I am a spiritual person, and my faith is important to me. Here’s the catch though: I am Pagan, and I am a witch. This can be a potential source of skepticism, questioning, raised eyebrows, even scorn and hostility. Fortunately I have not yet been on the receiving end of anything dramatic, but I have heard enough from the experiences of fellow Pagans. As a result I have not been too vocal about my faith.
So, what is my faith? Paganism is quite a broad term, and encompasses many different paths, old and new, from many different cultures. Pagans may follow an old tradition (such as Heathenism or the Hellenistic faith), a neo-Pagan religion (such as Wicca) or may have their own path, built from research and experience, that likely shares some common elements with some traditions but is very personal.
In my case, it is the third option, I had started researching into different paths when my spirituality awakened in my pre-teen years. I definitely knew that I was going to be a witch, I kind of knew that all my life. Eventually I realised I did not have to find a set of beliefs that was already written. I simply had to look around and put into coherent thoughts what I could already see, hear, feel… and so my faith was formed.
The basics are as follows: I believe in the Divine, but as a plural. I believe there is a Mother Goddess and a Father God at the source of all, a Yin-Yang like duality/unity. I also believe there are many sub-aspects of the Divine that show themselves as “specialised” Gods, with more distinct personality, capability, ect. but not all-encompassing anymore. There are also spiritual beings created and sent by the divine: messengers, guardians, guides… they do not have a self-interest or ego, but simply act to fulfill their missions. Finally I believe in a Divine Energy that flows from the source out into the all, through everything there is. This is the spark of life, material of the soul, and also the source of magic. Imagine the universe as a computer and the energy as electricity, if you will. This “electricity” can be sensed and tapped into by anyone, although it may take some practice.
I do not remember telling the above explanation to anyone before. Although I love to talk about spirituality with certain people, I always catch myself toning down my faith in these discussions, and taking very objective and hypothetical standpoints. I don’t remember ever directly denying anything, but I know I am guilty of stalling and changing topics. Some time ago, when I was first discovering my spirituality and I did try to share it with people, I could feel tension building. It may or may not have just been my at that time very sensitive self-consciousness… As I said before, nothing dramatic happened. But I felt unconfortable, and as a result kept more and more quiet about it.
Now I am quite a few years down the path, yet there is nobody who knows much about it. The family knows about my witchcraft, but not the faith behind it. A more extended circle knows about a select few parts of my witchcraft, mainly my divination. But that’s it.
Today I have decided, although it was already circling my mind for a while, that this cannot continue. I am Pagan, and I am a witch, and this is a big part of my identity. It has influence on how I think, act, and respond to the world. Yet I have not even opened myself to the circle of people closest to me. I am always very distant to the “general crowd”, and am a chameleon on the surface. But there are people who I care about and do not wish to hide from. As for the “general crowd”, I do not wish to advertise to them nor preach to them, but if someone spots my pentagram, or just asks me in general, I will no longer dodge it. I am fortunate to live in a part of the world where my faith is not persecuted with a death penalty or something. I have nothing to fear, and who knows where a bit of honesty and openness may lead.
Is my Paganism showing? You bet it is.
kitty hugs to all~