground Zero: Committing to the Grand Plan of Writing a Book Like This


It wasn't long ago that Mimi and I got to know each other, really. Granted, I myself have only been on Tiktok since the end of 2021, so my whole existence on the app hasn't given me much time to forge relationships, and yet the ones I did make already run so deep. One of those relationships started with, oddly enough, a Patreon subscription, as back then, I was offering writing workshops or body doubling sessions for folks who were interested.


I eventually stopped offering them as it didn't seem like too many people in that tier wanted to hang out, but before that, there were a few people who did come around to chat, discuss ideas, and support each other in their writing endeavors. One of those was Mimi, and soon enough, it was just Mimi and I hashing out our dreams for writing all kinds of witchy content, be it fiction or nonfiction. Somehow, one way or another, both of us got talking about writing a book about Christian Witchcraft specifically, and in what felt like the blink of an eye, we were suddenly committing ourselves to an absolute mammoth of a project.


I mean... how does one even go about trying to put into words the seemingly impossible amounts of stuff Christian Witches have long since pieced together on their own?

But it was as if the very air around us wouldn't enter our lungs unless our next words were, "Let's do it!" The push to write was undeniable, and the knowledge we had to share felt like some ancient creature trying desperately to get out of a box someone locked it in. So we did what any good writers do: we put our heads together and came up with a plan.


Reading, Searching, and Re-searching in Book after Book


God, I could not have anticipated the amount of reading I'd have to do for this. And if not for Mimi, I don't think I would've made it. Having two people to split up the reading and take over certain sections that one of us had more authority on than the other was the only way this book could've ever come into existence, because it was just too much for one person. (Hell, we might even say it was still almost too much for two people, but I digress).


My reading list at the start looked much different from the full resource list I would release months later, once the book was basically finished. All I knew was that I needed a little bit of liberation theology, a little bit of folk knowledge, a little bit of basic witchy stuff, and my own personal experience. Thanks to Father Kyle and his book recommendations, I was able to get a little bit deeper into the research, and I was able to learn a lot of things just from the first month of reading (in which I tried, despite my bone crushing schedule, to read and take notes on two books a month).


It seems so little, just two books a month. Most of the BookTok crowd reads two books a day, from the looks of those folks with a billion and two books on their shelves, and yet there I was struggling with that number in a month. But as any academic can tell you, I'm sure, reading is just different when you're mining for knowledge in those tomes! I remember taking a break to read Naomi Novik's A Deadly Education and was stunned to find that I could, indeed, still read a book in two days—granted that I was reading to enjoy, and not reading to make notes, mark down quotes, and generally absorb massive and sometimes horriby tangled philosophical concepts. (Moltmann's The Crucified God will forever be my best friend and worst enemy in terms of theology books, hoo boy.)


Mimi and I were nervous, though. It felt like we needed to know everything before we were allowed to start writing, like we had to read every single possible thing we could get our hands on before we were to even dare open up the shared doc we wrote on—but at the same time, with my rather stupid self announcing the release date of this book so far ahead of us actually writing it, we knew we also just didn't have that kind of time. And we also knew that the trap of "I don't know enough" was just that: a trap.


Does anyone ever really feel like they know "enough" to start speaking on a topic? I'd love to meet any such person that exists. Even now, I know damn well there's plenty more for me to learn in my spiritual journey, but at least now the thought excites me rather than makes me feel so behind like it made me feel before.


Nonetheless, after the first three months of 2023 came and went, we knew what we had to do: write the damn book.


The Writing (and Rewriting, and Rewriting Again) Process


Man, let me tell you... writing this sucked at times. It really did.


You gotta remember: I'm a fantasy writer first and foremost (and you have no idea how excited, yet terrified, I am to finally get back into fantasy with the sequel to The Glass Witch on my radar for late 2024). While I love learning and always prided myself on my academic performance, willingly returning to such giant stacks of books and essay-like chapters was borderline torture for a while. Especially with the first section of the book. Oh my God, that first section of the book (namely the first two chapters) nearly drove me nuts just trying to keep track of every detail, quote, argument, and citation. It felt like my brain was the mangled skin of a freshly juiced orange after I'd finally wrapped it all up (and it would take me until right before the book was finally drafted for me to crack into the last couple books I needed to read to get the parts on the history of witchcraft done).


That's something academics don't talk about often: the fact that even if you can't spend all your time only reading, it doesn't mean that the reading stops altogether, either. The amount of rabbit holes Mimi and I ended up in as we wrote cannot be counted; the number is beyond human comprehension. And worse were those moments where we knew something was correct, because we'd read about it somewhere so long ago, but without those exact sources and quotes in front of us, we had to go digging all over again. Let me tell you: it absolutely ruins your writing flow when you have to stop everything just to find a suitable bit of evidence to back up a sentence you wrote that you feel is common sense.


Granted, for those of us who have done these things as long as we've done them, of course it feels like common sense. But to the beginner who doesn't know which way is up after a long road of deconstruction, none of this feels like it's common or sensible—and Mimi and I knew that all too well. It's why we frequently met during the writing process to chat and catch each other up, and to remind ourselves what was too much to explain in the scope of the book and what needed to be carefully sourced and tenderly presented. Many of these conversations involved me pacing around my coffee table with a phone pressed to my ear as Mimi and I worked out the things that we'd confused ourselves on, the things we realized we didn't need, and the things we realized we didn't talk about enough. We were both holding onto each other, making sure the other didn't fall off the wagon, get frustrated, and quit with so much information to make sense of for others.


