Pagan Journeys

Pagan Journeys => Paths and Traditions => Topic started by: rainshadow on September 20, 2014, 09:29:00 AM

Title: Beats me...
Post by: rainshadow on September 20, 2014, 09:29:00 AM
My best friend/old mentor had a mental breakdown (talking schizophrenia, bipolar, etc.) some time after I had moved to Colorado in 2009. She was a practicing Wiccan for a very long time (in the range of 30+ years). I've been to my home state to visit a handful of times since I've been out here and when I was home last week, we started talking about religion. I was explaining to her how I was having some issues with faith and my beliefs since my mom's death/my divorce and she started talking about how she was getting rid of her Wiccan stuff (she gave me back one of my books she'd had for years, which is kind of how we got on the subject). She said she was able to give all of her books to her daughter, however, she couldn't get rid of her chest full of supplies for some reason. She was talking about how she was going to church twice a week, how she was supposed to go to this big convention type thing but doesn't know if she will continue to go to church after because she doesn't know how she will handle the convention (she has a hard time around people and being in our small town is about the best interaction she gets). She was talking about how she's still able to "see" a lot of things (highly skilled in divination), but for the most part, she'd gone Jehovah's Witness and was happy with her choice. She gave me the whole talk on how this is the time when Satan is turning God's people against him by practicing other religions, etc. etc.

I asked her what would happen if the convention didn't go well, and if she was going to go back to being Wiccan/practicing since she can't bring herself to get rid of her chest of Wiccan things (to me, I think there is a reason she can't, because she's not a material person at all). She said no, so I asked why. She said as much as she enjoyed Wicca all those years, there seemed to be a lot of pain and punishment that came with it, and instead of that pain and punishment, she believed that all of Christianity was about blessings and she wanted to receive God's blessings every day instead of punishment. I didn't say anything at the time, because I couldn't really think of anything to say, but I started thinking really heavily about it and started thinking of why I left Christianity and Catholicism to begin with when I was a teenager. So as I'm flying home yesterday, I thought about it some more and thought, "Christians believe in Hell. That's punishment, right?"

I'm a seeker and like to ask questions. This whole thing baffles me. What do you guys think? And this whole conversation was weird to have with her… we used to be able to discuss theology and talked about everything, but I think it was strange for me to see her going from one extreme to the other.
Title: Re: Beats me...
Post by: earthmuffin on September 20, 2014, 10:02:30 AM
When a friend is open-minded or appears to be open-minded and then does a 180 and hooks up with a group that seems to be very rigid, I think it is hard for those of us left behind to accept. I had this sort of thing happen with my one of my best childhood friends. I think the reason for a major change like this for them is it comforts them in some very important way. It's really hard for us to understand because we really cannot grasp what goes on in another's mind and their mental and emotional reactions to all they have been through. In addition, we can feel like our bond is broken when we no longer have a feeling that we understand and connect with them in the ways we formerly did.  I think it is possible your dream was related to this conversation and the thoughts it brought up for you. :squeezes:
Title: Re: Beats me...
Post by: rainshadow on September 20, 2014, 10:55:36 AM
How do you think it's related to my dream EM? I didn't put two and two together so I'm a little puzzled. Lol. And it is weird, especially because she used to mentor me when I was first starting on the pagan path. I grew up with her daughters, literally have known her almost my whole life.
Title: Re: Beats me...
Post by: earthmuffin on September 20, 2014, 11:29:33 AM
Your dream could be related to something else but I thought it was interesting your interaction with her was weighing your mind when you had the dream. Perhaps the dream was just a reflection of your discomfort or puzzlement with her changing.
Title: Re: Beats me...
Post by: rainshadow on September 20, 2014, 02:25:52 PM
Could be. Not sure. That conversation was on Tuesday and the dream didn't happen until early this morning after I returned, so I don't know. Interesting though.
Title: Re: Beats me...
Post by: vordan on September 20, 2014, 08:34:47 PM
My sister became more conservative as a tumor destroyed parts of her brain. She had a real shift in personality as the tumor grew, there could be something physical hopefully nothing that severe.
Title: Re: Beats me...
Post by: dragonspring on September 21, 2014, 08:34:35 PM
I used to be a Sunday school teacher so I don't see anything really strange about someone making a change in their path, but I do understand how you feel.  My sister used to be very open to my beliefs and then she shifted to a more fundamentalist Christian mindset.  About the best we can do now is agree not to discuss religion.

Since you mentioned your mentor's mental breakdown, I thought I would offer some personal observations.  Most esoteric paths eventually require a period of intense self-examination where a person faces their own shadow self.  In this phase, one must honestly examine their own failings and faults and sometimes this examination extends to past lives.  It could be that your mentor went through this "dark night of the soul" and was unable to cope with it.  I can certainly see how someone might turn to a faith that offers a promise of salvation regardless of one's failings.

I would also point out that some people are drawn to battles in other realms  (or perhaps with their own demons) and sometimes they do not come back into this realm as quite the same person.  I know personally of several people who have suffered mental and even physical illness after such activities.  Shamanic healing might help to repair the soul damage caused by these encounters.  Traditional medicine will treat these instances with medication that may serve to mask the soul damage enough for the person to function.  Some people never come back to themselves though.

Regardless of whether any of these scenarios are what happened to your friend, I am glad that she found a path that gives her comfort.  There are many paths to the Divine and sometimes they wind around in unexpected ways.  :)

Title: Re: Beats me...
Post by: rainshadow on September 22, 2014, 07:22:37 PM
Thank you DS, that really helps me understand  ()