No. This is not going to be one of those Christian bashing post. I still believe in many of the Church’s teachings (love thy neighbour, help the needy etc…) but for the number of teachings I believe in there is an equal number that I don’t. The path to Paganism wasn’t a straight line for me, it was broken, it was hard, and it took me time to rid myself of notions that had been indoctrinated into me since birth.
So, why did I leave Christianity? I don’t know if I can say that I left Christianity, as I still pray to Jesus, I still pray to St. Mary… I just do it in a different way, a more intimate way.
All my life I wanted to be that Christian girl, the one who was perfect and followed all the rules and REALLY believed with all her heart… but I failed miserably every. single. time. I think it boiled down to how suffocated I felt by ALL THE RULES. I liked having sex… and most of it was outside of the bonds of marriage… whoops. I’ve been angry, envious and I’ve never been very good at being a meek, well behaved wife… and you know what, sometimes I like being a gluttonous, slothful girl who pigs out on junk food while watching Netflix all day. Why should I feel guilty for being human?
The one thing that always bothered me the most was how hard I found it to become intimately familiar with a male God. Don’t get me wrong I love some of my male Gods and I’m not Dianic by any means, but why call on a man to do a woman’s job? Need help with love or beauty… hit up your girl Aphrodite. Want to make sure you make it through labour as unscathed as possible or you don’t marry a total douchebag… Hera has got your back, sis! Zeus and Apollo ain’t trying to waste their time doing women’s work.
The straw that broke the camels back was having a daughter of my own, I didn’t want her to be bogged down by all the rules, the shame, the guilt that seems to accompany the Christian, and especially the Catholic, Church. I didn’t want her to feel like sex was dirty and something to be talked about in hushed tones. I didn’t want her to think that her moods, her feelings, her spirit were all because she was female and females were bad and needed to be broken and controlled. I wanted her to feel free, to enjoy life, all it’s pleasures and pitfalls. I wanted her to have strong FEMALE deities to worship and call upon in her hour of need. I wanted her to feel equal.
I had heard of the neo-pagan movement, I had read the odd article here and there about the Icelandic people resurrecting their old religion. In high-school one of my friends was super into Wicca and I remembered bits and pieces of that. Slowly, but surely, my spiritual awakening took hold and before I knew it, I was scouring the internet… I could not read enough. I was like a ravenous beast, I wanted to consume every piece of information I could on Wicca, Paganism, the Gods & Goddesses, The Wheel of the Year, Witchcraft. I wanted to know it all. I suddenly felt like I had been walking through life with one eye closed, like I had only been seeing half the picture and now I was finally seeing the complete masterpiece.
It was painful, beautiful, lonely, uplifting and empowering all at the same time. It felt so real and raw and soon I became scared. That little niggle in the back of mind wouldn’t go away, this was how HE trapped you. Was I falling for one of Satan’s tricks? I suddenly found myself packing it all away… the altar, the books, my grimoire… I got out my bible, got down on my knees and begged God to forgive me.
But a spiritual awakening like that doesn’t go away, and the same suffocation that I talked about earlier began to sink back in… Then in Church one Sunday, the Priest did a big sermon on pre-marital sex, how bad it was, how sinful it was. I sat there in the crowd of hypocrites nodding their heads, when 75% of them had probably committed that “sin”, and realised I couldn’t take it anymore. I walked out of church that day and have never gone back.
I unpacked the books, the tarot cards, the crystals and my freedom and I have never looked back. I still ask Jesus for help, I still talk to Mother Mary, because in my belief all religious icons are just one of the many faces of the two supreme deities, the mother Goddess and the God… but I will never go back to being told that I should be controlled, meek and unopinionated just because I am a woman… I didn’t just become a witch, I remembered I was one.
The Aussie Witch.