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" :-)