Sometimes our colossal screw ups can show us the direction we need to go, and that’s how it happened for me after messing around with witchcraft and paganism earlier this year. I really liked the structure and the rituals, it was exciting to light each candle in the correct order, each candle symbolizing something else. When I began exploring witchcraft, I had no desire to ditch Jesus and being able to do spells sounded cool but that really wasn’t what I was in it for. My spirit craved the beauty of the rituals.
As I started realizing that all that was amazing but wasn’t really what I was looking for, my counselor asked me to explore the idea of what it really was that I was craving if witchcraft was close in some aspects but didn’t really fulfill the need I felt inside of me. It was around this time that some things began to click and I decided to look into some older forms of Christianity. I’d always been taught to eschew anything that reeked of Catholicism, and there are a few major issues for me with Catholicism which is why ultimately I chose not to explore the Roman Catholic Church although I know and love several good people in that church and would still attend mass with them, it wouldn’t work as a permanent home for my faith.
However I was drawn to the ancient faith of the Roman Catholic Church, the liturgies, the Eucharist, but knowing that the social policies of the Roman Catholic Church were far too conservative for me. That led me to look for some of the same elements, the things that appealed to me such as the liturgy and Eucharist, and look elsewhere, which eventually lead me to the Episcopal Church. I researched for several months. My line of thinking was that maybe some of the older forms of Christianity were more likely to have some things right seeing as they were closer to the time of Christ in their beginnings than was modern fundamentalism and evangelicalism.
I’m learning that the aspects that drew me initially to witchcraft are right here in Christianity. The rich meanings, the symbols, the structure, the liturgy, the contemplative prayer. I can meditate and ground myself, both of which fall under contemplative prayer which I never really knew much about and still don’t but am beginning to explore. I’m learning that prayer is so much richer and deeper than I ever imagined, which means I might actually be able to pray again.
I screwed up, but that screw up is leading me home.
“Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love.
Here’s my heart oh take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above.”