Growth and Advice in Paganism

Guest Author: Jedi Gordy
Originally published at the Witches’ Voice www.witchvox.com on August 15th. 2010
Reposted with the author’s permission.

A little background: I left fundamentalist Christianity because they said I needed to “pray to Jesus” harder to cure conditions that well, make me, me. They also supported the actions of churches that violate their tax-exempt status and Christian telemarketing centers that fire if you have a disability. I found that I had a conflict of morals with this particular church, so as I left, I angrily shouted, “I’m going to go to Voodoo!!” That turned out to be a strange prophecy, but that part of the story comes on later on.

The first book I picked up was How To Be a Witch by Edain McCoy. It taught me a few lessons. First of all, power is responsibility. Secondly, it is not up to us to punish others; it is the divine’s job for that.

I did a poor job studying Wicca, for there was much turmoil in me at the time. I despised the major religions at the time, especially Christianity. I hated myself at the time as well. I was a newbie in the religion, a fluffy bunny, and a hater. Any or all of the above describes me at that point. But many of us have gone through this stage, so I will not dwell on it.

I searched around for a calling, but found Wicca just wasn’t it. As my soul calmed, I realized it was not Christianity, Islam, or Judaism that were bad — for I had some really good friends who followed the ways of these religions in a positive manner – and I started to see that is was the loud, violent, and fundamentalist individuals that make these religions look intolerant (as they do in ours as well) .

I was talking to my previous master (for he is a very close friend) over the phone and to make a long story short, I found my way to Vodou. But I also now no longer hold hatred for the three major religions of the world. I realize that they are ‘the way’ as much as our path is. I even go to a Christian church that accepts the path I am on and doesn’t try to make me march to another’s drummer (I go there for fellowship and enlightenment and sometimes learn a bit about myself from their teachings) .

Why do I bring up my journey? I have a feeling that many of us have had this journey. There are many of us still on this journey. And I thought I would reflect and offer advice to people still suffering from the anger towards the “big three” religions.

The first lesson is to find a path that fits you. If there is something that doesn’t seem quite right about the path, don’t take it. This requires researching the various roads of Paganism and mainstream religions. Yes, I said mainstream. For although you might not be compatible with one sect, or even one religion of the big three, some other sect or religion might be your calling.

Should the mainstream not be your cup of tea, then you must read up on what a few paths that interest you are about. This also requires inner reflection. One must know one’s self before one can learn the deeper mysteries of life and how to work with energy. I speak of this for, while I got lucky and am eternally grateful for finding my path, I am currently reading up on it to learn what it means. This should be the start of the process.

After one finds their path, one must follow it. If one chooses to go learn under a teacher, one must treat it as if they are looking for a candidate for an important job opening. And their potential teacher should be doing the same to them. If a teacher and a student are not sizing each other up, checking for a fit, then there are going to be problems from the start. Some of us find our teacher easily, some don’t. I know I found mine quite easily. And I am very thankful to have him in my life. Others have to search for a while. But trust me, once you find the right teacher, as opposed to the wrong teacher, you will learn quicker, and not only have someone to teach you, but a pillar of support and a friend for life.

Also, one has to leave their baggage at the door from other experiences. Every night, I thank the Lwa for every experience I’ve had, good and bad, for it has made me the person I currently am today. I thank them for the wrongs that the church did to me, for I would not be studying a religion I love with the depths of my soul. And I would not have been able to make room to learn and grow spiritually, and realize that there is no right or wrong path, there just are paths.

The next step is to study, study, and study! One must keep their physical health strong, mind dexterous, soul and heart hungry to learn. No matter what path one is on, one must have the never-ending thirst for knowledge, and channel that thirst in a productive manner. This is important to learning the ways of mystery, for it feels so much better to earn your initiations than to buy them and such.

Eventually, one learns to let go of the hate, anger and ‘noobishness’ that come from being wronged in another religion. One finds the right path, and discovers a lifelong friend and a wise sage to help them along their journey through the religion and life. One learns to let go of anger, hostilities, and excess baggage they might have been carrying with them. And one learns that earning the titles in the Craft is much sweeter to get than just having them appointed to them, just because they stuck around long enough. That is when one is no longer a trainee, but a full – fledged caster. This is what separates the two.

Jedi Gordy’s WitchVox profile is at www.witchvox.com/vn/vn_detail/dt_pa.html?a=uspa&id=240215

About Tara "Masery" Miller

Tara "Masery" Miller is a Neo-Pagan panentheist Gaian mage living in the Ozarks with her husband and pets. She's also a member of the Unitarian Universalist Church. Her personal website is at www.taramaserymiller.com She is the editor of Rooted in the Body, Seeking the Soul which you can find at Immanion press. www.immanion-press.com/info/books.asp She has a minor is religion from Southeast Missouri State Missouri State University with an emphasis in mysticism. Masery has lead various groups over the years and organized Pagan Pride Day events. Her magic and author page is at www.taramaserymiller.com


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