Articles/Essays From Pagans
May 19th. 2013 ...
The Role of Identity in Magic
Talking Trash? It's a Dirty Subject but Waste Happens.
My Wiccan Journey
13 Keys: The Victory of Netzach
May 12th. 2013 ...
Pagan Studies I: How Should We Define Modern Paganism?
Nothing Special... Part Two
The Third Path
May 5th. 2013 ...
The Value of Multicultural Awareness
Put Your Back Into It (Our Lady of the Sacred Honey Badger)
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Red Lipped Bat Fish
April 28th. 2013 ...
Lessons from the Lessers: Iris
April 21st. 2013 ...
Taken By The Goddess: The Crescent Moon Tattoo
The Gods/Being Godbothered
To Be A Witch
The Archetypes are Gods: Re-godding the Archetypes
April 14th. 2013 ...
On The Inclusion of Children
'Wand Fun' With Grandson
Lessons from a Baby
Lessons of Freedom: On Divinity and Healing
April 7th. 2013 ...
Out of the Broom Closet... Sorta
A Journey Through the Witches Tarot
History and Science Behind Numerology
March 31st. 2013 ...
What is the Magickal Self?
Ethics and Numerology
March 24th. 2013 ...
Keystones of the Sacred Land
March 17th. 2013 ...
Why Some Pagans and Witches Still Hide
Witch Heritage 101: What Happens When Witch Haters Joke about anti-Witch Films
I'm Not a Broom. So What's with the Closet?
March 10th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Things I Did as a New Pagan: Part 3
Hunting for the Real Witch in Film
The Collective Shadow
Lies - The Opposite of Truth
March 3rd. 2013 ...
Grounding and Releasing Negative Energy
A Patchwork of Magick
February 24th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I Made as a New Pagan (Part Two)
February 17th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I made as a New Pagan... Part One
Gardening with Crystal Energies
A Call from the Ancestors
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Black Water Snakes
February 10th. 2013 ...
We Are the Weirdos, Mister: A Completely Uncool Story of Origin
February 3rd. 2013 ...
"I'll Grind Your Bones to Make my Bread": Pagans and Animal Husbandry
The Role of Contemporary Culture in Magic
A Pagan Response to Endangered Earth
The Great Mother's Gift, Heinlein, and the Nature of Squirrels
13 Keys: The Glory of Hod
January 27th. 2013 ...
Why We Do Need Wicca
The Cosmos In the Coffee Shop
On Travel Spirituality and Magick
January 20th. 2013 ...
Beloved Backs and How to Save Them
Building or Burning Bridges?
Plants, Magic and Intuition
Plagiarism - How It Harms Our Community
January 13th. 2013 ...
Ramblings of a Pagan Guy: Stupid Clichés
The Magick and Power of Words
Aging Is Not Easy
The Riddle of Who We Are?
January 6th. 2013 ...
Wicca v Witchcraft
A Witch in the Closet
How Many People Can You Fit Under An Umbrella?
Gut Hunches, Mouse Dreams, and Pinkie Sense
December 30th. 2012 ...
Ritual "Cheat Sheet" Bracelet
Magick is All Around Us
Confessions of a Living Satyr
A Tiny Bit of Belly Dance History
December 23rd. 2012 ...
The Warrior Goddess and You.
World Change: A Message from Greece
What's the Meaning of Life, Anyway?
My Brother's Keeper
December 16th. 2012 ...
Keeping Christ in Xmas
Love is the Law
Listen to Your Heart's Wisdom
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Paganism as a Path of Freedom
Article ID: 14055
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 1,031
Times Read: 2,425
RSS Views: 14,394
Author: Maggi Setti [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: July 25th. 2010
Times Viewed: 2,425
Freedom of belief and freedom to choose the specifics of one’s path are some of the most highly valued ideas in Pagan religion and practice. It is something that I have come to almost take for granted. Recently I was exposed in a visceral way to the alternate viewpoints that other religions proscribe to. This exposure triggered some memories from my teenage years, when my quest for spiritual fulfillment became an important facet of those formative years.
I was a very religious and devout kid. I desperately wanted to be good and do God's will and perform my purpose in life. I wanted to live right and be a good person. I was obsessed with Sunday morning service and had memorized all of the rituals of the ministers, acolytes, and cross bearers by the time I was 5. I had all the liturgy for communion memorized and even knew all the sung choral responses throughout the service. I dreamt about being able to carry the light into the church and tend the altar. (I think it is fitting that after so many years, praying with a lit candle by my bed, that I wound up working very closely with Brigid when I became Pagan) . In that way, I still tend the flame and pray and meditate in a very similar way as I did all those years ago.
