Articles/Essays From Pagans
May 19th. 2013 ...
The Role of Identity in Magic
Talking Trash? It's a Dirty Subject but Waste Happens.
My Wiccan Journey
13 Keys: The Victory of Netzach
May 12th. 2013 ...
Pagan Studies I: How Should We Define Modern Paganism?
The Third Path
Nothing Special... Part Two
May 5th. 2013 ...
The Value of Multicultural Awareness
Put Your Back Into It (Our Lady of the Sacred Honey Badger)
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Red Lipped Bat Fish
April 28th. 2013 ...
Lessons from the Lessers: Iris
April 21st. 2013 ...
Taken By The Goddess: The Crescent Moon Tattoo
The Gods/Being Godbothered
To Be A Witch
The Archetypes are Gods: Re-godding the Archetypes
April 14th. 2013 ...
On The Inclusion of Children
'Wand Fun' With Grandson
Lessons from a Baby
Lessons of Freedom: On Divinity and Healing
April 7th. 2013 ...
Out of the Broom Closet... Sorta
A Journey Through the Witches Tarot
History and Science Behind Numerology
March 31st. 2013 ...
What is the Magickal Self?
Ethics and Numerology
March 24th. 2013 ...
Keystones of the Sacred Land
March 17th. 2013 ...
Why Some Pagans and Witches Still Hide
Witch Heritage 101: What Happens When Witch Haters Joke about anti-Witch Films
I'm Not a Broom. So What's with the Closet?
March 10th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Things I Did as a New Pagan: Part 3
Hunting for the Real Witch in Film
The Collective Shadow
Lies - The Opposite of Truth
March 3rd. 2013 ...
Grounding and Releasing Negative Energy
A Patchwork of Magick
February 24th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I Made as a New Pagan (Part Two)
February 17th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I made as a New Pagan... Part One
Gardening with Crystal Energies
A Call from the Ancestors
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Black Water Snakes
February 10th. 2013 ...
We Are the Weirdos, Mister: A Completely Uncool Story of Origin
February 3rd. 2013 ...
"I'll Grind Your Bones to Make my Bread": Pagans and Animal Husbandry
The Role of Contemporary Culture in Magic
A Pagan Response to Endangered Earth
The Great Mother's Gift, Heinlein, and the Nature of Squirrels
13 Keys: The Glory of Hod
January 27th. 2013 ...
Why We Do Need Wicca
The Cosmos In the Coffee Shop
On Travel Spirituality and Magick
January 20th. 2013 ...
Beloved Backs and How to Save Them
Building or Burning Bridges?
Plants, Magic and Intuition
Plagiarism - How It Harms Our Community
January 13th. 2013 ...
Ramblings of a Pagan Guy: Stupid Clichés
The Magick and Power of Words
Aging Is Not Easy
The Riddle of Who We Are?
January 6th. 2013 ...
Wicca v Witchcraft
A Witch in the Closet
How Many People Can You Fit Under An Umbrella?
Gut Hunches, Mouse Dreams, and Pinkie Sense
December 30th. 2012 ...
Ritual "Cheat Sheet" Bracelet
Magick is All Around Us
Confessions of a Living Satyr
A Tiny Bit of Belly Dance History
December 23rd. 2012 ...
The Warrior Goddess and You.
World Change: A Message from Greece
What's the Meaning of Life, Anyway?
My Brother's Keeper
December 16th. 2012 ...
Keeping Christ in Xmas
Love is the Law
Listen to Your Heart's Wisdom
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
The Devil Made Me Do It!|
Posted: June 22nd. 2003
Times Viewed: 2,377
Born, baptized and raised Catholic, by devout Catholic parents, my spiritual search was a long one. Though I had been drawn to Witchcraft, and in fact to Wicca, as a young teenager, I had been quickly put off of that track by a friend's revelation that Wiccan was a word which meant "daughter of Satan." It took several years, and a journey of many churches and spiritual paths, for me to come back to my true calling, and begin to learn its truth's.
I guess it was about five years ago that my oldest daughter asked the question, "Aren't we kind of lazy?"
"In what way?" I asked.
"Well, in our religion, we can do whatever we want, as long as we say we're sorry, and we'll still be forgiven. That's not much incentive to be good, is it? Just to be sorry!"
