This is going to be a fun one. I guess this was a long time coming, or I suppose based on recent posts it could seem to come full circle. I think it’s time.
To preface all of this, in no way am I being preachy…. this is my experience, my life, and how I wish to live it. If for some reason this offends you then good — I am here to weed out the people in my life that don’t understand how to be supportive, or in the very least, understanding. That being said, if you have questions I am always here to help answer them. After this initial post there will be a follow up one clarifying some of the vague bits for those interested.
I was born and raised Baptist. I remember our Baptist church intricately — the mosaic tiled windows, the big congregation hall, and the smell… it always had a distinct smell of cleanliness. My family never quite took church too seriously. My dad would occasionally go on bouts where he would tell us, “we needed churchin’ up,” and coming from a catholic background, to him, I suppose we did. We were good kids though — brats because we were spoiled, but we were brought up right and developed decent morals over time, regardless of church.
Being baptist was unremarkable, mainly because I was younger and so uninterested in the topic. It was beyond boring. I remember going to Sunday school and being bored or sitting in on the sermon that felt like eons of droning on and on. I personally learned very little from this time, and got very good at tuning out any type of message that was being brought forth, I just could never get behind it.
As I said previously, we were good kids, so by the time extracurriculars got very time consuming my parents laid off on the whole church bandwagon. We were seemingly doing just fine without it. Then my best friend at the time invited me to a church when I was about sixteen. At first I was very hesitant. I had many questions, but the Youth leaders were great and the community at this church was awesome. It did not take long for me to become Pentecostal. That was the denomination of the Church and I started attending 2-3 times a week, sometimes 4 or 5 depending upon the activities going on at the church.
I loved that church and I loved that community. Nothing could knock the fact that these people were in there doing God’s work because, to them, they were. I met people I will know the rest of my life there, in fact, my good friend that helps me with making videos is a direct result of me going to that church. I will never regret my time there. However, the Christian church and the Pentecostal faith in particular is very lacking when it came to meeting my needs.
I was so enamored by how much I loved being there and around the people that I was turning a blind eye to the messages. Often times they would tell us how to vote. “I am not saying you should vote this way buttt……” That happened one too many times for my liking. They were very brainwashing in their beliefs — secular music was frowned upon, once saved was not always saved and you actively had to live a God-filled life to achieve Heaven, and then of course the Holy Ghost.
For those unaware (because I was ignorant on this before being a part of this type of church) there are entire sects of the Christian religion that believe whole-heartedly in the Trinity — The Son, the Father, the Holy Ghost. And when I mean we believed it… we believed in speaking tongues. There were times entire sermons were derailed because during worship (singing portion of church) people would cry out in another language and someone would interpret this. I won’t go in to much detail here, because I do plan to do a video explaining what I am talking about in more depth, but suffice it to say it is very surreal experiencing this. But again, I didn’t really care because I just loved being a part of that congregation so much. It felt like a home away from home.
So you can imagine my conundrum when I got away from that church, went to college, and started studying psychology. While a part of me wanted to stand up for this sect of this religion another portion of me realized very quickly how cult-like and brainwashing the tactics were. It was similar to my mind being in a foggy haze and then clearing up all of a sudden. I started realizing this was not how I wanted to live my life, and those were not ideals I wanted to live by. I had a sound moral compass I didn’t have to continue working on that in order to be a good person.
Now I realize to many people, they love the Church. To many people, their faith is a big portion of who they are and what they believe, and that is great. For me, at one time in my life, it was as well. But understand I am at a very different portion of my life that requires none of the crutches that come with organized religion.
Fast forward to being well out of college and living in Denver. I had just broken up with my boyfriend at the time and was planning on moving home. In order to cope with this, I turned to an online game I enjoyed playing and someone that I met on there piqued my interest. We started dating, I suppose you could say… all things considered, even though I had never physically met him. As you can imagine, it did not end well. He actually had a wife, and in order to break up with me he told me that his deacon position at his church would not allow him to pursue me and the lustful ways he was thinking about me…. Yeah, utter bull shit. A little bit of deep diving exposed him for exactly what he was… a Snake. But, a thing to note is that he was highly religious… even was going to be considered for deacon at this Church he went to.
Imagine my frustration, yet again, that the Church and the people in the Church were letting me down…. brainwashing me in to believing a lie. I lost it. I was so hurt after recently having to uproot my life, and thinking I could trust a man of God of all things, I just was utterly heart broken. So I vowed to find something else. Find something the opposite of the Christian religion because it just kept burning me. It lied, manipulated, and snaked its way in to my heart and I felt lied to over and over again. I would be a Christian no more, I thought. So I finally did something about it.
In an act of defiance, I suppose, I started researching other religions. From taking several Religions’ courses in college I knew I didn’t prescribe to Eastern ideology. While Hinduism, Buddhism, and Taoism all were very fascinating to me in their own right they just didn’t accurately describe what I was looking for in a religion. I wanted something that held my attention and kept it, I wanted something that vibrated with me on physical, emotional, and spiritual level. I ended up looking far back in to the idea of Greek mythos. I took a college course on this as well, and loved it. It was anything but boring, and the further I looked in to it, the weirder it became. I needed a marriage of the ideas behind Greek mythology and the beautiful take away from Eastern religions…. And if you haven’t guessed it already, the answer was Paganism (specifically witchcraft).
And boy oh boy do I know how ‘crazy’ that sounds. But since I was a little girl I have always loved the idea of witches, and crafting magick, and anything and everything that has to do with them. But I was not going to do what I did previously, and that was blindly follow what I read and saw. I went in skeptical, extremely skeptical — if everyone could be a Witch why wouldn’t they be? If everyone could be magical, wouldn’t they want that? The simple answer, is no. The complex answer is we all are to varying degrees. But suffice it to say, I did my work. I did my research and I put in the time, and studied what I would be doing.
When first learning any type of Pagan tradition it is usually met with the Year and a Day motto. Study for a year and a day and then start to adhere the teachings to your life. While I am generally impatient there is a good reason for this. They do not want just anyone coming in to religion without prior knowledge, and they want it to be a right fit for you. So I read…. for much longer than a year and a day, accumulated items that would later help me work my magick so to speak, and eventually it met every criteria I was looking for. It isn’t pushy, you do it at your pace. It isn’t preachy — most books straight up tell you that this mind set does not work for everyone, and that we do NOT proselytize our message. It is fluid, if something doesn’t work for you… don’t do it, or adhere this teaching in another way. You are your own teacher… guide — everything. What you put in you get out, and I can tell you after about 4 years of being a part of this, I have never been so fulfilled by an ideology in my life.
But enough gushing… as I am not here to convert, but rather I want people to know my story, because I feel like many people can relate. They just often times do nothing about their situations. Understand that whether religion is right for you or not… there is always something out there that will prescribe to your lifestyle, and if there isn’t something feel free to make it up. That’s what being spiritual is all about. With all things, question what you see, what you believe and how you feel, ESPECIALLY if those people are telling you Not to.
I will eventually detail some more of this, but for now that is enough for one day.
Thanks for reading,