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The Transition from Christian to Witch with Beck | Witchtok Community Voices

Everyone's been there that's grown up in a Christian house, let's be honest.

Christian Witch, Witchcraft, Mysticism, Magic, Crystals, Bible, Incense, Folklore, Sara Raztresen, God, Spirituality, Tarot, Occult, Evangelical, Demons, Sin, Danger, Possession, Idolatry, Discernment, Church, Episcopalian, Faith Crisis, Deconstruction

Before I say a single word, I have to start off like this: I love my mom and dad. They're my best friends, my mentors, and my first guides in the world.


But they're also people, and people aren't perfect. Just like any other person on planet Earth, they make mistakes, they say and do things they don't mean, they grapple with decades of generational trauma that has coalesced into their minds, and, in a world like this, they get scared. They get scared about the future, about all of our health and safety, about the things I get up into—and this was especially true, obviously, for when I was a teen. As you might guess, people who are scared do some pretty wild things.


Like when my mom had a massive blowout with me over my foray into witchcraft.


I'll spare you the details, but what happened was that I'd had some gnarly sleep paralysis as a teen, which, if you've experienced it, you know will cause some pretty spooky hallucinations while your body tries to catch up with your waking brain. This was just about the time I'd started really playing with witchcraft, even as my parents had been really hesitant about it all the while (I had to convince my mom like hell to get me a copy of Judika Illes' Pure Magic when I was eleven or so, which I could only do because it was, well, pure magic and not any of the stereotypical evil stuff she thought witchcraft was). And my parents weren't wacko Evangelicals or anything. They were pretty laid back Catholics who didn't really care what I did so long as I wasn't being a brat. My mom just cared that I believed in God and left the rest up to me.


Yet still, they fell into the same illusions of witchcraft that have been prolific for centuries: hexes, evil spirits and demons, all that stuff. My mom has always been superstitious, and this sleep paralysis thing did not help. The blowout was ugly. A lot of my tools were broken, my books taken away, and when my dad came home to my mom and I in the middle of a shit-fit, he tried to explain to me why they were just trying to protect me from stuff way more complex than I probably realized. Except the problem was that I did realize; I knew what I was doing, and I knew using basil in a money spell wasn't going to randomly bring King Asmodeus to my door. It was they who did not realize that witchcraft was not what they'd been taught their whole life.


Eventually they learned. They heard me out, they saw what I was doing, and they've made peace with it now. They also point out witchy things they think I'd like and understand more about mysticism and culture and folklore from how many times I go over their house for laundry and babble about all the new things I've learned. Once, my mom even asked me to do a spell for her, which, thanks be to God, worked well. But that learning period was a wild ride. Even still, I'm lucky to have had a chance to have a learning period with them. Not all people get to have this happy ending, with parents who understand and can even appreciate what they do with magic.


One such person is Beck, or The Stitching Witch on Tiktok and Instagram, who, unfortunately, had quite the experience with her extended family when they discovered Beck was drifting more into witchcraft and away from the godly lifestyle they would've preferred for the young teen.


Beck's Transition from Christian to Witch


If you've never heard of Beck before, let me tell you: they're a powerhouse. Their Tiktok and Instagram are places that witches of all experience levels can get some great information (and where witches in the broom closet especially can get some tips to practice in secret), and their shop in Hanover, Pennsylvania, called The Serpent's Key, is a place where you can get all kinds of tools and materials for your practice, as well as tarot readings and other services from Beck and other professionals. With Apollo, Bast, Hekate, and Herne among the deities they venerate, as well as the work they do with their ancestors, they have a solid spiritual practice that they've been building and cultivating since they were a teenager.


At thirteen years old, Beck initiated themselves into a Wiccan tradition, with Wicca being their entryway into the world of witchcraft (as it seems to have been for most young people who were on the internet researching witchcraft before 2012). Before this, however, they were well-rooted in their Christian family's tradition, being raised Episcopalian. During the time they were a Christian, in fact, they worked hard to be as good a Christian as possible, even being a part of their church as an acolyte. They would carry candles for the services, read passages, and other such duties, fully immersing themselves in the Christian experience—only to find that the feeling of "something's not right" never really faded.


