Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Ramblings of a Pagan Guy: Answering the call
Over the years, I have found that many a person has this strange idea when it comes to the Pagan faiths. It as if as soon as one converts, they [the pagan] are thrown back to the middles ages. People also have this rather quirky notion that pots and pans turn into wands and broomsticks, that tables and chair turning to sacrificial altars and stone circles. To many people think that once one devotes themselves to the God and Goddess, reality bleeds away is magically replaced with Hogwarts schools and Weasly like houses. They also believe that our God and Goddess are just whores, or even worse the Christian devil. With this mini-set it is my hope to address these and many more misunderstood concepts so that we will be see as people too. We are not the demons some people try to make us out to be.
For Christmas this year, both my brother and I found "family tree" style decorations for mom. The past year she has really been getting into this whole genealogy thing, we both figured it was a quick and painless way to make her happy.*1 Not to mention be seen as actual caring sons!
On my brother's side, he found a very nice metal tree where the ends doubled as picture holders. It's currently hanging in the "dinnering room" if you want to call it that. For me, I found this wall design thing that can be worked and designed in any way you please. The leaves (at least that's what I think they are) also double as picture frames and can be placed where you please. It is pretty neat, and a lot bigger than the link imply. Typical of the mom attitude, she was ever so pleased with what her boys did for her. And yes, moms are the only ones allowed to over embellish things! After the normal family parties and merry wishing, Mom spent the next three months finding just the right places for her trees and just the right photos for it. As you might have also guessed, the first photos to come out where the baby photos. A never ending supply of pictures from my birth, baptism, first steps, first time I escaped the baby play crib, confirmation and so on flowed more easily than any water or beer I've seen.
Hell I didn't even know it was possible to have this many photos >_>
As the endless process of "yes and no" to this or that photo seemly took years to accomplish, I took notice to some slight tone changes in the way she talked. Where once she wouldn't stop talking about how fracking cute I was as a alter boy, how wonderful and blessed my first communion was, or how adorable I was at my confirmation, that all abundantly ended with the high school years. While she didn't (nor wouldn't) show any type of negativity in her voice, you could still tell there was a slight awkward uneasiness in the air. Confused at first, I suddenly hit me one night while staring at a owl statue (may it burn in hell forever). The reason, which is now clear as day, later became the inspiration for today's rambling of a pagan guy.
Like many children of this great (yet sometimes dysfunctional) country of ours, I was born into a loving and Christian household. At the tender age of something, I was baptized Henry John Biddle before the church and cleansed of "original sin". In grade school I was encourage to become an alter boy and assist the church in any way I could. By the seventh grade I was once again brought forth in front of the church to confirm my faith in Christ. As a boy who wanted to make his parents happy, while driving them nuts, I of course did everything they wanted and was expected of me. Knowing nothing of the other religions other than they where sinful to God, I was content with Christianity.
Content but confused and just not feeling right.
By the fifth grade I felt something was off, something wasn't right. Honestly, something just didn't feel right about a faith about a all loving God (who sacrificed a mortal shell for others) condemning others to hell because of silly notions. But no matter what I thought, still being young I had no idea what to do with it. At times, I thought even I was being silly myself. By eight grade I was starting to ask questions that would stick with me. How could a baby be born with sin? Holding a just born child accountable for something someone else did thousands of years ago is just stupid. Why would an all-loving God hate people? If everything is according to God's plan how can God hate them for it? Why was there no mommy God but only a father God? For that matter why where woman not included in the big stuff? What's the point of mass when all you do is repeat the same thing over and over again? The whole mass thing felt more like a Borg cube than anything else. The main answer I would get to any of these questions was "you will understand when you're older"
As I moved into the summer break after grade school, I knew Christianity wasn't for me. Sure, it may work well for other people, but for me... nothing. But even then, nothing new would take hold. I mean, hello it was summer time! I had far more important things to do like play Suikoden and Kingdom Hearts! Who has time for some lame thing like religion, when I had dragons to slay!
But yea, as the summer ended and my first year of high school began, things began to stir once more. As a freshman, aside from being harassed to no end, I was exposed to new ideas and new ways of thinking. Many of these idea where frowned upon and even called "Satanic" by the administration and teachers, but they still flourished with students. Within all this entanglement, information and disinformation I experienced a religion that I actually felt something for.
As days passed, I found myself spending more and more time in the school's library. This rather small but open place of free and unbiased learning was my personal sanctuary against a rather aggressive attacks (yes both physical and mental) against anyone who thought outside the box. It was a place where I could go to learn things for myself, without anyone bothering me or throwing out some unneeded religious context. From here I could be protected from the world. From here I didn't have to fear. All because I didn't want to push the poor gay kid down the stairs, because I actually wanted to know a girl before anything else happened, because I wouldn't "pray" to a God I really didn't believe in...
As the winter waned, and I grew close to people with a brain, I was given a proper opportunity to study Wicca beyond such concepts of "OMG FIREBALL SPELL!" and "I WANT TO FLY A BROOM". I learned Pagans where not green skinned women but a flourishing natural earth based faith, I learned that Wicca was the old ways reborn. I learned of the God and Goddess, both of whom had nothing to do with Satan. I learned of their love, their connection to nature, and how all things shared in it. I learned of how we where all brothers and sisters in life, and how religion shouldn't divide us. After a full year of proper learning and studying, I was able to officially take on Wicca by my second year of High school.
I bore the pentacle and I bore it with pride.
Join me next time when I do into detail about the growing pains of a teenage Wicca.