Coming Out of the Broom Closet as a Pagan
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Article ID: 14617
Age Group: Adult
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Author: Celtic Pagan 21
Posted: May 13th. 2012
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My life began in the late 1980ís as the oldest of three children. For the first couple of years of my life, I was not a member of any religion and I did not even know what Ďreligioní was. Then suddenly at the young age of three, my parents decided, based on their own religious upbringings, that they would raise me in Christianity. Growing up in the Christian religion was hard for me. I always felt that if I did one thing wrong, then I would be going to Hell. As a child, I was constantly asking Jesus to forgive me and come into my heart because I was afraid of going to Hell. The older people in the church made me feel as though I had to be perfect in order to get into Heaven. But even as a child, I knew that humans could not be perfect.
Before I knew what a Pre-Christian religion was, I acted like a pagan. I was attracted to nature. I loved being in the forest and listening to the birds chirp and the other animal noises of the forest. I also enjoyed the privacy and natural beauty that the forest provided. As a child, I would often play by myself and pretend that I was a witch and would be casting spells and making potions. At that time in my life, I did not know that witchcraft was a religion.
The years went by and I turned fourteen. The year was 2002. I really did not want to go to church anymore. By this time, my parents were split up. But they were both making me go to church. I still didnít know about other religions besides Christianity, but I was aware of what an agnostic or an atheist was. I knew that I did not believe in a Heaven or a Hell. At fourteen, I became an agnostic-atheist.
In my new house where I lived with my mom, brother and sister, I found the courage to tell my mom that I did not want to go to church anymore. That day my mom was trying to make me go. Once I told her, she wasnít happy about it, but she couldnít make a fourteen year old go to church. For a year after that, I was completely happy to be an agnostic-atheist, but I knew that I would have to tell my mom about my beliefs and I was afraid to. Finally I got up the courage to tell my mom while we were in Saint John, N.B visiting my great aunt. My mom and I drove to Tim Hortonís to buy a coffee. On the way back to my auntís apartment, I told my mom that I was an agnostic-atheist, which meant that I did not believe in any religion.
My mother had the reaction that I feared she would have. She screamed at me because of my beliefs not being Christian. I was in tears and I wanted my mom to understand, which at the time she did not. I never brought up my agnostic-atheist beliefs to her for a while after that incident. Eventually, my mom accepted my beliefs.
A couple of years went by and I turned 17. The year was 2005. My agnostic-atheist beliefs were not suiting me anymore, but I held onto these beliefs because I wasnít looking for a religion to belong to. The day that I became a pagan, I was on my lunch break at my high school. I was in the computer lab with a friend. We were each on a different computer looking up random stuff on the Internet. Well in my case, I was looking up stories from Celtic folklore, as Iím of Irish descent. I randomly came across a website called www.mythicalireland.com. I clicked on the site and this page came up about the goddess Morrigan. As I was reading the article about her, I felt as though I was being called to the Celtic religion and that I should worship her. For the first time since I was fourteen years old, I finally found a religion that I could believe in, and that had no Heaven or Hell, but a great afterlife and reincarnation. The goddess Morrigan beckoned me to join the Celtic religion of my pagan ancestors.
I knew after reading that article that I was no longer an agnostic-atheist, but that I was now a Celtic Pagan. For the first time in my life I was spiritually happy. But I still had one problem; I would eventually have to open up about my new religious beliefs. At the tender age of seventeen, this was scary. It took me about a year. One of the first people that I opened up to was my mom. This time, she accepted my beliefs. The other people I opened up to were my friends. They accepted my beliefs, and never forced their beliefs on me. Eventually, I found the courage to tell my father and my stepmother about my beliefs. I told them that I was a pagan. They reacted by telling me that I needed psychological help because my beliefs were not Christian.
Even though I was upset about how my father and stepmother reacted to my Celtic pagan beliefs, I realized that the Gods instilled in me a need to come out of the broom closet for a reason. I believe that the gods helped me to come out of the broom closet as a way to discover who would accept my religious beliefs and who would not. Iím thankful that I have a mom, friends and a husband who are accepting of my polytheistic beliefs. The only way to find out if friends and family will accept your beliefs is to open up about them.
Although my spiritual journey is only beginning, Iím thankful that the Morrigan guided me into my Celtic faith, as now Iím spiritually fulfilled. Opening up about my Celtic religion helped me become stronger both spiritually and emotionally. Iím also more confident than I was prior to coming out of the broom closet. Opening up about my beliefs gave me a sense of relief, even though some people did not like my beliefs, and gave me a hard time; the gods helped me through it.
In my opinion itís better to open up about pagan beliefs, than to hide them in fear of being discovered. The relief of being openly pagan is worth it. The gods will guide their followers in coming out at the right time and place about being a pagan, Wiccan, witch or Heathen.
Celtic Pagan 21
Location: Fredericton, New Brunswick
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