Origins part 2, Age of Discovery: Wicca & Paganism

“When I’m praying, what actually is happening? How does it work? I pray to God and God answers. Yes, but how? What is the explanation of how it works?”

After my CCD exam fallout, part of my questioning led me to these questions. I felt if I could gain better understanding of how this all worked, I could better determine if I should continue to pray and perhaps, refine the way I prayed so it would be more efficient. That is, I wondered why if I prayed for something, sometimes it didn’t come true. Yet, at other times I prayed and eventually something good would happen. What was right? What how could I know? The simple explanations learned in my religious education classes didn’t seem to be enough for me. That led me to seek for more.

In 1990, there was no internet. There were no cell phones. It wasn’t easy to find out information about anything aside from Encyclopedia Britannica being sold periodically by door to door salesmen to make parents feel good about having volumes of information available to do well on school papers. The best for me was the New Age section of Walden Books. In the early 90s, it was a few shelves with a few books, but it was enough to peek my curiosity and felt much better than the overall religion section which consisted mostly of various versions of bibles I didn’t need nor have the interest in reading anymore.

Over time, I read parts from books such as Buckland’s Book of Witchcraft, Living Wicca Positive Magic and Laurie Cabot’s Power of the Witch. I began to discover the law of 3 fold, karma, the alternative to the golden rule: “Harm none, do what thou wilt,” and blessed be. I saw that having a God and a Goddess seemed more balanced than just having one God. I began acquiring athames, candles, incense, pentacles and other items to help put these concepts into practice. I began my path into witchcraft.

I began experimenting with creating rituals and working magick. I made sacred spaces and learned to conjure thought and “energy.” I directed it towards goals and a purpose. All of it felt so empowering and felt great. I finally felt like I was starting to understand how to work with “energy” and had a working framework, scientific in nature, that worked. I was losing my fear of being a victim trying to dodge eternal damnation. I was a person who had the power and knowledge to direct my own destiny.

I did as best I could within the limitations of my life at the time of which were too many to list here. In the early 90s the subject of witchcraft was mostly taboo. It was bad enough that playing Dungeons and Dragons was feared as of being the devils work and satanic. If you are known to practice of strange and unfamiliar rituals for magic as a wiccan, you might as well call yourself Satan and prepare to go to the psych ward because that’s the level of superstition that was around at the time. For example, A wiccan priestess I met along the path had the police called on her because her neighbor misinterpreted a peaceful Wiccan ritual as a satanic rite where she thought animals were being sacrificed and her children were being abused (all untrue). I believe she might have had her children taken away from her briefly, but I cannot recall exactly.

When I got to college, I ventured out to take a class, listen to a lecture, visit metaphysical stores and start building connections with others. I started to see the larger community emerging from the shadows and become stronger. I felt this was a good community to be connected to and would teach me a lot and advance my studies along with my official study in psychology.

Soon, the thought of praying became a distant memory and seemed so unfocused and and inefficient. Witchcraft would be my new tool of energetic precision. My new tool of understanding how to direct “prayers” better within a system to obtain things I wanted in life.

I started to wonder after awhile why the rest of the world did not adopt this way. If more of us were so focused to rituals directing energy at peaceful goals, couldn’t we resolve or put us on the path of resolving many of the worlds ills just by directing energy? Save the environment? Protect the innocent? Neutralize violence? Imagine thousands of people directing energy to find a cure for cancer. That would be amazing. Can’t we just mobilize others to do it? Why hasn’t this been thought of before? What forces are keeping this good energy from thriving?

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