This FAQ answers some of the frequently asked question concerning feminist spirituality’s connection to abortion. This FAQ is taken directly from the Caretaker Ministries FAQ at: Feminist Spirituality’s Abortion Rites. We have corroborated this piece with information written by Wiccans and Pagans themselves.
Does feminist spirituality justify abortion?
Feminist spirituality promotes a belief that women are goddesses. Within feminist spirituality a woman is taught that she is the goddess incarnate. A goddess is both creatress and destroyer. And, since women are seen as the goddess incarnate, women believe that they wield the power over creation and destruction. A woman that thinks she (not God) is capable of creating life has little, if any, qualms bringing that life to an end. Consequently, abortion is considered a logical and appropriate option for pregnant women.
How does feminist spirituality’s cyclical life view influence the abortion debate?
Practitioners of feminist spirituality agree that the unborn child is a human life, however they don’t believe that life begins at conception. They view life as a cyclical process. Life is in a continual cycle of death and rebirth. A woman that kills her child through abortion believes that her child will be released back into the cosmic force. The aborted child that is released into the cosmos is believed to be awaiting reincarnation. The soul of the child is believed to be simply “free floating” while it awaits a willing mother.
What about the guilt suffered by women after an abortion?
The guilt over an abortion is temporarily minimized by a pseudo-spiritual rationale. Feminist spirituality teaches post-abortion rituals. These rituals are intended to (1) soothe the raw feelings that follow an abortion (2) offer support and encouragement to post aborted women. However, the rituals and communal support offered to post-aborted women erect a barrier between a woman and her conscience. Ritual provides a woman with the means of identifying and communicating her conflictive emotions yet prohibits true resolution through repentance. Communal support reinforces the legitimacy of her “choice.” Through the vehicle of ritual, a woman can release her compunction over her abortion while reaffirming her status as “goddess.” Unfortunately, due to this “spiritual legitimacy” women are that much further removed from guilt that fosters true repentance and personal healing.
Please note that a woman is much more likely to have “repeat” abortions because her experience was glorified.
What are some of the post-abortion rituals and how are they dangerous?
Erecting an altar for an aborted baby; burial; bleeding the blood from an aborted baby onto the earth in honor of “mother earth;” the sewing of baby garments; renewed devotion to a living child in memory of the aborted child; planting a tree; and visualization are just a few of the post-abortion rituals associated with abortion reparation.
Most post-abortion rituals involve a purifying of the aborted woman. During this ritual “cleansing” the aborted woman is encouraged to imagine her aborted child’s soul ascending into the cosmos to share in the cosmic life force. Female friends may participate in the ritual cleansing by offering affirmation in the form of poetry or song. A woman will often bless herself (remember she thinks she is a goddess) after her abortion to regain a pre-abortion state of grace. The purification, the freedom from guilt and sin, that post-aborted women know they need is an inner purification. And that only comes through repentance and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. Repentance and the forgiveness of sin through Jesus Christ is not taught within feminist spirituality’s post-abortion rituals. Therein lies the danger. Without Jesus Christ there is no healing.
What should the Christian response be to feminist spirituality’s abortion rituals?
The Word of God tells us that we are redeemed through the blood of Jesus Christ. “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace” (Ephesians 1:7). The Bible also states that if we confess our sins we will be forgiven and cleansed through His sacrifice. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). A woman can not be cleansed, experience forgiveness or be released from guilt and condemnation any other way. This includes ritual, positive thinking or self-affirmation. A woman must be convicted of sin before she can repent and she must accept Jesus Christ before she can be forgiven.
We need to rebuke the false teachings of feminist spirituality without alienating women. This is a done through the supernatural love of Christ expressed through us. We must come into a right relationship with Him who created us before we can love His creation. Some practical points:
1. Pray for the woman suffering from an abortion. Pray that the Lord would heal and comfort her through His Son Jesus Christ.
2. Share the Gospel. Often it is the times in our life when we are hurting that becomes the tilled soil for the planting of the Word of God. His word will not return void. (Isaiah 55:11)
3. Love. If your words say, “Jesus loves you,” but your emotions convey hate, you may become a stumbling block to the person you are trying to minister to. Timing is everything. Love is often seen in not just what we say and do but in what we don’t say. Be patient. Wait on the Lord for an opening but don’t be timid. Spiritual discernment is crucial, which brings us back to number 1: pray.
