My mother stuck a Bible in my hands when I was about 3. It came with a host of instructions:
- Never put your Bible on the floor.
- Never write in your Bible.
- Never let your Bible become dog eared or tattered.
- Read your Bible every day.
- Read the entire Bible every year.
- Do what the Bible says.
- The Bible is the infallible word of God.
- As soon as your Bible shows signs of wear and tear, replace it.
Granted, I grew up in the cult of Jehovah’s Witnesses, who are fanatical Fundamentalist Christians, so the rules were quite likely excessive.
At the same time, I’ve heard from others who have grown up in a Christian household or a Bible reading home that they were given pretty much the same instructions.
Is the Bible Literal?
Let’s take a moment to clarify a few things about the Bible as it relates to our discussion here.
For me, the Bible is not a literal, historical or factual book. Snce I don’t take it literally, I'm free to explore the Bible and have found it to be a huge book of magick, metaphor, mysticism, astrology, numerology, symbolism and more, divinely designed to stir up latent energies within the soul so that we ascend. The Bible (and every holy book I’ve ever read) is a gateway to supernal realms.
I recall the wise and somewhat shocking words of a Kabbalah teacher who is also a Jewish Rabbi:
“Anyone who takes the Bible literally is a fool.”
I concur. Another Kabbalah teacher shared that not one word in the Bible is literal. With this too I concur.
Literalism is a death trap. I pray for the people who take the Bible word for word and have become religious zealots for it. Zealots have been resonsible for the 'holy' wars and inquisitions of the ages, many of whom were targeted at magickal beings or ANYONE who didn't see things their way.
I pray never to become a zealot.
For me, the opposite of a zealot is a SEEKER... one who's OPEN, RECEPTIVE. An ADVENTURER. A soul who's on the path of DISCOVERY and UNFOLDMENT.
It's being willing to NOT know. This requires a rare open-hearted, complete TRUST in the process and in the universe. We're being led. Guided. Cared for on the journey. If I knew everything, I wouldn't have anything left to discover.
Naivete vs. Freedom
Zealots will take this to mean being naive.
Not so. Naivete is never an asset. It's being a dumb ass. That's definitely NOT for the spiritual seeker.
The absence of dogma does not equal dumb ass. I won't demean dogma or doctrine. I was once so zipped up tight in it that I couldn't move. I needed that tight straight jacket so that I could FREE MYSELF and understand what FREEDOM really is. Had I not been a religious zealot for 26 years, I probably wouldn't be writing these words right now.
Bible Stories: Truth or Epic Fantasy?
Back to the little girl me... the Bible was full of stories, as far as my little mind could see.
Stories that are no different in fantasy content from Harry Potter, Game of Thrones or the Last Airbender.
I would read the Bible and see magick. I didn’t have the languaging for it at the time. My little self had yet to read magick book the first. What I knew intuitively is that the Bible was not what they were telling me it was, and that, to me, the Bible was for magick, replete with:
- Talking animals: of course animals can talk, Balaam’s talking donkey is perfectly acceptable to a 3-year-old, not to mention the most infamous talking animal of all time, the serpent in the garden. (Numbers chapters 22-24 and Genesis chapter 3)
- A man who could survive 3 days in the belly of a whale deep in the ocean. (The book of Jonah)
- A raging sea that is only calmed after being fed a disobedient prophet. (The book of Jonah)
- 4 men who could walk in flames and not be so much as scorched or singed. (Daniel chapter 3)
- A magick staff and a magick cloak. (Exodus chapter 4)
- Angels and demons. Throughout the Bible.
- An angel who kills 185,000 people in one night. (2 Kings 19:35)
- A man who did not die but ascended into heaven on a flaming chariot led by flaming horses who suddently appear out of nowhere. (2 Kings chapter 2)
- A dead man who came back to life after his body comes into contact with the bones of a dead prophet. (2 Kings 13:20-21)
- Zombies: raising a vast undead army from a valley of dry bones. (Ezekiel chapter 37)
- Blind people being healed and others who are temporarily blinded. (Gospels and Acts chapter 9)
- A prayer and praise induced earthquake that freed God’s people from prison and turned more into believers. (Acts chapter 16)
- A man who saw a vision, wrote it out and it became the book of Revelation. (The book of Revelation… if that’s not magick, I don’t know what is.)
- Necromancy. (Matthew chapter 17 and 1 Samuel chapter 18)
- People controlling the weather, wind and water with great staffs, cloaks and/or words of power. (2 Kings 2:8; Mark chapter 4)
- People who were instantaneously transported by angels. (Ezekiel chapter 8; Daniel chapter 14)
- A man who could sit amongst wild lions and not be eaten. (The book of Daniel)
- People walking on water. (Matthew chapter 14)
- A demon who kills 6 husbands of a virgin. (The book of Tobit)
- Women who became impregnated without a male father, or who were barren and suddenly became pregnant. (Genesis 21; 1 Samuel chapter 1; Matthew chapter 1; Luke chapter 1)
If you were born and bred or reared on the Bible, you know all these stories (and far more than these) well. We read them over and over.
Now, let’s say someone gave you a book chock full of these stories, but didn’t tell you it was a Bible or holy book of any kind.
What would you think?
Any rational person reading such a book, without knowing it was a Bible, would likely come to the conclusion that:
- This is an epic fantasy.
- This is a book of outlandish stories that couldn’t possibly be true.
- This is a book of allegories, metaphors, myths and legends that point us to deeper meanings, much like Greek Mythology (those gods were always up to something, weren’t they?).
No one reading such a book would take it literally anymore than we take the Chronicles of Narnia or the Lord of the Rings literally. We understand perfectly well that these fantastic stories are allegories pointing to greater truths.
Yet we’ve been told to take the Bible literally, down to the last iota. We’ve been instructed that the Bible is the infallible word of God, though there is, at this point, a plentitude of damning archeological and scientific evidence that this is simply not so.
I do not make these statements to in any way demean the Bible, nor do I seek to reduce it to being a novel. I agree with the Kabbalah teacher David Ghiyam:
The Bible is a non-religious manual of energy, explaining the DNA of energy and how energy works.
The Bible has always been for me one of the biggest books of magick and mysticism in the world. It's poetry and mayhem.
It's love and murder, intrigue and deception, impossible births, violent deaths and beautiful resurrections. It's angels and demons. It's a giant redemption story, just like all the holy books of the world, pointing us heavenward.
I love it. I’m intrigued by it. Enamored of it. The beauty is, no one can crack the code of the Bible and all it means. I love that too.
There’s no way I would pass the Bible up because I’m a witch. It’s precisely why I haven’t passed it up… because I’m a witch.
I love you Witchy Wonder,
Rev. Valerie Love
Excerpt from the book:
Spell Crafting for Christian Witches - Includes Bible Magick
(releases in October of 2020)