I am finally writing my very first blogpost. It has taken me a long time to pluck up the courage to do this, as ever since I have joined the online pagan community I have believed that no one would be faintly interested in hearing what I had to say.
I am no pagan or occult expert; I possess no witchy credentials or have astral travel mileage behind me. I don’t even own a single animal skull. Well, that’s not entirely true. I did buy a plastic crow skeleton last Samhain and he has sat magestically on my bookshelf ever since.
I am just little old me. A girl who has found herself on an exciting path of spiritual discovery who wants to strip everything back to the bare bones so she can heal herself and others too who wish to come along for the ride. And I also want to find my authentic place in the world.
As a child growing up in the Christian faith, it was easy to feel part of a family, a part of something much larger than myself and it never crossed my mind to question any of it. Every Sunday and every Day of Obligation I dutifully turned up to celebrate with others just like myself year in and year out.
But I gradually became aware of a dawning realisation. I wasn’t like everyone else. I didn’t feel or believe everything that they believed. It wasn’t a one religion fits all scenario. I was going through the motions, but I felt numb inside. I was pretending to be someone I wasn’t just to keep the peace. And what had happened to my connection to God and the Virgin Mary? Did this connection even exist? Perhaps I had always been blindsided by the pomp and ceremony to even realise that it was never there in the first place.
I didn’t want to be here anymore. I wasn’t here for me. I was here for others. Even God didn’t want to be here.
The day I told my family I was no longer going to church anymore is a day that I will remember for the rest of my life.
Seven years later it is all water under the bridge. They have accepted it, but they don’t like it. They believe that I am still a Christian albeit one that no longer practices and I will never tell them otherwise because would hurt them too much. Of course this makes me sad that I am unable to share this part of my life with them, a part of my life that means so much to me and brings me so much joy and inspiration. I do my best not to dwell on it. I am blessed, however, to have a wonderful husband and two children who are as open minded and free spirited as I am. They are also walking their own unique paths in this life, discovering awe and wonder in the world around them and I am proud and excited to be a part of that.
Walking away from Christianity, was a lot easier than I imagined it would be, it was liberating and it felt right. Not once did I fear the fires of eternal damnation. The hardest part was actually filling the void that was left in its place.
Shortly after I had to move from the city to the countryside, a floodgate inside of me gushed open. A spiritual awakening was happening that was somehow miraculously triggered by my new environment. With no light pollution I could see the moon and the stars in high definition, even the international space station zipping over my head. While my hands were in the earth, I could hear buzzards and swallows calling from nearby. The Divine was here, but nothing like I had experienced before, except only as a child. Childhood memories came rushing back; faeries, spirits……magic.
There was something here more ancient than Christianity, even more ancient than time itself and it was calling me. I needed to know what it was, what it was called. So I read and researched, watched videos and researched even more, absorbing as much as I mentally could. I was like Neo and I was definitely plugged in.
For many people who break away from Christianity, the realisation that the world is their oyster sinks in pretty quickly. I was no different and the feeling of euphoria was incredible, albeit overwhelming. Feeling like a child in a sweet shop I ‘travelled’ around the world picking a little something from every belief system I wanted and began tailor making my own spirituality.
At times I must admit this did leave a bitter taste in my mouth. The words “cultural appropriation” cropped up now and again, but I drowned them out with the excuse that I was a universal spirit, a part of the diversity that is life. I believed that just because I wasn’t a Native American or Tibetan Monk in this life, didn’t mean that I wasn’t one in a previous life time. We were all part of the same spiritual soul family.
However, the unease of mixing different spiritual beliefs within my practice came back in full force. An understanding hit me; I was lost because I had cut myself off from my own ancestral roots. I was caught in the shining lights of exotic lands. I thought I believed that I was honouring my ancestors, but how could I be if I was off walking the Medicine Wheel and applying Buddhist teachings to my life?
Having an Ancestry DNA test confirmed my misgivings and gave me such clarity, that I knew exactly where I needed to look for spiritual and ancestral guidance. My own heritage. The land on which I tread is the same land as my blood kin and that is why I now follow a path of Anglo Saxon Heathenry.
I am not the same person I was seven years ago, not even the same person I was last month. My knowledge, understanding and spiritual beliefs are continuously evolving. My journey is changing who I am and this transformation is for the better.
I just wanted to share a little part of me and if you have stayed to the end of this post then I am truly grateful that you have taken the time to listen to what I have had to say. If I have touched or inspired just one person to break free and find the courage to step onto their own path of self discovery then I am content.