Welcome to my blog (and it’s very first post!) My name is Alanna, and below you will find a brief recounting of my religious life until today.
I was raised Roman Catholic in a suburban town of the liberal Northeast. I hated church, and annoyed my parents and religious teachers by asking questions they couldn’t answer. Even when they could be answered (and I had one teacher who truly went out of her way to help me) I was dissatisfied or disgusted by them. I pretty much have never considered myself Catholic (although I did consider converting to some form of Protestantism for a while).
For about seven years now, I’ve been studying Paganism. I began in 6th grade, when a friend of mine lent me a book called “Wicca and Witchcraft for Dummies”. Despite the concerns of my English teacher (who saw me reading it), I devoured the entire book and scoured the internet for more about Wicca. And for many years, all I knew was Wicca (albeit in a VERY eclectic, non-traditional form), and I generally ignored the idea that there were other Pagan religions. I read and read: witchvox, Scott Cunningham, Gwinivere Rain, blogs. I made basic tools and printed out basic rituals and spells. Wicca, I felt, was right for me.
Except it wasn’t. Ritual felt stiff, I was perfectly happy sending energy instead of sitting down with candles and stones to do spells, and (search as I might) I never found a Lord and Lady. Things came to a head when my mother found my ritual tools and started checking my internet history. She would tease me for pretending to do magic and refer to me as a Wiccan scornfully. Frustrated, my spirituality died out for a bit, and I thought of myself not as a Wiccan, but as a lost someone with a Pagan-ish mindset. I kept tabs on the Pagan world, did research about Irish deities and Celtic Reconstructionism, read news articles and Gwinevere Rain’s website. But no practicing, no note taking, no journaling, no real celebration of the Sabbats or Esbats besides acknowledgment of their occurance.
Recently, I discovered that I was just looking in the wrong places. One night at college while avoiding homework I went on Wikipedia and looked up Paganism. I re-stumbled across Neo-Druidry, and the people I had written off as cultish and odd in previous years suddenly caught my attention. I started reading more, much more, and realized this Druid path might actually mesh perfectly with my beliefs. Even when I “was Wiccan”, even when I was totally label-less, I have had beliefs that have not changed, beliefs concerning nature and the divine that fit with some of what I read of Druidry.
I am, of course, still learning, still exploring. I am currently taking the Bardic Youth Course AND the Bardic Course provided by the New Order of Druids. We’ll see how that goes!
Side note: As of today, I am not really out of the broom closet. The friend that first introduced me to Wicca knows, and my mother knows that I was Wiccan in the past (however, we had a nasty confrontation about that, and she believes I stopped), and my internet community knows. However, my entire family is quite religious. I don’t want to offend them or have them upset with me. I refrained from being open about it in college because my school tends to be split between judgmental atheists and intense Christians. I hope, in the future, to be able to lead a fully open life.