When I was 14, I attended a Christian camp for a week with my best friend. I felt so close and cared about. I listened to sermons and Bible study, made new friends, and watched as young people got in trouble for foolish acting out. There was hazing, and a bit of brainwashing, in the name of God. I found it confusing. And at the same time, I wished so bad to be pure, to be God's chosen, that I desperately wanted to be Baptized. At the time, I was very upset to find out that there had to be parental permission. I petitioned my parents to let me be baptized and join my friend’s church. My mom told me confusing words, "Wait until you're 18. If you still want to be baptized then, go ahead."
I felt like she had abandoned me. I wanted something holy, sacred, and pure, and I was not allowed. I wasn't allowed to go to the YMCA church lock in, or the 24 famine fundraiser. I thought she was being cruel. She was worried about me being taken advantage of. She did let me continue being a part of the church's youth group and I made great friends. I threw out all my vampire and new age books I had collected all through childhood. I quit celebrating Halloween, threw out a massive vampire novel collection, and wanted to be a good Christian girl in every way. In fact, I suppressed a lot of my natural predilections and desires in order to try to fit into a very strict, judgmental group of people.
It just occurred to me tonight, that the scare tactics I was subjected to as an impressionable 14-year-old were cruel and unfair. How could adults trained in this sort of psychological conditioning, brainwashing, and bullying use such tactics on children? They are brainwashed themselves out of thinking. They think they are justified and holy. Even then at that camp, I thought the hazing was unfair and completely outside of what Jesus would have done. Jesus always seemed like an accepting, loving, tolerant, pacifist to me.
Shortly after turning 18, I told my mother that I wanted to tell her about the new spirituality I had discovered and chosen for myself, called Wicca. I explained a bit about it and she immediately responded, "I am so glad you've found your spirituality so young!" It was so easy and I've always had so much support from my family. They knew I'd found what I'd been looking for. Ever since then I've flourished and grown stronger, happier, and healthier.
I'm going to have to thank my mom for making me wait. That must have been a hard decision for her to stick by. Too bad I felt so alone and hurt because she was doing what she thought was in my best interest. I couldn’t understand her reasoning, but I do now.
My family had always valued critical thinking, independence, and education. My father even read to me every night Greek mythology and Bible stories. I understood at a young age that the parables in the Bible were metaphors to teach us lessons and were not to be taken literally. I do not feel that this idea hindered my ability to believe or have faith, but gave me more ways to find meaning in literature and later, belief in the world’s mythologies.
I left that church at 15 after a youth group meeting when they preached against gays. I had a major problem with the hate and prejudice they all exhibited on fellow humans. How could external judgment be valid? I felt that judgment was for God alone. In fact, in the questions of the 42 assessors in the Egyptian rites of the dead, you are questioned and assessed before Ma’at, not a human, earthly court.
Later, when I was 17, I had the opportunity to give the sermon for the youth run service at my family’s church. I delivered a talk about the acceptance of our fellows, that judgment was for God alone, and Jesus taught us to love one another. Love is giving, forgiving, accepting, and graceful. It can't be wrong or sinful. Love is love. We all know that, deep down inside.
Ten years later, I'm still preparing talks and classes. I'm teaching Love in the world as I see it to be true. I can think for myself and encourage people to question things and create their own beliefs to stand by. I still tend the flame, and keep rituals in my home. I am closer than ever to the Gods and to my Faith. I hope that as a Priestess I can make a major difference in this world. Even if it’s one moon, one month at a time.
Location: Hackensack, New Jersey
Author's Profile: To learn more about Maggi Setti - Click HERE
Bio: Maggi Horseman has been studying for 10 years as a Celtic and Norse focused Witch. She
is a Second Degree Initiate of the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel, a Wiccan Tradition,
(www.sacredwheel.org) and is a member of one of its covens Chalice of Living Stars.
She is mainly interested in the Celtic and Norse pantheons. She has relationships with Brigid,
Herne, Freya, Odin, Artio (Celtic Artemis) , and the Morrigan, but is dedicated to none.
Maggi’s interests range from qabala, tarot, astrology, aspecting, Thelema, faery, nature devas, kitchen witchery, herbalism and gardening, shadow work, sacred dreaming, martial arts and warriorship, women's mysteries and empowerment, and magickal painting.
Maggi has a BA Degree in Fine Art and Anthropology from Salisbury University. She serves on the council of the Northern NJ Pagan Fellowship a networking, social, ritual, and training group. She is currently teaching and training for 3rd degree in the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel with hopes to start a new Assembly coven in northern New Jersey in 2011.
Read more of Maggi’s poetry, prose, and commentary on her blog at
Other Articles: Maggi Setti has posted 15 additional articles- View them?
Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE
Email Maggi Setti... (Yes! I have opted to receive invites to Pagan events, groups, and commercial sales)
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