How many times have you been told, pray about it? How many times have you been told by your conservative Christian family that what you are doing is consorting with Demons? There are many different subjects that can be traced back to the oppression by religion and narrow minds. Happy Beltane!
I grew up going to church, I remember multiple times when “demons were exorcised” and illness was prayed away. I remember my demon being prayed away… or so they thought. The problem with growing up in a Pentecostal church was being told that everything was evil. My absolute favorite was hearing how evil Pokemon was. Cartoons, comic books, movies, all bad unless -. I gave away my Ultrafleer Marvel Cards, my X-men comics and other little things so I could be closer to God.
I memorized the Bible pretty well, mostly in spanish. I would read it daily, listen to Christian radio station in English, hear radio programs like unshackled, berate people for not going to church on Sundays, and allow my narrow mind to judge many people. I had no idea…. at 11 years old i got my first glimpse of paganism, my 6th grade teacher spoke so passionately about the Greek Pantheon and myths that I became intrigued. I even wrote a short story that ended up in the school book of stories by students.
I didn’t know I was bipolar, I was misdiagnosed with depression. In middle school I saw a counselor once a month. I was troubled, I was poor, and most of all I felt like I had the world on my shoulders. I had to go to a counselor in high school, and being poor they wanted to test paxil on me. I didn’t take it.
My first spell was between 14-15, it was very simple, and it worked so well I still to this date wonder if I cursed myself instead.
As I got older I experienced fear that my beliefs were wrong. Many people were blaming God for their problems, I had an extreme hatred for the Catholic Church, I was afraid of homosexual people. I thought my church was right, I was living in poverty, with a holier then thou attitude and all the knowledge pointing elsewhere.
As I write about this experience, I look back at how much life I have loved and how much more there is to live. I was so closed-minded that when I jumped into witchcraft and paganism and spells, my transition took years of selfloathing and prayers for forgiveness.
Here’s the problem with my former faith, there was a lot of praying the illness away, and while it does help, (there’s been scientific research on the subject), it does not heal. Miracles happens, spells work, prayer works, but it is a smaller percentage then winning the lottery.
I am Bipolar, when I was misdiagnosed with depression I would pray it would go away, when a close relative would have schizophrenic episodes I prayed they would heal. The schizophernia is still there, the bipolar is still there. I accept that I have a mental illness, but I also accept that paganism helps me live a fuller life. I don’t go around cursing or doing rituals, in fact I rarely talk about my daily practices, because it is mine. My intuition and my path is my own, while I participate in the community sometimes, I keep to myself what magic I use. I was in a given with an abusive leader. As a Christian I was in a church where men where always in charge and women were always subservient. I am blunt, I speak what I see, all while trying to keep myself healthy.
I love being a pagan. I live my Christian family. I do not condone any religion, only the hatred that can form from it. My older sister won’t listen to any station but the Spanish Christian station. One of my aunt’s gifted me a a framed bible verse for my wedding. I did not argue, I do what is best for them. I accepted the gift and have it displayed. I respect my older sister and either use earphones or just listen to her station.
It was easier to tell my mom that I was a witch then it was to tell her I was marrying a women. The marriage never happened. I have no qualms about talking about my beliefs. But I don’t mind staying quiet either. My respect for others diminish when they attack me or my beliefs. My illness is something that scares me often, but it keeps me in an area where I can see more on both sides of many issues. I can understand more of life.
Blessed Be. Peace