Sunday, September 11, 2005

I Know You're Reading This

I have a lot of opinions and very little time to share them, so I feel this will be the best place to unload all of the excess and see if anyone out there feels like commenting (or condemning) any of my little opinions on the world at large. I live in a small town and it is closed-minded about such topics as religious beliefs, so I hope to post some opinion on that subject from time to time. I read a bumper sticker not too long ago that gave me inspiration for my first blog. Don't judge someone until you walk a mile in their shoes, that way you'll be a mile away...... and wearing their shoes. Too often, we sit in judgement of others, while our own lives could use some organization and improvement, but alas, it is human nature to do that in some respect. You're a liar if you deny it. Everyone does it, like going to the bathroom, so don't send me replies letting me know how pristine and perfect you are.
I am a practicing Wiccan, going on two years, and while I don't proclaim to know everything there is to know about what witches do, I do know what I don't believe in. I don't believe in harming others, I don't murder, maim or physically damage any one, I don't harm children or animals, and I don't worship Satan, or any other entity with harmful or vengeful traits. I don't focus on tearing down Christianity or seek to destroy property or cast spells to bind others to my will. I don't have anything to do with blood, carcasses or calling upon any dark forces to do my bidding. I am a Harry Potter fan, but I don't believe that there is going to be any magic coming out of my wand anytime soon, nor do I believe I can fly or change anyone into a toad.
It is almost to the point of annoyance that I have to go out of my way to say all of that in the first place, but having spent the last two years being told what I believe by a couple of people and anyone in particular who hears the word "witch" gets to be tiresome, especially when I go throught the trouble of explaining it, only to be told that I am mistaken and that is not really what witches believe and do. It took almost a year of study and book collecting to come to the decision of calling myself a witch, and almost another year of actually embracing it and being forthright about my particular views. Most of my family could really care less, except for the occasional teasing, and I am ok with that. As I learn and develop my philosophy on life and the meaning and purpose of it all, I hope to post my evolving thought process and maybe check out a few other blogs here.
A word of warning here:
I am a former member of the Mormon Church and I have lots of strong opinions regarding that belief system which I will probably post. I know I titled this first blog Judge not, but I feel that being personally involved in a situation leaves you able to judge if it is good or not good. I have definite opinions on that. I don't want to be condemned for my beliefs by those who have no position to judge from, having never lived it. If you are a Mormon and you want to challenge me, go right ahead, I know myself enough to respond. If you want to ask questions on what it is like to be a witch, I feel I can respond as well. I am not here to tear down Muslims, Jews or Christians. I can only judge from my own experiences, as limited as those are.
Please don't spend time telling me I am going to Hell. I am not afraid of a place I don't believe exists and I don't obey or worship an entity that Christianity made up in order to control the masses and get them to fall in line. I don't embrace a belief system based on fear of the boogeyman.
What I do believe in:
I am all about balance, in work, play and life. I practice meditation, candle burning rituals, and I have two altars in my home with spiritual items I use in my practice. I have collected over 70 books on the various paths in Wicca, and I specialize in the study of crystals and stones for their metaphysical properties. I embrace this path because it doesn't involve going to church and submitting to a patriarchal authority, such as a pope or minister. I have symbolic representations of the dual nature of deity, a Goddess and a God. I believe in the masculine and feminine divine in all things. I follow the Wiccan Rede, "An ye harm none, do what thou will." I am also a big believer in Karma, or the Law of Three. Whatever energy you send out to the world to cause change will come back to you three fold. This means negative sends back three times negative and positive brings back to you three times positive. My life is difficult enough without burdening myself with bad Karma by trying to bind someone else's free will. No love spells, no wishing harm spells, no curses, just me and the deities trying to work together to make a positive change and bring about some useful Karma.
