I have made no secret of my journey to Paganism.
I am one of the lucky few who has not been met with fear and hostility in my choice.
Modern day witch hunts are a very real thing.
Even as a small child I loved nature.
I adored running through a grove of trees, smelling the wildflowers, and hearing the birds sing.
My mother used to jokingly call me “Snow White,” because I wanted to live in the woods with all the animals.
I was raised Christian.
I struggled to accept certain teachings, but tried my hardest to fit into their mold of “right.”
Now that I am responsible for 3 tiny souls, I needed to find something that better fit my beliefs.
Most Pagans will never say they were “converted” from another religion.
That isn’t how it works.
We don’t have missionaries.
We don’t advertise with passive-aggressive pamphlets.
You heart leads you to us.
You FIND Paganism.
At first I was worried about how much sharing was too much.
The majority of our friends and family are Christian.
Most Christians believe that Witchcraft is of the devil.
(fun fact: most of us don’t believe in a devil)
At what point would we stop getting invited to activities?
At what point would kids stop coming over for playdates?
Should I hide my beliefs?
Would it be better for everyone if I did?
Slowly, I opened up more and more.
At some point I decided that hiding was ridiculous.
Posting “Like if you love Jesus!” on Facebook was acceptable, but pictures of my kids and our family altar were not?
NONSENSE, I SAY.
My rituals are no different than their prayers.
My Gods are no different than their God.
My magic is no different than their miracles.
My grimoire is no different than their bible journals.
My pentacle is no different than their cross.
I became bitter and filled with rage.
Many of my brothers and sisters feel like they have to hide who they are.
Fear and ignorance force them to better blend into society.
Their employers, their neighbors, their friends, even their family might chose to shun them.
They believe something different.
For several long weeks, I struggled.
I specifically remember as part of my Christian upbringing that we were supposed to love everyone.
Not just those who did as we did, or thought as we thought, but every single person.
Eventually I had to accept that I could not control others.
I could not control how we were viewed by society.
I could be open.
I could let those around me see what we are really like.
I could let others see how I raised my little witches.
We could share our traditions and Sabbats with our friends.
Maybe, just maybe, I could bring a little more acceptance and love into the world.
It is generally accepted, though not a rule, that you are to study for a year and a day before preforming a self-dedication.
I reached that point last month.
Under the light of a beautiful full moon, I declared myself to my ancestors, nature, and Mother Earth.
I am a witch.
I chose my own path.
I am not afraid.