Perhaps the timing is odd, but this October finds me yet again contemplating a union of my pagan beliefs with a form of Christianity – Christopanism. The Catholic Church, with its long, rich, dark, and even magical history, calls to me. Mother Mary calls to me, along with St. Brigid, Sophia and others who (in my mind) represent the divine feminine and can be considered goddesses.
I so deeply crave a church community, but finding a place nearby that I feel comfortable attending has been difficult. I’ve been toying with the idea of visiting a Catholic Church for two years now, ever since Mother Mary connected with me during my pregnancy with Little Brother, but I haven’t yet been brave enough to go. My respect for Catholics is at an all time high, largely due to the humanitarian work they do. Here in WI, they are the people of faith showing the most compassion to the community around them. They are feeding the hungry, healing the sick, and clothing the needy – and doing it with love instead of judgement.
There is an air of mystical, magical wonderment surrounding Catholicism. The idea of joining something ancient, something centuries of my Irish ancestors likely were involved in, is tantalizing. My biggest hang ups with Catholocism have been the martyrdom and self-degradation found in many stories of the saints, the patriarchal hierarchy, and the opposition of gay marriage. I’m realizing that I don’t have to agree with 100% of a religious group’s teachings to participate, though the fundamentalist, cultish mindset of my Baptist upbringing has made it difficult to come to this realization.
After being on the fringe of society my whole life, I’m tired of the pain of never fitting in anywhere. I’m tired of being different. I’m scared about my boys’ growing up without a strong sense of community and belonging. These emotions naturally play a part in my religious considerations. With no local family and very few friends, what do I have to give them? Big Brother (and now all of us) is finding community by being in public school, and it’s awesome. What could belonging to a church community give our family?