I was raised Lutheran, which is one of the many branches of the Christian faith. I believe I was baptised, I was a bit too young to remember that. Growing up, I attended a Christian school until the 7th grade. I dutifully went to church every Sunday with the family although from what I remember of those days I spent most of the time eating cereal that my grandmother brought in little bags or drawing on the attendance cards. I also went to Sunday School whilst my parents attended Bible Study. At this point I was commited to following the Lutheran faith, or as much as a child can be As I got older I started to pay attention to what was going on and the messages that were being delivered. Now Lutheran isn’t as apocalyptic as some of the other Christian branches, but there is still the whole, “follow God or go to Hell” mantra. What finally led me to “leave the Church” was moving away with my mother, going to a small public country school, and not attending church every Sunday. I was able to take a breath and focus on being a teenager and becoming an adult.
I came to the worlds of paganism while trolling the section of book at my local Border’s that is usually way in the back, the Metaphysical Section. Cue the ethereal music. I had looked at the book in these sections before but always under the radar when my family wasn’t looking or I was alone. But that day was different. I made a point of going there, of taking my time and finding a book to buy. I found the “Grimoire for the Apprentice Wizard” by Oberon Zell-Ravenheart, or it found me, I am not clear on that part. I bought it that day and began reading as soon as I got home. The more I read the more I realized that this is what I was missing all those long Sundays while sitting in the huge church on hard wood pews. I immediately made the ‘commitment’ to follow Oberon’s teachings and set out to gather what I needed.
With my path clear, or so I thought, I set up an altar. I read more and learned more. The more I read, the more the Ah-Ha moments came around. Things resonated with me. But there was, and still is this little bit of what was that sits at the back of the room and pokes me with a stick. I ignored it and continued on with my reading. I eventually joined the online school attached to the book and began studies there. While it was fun it ended up not being the right thing and the first fork appeared on the path.
A rather lengthy and thought provoking discussion with a soon to be dear friend prompted me to rethink my commitment to my path and where I was going. Yes, part of it was whether I was truly following the correct path. I had my doubts, I will admit that. The thing in the back with the stick again. I didn’t know what the the ‘thing’ was at first then I realized it was a part of my past. My past as a Christian was still there and it wasn’t going to be silent. Of course I chose to ignore it and move on with what I wanted to do. I began to read more books on paganism and found that the path I choose is of my own creation. I get to choose where I go and how. Yep another ah-ha moment. I was ‘solitary’ for quite a while but felt that I was missing something. I soon realized what that was…a coven. I came to the coven I am with now through a friend. Of course they took me in with open arms. I finally felt…well, right. I progressed through the teaching of my Year and A Day and dedicated myself to the path, the craft, the coven, and the goddess. But guess what, I again felt the poking of the stick in my back.
Renouncing my past religion never really crossed my mind until now. Am I ready to do that? Will I loose something of myself by doing so? How will I feel once I do it? Will I feel lighter, more at peace, more focused? How do I do it? Will it help remove the constant nagging of the thing with the stick? These questions need to be answered I believe.
I have had some blocks on my path before. I believed them to be one specific thing but maybe they have been my past religious commitment rising up.
So I am going to think about this, I am going to meditate, and I am going pose questions to my coven, my friends in the craft and my deities.
I am committed to my Pagan Path and The Crossroads that I may come upon, but I need to make it the only commitment where my faith is concerned.