From Pagan to Christian to Angry Ex-Christian to Pagan

From Pagan to Christian to Angry Ex-Christian to Pagan

Author: Sister Services

As a child I sat in the presence of the spirits of my universe. I was instructed by the old citrus tree that held my tree house, by the brown/red dirt and the rain in which I was anointed during the monsoon of each year.

I was blessed with the wisdom of the prickly pear, the quince, the mulberry, peppermint, chaste berry, desert willow and each of the native herbs that sprung up in the spring. Into my ear the desert wind whispered secrets of wild spirits, and the fellowship of beings that dwell in the unseen realms.

In the embrace of this universe I was young and I was wise. I knew my place in this scheme and born in me was an understanding of keeping the balance of my internal and external landscapes. In the years of their lord and during the presidency of Reagan this balance was unsafe and invariably, was attacked.

To Me
God to me
A bug to me
The world to me
Humanity
The ocean
To tears
Forever
To years
My fears
A tree to me
A cell to me
They tell to me
Reality
Paper for ink
A mind to think
Love and hate
The worlds
To Great
For me

In the budding of my youth I was introduced to the building, the names and the rules that would withhold the personal power of my birthright. It was in the church that I would come to learn that all of the aspects of myself that spoke of wisdom, timelessness, the greatness of self and reality were considered beyond evil, they were wrong and for having held these beliefs I, fundamentally, was also wrong.

Feeling betrayed by the universe I turned my back on it. I closed my third eye and blocked the voice of spirit and of the great Mother and the great Father. I was poor, Mexican, fatherless, dumb, a woman, a sinner and now worse than all of these, I was alone.

So frightened, confused and painfully alone.

Godless Alone
I cry out to the savior
My childhood has known
Speak to my tears
Then tell me to pray
Interior emptiness growing
Alone
Silent heavenly being
A fatherless child cries
Talk to my fears
Tell them your there
The crying that echoes within
Coldly dies- alone
I receive no reply
From the empty night sky
Why should I bother
With another absent father?
So I talk to my loneliness
And lean on regret
Childhood prayers you to soon forget
I cry into my hallow
It’s stable and is known
Gathering dust
On forgotten tears
My reflection is sad
Godless, alone
Through the years
Iv’ grown to see
What time and pain have shown
Relentless strength
Is company
My only and my own

Fear taught is fear lived. I was wounded and afraid and not wanting to be perceived as weak I covered my fear with anger. Having been given the gifts of observation and thinking I soon discovered that they who would condemn the most precious and colorfully beautiful parts of me were the actualization of the evil they preached. They each embodied the fears and failings of humanity, the very challenges they considered to be the signs of a demonic presence in a person’s life.

“Bethy, those feelings are only the devil trying to get at you! Don’t let the devil win- fight the devil Bethy! By the power of Jesus tell satin to be gone. By the blood of the lamb be gone from the thoughts of this child of god!” said my pastor, youth leader, church elders, grandmother, government, television and school.

I soon grew to mistrust my church, family, community and worst of all- myself.

Is God…?
Her religion is a figurehead for politics to handle
My religion is the source of laundering and scandal
Religions the excuse for war that none can equal
Religious symbols carved or stamped on graves of tortured people
Americas a melting pot, the world a Caesar salad
Religion is the hovering fork before we’re all devoured
An absent god is sought in vain through a constant upward stare
Anxious souls heaven bound arrive to waiting air
Pious zealots spend their lives in holy chant and prayer
Timeless bible verses read aloud in great despair
A life was laid upon the path that holy men have trod
Religion has me wondering if there ever was a god

And then came the break. I left the building, names and rules that had stripped me of my confidence and shaken my foundations. I drifted in a sea of confused and soul stripped people. Each of us had been born with our sacred temple at the center of ourselves and the followers of the Christ had burned and pillaged the temple and raped the sovereignty of mind. We were naked and exposed to the elements believing that the elements were outside of us, acting on us without our consent, participation or design.

This was the beginning of the search for solid ground. I soon learned that I could depend upon myself for comfort, protection and stability. I had found something to again have faith in- myself. The fire of disillusionment burned and I welcomed its cleansing flames, inviting them to devour all that remained of my fearful, weak and sinful self. Let the light of my sacred flame illuminate my eternal soul- amen.

Fade Away/Fly Away
There was a day I leapt into the sunlight and was blinded by the joy that I’d rejoiced in
I’d lived so long I couldn’t tell that I had walked among the edges of the jumps I should have made.
I cannot stay. I cannot see.
I cannot see the wings I feel have grown among the daises of my brain
I will not go, I will not flee.
I will not see, although the sun has dazzled me awake.
I feel the light
I want to go
I feel the heat
I want to shine
I feel the passion as it’s fizzled out in pain- its mine.
When is the time?
When will I teach my wings to stretch and reach the sky?
Why must I stay?
Hold up my hands and watch the sunlight turn to gray.
Fade away

It’s only now that I can feel the breeze that s blowing through my brain.
It’s only now that I can see I’m not the same.
Now is the time! Now is the day!
Now is when I stretch my wings into imagination,
Fly away.

At the close of a century that held my lessons in ignorance, anger and forgiveness, I was 18 when I saw Phyllis Curott on the Rosanne Bar talk show. It was 1998 in the Halloween episode she, Rosanne and two other priestesses held hands and sang:

We all come from the goddess,
And to her we shall return
Like a drop of rain,
Flowing to the ocean
”.

Their voices were the moon calling up the oceans of my soul. I opened and wept the tears of a child who had heard her mother’s voice calling her home from the storm. I heard the voice of the mother in the voices of those women and I followed it home.

Renegade’s Ride
Renegade religion
And I upon a steed
Flight into the holy
Mother’s mystery
Sound and speed unending
Speed and sound combined
Flight beyond travails
And I who seek- shall find
Find the darksome mother
Nude by dark and light
Light and dark unending
Then eyes of second sight
Second sight unending
I see the other side
I see regenerating
This unending ride.

In 2008 I am 28 and have been trained as priestess, practiced in a coven and now practice as a solitary, occasionally seeking circles and holiday celebrations. In the studio apartment that serves as my temple I am instructed in solidarity by the wood floor, I am blessed by light and the wind that pour into my east facing windows, I am filled with the sounds of waves ebbing and flowing on the shores of my heart and I continue to burn in the light that shines the brilliance of the names which are above all names and the name of the god I am.
I have come home.

No Easy Answers
I wonder with a force
That questions time and space
And I’m wondering what lies
Just beyond this place
And I’m wondering of people
Of their souls and everlasting
And I’m feeling that the answers
Are all there for the asking
I am filling with the sound of a call from deep inside
And the meanings that eluded me
Now with me reside
And these questions and their answers
That froth about my mind
Know that questions are the answer
Know that truth,
Is undefined.



Footnotes:
All original material written by E. B. Rodriguez

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