Tuesday, December 28, 2010
My faith is a tricky thing to explain. Even if you are open to other perspectives, its sometimes hard to understand another's faith because its not your own and you cannot read another's mind. So, I am going to attempt to write a thing or two about my faith. This is a faith I came to on my own. I was not raised in this faith and I was never exposed to it as a child, although I now know that it was there and it was just waiting for a name.
As a child, I loved to be outside. If there was a tree near, I would climb it. If the weather was nice, I would be outside playing or just sitting (or laying) in the grass. When it rained, I loved to be outside and feel it falling on my face. Somehow, all of the things in nature felt special to me. They held a special place in my heart. I loved the field trips to the petting zoo, I loved my teacher's bucket full of tadpoles. At the age of 9, I took my first hiking trip. It was in Whiskeytown, Northern CA. I was at a week-long environmental camp in the woods. This was my first experience walking in the wild. I learned how to swim on this trip. I learned in a pool at the base of a waterfall. I was awestricken at the awesomeness of the nature around me. All of the experiences in the natural world helped to cement my faith. I have never been and never will be an atheist. There is a Creator and whoever they are, they did a marvelous job!
By the time I entered middle school, I was exploring religion. I didn't have much exposure to it at home, so I was curious (naturally ;)) My grandmother had ordered me a Bible correspondence course, so I worked on it and it was good to learn something I didn't know before. It was the course that set me on my path. I joined a church with some friends from my school. Over the next several years, I attended services with friends at most of the denominations. It was my home church that helped to make up my mind about Christianity. I was encouraged to ignore everything about the world, including my 'earthly' parents. When my family wanted to go out and do something, I would argue and say no because I had Missionettes. The youth pastor of that church used money and field trips as a way to keep us near the church. It wasn't until a few years later (after I left the church) that I discovered that he was a child molester. He was molesting the other girls in our youth group.
But please be aware, this isn't the only thing that turned me away from Christianity. People often tell me that I should not blame the whole faith for the fault of one. And that is true. But many different things happened of the years that have shown me that there are other ways to express yourself and believe. As a result of my time in the Christian faith, I became fanatical. I believed that there is only two ways in the world, God or the Devil. I even believed that kissing before marriage was a sin. So, after leaving the church I went the only way I thought I could go, to the Devil. I bought and read the Satanic Bible. But, as an extension of Christianity, it didn't make any sense to me. To me, Christianity and Satanism are opposite sides of the same coin.
So after becoming hopeless with either faith, I became confused. I knew their was Something, I could feel it all around me. I could feel it in the wind, in the sun on my face, in the rain. I could hear it in the sea, in the thunder. I could see it all around me. My love of history and my curiosity eventually led me to learn that the Old Faiths were alive and well, albeit not completely 'mainstream'. Paganism is where I found my home.
My various experiences in my brief life have cemented me as a polytheist. I have not chosen one type of Paganism over the other. I have studied most of them in great depth, and they all hold truth and common denominators. Each God is representative of the next, and they intertwine. And I believe very strongly that you do not necessarily have to ask for Their help. They help those who really want to be helped, even if you don't ask.
Isis came to me at a time in my life when I was learning how to be a wife and mother. I didn't have a good example to learn from growing up. But Isis gave me comfort and guidance and I believe very strongly that She has helped me become the loving wife and mother I now am.
Thor came to me at a time in my life when I was learning how to channel my inner strength into positive venues. I remember the exact moment I met Thor. I was still living at home in Texas. There was a thunderstorm coming. I had loved thunderstorms for as long as I could remember. I remember seeing it coming and feeling so much energy, it was exhilarating. So I sat in the storm with the rain coming down and I held my sword in my lap and gave myself to the experience. From that time on, I manage to stay strong when the world walks all over me.
These things may not make sense to anyone, maybe some of it makes sense to you, but thats the beauty of it. Its my faith and its the one thing in the world that cannot be taken away from me.