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How the Wiccan Religion Changed My Life

Updated on August 26, 2016
WiccanSage profile image

Sage is a professional writer of 14 years, and a Wiccan of 25 years. Her religious ideas and experiences often inspire her work.

My Hundredth Hub

The Wiccan religion and related practices are my niche here at Hubpages. If you look at my profile, you’ll see all of my articles are about Wicca or related topics. That’s why I started writing here—to share this interest.

It’s a month of milestones for me when it comes to Wicca and Hub Pages. My official rite of dedication to Wiccan was on Imbolc Eve, 1990—which means this Imbolc marks my 24th anniversary. I also just marked my 1 year anniversary on Hubpages, and this is my one hundredth Hub. All this has me feeling very reflective, so it got me thinking about why my religion is so important to me.

Let Me Take You Back

Source

Back in Brooklyn

Not an Ideal Childhood

I was adopted at birth, but I’ve always felt my adoptive parents were my real family. I know they love me and they meant well. But in all honesty, they were crappy parents and not fit to raise a child.

There were good parts. They could be loving, nurturing and protective at times. I got cuddles, kisses, outings and all that. My mom fussed over my hair and clothes, my dad read me stories and played tea party.

That was only half the time. The other half was ugly.

There was neglect. I’d be home alone, scared, until the middle of the night when they went out, which was often. I didn’t have to go to school; they didn’t care about homework or grades. It’s amazing the cops never showed up.

They fed me junk. A typical breakfast was a sleeve of Oreo cookies. If I wanted, I could have another before going to bed. I could have two if I wanted.

There was verbal and emotional abuse—they’d make you feel the size of a peanut because you wrinkled the bedspread. They’d call me stupid if I failed a test and fat when I gained weight. My self-esteem was shot; I believed I was a horrible person, I was completely ashamed of who I was.

They made me a pawn in their on again/off again marriage. My mother used to tell me my father left because of me.

There was physical abuse. I often had bruises and welts all over my body from being hit with various objects. It could start for any reason—maybe I actually did something wrong, or maybe I laughed too loud when they were in a bad mood. I remember cowering in corners, behind furniture, trying to escape the blows. They sincerely believed it was discipline.

The worst was the sexual abuse. Not by my parents-- by family members, both male and female. Mostly I was forced to give oral sex. I don’t know when it started, my earliest memories of it are at 4 or 5. It stopped at age 12 when I stopped being afraid and started fighting back.

My parents knew about it. There were signs. I even worked up the nerve to tell them. My father acted outraged and sympathetic for about an hour, then dropped the subject. My mother first told me it was my own fault; then later accused me of lying about it. No changes were made, though. We pretended it didn’t happen.

A Troubled Teen

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A Teen Wild Child

By the time I was a teen, I was pretty screwed up. As if my family hadn’t been enough, in school I was bully bait and had nowhere to turn. I went a bit wild. I drank, I smoked, stayed out all night… I was semi-suicidal. I thought about it a lot, and took insane risks, but never actually made a serious attempt.

Making matters worse, we went absolutely broke. We had been pretty poor, then all of a sudden we had money for a couple of years. Then my dad got busted for embezzlement and we were poorer than before. We lost everything—car, house, respect. I remember one winter without heat or hot water.

I dropped out of high school by the time I was 15. I couldn't officially drop out until I was 16, but I only showed up to my sophomore year 11 days total, and even that was only to a couple of classes.

This Used to Be My Playground

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My Saving Grace

My saving grace was reading. When I didn’t go to school, or when I ran away for the day, I was hiding out in a library somewhere. Reading made me realize things were not normal. Reading inspired me to want more.

This is when I started wanting to become a writer. In my mind writers were the most amazing people in the world. No school teacher, no parent, no politician or celebrity could hold a candle to writers.

Writers were my educators. They were my nurturers. They could help me escape the horrors I had to face. They could make me laugh. Writers knew how I felt. They encouraged me. They gave me guidance. They knew so much, they understood so much, and they shared it all with the world, offering countless pages with their wisdom and insights.

Writers filled me up; surely if I could be a writer my own cup would overflow, and I could help fill up others.

I Wanted to Be Closer to God

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I Never Lost Faith

My other saving grace is that I had faith. I was actually more religious than my parents. They thought church was a bore; but I loved it and went alone. Not just Sundays-- anytime, even if it was just to sit there in the pews (or on the stairwell if the doors were locked) and pray.

I started reading the Bible, then later joined Bible studies and took classes. Christianity was the only expression of faith I knew; the Christian concept of God was the only one I’d been exposed to. But the more I searched and tried to get closer to God, the further I was led from Christianity. It was simply not my path.

