As someone who keeps track of evolving trends in religion and spirituality, I’ve noticed that there is a (relatively) new term floating around these days: ChristoPaganism. Because this is still a very fluid designation, the following reflections are not to be taken as definitive, but rather as my own take on this new phenomenon. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts as well!
ChristoPaganism is a new religious movement comprised of individuals who self-identify as both Christian and Pagan. As a hybridized faith, ChristoPaganism is often denied and/or rejected by both Christianity and NeoPaganism, and ChristoPagans tend to be reduced to silence in both “parent” communities. ChristoPagans can be Christians who adopt, adapt, and practice various facets of NeoPaganism (such as magic, fairie-lore, Goddess thealogy, spiritual ecology, animism, runework, crystals, etc.), or Pagans who feel a strong connection with Jesus, Mary, the saints, and other Christian figures, and include these relationships in their spiritual practice. While not a well-defined body of belief or practice, ChristoPaganism may be viewed as a sphere of overlap between the two religious traditions, where each respects, understands, and mutually transforms the other in positive ways.
As a zone of peace between two antagonistic traditions, the Ecumenical Companions of Sophia attempts to share the abundant grace of Jesus’ love with NeoPagans, and the magical cosmology of NeoPaganism with Christians. With respect and mutual understanding, there is transformation, healing, and love. May it ever be so: Amen.
Elvenkind Another way of understanding ChristoPaganism is to think of it as a form of “Elven” spirituality. In Tolkien’s legendarium of Middle Earth, the Elves (or Quendi) are the Children of Illuvatar (God) who are the most naturally magical, and in touch with the realm of the angels (the Valar in Valinor). For a number of different reasons, some people here in the “real world” bear a strong spiritual resemblance to Tolkien’s Elves. Usually these people are highly sensitive, psychic, intuitive, visionary, “dreamy”, artistic, intellectually precocious, and insatiably curious, especially about things pertaining to the spirit world. In more modern “Harry Potter” parlance, these are the “magical” rather than the “muggle” folk.
Institutional religion has never been altogether comfortable with Elvenkind. At worst, those of Elvish temperment have been driven out as heretics or burnt at the stake as witches. At best, there has been an uneasy tolerance for those with psychic gifts and mystical tendencies. These days, I’ve seen a tragic exodus of “Elves” from the church, with many finding a more hospitable home in Wiccan, Druid, or other NeoPagan communities. The wisdom and the welcome they find in these traditions is powerful and real. But in this migration, the church is losing a precious gift and treasure. The Elvenkind are people of angelic blessing, uncomfortable as this may be for some. The church neglects her Elven children to her own peril.
The Ecumenical Companions of Sophia strives to be a safe and welcoming refuge for Elvenkind in the church. If you suspect that you may have “Elvish blood”, if the Rune of Sophia resonates with your spirit, please be in touch. You are not alone.