How I Realized the Main World Religions Weren’t For Me and I Am *Special*

Hi! Let me introduce myself. I am Lauren, and I believe in witchcraft. You all laugh, I know, but let me continue before you write me off completely. I identify as a Wiccan Witch, using elements from the Pagan religion of Wicca and elements from the spirituality and practices of modern witchcraft. 

Wicca is, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a religion influenced by pre-Christian beliefs and practices of western Europe that affirms the existence of supernatural power (such as magic) and of both male and female deities who inhere in nature and that emphasizes ritual observance of seasonal and life cycles. What drove me towards Wicca was the emphasis of nature as an embodiment of the soul, as well as an equal observance of the male and female deities, rather than the norm-when all a religion has is an all-powerful male God.

I grew up without being baptized, my parents allowing my siblings and I to explore our own faith. My grandparents were all different branches of Christian and Catholic- one being Episcopal, one being full-on Catholic, and another Catholic too, but mainly believing in the power of angels. My parents were both baptized, and my dad spent his childhood going through the catholic school system. But despite this, there was no Sunday school, no weekly church service, and no communion for me  (let alone confirmation-no one wanted me in their church haha). But then I turned 12, and 5th grade ended with me trying to end my life.

After that, I needed something stronger than myself or my family to rely on. I started to go to a Methodist church with my mom. I hated being in a classroom while my mom and the other adults were with the pastor, and didn’t really fit in. So then I started to do my own research on different religions away from Catholicism and Protestantism. I learned about practices such as Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. I was enraptured by not-as-common religions as well. And then I found Paganism, but more specifically Wicca. I fell in love with the views of nature first.

Nature is seen as an extension of the Horned God, and in turn, has a soul. So, when people walking the path of Wicca take things from nature, they must thank it for the gift it bestowed. Now, this may sound really silly and strenuous, but truly it is simply about respecting every and all things. This form of respecting and being drawn into the nature around me just made sense, so I kept learning.

Wicca has a rede that all must follow-do what you will, so long as it harms none. Meaning you are able to live life as you want, as long as you are not intentionally hurting others through that path. There was no shame in being gay, bisexual, a man, a woman, non-gendered. There was no sin in having sex before marriage, nor withholding from sex until you were comfortable. As long as you lived life for yourself and were kind to those around you, you were following the path of Wicca. They also believe in body positivity, and equality amongst the sexes, as well as power in the female being, and not just the male one. 

The Moon Goddess, also known as the Triple Moon Goddess, plays many roles in the lore of Wicca. Depending on the waning or waxing of the moon, she can be the maiden, the bride, the mother, and the bringer of life and death. 

This power that the female deity holds spoke to me, as it was finally a religion where women didn’t have to take a backseat to their male counterparts. They were equal in every way. So I became a Pagan and never looked back.