Articles/Essays From Pagans
January 10th. 2017 ...
The Gray of 'Tween
Becoming a Sacred Dancer
Little Dog, Big Love
December 9th. 2016 ...
A Child's First Yule
November 10th. 2016 ...
What Exactly Is Witchcraft?
A Witch in the Bible Belt: Questions are Opportunities
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What I Get from Cooking (And How it’s Part of My Path)
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Witchcraft from the Outside
September 11th. 2016 ...
How Did I Get Here? (My Pagan Journey)
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September 3rd. 2016 ...
Rethinking Heaven: What Happens When We Die?
What is Happening in My Psychic Reading?
August 12th. 2016 ...
When Reality Rattles your Idea of the Perfect Witch
Hungarian Belief in Fairies
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July 13th. 2016 ...
What Every Pagan Should Know About Curses
Magic With A Flick of my Finger
An Open Mind and Heart
Finding and Caring for Your Frame Drum
June 13th. 2016 ...
Pollyanna Propaganda: The Distressing Trend of Victim-Blaming in Spirituality
Living a Magickal Life with Fibromyalgia
My Father, My First God
Life is Awesome... and the Flu
May 15th. 2016 ...
Faery Guided Journey
How to Bond with the Elements through Magick
Magical Household Cleaning
Working with the Elements
April 2nd. 2016 ...
An Alternative Conception of Divine Reciprocity
Becoming Wiccan: What I Never Expected
The Fear of Witchcraft
Rebirth By Fire: A Love Letter to Mama Maui and Lady Pele
Magic in Sentences
Blowing Bubbles with the Goddess
The Evolution of Thought Forms
March 28th. 2016 ...
Revisiting The Spiral
Lateral Transcendence: Toward Greater Compassion
Spring Has Sprung!
January 22nd. 2016 ...
Coming Out of the Broom Closet
Energy and Karma
Community and Perception
December 20th. 2015 ...
Introduction to Tarot For the Novice
Magia y Wicca
October 24th. 2015 ...
Facing Your Demons: The Shadow Self
The Dream Eater--A Practical Use of Summoning Talismans
Native American Spirituality Myopia
A Dream Message
Feeling the Pulse of Autumn
October 16th. 2015 ...
Sacred Lands, Sacred Hearts
September 30th. 2015 ...
September 16th. 2015 ...
Vegan or Vegetarian? The Ethical Debate
Nature Worship: or Seeing the Trees for the Ents
August 6th. 2015 ...
Lost - A Pagan Parent's Tale
July 9th. 2015 ...
Love Spells: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
The Magic of Weather
June 7th. 2015 ...
A Pagan Altar
A Minority of a Minority of a Minority
The Consort: Silent Partner or Hidden in Plain Sight?
Why I Bother With Ritual: Poetry and Eikonic Atheism
May 6th. 2015 ...
Gods, Myth, and Ritual in Naturalistic Paganism
I Claim Cronehood
13 Keys: The Crown of Kether
March 29th. 2015 ...
A Thread in the Tapestry of Witchcraft
March 28th. 2015 ...
On Wiccan Magick, Theurgy, Thaumaturgy and Setting Expectations
March 1st. 2015 ...
Choosing to Write a Shadow Book
Historiolae: The Spell Within the Story
February 1st. 2015 ...
Seeker Advice From a Coven Leader
The Three Centers of Paganism
Magick is No Illusion
The Ancient Use of God/Goddess Surnames
The Gods of My Heart
January 1st. 2015 ...
The Six Most Valuable Lessons I've Learned on My Path as a Witch
Manipulation of the Concept of Witchcraft
Publicly Other: Witchcraft in the Suburbs
Pagans All Around Us
Broomstick to the Emerald City
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: 2,373
Times Read: 3,917
RSS Views: 14,394
Author: Maggi Horseman
Posted: July 25th. 2010
Times Viewed: 3,917
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: Tallahassee, Florida
Author's Profile: To learn more about Maggi Horseman - 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 Horseman has posted 17 additional articles- View them?
Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE
Email Maggi Horseman... (Yes! I have opted to receive invites to Pagan events, groups, and commercial sales)
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