These Chains I Wear - Life on the Bible Belt

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Hytegia
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These Chains I Wear - Life on the Bible Belt

Post by Hytegia » Sat May 16, 2009 7:48 pm

Okay. I know many of you don't know me yet, but I thought that, hell, since I'm here why shouldn't I let you in on my life? It's not like you know my real name anyways. Even then, I think I could only gain comfort from this place. I don't think that I will be judged here. This is my Life of Magick, and the discrimination and hatred I have faced since the day I dropped my books on the floor in my house.
Names have been changed to conceal identities, although it wouldn't take a genius to find out mine. But I hope you just listen to this story, and get a firsthand account of persecution in the highest degree.
Where do we begin with stories like this? Sometimes, I just don't know how to start it. Maybe if I started from the beginning, it would make more sense... The Day I became a Wizard.

---------------------

It was several long years ago, in church (oddly enough). It was here that I began my realization of the binds that had been placed on my mind and my sight.
My entire life I was raised as a good old Christian child. I was told that good things were good, and bad things were bad. I was endoctrinated into a system of Christianity. I was always a freethinking child, but I didn't mind. Atleast it was something. Anything was better than nothing, right? That was my thought. Besides, I definately felt SOMETHING duiring Church service. I didn't mind the church ritual of standing up, sitting down, saying amen after the preacher, and whatnot.
But, that particular day, in the Pugh of the very large First Baptist Church of Nowhere, that they were singing a particularly upbeat song. It was so thrilling, infact, that before I knew it, I was dancing in the asile!
The experience was so thrilling! There was something in me that took joy in that dance. I was accountable to no man. It was just me and Yahweh, and noone else to halt me. I was free that moment, and my aura must have been radiating about me like a raging fire, and flowing from my feet like a river of joy...

Untill the song abruptly ended. The entire church was looking at me, and my parents made it a personal note to drag me out of the church by my ear. They yelled at me outside the door, and the church tried it's best to get on with the service. I didn't care, really. When I asked them what had happened- what I had done wrong- Tears had welled in my eyes at their response...

It wasn't that I had done evil. It was that I had embaressed them.

It was then that I had realized how so- so restricted I felt. This was not a church. This was a cell. Everyone in that place was bound by the rules of man, and accountable to only men. In that building, noone was free. No one in that cell believed they were free, either. They were all restrained in their seats, like good little slaves.
God didn't exist here. Or if he did, no one in that building believed it. How could you feel what I had felt, and not have felt like dancing? How could they have been so judgemental, when they THEMSELVES claimed to be understanding. It was at that moment I decided to find out what I was feeling. Because, this place isn't God... It sold salvation for conformity.
========
So, from there, I searched for understanding. Something without the confines of definates of man, and whose only relation was good, and evil. I searched for freedom everywhere I went. I hung out with that India chick at school and discussed Hinduism. I talked to my friend who sipped tea and discussed Hinduism. I basically ran thought the list of research on every single -ism I could find. All of them still had that sense of being bound, and leashed. There was not a single church or religion that had what I saught. I wanted freedom.
It was that night that I decided to beg. I didn't pray, more than I stood out in the forrest behind my house and shouted to the world. I begged for absolution, and correction, and swore by all the things and beings on Earth, Heaven, and Hell, that I would absolute MYSELF if I didn't get an answer. Although no one answered, I felt it... Somewhere, somehow, I would get my answer. My plea was heard.

The next day, I was approached by a girl named Sarah. Yes, Sarah was nice. I had known her for awhile, but never found myself to be friends with her personally. We spoke some times over. She was one of those new age chicks who wore mood rings. She gave me one, and she noticed that I was sad...
She was nice, so I confided in her after a few days. Then she confided me one of her greatest secrets... She was a Witch. The news almost shocked me. I had been raised to fear Satanists, but somewhere in me I thought that this was the answer. That this was not what I thought it was. She opened my eyes to a new world that I could only dream of.
She told me how she was only accountable to the gods, and the goddesses, and they were the only ones who judged her. How she went out every night and danced with the spirits in the light of the moon, and bathed in the joy it brought her. She told me of the Rede and the Law, and... And she told me of Magick.
Then I had found it. I had become a Wizard.
===============
The next few months were not spent initiating me, or teaching me... We spent them dancing beneath the full moon sky. We were the only witches in Nowhere, Alabama. And that was good. We could feel the powers of the night gather about us as our Aura flowed like it did that night. There was no initiation. No inauguration. Nothing of the sort. We stuck together like birds of a Feather.
Each night, I would sneak out of my window, and meet Sarah in the place we had set up deep off the path, with a clearing in the woods near our houses. Each night, we would do the same thingby ritual... Which was nothing, really. We indulged in the spirits of the night, and basked in the glory of the gods and goddesses and spirits that roamed. And many Magickal things happened.
On one such occasion, we had a coyote roam right into our circle, and we were frozen in terror. Yes, it was a coyote. I had seen one before when I was 6 or 7. But- it didn't attack. It acted like a dog, and let us pet it. There were no others. It was, indeed, an odd night. We departed way at the break of dawn, and we never saw it again. It was Magickal.

