Because of my past experiences with organized and strict religion, I wasn’t very keen on committing myself to one pantheon, with one type of practice, and one type of ritual. Maybe it could be interpreted as a fear of commitment. But I’ve always been a very free-flowing type of person; I’m someone who doesn’t like rigid schedules and plans, or having to perform along strict guidelines, or live my life according to arbitrary rules that I don’t see a point to. It’s something of a fault, I’ll admit; I guess someone might be a little off-put by the fact that I can’t jive with whatever hierarchy they happen to follow. (But then again, I don’t have tons of experience with orthodox or reconstructionists, so.)
Deciding my beliefs was more of an exploration of self than trying to find something that totally fitted me. For instance, animism was easily incorporated because I was already an animist; hard polytheism was easier to accept than the soft version. Ritual and sacred days were something that Christianity taught me quite well. Magick, on the other hand, was something entirely different.
I knew I wanted to incorporate magick into my practice, but it wouldn’t necessarily be the centerpiece, just because I wasn’t about getting what I wanted out of life and I was more about trying to respect the gods and the world around us. However, witchcraft attracted me for a number of reason; one, because of the ritual stuff already mentioned, and two because it was a nice way for me to get positive change in me life. I had always felt helpless. My father had me in a choke hold of fear, my mother controlled everything I did, and I felt stuck in a spiral where I was helpless to make anything better. Magick, even if it is just the placebo effect, gives me some kind of control over my life and the people around me.
And, yeah, I do curse. In fact, casting curses in the wiccan sense of the word is one of the major reasons to do witchcraft, in my opinion. Why be a witch if you can’t change your fate every once in a while, or punish people who have wronged you?
Tied into that, the afterlife, as opposed to a traditional ‘afterlife’ in the summerland or heaven or duat or reincarnation, was something I didn’t quite know how to deal with. Partially because I worked with two different pantheons with two different ideas of death, and partially because the rigidness didn’t suit me, I figured that after death you get what you expect, which is all tied into the spirit world, or astral world, if you will. Not just the afterlife is there, though. The astral is on different levels. For instance: When I travel, I can go to the astral realm that exists side-by-side with this one, or the level above that, a realm of both the physical and the spiritual that’s hard to explain. Above that is various heavenly realms and other physical/spiritual realms, countless in their number; I visit Amaterasu on the Celestial Realm, and below all of these I visit Anpu in Duat. In my mind, there is much more to the universe than what we can see.
Cobbled together from various cultures, it somehow meshes together into something that, somehow, makes sense to me…even if my path doesn’t have a name.