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Why a Christian became a Wiccan, a testimony
Born a Christian...
I used to be protestant... and one of the good ones. I had real time spiritual experiences. As a Christian, I was baptized by the beach during a very special celebration.
As we were getting in the bus that was going to take us to the site, the preacher had told us to sing and praise on our way there. That sure required a lot of discipline, like when they tell to raise your arms, and keep them up. Faith entails discipline in order to have any effect. This sure is true in any religion, spirituality or sense of awareness.
So, many of my brethren started muttering and eventually stopped praising altogether as the bus continued its travel. I think only me and some other person remained firm carrying on the preacher's invitation.
Words, mantras, prayers... are all very powerful things... I am telling you this because, even though I am not a Christian anymore, I want to state that I've had my own set of firsthand experiences, and I don't disregard any of them. So, if you are a Christian please be aware that my standpoint is one of tolerance and common ground.
Yes, there is common ground between Paganism and Christianism, but I'll get to that later. Let's go back to how I got to be a Pagan.
So, as we get to the beach, I am already anointed... I felt there was a tied up spirit within me. One of the ministers came to talk to me to see if I was ready. I was ready since I stepped down the bus, but there was something holding me back, bringing me down.
Who are you? -asked the minister. The voice that answered her wasn't mine, please do not laugh. "I'm ready..." I, not me, (well you know what I mean) answered.
NO, WHO ARE YOU and WHO's YOUR MASTER?? she yelled. You know what was really odd? I was conscious, I know she was screaming right in my ear, yet my ear wasn't hurting...
She wasn't talking to me... I started screaming and I felt this spirit like I serpent leaving me through my mouth, going straight into nowhere.
She looked at me straight in the eyes. Now I had a chance to actually see her beautiful soul clear blue sea eyes...
Now you're ready, she said with a smile. It was an unforgettable ceremony.
My son had his set of experiences. Well, he won't remember them, he was six or eight at the time, but they were real. So point made. One other thing, please I'd really appreciate if you do not make comments in reference to gaining my soul back to Jesus Christ or any other Messiah. I am stating this so it is clear that I've walked the path. Pretty please with cherries on top? Thanks!
Now, life happened, as life indeed does. I wasn't married to my son's father. So, although we lived together for more than five years, we were living in sin. The church I attended was very fundamentalist. One of these prosperity churches, and I don't mean this in any derogatory way, in fact, I learned a lot from them. I just never realized how much emphasis was given to messages of prosperity, and how little emphasis was given to messages of mercy or love.
It all started with some homework
When life happened, my partner decided to leave me. Well, in all fairness, I decided to quit my job because I was going to prosper, like my pastor said. My plan was that I was going to have an editorial house (at age 22 with no money, just skills) and since I was such a faithful woman, God was going to hold me and carry me through the desert of a business startup. Do not laugh yet.
I resigned on October and my son's father left me in January, right after Christmas. Let's fast forward on the fact that my Church started relating how they did not have needed time to come by my house to pray with me. Others related that I brought this on myself for I was living in sin. I still think it was my Christian faith the one that carried me through this ordeal.
Until one day, some two years later, I was doing some homework for an English correspondence course.
My topic was "Puerto Rican Holidays". It caught my attention how major holidays coincided with seasonal changes. I've always had a curious spirit, couldn't stop researching on the matter.
All major seasons were originally Pagan celebrations. Spring, Autumn, Summer, Winter. All are part of the Wheel of Life. Our main holidays are all pagan. Easter, Father's Day, Christmas, Candlemas, Halloween (of course, Halloween), all ancient Pagan celebrations that were later Christianized, to consolidate the Roman Empire by means of religion. It all made so much sense to me. The first thing men is going to appreciate and marvel about is his surroundings, in its own way. This is an inconvenience to the State. The pieces just fell together.
I started finding about Jesus, and how he became a divine entity 325 years after his death during the Council of Nicea. I started finding about how stories in the Bible are so much alike as those in preceding cultures. Again, please, I'm not trying to state falsehood or nothing like that. What I'm talking about is how due to Christianity we have missed a bit on the history of Humanity.
I mean, we barely talk about the Sumers, or the Celts... or how many African religions are there... Paganism enables me to explore...
Not that I need external motivators, but is a very open minded way of thinking, which I know very little about, and I love the not knowing, for it allows for room to grow...
The Pagan lifestyle
So, how do we Pagans survive outside the sanctity of church? I've realized how difficult it is for Christians and others to accept paganism as a belief and a faith.
Of course, most think that, if it doesn't belong to God, it belongs to Satan.
Well, Pagans don't believe in God nor Satan, not in the context Christians do.
Let me start off by saying that Paganism is a realm of paths, or traditions. Pagans don't abide by hierarchical structures, and most are solitary practitioners. Others do attend covens, which could be interpreted as your christian service, except we are not attached to a structure or a particular place per se. Paganism is sometimes used to refer to Wicca, but Paganism includes Wicca and many other paths, like Celtic, Druids and Shamanism. There is also Egyptian, Strega, Witchcraft... we are not alone out there.
We are not bad people and we don't want you to think like us. We want to follow our path and do celebrate when we find a kindred spirit. We call that moment re encounter even though we never met before, for we believe in reincarnation.
We also believe in Mother Nature, and refer to her by many names... Gaia or Gaea, Pacha Mamma... We celebrate femininity and in fact believe in the duality of God/Goddess, as it is reflected in nature all around us... The complementing of the opposites: men/women, day/night...
We don't disregard sex as sinful in any way, in fact some pagans include sex rituals to honor and follow their path traditions.
Some would say this is barbaric and I do not mean to argue. My take is one of tolerance. Consider this, Catholic Church prohibits their priests to marry and how about them sacred pedophiles? The main reason, really, there are so many perverts wearing a habit is because they are forced to deny a natural aspect of their humanity, which is sex.
I do not think Paganism is the best religion, really. It is the one that I feel closest to my psyche, that's all.
Like on full moons we go to the Full Moon Drumming. The amazing thing about this ceremony is that is held in many parts of the world, so is like one feels the connection! Plus, my children love the fact that get to the beach at night!
So what does Christianity has in common with Paganism?
Pagans are Earth loving creatures. Anything that has to do with beach clean up, marching against polluting pharmaceuticals, helping the needy, visiting hospitals, we're game... Chances are some of your very best friends are Pagan, for we prefer to keep our faith a bit secret, to avoid unnecessary discussions.
We love to hug, we believe in namaste, which means "the light in me recognizes the light in you". And we go a bit further when we say that "there's a bit of me in you and some of you in me, and some of everything in everything else." Everything is connected.
Within Wicca, which I practice, we have only one commandment, although we don't call it commandment but rede: "Do as you will, harm none".
I personally think it should be do as you will, period.
Merry Meet and Blessed be!!! )o(