Finding Faith

Recently I had an awakening of sorts. In many ways it was a defining moment, a moment of epiphany. Before I go on, let me send a gentle warning to those of you who follow the teachings of an organised religion such as Wicca, Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, and Islam etc. And yes, Wicca does fall in to that category. It has been an organised religion for decades regardless of whether you choose to believe it or not. Once you have set beliefs, once you have heads of a group running the show, once you have rules it becomes organised.

Those who strictly follow the teachings of an organised religion may not like what I have to say, but please understand, this is not an attack on you or your personal beliefs. I am talking from my own personal experience with other people, and the religious bodies and organisations and their dogma.

Religion has been the cause of great heartache and misunderstanding. I have finally come to understand that it is religion, which teaches us intolerance. It does not teach us Faith. It teaches us to see that those who believe differently are ‘different’. Yes, over the years, I have met many different and religious people who are very tolerant, but usually they are people who don’t strictly adhere to the teachings of the church. Most prefer to listen to their hearts and conscience. Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you. I have also met many who profess to be tolerant, but only on the face of it, i.e. others can practise other beliefs as long as it is not obvious or interfere with their own. They are tolerant, but they have no wish, desire, or inclination to understand another person’s religious beliefs. Why? Because ultimately, they believe that only their religion is the right one. That is not tolerance.

Those who have reached a certain awareness will understand that one of the most important lessons and reasons for our rebirth and death is so that we can develop faith and understanding. Faith, not religion. – faith in self, faith in creation, and faith in the cosmos and its workings. It is not an ascribed set of teachings. It just is. And, the most important thing you must learn is that religion is not faith. Yes, for some faith can be found as a by-product of religion, but ultimately, religion is not needed for a person to have or find faith. Why? Because religion is a human thing, too easily corrupted. It is the dogma of the minority being forced on the majority, and if the teacher is innately flawed by human frailty then how can the teachings and beliefs be uncoloured by that? Then there is the fact that the dogma of these religions is centuries old and has been translated countless times and in each translation has become less than what it was originally.

Look back through the ages. Wars have not started because of faith. But many have been fought in the name of the church and ‘God’. Millions have died because arrogant leaders of both church and state believe that their God – the only God – is on their side. Whether he be Allah or God, others fight and kill in his name.

But who are these gods? In my belief they are all one and the same and they are merely the names we give to a higher energy/soul pool from where our own energies/souls originated. When you take the names away – the only real element of difference – we discover that they all tell us to believe the words of a few ‘wise men, and that their dogma is sadly coloured by what those wise men believe. Therefore, if they believe that no other god is as just or as benevolent as there own, they will then force that dogma on to their followers. Who in turn will go out in the world with the seeds of mistrust, fear, and intolerance in their hearts. 

Name a religion that does not demand sacrifice of some sort. Even Buddhism teaches that wisdom and higher understanding come through deprivation and even suffering. The Catholic Church still to this very day declares itself to be the only true faith, and one where women are seen as less than men. Muslim women are even more enslaved by religious teachings. Name a religion which been a just one throughout its history. Name a religious teaching, which has not been enforced by bloodshed and fear?
Why is one religion so different from another? Why must each be the only right and true path? We have all come from the same source. It is only the various religions that names that source to be different.

Sadly, Wicca is just the same. The teachings of the early traditions have become corrupted and used by the High Priests and Priestesses to give them greater power and control. The younglings who are now entering covens in ever increasing number are being fed personal dogma. They are not being taught anything about faith or spiritual development and how it affects us on a mental, emotions, and spiritual level.

Most modern, young Wiccans, just like many modern young Christians, have no understanding of themselves at all.

Children are being led to believe that they must bless the Lord and the Lady, while they work their pretty spells and rituals. The leaders within the covens are forcing their dogma, and their own personal desires. They are teaching by emotional manipulation.

I look at the books written about Wicca for young teens and novices. Most of the spells are for personal gain. There is nothing about consequence, and heaven forbid, there is nothing about understanding yourself and taking responsibility for the situations in which you find yourself.

And when I have voiced concerns about this very fact I have been met with, “But you aren’t even a real witch, what do you know? You are nothing but a damn ‘Love and Lighter’. What do you know about magick?”

Now this is the attitude with which I have been met with on more than one occasion, yet Wiccans are purported to be the most tolerant? It is something I used to believe, but I cannot anymore. Like Christianity, Wicca has been warped and changed into a tool for making money and controlling the masses.

Let me give you idea of the cosmos and how it works from a new ager’s perspective.
The energies around us – the very energies many Wiccans believe they manipulate with their pretty words – already communicate with us on a more primal level than many can even begin to comprehend.

