Spirituality hits people where they can feel it. This creates sensitivity, fear, bhakti, rage, faith, bitterness, numbness including a full spectrum of emotions. In the Western World from a young age many of us are groomed to disassociate from our emotions. To believe only in certain stories, many of which focus on establishing an individual sense of Self. When this happens during our formative years, we undermine what we born innately knowing. That we come from something larger than us. Something unseen, but can be felt. Once the sensations become familiar, the Self is revealed in a multitude of forms. Trust what you know, feel your feelings, all of them. Don't be scared of believing in what your heart knows. Spirituality has no name, because every name only returns to the larger tapestry. Organized religion attempts to restrain spirituality or place it in a box because humans fear what they don't understand. At the same time, we can all agree that people hold a strong aversion towards suffering. What if I told you that you can be devoted to spirituality and yourself while reducing suffering? I wandered for many years before my teachers Janet Stone & Hareesh Wallis handed me the key. Everything clicked into place after years spent seeking with a sense of desolation and disillusionment.
When I was six I began going to church with a younger neighborhood friend. I would walk to her home and attend with her family. I went because I loved to sing while spending time with my friend and community. I joined Awanas when I was 8 and had a blast playing games, singing songs, earning pins and playing with a group of friends. I knew I wasn't the best singer, but I also wasn't totally tone deaf (I think.) When I was about 9, someone close to me told me I was a bad singer. After that, I sealed my lips and would not allow anyone hear me again until I was 34.
I kept going to church, but not as frequently. I began not liking waking up early in the morning and we moved to a different neighborhood, they to a small mountain town in the Sierra Nevadas. I tried a couple churches with friends, but none felt right. I was told how to receive communion but didn't do it right because they passed over me with the wafer and wine. I stopped going to church. Then I learned about animism with Native Americans, that felt right but did not have enough substance for me, at least while trying to navigate without having a teacher. I became very disillusioned with organized religion, especially from the Western world. I grew to associate the word God with War, Hate and Persecution. As a woman, I felt like our power had been taken from us by man in the name of God and religion.
This is when I found Wicca as a senior in high school, it was 1999 and the world wide web connected the planet. I found all sort of information and was completely fascinated, yet faltering while trying to hold magic circles and cast spell on my own. I sorta felt it, but not really. I also learned about astral projection and discovered magic mushrooms. I moved to Arcata, California to attend Humboldt State University. The redwood forests and ocean became my religion. Fortuitously, I took Asian Philosophy my first semester where Taoism rocked my world. I read the Bhagavad Gita and even wrote a paper on it for a World Literature Class a few years later, I wish I still had that paper because it would probably be pretty funny. I also took a Comparative Religions class from a teacher who was also a linguist and knew Latin.
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