Wednesday, September 4, 2013
How I Found My Path
I was raised in a very Christian home. Every aspect of my life was soaked in our Christian beliefs. I followed along because I honestly thought it was the only way, you either followed Christianity or you worshiped the other guy... and who wants to do that? I remember very distinctly waking up in the middle of the night when I was 13. My parents had kept us up late watching the first "Left Behind" movies and it of course scared the living daylights out of me! I was so scared that Jesus would be coming and he wouldn't take me with him even though I did everything I was supposed to do. I prayed the prayer, was baptized, read the Bible, only had Christian friends... everything. But, I always felt so scared that I was going to the 'pit of fire' as my Dad put it.
Well, when I went into the Air Force I lost site of church and didn't get to hang out with all my old friend. I went to a church for a short time, but I didn't fit in. I just really lost my way altogether. Around that time a lot of my new friends thought I was Pagan and were shocked to find out I wasn't. It seems on the outside I was behaving as a Pagan even if I did not carry those beliefs in my heart at the time.
After my stint in the Air Force I came back to Missouri. My family had left the church I grew up in and had started going to another church. That just didn't fit either. I decided that I just couldn't go to church anymore. It felt uncomfortable, it felt wrong. I felt like everyone just accused and pointed at me all the time. Now, in saying this I'm not in any way saying that all Christians are like this. That all churches are like this. This is just the personal journey I experienced. Lately I have been meeting a lot of awesome Christians and I'm grateful that there are people like that out there, putting a positive face to their religion! Good job!
My brother, Rob, was really building his career as a computer net worker at the time. He had been working that job since he was 15, but in his early 20's he really started to grow his knowledge about computers. He build computers for everyone in the family at the time (That was a lot of computers!) and he hooked up the entire house with DSL... and that was when DSL was THE thing to have. So, we were both living with our parents at the time, working and saving to get out on our own. I started working on my blog again at the time and came across website contests. They were a huge thing at the time, compared to what they are now.
Anyhow... one of the contests I was involved in, involved voting on everyone else to hopefully get them to vote back... maybe. But, I started noticing a LOT of Pagan and Wiccan sites on these contests and I decided to check them out and see what they were about. I remember sitting there stunned, it was like these people had read my mind or something. I felt like it was all right, but I didn't know how to go about switching over to this religion.
A lot of people at the time were saying things like 'Just because you say you are Pagan does not mean you are Pagan.' and that was frustrating for me because people say that about Christianity too. 'Only God TRUELY knows if you are washed in the blood.' I decided to just read all I could and see what happened. My first two books were To Ride A Silver Broomstick (oh course) by SilverRavenwolf and Another book that was intended for teen girls. It had a lot of Goddess stories in it and had activities to immerse yourself into the world of that Goddess. I still own both of these books to this day. What these books taught me is that being Pagan is what YOU feel you are and no one can turn up their nose at you and say you aren't doing it right. It is a very personal journey for everyone.
To be truthful, I got a little overly excited too early one. But, I think a lot of Pagans make this mistake in one way, shape, or form. I went and bought a ton of stuff that a Pagan is 'supposed' to have. And it was a little over the top too. I had the wine goblet with a wizard attached. The fancy incense burner (the expensive incense) I had an elaborate wand... you get the picture. On top of all that I had a giant pentacle pendent. I would say it was about 2 inches wide by 2 inches tall! My thinking at the time was that if it was okay to wear a cross on a chain everywhere you went... why not the pentacle? I had a choker type chain and strung it around my neck and went to dinner at my Granny's house. This is NOT something I would recommend to other beginners. If you have elderly people in your family that never miss a day of church... let them live out the remainder of their days in peace. My Granny lives her life to convince herself and me that I am in fact a Christian. She just knows it! At the time she was so upset with me that she grabbed the pentacle from my neck with me still attached to it and drug me down the hall to the bathroom. She held me over the toilet while she attempted to flush the necklace down the toilet... I will still wearing it all the while. My Granny is normally such a peaceful lady. This kind of behavior is so far from who she normally is that I can't hold this against her at all. I hold myself to blame... some people are just better off no knowing. Its not about being ashamed, it is about giving them peace of mind.
Anyhow, after that I was a lot more reserved. My close friends knew and often they called me to read them the card... but at the time they were just interested like it was entertainment mostly. I drifted a little and my life fell apart for awhile. I wasn't into drugs or anything like that. It was just a 'what can go wrong will go wrong' moment one after another. I ended up homeless in a BAD part of the city. It was a rough time. But, when I finally got back on my feet I was going through some of my books in my new apartment and started to read again. I didn't have all of my 'stuff' anymore, so instead I made do and have a much more natural looking alter. My tools are simple, and just what I need. If I need something else I see if I can find it in nature, make it myself, or buy it as cheap as possible. This is a path about me. It's not about flowery showing off or what have you... it is only about me and the Devine.
I'm so much happier where I am in my path.