From Christian to Atheist to Agnostic to Pagan
Article ID: 14904
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 788
Times Read: 2,499
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Author: Caleb 'Odins Helper'
Posted: February 26th. 2012
Times Viewed: 2,499
When I started really getting into Norse Paganism, or any kind of Paganism for that matter, I was probably around 12 or 13. My dad had been into Wicca since I was probably in second grade. My interest in the whole thing went up and down depending on the events happening with school and home. When middle school hit, I felt myself being cut off from the rest of the kids. A few of my friends started to change for the worst. I kept in close contact with one or two of my friends but they were highly religious Christians. Now, I have nothing against that. I ended up going to Church and Youth Group sessions with these couple of friends every so often so I could feel a sense of community. I didn't consider myself to be a Pagan in sixth or seventh grade but I knew a lot about the subject.
When eighth grade hit I somehow became surer of myself. Maybe it was the whole aspect of being on the top of the school. Or maybe, it was the idea that I had made great friends with most of the teachers and faculty members. I felt invincible honestly. I went through a religious shift then. I had been considering myself a Christian for the good couple years because the whole idea of an all-loving God really spoke to me. I had dealt with severe bullying problems and one or two times been threatened. When my friends would help me through it, we'd pray together.
Later that year, I became an Atheist after the girl I had been seeing dumped me, and my friends turned against me. I proceeded to proclaim myself an atheist for another good year. I argued with people on the Internet. I argued with people in school. I even got to the point where I argued with my mother over the whole subject of whether God was real or not. My extended family members didn't enjoy my presence very much because I had an attitude with them. I was a real brat.
Ninth grade rolled around and it was my first year in high school. I made new friends and pushed the old ones who had betrayed me, off to the side. I became a happier person. The spring of ninth grade was when I started to proclaim myself a Pagan. I, by then, had eyes for a girl. She was a nice and goofy girl. I told others she was like me in female form. There was one downside to this whole relationship situation: She was deeply religious and loved God with all her heart. Now I have nothing against that but her views towards Pagans, Wiccans, and Voodooists seemed to be a little tainted. She was raised in a religious household and it was a little stricter than mine was. She was a nice girl, and sure enough before we both knew it, I randomly asked her out one night.
Thus began a thirteen and a half month long relationship. I had no plans to tell her of my pagan interests. I always told her I was Agnostic. It sounds silly, right? "Why lie to your partner? If they truly cared then they wouldn't make you do that." Well, teenage girls make you do crazy things, as most guys know.
But as our relationship went on, and she joined the cross-country team and became more athletic, it got a bit harder for us to coexist. She kept trying to get me to go to Church with her on Sundays and I kept telling her it wasn't for me. Sooner or later, I knew that eventually it wasn't going to end terribly well.
Well, it didn't end terribly well at all. She dumped me so she could get on with her schooling and her cross-country. She's happy right now and she's living her life, as a teenage girl should be. I still remain in contact with her family and her mom and I are still close. Her mom's like a second mom to me in a way. But after she dumped me I had changed all of my religious views on my profiles on Myspace (I know it's old) and Facebook, to Pagan. (Or for Myspace, Wiccan.) My ex girlfriend didn't talk to me much after I had done that and it took some explaining to her mother as to why I had done that and not chosen another faith. But most of my friends were perfectly okay with it.
This year -- or should I say last year -- I attended a large spiral dance here in Buffalo, New York at an old church which had been renovated. Oh the irony! Pagans and Wiccans dancing to Pagan and Wiccan music in a former Christian church. It makes me chuckle every time I think about it. I was glad to see the numbers of young kids and teens who were there and dancing their hearts out. They seemed to be more religious than I. I'm generally a shy person so I didn't take the chance to talk to them. Most of them were girls and, like I said, I'm really shy. Even for a 17 year old, I have trouble talking to new people. Anyway, I greatly enjoyed it. I plan to go back next year and this time, talk to more people. Local Pagans and Wiccans in the western New York area will recognize the name Dragon Ritual Drummers. They ended up being detained at the Canada-US Border for a good five hours or so. My dad knows people who are really good friends with the drummers of the band. I would have been able to meet with them if they were there.
Me being a historical reenactor, I meet a whole lot of new people every year. Some of them are Wiccans and Pagans. You find people with similarities in places you never expect. It really made me happy to find a lot of people attending the spiral dance. These couple of older women who were walking down the sidewalk ahead of us on our way to the church, let us go by. Now these women were just talking and taking their time on this crisp December evening. As we walked inside and paid the woman to hang our jackets up on some racks, I turned and saw the two women walk into the church and up to the registration counter. I smiled and thought, "So, maybe this world isn't as big as I thought it was."
Clad in my Pink Floyd "dark side of the moon" T-shirt and American Eagle hoodie, I walked into the large room where music was being played by the duo, Frenchy And The Punk! They were amazing. I looked around to see people dressed in the fashions I had only seen a few time at Pagan Pride festivals. I felt like I was the odd one, having shaggy hair and wearing brand clothing. One woman had a cloak on, that seemed to transform into butterfly wings when she lifted her arms up. It was amazing. But as we wandered through the hall, I noticed many teens and kids wandering around and having a good time.
That night I danced like I have never danced before.
Being a Pagan teen, like some of you other pagan teens may know, isn't necessarily easy. People look at me funny in the hallways because I'm one of the only people I know who bothers to wear a pentagram in public. I wear two actually. My first one is a small pentagram I'm saving as a present for my next girlfriend, and my second is one that my amazing friend sent me for Yule. It's a pentagram with a Raven on it. I really like ravens. They're mysterious and misunderstood. I relate to that in a way because I'm not the most popular guy around and a lot of people think of me as a weirdo. But I deal with all of the crap in school by blocking it out with studying and reading whenever I can.
My friends are really supportive of me. I have some really great friends here who aren't Pagans or Wiccans themselves, but know a lot about the faiths and are interested in learning. They've been there for me my whole junior year. I've been getting a lot of blessings from the folks I live near and my Pagan and Wiccan friends from around the country and one of them, lives over in Scotland. Without them I don't know where I'd be.
Caleb 'Odins Helper'
Location: Lockport, New York
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