Saturday, September 15, 2007

First meeting with another Pagan...

Witches Weekly Question

I was born in an ordinary Finnish family, where the parallel reality was recognized - my mother's family had their encounters with the unusual and extraordinary - seeing true dreams and passed spirits etc. My mother is a Xian and my father... I don't know about his religious or philosophical views, but I suppose he's quite agnostic humanist... The religion was not discussed in my family, but it was available. I read my older siblings religion books with Bible stories told for children. Growing up all I knew was Xianity. Finland is an evangelical Lutheran country.

I loved fairytales, so I read the Greek myths already when very young - 8-10 I suppose - and was introduced to the Greek polytheist world view. At that point I didn't understood that it's a valid religion just as well as Xianity. I read other myths as well, and was thus introduced to pantheism and animism too.

When I was a teenager I tried hard to fit into the Xian world, but it didn't do me anything. I suppose that - using the Xian terminology - the Holy Spirit never thought of collecting me >:->
So I decided I was an atheist. There really was only those two options; if one believed in God, one was Xian, if one wasn't Xian, one didn't believe in God. I knew I wasn't Xian, so I had to be Atheist LOL (Why the big laughter? Because I'm the most theistic person I know :-D)

I was confirmed - as all christened children in Finland - but... It was just a way for me to be social with other teens. Some time after that I decided I was Pantheist and Animist. I thought it was a nice way of seeing things. Still I hadn't met anyone I knew to share my ideas, attitudes and philosophies.

All this time I was reading fantasy books - a natural conclusion from fairy tales;-) - and I so wanted to be a witch. I started studying divination, herbs, magic, what I could get my hands on... in the 70's and 80's there really wasn't ANYTHING about that subject in Finland. My sisters gave me a book "Witch's Handbook" by Dannie Druehyld at that time, and even though it was in Swedish - and I wasn't too good at it then - I swallowed the book whole... it was the first time I found out that there ARE witches abroad... There are people who think very much the same as I do, and have it as their religion!

It was only about 10 years later, when someone mentioned Wicca. I had a small witch circle, and the other two girls were talking about a film they'd seen and wondering what Wicca was. I went on line and searched for information and decided that that was what I was :-) (Wrong again...)
I printed out all the information I could get, and my husband supported me in this - he made me an altar to be used in rituals and bought me some books he had read in his past he thought I'd like etc. I tried to be as Wiccan as I could, and did it for a couple of years.

Some other friends of mine were witches as well, but there never were any discussions about the issues - there never were true circles or sabbaths, never rituals together, never any common spell casting or sharing of experiences and tips... That is something I miss.

2004 I joined Care2, and there I'd say I met the first true Pagans I have had discussions about these things. It was there I realized that I wasn't Wiccan, "just" a Pagan witch. I was over 30 at that time, and self-taught, eclectic, and very much sure of my position in the spiritual world. I also met some very lovely communities in both Delphi Forums and Yahoo! Groups. Lovely people :-)

I enjoy the feeling of not being alone, not being some insane weirdo... My true confirmation happened in these discussion groups. Even though my resources were extremely limited - Goddess' really didn't have much to guide me with ;-) - I have arrived to the same conclusions and insights so many other people on this planet. I would say I am appreciated in the Pagan community that knows me, even though I'm "just" a self-taught "no-body" :-)



Caroline Tully said...

Well I wouldn't call you a "nobody". This whole "Pagan fame" thing is just a mimicking of (as Americal Witch, Macha NightMare calls it) the *over-culture*. I think it is pathetic how Pagans I know go gaa-gaa over a "Pagan celebrity"... I don't think Paganism should be about worshipping others, its about becoming amazing yourself, and how can you do that while panting after BNPs? (Big name Pagans). Not that I'm saying you're doing that, coz you're not, but don't say you're a "nobody" - because obviously you are not!


Caroline Tully said...

Me again, hope my tone came across as I intended. Its just that I've just returned from a large Pagan gathering and noticed hierarchy is as evident as it always was - since I've been a Witch. Just because someone is a Big Name Pagan doesn't mean that everything they do or have ever done is always amazing - or right! I'm just interested in how *in thrall* Pagans are to the media - to those who appear in the media (as if the media is actually some sort of trustworthy conveyer of truths) - its exactly the same in he non-Pagan world,... I do it myself... it's got something to do with the hope that fame = interesting-ness ... but does it?