I used to think that being a minority was a bad thing; I also used to hate my hair, and my dark skin. I used to think that it was annoying when people made squinty eyes at me, just because I was one of the two Asian girls at my entire school. After some time,I finally found a faith that I believed in whole-heartedly, a faith that didn’t turn its back on me–something that the world did all the time. After that, my squinty eyes didn’t seem so bad. Being a Pagan or Wiccan (depending on which term your prefer) in a world full of ignorance is kind of like being pregnant–it can only get worse before it gets better. People have a lot of terrible misconceptions about Pagans. One would think that middle school kids wouldn’t care enough about Pagans to slam their lockers shut and call you “Witch” running down the hall; but one needs to remember that middle school is said to be the most horrific time in a young person’s life.
It took me years to really understand that Paganism, which is honestly a harmless, nature-based religion, is not widely accepted. It took me even longer to understand that Christianity is such a prevalent religion in the United States that people are still anti-semitic for no real reason. About a month ago, a kid who was my age pointed at the pentacle around my neck, shouted ”Satan”, and ran away like wildfire was streaming from my nostrils. The only plus side to that incident was the checkout line at the Fry’s was pretty much cleared.
The Old Faith
Paganism is known as the Old Faith because it dates back to pre-Christian times. It celebrates the Earth, the seasons, the duality of nature, and the cycle of life. We dopractice magick which is different than what’s on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and spells and potions, but it’s not the evil stuff, nor is it the Harry Potter or The Craft stuff you read about or see on TV. This is fiction. The long and short of magick and spells is that its prayer–prayer to the God and Goddess, to the earth, and to the voices beyond the Veil. Like Christianity, Paganism has many sects of faith. We have the Dianics, Druids, Eclectics, Pow-wows, Gardenarians, Wiccans and more. I, myself, am a Wiccan. But I wasn’t always a Wiccan; I was raised a Catholic.
I’ve always heard voices in the wind. I’ve always felt that God was a woman. I’ve always felt that everything was connected, and that there was still room for the darkness in life as there was light. As human beings, we are whole. We’re not just all happy all the time; there are dark sides to our personalities, and we need to embrace that rather than cover it up and sweep it under a rug. It’s not a sin to feel anger or lust or pride. The only sin is to do harm–harm to other people, and harm to yourself. And that’s the Rede of Wicca, ended thusly.
“And these eight words the Rede fulfill,
And harm ye none, do what ye will.”
If you think about it, that’s much harder to follow along than the ten commandments, which should be basic rules for living as well.
I’m not saying that Wicca or Paganism is the absolute RIGHT way. In fact, it’s against Paganism to pass judgment or hate upon others who do not follow our faith, or even those that knowingly do harm against us. I’m also not saying that Christianity is doing more evil than good–I would never say that. The only thing I’m saying is that we should all get to live in peace, as nature and Gaia intended.