If you met me on the street, the first thing you might notice is my jewelry. I wear three significant pieces that have brought alot of comments from the world at large. I wear a small cage with two stones in it, one is a hematite and the other is howlite. These are my yin/yang balancers and I wear them nearly round the clock. The second one is a triquetra on a disc of hematite, this was actually the first piece I ever bought when I decided to study witchcraft. The newest piece is a pentagram, about the size of a quarter. Strange things happen when you wear a pentagram in a town with 30 churches for 5,000 people. I don't seem to get overly crowded at major events, I always have a path to walk in and room to sit in the stands, or in meetings with the band parents. I have a bumper sticker that reads, Freedom of Religion means ANY Religion. I don't stand on a street corner condemning the Catholics after they attend Mass, and I don't scream obscenities at the Baptists when they meet at their Vacation Bible School, so I just hope to be left to practice my beliefs in my own quiet way, without missionaries knocking at my door trying to save me from an imaginary fire pit when I die. It seems to me that they spend so much of their life being afraid of hell that they don't get the chance to know their god in a personal way. I choose to think of deity as someone you can relate to in a less submissive way, not as a child to a parent, but more as a co-worker, a team player, someone with more knowledge and insight than you will ever have that you can call upon to help you out with your problems and solve them together. I guess I don't really worship deity so much as I acknowlege deity having a purpose in my life and inviting them in to my home to teach me the ancient ways and discover the inner deity in me. I believe all humans have this power if they choose to tap into that energy and use the natural magic in and around them to make their lives better. This is the purpose of our lives, discovering how to use this power for good and take our knowledge with us when we pass on into other realms. I don't have the answers to what happens when we die, or where did we come from. I live in the present and let the future worry about itself. I tend to believe in the principals of reincarnation, but I also think it's a random thing, and all by chance. I can't imagine wanting to live a life of extreme poverty and hardship, so I am more or less convinced that alot of what happens is by chance. There are plenty of things you can do to steer the course of your life and make the best out of your circumstances, but no witch can make themselves wealthy or there would be no point in lotteries. No witch can seek to gain riches and wealth at the expense of others, for that would interfere with the natural order of things. Witches need to work just as much as anyone else in the world to make their honest living and keep the laws of the land where they live. Spellwork is used to make problems more manageable, not dissolve them completely from existence, otherwise what would we ever learn? I use magic to help shape my destiny and my path, but I know that I cannot wipe out all misery, all pain, or all poverty. All I can do is focus my intention and make things happen for the better, bring about peace and prosperity through physical work as well as magical work. One cannot happen without the other.
I can't understand waiting for your god to come and save you just because you pray for it. If you aren't willing to do everything you can to get yourself out of trouble, why should your god come and pluck you out of it? Bring about change in your life gradually, learn the lessons you have to learn, and get the assistance you need when you call upon it, but don't sit around and expect your god to do it all for you. I meditate daily and I invite the deities to assist me with my magic, I don't expect them to work miracles for me. I know that the power of thought goes along way, and I know that the natural power within me to affect change is all I need to make it through this path. The deities are here to assist me, but are otherwise not intimately concerned with every single minute detail of my life. I can handle alot on my own. I don't go to church and pay a minister to tell me why god is going to send me to hell because I am a failure and I needed a human sacrifice in order to be saved from myself. I don't buy into that whole fear based notion of a vengeful god of justice. I am not motivated by fear of what will happen if I don't obey and adhere to the commandments of the Hebrew god. I can be a good person, I can do good for my fellow human being, I can be a productive member of society without all that bible bashing.
In this little town, I am surrounded by folks who look upon me as a "lost soul" and in need of saving. Saved from what? The only folks I need to be saved from are the "true believers". Everyone else lets me believe whatever I want, so long as I am not hurting anyone. I don't think Christians are stupid people for believing in Jesus and God. Lots of them need to have that belief in order to put the rest of the world into focus. I don't condemn anyone who believes that Satan is around every corner looking to trip them up and get them to sin. I just don't need to believe in that to remain a good person. I can keep from harming myself or others without being afraid of hell, because I believe in good Karma and bad Karma. I want all the good Karma I can get. You get what you put into this life, so what do I have to lose by being a good person?
Well, that's it for my rant. I suppose you fell asleep halfway through and that's ok. I don't expect to change the world through a few paragraphs but if anyone who reads this thinks they have a convincing arguement then by all means, let 'er rip tater chip. I didn't get to this point by following the flock and I'm not about to start now.