Though I was born into a Christian background my parents did not push me to follow any particular faith. What pressure I did experience came from school. Itís not that I went to a church school, but it was assumed that we were all good little Christians and were treated to daily prayers and lessons in scripture. In time I truly found myself walking a Christian path, praying to God and opening my heart to Jesus.
Unfortunately that God didn't come to me and as I moved through my senior school and was exposed to 'Religious Education' I tended towards Agnosticism. As I made my way through life after school, I turned my efforts back towards getting to know the Christian God. After over fifteen years of searching and praying I still failed to connect with Him. Despite my lack of success, or perhaps because of it, I continued to pray and maintain my faith until it became a crutch without which I was unable to do the simplest of things. A rather unhealthy situation all told.
Despite this I did not feel the need to question my faith, until one day when browsing through a bookshop I found myself holding a book on witchcraft with no recollection of picking it up. The book interested me, so I bought it and took it home. I read it from cover to cover several times and found that the way it described Divinity resonated with my pre-school attitude. I was determined to learn more and the next weekend I scoured my local bookshops and came home with a handful of other books. Thus I learnt that witchcraft was now called Wicca, that witches celebrated eight festivals and that all gods and all goddesses were aspects of the same male and female principle deities. I learnt that I needed certain tools and how to hold rituals. I was going to become a witch and set about getting things ready for my first ritual.
Luckily I had also picked up a book on paganism in general, and it told me that much of what I had read was, if not wrong, at least only partially true. I needed to learn more so I immersed myself in more books and when I got it, the Internet. I learnt much and while I was doing this research I found my expectations and understanding changing and with these changes came the evolution of both my belief and my path. I never did become a witch.
My first ritual had been crude but I had felt a connection with the Divine that I had never experienced in Christianity. For the first time I had felt a part of the universe, loved and important; whole. With later rituals I tried to incorporate what I had been learning, but the more I tried the less successful the ritual. Eventually I got the message; books can only offer facts, time and experience proffer wisdom. I stopped trying to do things by the books and instead listened to my heart and to that bit of the Divine within us all. As my rituals became simpler, my connection became stronger; I had found my path.
Over time I have come to my own understanding of the Divine and as my studies have progressed I have encountered a number of spiritual entities, developing relationships with some and never seeing others again. Of those I work with, I have the pleasure of a god and goddess plus a guide and guardian. With their help I have found strength within myself, and experienced a rebirth of my self-confidence.
I know that though my gods may offer guidance and support, my life and my achievements are mine alone. Just as I must accept and learn by my mistakes, so I must act and proceed by my own decisions.
I do not have all the answers for my path winds as it will, but the further I travel the more I learn.