When I found Wicca, I got so much more out of it. I met God in a whole new way; the Pagan way. I understood Him and related to Him in a way I never had before. More significantly, I met Goddess-- and it was like coming home. It was like coming home to my real Mother and Father's arms at last. I don't know how to explain it-- it was like finding missing parts of yourself and being made whole.

The pieces of the puzzle that had been swirling in my mind for so long finally started coming together. I began to glimpse the bigger picture. That’s when changes began happening.

Tell Me About You

Has your faith (whatever it is) gotten you through hard times?

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The Wiccan Religion

Source

Another Wiccan Testimony

Life after Discovering Wicca

Changes came slowly but steadily over years. First there was a lot of thinking. I was bombarded with new ideas. I saw the world in a new way. It saw myself in a new way.

My childhood was certainly traumatic, but I was an adult now. Granted, I hadn’t been an adult for long, but I was still an adult. I was wallowing in self-pity, playing the victim, self-loathing, self-destructive and self-sabotaging. And I was only hurting myself.

I started taking actions. I stopped partying. I started dropping friends and family members who were dragging me down. I started taking responsibility for myself. I couldn’t blame the past anymore. I started cleaning up, working more. I got my GED. I started college.

I gained some self-respect. I could look at myself in the mirror.

Nothing came quick or easy. I had a lot a lot of baggage to sift through and unload. I had to grieve for my childhood self, the losses and pains I suffered. I had to forgive myself for my mistakes. I had to let go of a lot—feelings; grudges; dreams. I had to find new things as well— a sense of self-worth; self-acceptance; confidence; hope; happiness.

I had to come to terms with my parents mistakes. My dad and I had it out; he owned it all, and I loved him for it. The fact that he could accept responsibility and apologize helped heal our relationship. I lost him to cancer, but we had a good relationship.

My mother is tougher. To this day she admits no fault. Her biggest problem, she feels, is that she was ‘too nice’ and I just took advantage of that. I pity for her because I realize she’s a prisoner of her own fears and ignorance. I’ve had to draw lines and set boundaries for what I will and won’t accept from her. But we’ve found a truce.

As much as I blame them, I also understand they came from dysfunctional families, too. They really meant well and did they best they could. Their best just sucked for me. But I choose to hold onto the good parts of them and move forward.

The Future Is Promising

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Life Goes On - Thankfully

I still consider myself a ‘work in progress’. I wouldn’t say I’m 100% healed from the scars of the past; I wouldn't say all the lessons have gotten through my thick skull. And I've had my ups and downs. But I have come light years from where I started.

Every step I feel like my Gods were at my sides, or at my back. They were an unlimited source of the things I needed so much: comfort, strength, guidance, love, inspiration, motivation… I can’t even describe the revelations my faith has brought to my life. Without Them, without finding Wicca, I don’t know if I’d have come this far.

I have found a level of contentment and peace, infused with sheer joy and gratitude for being alive, that I never thought I would achieve. I didn’t even know a person could feel like this.

I am a firm believer that there is no single, right path in life; we all have to find the one that’s right for us. When we do, it’s like— (dare I say it?) -- magic.

Ancient Mother, I Hear You Calling

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    • Bishop55 profile image

      Rebecca 3 years ago from USA

      Such personal information you've disclosed here, I can relate on many levels, many. To many in all honesty. I also turned to books and writing. Journals were my escape, which began when I was 14. I've lost my way on many occasions, more so in youth. Drugs, bad decisions, looking for love in the wrong places. Reading, books, investigation still saves me. Time does heal wounds, and sometimes wounds heal by the grace and never ending help of our creator. I was raised Catholic, and turned away from organized religions until my mid twenties, but that did not last long. Going to church always left me feeling empty and worse then when I arrived. I am also walking a spiritual path right now, more than I have in the last 10 years, and I'm grateful for it. However you connect to God, whatever works for you to tap into that essence should be done. I love reading your hubs, but you know that already :)

      This is an awesome testimony to the woman/person/spirit that you have become and still evolve to be. Despite the horrors of your childhood, those events created the wonderful person you are now.

      I gotta tell ya, it inspires me when people are so brave to share things so personal. The human spirit and desire to not only survive, but to THRIVE inspires me, and gives me hope.

      Maybe this is not so cool to admit, but I've often attended lead AA meetings to get the same effect that this hub produced. Thanks again for sharing, and congrats on your 1 yr with HP.

