I have been a practising pagan for many years. I knew as a child that I was attracted to an 'alternate' way of looking at life the universe and everything, from the one I was pushed towards by family and school although I didn't know it was paganism then. I soaked up the interesting books - Susan coopers series including the dark is rising and the greenwitch, the hobbit and lord of the rings, And tv dramas of the 1970s - the owl service, the tomorrow people, the changes, the witches and the grinny grog, star trek, and Dr who amongst many others. They spoke of something 'unknown' and mysterious.
I felt 'different' then. I even thought I might be an alien changeling. Left on earth to experience something. I spent many an evening in my room in some kind of meditation sending out a silent telepathic plea for whoever had left me here to come back and take me home!
I never felt i was in the right family - i had 2 brothers that really weren't interested in me. My parents were more pro boys than girls and my dad often ventured the opinion that he wanted me to find a nice banker or accountant to 'look after me'. So when I showed an interest in wanting to act for a career I didn't get much support. I suppose that's why in the end after years of working towards this, I finally caved in and married the first man to show interest in me.
And so once I had my own space and started the busy time of kids and family, I began to remember my feelings about nature, magic and the mysterious. I began to explore my spiritual side, and that's when doors opened allowing me to train in all kinds of magical trainings, wicca, ceremonial magic, shamanism and so on.
It has been a time I treasure and has given me so much. It was needed as something that helped me understand myself more and how I worked out how life 'worked'. My meaning of Life.
And recently I have been exploring how I came to be this person. How the disinterest and conditional love from my parents and family brought me to this place and the person I developed into. Through some very personal painful experiences this year, I have found myself in a place where I am having good supportive counselling. Learning to deal with things I have shelved for so long. Memories that I gave so little import to in order to be able to cope with them have surfaced and demanded my attention and that I deal with them.
Its an ongoing process. I am not near the end of this particular journey, but I have come to some cross roads and after a pause am deciding which direction and path to take next.
The major decisions that have arisen from this are as follows;
I have for many years done things because I thought I had to always put other peoples needs and wants before my own. That's not to say Ive never done anything for me. But I have often carried on doing some things feeling I was letting others down if I didn't carry on. Relationships that have gone past their sell by date have continued. I haven't paid attention to my own needs which has come greatly (I think) from my early childhood experiences that meant I needed to earn the love of my parents and would have this taken away if I was naughty or embarrassed them as a way to control my behaviour.
So I intend to choose when and if I want to walk away from something by going by my own feelings of what I feel I want rather than what others want me to do. Or feel I should do. Or indicate I am being selfish or nonspiritual by doing what I want.
One of the main things that has changed over the years is my spiritual path and journey. I still believe I am a pagan. I still love the Earth, nature and firmly believe it has a consciousness of its own. It is a living breathing organism that I feel part and parcel of.
However, my expression of this has changed significantly I feel. I was trained in Wicca. I was part of the Goddess movement. I have worked with various different kinds of magical work. I don't look on magic as something paranormal now. I remember the phrase - magic is the art of changing consciousness in accordance with my will. This is not about mystically changing things around me. This is about changing me - and therefore changing how I relate to others or how I relate to their relating to me. So much of magic has become a kind of psychology for me now rather than mystical.
I don't now believe in Gods and Goddesses as separate beings. I see this as archetypal now. Aspects of myself and of nature. I still think there is a loving living intelligence in the Universe but don't give it a personality and believe it is part of me as I am part of it and them.
And so this will affect my spiritual practise. I don't pray outside of myself. I look within. I enjoy celebrating seasonal times and friendships sometimes and other times I don't need to. I have decided I can no longer facilitate groups, courses, training or circles for other people as I cant actually teach them something that doesn't hold true for me any more.
I no longer run a coven.
I have enjoyed writing this blog and the previous ones. I don't know if I shall write more but for now I have decided to take time away from it. To anyone who has enjoyed reading it - thank you for being an audience and maybe one day we'll meet up again.