The energies around us are subconsciously influenced by our own thoughts and beliefs. They react to our very emotions. Those energies are not gifts from the Lord and Lady, the Jehovah, God etc. They are separate, living, and aware entities who are giving of their energies so that we may weave our magicks.

So, should we not be thanking them instead of some Lord or Lady that our ‘religions’ have told us to acknowledge?

Are we not belittling the living things around us by our belief that their energies are here for us to use and manipulate just because we have asked the Gods first? It is a little arrogant in my opinion. Many spellcrafters of this era have no understanding of Balance and Harmony. Most believe that there is an untapped source of energy for us to use at will.

But that is not the case. When we draw energies from one source, new energy does not automatically form to replace what we have used. No, we take by force and focus it where we wish. But what if what we have taken was needed by that soul/energy/being to survive? In essence, our spellcrafting has destroyed something that we do not have the right to destroy.

But that is so typically human, isn’t it? We believe because we are the dominant race, because we can talk, think, and feel, that we are the only sentient species on this planet. That belief gives us the right to take, take, take, take. 

We tear down the forests, we slaughter the larger predators because we fear them and then whinge and whine when other species breed out of control, we pollute and rape the oceans and think their boon unending, we build unfeeling cities of cement that are fuelled by our arrogant belief that on this plane existence we are the only ones blessed with wisdom and power.

Name an organised religion which teaches that all living things are equal to man. Can you?

And modern spellcrafters are flawed by this arrogance of ego. Many no longer understand that what they take from the living around us must be given freely and with that entity’s blessing. Not the blessing of the Lord and Lady, or God, or whatever you choose to call it. Nay, it must be given by the entity to which that energy is a part. It is their soul essence we draw on, not the Lord and Lady’s. In truth, we -are- the lord and lady. Just as everything born of energy is.

Aye, I was a witch. In this life and many before it. I was a witch by soul right, but in truth I am loathe to use that title now because it has been corrupted by a religion that has proven to be just as intolerant and arrogant as any other.

In the past lives I have had memories of we did not use spell or ritual. When we took, we gave back. When we took a plant from the ground, we planted a seed in return. When we killed an animal for food, we bred another to take its place. Balance. Can you not see? When we took, we gave in return. We did not recite pretty spells and incantations to touch on the energies around us. If we took positive energy for healing from other beings, we gave positive energy in return by giving of our own self/soul. We had an innate understanding of nature. As a one, we had a symbiotic relationship with the whole.

That Balance has been destroyed, and many of those who scorn ‘new agers’ do not understand that ‘new agers’ are more in harmony with this living, breathing planet of ours then they will ever be. Why? Because for many their world is not coloured by religion. Yes, they may -have- religion, but it is one they have changed and altered to make it their own. Most follow their conscience and hearts. They have discovered that faith comes from within them. They look inwards for understanding, and through understanding the way the energies work within themselves, they are aware of how they impact on everything and everyone around them.

Most have an innate understanding that the energies on this plane are just as sentient as a human, regardless of the skin they wear whether it be fur, feather, or bark, or leaf. We see -life- in everything. Any entity that has energy at its core has as much right to existence as we do, and we are not just one race but a complex net of energy in which all and each have equal importance and necessity.

I will not use my craft in this life as other witches do. I am not so arrogant as to believe that it is my right just because I can. Yes, I will always touch on the energies around me, but I will not ‘manipulate’ or ‘alter’ them. Manipulation is human trait, and most humans do not understand that there is no need for it, or that it can do more harm than good. The energies around us are just as aware as we are. They merely communicate in a different way. They understand our needs on a psychic and emotive level and they come to us willingly when we have need. They do not need ritual to call them, nor do they need spell to bend and corrupt them.

When I use the energies given by another entity, I will give back in return. I do so by creating beauty, being a good friend, understanding and listening, and offering love and compassion to others when they have need. I walk through this life unimpeded by self-doubt, fear, arrogance and intolerance – all negative and damaging energies. I project a positive energy born from my own faith and belief and understanding of myself.

While I respect any and every person who chooses to follow a religious path, I now understand that it is not necessary to follow set teachings to have Faith. Nobody needs to. But that is not what most religious organisations would have you believe. Where would they be if religion was not the seed of Faith? They would be bankrupt. That is where they would be.

Am I arrogant when I say that I no longer need to ask a ‘God’ to give me what I have had within me all along? I love the Creator with my entire being, and I am blessed and thankful that he created the soul energy that is me. But I no longer need a church to provide me with the faith I have found all on my own. I am master of my own destiny … and faith.