I had an eclectic religious upbringing. My earliest memories were of itchy lined dresses and donuts at the Catholic service that happened in our small town’s high school theater space as fund were raised for a permanent location. We were part of the suburban growth forced upon the small dairy town who’s grand and established Lutheran, Baptist, and Methodist churches would play host my Girl Scout meetings over the years.
I enjoyed the pageantry of Catholic mass with it’s glittery costumes, misty perfumes, group chanting, and magical Latin interludes. For Christmas in third grade Santa brought me a copy of the Beginners Bible: Timeless Children’s Stories. I read it cover to cover on the two day trip to Disneyland captivated by the mortal and the mystical. I was already a child of Greek fabels and these old testament stories seemed like the next chapter. As a child I adsorbed any new information on religion as part of the whole, it was a lovely way to learn gathering all the ideas up and making them fit together rather than in conflict. It wasn’t until Catholicism stopped working for my Mother during her divorce a year later that I began to grasp the fact you could choose your own adventure when it came to a belief system and did not have to accept all doctrine as truth. She decided to follow the Dalai Lama which brought color to my world of black and white Catholic rules.
I do not remember her practicing openly before we moved to California where she found her school and her monks. Being part of a group bred strength and outward expression just as gathering together on Sunday mass made it normal for a man to wear a very large hat and pretend to drink the blood of Christ. As a Wiccan, I belong to a group of old souls, nature freaks, and bleeding heart activists who have each left footprints on my path. For my wedding I wanted to hold on my person a totem to represent each part of my journey that I had adsorbed into my being. On my right wrist is forever inked my goddess symbol, on my left wrist were my Mother’s Sunday best pearls, and wrapped around my bouquet stayed a string of cedar prayer beads. My present is the incorporation of my past.
(entry number 45 on the pagan blog project week one)