I have been doing some thinking. For many years, I was a practicing Traditional Witch. For many more years however I have not been practicing, and there is not a lot of me now that even identifies as Pagan any more.
Not to say I dislike it – far from it and I take the main principles in my heart but I just feel like I’ve naturally moved on in my mind to something new.
I was brought up without a religion; my mother gave me the choice to make my own decision free of stigma and for that I’m incredibly grateful, because it’s given me a blank slate to build on.
My spiritual journey began with my friend Hannah – at this time, she was a joyous Christian and was full of love for those around her, and I expect she still is. Inspired by her passion, for a while I identified as Christian. I studied the bible and was mildly terrified by Leviticus and its fondness for stoning, and disconnected a little. I attended Catholic church, C of E, and Evangelical and of all the above I think I liked Evangelical the most for its warm and welcoming demeanor but I still didn’t fully connect.
The day I turned off to Christianity was the day at Christian Union it was explained to me that it is OK to be homosexual, just not to act on it. As a young girl with a confused sexuality that would later be defined as bisexual, I decided this wasn’t for me.
My love of nature, magic, crystals and my principles of harming no-one lent themselves nicely to Paganism, and indeed this is something I can say I truly have resonated with.
I joined a coven when I went to university and frankly, start to finish I loved it, the girls and my Priestess. But, on moving away and leaving weekly practice, becoming a solitary witch I lost momentum. Without the coven my path dissolved. I no longer identified as a Traditional Witch, and became Eclectic, taking pieces I connected with from different paths, but still identified as Pagan.
This worked for a while, but recently I have answered the call of something I’ve connected with most for years but had never considered. I found that ultimately, I was taking more and more of my principles from Buddhism and its teachings that Paganism was taking a back seat altogether, I had stopped casting spells and instead meditated on my intentions, and most of my values could be transferred between the two. The fact that Buddha existed sets this apart for me; as a real person I can learn from.
For anyone that ever watched the Simpsons, I have had a Lisa Simpson-esque epiphany and wish to tell the world what she did.
“I am a Buddhist”.
I think I found my true spiritual home but I have a lot to learn. Wish me luck on my new journey.
Om shanti – Peace be with you.