The first time I heard of this path, I was stunned. Christian Wicca? How does that work? I’ve done some studying since then, and it turns out that the two faiths actually can be syncretized into one with very little conflict, surprisingly enough.
Trinitarian Wicca is a faith way for people who have chosen to walk with God, Jesus and Mary, as a simplification, with Mary at last truly enshrined as the Queen of Heaven the Catholics say She is. She is equal to God, just the way She should be.
The actual name for Christian Wicca is Trinitarian Wicca, the name that was adopted by its followers in 2002. The tradition was created in 1999 and is based on the American version of Wicca and uses a Christian pantheon that includes the Goddess in her many forms. Like Wiccans, they follow the Rede, and they celebrate the sabbats and esbats of the Wheel of the Year.
Trinitarian Wicca may use the Christian pantheon, but it rejects certain tenets of Christianity that have driven many people away from that faith. The path does not accept original sin or the concepts of salvation, heaven, hell, Satan or baptism. Church dogma and hierarchy are not part of Trinitarian Wicca.
The followers of this path reject the notion that they are a syncretic faith. Instead, they consider themselves “mesopagan,” meaning that it is a path intentionally formed to recreate, revive or continue what practitioners consider to be the best of the Paleopagan (historical Pagan) faith ways, but which are heavily influenced by our culture’s monotheistic faiths.
Christian Wiccans believe in a Holy Trinity, but it’s not the one from your mama’s catechism. The Triune God of Trinitarian Wicca is God the Father, God the Son and God the Mother. The Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus, is considered the earthly manifestation of the Goddess in the same way that Jesus himself was the earthly manifestation of God the Father.
Mary is not the only expression of the Goddess in this faith, however. Because a great deal of Trinitarian Wicca is based on Gnostic Gospels and the idea that each soul seeks enlightenment (gnosis) according to its own needs, the path recognizes the Mother Goddess Sophia, whose name means “wisdom”. They point out that Wisdom and the Holy Spirit are frequently given female names in the Proverbs and many of the ancient Hebrew writings. The Hebrew title for the female aspect of God is Shekinah, meaning “the indwelling of God.” They also believe that Mary Magdalene was another physical manifestation of the Goddess. The general name for the Goddess in Trinitarian Wicca is the Lady Divine.
One of the most interesting things I’ve encountered in my research of Christian Wicca was the following creation tale, which explains how the patriarchal Old Testament God was created and why he’s such a pill.
In the beginning, there was Sophia. She was the personification of the Divine Feminine, and she was wisdom as a living being. She was an active creative force, and her consort was a passive creative force known as the Good Father. Sophia wished to have a child, and her desire became so consuming that she focused her thoughts and her wishes and made them become real. She created a Child God from her wishes and imbued him with heavenly light, and so he came into being.
The problem was that he was created from such strong desire and single-minded focus that Sophia inadvertently prevented him from being pure. He was instead the shadow of heavenly matter, and because he was impure and not made of heavenly matter himself but only a reflection of it, he became jealous and willful. He became the Demiurge, which is a Greek word meaning “craftsman” or “artisan.”
The Demiurge could not create with Heavenly Matter, since he had none of his own. He was a mirror image of the Good Father, and he was a bad image of the Good Father to boot. Sophia, embarrassed that she had so badly erred, named him Yaldabaoth (“child, pass through here”) or Samael, the Blind God. He was arrogant, violent, jealous and cruel. Sophia hid from the other immortals and began to weep at her foolish mistake.
The Demiurge was tied to the material world because he could not aspire to the incorporeal perfection of the immortal realm where his mother and the Good Father resided. He set his power to creating all of the things of physical reality. He refused to allow his creations, humanity, to acknowledge other Gods, because he was blind to the true nature of Spirit. He tried to instill spirit into his human creations, but he could only give them Psyche, the sensuous soul, the one that gives spirit to physical needs and desires.
The Good Father, seeing the hot mess that the Demiurge was creating, added the Pneuma, or the rational, feminine aspect of soul, to humanity as well. He also convinced Sophia to help him make a true son, a loving son who reflected the best of his divine parents, and so they created Jesus through the efforts of Sophia’s avatar, Mary of Nazareth.
The Demiurge became the leader of a horde of evil archons, or immortal spirits. He became the Old Testament God of fire and brimstone in his anger and arrogance. Because he is the photograph in negative of the Good Father, the Demiurge is the true adversary of the Good Father and of the Lady Divine.
Fascinating, eh? Apparently, in Trinitarian Wicca, if there’s a “Satan” (the word just means “adversary”), it’s the Abrahamic God himself.
Needless to say, this idea caused a lot of controversy, and there were angry reactions to Trinitarian Wicca from both sides of the aisle, so to speak. Christians called it heresy and the devil’s work, and Wiccans dismissed it as “not true” Wicca. Even now, there are a lot of people who are absolutely enraged that this path even exists.
Friends, being so furious at someone for worshipping in a way that you don’t agree with is actually anathema to being Wiccan. One of the tenets of Wicca is that we believe that there is universal truth in all faiths, and we teach acceptance of all religions.
Acceptance isn’t the same as adherence, and it’s also not the same as approval. There are valid faith paths that go absolutely contrary to the Wiccan rede, and while we respect those faiths and the people’s right to believe them, we don’t believe that their teachings are good – by our lights. We can only decide for ourselves. It’s not a Wiccan’s right to make judgements or declare right or wrong regarding the behavior of any other person.
