Religion: And How it Has Changed My Life

Topics: Personal life, Life, Leisure Pages: 5 (1678 words) Published: May 4, 2004
After thinking about it, I thought Wicca hasn't really changed my life that much, at least not in concrete ways. I've always loved the Earth and thought of it as being beautiful and precious. I've always been fascinated at the beauty and mystery of the Moon and the starry sky. I've always found Nature to be healing in an all inclusive way that encompasses the physical, mental and spiritual realms. I've always believed that our minds have the power to accomplish amazing things. I've always thought that there is much more to this Universe than what we can see with our eyes and grasp with our minds.

I rejected my family's religion, Christianity, because despite many claims of it being filled with peace and love, I found their holy book to be filled with persecution and cruelty. I was certain that no single culture had a direct-line to the Divine, that there was no "One Truth". I became interested in natural remedies. I celebrated the seasons in my own simple manner. In many ways, I am as I always was, and yet discovering Paganism has brought major changes to my life.

When I realized that there was an actual religion whose beliefs so closely matched my own, I was filled with happiness and enthusiasm. I literally spent about a year and a half utterly consumed in learning all I could get my hands on: the lore, mythology, magick and ritual. It was fascinating, and all my spare time was devoted to gathering knowledge and attempting to incorporate what seemed true into my life. I know that I will always be learning and growing in my chosen philosophy, but it is more subtle now. I know the "basics" at a basic level. I am branching out, studying mythology to an even greater depth, using meditation and divination to know myself with ever greater understanding. I am certain that each individual's path will be unique, but I consider Wicca to be a path more concerned with who I truly am and how I connect with this Universe. These are wonderful concepts to ponder, but how has Wicca actually affected my daily life? As I thought about the question I realized that it has affected me in subtle but myriad ways. It has become a deeply intertwined part of my life. I think it affects every aspect of my day to day existence.

The small rituals, that are such a part of my daily routine now, enhance my life and make it more more meaningful and fulfilling. When I wake in the morning I step outside and greet the Sun. I feel a moment of thanks for its warmth and life-giving rays. I read a poem or a meditation about a Goddess/God. My evening routine is similar. I go out and welcome the Night, the Moon and the Stars. I acknowledge the mystery and magic that I find intrinsic in their beauty. I try to spend as much time as possible out in Nature because I realize that such time is necessary for me. I light candles and whisper heartfelt thanks and love to my Goddess and God. But these actions, while important and meaningful to me, are things I've added to my life as a form of worship. How has Paganism changed my everyday, mundane existence?

As I mentioned earlier, I did not have much respect for Christianity when I was younger. Learning about many different religions has helped me to realize that Christianity can be a satisfying and fulfilling path for many people. It is only in the hands of extremists that it can become a path of hatred--just as with any other religion. Wicca has helped me to be tolerant of other people's spirituality as long as they aren't spewing prejudice and hatred for any other religion besides their own. This didn't happen overnight. At first I was indignant about Christianity's attempt to destroy Paganism, the cruelty of the "Burning Times" and the intolerance that some modern day Christians show toward other spiritual paths. As I read and learned and pondered the issues, I realized that even Christianity, with its horrible history and its modern day fanatics, is a valid and rewarding path for most of its adherents. For...
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