So Burn Me, I'm A Witch
I am who I was meant to be
Instead of the old saying "So why don't you just shoot me", I find it more fitting to say "So why don't you just burn me then?"
I've been practicing my religion for over 17 years. I'm not some troubled teen or attention seeking nut who follows the biggest "in" thing. I chose my religion very carefully.
I believe because I believe. Not because I am told I have to. Not because I was raised that way. Not because everyone else is doing it. My religion is the only one I believe, it's a little thing called Faith. Faith that the path I choose is the right one for me. It doesn't have to be for everyone. No one else need believe in it or agree with it for it to remain the right choice for me. My faith is not contingent upon others.
So what is my religion anyway? Well, I'm a witch. I'm a solitary practitioner who follows no sect, no group, no coven, and no one teaching. The belief system which most encompasses my religion is that of Wicca, however I do not subscribe to any particular teaching on the matter.
I have read, researched, and experienced things for myself; drawing my own conclusions, taking bits from here and bits from there to create my own brand of belief that works best for me. My hesitance in calling myself Wiccan is that the term of this religion is a newer term. What I believe dates back far past the "new age" names and teachings, back to when it was common place and strange not to believe in it.
Finding My Way
Ever since I was a little girl I remember feeling different somehow. I didn't look at the world the way everyone else did. I didn't even see it the way other children did. I felt out of place somehow as if something just wasn't "right".
I was raised a Christian. To this day I'm the only "non-Christian" in my extended family. This does not stop me from believing what I know to be true in my heart. The answers to the questions I had weren't there. I tried asking the pastor, the youth pastor, the confirmation pastor; all to no avail. They seemed angry that I asked such things. How dare I question the word of God and not follow like a good little sheep! I was constantly reminded that Jesus was the Shepard and "we" were his flock. Well, I didn't want to be part of the flock. I didn't want to put my head down and do what I was told when no one could tell me why.
I researched and studied, the old way, before the internet. I found books on other religions and what their beliefs were. I searched for those answers to the questions I had until I came upon a book about Wicca. It was like the dark clouds had parted and light shone down on me for the first time. There they were, all of the answers to the questions that had burned within me for my entire life up to that point.
I didn't just announce myself to be Wiccan after finishing that one book. I studied and studied for over 2 years before I finally started telling my family that I was Wiccan. Being that I was the only person I knew who wasn't a Christian, everything I knew or practiced was as a solitary witch. The change which took place over those two years was amazing! My spirit never felt so good. I belonged! Not to a coven, not to a congregation. I finally, for the first time in my life knew and felt that I belonged here, on Earth. I felt the connection to the energies around me, to nature, the plants, the animals, the rocks and trees. I knew and could feel that I was a part of every living thing just as it was a part of me.
Even today there is a certain amount of fear that goes with my choice. There are so many who attack what I believe because it is different from what they believe. I don't like being attacked any more than the next person. It doesn't feel very good. I know I'm strong enough to take it, but why should I have to? Why should anyone have to?
While others would parade their religious beliefs with pride, I would keep mine to myself. Sharing only when asked and even then, only offering small amounts at a time unless the person kept wanting more information. See, I can't stand pushy people. I really have issue with those who try to force their beliefs on others. I don't try to force mine on anyone; all I'm asking for is the same respect in return. If you love your religion, great! Guess what? I love mine too. Hey, look at that, we have something in common after all. We both love what we believe in.
For a long while I considered not coming out of the broom closet to my readers. I was afraid that if I made it public that I'm a witch, they wouldn't like me anymore or take my other advice and articles seriously. I was afraid of being shunned for my personal religious choice.
Well, I'm not ashamed of who I am or what I believe. If some people want to stop following me, or disregard my knowledge on other subjects just because I have a different religion than they do, it's their loss. I can't keep hiding such a big part of who I am. It isn't right. No one should have to hide a part of themselves because they fear persecution.
I just need to trust that those who have read my other works and who have appreciated the knowledge I've shared can accept me just the way I truly am.