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Doreen Virtue Christian Changes and What it Means for the Spiritual Community
Doreen Virtue is a Christian Now??
Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably heard about Doreen Virtue's conversion to Christianity in January of this year. For those who don't know, Doreen Virtue is known for being the inventor of the widely popular Angel Oracle Cards, along with many other decks and works of non-fiction, e-courses, new age healing certifications, etc.. This includes the Ascended Masters book and cards, which she has since denounced.
What happened? The original video Doreen posted has since been deleted, another action that's caused controversy in the new age community, and she's disabled comments on at least one of her new videos on the subject, which has triggered even more of an uproar. Out of respect for Doreen, I'd rather not share the original video others have uploaded, but I have seen it and let's just say I understand why some have expressed concern. In the original video, she does seem to be somewhat flustered and not her usual happy, bubbly self, but to be fair, that might easily be explained by the fact that "coming out" as a Christian in her position is a nerve-wracking affair!
Why Did Doreen Virtue Become a Christian? My Response
It's not for me (or anyone else) to say why Doreen Virtue is a Christian now. Instead, I do suggest you visit her channel and listen to her testimony in her own words before coming to any judgments or assumptions. There's way too much of both going on in the metaphysical community at the moment, which saddens me, as understandable as it is.
The truth is that everyone's spiritual journey is their own. Doreen is just having to sort hers out in an incredibly public way. Do I agree with everything she's said and how she's gone about it? Nope. I think it's unfortunate that her spiritual struggling and sorting has led many of her students to be confused and feel deeply hurt, and as important as it is to validate Doreen's right to her own spiritual journey, it's also important to understand and validate those feelings. That's what I hope to accomplish in some small way by writing this article.
Who am I and how do I relate to Doreen Virtue's work? It's funny, because our spiritual journeys parallel one another's in some very strange ways. Doreen was raised in a Universal church, while I was raised as a fundamentalist Pentecostal, so our spiritual backgrounds really couldn't be much different, but we both found the new age and metaphysical paths later in life. After exploring paganism for years and identifying as a witch for much longer than that (I still do!), I eventually became led back to the spiritual path of the angels. My angelic testimony goes back to my early childhood, and that's a story for another day, but suffice it to say that when I discovered the works of Doreen Virtue (I believe my first introduction was Assertiveness for Earth Angels--still an incredible book!), I was hooked.
So much of what Doreen said about the angels and guides resonated with me, because it was almost exactly what I had experienced! Some of the messages from the angels in her oracle cards were almost word-for-word messages I had received in my own prayer life and meditations, and I still consider those decks to be part of my spiritual tool kit. The thing is, because I was drawn to the path of the angels by the Archangel Michael himself, whom I would always call on to protect me during magical workings and spell craft, Doreen's renunciation of much of her work didn't affect me as deeply as it has so many.
Instead, my reaction was more of a sense of loss for the powerful testimony I believe she may be damaging in following the typical "New Christian" path of turning so far away from all other forms of spirituality--including those that lead many of us back to a more welcoming and honest conception of who Christ really is.
Psychics and mediums and witches, oh my!
In her first video, Doreen mentions that she will no longer give readings like a "trick pony" but instead wait and ask God for messages. If you're a Christian witch or psychic like me, you probably heard this and went, "What's the difference??"
Here is where we really have to let people's spiritual journeys be their own. When I was eventually led to the path of being a Catholic Witch (interestingly enough, I follow the Anglo-Catholic tradition and attend Episcopalian mass; Doreen reports being baptized in an Anglican-Episcopalian church, but our experiences with this "type" of church have been very divergent! I told you the coincidences were a bit spooky.), I felt a deep sense of knowing that I was exactly where I needed to be spiritually in order to come to the understanding of truth that I have now. In other words, God wasn't surprised or shocked that I was a witch! His angels were leading me down the path I was always meant to take, and if I had not found sanctuary in paganism and the spiritual community, I might never have been able to shake the deep, soul-crushing damage I experienced in mainstream Christianity. I honestly do not know if I would have been able to see Jesus the way I see Him now if I had stayed agnostic, and certainly not if I had kept on trying to cobble together the pieces of the "Christianity" I was raised in!
The point is, although my "conversion experience" last Winter was every bit as visceral and powerful as the one Doreen describes, I did not and still do not feel the need to denounce my spiritual path, past or present. To do so would be to denounce the very path that led me to an understanding of the real Jesus! It's strange that I somehow remained shielded from the news about Doreen Virtue's conversion for a while. Actually, as all this controversy was first breaking, I was still exploring some of her old decks and books for the very first time thinking, "How awesome is this? Someone else who shares my faith and hasn't caved to the pressures of Evangelical Christianity to "renounce" tarot, astrology and all these other aspects of spirituality that have been such real and positive energies in my life!" HAH!
