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Monday, December 29, 2014

Magic and Catholic Saints

I wish to begin with a side note, that this is not an attack on the Christianity or the Catholic church and their deeply held beliefs. I understand that as pagans, what I'm suggesting is blasphemy, however this is not my intent. My beliefs in the idea of many of theses characters, are simply the ancient gods transformed to remain immortal. I understand this goes against the Catholic teachings, but what do you expect? I'm Pagan.

It has long been established that the Catholic church Incorporated pagan traditions and holidays into their religion, to make it easier to convert those away from their old religions. Yet many would not give up their gods, so the church choose to consider those gods Saints, someone the people could pray too, to plead on their behalf to this one singular god of the bible. Many Saints themselves were real people, but regardless if they were or not, it is what they themselves symbolize that matters. Saints are actually wonderful transformations of the ancient gods into the middle age gods we are now more familiar with. Today gods have evolved further, with celebrities, cartoons, fictitious characters from shows, movies, comics, books, etc.. all in ever evolving process that successful species and ideas go through.

Saints can be very powerful sources to work with, because so many of them are still honored today. They are less threatening to the mundane Christians than statues of our ancient gods. Yet they mirror their stories, their traditions, their behavior, their lessons and their influence on those who honor them. Just like gods, there is a saint for nearly anything. Each come with symbols, holy days, traditions and most importantly what they are know for.

Use the Saints to make Peace with your Catholic family 
If you have Catholic relatives, you may want to brush up on your Catholic theology.  I never approve of going through the Catholic rituals when you yourself are not committed to the faith. It is though, a nice jester to give your child a Patron Saint for the more sensitive members of your family who are of the church.  Because my in-laws are Catholic, I choose to dedicate two saints for my daughter. One is the literal translation of my daughter's name and the other was after Joan of Arc, who had a similar story to pagan woman I named my daughter after. If my daughter chooses to become Catholic, she has two Saints she can choose to find connection with. Even though I will never convert, I hope if she does, she will appreciate the sentiment of the jester. 

My Personal Experience
I myself have never been Catholic, basic christian maybe at one point, but I hold no ties to the church. My parents themselves had nothing to do with any church for the most part, my entire life. Yet I myself was reached out by a saint. It was during a very difficult time in my life and in a dream, I saw a statue trapped in a tower. When I awoke with the dream fresh in my mind, I described the statue and to my shock, I quickly found it. It was a statue of saint Bernard, who was known for helping those lost in the snowy mountains. Symbolically he had reached to me, as I struggled during this period of my life.

Using Saints to honor Catholic loved ones
When my husbands grandfather died, I felt it was appropriate to incorporate Saint Anthony into our home. In this case, we are not honoring the actual saint, but see it as a symbol of my husbands grandfather, who was very fond of.  We choose not to look to the saint, but to my husbands loving grandfather as source of positive guidance's.
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