Introduction, part 1 (NaNoWriMo Series, 2015)

I have to say that I give all credit for this idea to my friend Jessica for this idea. There are hardly any books on what Pagans believe that spell out dogma, (another word right here that means set of beliefs and tenants, doctrine, that’s it!), and whatnot in a manner that introduces the reader to the world of beliefs that Pagans hold. I have to admit, when I first began my path in 2011, I had to begin slow. I wanted to know what on earth I was getting into, and what the beliefs were, and what kind of mojo I was messing with that could irreparably harm me, or tarnish my reputation forever. I began my research with every single library book I could get my hands on. Admittedly, that was around 4 in total that “looked” safe. The rest were the kind that I would rather touch with a ten foot pole, as they promised with their cover to reveal to me the mysteries of being a psychic, commune with the dead, and be an overall truly witchy kind of person. Let me tell yah, I was not going to get that far into the mix that soon. Wayyy too scary, and wayy too deep! The first few books had the usual first chapter regarding energy, we are not evil people, I believe you, and have confidence, you will do just fine performing these spells. And that is what these books were, spell books! I found one book that attempted to dispel the mythos of Pagans being very evil people. (looking for it now, I will post a link later). So what are pagans, wiccans, witches, warlocks, etc? We are people. Just like everyone else, people who work, have kids, drive their cars around, and are living the American Dream. I want to give you the skinny on what the hype is, and why people are drawn to it. I want to provide you with a very vanilla understanding of the simple, yet complex answer I want to give to my friend without her common sense kicking in and giving her intuition the red flag to run away.
Many of our stories begin when we are older, wiser, and ready to be truly independent from the judgment of others. Some know that they are special in some way, but have not been free to explore what that special is. Many stories have roots in being raised in the Christian faith, and of a need to break away from that faith for one reason or another. Our demographic is very broad. The author of To Walk a Pagan Path explores this a little more, and points out that any Pagan can come from any life style, any profession, any ethnicity, and from any religious upbringing. We all look different, have our own thoughts and ideas on what Paganism is, and have some very individual approaches to the faith. I would love to say that we are all peaceful people, but that would be misleading. There are a few (maybe even more than a few) who are very antagonistic toward Christianity. Their reasons may stem from abuse received from those who follow that faith, or from being upset over the way the faith perceives the rest of the world. As you can tell, I am trying to be tactful, as this is not a war for me. I know there are plenty of Pagans who would disagree, and point out that Christianity will always be at war with those who are not of their faith, and especially those who are of the Christian forbidden sect of Witches. (yes, poorly worded, must fix that, I will have to think about it.)
As for me, I come from a varied background. I was not raised in any faith. My parents were very quick to point out the hypocrisy of the followers. These began a foundation of skepticism for me. When our family went through a major crisis, I turned to our local church to bring us back to sanity and bring our ship into harbor, so to speak. I like that there is a very strong foundation of outreach and assistance to those in need. Once it seemed that our family (who was admittedly drug kicking and screaming to church, yet loved every bit of it after the first service, and never left) had weathered the storm and did not need to rely on the church anymore, I went my own way. I wandered through Christianity like a kite, never really getting close, and only dipping low enough to see the nature of the church. After a while, I realized that I had no faith. I had no personal relationship with God, and that he had not spoke to my heart, soul, or spirit. And I couldn’t grasp the rules. I wanted to live a rich life in something that I could throw my whole faith into and be assured that I was choosing the right thing. My foundation of skepticism kept me from that. I had no personal experience telling me that what I was doing was right. So I was Atheist. So what? It wasn’t really a big deal for me. I had not realized that it would be a big deal to others. But I kept being me, and others adjusted. Those at work couldn’t stop seeing the good I was doing for the office, those in my friends circle have a relationship based on mutual friendliness, and not because we go to the same church. So nothing changed, it all stayed the same.
My daughter was the person who got me on this path. She wanted to be a wizard, not like Harry Potter, but a real one. She wanted a book that would teach her how, and she wanted those powers to use. I found one at the library for her age and stage, and it was exactly that, a book on how to become a wizard. A simple google and amazon search does not bring this book up at all, so I will need to find it again, and post it here. It was cute, I didn’t take her too seriously, and it was all in good fun. One day her best friend had gotten poison oak on her face. This child reacts very poorly to poison oak, and for it to be on her face is serious indeed. It looked like she would go to the hospital for sure if the medicine her mother gave her didn’t work that night. Arianna pointed out that she could do a spell to heal her best friend, and I agreed it wouldn’t hurt. I love giving my kids the reigns in which to actively do something to fix a situation themselves. So I make sure that we go to the library for the correct healing books, and she insists on a book for teens that has spells for healing. I agree and off we go. Note to the Pagans reading this. Yes, epic failure of ethics for not getting permission, nor that being my first understanding of the faith, always get permission! Picture this, a woman with three very “helpful” kids trying to properly set up a circle with a pentagram and candles, yes, real burning candles, at each point, with very limited room to actually maneuver, and holding a book, in the dark, reading off instructions. Go ahead, laugh it up! I’m psychic, I know where you live!
Ahem, anyway I set this ritual up with no real understanding and flour all over the floor (blame the book and the directions, I am blameless), and we are at the point of meditating on sending healing to the person in question. That is when I had my first Gnosis, when I concentrated on this nameless Goddess, she touched my heart and moved in me. Being the kind of person that I am, I needed proof this was not a fluke, and I retried this activity 8 times. Yes, each time I was touched (insert touched in the head here joke) by the Goddess. At this time I was pretty weirded out, and I quickly rushed through the ritual, and went to contemplate on “what the hell just happened?” Realizing I was on to something big, I did my research. The little girl with poison oak on her face? Well, she woke up the next morning with no sign of ever having it. For that family, this never happens. Fluke or not, I felt this was a nail in the coffin for me! My hope during this series is to distill down what we believe in the beginning paragraphs and then supporting information in the subsequent chapters. I would love to be whimsical and name this book What the Hell?, and subsequent books Ho-ly Shit, and G- Dammit!, but I will digress from this silly thinking for now. The topics I am going to elect to cover for now will be…..

Advertisements

One thought on “Introduction, part 1 (NaNoWriMo Series, 2015)

  1. Pingback: There is a new post to read! | lotl52615

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s