Considering the amount of views and replies my last post on spell writing got, I've decided that I'm going to share advice on Pagan/witch topics that I've thought up over the last couple of years since I've stepped out of the infamous "Broom Closet". My goal is to create one new post per week, considering my work schedule. For this week, I'd like to begin a public discussion on when a newbie to Paganism/Witchcraft begins to question their former belief system.
Let me begin with a synopsis of my story. Since the age of four, I always had a deep-rooted interest in Witchcraft. For years I had a longing to understand it and to be a part of it. At age ten was when I read into my first Wicca book, but of course my family perceived this fascination to be rather strange and odd. As a child, I began to shut my interest away from those around me. As I got older, I began to learn what "real" Witchcraft was apart from Hollywood's portrayal of it. I finally felt peace and started to embrace my interest more. Of course, some personal things regarding my potential path occurred, and I was left alone to wonder. I was raised to be Christian. I began to realize that what I had been experimenting with for the majority of my life was against "the Lord's Word" and it went against everything I was taught. At seventeen, I sat alone and questioned my own faith. So, here is my advice to anybody who may be entering a similar state of mind...
There will be loads of confusion. If you are a teen who has just found the Craft but you were raised to believe differently, this post is dedicated to you because I was once there myself. Before you begin to try to answer if Paganism is right for you, you should first ask yourself these questions. You must be honest with your own answers.
1) What attracts you to the Craft? Is it the concept of magick? Is it a feeling of control over every life situation because you've learned how to cast spells? If yes to the second question, you may want to reconsider. Magick is not the solution to all of life's struggles. Ask yourself what attracts you to this lifestyle completely.
2) Are you becoming involved with Paganism and/or Witchcraft to feel different or to "stand out" against your peers? Or, is there a genuine connection you feel when you practice? If it's a longing to feel different from others, then this is not the way to feel different. Truly, everyone is different from everyone. Taking a spiritual path and wearing it like a badge to attract attention is offensive to those who do practice on a genuine level. Consider what your deeper intent is for walking this path.
Now that I've asked you the two major questions one should ask themselves regarding this situation, I'll move forward. If you've discovered you are in this for a possible shift of spiritual perception, you must objectively look at your "taught" belief system and face some questions regarding that. First, you need to look at your former belief system's core beliefs. For example, you must ask yourself if you fully comprehend what that belief system teaches or if you're just straying from it out of confusion. If you're confused on some of those beliefs, research it before you move further into Paganism. Talk with a religious figure. Open your holy book and ponder what it says for yourself. After you've done that, you can objectively look at Paganism and see why your beliefs have shifted from your last path. This process may take some time, but if you do realize that you don't believe in your former faith, you can proceed to make a decision on what to do regarding your new spiritual path. This is where it gets a bit more difficult...but you have two options. You can either choose to "come out" to your family and friends, or you can keep quiet about your beliefs until you find the time is right to be open with your loved ones about your spiritual transformation.
This post will extend too long if I continue, so I think I'll save the classic "Coming Out as Pagan" advice column for next week. Feel free to leave any questions or comments below. Thanks for reading my overly-written post. Blessed Be! :)