Ramblings of a Pagan Guy: Answering the Call
Article ID: 15062
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 712
Times Read: 2,754
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Author: Ashka Ryo [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: May 13th. 2012
Times Viewed: 2,754
Intro: Over the years, I have found that many a person has this strange idea when it comes to the Pagan faiths. It is as if as soon as one converts, they [the new pagans] are thrown back to the Middle Ages. People also have this rather quirky notion that pots and pans turn into wands and broomsticks and that tables and chairs turn to sacrificial altars and stone circles. Too many people think that once people devote themselves to the God and Goddess, reality bleeds away is magically replaced with Hogwarts schools and Weasly-like houses. They also believe that our God and Goddess are just imaginary upstarts or, even worse, the equivalent of the Christian devil. It is my hope to address these and many more misunderstood concepts so that we will be seen as people, too. We are not the demons some people try to make us out to be.
For commercial Christmas this year, both my brother and I found "family tree" style decorations for mom. Seeing as how she is really big into the whole genealogy thing, we both figured it was a quick and painless way to make her happy.*1 On my brother's side, he found a very nice metal tree with ends that doubled as picture holders. It's currently hanging in the "dinnering room" if you want to call it that. For me, I found this wall design thing that can be worked and designed in any way you please. The leaves (at least that's what I think they are) also allow the photos to be placed in any pattern. It is pretty neat.
Now as you might have already guessed, mom was overly pleased with everything. After the normal family parties and merry wishing, Mom spent the next three months finding just the right places for her trees and just the right photos for it. As you might have also guessed, the first photos to come out where the baby photos… pictures from my birth, baptism, first steps, first time I escaped the baby play crib, confirmation and so on. They flowed more easily than any water or beer I've seen.
Hell, I didn't even know it was possible to have this many photos…
As the endless process of "yes and no" to this or that photo proceeded, I took notice to some slight tone changes in the way she talked. Where once she wouldn't stop talking about how fracking cute I was as a altar boy, how wonderful and blessed my first communion was, or how adorable I was at my confirmation...well, that all abundantly ended with the high school years. While she didn't (nor wouldn't) show any type of negativity in her voice, you could still tell there was a slight awkward uneasiness in the air. Confused at first, I suddenly hit me one night while staring at an owl statue (may it burn in hell forever *2) . That reason, which was suddenly clear as day, later became the inspiration for today's rambling of a pagan guy.
Like many children of this great (yet sometimes dysfunctional) country of ours, I was born into a loving and Christian household. At the tender age of something, I was baptized Henry John Biddle before the church and cleansed of "original sin". In grade school, I was encouraged to become an altar boy and assist the church in any way I could. By the seventh grade, I was once again brought forth in front of the church to confirm my faith in Christ. As a boy who wanted to make his parents happy, while driving them nuts, I, of course, did everything they wanted and what was expected of me. Knowing nothing of the other religions other that they were sinful to God, I was content with Christianity.
Content, but confused and just not feeling right.
By the fifth grade, I felt something was off. Something just didn't feel right about a faith based upon an all-loving God (who sacrificed a mortal shell for others) condemning others to hell because of silly notions. But no matter what I thought, still being young, I had no idea what to do with it. At times, I thought I was being silly. By eighth grade though, I was starting to ask questions that would stick with me. How could a baby be born with sin or be held accountable for something someone else did thousands of years ago?
Why would an all-loving God hate people? If everything is according to God's plan, how can God hate people for anything then? Why were there no mommy Gods and only a father God? For that matter, why was womankind not included in any of the big stuff? What's the point of a religious mass when all you do is repeat the same thing over and over again? The whole mass thing felt more like a Borg cube than anything else. The only answer I got to any of these questions was "You will understand when you're older."
As I moved into the summer break after grade school, I knew Christianity wasn't for me. Sure, it may work well for other people, but for me... nothing. However being a typical geek teen, things like religion wasn't very important to me anyway at the time. I had far more enjoyable things to do, like play Suikoden and Kingdom Hearts!
As the summer ended and my first year of high school began, things began to stir once more. As a freshman, aside from being harassed to no end, I was exposed to new ideas and new ways of thinking. Many of these ideas were frowned upon and even called "Satanic" by the administration and teachers, but they still flourished with students. Within all this entanglement, information and disinformation, I experienced a religion that I actually felt something for:
As my days as a freshman continued on, I found myself spending more and more time in the school library. This place of free and unbiased learning was my personal sanctuary against rather aggressive attacks (yes, both physical and mental) against anyone who thought outside the box. Because I didn't want to push the poor gay kid down the stairs, because I actually wanted to know a girl before anything else happened, because I wouldn't "pray" to a God I really didn't believe in, I was a ‘bad person’.
No matter who you are or why it happens, being bullied fracking sucks.
Because of this library, and with special thanks to Jen and Gabbi, I was given an opportunity to study the real Wicca beyond the "OMG Fireball Spell!" and "I Want To Fly A Broom". I learned Pagans followed a flourishing natural earth based faith, the old ways reborn, and I learned of the God and Goddess. After a full year of proper learning and studying, I was able to officially take on Wicca by my second year of High School. I now wear a pentacle and I wear it with realpride.
I am finally home.
Copyright: This essay is cross posted here: http://dwellerofrhymes.blogspot.com/2012/01/ramblings-of-pagan-guy-every-journey.html
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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