Analyzing My Faith
Article ID: 12701
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 3,256
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Author: Lady Luna Skye
Posted: May 24th. 2009
Times Viewed: 2,026
I seriously analyze my faith on a regular basis. I think everyone should do this at least once in his or her lives. It helps to go through all the knots. It also separates the believing because you have to and believing because you want to.
Now when I was looking into joining the Sage Circle I had a luncheon to go to meet up with the founders to discuss what I was looking for in a group and what I think about theirs, etc, and it got me to thinking about what I wanted. What I really wanted and not just what I thought I wanted.
I stocked up on a lot of my "witchy" supplies. My husband is very supportive on my choice of religion and just teases me every once in a while. Usually when I watch witch-themed movies or if I left a mess after a ritual and forgot to clean it up. After getting supplies I felt a little more prepared in a way. I felt ready to take on the world, kind of.
So I started thinking. I was raised in a Baptist-Pentecost environment. My parents did missionary work, and my mother became a minister (now a pastor.) I went to church regularly, every Wednesday, Friday, and twice on Sunday. I was an officer, treasurer, in the youth group (I was also the youngest at 12.) and planned and did activities. I graduated from the adult bible school when I was not even 13 and have a framed certificate from the School of Ministry to show my completion.
I've read the Bible front to back, I can quote scriptures, I've taught classes, I've written sermons, I've taken classes to become a minister myself, I've spoken in tongues (which creeped me out) and have been touch by the Holy Spirit as well as been baptized. And throughout this entire time I felt empty and unhappy.
I tried to make it work, I really did. But I just never felt complete. A lot of Christians always tell me how fantastic they feel after being saved, how wonderful it is to have Jesus in their lives. And I can honestly feel happy for them, but at the same time I can't help but wonder why I never felt that way.
There was a point in high school where my mother and I had an argument, which ended up me being forced to go to church every Friday night. My mother was irritated that I kept falling asleep during the sermon, but I didn't want to be there.
On Halloween, she had made me go with friends to a church. I was not happy. I didn't want to be rude or disrespectful to our friends, so I went, but afterwards I let my mother know how I felt. She had not asked me whether or not I had plans or whether or not I wanted to go. She mentioned that I had to go that day, and I knew the only reason she wanted me to go was because I "needed Salvation."
Frankly, I was tired of the church and I had been a Pagan in the broom closet for years.
These events, however, did not influence my change into Paganism as I was already in Wicca by the time they happened. The main catalyst in my transformation was when I was 13 and was delving deep into studying theology. I would check out several books at a time and you would find me locked up in my room reading a book on the Occult as well as see a Post-It Note infested book on the history of Christianity at my feet. This continued well into my college years (read, age 18) .
There was a girl, Tiffany, who was in my Home Ec class. One day she brought Silver Ravenwolf's Teen Witch into class. She let me borrow it and I read through it at home. My parents found it and threw a fit. I advised them that I was only reading into the religion, wanting to know more about it, when they went on into some monologue about how opening any book on witchcraft and letting it enter your heart was opening the gates of hell and letting the Devil get a vantage point. (WTF?) Regardless, I told them I was studying and showed them the pile of books on religion that was sitting on my desk. They backed off for a while.
A few days later, after I had finished reading the book and returned it back to Tiffany, I discussed some of what I had learned with friends. Lizzie, a friend, mentioned that she had found some stuff about her grandmother and believed that she was a witch. I was very interested and we continued to discuss the topic through the week. Later we began to practice a few visualization techniques as well as travel into the astral plane. Not very smart for two 13-year-old 8th graders, but we were young and naive and eventually learned that this was an art and not a game.
The next year I took a step back from the church. My stepfather had committed suicide, my mom was committed to the hospital, my brother, who was only 21 at the time, was trying to take care of the household and me. Even though I prayed profusely and tried to find solace in the church, I couldn't. No matter how hard I tried or how many times I went I just kept feeling emptier and began to rebel. I felt disconnected. I didn't enjoy it, and I was feeling like something was missing.
I would talk to my mom about feeling the Holy Spirit and she would go off on a tangent about how wonderful it was. Frankly to me it felt like an egg being cracked on my head and afterward I just felt numb. I didn't mention it because she had gone off on how great God was. We also talked about talking in tongues.
My first and only experience was when I was 12. It scared the hell out of me. After I noticed what was happening I just let it be, but it felt awkward and I didn't like it. My mom mentioned how it was such a gift, that not everyone could speak in the language of God and that many people faked it. That it was this wonderful thing, and so forth, and how you felt accomplished.
I had felt ridiculous is what I had felt. I wasn't feeling any of the wonderfulness she kept mentioning. I wasn't feeling complete like she did. I wasn't feeling anything.
For a long time I thought that the only reason why I didn't feel anything in Christianity was because I had inner demons and was blocking out all access. In reality, I was trying to get something to come in and show me that things would be okay. I only got that from Wicca. I questioned the Bible a lot and never got any straight answers.
Why is it that vanity and jealousy are sins, but yet it says that God is vain and a jealous God and we can't worship anybody else? Why is it okay for him to feel these and not us? Why is a God that is so powerful and so loving, why does he chastise those who are different if he wanted us to not be the same?
Why can we not love those who we wish to love and not what someone else thinks we should? Why is witchcraft considered such a horrible thing but they mention the Magi and how they brought gifts to Jesus? They were ceremonial magicians in King Herod's court. They brought him incense! Yet when people mention witches they think malice, greed, deception, and power of the bad sort, and not of the three Magi.
There was just so much that I didn't agree on and so much that I wasn't happy about. I wasn't happy with anything. I didn't think Christianity was a bad religion or a wrong religion, I just didn't think it was for me. The night I dedicated myself to the Goddess and to Wicca, in 2000 on June's full moon, I felt what I had been missing in Christianity.
I felt complete.
It didn't matter whether I loved a man or a woman, just as long as I loved. I knew there were still consequences for my actions, but I wasn't going to suffer in eternal damnation just because I made a few mistakes. I knew of the karmic rule and the rule of three. I knew I'd get what I deserved if I didn't take my steps wisely, and I knew not to play with forces that weren't mine to play with. I felt at home. Not only did I have Mother-Goddess, but also I had her horned consort, my Father-God.
I felt in tune with nature and I started to see the world differently.
I researched and practiced the Craft, and still do to this day. I am ever learning, and I enjoy my life. I pray to the Goddess and the Horned-One, and I have my own pantheon that I follow. I chose my deities and I'm full of love that I wasn't getting from Christianity.
Wicca may have been the first religion I studied outside the Judeo-Christian spectrum, but it wasn't the last. I did study Santeria, Voodoo, Satanism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and bunch of other -isms, but I always came back to Wicca. I always felt at peace in this religion and continue to feel that way.
I didn't choose this religion just for show, and I didn't choose it because I hate judgmental Christians and I want to get back at the church or something along those lines. I still love my Christian brethren, and all those of other paths.
I have a Unitarian perspective that no religion is the One religion and that regardless of the gods we choose to worship, the Universe is one and we all appreciate Divinity and what it has to offer.
Copyright: copyright 2007-present Yvonne Ames
Lady Luna Skye
Location: Austin, Texas
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