Part of this blog is to share how I came to Wicca. In some ways I think I had some good training within two different religions. Two religions I don't reject now, but gave me a basis to start. For a while I was trying to blend them and I was quite open about it . . . even while working in a church! That got me some funny looks!
I grew up as a Roman Catholic in a very Italian neighbourhood . . . although I'm not Italian. In Catholic school we were taught "Christian values" --most of which I think are quite good, however, I didn't always see people or the Bible living up to those standards. I didn't understand the male God in the bible that would punish people or test them by asking them to kill their son for his glory!! When it came to grade 8 in school, I was asked to confirm my religion in ceremony. I said, "no". I told them that I didn't understand Christianity well enough to confirm my faith in it. I wanted to explore it further. I was the only student that didn't and I'm quite proud of myself for that. The priest didn't like me very much for it but my parents supported me and my teacher told me that God was everywhere and I should go out and explore it for myself. Great teacher!
When I was in my 20s I discovered Buddhism. I learned meditation on my own and studied Buddhist philosophy and tried to incorporate it into my life. I found some aspects of it difficult but I liked the intellectual challenge. I took some classes at a Zen temple but I don't think the Zen master liked me asking questions when I was just supposed to follow. I'm not very good at that. I loved that Buddhists look inward to themselves for answers . . . and I knew I could feel the presence of God in my meditations. That was clear to me for the first time! . . . and to make it clear, I felt God as energy and it was not separate from my own being . . . which was even a more exciting discovery but I don't think that the other Buddhists really liked that way of thinking but they didn't really judge me.
So, then I was combining the two religions and doing it quite openly calling myself a Buddhist-Christian. The two don't clash in my mind. I love that one is very introspective while the other preaches charity and reaching out to others. In my mind it was a nice balance but it wasn't completely working for me. While I might have been on my path to nirvana, I still hadn't found Jesus (I even looked under the couch!) While I thought Jesus was a cool rebel, I didn't really relate to him or want to worship him . . . and I certainly didn't understand or appreciate the whole Trinity thing!
I was also missing a really big key component . . . THE FEMININE DIVINE! I would refer to God as "She" in protestant churches and people would freak out. Well, not all of them but quite a few did and they made a really big deal out of it. I also discovered, while attending a Anglo-Catholic Church that missed my old Catholic prayers to Mary. Those were important to me.
I'm leaving out some key components but they are stories onto themselves which I will tell later. But essentially, I slowly fell into Wiccanism as it just seemed so logical! I held certain beliefs and values but I didn't know where they fit--not that I felt I needed a label for my faith. My mother always joked about being a witch and had visions . . . so it was never a taboo subject and she's very supportive now. The big turning point was when I figured out that I was an empath. I can physically feel people's auras! Once I realized how much that had been affecting me all my life and not understanding my moods (which weren't mine) I started researching ways to rectify this. A lot of my research brought me to Wicca . . . and as I researched it something suddenly clicked in my head, "Oh, this is it!"