Converting-Can It Be Done Without Disparaging the Previous Religion?

Standard

Apparently not in Doreen Virtue’s case.

The first oracle deck I bought was Doreen’s Goddess Guidance Oracle. I bought it because it includes Mary Magdalene as a goddess and at the time, I was deep into studying the “Grail heresy.” And I still do believe that Mary Magdalene and Jesus were married and had a child, and that she escaped the Holy Land and lived out her life in southern France. But the quest for Mary Magdalene became a source of confusion for me, and there are just too many things in the Bible that I can’t accept. I felt pulled towards Wicca again. I stumbled in going back into that, but I went with what I felt and realized, as I tended my little garden this summer, that that was where I felt closest to the Goddess. I do have affinities for two particular goddesses, but the earth and the changing seasons are to me as God and church are to Christians. Even though I’m allergic to so much of the earth, which is a sad irony.

So I can certainly understand a person’s spiritual journey changing and evolving, and Doreen has obviously been growing towards angels and Christian themes in her oracle decks, but her actual conversion leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

From the linked article: “Doreen told listeners she will be changing some of her previously published books and card decks . . . . She will be taking out some of the deities she wrote about and created cards for . . . . The book and card deck will then be re-issued.”

That’s not okay. It’s misleading to her new followers. It’s erasing part of her spiritual journey, the opposite of what a spiritual teacher, which is what she calls herself, does. She’s now removing deities she considers dark from her classic decks, basically besmirching those of us who follow or at least respect those deities.

My theory is that she found her niche market in angel and Christian-centered oracle decks and wants to erase the parts of her past career that doesn’t fit into her new baptized and born again persona. Anne Rice was an atheist, went back to the Catholic church for a few years, wrote a trilogy about the life of Jesus, even said she was done with the Vampire Chronicles, but she didn’t alter the books or pull them off the market. And then she went back to them.

(Please forgive me for drawing a parallel between Anne Rice and Doreen Virtue.)

Doreen can’t erase her pagan past. I have the Goddess Guidance oracle. It’s not my  favorite deck, I rarely work with it, but it was my first oracle deck. I can’t see me using it again because I’ll always associate it with someone building a career on people like me, then spitting on us and turning her back on us.

Edit: I just read this on Doreen’s site, and it’s highly problematic for those of us still using her decks and materials who do not share her “Christian” views.

What about Jesus? 
Doreen was raised as a Christian, and she continues to talk to God, Holy Spirit, Jesus and the angels. She consults them before, during and after every one of her readings and sessions. However, she realizes that many people are turned off when Jesus is “shoved down their throats.” She also knows that many people have suffered painful experiences in organized religious settings. So, Doreen prefers not to “push” Jesus upon people. She respects everyone’s right to worship in whatever way they prefer. She does, however, believe that everyone benefits from having a spiritual path and a belief in a loving God. 

People of all faiths and cultures believe in angels.

This is a flat-out lie.

There are so, so many “faiths and cultures” in the world, and while some may believe in angels, and others may believe in beings that resemble angels, every faith and culture does not believe in angels. Or unicorns. Or fairies.

When I was a broke pagan, I tried using angels as goddess figurines on my altar. Even the semi-pagan autumnal angels did not work for me because I couldn’t associate them with anything but Christianity in my mind. Altars, of course, are another hotly debated subject in the pagan community, with some saying they aren’t necessary, or should be as simple as possible, or can be whatever you wish. I went with “whatever you wish.” I added two miniature fairy figurines to my nature goddess altar. Fairies are not angels. Angels are not fairies. Many “faiths and cultures” believe in nature spirits that may be friendly towards humans, ambiguous, tricksters, teachers, or decidedly unfriendly. Those unfriendly “dark” fairies are the ones Doreen has decided to erase from her materials. That’s crap, because she’s deciding which fairies are okay and which aren’t, and she’s telling us that EVERYONE believes in angels.

Again, Doreen found her niche selling angel oracle decks, and she seems quite determined to force that down our throats, and I am not okay with her behavior. I am so glad that I only bought one of her decks because I won’t be using it again except maybe to frame a couple of the cards as art, and I’m glad I did not waste more money on this charlatan.

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