Pagan News and Views Since 1998

This weekend I had one of those caught-off-guard encounters about religion.  I typically consider myself well versed to debate theology, in fact I welcome it. I live in the south, and have the pleasure of working with a very large but close knit group of nerds. We often chat about our thoughts and ideas covering typical no-no topics of politics, religion, sexuality, even personal finances. It isn't often that I'm uneasy or at loss for words, most especially where my Wiccan path is concerned. However, I found myself this weekend in one of those conversations that you look back at and kick yourself for all the things you should have said; but turned out to spawn a surprisingly introspective evening. It went a little something like this.... 

I was shopping at a local gigant-o mart, picking up groceries and such for my family, when I happened down an aisle and spotted a familiar face. It was a guy that I had grown up with in the family church. We had been friends, sat in Sunday school together, gone on countless mission trips and outreach programs, and organized Vacation Bible School together. I knew his family and he knew mine, but it has been many years since I had seen him. We struck up the typical 'how are things?' conversation, discussing our spouses and children. It was all quite friendly and I genuinely enjoyed catching up. But then: 

"Ah, I heard you had turned witch" he said, inclining his head towards my necklace. 

And with those words, I was immediately on the defensive. I didn't like the way he said "turned witch" and my mouth spoke before my brain could catch it. 

"I didn't turn witch. I was born a witch. I was just..." I flailed my hand in the air, searching for the words, "...raised by Christians" 

"You make it sound like you were a child raised by wolves" he says, 

I laughed it off. "Yea I guess I did. It was good to see you, tell your folks hello." And just like that I ran away from the entire situation.  I didn't even get what I needed from that aisle. 

I spent the rest of my shopping trip pondering the words that had come out of my mouth when I was unexpectedly challenged about my spirituality. Was I born a witch? Are we born one faith or another? No, I thought. Until my adolescence I had definitely believed the Christians were correct. It was my curiosity and my questioning nature that led me out of the church and into books of religious histories and ancient mythologies. But why had that happened? Was that internal inkling that something wasn't right, that very curiosity that led me to the pagan path, was that what you'd say was "the call of the inner witch?" Had it always been there, just waiting to come out? And why had I never thought about this until right now? 

I've practiced for a little over a decade. I stand proudly outside the broom closet. I relish in internal meditations and know that every bit of my spirit is soundly home in Paganism. But with all that I had never really given much thought to if I felt as if I was destined to be where I am. Like so many others in our community, I did experience that feeling of coming home when I found this path. I had always felt this was a sign from my spirit guides that I had found the place that I belonged. But now that my subconscious spit out that sentence, I think it was me that found where I belonged. I'll admit I have always been a skeptical person and if you had asked me last week, I would have scoffed at the idea of someone being born with inclinations to any particular faith; because logic tells me that religious expression is something that is learned as you develop as a person. But you know, I think I was wrong. There IS something inside us that calls us to where we are. And it can't be explained and it can't be defined; but we all made it to where we are because something somewhere inside us told us to look, and we did, and we found, and we stayed. Because we are witches.

And that is the way we were made.

Views: 2193

Comment by sherry Goff on October 22, 2012 at 9:04pm

I know what you mean about the shoulda said.We are waiting for a judgement for something.We had family teach our children things we asked them not to do.They overstepped us.We were put on trial by these people because they are wanting to see our children.They made a fake profile for us on a pagan site here locally and used it against us.It was horrid.We were not asked certain questions that we could have answered,just questions that made us look evil.Basically we were on trial because we are not religious.Its a horrid mess and very upsetting.This is the United States last time we checked,yet we feel we are not.That shouldve said,that goes over in our minds non stop and prob will do it over and over until we know what the outcome is.

Comment by Thomas OBrien on October 30, 2012 at 9:30pm

Turned witch? well its better then staying brainwashed:)

Comment by Alice Crowfeather on October 31, 2013 at 12:31pm

I'm still in the closet and I salute you on being so open.
I think everyone must choose what feels like the right religion for them and that's paganism for me. I feel so at home and where I belong. I believe I was born with the calling, as well, but, like you, was raided by Protestants.