"I lived my life by this book and this Deity in a way that never really resonated," Beck admits. "But I've always been interested in religion and its history, customs, all of that, so I was still fascinated by it. And there are a lot of things that are still really interesting about it—but it just wasn't for me."


So off Beck went to find something that did resonate, and they found Wicca. While the idea of the Lord and Lady wasn't something Beck found a lot of comfort in, given that the term Lord was so deeply tied with Christianity in their head, and the many different rules of the religion felt a bit stifling, they did find a lot of value in some other pieces of the religion, such as the ideas of feminine empowerment and taking action in everyday life with one's own spiritual power. As a result, Beck soon left Wicca to find a more eclectic path, working first with Herne and the Morrigan. With a piece of their ancestry existing in Celtic tribes, Beck honored that part of their heritage by working with several more different Celtic gods and goddesses over time.


Their practice has waxed and waned with the stations of life—becoming less prominent during their time in college studying fashion, and becoming more prominent as they went out into the world to live their own authentic life—but all of it stemmed from that first decision to be their own person spiritually as a teenager, and overcoming the challenges that came with it, especially among their family.


New Birthday Party Activity for the Kids: Getting Exorcised


It was Beck's younger brother's 10th birthday party that things got a little weird among the family for a moment. Somehow, even though Beck had been carefully hiding their practice and the things they were doing, their grandparents must've caught wind of the fact that they were getting into witchy things. Between that and the more gothic style of clothing they'd taken up at the time, I suppose the typical stereotypes about both Goth subculture and witchcraft got into their grandparents' heads, and it... wasn't great.


"I don't even know how they found out!" Beck says. "I didn't tell anyone! But somehow, they got it in their head that I was doing all kinds of 'demonic' stuff and needed to be saved."


After a bit of fun outside, Beck's parents called everyone in for the birthday lunch, but unfortunately, Beck's grandmother had different plans for the time spent indoors. This was back in the day where a household would have one main computer everyone would use, tucked away in some nook in the common rooms of the house, and so it was an easy place for Beck's grandmother to pop over and slide an unlabeled CD into the computer's disk drive. She gathered everyone around, claiming to want to simply hold a moment of prayer for everyone—and then came a rather gruesome depiction of Christ's crucifixion on the computer screen for all to see.


Naturally, this is somewhat distressing for children to see at a party. Beck's brother started crying, and everyone else glanced at each other in silence as Beck's grandmother went singing praises and praying for "evil spirits" to leave their family alone. Then, when Beck started laughing at how wild all of this was, especially in the middle of a birthday party, that opened up another can of worms: their grandmother was convinced that this was "the devil laughing" and tried to exorcise this devil out of them in front of everybody. At that point, Beck's mother cut it off and let Beck escape to their room with a piece of cake to hang out for the rest of the party, away from all that kind of commotion.


"My mom was not about that kind of stuff, so I'm glad she stepped in," Beck says, "because that was just bizarre. I can laugh about it now, but at the time, it was pretty wild stuff."


Their parents even sat down with the grandparents later, to tell them that this behavior was not awesome at all, and it was met with the typical "we just want everyone to be safe" spiel. For Mother's Day a couple years, Beck obliged their grandparents the request to go to their church, a more Prosperity Gospel™ preaching place different from the Episcopalian tradition Beck knew, and there, the weirdness carried on. They tried to pull the "laying on hands" and "speaking in tongues" shenanigans on Beck, who promptly no thank you'd right out of that situation and never went to church again.


Twelve Years Later, a Witch of Their Own

Christian Witch, Witchcraft, Mysticism, Magic, Crystals, Bible, Incense, Folklore, Sara Raztresen, God, Spirituality, Tarot, Occult, Evangelical, Demons, Sin, Danger, Possession, Idolatry, Discernment, Church, Episcopalian, Faith Crisis, Deconstruction

Now, as Beck looks back at where they started and how far they've come, there's so much to appreciate. The knowledge, the honest and authentic connection with their gods and ancestors, the abundance and success poured into their life from the work of their own two hands—it's all flourishing, and Beck knows it's still nowhere near the end of the journey.