Her words burned in my mind long afterward, and my search began again. How self-serving were we in our Christian faith? No matter our wrongs, we need only repent and be forgiven. And as an added bonus, we didn't even have to take responsibility for our own actions! We could give all credit for our unacceptable behavior to "Satan," and have committed only the sin of being human! How convenient! How easy! How ridiculous!
Not long afterward, I began reading again about the spiritual paths of Witchcraft. I started reading and studying everything I could get my hands on - Wicca, Shamanism, Divination, Italian Witchcraft, Aleister Crowley, and on and on and on... It didn't take long for me to realize a few things about myself! I believe in a power, or energy, in everything. I believe in the capacity to learn to harness and direct those energies. I believe that the choices we make are responsible for the things that happen in our lives, and I am not the only person who sees things this way! In all of my reading and studying, I learned that there are many "nature-based" religions that teach these beliefs, and live them!
From the many sources of information that I studied, far too numerous to list here, I began to establish a firmer belief system for myself. And though I know that my voyage will be endless, and the changes in me will be continuous, I have finally come to a place in my life where I am very comfortable with my spirituality, with sharing it with my family, my children, and with others. And then I began to practice my craft.
Most importantly, these few years later, I find that I have a new sense of personal responsibility. I know that there are many things out there outside my control, but I also know that many things are within my control. How I choose to deal with each situation I face is definitely within my control, and what energies I put out to others are within my control also. How much easier it is to raise children with this knowledge of personal responsibility, than the commandment of "because I said so" and how much happier we all are!
As the fates are funny things, it should have been of no surprise to me to find out that I hadn't needed to go "so far from home" so to speak, to find the answers I was looking for. Two years ago, when my studies started to make me notice the Pagan ways around me, I began to notice things about my maternal grandmother that made me begin to question her. Many "standard" tools of witchcraft are scattered throughout her home, and have been for as long as I can remember. Her library consists of hundreds of books on nature, metaphysics, astral projection, and on and on. But what caused me to finally confront her with my suspicions was the realization that an old bottle with some kind of branch in it was actually a preserved sprig of rue, which she keeps over the doorway to her home.
A witch from Italy, it would appear, practices a different craft than I had learned about up until then. Being from the "old country" my grandmother's generation is much more secretive and closed mouthed than mine. I learned that all of the things I had been searching for in my own spirituality were to her, just a way of life. Nothing to be discussed or disclosed, but to be taught by example and handed down. Once I made the realization that we walked the same path, she was excited and began to pass down knowledge, tools, and advice. But why hadn't she ever told me? It was up to me to find my own path. She was thrilled that it was so close to her own, but would have been happy with whatever made me happy. Personal responsibility.
The world is filled with clichés, and with people who know the right thing to say at the right time, and in the right place. Rarely does this makes these people right, however. To this end, I hate to use these clichés. However, I find it difficult, many times, not to, for there is usually a reason they have become clichés. "An ye harm none, do what ye will" has many times over been translated to "As long as you aren't hurting anyone" and so many other justifications of self. What I've learned is that it is important that we not just say these words, but actively search out the harm we could be causing. As a Christian I could turn a blind eye to "harm without malice," as I could just repent for hurting those I "never meant to;" but as a witch I've learned that it is my responsibility, to myself and others, to be sure my actions are true and pure, and to teach those I can (my children, my family) the same sense of responsibility.
In closing, let me add this. I used to spend a great deal of time worrying that everything I said was said in the "right" way. I don't anymore. I am well aware that many of the words, terms and tenets that I discuss in my writing may have different meanings to different people. I'm sure there are many out there who would find fault in what things I say and believe. I do not apologize if I have offended. I feel that as I am responsible for saying what is in my heart in the way I believe it to be true, so are you responsible for taking what I say in the way in which it is put out, and not splitting hairs over disputes of words' meanings. Personal responsibility.
Location: , USA
Bio: My name is Justinah. I live in Delaware, and am a solitary practitioner, though I do practice sometimes with a close friend and one of my daughters. I am ordained in the Universal Life Church, as a Wiccan, and am dedicated to learning, more than anything, as there is so much that I still don't know! I am the happily married mother of three who is lucky enough to have a partner supportive of my path!
Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE
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