Looking back, I can see that my angels were sheltering me from what might have caused an itty bitty spiritual crisis when, at the time, I needed to be built up by the reassurance that I was on the right path. Now, I'm at a place where I can see that I am on the path I'm suppose to be on. And if you're seeking and open-minded, so are you. There are no surprises on the "other side." My understanding of the universe now is very similar to the one I was educated with in Christian school, but because of where I am, I feel like it has entirely new meaning to me. "All truth is God's truth." In other words, whether I'm praying or using tarot and oracle cards to seek truth, the truth that comes through is still God's truth. That's my Christian witch take on the world, anyway, YMMV.
However, I do think it's important to give people the benefit of the doubt when it comes to what they are personally convicted about. In one of her first videos (if not the first), Doreen acknowledges that "maybe" you could receive divine messages through Tarot, depending on your convictions and intentions. I wish that more of "that Doreen" was coming through in her recent messages, instead of the unfortunate (even if it is unintentional) implication that all who read tarot and follow new age ideas are lost and simply haven't found the right path yet.
Being "Bilingual" in a Black-and-White Spiritual World
The hard line between the spiritual community and the Christian community is so opaque that I think people on both sides often forget the line itself is entirely arbitrary! Whether you practice ceremonial magick (as I do) or are a Christian who unwittingly puts the Law of Attraction to use, we all have a different approach to the same tools and have far more in common than we think. The lines and labels are, for the most part, there to restrict you from your full spiritual potential. Don't buy into it!
And please, don't let Doreen Virtue's recent teachings make you think that being a Christian means you have to live in fear of "the occult." For every "former witch" or "former medium" who says that, there are just as many of us for whom these practices make up an essential part of our spiritual journeys with God and Jesus. We burn candles, we meditate, we pull cards and we do it all knowing we are under the loving protection of God and His angels. I've faced criticism from other Christians for not doing a 180 and denouncing the very spiritual practices that *led* me to faith in the first place, and if I ever did feel truly in my heart that it was damaging myself spiritually, that would be another matter. But I don't. And while I'm not usually a person to speak out on someone else's experiences, Doreen Virtue's conversion to Christianity has shaken and disturbed so many people that I felt the need to come out and say, "Hey! There is an alternative! That's not how it was for me!"
Being a Christian witch is a lot like speaking two languages and living between two cultures. You have an understanding of both worlds, but it's hard to feel fully immersed in either, not because there's anything innately wrong with speaking two languages but because other people don't get it. They want you to be all or nothing. It doesn't matter if that would mean lying about your own spiritual journey, it fits the narrative they're most comfortable with and that's it.
One of My Favorite Videos on the Subject of Doreen Virtue's Conversion
My Issues With the Way Doreen Virtue Came Out as a Christian
As you can see, I don't take issue with Doreen's personal conviction that readings and tarot are wrong for *her* at this time in her spiritual journey, and I certainly don't take issue with her finding Jesus! I'm thrilled for her, even if our spiritual takeaways from the experience are somewhat different. For me, coming to faith in Christ after believing the toxic lie of his nature that was presented to me in Evangelicalism, was an incredibly freeing and healing experience. I hope it has been that for Doreen as well, but it has certainly had the opposite effect for many of her students!
The problem with the way Doreen announced her conversion (and not one that is easy to solve) is that. she isn't just another person. Unlike me, her "day job" is wrapped up in her spirituality. She built a brand on it! One of the biggest in the spiritual marketplace, for that matter. In doing so, a lot of other people built their brands on her, so when she "renounces" the products that many of her followers have based their livelihoods on, there's going to be a lot of financial damage, to say nothing of the spiritual damage.
Many people feel like the messages they received through Doreen's cards and books--messages that touched them deeply, changed their lives and resonated with them powerfully--are lost now. If I can get one message across to you, let it be that this is not the case! Again, Doreen Virtue is just one person. She may be one person at the center of an empire, but she's only one person. If any of her messages resonated with you (or mine, for that matter,) then the part that resonated with you wasn't hers but a grain of a truth much greater than that. Call it God's truth, universal truth, whatever you prefer, but that truth cannot and will not change, regardless of how any of its many messengers and conduits on earth do change.
People are transmitters, but the frequencies come from the Source of all truth. If you feel hurt and betrayed by Doreen's messages, know that this can be your time to step out into the spotlight. Recognize where that betrayal comes from. It's not you that she betrayed (what a monumental burden that would be to put on anyone, spiritual teacher or not!) but rather, it's the fact that the eternal part of you that recognizes the truth in her messages feels as if that truth is being betrayed. If you gained knowledge on how to assert yourself in love through Assertiveness with Earth Angels (a work that, as far as I know, Doreen has not denounced in any fashion), then that growth and knowledge is still real! It can still keep working for you!
The fact that one person's conversion to Christianity created the crisis you see now in the metaphysical community stems from the fact that too many of us put our faith in the messages of other people and forget that we have the ability to discern truth for ourselves. This is what spirituality is all about! There's no shortcut and you can't "outsource" the hard stuff to spiritual teachers like Doreen, or anyone else. You've gotta trudge through it, but I promise, the rewards will be well worth it. Because in the end, no matter who falls away from the path you're on, you can keep walking with your head held high because you know it's the right path.