How sweet it is, to know all of this is only the beginning. However, one thing Beck notices as they continue their educational work with budding witches and pagans, is how the way information and ideas disseminates has so radically shifted. It seems like these days on #witchtok, there's not so much the same drive for discovering information on one's own as there used to be—that folks would rather flock to the comments of their favorite creator and ask question after question, day after day, to try and learn their practice piece by piece. They also don't do the necessary work to break down their previous religion—typically some version of Evangelical Christianity—and therefore carry a lot of their old ideas and vices into a new faith.


"New pagans are always so worried about angering their gods," Beck notes. "You know, getting smote or punished or something? And there needs to be more of a conversation around deconstructing one faith before jumping into another."


And because information is so freely and widely circulated online, there leaves room for a lot of people to pose as authority figures on subjects that they then repeatedly misrepresent. Many people know how to vet their sources like they learned to in school, looking at the back of a book to see a works cited list, looking up the author to see their credentials, but when it comes to online personalities, the same level of scrutiny and thought disappears. While Beck and I are both around the same age—which, trust me, really isn't very old in the grand scheme of religion, wisdom, and witchcraft—we got a kick out of being able to pull out the "back in my day" phrase in our conversation, because it's true.


Whereas witches around Beck's and my age once had to find books tucked into the darkest corners of public libraries, or beg their parents for an extremely Wicca-centric, sanitized starter manual to work with—pouring through pages and pages of poorly formatted forums and web pages that looked like they were created on Adobe DreamWeaver to get any sense of modern witchcraft correspondences and ideas—nowadays, people can Google just about anything and find easy (yet not necessarily accurate) answers. They can even search on Tiktok, with the platform's efforts to become more like a search engine than a simple scroll-trap.


"I want to change this," Beck says. "I love teaching and guiding people, and I'm hoping to start up a class in the shop soon for starting witches to learn more solid, reputable magical skills from."


(And for anyone looking for a course geared specifically for Christian witches, remember to check out my own 10 week course here.)


In an age of social media influencers, it also becomes easy for new witches and pagans to feel left out or like they're doing something wrong if they can't afford a myriad of oils, stones, incenses, candles, herbs, or other items that, truthfully, don't matter at all in the grand scheme of one's magic. It creates an ecosystem of consumption, turning witchcraft into another capitalist venture devoid of any actual practice or spirituality, and this can poison people's understanding not only of their own power and their faith, but actually disempower them, too. And it waters down these spiritual concepts, makes them homogenous and one-size-fits-all, like that attempt at a "witchcraft kit" Sephora tried to sell so long ago.


"Everyone thinks witchcraft has to be this big to-do, buying all these items, and it takes the time to actually practice away," says Beck. "But really, people just need the commitment to learn and spend time with their deities and their own selves."


So long as we have that on our side (and maybe some access to JSTOR or Google Scholar for those occasional educational nuggets we all love), we're in a good place. It's thanks to witches and educators like Beck that there are still safe havens on the internet to go to for solid learning, but no social media creator can replace the value of learning to do your own research and critically analyze the world around you, as well as the work you need to do to break down past beliefs so you can rebuild new ones. Nonetheless, be sure to show Beck some support by following them on Tiktok and Instagram and checking out The Serpent's Key!

 
Where the Gods Left Off, Pagan, Christian, Witchcraft, Spirituality, Religion, Medium, Psychic

All the chapters are edited!


I repeat: ALL THE CHAPTERS ARE EDITED!


Now all that's left is to put them into the actual book file for formatting, and we're good to go. I'm thinking this book is going to be quite chunky (and that I... severely undercharged for it, so the actual profit margin may be a bit sad because of printing costs) but wooo boy this is exciting.


The only thing that makes this take time right now is the fact that I need to set up and test layouts for the tarot cards. Once I have them the way that I like them for one through five cards, I can get to work just dragging and dropping everything on in there, easy peasy. But I have a good three of fifty logged, so now it's just a matter of getting the rest in there, which is quick.


Definitely check out my shop to grab a SIGNED COPY as soon as it releases. First books ship on September 20th—which is coming up pretty quickly! Once this is off my plate, of course, it's back to absolutely tunneling on Discovering Christian Witchcraft, and the resources I'm reading lately are going to make it even juicier for when I'm ready to get back at it.


 

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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