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                                                   After I moved out of my parent's
                                                    house, I started visiting different
                                            churches. Amazingly none of these churches
                                          were "way out" or "doctrinally unsound." Many
                                              of them, the Episcopal church in particular
                                         (sorry, it's my church, I'm biased!) was incredibly
                                        loving. They didn't just "teach" grace, they lived it.

                                              I was very drawn to the Episcopal church
                                          because of the beauty of the ceremony and the
                                      communion service (which they have every service.)
                                                  But one of the most important things
                                          to me was how loving and non-judgemental they
                                              are. They don't tell you what to believe
                                            on any specific issues. They are a thinking
                                          church, you don't have to leave your mind at
                                                                the door there.

                                            One principle that I learned there is...you
                                        can have differing opinions and while you may
                                        be pro-choice and they may be pro-life (or vice
                                                versa...I'm not giving out my personal
                                          opinion on this topic at this time...lol...) you can
                                                    both go up to the altar rail and
                                    receive communion together without judging each other.

                                          I do believe in sin, and ultimate right and wrong.
                                                  However, I also believe that there
                                      are so many gray areas...and no matter how right we
                                                may think we are...we are only seeing
                                        one side of things. It's very common to substitute
                                                God's wisdom for our own and act as if
                                      there is no difference. I'm often guilty of this myself.

                                      The point I'm getting at here is...there may be fundie
                                        christians who don't like this site. There may be
                                    other christian witches who don't agree with some of my
                                          thoughts,there may be people of other religious
                                        backgrounds who see the site and don't agree with
                                      some of my beliefs...however, regardless...I want to
                                          carry this principle with me of truly respecting
                                      the other person. I can't concede what I believe in
                                      favor of something more "politically correct." But I
                                  can respect the freedom of religion that each person has
                                                          and agree to disagree.

                                    Ok...now I'm going to stop promoting my church and
                                      get off my little soapbox to continue this article! =)

                                          In addition, during the time while I was church
                                            shopping, I found something that changed
                                          the course of my life spiritually speaking. I'm a
                                              bit of an entrepreneur wannabe and am
                                        often testing out new ideas. I'm not sure exactly
                                        what kind of small business I would like to run,
                                    but I've been playing around with a few different ideas.

                                        One of which is a line of all natural botanical bath
                                                  and body products and candles. I
                                    was reading a book on small businesses and was inspired
                                    by a woman who sold botanical products and used herbs
                                    according to their magickal uses. I thought it was brilliant
                                          and was curious about the magickal uses myself.

                                    I had always been secretly drawn to the magickal, but of
                                course was discouraged from learning about it. (even magick
                                    trick books, as my mother seemed to think that it would
                                lead me into learning about "real" magick which of course was
                                  "of the devil.") Don't get me wrong, I love my mother, we
                                                    just don't agree on many things.

                                        Anyway, I did a web search to find out about the
                                          magickal uses of herbs. As I was searching the
                                        sites available, my fundie indoctrination started to
                                            kick in and I started to feel guilty about it.
                                 So I did something really goofy: I typed the words: "Christian
                                Magic" and then "Christian Witch" in the search subject box.

                                        Of course I didn't expect to find christian witches!
                                        I didn't think there was a such thing. (And many
                                            still argue that there isn't.) I guess I was just
                                    hoping that someone had "Christianized" the concept of
                                  magickal herbs, so I wouldn't feel guilty and "evil" about it.

                                        Of course, the first site that popped up was "The
                                      Christian Witchery" page (on my links page.) I don't
                                    even remember what exactly I thought when I read those
                                      words together, but I must have thought it was some
                                        kind of joke. But I read the site anyway (paranoid
                                    the first time of course...lol.) Then I read other sites.
                                              (I'm still amazed at how many there are.)

Then I found a lot of groups on yahoo composed
entirely of Christian witches. (also on my links page.)
I still struggle with this issue sometimes, and have
gone through various feelings and beliefs about it
all. (fundie detox...lol.)

But one thing which encouraged me to keep pressing on
and not be afraid of what I was finding was this:
About a week after discovering "Christian witches" I was
in the local craft store. A card was sitting in it's
holder kindof crooked.

On impulse, I pulled the card out and read it:

"Sometimes it seems easier just to stay where we
are, than to open a door and make a change. But
in our hearts we hold the keys. Don't be afraid to
unlock the door. There are no endings, only
new beginnings."

Blessings,
Zoë Grace =)

Special thanks to "Butterflies are Free" for the
beautiful border on this page!