Pagan Journeys > Paths and Traditions

Spirituality changes


In this past year, I have been through more than enough (going through a divorce with a guy that turned into a monster, losing my mother and grandmother, moving to a new town, starting a new job, basically all the major life changes one goes through at some point). Since all of this, I have been questioning a lot of things. A large chunk of it was me questioning my beliefs.

I grew up Catholic, then was Christian, then I discovered Wicca when I was 16. Something back then to me was fascinating, about nature, the seasons, the cycles, astrology, spells… I started really sinking my teeth in and practicing when I was 19 after studying for a few years and hiding the books I'd borrowed from the library under my mattress so my mom wouldn't find them. I delighted in those hours tucked away in the library, where I could read and do homework, away from the craziness of my household. I remember (and still have) my first tarot deck. I remember my first circle. My boyfriend's mom in high school did my first tarot reading, and my boyfriend gave me my first book on Wicca.

The years went on, I studied with a mentor who is my best friend. She is no longer practicing, but I still go to her when I have a question. Then I got married and became a police officer… and during these years… my spiritual practices just came to a halt of sorts. When I moved to Colorado, I had done some work with a few covens, both of which kind of slated my dislike for group practice and I, as a whole, started to branch out and study other pagan paths.

I consider myself an "eclectic pagan" and not so much Wiccan anymore. After life smacked me upside the head, and made me question every single belief I ever held about anything in my life, I don't know why I floated away from it. I feel like I pull from a few systems and am "spiritual" but not religious. It wasn't just a gradual change of pace for me either, but a sudden halt of things. There are things I agree with and don't agree with in a lot of systems I encounter, but I just can't see myself being tied to one spiritual path.

And it took my life being upheaved to see that. I don't really know what to do with it. I feel like I should be doing something, instead, I'm kind of wandering aimlessly around. I'm still doing spell work, etc., but I don't identify with a particular tradition or path, and for some reason, I feel like I should. I feel like I'm learning more now than I ever have, I feel like I see a particular beauty in the world that I never saw before, and I wonder where it's coming from.

I work as a sheriff's deputy in a small department. My coworkers and I don't really talk about religion, or if we've talked about it, they luckily aren't judgmental and seem not to care. It's helped with some subjects we've dealt with. But there are times when inmates will question me when they see my pentacle ring or my moonstone triquetra ring, and it doesn't bother me, but I either get a fear based response, or "hey, that's pretty cool." Then I became a member of the gang task force, and one of the jobs in my duty is relaying information back to my sergeant about the use of signs and symbols in gang culture, including the white supremacists using Asatru (which is one of the systems I identify with more, so it feels a little strange to me) symbols as gang signs. I get to study tattoos (of which I have a lot of myself) and talk to people about theirs. It is fascinating (discovering the language and meaning behind all of it), but at the same time, I can't help but feel like I was chosen for that task because my sergeant (who says he's a pagan) knows I'm a pagan/witch.

Then there's the empath thing. And my intuition. Both of which things have seem to become increasingly stronger and making their presence known to me. I'm still learning to shield well (I think I suck at it) and I question my intuition all the time because if I would have listened to it, I would have been divorced a year into my marriage instead of 7 years into it. I should have known better and I didn't pay attention. So now I'm left questioning everything I think and feel.

I started studying when I was 16, and am turning 29 this year. I thought that someone at this juncture in their life would be more settled, more "stable" and more grounded. But I found that this isn't the case at all, and I'm not quite sure how I think I should handle it.

I feel more alive now than I ever have, but this feeling of aimlessly wandering is kind of driving me crazy.

Anyone else deal with this life smacking you in the head thing? I believe most things in life are gradual, but this just hit me, and it hit me hard. How do you deal with changes? Especially ones that aren't gradual?

I am the queen of major life changes.  The last major shift in my life involved my house burning, my emotionally abusive husband having two heart attacks, and my dad passing away.  At that time, I separated from my husband and he died several years later. I dealt with this major shift by spending time alone contemplating the inner landscape and figuring out how to be happy by myself.  Figure out what your passion - what makes you happy and centered - and focus on that. 

I think DS has great advice (as usual  :D). 

I just wanted to comment that probably everyone thinks they will "have it all together"  by some certain age, when in reality, maturation is a life-long process. Also, if a person is really goal-oriented, it may be tough to make a shift to really understanding and doing what makes you happy, rather than what you think you "should" be doing. I have had  a lot of trouble with this myself--believe me,  the universe will knock you farther and farther down until you start to get the message. Maybe you can just practice being OK with "aimlessless wandering" for a bit. I don't think you are actually doing that-- I think it just feels like that to you because things are not going as you had originally planned. Don't know if any of this makes sense or I am just rambling. Anyway, hang in there and hugs.

Thanks guys. It definitely feels like a huge shock to my system for sure. I think that messes me up more than anything sometimes.


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