Friday, August 31, 2007

Why would I choose Wicca after Mormonism?

I am a practicing Wiccan, and have been since Mabon 2003, just shy of a year after leaving the Morg*. I actually started out looking up Wicca on the Internet because I was gunning for an ex-husband who claimed he had "connections" with covens and black magic practitioners and was thinly veiling threats of vengeance upon me for leaving him. I wanted to gain information on Wicca so I could protect myself from it. What an amazing journey it has been! I quickly discovered that what he had described to me was no where near what Wicca really is, and also, for every hate site there is against Wicca, there are 100 positive sites where Wicca is taught as a religion, and where "fluffy-bunnies" are discouraged (that means if you're looking for ways to gain control over others, entice someone to fall in love with you, or change your ex into a toad, Wicca is not for you). Practicing and learning Wicca is one of the hardest, most satisfying challenges of my life, and is something I will never fully learn throughout my entire lifetime. Wicca is a process of learning, and one can never learn to much!!! What a contrast from Mormonism, where they are constantly trying to limit everyone's knowledge to 'approved manuals' and 'scripted study guides' LOL!!!

I decided to consider myself Wiccan after voraciously reading on every website I could find, collecting books on every variation of Wicca (and there are hundreds of varieties of Wicca, even Christian-based), and lots of solitary time to sort out what I have been taught to believe from what resonates from inside of me. I use Wicca as a tool to bring out my own inner spirituality, I use Wicca as a format for developing my own spiritual consciousness, and I call myself a Wiccan, because it separates me from the expected 'norm' for a middle-aged white woman in Southern Iowa. I wear pentacle necklaces and medallions, I have t-shirts with pictures of Goddesses and pentacles on them, I attend meetings of like-minded Pagan folks who aren't necessarily Wiccan, but practice alternative types of spiritual progressive thought. (and no, drugs are not used to obtain this).

I'm often disappointed when I come across people who still think that Wicca is about blood sacrifices, killing kittens or goats (or worse, newborn babies) and wild orgies with strangers while tied up on a post. (that last one was from a TBM**) I am also a little saddened by people who believe that Wicca is a cult, and that I am under the control and direction of a coven led by a High Priest who can order me to kill someone at any moment and I must obey or suffer my own life to be taken (also from a TBM). All of these things are completely FALSE.

I have never taken a life, caused blood to be spilled, witnessed any harm on any living creature (or the mutilation of a dead one), or participated in any wild orgies (although if they are going on somewhere it sure would be nice to be invited at least...)

It pains me to hear these misconceptions about Wicca, especially coming from TBM's, because when I was a Mormon, I was told many times by those who had no experience whatsoever what Mormons really believe, what really goes on inside the temple, what kind of heinous acts were done to little children on the altars of the church, etc. It really pissed me off to be a Mormon and have others tell me what it is that I REALLY believe, even thought I say I don't believe them. Now, as a Wiccan, I am getting the very same attitude from TBM's (and others) that they get from those who wouldn't have any damn idea what the hell they are talking about. And it really infuriates me whenever some so-called former Wiccan/Satan worshipper goes gallivanting about "exposing" the atrocities of Wicca and claiming that these sort of things really do happen. Just like any other religion, Wicca has it's share of crazies, and it's not fair to judge the whole system based on a few weirdos, just like it's not fair to judge the entire LDS church based solely on what the Fundy Polygamists do. Although it's true that the LDS church used to do these things, there is ample evidence that they would still be willing practitioners of it if they hadn't promised to cease in order to obtain statehood. But, I digress....

Wicca is more about bringing out your individual spirituality, and connecting to the divine within yourself. Everyone on this earth has the ability to make change, and Wicca is a process of bringing out those energies to promote good, healthy changes without bringing harm to others. I call myself a Wiccan, because I practice the religion. Someone who calls themselves a witch may only be practicing and developing skills in spellwork and bringing about changes using ritual. They may not necessarily be Wiccan. And Wiccans don't necessarily call themselves witches unless they practice spellwork to effect change. Some just practice the religion, the meditation, the inner spirituality rituals and be done with that. It can be confusing at times, so all I can advise is read, read and then read some more. Becoming Wiccan does not happen in the blink of an eye. And, unlike being Mormon, if you decide to move on to something else, you don't have to apologize to anyone, or write a resignation letter, or sweat out what your family will think. You just move on to whatever suits your personal spiritual needs and desires.

