Articles/Essays From Pagans
June 13th. 2016 ...
Pollyanna Propaganda: The Distressing Trend of Victim-Blaming in Spirituality
My Father, My First God
Living a Magickal Life with Fibromyalgia
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
Rebirth By Fire: A Love Letter to Mama Maui and Lady Pele
The Fear of Witchcraft
Blowing Bubbles with the Goddess
The Evolution of Thought Forms
Magic in Sentences
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
Native American Spirituality Myopia
The Dream Eater--A Practical Use of Summoning Talismans
A Dream Message
Feeling the Pulse of Autumn
October 16th. 2015 ...
Sacred Lands, Sacred Hearts
September 30th. 2015 ...
September 16th. 2015 ...
Nature Worship: or Seeing the Trees for the Ents
Vegan or Vegetarian? The Ethical Debate
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
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Why I Bother With Ritual: Poetry and Eikonic Atheism
May 6th. 2015 ...
Sex, Lies, and Witches: Love in a Time of Wiccans and Atheists
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
My Concept Of Grey
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
October 20th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Conjuring Spirits
A Microcosmic View of Ma'at
October 5th. 2014 ...
The History of the Sacred Circle
Abandoning Expectations and Remembering Your Roots
September 28th. 2014 ...
Seeking Pagan Lands for Pagan Burials
Creating a Healing Temple
September 20th. 2014 ...
GOD AND ME (A Pagan's Personal Reply to the New Atheists)
September 7th. 2014 ...
Deer Man- A Confounding Mystery
August 31st. 2014 ...
Coven vs. Solitary
A Strange Waking Dream
August 24th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Cultural and Spiritual Appropriation
The Pagan Cleric
A Gathering of Sorcerers (A Strange Tale)
August 17th. 2014 ...
To Know, to Will, to Dare...
On Grief: Beacons of Light in the Shadows
August 10th. 2014 ...
As a Pagan, How Do I Represent My Path?
The Power of the Gorgon
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
A Witch Brewing among Catholics
Article ID: 14701
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 1,770
Times Read: 4,907
RSS Views: 16,212
Author: Magaly Guerrero
Posted: August 28th. 2011
Times Viewed: 4,907
How often do you think about the day you discovered Paganism? Not when you found it, at least not in my case—I have always been a Witch; I just didn’t call it that until I was teenager. Ironically, I saw my witchy light in a church…
The church looked amazing. The altar was adorned with huge candelabras, white roses and tulips, and there were chains of white daisies draping from the back of every pew. My catechism instructor had told the class that Father Elias was going to marry a couple after he was done with our confessions. I was a little confused because it was Wednesday, and I thought people only got married during Sunday mass.
I looked at my watch. I had been sitting on a wooden pew for over an hour; my butt was numb.
“You’re next.” Manuel Tapia’s voice made me jump. He was the oldest boy in my catechism group, and I had a crush on him. I confessed it to God as soon as I realized I liked him. I wasn’t sure if liking Manuel was a sin, but I told God anyway—you can never be too safe in the ever-watchful eyes of God.
I walked to the confession booth rubbing my behind. Please God, let the seat have some padding, I prayed in silence. My poor butt couldn’t take any more pew torture.
I got to the booth, climbed three steps, and took a look. Crap, another wooden pew. I stood very still waiting for my punishment, and then I guessed that saying or thinking the word ‘crap’ wasn’t a sin because God didn’t strike me on the spot. I sat on the bench.
“You have to kneel.”
“Crap.” Father Elias scared the living Jesus out of me. For a moment, I believed God had decided that saying ‘crap’ in his house was a sin after all, and I was about to get it. But it wasn’t God. The horrible breath sipping through the tiny-screened window belonged to a familiar mortal.
“I won’t tolerate that kind of language in the house of God.” Father Elias moved so closed to the window that I could clearly see his angry little eyes. I wanted to protest and tell him that God hadn’t said anything when I said crap, and it was his house. But Father Elias’s putrid breath made me dizzy. I just nodded.
“Well?” asked Father Elias impatiently. “Didn’t you learn how to confess? You need to kneel.”
“But I don’t have anything to confess. I ask God for forgiveness as soon as I make a mistake.”
“Insolent girl, you can’t confess without a priest.”
I stared at the livid man thanking God for the screened window. Father Elias would have probably spat all over my face if it weren’t for it. He continued ranting and I continued to stare without listening. My mind’s voice was screaming at me. Why do I need a priest to confess my sins? Why am I here? Why would I share anything with this lunatic? Will my mom be mad if I leave?
One question actually crossed my lips: “Why can’t I talk to my God on my own?”
Father Elias was in my face a couple of seconds later. “Get out! Go talk to your teacher and tell her you are not ready. I will speak to her later. Send in whoever is next.”
I walked out of the booth and looked at my best friend, Dahlia, who had been seating behind me, waiting for her turn. I froze. What kind of friend would I be, if I let her face the crazy man without warning? Help me God!
“Well?” Father Elias spat into my thoughts.
I looked at the condemning fire in his eyes, and I knew that I had to do something, and I had to do it fast. I took off running. I ran until my 11-year-old lungs ordered me to stop. I found an old oak tree to lean on, and waited for my breath to catch up.
“Maggy, what’s wrong? Why are you crying?”
It was Ms. Toledo, the town librarian. She was always nice to me. I touched my face and realized she was right. I was crying. I told her everything as we walked to the library. When we got there, Ms. Toledo offered me a chair, but I declined.
She let out a long sigh. “Oh, don’t worry too much. It’s not the end of the world.”
I knew she was trying to help, but she hadn’t seen Father Elias’s face. She wasn’t there when he told me that I wasn’t ready. Ready for what anyway? And why didn’t he answer my question?
Ms. Toledo must have read my mind because she said, “I’ll have a word with Father Elias.”
I gave her a pained look and said, “Thanks.” I just wasn’t sure talking to the priest was the best idea.
Ms. Toledo walked away and I thought about stopping her. She should know that Father Elias wouldn’t listen. I gathered some courage and was ready to go find her, but she came back before I had a chance to move.
“Here, ” she whispered. “Take it home. Come back next week and tell me what you think.”
The excitement of taking a book home made me forget all about Father Elias, sins, and confessions. You see, the library in my town was so small that it couldn’t allow people to check out books. So taking the book with me was an adventure, especially because I didn’t own any books. My family was very poor, so we couldn’t afford them. That was the reason why I was such a good friend with Ms. Toledo. I used to spend as much time in the library as I was allowed, in order to finish a book.
I thanked Ms. Toledo and left with a smile on my face. I walked the three miles from the library to my house, taking glances at the book every now and then, but not daring to open it. What if I dropped it and ruined it?
I got home, climbed my favorite mango tree, and opened my borrowed treasure. I read about ancient gods—males and females—who interacted with their people. I learned about olden times when humanity lived in harmony with the earth, when people honored the moon and the sun and these Old Powers listened; times when folks believe in the power of their own energy.
I enjoyed the book so much that I was really sad when Monday came and I had to return it. But my gloom didn’t last long. Ms. Toledo replaced the book. The new volume was filled with gods from all over the world. Some of the gods were terrible and scary, but I loved learning about each and every one of them. Their eclectic nature, the spontaneity of their ways, their darkness and light, reminded me of me.
Copyright: Magaly Guerrero - Pagan Culture - 2011
Location: New York, New York
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