However, the more we wrote, and the more we read each other's work, the more we were sure: this is the thing we were meant to be writing in that moment. This was the stuff that would break the last chains off people who were spiritually starved and locked away in religious confusion. We also learned so much from each other, and by the end, we achieved a confidence in our paths that, now, feels unshakeable.


Once upon a time, I used to try so hard to debunk people in comments about the Bible and what it really said. Part of it felt like I had to prove, maybe to myself, that all of this was legit and that I had no reason to question it. Now I know to question everything, even the things I thought I knew, but I also just don't care to correct people anymore. Play with them, maybe, and troll them, sure—especially when I know they're coming around to spit all kinds of vitriol and ask questions in bad faith—but prove what I have to say?


Nah. I know Christian Witchcraft is a beautiful and valid path. I knew it before, and after all writing this book has had me learn? I don't think I'll ever doubt it again. This is where God wants me to be, and this is what God wants me to be doing, and it's for Him that I put so much of my effort into making this resource come into being: so others could have an easier time walking the peace of mind I finally have after so long.


But boy, do some people not like that this book exists.


Months of Increasing Sneering, Scoffing, Threatening, and Ridiculing


In one chapter of Discovering Christian Witchcraft, Mimi and I talk about this thing we've dubbed the Dragon: the shadow of God that tries, every day, to coerce people into serving it instead of God by threatening others with hellfire and judging them for not being perfect (which no human can ever be). Whereas God rules with justice and mercy, love and hard boundaries, the Dragon knows no such thing as love: it only knows that it used to be divine when all things had yet to be defined from the primordial, murky waters of Genesis, and it never soothed its anger after God cast it off Himself.


As this book came closer and closer into being, it seemed like the attention we drew from this thing only increased. More and more of the types that you'd assume accidentally follow this Dragon—the Christians of all denominations that focus more on following a stack of rules than the Golden Rule, and who think more about Satan and Hell than God and Heaven, who would rather threaten people with eternal torture rather than point people towards eternal love—found the Christian Witch community and released every trick they had on us. We heard (and still hear) so many things from them:


  1. We're heretics, blasphemers.

  2. We're false teachers leading people to hell.

  3. All our magic comes from the "Devil," not God.

  4. We don't actually have faith in God because we use magic.

  5. We don't know our own religion.

  6. We've never read the Bible.

  7. We're not real Christians.

  8. We're lost, confused, or deceived.

  9. Jesus would disown us.

  10. God hates us.


And so much more. Especially in the last month, with the release of this book coming closer and closer, there's been a whole crowd of people trying to delegitimize the scholarship that's gone into our work, saying that people don't need scholarship. That they only need the Bible. But without scholarship, one can't ever really fully understand the nuances and complexities of the Bible, and that's where so many people get so woefully confused. The Dragon relies on that level of ignorance to keep them from seeing its tricks, and these folks get unsettled when they see something they don't understand for that reason. It's tough battling that cognitive dissonance, and it's even tougher knowing all the ways they torture themselves per the pressure of the Dragon doesn't actually guarantee them a spot in Heaven.


It doesn't bother me, though. I know what I know, and I know where we stand. So as this end of the journey push came, with Mimi and I finishing the first draft, reading it over for changes, getting it formatted, and reading through it all over again one last time for final fixes, it was more than easy to ignore all the naysayers. It was funny, even, watching them try so hard in comment sections to get us to stop a work we knew would be a massive hammer to that damn Dragon and its nonsense. (And honestly, we were so busy networking, revising, and getting all the details set up that we didn't have all that much attention to spare them, anyway.)


Now, with all the books on the way, and our comment sections teeming with more uncomfortable folks than ever, Mimi and I are sitting back perfectly happy. We're relaxing, knowing that no matter how desperate folks get to drag others into their high control religious hell (as we all know that misery loves company), the Truth exists, and people will be called to it one way or another.


We know that all of you, who are ready for that truth, are also ready to smile at these folks like a grandmother smiles at a child who talks with confidence, yet knows very little. There's no reason to be mean to them, or to shout them down. There's only reason to guide them if they're open to it, and give them a knowing smile and a "if you say so" to those who aren't. We know that there's no one way to God, and there's no one understanding of Him, either—nor is there only one way to build a relationship with Him. And you know it, too.


So let's celebrate today! Because not only is Mimi completing one more trip around the sun, but she celebrates it with the publication of her first book, and one that we know will make quite an impact for those who need it. It's a good day, and we hope you enjoy it, too. Do something that makes you feel alive today, whether listening to your favorite song, eating your favorite sweet, or feeling some almost-springtime sunshine if it's warm enough. May you be at peace, knowing that you've worked hard to cultivate it, and may you have a blessed time walking your path from now to your journey's end.

Thank you all who believed in Mimi and I and cheered us on as we wrote this book. We did it for God, and for the Christian Witch community He watches over, and we did it because we believe in this God, this path—and because we believe in you.


Be blessed. ♥


 

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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