I laugh about people assuming I'm in a cult because I say I'm Wiccan, when the real truth is I left a cult (Mormonism) and found Wicca all on my own, and practice it alone with no coven, no authorities to revere and no 'dues' to pay each week. I'm more free now to be myself than I ever was being LDS, and I wouldn't give up this freedom to change my point of view whenever I like, rather than being constantly chastised for exploring new ideas and "thinking too much".


* Morg---A combination of the words Mormon and Borg
**TBM---True Believing Mormon

12 comments:

Charity G said...

I too am a Wiccan who is a former Mormon. When I describe my Wiccan faith to people, they are less apt to give me grief than when I told them I was Mormon (when I still was). After my roommate was told that she couldn't be baptized into the LDS church until I was out of her home, I decided that I would never again be subjected to their primitive and limited way of thinking.

I applaud you for leaving when you found out what the real story is. I too hated to be told what I "believed" but now I see that what I WAS believing was so limited by what they told me.

Astarte Moonsilver said...

Thank you Charity, for stopping by my little blog. I keep a full time former-mormon blog at wonderwitch.blogspot.com if you are ever interested in some church history to use in defense of your decision to leave. I am pretty fortunate, as I have only one parent and one sibling as active members. Most of my family doesn't question my new path, just the usual little teasing here and there, (especially around Halloween). I haven't been shunned or been put under an ultimatum thankfully.

It's crazy but sometimes my Mormon parent will come and tell me what I believe as a Wiccan, and what I actually do in my rituals, and who I am calling upon for assistance. I just turn the table around and switch "Mormon" for "Wiccan" and throw it back. Works every time!!!

There are some folks out there who still think Mormons use temples for orgies, blood sacrifices of some kind, or rituals involving blindfolds and ropes. Same with Wicca I guess. It doesn't occur to anyone that one can be a solitary Wiccan without authorities to submit to, tithing to pay, or membership commitments in a group. Neither is there excommunication or shunning in solitary Wicca. That's what shines for me the most about it.

Anonymous said...

I can fully understand this as I also am a former Mormon. My parents haven't put me under an ultimatum either although every chance she gets my mother tries to "turn me away from my evil path". I searched for many years for a religion that fit with me rather than forming myself into a preset mold of what I should be and now am a very happy Druid. You can't allow people to force you into a spot where you don't fit.

Yuuri said...

I'm so thankful I found your blog. I am 'technically' a Mormon still though I do not consider myself to be anymore since I haven't believed it since the Book of Abraham thing (well... that was the straw that broke the camel's back, at least and it made A LOT more sense after reading the Egyptologist's interpretation of the incomplete fascimiles) But Wicca had always been there in my life almost as far back as I can remember and I really followed it in my heart more than any organized church.

But I guess it really excited me a lot when you said you officially became a practitioner on Mabon because this year's Mabon (which is tomorrow :D) is when I am going to consider myself a true practitioner and perform the initiation rite.

But may I ask how you opened up about your being Wiccan to your family? My mother is pretty devout and my grandmother (a former rlds member on my father's side (my father is essentially atheist now; the church drove hi away more than anything because of his gender dysphoria) is also a member as well. At least I already know that my friends won't care what I believe. :3

But I am glad I found your entry and I'm really sorry I probably rambled. (I guess I needed someone to tell who would be able to understand. xD Thank you very much for sharing your experience; it really helped.

Anonymous said...

I am a Latter-day Saint and while I doubt that we will agree when it comes to religious beliefs, I hope that you don't lump all of us Mormons into the TBM category that you seem to throw around with a certain degree of contempt.

I am glad that you found something you can believe in. May you find happiness therein.

Rachel said...

