The Suffering Witch

In a recent article, I discussed my confusion over combining two distinct - and distinctly opposed - religions. While I conceded that a religion could only be added to by the inclusion of a unique spiritual path - such as paganism or Buddhism, I'm not sure two mutually exclusive religions can combine without ignoring a few things.

However, and this is a pretty big however, I never said one word about Exodus 22:18, "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.' As of July 5, the previous article in question has 17 comments, and I've received even more emails about the topic. Nearly all of them mention Exodus 22:18, either attempting to educate me on its meaning or reminding me that it is part of the Old Testament and, thus, irrelevant when following Christian teachings. But, Rioters, I'd like to draw your attention back to that article... I never said a word about that verse.

I never said a word about that verse, because I know that the original language of the text refers to not letting a kashaph or kasheph, which is a rather ambiguous term. It is thought that this word is actually an intentional mistranslation by King James, who was not a big fan of magical practitioners. However, nobody is really sure. What we are sure of, when it comes to this phrase, is that it probably doesn't mean, "Hey! Let's kill Wiccans, pagans, and anybody else who is a Goddess-worshipping magical practitioner working with stones and herb gardens!"

The ancient Hebrews were scared of witches that used their powers to trick them or charge them insane amounts of money for services that may or may not have been legitimate. Specifically, necromancy, divination, speaking to serpents, and the famous 'controlling' others by use of their name, which we have discussed before.

So, while this verse never came up in my article, it shouldn't necessarily be ignored. It helps to make us aware that there are indeed verses in the Bible condemning certain types of magical practice. Again, though, these are typically relegated to necromancy, the control of spirits, certain types of divination, and anytime you're talking to anything evil. Any questions?

Love and Lyte,

Fire Lyte


  1. Sadly, with the King James version of the Bible being the most predominant version in Christianity (but, really, not by any means the only), most Christians seem to think that this is the Word Of God, directly from His mouth. Because God speaks in Middle English, duh. Aramaic and ancient Hebrew are nearly impossible to translate to modern English, because there are nuances in those languages (um, the languages in which the original versions of the Bible were written) that we just do *not* understand in the modern world. The original text, in my understanding, was along the lines of "Thou shalt not suffer a *poisoner* to live."

    And isn't it fascinating that Pagans and gay men (and a great deal of the time, gay Pagan men) know Christian theology and mythology more than most self-proclaimed Christians? As C+C Music Factory said, in their infinite metaphysical wisdom, "Things that make you go hmmmm..."


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