From Faith to Indifference and to Faith Again
Article ID: 14968
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 2,160
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Posted: March 25th. 2012
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I’ve read more articles here on WitchVox than I can remember, slinking quietly through cyberspace and admiring those with enough courage to speak to the world. Now it is time to take my place amongst them, and tell my convoluted story of how I came to Wicca.
January 30th, 2003, was the day my grandfather passed away from a long and hard battle against cancer. I was only twelve and spent the next few days in a fog, crying in private and outwardly trying to hold it together for all the younger grandkids. After the funeral, I was trying to understand his death and I asked one of my great-aunts a childishly simple question.
“Will my grandpa be able to see me from Heaven? I miss him.”
“No, sweetie. Your grandpa won’t be in Heaven. He didn’t follow the Ten Commandments, so he’s going to Hell as a sinner.”
I’m sure she thought she was instilling an important lesson of faith and obedience in a child, but I was devastated. I had always been a “Grandpa’s Girl”, spending time with him in the barn or garage, taking day-long fishing trips together, and now an adult had told me he was going to Hell. To me, that meant flames, torture and pain with the half-goat horned Satan laughing from his throne, all images gotten from the church we attended. I couldn’t understand why he wasn’t going to Heaven, wearing a pretty outfit, talking to God, flying around and relaxing on clouds. My grandfather was no better and no worse than any other man – he drank, smoked, spanked his grandbabies when they deserved it, drove too fast and cussed too much – but how did that equal a one-way ticket to Hell? He loved, laughed, bent over backwards to help a friend, and provided for his family. Shouldn’t that balance the scales a little?
The more I thought about it over the next year, the more sure I became in my conclusion. Christianity sucked as a faith, and I was done with it. I needed something less extreme and more loving and welcoming. I spent the next two years alternating between a desperate search for faith, and absolutely not caring. I half-heartedly looked into Buddhism, Atheism, Agnostic Christianity, and a few others, but none had the answers I needed. I had heard of Wicca, but the facts had been covered in such a thick layer of sarcasm that they’d passed me by, and I laughed the religion off. I mean, really? Witches? Magic? Isis, Zeus, Venus? What a load of crap, and each person who followed it had to be crazy. With this firmly in mind I ignored every Wicca-related result that came out of my Google searches, until it was the only blue link left. Finally it penetrated my thick skull that this might just be a hint, the electronic equivalent of a blinking neon sign, and I clicked the first one.
For me, that was the beginning. From the moment I entered the www.teenWitch.com website my life was different, better. Here were the answers I’d been looking for, and I could’ve kicked myself for not paying more attention and reaching this epiphany sooner. I visited all those sites I’d been ignoring, soaking up information like a sponge, then made a beeline for my local library. I read, and read, and read.
And this is what led to my second religion crisis. Everything I was reading said that Wiccans did magick. I didn’t cast spells, I didn’t do ritual; I read books, acknowledged my gods and goddesses of choice privately, and carried on pretending to the world I was a Christian. Disgusted with myself and positive I was in the wrong, I turned away from Wicca in shame, horrified that I’d been calling myself a Witch when I was nothing of the sort.
For more than a year I ignored those whispers in my heart that reminded me of that sense of belonging and firmly shut my mind to any thought of religion. I, obviously, was a failure at religion, having turned away from two faiths in my life. Besides, it was my senior year and I had other things to deal with. I still wore my pentacle out of habit, unwilling to give it up, and carried on my charade. I celebrated my eighteenth birthday, went through graduation, and got a car and a job. I took my place in adult society, and tried to fit into that mold. Each time something inside me fluttered, reminding me of the faith I’d left, I locked it away. I put it into an internal chest, wrapped chains around it and poured concrete. I was NOT a Wiccan, because I was not a Witch, and that was that. Facts could not be changed.
I was driving around the countryside one day that summer, enjoying a rare day off work, and my car broke down. Opening the hood there was no obvious signal to me of what was wrong, so I shrugged my shoulders and closed it, sitting on the trunk in the sunlight as I waited for my stepdad to rescue me.
I sat in that sunlight for two long hours before he arrived, gratefully refusing assistance from passersby, my mind drifting in a lovely fashion from thought to thought, and I realized something. This was when I felt the most at peace, the most connected with someone or something greater than me. When I was outside, I knew without a doubt there was a Divine, and it surrounded me. I could feel the presence, the energy, and I accepted it. It took me almost two years to understand that Wicca was about faith and that the spellcraft aspect of it meant nothing unless I gave it meaning, and only two hours to accept that I could be a Wiccan, without being a Witch.
On a busy country road in the summer of 2008, I found my faith and finally made peace with myself. I’m still finding out my particulars and building my (currently) eclectic Path, and that’s okay. I have my foundation to build from.
Location: Jacksonville, North Carolina
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