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Wandering Around The Spiritual Lands...


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Okay, here's my story. Mind, this is probably going to be a little boring for a lot of you. I don't recall too many nights crying out loud to the Xtian God, or laying prostrate praying. Maybe it's because I come from the Catholics originally.


Mom says that when I was still in the hospital at two days old, i was fascinated by the cross the priest wore (religious hospital). She took this as a sign that I would be a good little Catholic from the start. Hmm, guess the Old Ones didn't get the real message across at my baptism, because I screamed at the water being poured on my head! This should have been a clue...


I spent the first twenty years of my life as a strong Catholic. I became an altar server (one of the first females allowed to serve in the Archdiocese of Denver) and very involved in the Church. I do remember being nagged by the sense that for all my devotion that I wasn't getting anyting back. But, I was too busy between schoolwork and my horse to really notice. I also remember, all too clearly, when the server who had trained me packed off for seminary school. I remember saying goodbye to him on a glorious May morning, ribbons of the Easter season decorating the altar. I was putting out the Paschal candle when he broke the news. It hurt that I would never be able to choose to go, since the way was barred for a lady. I tried asking Father Angelo about this, and he tried to reassure me. Mind, he's a reformist and I suspect that privately he wouldn't mind female priests. But I didn't get anything to assuage my soul on this.


Still I labored, Catholic school, Latin lessons, serving, Catholic college.


I became acquainted with the thespians on campus at college, that age-old sanctuary of societal misfits. One of the guys self-described as a witch, and he soon started dating a new, very good friend of mine. This was my first acquaintance with witchcraft. At some point when it was clear that she was going to become Pagan, I confronted her-- on the tennis courts--loudly. I told her she was going to go to Hell. She responded-- with a right hook. I literally didn't speak to her for a week.


Well, at the same time I was also having visions of what can only be described as shamanic magic. So I also started reading everything the college library had on the subject, from transliterated Navajo (Dine) Blessingway chants to ethnographies of the Shoshone Indians. I'd put that book inside of another (safer) book and find a quiet corner to read in. I never really drew any suspicion except once with my ex-boyfriend who was about to join the monastery. Nothing came of it, I don't think, but I was rapidly gaining a reputation for being a character on campus, despite that I was a good student who went to Sunday Mass at the abbey without fail.


Well, my faith in the Catholic way started taking a steady slippage during my junior and senior years, although I kept up all appearances. There was rather a witch hunt my junior year, because someone got the book "the Unicorn in the Sanctuary" and created a stink. Fortunately I didn't have any physical possessions to really cause concern but one night I was brewing some chamomile tea in my dorm when one of the "God-Squadders" came by. (He's now a priest) He got very angry that I was into herbal tea, and made me read the book. I did, and I recall very few times that I have ever gotten physically ill from reading a BOOK! (a definite warning to the rest of you. Don't read this book after dinner!!!)


My senior year also meant the entrance of my husband into my life. Of course we were just dating then, but it became obvious that we were very much an item. He comes from a mixed Catholic/ Lutheran heritage and is the grandson of a Lutheran pastor. He says he went to college as a getaway from all the Catholic stuff. Somehow he did this, I'm not sure how. He went to four Masses his whole time there. By this time I was way beyond telling him that he was going to Hell! Thank goodness, I'm not sure what he would have done!!


In grad school I really had more of a chance to learn about both shamanic ways and Wicca. I ended up choosing Wicca for a while over the shamanic ways because I became very sensitive to treading on the Native American paths without any verifiable heritage. (I probably am part Native, but my gran was adopted at birth). It is proper to say that I did blend the shamanic into the Wiccan. I did quite a lot of Journey-work, which was a very good experience for me as No ONE was telling me when to do this or how to do this. It was me, the spirits, and the Otherworlds, and I learned a great deal.


