Now that the season is winding down, I'm trying to center myself somewhat by introducing rituals, both daily and seasonally, that mean something to me. I've discovered that magick may not be my thing so much as my observance and reverence for Nature and connection with the God/desses are. I'm not being dogmatic about it. In fact, I refuse to be dogmatic about anything anymore. But at least for now, magick isn't on the table for me. What I'm comfortable with is lighting candles, visualizing, meditating and finding that connection with the God/desses. Spells, not so much.
It's been an incredible year spiritually. Not incredible in the sense that all was fantastic, but incredible as in, wow! I can't believe I actually did that! It's still amazing to me that I left Christianity behind, considering the propaganda I was spoonfed my whole life. Leaving behind the fear...or dare I say abject terror...over the thought of life outside Christianity was probably one of the bravest things I ever did. Even if I did leave and go back a few times before leaving for good. And any feelings I've had about returning have nothing to do with returning to Christianity, but the longing for the people and rituals I loved. Alas! I'm not the kind of person who can go through the motions. I need the belief to be there or I feel a huge disconnect.
I'm developing ritual gestures that have meaning to me even if they don't resemble anything in Druidry or Wicca. Instead of spells, I plan on focusing on herbs and crystals this year, studying hedge-witchery, I guess you could call it. But mostly I plan on learning to be intuitive and following my heart instead of a book. Learning about nature by spending more time out there. Focusing more on the simple things, improving my talents, crafts and mind. This first year was really a time of finding myself and my path and although it was wonky at times, it's been enlightening and educational.
I also have the freedom to do all this now that we are "out" to Tom and can function freely about the house. It makes a huge difference to be able to practice your beliefs openly instead of hiding them furtively, as if they are wrong.
I've also noticed that, while I still suffer from depression and probably always will, it's been much more manageable as a Pagan, than as a Christian. The pressure is much less when you don't have to "work things through" as if your illness is a character flaw. I can treat my depression (although without medication unfortunately due to possible fatal interactions with other medication I'm taking) naturally with exercise, better eating habits and lots of sunshine (not that I've actually done that yet) but better, I can acknowledge that this is not my fault and on those days when I can't get out of bed, don't beat myself up over it.
All in all, becoming a Pagan is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. The days when I doubt my path have been reduced to minutes instead. I'm becoming more familiar with Paganism in various forms and am letting myself walk the path for the enjoyment instead of the journey's end.
And I find that death isn't as frightening as it was as a Christian. Although I'm not keen to try it out, the fear that my cancer might return isn't as heavy a burden as it used to be.
Not to mention the friends and community online I've discovered. I can truthfully say all of you have made my path an easier one to walk and I'm so glad you're in my life.