Hi there,
I'm a former mormon who is looking and studying into wicca. It was great to come across your blog and know there are others out there who understand how hard it is. I would appreciate any advise you could offer. Thank you

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear a lot of people out there were burned by the Mormon church. I have been a member all my life, and still go each Sunday and believe in God. On the other hand, I'm also a witch. I feel that the faith and elements of witchcraft can be linked, and are acceptable by God. After learning about witchcraft all that I could, I prayed to know if it was ok, and felt very strongly that it was. Just because you are or were Mormon and want to be a witch doesn't mean you will be kicked out of the church.

***********************************Astarte Moonsilver said...

If you go to your bishop, and tell him this story, you will be excommunicated from the church. He will have no choice in the matter. It is in the handbook. The bishop, his two counselors, and a handful of the priesthood members will convene a Court of Love, which is actually a membership revocation meeting, and you will be invited to hear their judgements against you. Your assertation that "I prayed to know if it was ok, and felt very strongly that it was" will be condemned as messages from the Devil. Ironicly, Joseph Smith practiced divination in his day, but you will be cast out for claiming to do similar acts. Go ahead and try it, and DO please return and report what happens.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I definately would not go to the bishop if you are still attending meetings on Sunday and would like to continue to do so...bad idea, they will have you excommunicated in a heartbeat. There is no reason, however that you need to um...inform the bishop of your other "beliefs". I wear my jewelry in secret, and do not tell my LDS friends (with the exception of one person I trust) about my beliefs. My Wiccan friends think it is a great thing, BTW. I have to admit that I am not really attending the LDS church currently. and have not felt the "love" from the ward that I am in. In fact, they really seem to have forgotten that I exist...oh well, there loss

Anonymous said...

I always find these things way to late, I am a mormon, but am looking for the Divine Feminine in Mormonism. I feel though to me it's okay to study and understand the basic principles of every faith, and I'm glad you have a path that fulfills you.

I am on my own path to spiritual fulfillment, and I hope that I can become freer to know the truth and to be able to discern it from the false.

I think truth is based upon which questions we ask. It is not relative though, but if we ask question, we get answers based upon that questions. I do not believe this is black and white either.

So a person could very well get the answer it is right to practice something, that the current leaders disagree with. Because God the Father and Mother gives us agency, and it is Agency (Not Obedience) it is Agency that all things are predicated upon.

Anonymous said...

After reading this site i felt sick to my stomach knowing that Satan has deceived all of you. My faith as a Mormon is very strong and i know that is very true and a member for 31 years now. You needed to pray for the gift of descernment and revelation from GOD which is very clear you all did not do. My heart goes out to you all..youserve the devil you end up with him and you have not read the bible or other scriptures on preistcraft and witchcraft. You are all in bondage to the most evil monster who ever existed. I have been in the presence of 2 witches in my life and the evil i felt coming from them made me feel ill. You all must have been lonely or bored with your lives to enter into such a Horrible trap that LUCIFER set fo you Yes we have agency but to be worthy we all need to be obediant to the commandments of GOD to make it back home to him and i do. My only prayer is i never come accross any of you witches WICCANS again in my life. you may fool some people but not the truly faithful children of GOD and excummunication is right to get you all out of JESUS CHRISTS TRUE CHURCH. You probably wont post this as it is true and satan does not want the truth to get out he is cunning and pure evil.
There is no freedom without the Law and you are all in SPIRITUAL DARKNESS. Susan

Astarte Moonsilver said...

Wrong, Susan. I will post it. Because your response is such a typical Zombie Mormon blah-blah-blah that I have heard a thousand times already. Ever hear of the Borg in the Star Trek movies? Well, the Morg is similar. You aren't allowed individual thought, or opinion. Your responses are identical, and your place among them is assured. As for me, I've been out 8 years now, and I've never been LESS afraid of Satan than I am outside of that church. I never have to think about a demonic entity lurking around corners to trap me and send me to hell. Your god and your theology promotes fear. My religion teaches kindness and acceptance. And, because of that, I will respect your right to have your opinion, and I will even give you a small space here to promote your opinion. But, know this. NOTHING you say can change my mind. I've heard it all before, from people closer to me than you will ever be. I'm convinced I made the right choice, and I have been enjoying my time outside the box, where the air is fresh and the knowledge of good and evil is free and available. Have fun living in the shadow of the Brethren. I have free will and free choice, but you don't as long as you keep selling it in exchange for promises in the afterlife.