After school, I settled in El Paso County Colorado with my then fiancee and about to be hubby. He was also heading Wiccan as he thought it made more sense than Xtianity. We still chose to be married Catholic but it was only a show for the parents. (Neither of which are savvy enough to probably find this place). During the Engaged Encounter we were to speak a bethrothal oath to each other. Fortunately this was a private affair. It was a sunny summer afternoon in the Colorado mountains and Tannim and I chose a spot near the Platte River. The wedding was but a show, the betrothal felt like the real wedding.


That's been almost ten years ago. Much has happened since. I've gradually been moving past the Wiccan label to calling myself eclectic Pagan or pagan mystic. I haven't been to church in years! Mom knows I no longer sttend Church and I suspect she still prays for my soul each night. I'm actually at peace with that, she was born Catholic and will be Catholic until she's six feet under, I'm sure. It's what she is, amd I am what I am... not what someone tells me to be. Obviously I'm not into shoving my ideas down any throats... they are not me, so I have no authority to tell them what to believe. This includes my son, I plan on showing him religion in a very varied way so that he can be informed.


I know that in my "Any Gods" line I list the concept of the Gemstone. This is a concept my hubby and I have been fleshing out for years, and goes somehting like this. The Gemstone proper is symbolic of Deity in its wholeness, the entirety. Each facet or corner of Deity is symbolic of an aspect or part of Deity. The idea is that humans, in out limited perception, cannot view Deity very well except perhaps in a mystic's vision. So, I approach Deity from the perspective of a Pagan, seeing God in Nature.


I still read voraciously, and am heavily intrigued by the historical documents of early Christianity. There were some serious mystics then too!! Whoever wrote the Gospel of Judas was not speaking literally, I don't think! It's interesting to see what the church did to discredit the Gnostics and mystics. (By this, I mean stuff like Irenaeus, not the Da Vinci Code which is almost certainly not all true)


So, that's my journey... perhaps not too dramatic but where it is nonetheless.

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Welcome to the fold :)


As an ex-Catholic myself, I can understand where you are coming from. I too spent years as an acolyte, years saying rosaries, years working with the sacraments - only to feel mostly ignored. I only felt something when I put something into it and got all excited about the rites, or when I felt convinced the so-called god of love had forgiven me for some non-offense.


Either or, I'm glad you're making better spiritual choices now, and most importantly, free of the cult of lies and failures. Nothing worse than wasting a minute of one's life chasing Xian rainbows :)

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Welcome! I found your story interesting... ;)


I was raised Catholic myself. Unfortunately, I got hooked in by the evangelicals in middle school, and I didn't completely let go of that until my early college years.


I dated a guy that ended up going into the priesthood, too... :HaHa: I guess I couldn't convince him women were worth it. It is rumored he's gay, though... we only went on two dates.


I'm looking forward to hearing more from you.

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Welcome Gaura!


Paganism sounds interesting. I guess it sounds like a lot of trouble to me. I am glad it works for you.

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For those Pagans who insist on getting all the materials just right and checking all the correspondences and making everyting just...so..., well for them Paganism is a very complex religion fraught with trouble and superstition. Yep, there are Pagan fundies too. I've met them. Ewwww.


I've lived rural, for almost five years. While I was out there I learned pretty quickly the lessons of the "pagani" the old country dwellers that believed in pre-Christian folkways that were basically Pagan. The truth is that the influences of contemporary ceremonial magick have infiltrated Wicca especially and Paganism to some extent. I remember talking with some gal who needed a golden bowl-- like the whole thing made out of gold-- for some ritual. I told her, sorry, I've never even seen such a thing. In my mind, things used in ritual are props and really just symbols. If I'd really needed a "golden bowl" I'd have taken a bowl from the cabinet and spay painted it! Geesh!


I decided then and there to focus on what the soul of the faith is about-- reconnecting with the Gods/ Deity/ Spirit through connecting with Nature. I keep a garden, which here is a full time proposition, and there I continue to learn. So I keep it simple, and this is much less worrisome for me.

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