that time i came out of the broom closet...
The following was written in 2006...in another lifetime...back when I felt extreme pressure to explain my choices to others.
I was raised without religion (what a gift!), but made to convert to Catholicism at 16.
I tried to reconcile it with my soul for perhaps 6 years, during which time, I felt more and more dead inside.
I studied Catholicicm a lot, imagining that I just needed to learn more Catholic doctrine in order to still the disquiet I felt about ‘my’ religion. I started reading books that were considered “introduction to seminary school” - i.e., what they use to teach new Priests.
Finally - the illusions shattered - and I realised that my soul already KNEW spirituality, I just wasn’t sure it had a label.
I quit going to church and eventually realized that people who felt like I did called themselves Pagan.
My spirituality is nothing to fear or worry about.
It isn't dangerous, or something to protect yourself from, and yet--it's apparently very misunderstood by most people.
Let me be clear: I didn't "convert" to Paganism.
This is because Paganism isn't something that people convert to.
Pagans certainly don't try to proselytize or evangelize.
You "become" Pagan when you decide that the things you already believe and intuitively know/feel are reflected in a Pagan worldview--so then you use the word "Pagan" as a description of what you already are inside.
Paganism has no dogma--Pagans embrace spiritual diversity and don't want the whole world unified under any one religion or set of beliefs.
They recognize and appreciate that there is truth to be found in all religions.
Also, while other religions discourage free thought, Pagans believe it is their personal responsibility to develop their own ethical sense and individual consciences.
Pagans are empowered to find their own truths....which is what I have always intuitively known to be my calling.
"Some religions are a restaurant.
"You sit down and they bring you what they're serving for dinner.
"Paganism is a buffet.
"If you want to eat, you have to get up off your butt and serve yourself." --Dana Eilers