But, despite the ritual of staying up all night and going to school the next day, I was doing well. Atleast it provided me with Less stress on my mind than before. I was thrivng on sleeping in the afternoons and then going out to skate before returning, eating dinner, and slipping out my window for another adventurous night.
And I was, above all, happy. I was writing, and creativity flowed from my pen like water onto paper. The secret of it all was that I knew I was happy. I was in my zone. My grades were actually GETTING BETTER. Yes, these were happier times I speak of... For now we go into the end of the renessance, and the fall of everything I held dear.

=====The Witch Hunt=====

Now we enter the time when it all began... It was another fine day (infact, it was a few days after Samhain. Who WOULDN'T be happy with that?) of school, where I sat with other friends and Sarah. These friends who were not Pagan, but were mostly Agnostic, or who were accepting. They kept your secrets... We were called the Pack, becouse we were a Pack of Wolves. That was how we roamed. (Sorry. I'm terrible at going off on rabbit trails)
But, this day would be the worst night of my life... For I was walking down the stairs, when I tripped. All of my books fell right onto my sister. and I mean ALL of them. Gardner, Crowley, Konstantinos, and all the other good stuff. And my Book of Shadows (which was THICK by then).
Needless to say, one cry and running to mom and dad led to another, which led to a priest, who couldn't keep his mouth shut so he asked the congregation to pray for me... I didn't need to be in hell. I was already there. I was threatened, and beaten up a few occasions. I was forced to go to a church where I was no longer welcomed. People refused to shake my hand. It was as if someone had cursed me... But, as it seems, I can only conclude that I had cursed myself.
It was terrible. I couldn't go anywhere without a million eyes watching me. Whispering about the Satanist who kills cats in the fields at night.
One night I had gotten to leaveing and I met Sarah at our Circle, and Dad had followed me. He told us to get home, and he personally destoryed it. Alter, fireplace, and all. Nothing was left after that. I felt like I was in a history book, and I was on trial for being who I was. And I was guilty of it.
I wasn't allowed to see her again, and eventually she moved away from Nowhere, Alabama. I haven't spoken to her since then.
This contenued for a long time. It seemed like eternity, untill I could do the only thing I could do... I would become the Possum, and play dead.
I talked to the preacher, told him I wanted to convert. He did, and I was baptized once more infront of a still sketchy congregation of Bible-Thumping morons who think that Christianity is the most persecuted religion in the world. I played dead, and that was all I could do.

========Aftershock=========

However, I'm not a retard. The second they turned their eyes from me, I returned to the craft once more (although practicing alone in my room now with a carpet over a rtual circle and my tools in a box under the floorboards). I began writing of my magickal exploits, both big and small. But, as of now, I'm in no state to question authority anywhere.
Unfortunately, I must report that the extreme stress of having everything I believed in gutted and other nightmares visited upon me by the dogma of manmade religions left me....... Well, I'm a loon. Let's leave it at that.
I had to learn to talk to myself, becouse I was the only one who would listen to me! And I still find myself doing it at certain points in time. :D And what's worse is that I realize it and do it anyways.
Once I went to bootcamp for doing some things I shouldn't have (*cough* Graffiti *cough*). They were ABSOLUTLEY accepting. Every Sunday, when the others were in a cool church, I was out moving dirt to another hill and then move it back, all the while I had to have my own service for 10 minutes on gravel while everyone else watched. I was made a spectacle of.
But, here I am. All wounds have healed, but I still have scars, so to speak. I still live in hiding, and I am still hidden from the world. My controversy had died down, yes. But I have to be quiet in the terms of it all... I count the months untill I can leave. 5 Months untill lucky number 18, and I can leave Nowhere, Alabama.

I was once called Evil to my face... I looked back, and glared at him and said this:
"If I was evil, I would be beating you down. If I was evil, I'd be cussing you out and spitting on you. So, who's more evil? You or me?"

That's the story of my life. I know it's long, yea... But it's true. I hope you enjoy it, and I hope you understand life where I am from. This is the Bible Belt, and in small citys like Nowhere, it's big enough to go for a walk and run away, but small enough for people to know you, and revile you.
This is my story. My life on the Bible Belt... These are the chains I bare, and I hope you have seen them well.
"Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink."

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Mahala
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Re: These Chains I Wear - Life on the Bible Belt

Post by Mahala » Sun May 17, 2009 12:49 am

I know I've had a taste of what you feel, since I live on the Jell-O Belt (Mormons). I haven't ever been able to express much of myself around here because I'm so... intensely strange. I support a number of not-so-mainstream things, like barefoot horses, natural horsemanship, topfree public places, same-sex marriage rights, adolescents' rights to their sexuality, the right to chose sex before marriage, pro-choice abortion, religious tolerance for ALL religons because they're one and the same in most aspects... but I still hold a lot of the mainstream beliefs like being against racism, animal abuse, and persecution for any reason.