Comment by Edwin Antonio Diaz on November 3, 2013 at 6:12pm

Be proud to be a wiccan knowing the truth shall set you free.you were born a good person and always meant well for every one. Don't be intimidated by Christians beliefs with Damnations devils and demons they are what they are a reality and a philosophy and they more than any one await for signs and portants just like a witch.Blessed Be.

Comment by electra raven angel on November 6, 2013 at 9:17am

love yr post! i feel its ok to say im pagen and not have to explain to much to people i know its easy to be caught of guard.. i beleif we are on a path of truth and far deeper diversity
and a beautiful open pathway love yr way,, smiles

Comment by Mark Robinson on November 7, 2013 at 7:09am

I was raised by my grandparents since I was 11 months old. They were Baptist all the way and so was I until my teens. I knew the bible inside and out and passed many courses toward a divinity degree. I had to leave college because my "mother"(grandmother) had cancer and I had to take care of her. I had no money to continue college after she passed, so I decided to join the Air Force. During the time I was in the service I realized I was a witch. I also found out I had a half-sister I didn't know about. After getting back into touch with her, I decided to get back into touch with my birth-mother. After 20+ years I found that the birth-mother I never new was a witch too. I also just found out that one of my 3rd cousins (on my father's side) is also a witch. Long story short: I went from being raised pure baptist to realizing I wanted to be a witch to finding out that a lot of my relatives on both sides were witches.

Comment by fantumofthewinds on November 8, 2013 at 3:08pm

and I like that sentence,something inside of us calls us, to where we are.

Comment by Sherry Tinnell on November 13, 2013 at 11:44am

I know I was "born witch", I was born and raised in a strict Catholic family. My grandmother raised me as my mother was very young and incapable. My grandmother was like the Godfather,(mob movie) what she said went in all her grown childrens families. I had 10 cousins when I was little who ALL went to church multiple times a week and to Sunday school per Grandmas orders, they all did their communion. I was made to go one time that I can remember and absolutely HATED it, I cried and was frightened. My Grandmother never made me go back and when my Aunts complained about "favoritism" my Grandmothers response was " Sherry is different from the rest of us, she is my flower child". I loved animals and Nature. At a young age I never knew about Paganism of course so I called my "religion" Naturism LoL When my grandma would ask me who my " God" was I would say Mother Nature and Father time. When she asked me how I worshiped I said by being nice to everyone even small bugs! And not stepping on flowers. She would just laugh and say sounds kind of silly to me! I didn't discover that there was a "real" religion that was like mine until I was in my teens. When I discovered Wicca I started hiding it from my Grandma because of the terms "witch" and " magic". I was afraid she wouldn't be so easy going and laugh it off like she did with Mother Nature and Father Time. I came out of the Broom Closet after my Grandmother died, everyone who knows me knows that I am a Pagan not a Christian. I sensed as a small child that I was different and so did my Grandmother, so I absolutely believe we are "born" witch, some of us may not be able to discover and live it until we are adults and free to make our own choices. I am just thankful that I was allowed to have a small bit of freedom to choose my own path as a small child.My only regret is that I was scared to open up to my Grandmother about my religion. Thinking back now I think that she wouldn't have shunned me, I think she may have understood even if she didn't like it. Why else would she have let me believe in "Naturism"?

Comment by Anka Ozul on November 13, 2013 at 12:24pm

on the subject of being "born a witch" though this isn't necessarily true it is close. most people can be born into the right faith but it more of which faith speaks to us the most. some people find a religion that is close to ideal and term themselves accordingly by saying that they are a varient of that religion. in my case i say that my beliefs are of an atlantean tilt but it is just a varient of wicca.

Comment by Shanti Clarity on November 20, 2013 at 2:11pm

I really liked how you stood up for yourself and knowing without a doubt you know who you are. I am the same way my family downs on me but I been feeling like I was a witch since I could remember and it is sad that I dont have anyone that is close to me to share that with. Sometimes I feel like an outsider because of my beliefs. My family thinks its all evil but it really isnt at all, its beautiful.

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