We know only our own heart, and it’s only the path of our own lives that we have the right to decide. Wicca, ideally, should be a judgment-free zone.
Trinitarian Wicca draws direction and inspiration from Hermetic Law and the Kabbala, which is ancient Jewish mysticism. The Hermetic Laws are said to have been created by the god Hermes and passed on by his devotees. The precepts and principles of Hermetic law, which are now central to Trinitarian Wicca, are:
- The ears of wisdom are closed, except to the ears of understanding.
- Where fall the footsteps of the master, the ears of those ready for his or her teaching open wide.
- When the ears of the student are ready to hear, then cometh the lips to fill them with wisdom.
These precepts lend themselves very neatly to the Buddhist aphorism, “When the student is ready, the teacher will come.” All faiths are one faith.
- The Principle of Mentalism: God is Mind, and the Universe is Mental.
- The Principle of Correspondence: As above, so below; as below, so above.
- The Principle of Vibration: Nothing rests. Everything moves. Everything vibrates.
- The Principle of Polarity: Everything is dual. All truths are but half-truths. Like and unlike are the same, and all paradoxes can be reconciled.
- The Principle of Rhythm: Everything flows in and out. Everything has tides. All things rise and fall.
- The Principle of Cause and Effect: Every cause has its effect, and every effect has its cause. Everything happens according to law. Chance is a name for law not recognized.
- The Principle of Gender: Gender is in everything. Everything has feminine and masculine principles. Gender manifests on all planes.
Kabbalah is an extremely complicated discipline that revolves around ten different spheres of the Tree of Life, which is placed between Three Pillars. The pillars, from left to right, black (female), gold (male and female) and white (male). The ten spheres are the ten faces of the godhead, and a form of God/dess exists in each sphere. Each sphere represents a specific quality of the divine, and also a specific quality of humankind. Enlightenment comes from aligning your own aspects with the aspects of God in each sphere.
I’m not even going to try to get into Kabbalah here. It’s fascinating, and it’s intense, and it’s way too big of a subject to fit into this discussion. I’ll try to remember to get back to it in another post.
Because the Moon is and always has been the symbol of the feminine and the Divine Mother, Trinitarian Wicca observes the moon phases, like “regular” Wicca, and also assigns a different goddess to each full moon. The waxing moon honors the Maiden aspect, the full moon the Mother, and the waning moon the Crone. The new moon honors the Dark Goddess, the goddess of the hidden, the unseen and the magical.
These are the full moons and the goddesses to whom Trinitarian Wicca dedicates them:
- January: Wolf Moon – Inanna – Named for the ritual observance of protection.
- February: Storm Moon – Brigid – Named for acknowledging the end of winter and the season of death, supplanted by the season of birth.
- March: Chaste Moon – Zoe – Named for the virginal, new, fresh and blooming aspect of the spring.
- April: Planting Moon – Barbelo – Named for the sowing of seeds and a time of growth.
- May: Bright Moon – Shekinah – Named for the fullness of the Mother, who is at Her greatest power in this month.
- June: Dyad Moon – Mary Magdalene – Named for the balance of equals. Night and day are the same length, and male and female forces of nature are balanced.
- July: Blessing Moon – Asherah – Named for the blessings of the everyday that we take for granted or no longer see.
- August: Harvest Moon – Guadalupe – Named for the first of the three harvests, the beginning of canning and preserving and laying in stocks for winter.
- September: Barley Moon – Sophia – Named for the second and largest harvest of the year, a time of thanksgiving and acknowledgment of the plenty of the earth.
- October: Blood Moon – Lilith – Named for the beginning of hunting seasons and the time of slaughter to prepare food for the winter. This the third and final harvest.
- November: Snow Moon – Holy Spirit – Named for the coming of winter, which is the start of the season of death and reflection.
- December: Oak Moon – Mary the Mother – Named for the oak tree which stands firm despite the ravages of winter, and its prosperity and strength.
- “Random 13th Moon” (the second full moon in a calendar month): Blue Moon – Levannah – Have you heard the phrase “once in a blue moon”? This is the moon that saying is talking about. It’s relatively rare, extremely variable, and considered to be lucky. It’s a very positive time.
In all of my research about Trinitarian Wicca, I came back to the same idea again and again: each person follows their own path in their own way. Each practitioner is responsible for creating his or her own system of belief and access to the divine. Nothing is fundamental. Nothing is rigid or hidebound or required. It is a faith based entirely on each worshipper’s own gut reactions and emotional responses, as well as the deep, quiet voice of the soul that whispers when you’ve found something that works, “Yes! That’s it!”
This makes Trinitarian Wicca really no different at all from the Eclectic Wicca that I practice. In each case, we read exhaustively and open our minds to dozens of different theories and ideas about what God/dess is and what divinity is and what magick is and can be. We select from all of the information we take in and decide what sings to our hearts, and those are the parts we keep. The parts that don’t feel right, or the parts that don’t serve us properly are cast aside.
Is this a shopping cart approach to faith? Sure. Is it dangerously close to what some people dismissively call Fluffy Bunny New Age-ism? Well, yes. But what’s wrong with that? The truth is that every person’s spiritual journey is individual, and each person’s soul has different needs and requirements. One path to a wanderer. Sometimes our paths intersect, or they run parallel, or sometimes overlap, but when it comes down to it, we walk alone with our gods.
May your walk with your gods be blessed. Until next time, I wish you peace.