Hi, I’d like to comment on your “rememdy” of sharing the gospel in regard to Wiccans – they simply do not understand the whole “blood atonement” thing regarding Christ. So to approach a person in the mindset of Wicca and offer forgiveness through Christ’s blood is confusing to them – they don’t know why someone’s else’s blood, from 2000 years ago can help them now. It is a mystery to them. And Christians are in such a mindset about Christ and his blood that Christiand so not understand why anyone would not “get” that…but it is a completely foreign concept to Wiccans. So here is a better approach and lies within Christianity as well as “Wiccan” theology – using what they ‘know’ to help them understand atonement.
1) remind them of the story of the Exodus and the Passover Lamb. Moses had been an Egyptian Priest and as such would have known all about Egyptian magic – magic is very important to Wiccans, and they understand the concept of what is called “sympathetic magic”.
2) remind them of “sympathetic magic”, and that it is, at it’s base, the use of a symbolic object to substitute for a target: by ‘doing’ a ritual to a symbolic object, the outcome of the ritual will occur to the person, place or situation that needs the help. Wiccans know this and use it daily in some/many cases.
3) Explain to them that Moses used a lamb’s blood to give life to the Hebrews. In Egypt, the Egyptians worshipped a lamb-headed deity named Khnum. Khnum created Egypt and all creation from clay on his potter’s wheel (sounds like Jesus and YHWH, doesn’t it…)
3) In so doing, Moses made a political statement while at the same time performing some Egyptian magic against Egypt – by killing Egypt’s deity Khnum, he used a symbolic object in a rite of sympathetic magic, to also destroy Egypt. At the same time he used the Lamb’s blood, a creative life-force, to protect and keep the Hebrews alive, by placing the Lamb’s blood on the door posts and lintels – and Wiccans would understand that this act is clearly a talisman or charm against death.
4) Moses predicted that “one like moses would come”. This person was Jesus Christ, who was a Jewish Rabbi of his time. Because he was an Essene possibley, he would have had knowledge of Egyptian magic.
5) When it came time for Christ to die, he would have also engaged in a rite of magic – as presiding priest and symbolic victim, Christ’s blood would have been a symbol of the passover lamb, a “sympathetic object” representing this lamb’s blood. Christ was not only the presiding priest doing the “ritual” of magic, he was also the victim, the symbolic object unto which the ritual was done in order to affect the “target” – Humanity – he lived as a human in order to represent humanity; He died and rose again in order to make this supernatural event occur to willing humans who desired to believe in his power as God.
I know Christians will be extreemly uncomfortable using terms like “sympathetic magic”, “ritual”, “target” and so on, but it is the lingo of Wiccans. If you can cross the language barrier and use their “terminology”, you will help them understand that Christ’s death really did have supernatural power to make change in the same way that christianity explains it.
6) remind them that the basic definition of ‘wica’, and Anglo-Saxon term is ‘to bend or change in order to conform to will’ – wicca and magic are all about change, especially supernatural and spiritual change. By taking faith in Christ’s atonement, his death and resurrection, his “ritual magic that makes mortals immortal”,the human soul is “magically” changed, forgiven, saved, etc.
Once you use their languge to explain what Christ did, they will be “dumbfounded” bout it. For one, they do not know that any Christian would be interested enough to know their lingo, or what a ritual is, or magic, or etc. Second, for a Christian to use their terms to explain salvation is just over the edge for them – they do not know that Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection, vicarious and substitutionary, actually does fit inside what they term ‘magic’ and ritual in their terms. This explanation, while far fetched and almost heretical for Christians, will reach into the deepest and most important areas of Wicca to help a Wiccan understand, in his own terms, what really happened, what Christ did for them. Christ performed a great and high ‘magic’ so they could leave immortality behind.
7) Now go full circle with the explanation, and show them that Moses and Egypt used magic, sympathetic magic, to begin a very great spell that took its course over several centuries – Jesus had to ‘finish’ this spell that moses begun. Explain to them that the Egyptian Book of the Dead – a book of magic rites – highest goal was the resurrection of mankind, accomplished by repentence (expressed in the negative confessions of that book, i.e. an Egyptian stood before his deities/angels explaining that he did not do things that in life he really did do. This symbolizes a division between deed and heart – people do things but do not mean to, and want them wiped away. The negative confessions are really statements of repentence. Later in the Egyptian Book of the Dead, the angel/deity Ma’at, weighs the soul and heart of the individual to see if they are telling the truth – did they really, truely repent of their wrongs after confessing that they did not wish to have committed them? If they did, the deity in Egypt most closely matching Jesus – a dying and rising deity – permits them to enter into eternity and immortality. While Wiccans are completely against Christianity, they are not against Egypt’s magic. Use it as a tool to reach them. Explain to them that such a formal magical system is very close in theory and concept to what Jesus did.
