I’m sure this will come as no surprise to those who know me, but sure, I’ll start this one off. My conversion story.. First allow me to state that I am now a follower of Wicca, and that I hold no ill will toward any other religion, my personal experiences with those that I mention are my own and I do not hold them as indicative of the entire populace of said religions members.
So I am in NC, right here in the Bible Belt, raised by a loving Christian family. I was raised Baptist. Now when I say this allow me to clarify, women were to wear long skirts or dresses at all times, not speak out, church was a solemn and quiet experience. I just felt like I was missing something. I was ‘saved’ and baptized and doing what I could per the bible and the preacher, but it didn’t make sense. Bad things were happening to the most faithful of people. Every difficulty was answered with ‘you have not been faithful, pray about it.’ Even extreme situations where terrible things happened, when I approached my pastor for help I was called a sinner and told to have faith. I realized it sounded like a sales pitch. If you want happiness and don’t want to spend eternity in a pit of pain and darkness and evil then say these words and give us money and do what we say! I started looking elsewhere. My parents went to a Pentecostal church.
Now there was a change. People screaming and dancing and running laps around the church, jumping pews, all during service. I confess I never felt the ‘spirit move’ me as it seemed to the others, but then again I was in my early teens and I got to wear jeans to church now, and sometimes it was entertaining, like when the pastor was hit by a man in a motorized wheelchair mid service. I mean I kind of figured that God could coordinate his movement within people so that Mr. Johnny wouldn’t be making laps with his eyes closed when the pastor closed his eyes to pray. But then I suppose that was my early teenage logic and cynicism.
Then low and behold more bad things happen, and the church offers the same advice. ‘Be faithful.’ I begin asking questions, and I am shunned as a sinner for doubting. I honestly was just confused, some things didn’t make sense. So I continued looking.
I was found by someone who offered me refreshingly simple ideas. Balance, you get what you give, not in terms of money, but in terms of life. Of course bad things happen, otherwise you wouldn’t appreciate the good! This friend mentioned an attuning with nature, how it sustained us and we should respect it. How every single thing has a flow of energy within it. That all actions have consequences, and be careful what you put into the world, you will receive the same thing magnified. But as long as you aren’t hurting anyone, do what you will. Now this had my attention. This made sense. This told me I didn’t have to believe in things I couldn’t feel, rules that didn’t make sense. So I followed it, studied it and became a Pagan.
I later joined a group promising everything I wanted, family, friendship, acceptance, and increased knowledge. It turned out this was anything but what they claimed to be. These people claimed to be Pagan, like me, to have a desire to just be themselves and and be in balance with the universe but they seemed more interested in gossip and parties. This was heart-shattering. I had never before run into such a bump in the road to what felt fulfilling. I appreciated the experience but was disappointed. So I went solitary, just trying to learn on my own. Soon another mentor came, one who knew so much and was willing to help me any way possible. I studied with him, devoted to Wicca and find myself still learning to this day. Do I have any doubts I found the right religion for me? No. Just the same I know it won’t be the religion for everyone, but I like knowing Wicca is okay with that. I don’t feel the need to preach to anyone to join my cause, I feel they should find what fulfills them. Was it terrifying to risk the burning fires of hell to get to this? You have no idea. Then one day I just said I don’t want to live in constant fear of retribution from my God, maybe hell does exist, maybe I will go there. But I am not going to live in fear of something I don’t really think is there. Besides if it is, and God would send me there for doing what I felt was right, I figure me and God wouldn’t really get along anyway.
So I converted. I’ve learned a lot since then, and I’m still learning daily. I have never been happier and felt more fulfilled than I am now. No doubts, no regrets, just peace of mind.