Note: Some possibly triggering content, all hidden and blurred.
I want to start this challenge post off like so many others have done and talk about what brought me to magick and my pagan path.
Image via Unsplash
I grew up in a semi-religious household. I say semi-religious because while we went to church occasionally, it was never a routine part of our week or something that we were really forced to do. My paternal grandparents were LDS Mormons and my maternal grandparents are some type of non-denominational Christian. I say non-denominational because while they believe in the word of the Bible and uphold some of those rules, they do not go to church nor are they active in any Christian community.
Anyway, to keep that story from getting extremely long, I did not have a religious upbringing. I was brought up with the concepts and ideas from Christianity without the indoctrination of the faith. When I first discovered Wicca, I was about 12 years old and I was very, very, lost with myself.
If you have interacted with me outside of Spells8 on my channel and content, you will know that I am a big advocate for mental health in spiritual spaces. This stems back to my early childhood and the reason I was so lost.
Possibly Triggering Story Hidden Here
Around the age of 12 or 13, I started having what I can only describe as flashbacks. I have what is called repressed memories, or memories that my brain deemed too horrible to deal with at the time, so it pushed them back as a coping mechanism. This is kind of like amnesia, but then I started remembering them. This was all very hard for me to deal with, as these were memories of past sexual abuse and trauma, and I started down the self-destructive path of self-harm.
I don’t quite remember when I discovered Wicca, but I remember who I discovered it with. My friend and I started reading Scott Cunningham and searching the internet for Wicca and trying to learn everything we could. It gave me my sense of power back and let me feel like I had control over my life. I would spend the night at her house every weekend, burn dragon’s blood incense, and go over everything we learned. We even did a ritual in her backyard one night that, in hindsight, was very dangerous.
We performed a sort of bonding ritual together next to her pool where we both pricked our fingers, dropped some blood in a glass of water, and each took a drink. Yeah, I don’t recommend this because it is highly dangerous, but we were 13, young, and dumb
Anyway, I went back and forth from Wicca to Christianity for a few years. At one point I was heavily involved in the church youth program. Looking back, it wasn’t necessarily the faith itself that drew me in but the sense of community. We did a lot of community outreach, prayer programs, food drives, and community service. I eventually left the church because I could not reconcile my personal belief in freedom of choice with the position of the church. I feel like I made my final decision one day when they were hosting a workshop/Q&A style thing for the teen group. They were talking about homosexuality and abortion and, being the church, they were adamantly against both of these things. They presented it in a way that was appealing and almost soft, I think is the way to describe it, to this large group of young and moldable minds. I made my decision to leave the church that day and never went back.
I have never been heavily involved in a coven, or even lightly involved for that matter. My beliefs have always ebbed and flowed, and so has my practice. There were times when I went months without honoring a sabbat or esbat and that was okay with me. It didn’t matter because I knew I was not part of an organized religion with any dogma, I was not an initiate of any tradition with responsibilities, so I was okay with it.
Fast forward to 2019 and my beliefs started to shift. I started to question the concepts of Wicca in my belief system. I started to take notice of a presence in my life and I welcomed this other presence whom I now know to be Brigid. I always knew my path would have a Celtic feel to it but I never knew exactly how. It’s funny because if you look back at my beginning podcast episodes, I was very staunchly Wiccan. The change in my practices and beliefs happened organically over time. You can even see this in my episodes, topics, and the way I speak about my beliefs in those episodes.
Digging into my physical roots, so to speak, of my blood and ancestry is an enjoyable process for me, one that allows me to recognize the privilege I have to be able to do so. I still want to do one of those DNA test things to see my ancestry, but for now, I have a little image of my mom’s test. Obviously, hers is going to be different than mine because, well, this is her and her parents and doesn’t account for my dad’s side of the family.
We are very much European people but that’s okay. As you all may know already, I am a Celtic pagan with an Irish focus. You can see I probably have a little bit of Irish in my, and we can trace when our Irish ancestors came to the US in the 1700s, but it isn’t much. That’s okay with me, honstly, because Ireland and Scotland have always looked like home to me. I have never been, but those are two places that I will see before I leave the physical plane.
So I know that was long, but that’s pretty much how I got to where I am today. A lot of trial and error, a lot of trauma and things that need healing, a lot of shadows, and a lot of faith in where I’m headed. If you read this far, kudos to you and you get a cookie!
Continuing the discussion from Weekly Witchy CHALLENGE - Your Magickal Roots