Our ancestors were forced to be Christian. To them dual observance was safety. It meant they put a Christian veneer on everything. Our ancestors faced different conditions, the idea that anyone just prays to Jesus as their savoir and admits they are a sinner was not how people were Christians then. There were indulgences, confession, inquisitions, public punishments and tortures in dungeons. Most people heard the bible and sermons in languages different than their own or at the very least in words they did not understand without it being explained to them by the preacher or priest. Giving that leader a lot of power over them. People did not have any religious freedom even for small variances in biblical interpretation. Dual observance meant going to church and doing all the required practices, and then holding your personal spiritual views at home and making sure they looked christian enough to keep onlookers from calling you out. They had no choice in the matter. This reality is even more profound in colonized countries or for enslaved stolen people where the people telling you what you have to do had taken you by invasion. To what extent our ancestors actually internalized Christian dogma is unclear, most of their charms, songs and home practices are in contradiction to church teachings and edicts but are covered up with some Christian names. Perhaps they just held this cognitive dissonance and were entirely sold on being Christian, perhaps it was as it appears to me and it was just a cover up. Maybe its a bit of both. Our ancestors had no freedom to tell us what it was—without risk of serious punishment as you can see in the various witch trials, any deviation from submission to the church and government could be picked out or imagined if they wanted to get you. You could even go to prison just for owing money to someone—likely at highly inflated interest rates that could never be paid back—this is even in the grand ole USA until not that long ago. I have people in my inbox at least once a month who live this on a microscale. They must practice dual observance, hold their sexuality, gender preference and their pagan or witchcraft world view entirely secret and hide it in Christian expression or risk being abused, sent to a camp, or kicked out on the street with no where to go. They can secretly write about it on Tumblr and so maybe there will be a record for their ancestors that they weren’t really good Christians—but our ancestors didn’t have that freedom. We can only guess. My guess is that some of my ancestors did what they had to but did not actually like the church and the Christianity it preached. One of my ancestors was even accused of witchcraft, though her friends came up in support of her and she was found innocent. I wonder what she did or what someone wanted that they pointed the finger at her. And I will never know for sure what she really believed and what she really did in her home, because she didn’t blog about it. That is what dual observance means to me. Its different than Christian witchcraft. To me Christian witchcraft means you have freedom of religion and can blend your admission you are a sinner and take Jesus Christ as your lord and savoir with a personal interpretation of the Bible that excludes any ideas that you think are irrelevant and practice that fusion at your own discretion. Its not the same as dual observance—but that’s okay, its its own thing and it works okay for some folks and they are generally really nice folks.