“Weird” Child, Concerned Parent

I write this post to show how a few misunderstandings and miscommunications can help ruin the trust between parent and child. This happened to me and my spirituality. I learned in my older age that hate and fear are caused by not knowing. A little education on one side of the equation can lead to understanding and tolerance on the other. This works for both good things and bad. So, let me get to my story.

My spiritual journey started when I was very young. My mom would take me to resident new age shops in the area. I was always very sociable, so I got along just fine with others at these places, and I was always very open minded, as my mom had always taught me. I learned about energy, chakras, the importance of positivity, etc. All I can remember from these years were happiness, acceptance, and love. My mom tucked me in every night, and we used to pray together. I still remember the prayer we used to pray after the Our Father (Lord’s Prayer). It was the Guardian Angel prayer. I still, to this day, have the plaque with that prayer inscribed on it next to my bed.

Later around first grade I was taught in school that these beautiful things my mom taught me, all of those books I had, my tarot cards, my runes, my crystals, etc. were all of the devil. I listened, but secretly I still kept all of that which my mom taught me in my heart. In my soul there was a fire that has guided me throughout life that my mother ignited. I will always be thankful to her for giving a love that would carry me through the some of the hardest times in my life. It was spirituality, in any form, that would protect my mind, and help form me as a man later on. As an adult this spirituality helped me through a lot of my mental illness.

All paths lead to the same center. Much like spokes in a wheel. I lost my faith in Catholicism at around eleven or twelve, but I was still hungry for worship, so, around thirteen, I turned to Wicca. This is a beautiful pagan tradition which has a trinity like Christianity. You have the God, male aspect of divinity, the Goddess, the female aspect of divinity, and the All which is the combination of the two. I loved the holidays! I celebrated the esbats which honored the Goddess since they were performed during the lunar cycles. I also celebrated the sabats which celebrated the solar cycle or the year, also representing the God. The All was inside of me, and I carried it, in my heart, everywhere I went.

Of course, in the eyes of my parents, wearing a pentagram, which represents the four elements and spirit, and having a dagger on my altar, really made them concerned. The dagger, or athame, is meant to “cut” and direct energy and was never meant to be sharpened or used to draw blood. My poor father was so concerned that he forbade me to have an altar and threw away all of my books. Bless his heart, if it were my son, and I came from the Christian background, I would have done the same exact thing! Apparently the superstitious house keeper reported that I was doing rituals naked in the back yard! This is not true. I would practice skyclad(naked) when I was a little older, in my room and in privacy! The reason one practices naked is so that there is nothing between you and the All. I thought it was romantic, so I did it. Also, clothes can be symbolic to what we hide behind, almost like a mask. So being naked allows you to not hide anything back from divinity.

The second misunderstanding was also from the housekeeper when I stole the sea salt from the kitchen.  She said that I had been making circles of salt in my room in a ritualistic way. This part was true. In Wicca salt is used to consecrate a sacred space. When you make a circle, in Wicca, that area becomes sacred space, and a place where you can commune with the God and Goddess. Note around this time I was already fifteen. So, this had all been happening for a few years. My parents still give me grief, to this day, about all of this, and I am thirty-three!

At sixteen I moved on to studying mysticism, Hermeticism, and comparative mythology. So, in other words, I left Wicca behind. I found the need to find the truth behind Wicca and other religions. This would take me through an incredible journey spanning many traditions and practices. I would meet many teachers and learn so much about people. Unfortunately, I kept most of this away from my parents fearing they would judge me and be harsh like they did about Wicca. I regret this because I would have loved to share the beauty of some of the things that I was discovering with them. Unfortunately, after the Wicca fiasco I don’t think they trusted me anymore. Also, my teenage years were hard on all of us. I was the typical teenager rebel asshole to my parents, so that didn’t help.

I’d like to be a parent one day, and I’d love to be as good of a parent as my mom and dad have been with me. The parenting handbook doesn’t come with a, “Your child is doing weird occult things,” section. Actually, if I’m correct, there is no handbook on parenting at all! I think my parents did what they thought was right, but I wish there was more communications on both our parts. Also, I am to blame for becoming so secretive over the years about my beliefs. This is something that would pull me apart from them until my mental illness manifested, and we were brought together again. Well, I hope this can help anyone with a teenager getting into “weird” things. I invite parents to research what their kid is into, good or bad, before intervening.