44 Days of Witchery: Day 1 -- What's Your Witchy Background?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Well, hooray! Things have been totally cray-cray!  *sarcastic happy dance*   It's not all been bad; things have just been stressful as I try to get things squared away for the Spring semester and trying to get my job situation worked out.


It's been about 10 days since I mentioned making yet another attempt at this 44 Days of Witchery challenge and now that I've actually got the time to sit down and write, I find myself dragging my feet.  I guess that part of it is because this would be the 3rd time I've had to write out this introduction and it's just SO damn tempting to just copy and paste one of my previous attempts.

And, on top of that, I'm really tired.  So the thought of trying to, yet again, cover the rather long story of how I came to be a Pagan.....It kinda makes my eyes water.

Honestly, the long and short of it is this:  I became Pagan when I was 20 years old. I'd been raised in a Christian home and had even moved to Texas to go to a Bible college of sorts.  However, it was there that I became extremely disillusioned with everything.  I watched people who'd begun their time there as people who were as kind and compassionate as anyone you can imagine and then watched them turn into the cold, unfeeling, and judgmental people that I've seen so many "Christians" be.

Having been raised in Christianity, I had been taught, of course, that Harry Potter was of the devil, witches worshiped Satan and that they do nothing but spells and curses and hexes to hurt people and other such things.  Not saying that that kind of stuff doesn't happen, but one day while perusing the book section at a Target, I happened upon a particular book.

It was called "The Dream Book: Dream Spells, Nighttime Potions and Rituals, and Other Magical Sleep Formulas".  That intrigued the hell out of me.  As I flipped through it, I saw nothing of any devil worship.  I saw nothing of curses or hexes or anything to try to hurt anyone.  Instead, there was nothing in there but things to try to help one sleep better, banish nightmares, find lost objects through dreams, etc.  That definitely opened the doors of my curiosity even further.

My first step into reading about Wicca was Silver Ravenwolf.  Now, dear reader, don't cringe and don't start in on me about the evils of Silver Ravenwolf.  I may not be one to ardently recommend her books, but I am still grateful to her, nonetheless, for the fact that as I read through those books, she answered a lot of questions that I'd had that had made me very hesitant to explore my newfound interest in Wicca.  For me, the biggest sigh of relief was knowing that I didn't have to just drop-kick everything I'd previously learned while I had been a Christian because there were still things that I held to.  I didn't have to renounce God or suddenly say that I didn't believe in Jesus anymore or anything like that.

Rather, she told me that I could simply incorporate new spiritual learnings into what I had already learned.  After that, I felt absolutely liberated and the more I learned about Wicca and Paganism, the more I felt it resonate with me and the happier and more fulfilled I felt spiritually.  A whole new world of possibilities opened up for me rather than just keeping God stuffed in a box.  I felt liberated to not just love the Father and the Christ but to also love the Mother and do so knowing that God wouldn't hold it against me  Seriously, God is not an asshole like so many "Christians" are and how they portray God to be.  And that was a pretty big lesson for me to learn because after what happened at the Bible school, I was angry at God and didn't speak to him for months.

It's kinda a long story, but the final straw for me concerning the Bible school had been in my 2nd year when I had unknowingly come down with an upper respiratory infection.  I merely thought I'd caught a cold, but I'd have it for a couple weeks, I'd get better, be fine for about a week, and then I'd get sick all over again.  At one point I was over at my ex-roommate's apartment with some of my classmates for a study group and I quietly told her that I could feel myself getting sick all over again (this was like the 3rd or 4th time I got sick) and one of my classmates (we'll just call her JB) butted her nose in to tell me in a very snotty tone,  "Well, quit calling it on yourself!"

I was flabbergasted.  There was no compassion, no care.  Just, as my mother has put it before, "faith with a 2x4".  And it was not how she had started out at that school.  She had started out this spastically joyous person who's happiness and kindness was positively infectious and I had adored her for it.  By the time I left the school, however?  Her personality had done a complete 180 and even when I'd see her at the Wal-Mart where we both worked, I'd say "Hi" to her to be nice and she would just give me this longsuffering look like "Why is this sinning plebian trying to speak to me?" and she would just keep walking without saying a word to me.

My last day at that school was the last day before Thanksgiving break and once classes were concluded, I was called into the office to speak with the new Dean and his wife.  I'd missed A LOT of classes because of being sick.  Did they care?  No.  Instead I was told that I needed to come to school anyway because "school was a place of rest" and blah blah blah.  I stared at them dumbfounded and it was all I could do to not get sarcastic and go  "No, my BED is a place of rest; especially before I have to go to work."

That was the absolute last straw for me and I left the school and, as I previously mentioned, I was angry at God because of how so many of those people had treated me and treated others.  But I eventually realized that God is not responsible for how those holier-than-thous chose to act and it CERTAINLY was not how he had EVER said we were supposed to behave.  That was another freeing lesson and I've maintained my closeness to God ever since and never have I once felt any disapproval from Him for my path.

And, really, I don't see why He would.  I have learned so much about unconditional love and about respecting other people regardless of differences of beliefs.  I don't sneer at people regardless of their spiritual path.  Truthfully, about the only time I do is when I see people being jerks to others because they don't believe the same way.  I can't abide it.

Anyway, getting back to the point:

I've been a Pagan for almost 10 years and I wouldn't change it for anything.  No, it's not like my life just suddenly made a miraculous turn where I never had any problems because of it.  Quite frankly, NOBODY has that happen be they Pagan, Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, or whatever else have you.

I still struggle with clinical depression with the occasional bad spiral, but you know what?  As I've strived to grow ever closer to God and Goddess, I have found that they don't take away my problems; they just make them easier to bear.  And I am so thankful for all they ways that they have watched over me and my family and brought us through so many hardships!

So, there you have it.  In summary, I came to Paganism because Christianity itself was just not for me.


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