From a young age, I’ve experienced vivid memories of past lives. Once, at age four, I led my mother to the spot where I said I had once died and described my former death and past life in detail. The memories and experiences have faded as I’ve grown older but I still have strong feelings of dejavu and occasionally memories that are very real but don’t fit into my life or history.
Feeling, Sensing, Seeing…Sensitivities
I’ve been an empath all my life. I was always told I was “overly sensitive” about people, interactions, feelings, physical things, etc. I’m sure that if it’d been “a thing” in the early-70’s someone would have diagnosed me with a sensory integration disorder. I’ve also experienced various super-natural phenomena (astral-projection, unexplained “happenings,” apparitions, etc.) on an ongoing basis. Sometimes in my life more often than others, but this has been a constant for me since I was a very small child.
Hunger for Information
In elementary school I was constantly reading everything I could get my hands on about the paranormal, all religions, spirituality, the New Age, the metaphysical, tarot, etc. ~and I was always in trouble with my mother for my beliefs, particularly when she caught me pretending to be a witch. At times I had small groups of friends I’d found with similar interests, and we would play witchcraft and create little covens. I always seemed to draw the attention of others who didn’t quite fit in, or were counter-culture in some way ~ and had similar experiences and held similar beliefs. Through my teens I always relished an opportunity to go to the public or (even better) the college library where I could spend hours reading what my mother called “satanic.’ I loved sneaking off to New Age bookstores and soaking up the vibe while learning as much as I could in the short amount of time I had.
My mother told me that Wicca’s appeal was really a trick that the “devil” was playing on me, trying to steal me away from God. To her, any form of Paganism was synonomous with Satanism. (She was wrong…most Pagans don’t even believe there is a devil…I don’t.) Instead of learning about these scary things that attracted me so that she could see where I was coming from, she decided she would beat it out of me by punishing and shaming me. She showed me the Amityville movies as well as The Exorcist when I was around ten and for many years I had an irrational fear of demons and evil spirits, and I believed they were after me because of my attraction to witchcraft, dragons, fairies, gargoyles and all the things my mother hated. I couldn’t sleep without a light on until I was in my 30’s. (Strange things still sometimes happen at night…but I’m certain there’s nothing demonic.)
I feel like I was born the way I am. My long-held beliefs and experiences are part of who I am today. I’m still learning , of course. There is so much to learn. I am constantly finding references to things I’ve felt, believed and have practiced all my life. It feels like I’ve found something I was meant to be a part of years ago, but rejected out of fear (mostly not my own).
Today, I am in my early-40’s, married for 20+ years, a mother to a handful of children, two of whom are grown/almost grown…and I’m finally not willing to go out of my way to hide anymore. I’m not sending out announcements or anything, but I’m not going to be dishonest about myself. I am the same sensitive, kind and gentle person I’ve always been and I think that people who know me realize that I’m just me. Of course, I don’t want to be judged negatively ~ I don’t judge others for their beliefs and hope that people will afford me the same courtesy. I have friends, family and acquaintances who are Catholic, Protestant, Mormon, Jewish…all levels of commitment, belief and involvement. Everyone is on her own path and if it’s not similar to mine, that’s none of my business!
I know people fear what they don’t know, so this is why it’s important to me to be open. Silver Ravenwolf states in her books that one things Wiccans *don’t* do is advertise their beliefs. I can see the wisdom in that to some extent, but I also feel like she’s saying we need to hide. I don’t feel like hiding anymore. One of the reasons I started my blog was so that people could see that Wiccans are just basic, everyday, normal people. 🙂
I’ve been asked several times recently, how becoming open about being Wiccan has affected my marriage and extended family. Honestly, I haven’t made any sort of formal announcement to extended family. I’m honestly not even sure if they’ve all made the connection or what they think if they have. I have always been the black sheep in my family, and my hubby in his, so nothing really phases us.
As far as my marriage goes, my husband is incredibly supportive. Much of what I’ve learned and shared just feels natural to him. He said that not much is different about our lives…that I’ve just finally settled on a label that matches the way I have lived all my life.