    • blueheron profile image

      Sharon Vile 3 years ago from Odessa, MO

      Thank you for a wonderful and touching story! You are far from alone, of course. Disfunctional families are far too common, and I suspect many of us--myself included--were well into adulthood before we realized just how disfunctional our families were. And, to be honest, our parents' problems with being parents came from their own disfunctional childhoods. Both of my own parents lived through childhoods that were deeply tragic--and they passed on their emotional scars to me, one way or another.

      Child sexual abuse, too, is far more common than is ever acknowleded. Hint: Never let you kids play at their friends' houses unless you know their parents VERY well. And it's hard to figure that you could EVER know them well enough to be sure.

    • WiccanSage profile image
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      Mackenzie Sage Wright 3 years ago

      Thanks so much. This really means a lot to me. This was something of a cathartic experience writing this, it's not even something I talk about very often. But my Hubpages writings have become for me a form of therapy, lol.

    • WiccanSage profile image
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      Mackenzie Sage Wright 3 years ago

      Thanks Blueheron; it's so true you have to be so careful. One of my greatest joys in life is knowing my kids have never known abuse, particularly sexual abuse. Not only do you have to be careful who you leave them with, you have to train them from a very young age about inappropriate touching or behavior, to say no, to tell someone about it, etc. And you have to watch for the signs. I've had to really keep myself in check from being overprotective because like you said, you can never really know someone that well. I didn't want my kids suffering socially, shut off from friends houses and such, just because of my paranoia. For a long time it was my biggest fear. They're in their teens and 20s now so I'm not as paranoid as I used to be. Thanks so much.

    • Bishop55 profile image

      Rebecca 3 years ago from USA

      Dysfunctional families are way more common then I think the average person considers. It sounds to me like you have broken the cycle for your family Wiccansage. What a blessing you are to your children.

      HP is somewhat therapy for me as well. This community is a great place. I think this hub is a good reminder even to those without children to look over others and be observant for abuse that may otherwise go un-noticed.

    • gracep13 profile image

      Grace Peterson 3 years ago

      Thank you for this hub. I'm actually on my way to read the other 99 you've written. I grew up in a similar environment. Just add a bit of physical abuse and it would be exactly the same! I was Christian, but it never felt right. I've been researching about Wicca because for some reason I feel somewhat drawn to it. The more I read, the more interested I become. But there is still so much I need to learn.

    • OldRoses profile image

      Caren White 3 years ago from Franklin Park, NJ

      When people ask me why I abandoned the Presbyterian religion that I was raised in, I tell them that I have a hard time with men (the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit) bossing me around. I am much more comfortable with the duality, male & female, of the pagan religion. I prefer living as a part of my environment rather than trying to dominate it as is instructed in Christianity. My world view is so different from most people. When I bought my townhouse, the realtor looked at the woods and fields behind it and said "too bad about all those weeds". I looked at it and thought how wonderful to be so close to nature.

    • blueheron profile image

      Sharon Vile 3 years ago from Odessa, MO

      A goddess creatrix has always made a lot more sense to me than a masculine creator god. My impression is that all the ancient religions were either goddess religions or included both male and female deities. The Judaeo-Christian view is really kind of an outlier. A person can't help but suspect that much of the negativity in Christianity (and Judaism) comes from this patriarchal bias. About the only way to have real feeling for Christianity is to get seriously into Mariolatry.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

      Hi Wiccan, thank you for sharing your story, that's a long way to come, and well done for showing your strength. yes I do understand, not in the way of your family because mine were really nice all the time, but with wicca or the pagan religion it feels right for me too. I feel that all the other religions tend to box themselves in, and I believe that each and everyone has a semblance of truth, but for me its always been paganism, wicca call it what you will, ever since I was old enough to understand, wonderful hub, voted up and shared, nell

    • schoolgirlforreal profile image

      schoolgirlforreal 3 years ago from USA

      I love this, and relate to your story very very well. I love this and applaud you:

      I started taking actions. I stopped partying. I started dropping friends and family members who were dragging me down. I started taking responsibility for myself. I couldn’t blame the past anymore.

    • schoolgirlforreal profile image

      schoolgirlforreal 3 years ago from USA

      Oh btw, I don't relate to all of your story, but most of it. Thanks. This was good info! :)

    • Sharkye11 profile image

      Jayme Kinsey 3 years ago from Oklahoma

      Absolutely wonderful hub. I actually can't think of anything more to say, it was so overwhelming to read. I am glad that you took a healthy path and found your true spirit. And congrats on the 100! I am sharing this around! Too great to keep hidden!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Sage......You tell your story so well and with such honesty, I became enthralled. I felt the sadness and pain of your childhood memories, even holding back anger at the ignorance of your parents. You've done what is best for you and your psyche, by forgiving them and going forward.

