Perspectives on Jesus by Top Pagans including erin Dragonsong
If Jesus were around today, I think he would look at much of "Christianity" and shudder. And I think he would look at Wicca, and say, "That's closer to the mark!"…
I regard the man we know as the Christ as a wise prophet and a saint -- one who had embodied divinity... that is, one who was with the Divine, walking and talking in the world. And the heart of his teachings were not substantially different from Wicca beliefs. Wicca Spirituality is, in fact, much closer to his authentic teachings than Christianism.
Which makes a lot of sense, since the roots of Jesus’ teachings were Pagan mystery religions!
Wicca Spirituality Aligns With Christ’s Teachings
Wicca Spirituality adheres to the essence of Christ's teachings far more closely than most of Christianity. And this is true in both dimensions...
the core teaches and
the allegorical meanings of the Jesus story.
Most of the correlations are not expressed verbally in Wiccan doctrine. But that's unavoidable ... Wicca doesn't have much doctrine. In fact, the closest Wicca comes to doctrine are ...
Wicca is more an oral tradition than a written one. We have no vast collection of teachings that touches on every subject, as some other religions do.
(In some ways, I hope someday we might. But in other ways, the terrible dangers of dogma seem too great to risk!)
Here are some of the correlations between his teachings and Wicca Spirituality’s wisdom...
The Core Teachings
For Those Who Are Ready, There Is A Deeper Truth
It seems clear with a little reading of the Bible that Christ was teaching on two levels...
the simple level, for those with limited spiritual understanding, and
the inner mysteries he shared with those who were ready.
For example, when his disciples asked why he speaks in parables, he answered ...
Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand. (Luke 8: 10)
Even then, some of his students were ready for the teachings, and some didn't understand and pestered Jesus for explanations.
And there are accounts of Jesus taking one student aside for secret teachings, from time to time.
This mystery religion tradition was carried on by the Gnostics, the Christians who followed his teaching of a personal revelation for centuries, before the power-hungry orthodoxy stamped out the "spiritual rebels." (The Gnostic Gospels, Elaine Pagels incredible study of the history of Christianity, presents a clear account of this process, and the reasons behind it.)
Why is it a mystery?
Because no words exist that can describe what happens on the deeper levels of spiritual experience.
Because people don't understand the teaching, even when it's explained to them, until they've reached a certain level of spiritual experience
Wicca Spirituality, too, is a mystery religion in much the same tradition.
There are elementary levels of the Craft, where people don't experience much beyond the rites and the various deities. And there are the deeper levels, where one experiences the Divine beyond all form.
And like Jesus, Wicca Spirituality has room for people on all levels of understanding... the beginners as well as the spiritual adepts.
Where Wicca lags behind Christ's teachings is not in that the vast majority of Wiccans do not reach the deepest levels of spiritual experience. That has always been the case, in any group of humans. As he said, the harvest is great but the reapers few. (Thomas: 73)
What Wicca lacks is a formalized procedure and an enlightened guide for initiating people into the deepest mysteries and helping us make the transition to God-realization.
Still, this is a quantum leap ahead of orthodox Christianity, which not only denies but forbids such experience. (Mostly because this kind of enlightenment puts you beyond the authority of religious leaders, especially those who've not experienced enlightenment themselves.)
One of Christ’s most important teachings, I think, was when he warned people to avoid rules and rulemakers... those who were "like a dog sleeping in a manger, who won't eat and won't let the oxen eat."
Wicca Spirituality is exactly following his counsel. We are each our own spiritual authority. And we follow the Divine directly, rather than following people who claim to speak for Her.
Find The Divine Within You
The main reason Jesus advised people to steer clear of religious authorities is that priests keep misdirecting the people, "Look here; look there." Instead of directing you to what he declared was the true source of salvation, the light within yourself.
He always kept turning it back... "Don't worship me. Don't follow these useless rules. Find the light within you. Look within, and you will find God. Know yourself, and you will know God."
As Wiccans, especially in Wicca Spirituality, we know that the Way to the Divine is within ourselves, and through our devotion to the Divine, rather than in particular rites and doctrines.
Love Is The Way
The Christ said to love everyone. Not just your family and friends... that's easy; everyone can do that. But to love strangers as well, and even your enemies.
Jesus was very clear that it is love and forgiveness, not hate and judgementalism, that will take you to the Divine.
In Wicca Spirituality, we know that hate is going the wrong direction. The Three-Fold-Law and the Wiccan Rede both make that clear.
As the Complete Wiccan Rede makes plain, we come to the Divine through Perfect Love and Perfect Trust.
Jesus told his disciples, Don't tell others what to do, and don't judge anyone else. Work out your own shortcomings. Search out what is inside you.
"If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you.
If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you." (Gospel of Thomas, 70)
It is necessary, in Witchcraft, to know yourself and to polish your rough edges... to hone yourself to be a clearer vessel for the Divine.
It is that practice that makes magick and ritual powerful. And so it's a necessary component of Wicca.