While this method is very far flung for the average Christian, it is exactly where a Wiccan dwells in heart, mind and spirit.
By pulling out concepts in Egyptian magic, Sympathetic magic using a symbolic object to affect a target, and equating blood with a life-amulet, a Wiccan will suddenly “get” the whole concept of salvation through Christ, and that, friends, is the goal of your witness.
Once the lightbulb goes on, then you can remind them of it, and keep going on in your witness about it.
Also, read up on things like the Wiccan Rede and compare it to Bible Verses – I think the writer of that Rede knew the Bible and just re-worded it. For example “do as you will but harm none” is similar to Jesus’s instruction “do unto others as you want them to do unto you.” “Ever mind the law of 3, whatever you do returns to thee” is expressed by Jesus as “What you sew you will reap.”
This is why, when the first missionaries came into the Celtic lands, they proclaimed Christ as their “Druid”. A strange concept to us now, this is exactly what those people needed to hear at that time.
Wicca has no official written scriptures, but the few written things it does have do have Biblical counterparts as well:
the double edged blade – Christ’s word is called a double-edged sword;
Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Spirit – the five elements of Wicca have Biblical counterparts, and lots of scriptures to go with each.
The Bible even mentions a “cauldron” in some OT versions…
The Wiccans use a “besom” (a broom) to “sweep away wrongs”, i.e. a similar concept to repentence.
In the ancient Celtic World, the most remembered object was a cauldron, and archeologists have dug up “The Gundustrup Cauldron”. Upon it are figures of a War-Chief taking his dead warriors and immersing them in a cauldron of water to bring them back to life – wow, that’s just like Christian Baptism in concept. Use that to continue to teach them.
A Wand? Similar to the Rod of Jesse, and the Staff of Moses and other Shepherds like David.
Book of Shadows? It’s just a personal journal of spiritual experiences – Christians call these prayer journals.
ON the topic of abortion, remind wiccans that their Wiccan Rede teaches, “do as you will but harm no one”; Other Wiccan teachings state, “Live and let live, gently take and gently give” indicating a respect for life, and to only take it in extreem cases and then most gently.
Remind them of their most serious teaching, the “Three-fold law of return”: Mind the law of three,What ever you do returns to thee (and it returns multiplied, sometimes x10) – Wiccans feel their own deeds return to punnish them. If they take life, theirs might be taken, or they might face some other punnishment under their system.
Whatever a Wiccan throws at you, there is a counterpart in the Bible. Ezekiel promises that “there is nothing new under heaven” – Wiccans have repackaged New Age Concepts, and unknowingly used Biblical ideas behind these. Help them to understand that Jesus is the “High Priest” and that his blood is was used as a form of sympathetic magic to guarantee human beings immortality will go far with them, mind bending for them. They will definately have to stop and think. Most do not know how to respond to this idea that Jesus can be the most magical being out there…but we christians already know that He is!
Lay off pagens with this topic bible thumper. I am not a feminist and my abortion was medically nessacery. I got my tubes tied a year afterward. I was only 19. Being a pagan means something different to everyone. How about you and Christ get out of peoples business because it’s not welcomed. But what ever, I’m sure you know best. I’m actually looking for a post abortion, but can’t find one so what the fuck are you talking about? Wicca is not a patriaricle religion. That doesn’t make it a feminist religion. I’m sick of you ass holes and your dogma.