      I can also recognize the sincere joy you express in discovering the path you have followed for some time now. How wonderful that you did not give up, but went in a positive direction and toward improvement and achievement.

      I look forward to reading more of your work. I enjoy your writing style............UP+++

    • profile image

      MysticMoonlight 3 years ago

      This testimony of your life and how you came to the religion that you love and cherish so much is remarkable. It couldn't have been easy sharing some of the details here so it's a true measure of how far you've come on your path of/to healing, Sage. Bravo to you.

      Finding your path, the Goddess and the God, sounds as if it was truly an amazing turning point for you. It's beautiful and inspiring, thank you so much for sharing.

      I can relate to many things you've discussed. I had a troublesome childhood as well. And, like you, religion helped me. I immersed myself into it and found the strength to overcome many obstacles in my life . I stayed in that religion for many, many years and although I no longer follow that religion in it's "correct" form, I carry many of it's core teachings with me. I learned a lot from it and I'll always be grateful.

      I've spent over two years learning about different religions and spiritual paths and, as you know, I've found Wicca to be particularly intriguing and interesting. I'm finding so much of it that speaks to me in beautiful ways, I totally get how easy it is/would be to fall in love with it. It certainly calls to me in ways that both captures and fascinates me. It has me enthralled at this point. I'm very eager in my studies and exploration of this hidden gem :)

      Voted all the way!

    • catgypsy profile image

      catgypsy 3 years ago from the South

      WiccanSage, your story touched me deeply. Thank you for sharing it. I am so glad you found your way from what you had to endure to a better life and that your religion helped you. I have complete admiration for you...you truly are a beautiful person. Blessed be.

    • WiccanSage profile image
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      Mackenzie Sage Wright 3 years ago

      They're our blessing, really. For both of us-- my husband's life wasn't that much better (he was abandoned as a child and spent the rest of his childhood in a group home, so he never really had the family experience). It's like we got to experience what childhood should be through their eyes. It was like getting a second chance. I don't know if we're completely functional yet, lol. We're kinda quirky. But certainly not dysfunctional in a bad way. If anyone gets anything out of this, I hope it's to be vigilant for those abuse signs.

    • WiccanSage profile image
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      Mackenzie Sage Wright 3 years ago

      Thanks Grace! Physical abuse was just a part of the whole. In some ways I think those bruises healed more easily, it was the emotional scars from the verbal and sexual abuse that took the longest to work through. I hope you find my hubs useful in your own search!

    • WiccanSage profile image
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      Mackenzie Sage Wright 3 years ago

      Ha! OldRoses I would have had the same reaction, I would love a house backed up against a wooded area, nature preserve, a big field, etc. I'll take it, weeds and all. Thanks so much for your comments, I also found that the duality really made sense and was something I could relate to.

    • WiccanSage profile image
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      Mackenzie Sage Wright 3 years ago

      I personally relate to the duality as well; I don't have any real issues with people preferring one or the other, though. I don't think Abrahamic religions were the cause of such negativity. People were-- people get negative. Even in Pagan polytheistic cultures there was negativity, the Abrahamic religions were born out of that and they just put their own spin on it. I'm just glad that we live in a time when we can actually seek what's right for us, instead of being forced into going with the masses.

    • WiccanSage profile image
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      Mackenzie Sage Wright 3 years ago

      Thanks so much Nell, I appreciate your kind words and friendly face in your picture always. It's a beautiful thing when we stumble upon the right path for ourselves-- whether we have a name for it or not, whether it's new or old, whether it's well worn or untrodden, it's really helps put life into perspective and make sense. Thanks!

    • WiccanSage profile image
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      Mackenzie Sage Wright 3 years ago

      Hi schoolgirl! Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate the comments. I agree with you; comes a time we have to say whatever reasons brought us to a certain place are irrelevant, and no excuses for the choices we make today. I try not to look back and let the past be an excuse anymore, and it's very empowering because we learn just how much control we do have over our lives. Thanks!

    • WiccanSage profile image
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      Mackenzie Sage Wright 3 years ago

      Thanks Sharkye! I appreciate it! Very kind of you to say.

    • WiccanSage profile image
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      Mackenzie Sage Wright 3 years ago

      Thank you fpherj. I was shocked at the amount of comments tonight, lol, and all these words of kindness and encouragement, I'm just so grateful. I felt the need to just get my story out a bit, and it turned into this big cathartic writing exercise and shook me up a bit, I must admit. Hubbers are truly awesome, this community is the best. Thanks so much!

    • WiccanSage profile image
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      Mackenzie Sage Wright 3 years ago

      Hi Mystic, I'm glad finding your path is helping you along too. You're such a spiritual person and I love reading your comments on here and other hubs and sometimes Q&As. Thanks so much for your comments and encouragement.