Be Like Children And You'll Be Close To God
Jesus said it is only those who can be like children who will come to the Divine.
Children have two characteristics that are vital to spiritual pursuit.
They are humble, and don't think they know it all.
They look on the world as the magical, wondrous, Divine place it is.
Wiccan mystics specialize in both. We are constantly in awe of the wonder of life, and death, and rebirth. And we know that what we know is only a tiny fragment of the whole Truth.
This way, we come to perceive the Divine.
It is true that many who follow the Wiccan religion can be pretty judgemental about how to do things right, and what the rules are, and who is "really" a Witch, etc. But in Wicca Spirituality, humility and openness is a cornerstone of the practice.
All Are Children of the Divine
Jesus tried to point out that the so-called differences among us are nothing. The tale of the Good Samaritan says that everyone is your brother, not just people who are like you. We are all children of the One God -- the Divine that is the foundation of the whole Universe.
Wiccans understand this clearly. And we also understand that it's not limited to human beings.
All creatures are brothers and sisters, children of the Divine.
Heaven Is Here On Earth
Wiccans believe that Heaven is all around us, and all we must do is become aware of it. Mostly, we do that through celebrating the seasons of life and the seasons of the Earth. We know that it is our perspective that lets us see Heaven, or not. And that it is through our actions -- and specifically through our choice of viewpoint -- that we find "Heaven."
The Christ also tried to tell us that Heaven is right here, right now. He warned us that people who say, "Look here for Heaven; look there for Heaven," are misleading us.
And what that basically means is that the Divine is all around us. Not waiting somewhere far away in space and time, but here within us and within everything and everyone else.
As Wiccans, we try to live that awareness.
Everyone Has Their Own Way To God
Jesus said that Heaven had many rooms. Not just one small group gets to go there.
In other words, there are many ways to the Divine, and the Divine has room for all of them.
Wicca acknowledges this truth, and respects everyone's Path as unique and valid. Every single one of us has a different religion, no matter whether you call yourself Catholic or Muslim or Hindu or Buddhist or Wiccan.... Everyone believes in a way that is different from everyone else.
And the only test for whether a way is good and right, is how close it takes you to the Divine. A test which is easily proven by your actions.
By The Fruit You Are Known
One of Jesus' strongest teachings was that you must do good works, in order to achieve Heaven... that is, self-perfection.
And that means, taking care of people, sharing what you have, feeding the poor, etc. He exhorted people to pay no mind to what they wear or eat, but to share everything. In fact, when Jesus said to love your neighbour, the Greek word used in the oldest versions of the Gospels was “agape.” This is usually translated as "love" but it more accurately means "share."
In other words, statements of faith are all well and good, but they don't open the doors to Heaven. If you want to be close to the Divine, you must do good things for others.
And that is the ultimate test of a religion, and everything else. If it does good for people, it is a good thing. If it harms people, it's a bad thing. Simple. Even a child understands this.
Strangely, the Christian churches seem confused about it.
Wicca Spirituality, on the other hand, knows that it is action that counts... and that action includes our thoughts and emotions and speech.
We are counselled to Do No Harm. It is our primary, and only, "commandment."
Women Are Sacred
This part has been thoroughly edited from the orthodox gospels, but evidence lingers in India of what Christ had to say about women.
And it's a very heartening perspective!
Jesus is well known in India as a saint who taught there for many years. He was known by the name of Issa, and ancient Tibetan scrolls demonstrate some of his teachings.
These traditions tell of the deep reverence Jesus had for women.
Wicca, too, reveres women as sacred channels of Divinity.
God Is Love
Jesus spoke of God as a close, loving father. The God of Jesus forgave everything and provided for everyone.
This is in direct contrast to the Old Testament Yahweh, who was petty, jealous, controlling, judgemental, and punitive.
Wiccans, too, believe in a Divine Force that is the creator of the universe, and that this force is not merely loving, but is Love.
You Too Can Work Miracles
Jesus said that everything he does, you can do... and more!
He went around healing people, creating abundance, doing things we think no human could do. But he insisted that everyone can work miracles ... once they know themselves, and once they know real faith in the Divine.
Working miracles -- or magick -- is a fairly integral part of Wicca, though not every Wiccan casts spells.
And through making magick, we come to perceive a deeper level of reality and understand who we really are.
Commit Now To Live A Spiritual Life!
Jesus taught that nothing is more important than your spiritual pursuit. He knew that everyone has their "reasons" why they put it off. But he encouraged people to drop the excuses and commit themselves fully to their pursuit of the Divine, now.
Wicca Spirituality also teaches that a spiritual life must be lived in every moment... not just during religious celebrations.
Find the Divine Within You
Jesus said, as Wicca says... Look inside your own heart. Your answers are all there....
All that matters is that you find the Divine that's hidden under all the rules and dogma.
And that's exactly what Jesus was urging people to do.
Then every religion is a path home to the Divine. With Bright Blessings,