Studying psychology at Roger Williams University helped cultivate and deepen my knowledge about people. My education also heightened my awareness of inequality, oppression and harm inflicted on individuals by greater forces. Experience of Race, World Religions, Developmental Psychology, Abnormal Behavior, Counseling Theory all had roles in making it clear to me that we had institutions / beliefs that had roles in hurting others. With my newfound discoveries and ongoing work with witchcraft anger rose up within me to fight again oppression.
My views became polarized heavily against Christianity, perhaps because I finally was finding my voice and realized I was capable of using it or perhaps because I had suppressed so much in the past that this was the place and time for it to come out. I was certain that one of my reasons of being in the world was to bring about new thinking to attack the religious status quo similar to how a slave would rebel and fight against his or her master to be freed. Unfairness needed to be corrected. Damaging stereotypes needed to be confronted. The establishment needed to be over throne. Terrible things needed to be undone. Wrongs needed to be righted!
I involved myself further with events, advocacy and education groups. I was quoted as a Wiccan in my college news letter, I argued with religious fanatics, I deepened and a dug in my views as a Wiccan. Witchcraft, I felt, was a better, more authentic way of working with the universe.
I consider these to be some of my dark times as a Wiccan. The strength of my conviction was overbearing although I did not realize it at the time. As much as it caused conflicts and alienation, it drew me closer to many other positive connections to be made over time. Virtual signaling Wiccan or astrology gave me: 8 hour discussions with Courtney the astrologer, Beltaine with the Lance and the Grail one of the best times in my life, Lenny a great wiccan teacher, Summer Solstices with Tim, Richard the greatest astrology teacher ever, ADF, fellow Wiccans at Salem Samhein rituals, my dear friend Drogo and others. For that I am grateful for.
Over even more time, computer technology improved, the internet was created, there were more and more mentions of Wiccans and Witchcraft in shows and in pop culture. The intense urge to rise against oppressors started to wilt away as the 90s turned into the 2000s. I began to come out of my pagan fury and started to embrace a greater view of the world. What I did not realize is that this fight against oppressors distracted me from getting to the core of what I was driven to discover.
I started to see more similarities between Christianity and Paganism. Both used chalices. Both broke bread. Both burned incense. Both had public rituals with starts and ends. Historically, Christianity used a lot from the pagans. I started taking a look at Buddhist practices and meditation.
When I finally moved back to New England I spent some time reconnecting to Wiccan community again, but instead of becoming rejuvenated and inspired it started to become a series of disappointments. The exciting sense of discovery I held in my teens and early 20s was replaced by benign attendance at rituals and interactions with individuals that did not feel true to Witchcraft. I recall attending a public ritual for spring equinox where I sat down next to an individual who just got out of prison who was looking for somewhere to go for “good energy.” I went to a group where the pagans were not serious about the craft, but instead were using Wicca as a way to be “gothic.” One ritual I attended had a practitioner utilizing provocative, sexual-predator like language during it. So, after too many encounters like this I decided to abandon the Wiccan community and sought something else to embrace….