Life is interesting. I find that I am often evaluating things from a perspective that appears to be quite different than others of my age group or within the same community as me. I am not sure why this is. I have often thought that being married young and raising children changed my perspective in life. Other times I have thought it was because I was one of three black children in my elementary school and so I thought different. And yet there are some times that I have thought that my differences in thoughts boiled down to the fact that I am Wiccan.
Honestly I think that today I understand it is a combination of all those things that have colored my experiences as a person and influenced how I see the world around me. I know that all of those parts of me are not meant to be compartmentalized and instead compliment each other in ways that conflict and correlate at the same time.
I have found myself thinking about this as some of the strangest experiences have happened in the last several months, or even within the last year. While life continues to challenge us, I find that I am evaluating things with a cultural eye that differs from others. My husband is not from the same culture as I am and there are times that our experiences leave us on different sides of the fence.
It makes me wonder if our ancestral blood ingrains a sense of history and perspective that is not taught but harnessed. The ongoing debate of nurture versus nature plays a role in this and if our blood is our nature, then our experiences are our nurture quality. I know that my perspective in life is a combination of what I have learned and what my people gave to me.
So how do I translate that into my life today and more importantly, my spiritual life as a Wiccan? The answer is that I am not sure. Sometimes I feel like I know what it means to be true to my ancestral culture and to my Wiccan path but there are other times that it is clear how much those two are not always aligned with each other. While one path is about openness and freedom, the other is about history that pushes structure and conditioned response. My Wiccan path is about finding what feels right inside and aligning to my spiritual self. My Black self has a history of being conditioned to fill the image of what others want and not having a culture to identify with besides that of slavery, pain and the United States.
Interestingly I think that being Black gives me the tools to cope with being a part of a minority religion that is often discriminated against; our history gives us a lot of experience in that area.
So while I am writing more about the combination of my religion and my culture, I find myself contemplating a true understanding of how they mingle together in positive and contradictory ways all at the same time.