In the pagan world, anything that smacks of Catholicism tends to be frowned upon, and while I don’t necessarily steer people away, except for angels, I don’t mention it either.
So I was surprised that when a customer asked me to look in a book called The Magical Powers of the Saints (that we’ve sold at the store for years and I’ve not once looked at), something dawned on me:
Petitioning saints while lighting candles is, in essence, asking our ancestors* for help!
Now I can hear all the pagans freaking out, but think about it: they were REAL people, people who lived somewhat extraordinary lives which led to their sainthood, but still, real people. And as we are all connected, especially genealogically the farther back you go…they ARE part of our family.
There has never been a pantheon that ever really felt like ‘the one’ for me, but I do ask angels for help. I know other pagans who work with angels, but few would admit to calling on the saints – though they will buy the candles for them. 😉
Yesterday I lit a a candle for my guy’s excruciatingly painful arthritis, and I asked Saint Alphonsis Ligouri – who, it says, helps with that- and Archangel Raphael to help him. And last night he actually was in less pain. 🙂
Yesterday I asked Raphael and Saint Peregrine for help when I lit a white one for two friends with breast cancer, and for a neighbor’s little girl who is battling cancer, too, and I’ll tell you straight up: I haven’t seen a candle burn so strong and clean in ages. The flame never flickered, it was tall and strong, and there wasn’t one single drip of wax off of the candle. This, according to the book, is a very, very good sign.
So you know what? I’m going to call on those saints along with the angels, and let what will be will be. Doesn’t make me any less of a pagan; just makes me even more of a rebel pagan. 😉
©Pip Miller – May 2015
*before you go getting your knickers in a twist, commenting “we’re not all descended from white people*, I know that. We are, actually, all descended from one woman in Africa. So in an overall way, since we ALL come from her, the concept that they are family, even in some tiny way, holds true.
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this is very interesting. I do not feel connected to catholic saints at all (I do work with angels tho) but your recount of the experience was nonetheless nice to read.
Thanks! I don’t really feel connected to them either, but I definitely found what happened of interest. 🙂
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I do admire and have a rosary for St Francis. 🙂
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I didn’t know that, but it makes complete sense. 🙂
You’re definitely right that the Pagan community still has a big childish anti-Christian stick up its butt. But, within the witchcraft community, things are a bit more… umm… relaxed. lol After all, witches are all inherently rebels, flirting on the edges and in liminal spaces, and since the practice is naturally secular, there are many witches who work with Saints, honoring them as part of the Mighty Dead (not to mention the witches who are *very* much Christian or even atheist.) In that sense, they are definitely ancestors, as you so aptly stated, but here the connection is moreso viewed as spiritual (ie they are spiritual ancestors as opposed to the Beloved Dead who are blood/familial ancestors.)
Personally, I don’t work with Saints or angels *shrugs* I’ve got my own rather set “thing,” but I thought I’d share another angle on this, especially if you’ve a mind to do further research or searching for others with similar practices. 🙂