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Absorb and Embrace

Even though I call myself a heathen, I do not have an issue with incorporating concepts from other religions, including Christianity, into my rituals. Many pagans have hatred, guilt, or other negative emotions that are still tied to the religion that they were raised with. I have seen pagans scowl when I mention that I own a rosary, have iconography, or even use prayers to saints. Many times pagans forget that many aspects of modern Christianity are borrowed from paganism, and it should be completely natural to perform these rituals with a pagan connotation.

Religion is used to control people and keep them in a box. Magic has no borders or boundaries and can contain practices from any spiritual path. Some may refer to magic that encompasses other religions as chaos magic or try to claim it is high magic. I must disagree – this is simply magic. No need to add some descriptor word to make it seem like it is a unique form. The concept of magic is similar to the concept of energy, where even though we try to categorize it, it is all the same – the ability to do work. It is infinite and we humans with finite minds try to pick it apart so it can make more sense to us. This tends to make it more complicated when we are trying to explain or teach others. To avoid this, what can be used for ritual should be used. When we create dogma for magic with what is permitted, it limits the witch. There may be practices that one is more comfortable with than another, but at its core, no concept is off limits for ritual.

When someone performs magic and uses a Catholic prayer, the words carry weight from those that have believed and spoke those words before. All throughout grade school children are taught that words hold power. If you do not believe this, say a racial slur in the middle of a town hall meeting and watch the reactions of those around you.

Prayers, chants, invocations - they have been repeated and believed for years by so many people, to use them will add layers to your ritual. These orisons are loaded and the words already carry great meaning to them, so intentions can be added to be carried further into the world. In some forms of magic, the key is to make it as complex and convoluted as possible. Hiding your magic in plain sight is practiced by many. I have known witches who use bicycle cards for a tarot deck at a bar, and crochet when working a binding spell at a public park. Borrowing from other religions that are more acceptable in public provides layers to your spell work. It also provides freedom in being able to perform magic anywhere without being ostracized by those around you.

Cultures from all around the world have parallels in ritual, religion, and magic. From myth of a prophet that had to die to achieve enlightenment, to jewelry that was used for prayer, almost every group of people share similarities. Why not use them? Since many of us are mutts, these rituals intertwine with our DNA, so claiming that it is appropriation is incorrect. This is why I use a lestovka or a rosary to recite morning mantras. All prayer chains use numerology and designs to represent concepts. The word "bead" derives from the Old English word gebed, which means “prayer.” So it doesn’t matter what religion’s tool you use to chant. Whether it is a mala necklace or juzu, you can use the beads for ritual.

Hide magic in plain sight. Utilize holy objects that already exist, and give them greater meaning. Tailor materials to be distinctive tools, releasing the locked fetters that bind.

#rosary #catholic #christian #paganism #atheist #dogma #ritual #tarot #religion

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