Wow Cynthia, I’m a bit surprised that a “good” Christian such as yourself would have any knowledge of Wicca at all, but I suppose it would help in your lame attempts at spiritual guerrilla warfare. Unfortunately for you, you have failed to learn one of the most important aspects of the people who have chosen to worship Wicca or any neo-pagan path. That is, that many of them were raised as, or at least have some understanding of Christians and your theology. They just don’t believe in it, just as you don’t believe in their religion(s). I don’t know who or what god is, and really, neither do you, you just think you do, told it is so by other people who think they know and so on. The thing I really get a giggle out of is “the Bible is the ‘Word of God’”. No, actually, it isn’t. It is the words of people claiming it to be the word of god for at least 2000 years. It started out as oratory tales, passed on by word of mouth for generations, if you’ve ever played the game where a group of people try to pass a sentence around a room, you’ll know just how fuzzy that could get. When it did start getting written down, it was subject to even more fuzz through poor literacy, mistranslation, and bad interpretation. Then the Church starts to develop and because by then there were many, many different “books” and interpretations thereof circling about, they needed to weed it down to what they felt was what they needed to keep their “flock” in line and at their door. The Church became a real power, and aligned itself with powerful political figures to further keep the people in line, and with those alignments came even more tweeks to the wording and interpretations of the bible. As “the word of god” spread through out the world crushing and obliterating the local religions in its wake, the people it consumed added their own local flare to much of the stories they were told. Through out time, even Christians couldn’t agree with each other and split from the Church into their own churches with their own interpretations, and then split further into other churches because some people didn’t like that interpretation either. One of the best examples I could give to some up all this nonsense is to show how just one word could change an entire concept of a sentence: King James commissioned the bible to be translated into English, he changed the sentence “God shalt not suffer a poisoner to live” into “God shalt not suffer a witch to live”. Pretty dramatic change, huh? Well the witch craze WAS all the rage back then! So, I don’t know, maybe you you should take a step back to analyze what’s been force fed to you for years, maybe read a little HISTORY, and THINK before you decide to shove shit down other people’s throats! Blessed Be!
You have painted all wiccans with the same brush, which is really sad. Wiccans are as divided on the issue of abortion as any other group of people – there are many who are adamantly opposed.
I agree with Annie. This seems to be disgracing earth spiritualists with negativity. I admire Cynthia however for making all those connections. I believe all wise religion is based on natural laws of magic that one does not always see right away. It requires lots of prayer/meditation and life experience. After murdering one's child a natural, spiritual, physical and mental reaction would be to grieve and feel really bad. But others around u or yourself could indeed convince you to convince yourself what you did was right for your self-survival (through “ritual” such as symbolic ritual or just saying over and over its ok, kinda like how all the pro-choice people already try to push it into your head) thus self-serving/dark-working
Pagan and wiccan beliefs are feminist? I know countless male wiccans and pagans, we have the God and the Goddess as the divine masculine and divine feminine, one cannot be without the other, the two halves that make the whole as it is in nature. whereas Christians look to only the God does that make them masculinist? an interesting though perhaps? Christians should look to history and see the bloodshed their religion caused, so many adults AND children died at the Christian hand. if you didn’t believe then you were tortured. they preached and murdered for hundreds upon hundreds of years, so much needless suffering for their bible and their God. Pagans respect nature, respect animals and their human kin, a peaceful spirituality tainted to be less by the Christian preachers. Christians invented the devil, but their is no devil in paganism, only the balance in nature, yet they tried to call us evil? witches were healers, the doctors of the time, if you were ill you would seek a druid, a witch to know herbalism to give you the right food and drink to become healthy again. we work alongside nature, we are good, careing, loving people and our lore was almost totally destroyed by the christian ‘fad’ that came from antient rome, their leader was christian and conquered many a land spreading his religion, you would die at his mens hands if you refused to change your beliefs to his, this is why it became widespred, did you know this? please please do your history and LEARN about what you are a part of, the biggest slaughter europe has known, the Christians – a horrific past. Love the earth, love the God and Goddess, respect the animals, respect yourself and your fellow kin and enjoy the freedom and peace of the true pagan life, we dance among the green hills under the sun and breathe in the fresh air of life, our minds are clear, our hearts beat with the rhythm of Mother Earth and we sing to God, to us men and woman are both equal, it is a beautiful thing and always has been :)
Incorrect. Using “jesus” or your concept of a creator isn’t “confusing” to pagans (or atheists). We simply do not believe as you do. You people love to force your ideas and opinions onto others because you believe you know it all. Stop playing the role of your God by being judgmental and prideful. You are the reason people like me have abandoned the hypocrisy of organized religion and the so called all loving spiteful, childish jealous god you so worship without question. How sad and sickening for all those those who are subjected to such evil tyranny. And no, I am NOT wiccan or any other form of ritualistic theology. But my friends in the pagan community are more giving, loving and honest than any christian I have ever met.