    • WiccanSage profile image
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      Mackenzie Sage Wright 3 years ago

      Thank you catgypsy; I'm touched, thank you so much for your sweet words. Blessed be to you as well.

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 3 years ago from Oakley, CA

      This was a very interesting and insightful piece. Very brave, as well, baring your soul like that. In a way, I think all families are dysfunctional to some extent. It is merely a matter of type and degree.

      Compared to yours, I had a wonderful childhood, yet there are still scars. I was an only child; planned, wanted. But my parents struggled to get pregnant, and as a result, I was severely over-protected; given strong roots but no wings. I grew up taught to be afraid of challenges, of failure; afraid of getting hurt, afraid to speak up. So I, too, was to some extent a victim of schoolyard bullies.

      I went through my own phases of religious exploration over the years--my parents were of different religions, and did not go to church. I was sent, sporadically, to the protestant church my mother went to, also sporadically; my father was a fallen catholic. I had a number of mis-steps in that direction, even spending a few months in a convent, and definitely discovered that was NOT my calling...

      In the end, my experiences and explorations have led me to the exact opposite place as you: I became (and still am) an unabashed atheist. I don't believe in much of anything except that we live, and we die. I think there is more evidence for ghosts and reincarnation than there is for any deity in any religion.

      Ironically, I do follow more of a pagan path in my "spiritual" life--I am in tune with and empathetic toward nature and animals, but mainstream organized religions of any stripe tend to set my teeth on edge.

      I truly enjoyed your article, and I winced at your horrific experiences. But I salute you for finding your inner strength and coming through it whole and sane....you have proven what I always say, "living life as a victim is a choice, and you can choose to get over it."

      (Sorry for nearly writing an entire hub here...)

      Voted up, useful and interesting.

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      Dear WiccanSage,

      Thank you so much for sharing your story. It made me feel closer to you and I feel now like you are more than a byline with some articles. I feel very gratified and honored to know you better, and fortunate to have met you in Hub Pages. HP is truly a diverse and wonderful community of different personalities, each one sharing their plot of wealth and richness in our good earth. God bless, dear WiccanSage.

    • WiccanSage profile image
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      Mackenzie Sage Wright 3 years ago

      MsLizzy, I agree. We all have our dysfunctions. So sorry for your bully problems, that's something that breaks my heart to this day when I hear of people being bullied. I'm glad you found your path, even atheism is a great path for some people. I believe in deities but I understand why other people don't.

      My personal philosophy is that if there is reincarnation, those of us who cling to religion & deities are more of the kindergartners and grade schoolers of the cycle of lives -- we still need our 'parents' and we need structure. While atheists are more the teenagers/college age kids, who need to learn independence, freedom and self reliance.

      Thanks so much for your kind words.

    • WiccanSage profile image
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      Mackenzie Sage Wright 3 years ago

      Grand Old Lady, thank you so much. What a compliment, I'm glad we can become friends in this wonderful community.

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Sageleaf 3 years ago from Western NC

      What a story and I am sorry you ended up with parents that...well...let's just say I can tell you have triumphed.

      Thank you for sharing this. And you have found your path to enlightenment. I'm so glad for you - especially because your path has helped you blossom into an awesome person. Keep on keeping on! HUGS

    • WiccanSage profile image
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      Mackenzie Sage Wright 3 years ago

      Thanks cclitgirl-- that is very sweet of you and means a lot to me. (((Hugs))) right back to you!

    • Drake Slade profile image

      Michael Alsis 2 years ago

      Hello, after reading this I feel that you are very brave for sharing your personal life's happenings with everyone. I can relate in some ways to your story, although it wasn't as tough as you had it, and I am very sorry that you had to go through all of those things. I know your stronger for it and that is a good thing! I will be reading more of your work and following you. Your an inspiration and exemplary member of the Wiccan society.

    • WiccanSage profile image
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      Mackenzie Sage Wright 2 years ago

      Thank you Drake Slade, I appreciate that. Yes, it was a tough past, but I wouldn't change my present for anything so I have come to terms with just accepting what happened as a package deal, lol. It's made me who I am. Thanks for commenting!

    • social thoughts profile image

      social thoughts 18 months ago from New Jersey

      This is beautifully written. Thank you for sharing your story. I can certainly relate. So many have found better lives through Wicca. Realizing that the Gods have been calling us does transform our lives for the better. They just want to love us. They want us to be free. I'm so glad that you're in a better place. Blessings to you!

    • WiccanSage profile image
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      Mackenzie Sage Wright 10 months ago

      Thanks so much social thoughts; your words are so kind.

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