Around here, conformity is the rule, the only rule. If you're not in the church every Sunday, doing Sunday School, and Young Men's/Women's, then you're not a member. In general, to 'do well' in our area you have to be in that group, so you have to think and act just like them to fit in. In my experience, it was, to be frank, a pain in the tush, and not worth it to carry that burden of stress as well as my every day worries. People in my ward are too judgmental, too nosy, and sometimes downright snobbish. (Even though the Book of Mormon teaches that judgment is bad and whatnot.)

The reason I left my church is much more different than yours, or at least a different part of the spectrum. Women are not allowed to hold priesthood in the LDS Church, and as such are mostly expected to marry young, have many children and be subjugated by men for the rest of their lives. (A little exaggerated, but not much.) Even if the LDS that is most known is not the FLDS branch, they're still not anything I'd bother with. A religion that is only just barely 200 years old can't have been completely true from the start.

So I, too, searched. My friend is where I started, and I researched every other until I came right back to that very same place. It wasn't until recently, when I decided to make a commitment to becoming a Witch that I knew I had found my spiritual calling. From one who knows what the journey is like, it's a good thing to hear someone else hasn't given up or given in either. I hope you feel at home here; I do. Pagans are one of the least judgmental of the world's religions, in my opinion.

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Hytegia
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Re: These Chains I Wear - Life on the Bible Belt

Post by Hytegia » Sun May 17, 2009 6:31 am

Uh oh- I feel another coined Philosophy coming up! :D

The truth is, despite or different views, Christianity created most of us. I mean, without being looked down upon, and realizing what we were really doing, then we decided to walk away.
It wasn't Christ or Christianity at all that was the problem... It was the Christians who believed that you have to do this, then that, then doing metaphorical backflips to achieve some salvation that's supposed to be free in the first place.
:/

Although I've hidden my wings from the eyes of man, I still have the joy that comes from knowing I can fly.

My only problem is that Christians claim to be persecuted everywhere, even at school. I even saw a kid wearing a shirt with a cross on it, and under it saying: "This Shirt is Illegal in 71 Countries"
I know, they have their problems- but they just turn around and Persecute like the rest of them. At school I got in an argument in the lunchroom for a necklace that had nothing remotely to do with my Practicing. It was a dragon wrapped around a cross, and I wore it because it looked epicly awesome at the time. The kid gets detention and I get ISS for wearing distracting attire. (God, I tend to chase rabbits in a conversation. Forgive me)

Well, if this keeps up, then I'm going to be the next Aleister Crowley to them... Which I wouldn't mind really. Atleast I wouldn't be hiding anymore. I'm tired of hiding- Tired of Waiting for everyone to start accepting differences. :(
Yea, right.

-Hytegia
"Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink."

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Re: These Chains I Wear - Life on the Bible Belt

Post by Mahala » Sun May 17, 2009 7:52 pm

Pagans were around before Christians were, hence why most 'Christian' holidays are really Pagan in origin. (My friend refuses to believe that.) Christians just keep pushing people towards Paganism with their starched and bleached principles of right and wrong. I just don't see the luster in being commanded by a person who is supposedly almighty and unquestionable. The sheep that are fearful will follow the master; The sheep that are wise will follow the trail. I deny the fact that a single almighty god should have power over my life after death, using it as means to force me into his service through fear. How could someone love a God that promises to send you to Hell if you don't obey?

I find people that claim their religion is the only RIGHT religion very annoying. Everyone is right; Everyone is wrong. It's called point of view, and some people don't understand that concept enough. :roll: People should be able to be open with their beliefs, but people always need something to fight about I guess.

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Re: These Chains I Wear - Life on the Bible Belt

Post by Hytegia » Mon May 18, 2009 4:42 am

What sucks is that people need more than conflict. They need a scapegoat.

](*,) <-This is what I am doing to my keyboard.

I didn't want to write out a sob story, but I needed to say the beginning, main, and middle to explain where I'm coming from... Which made it sound like a sob story.
"Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink."

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Mahala
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Re: These Chains I Wear - Life on the Bible Belt

Post by Mahala » Mon May 18, 2009 9:42 pm

Sometimes the real story is a sob story. That's okay, because sometimes things really are just that bad. The difference is you don't tell it for attention; You tell it so other people know who your are and some of what made you that person. ;)

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Hytegia
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Re: These Chains I Wear - Life on the Bible Belt

Post by Hytegia » Tue May 19, 2009 11:07 am

Of one thing, I am sure:

I'm a Witch, and damn well proud to be one.
flyaway:

Well, Wizard. But you get the idea.
"Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink."

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