In the Beginning

OK, so here I am, a 40-something engineer who finds solving technical and business problems only partially satisfying. I work for a decent company (not all corporations are soul-sucking bastions of evil) with some good folks. As jobs go, it’s a good one – it pays the bills, and there are far worse ways to make a living.

But that’s not why I’m here. Not why I’m here in this life, and certainly not why I’m starting this blog.

There are a few things I believe because I have to believe them: something in my heart, in my soul, at the core of my being screams that they’re true. One is that there’s more to the Universe than what can be measured and observed. I’m not just an engineer by training and profession – it’s part of who I am. I’m logical, rational, linear, and grounded – by all rights, I should be an agnostic (bumper sticker on a car at my church: “Militant Agnostic – I don’t know, and neither do you!”). But I’m not – something deep inside tells me there’s more.

I grew up in a small Baptist church. And even at a very young age, it never felt quite right. In Sunday School we’d sing “Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world…” and then we’d go out and listen to the preacher talk about how most of those children were going to hell because they didn’t follow the right religion. I couldn’t reconcile those two concepts, and I became a universalist long before I ever set foot in a Unitarian Universalist church.

Much later, I was introduced to Paganism. I found it interesting, but Wicca (the most common form of modern Pagan religion) didn’t grab me. But when I read about the Druids, the priests and poets and healers of the ancient Celtic world, something connected with me, and all I can say is that it felt like home.

But the difficulty with modern Paganism is that it’s a very new religion – if you want to go past the basics of Wicca 101 (see the New Age section of any major book store), you’re largely on your own. Not entirely – there are books and groups and teachers who have been and continue to be helpful – but to a large extent, trying to find what makes sense for me and what speaks to my soul is a journey through uncharted territory.

I’m starting this blog because I need to work through some spiritual issues, and if I’m having these issues, probably someone else is too. I hope to attract some comments and questions that will help point me in the right direction. The end result will be a deeper, more consistent, more meaningful religious theory and practice.

My intention is to post primarily on religious issues, but tied in with that will be philosophy, ethics, and politics. I hope to avoid making it too biographical. Blogs are inherently self-centered, but I want the focus to be on my beliefs and practices, not my mundane life.

And I’m planning to do a soft launch – holding off on publicizing this blog until I have bit more material for visitors to read and hopefully, respond to.

Off we go…

About John Beckett

I grew up in Tennessee with the woods right outside my back door. Wandering through them gave me a sense of connection to Nature and to a certain Forest God. I’m a Druid graduate of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, the Coordinating Officer of the Denton Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans and a former Vice President of CUUPS Continental. I’ve been writing, speaking, teaching, and leading public rituals for the past eleven years. I live in the Dallas – Fort Worth area and I earn my keep as an engineer.


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