When the universe is going to give me a sign, I generally do need it to be a figurative form of flashing hot pink neon.
So when I ran over a feather with a large brush mower – three times – and that feather was still unscathed, I realized someone was trying to get my attention.
It was a barred owl tail feather. Tail feathers are about steering and guiding. It’s what started me on this spiritual journey of mine.
Not right away, of course. I was raised Christian. While I had a love of nature and a belief that a forest was one of the best churches you could ask for, the idea of a nature based religion or another form of paganism seemed really out there. At the time, I only knew one person who was a Pagan. She was a friend of mine, and I regarded her religion with a mixture of curiosity, fascination, and trepidation.
SIDE NOTE: What follows are my personal frustrations with and about Christianity. I’m not trying to vilify the faith. I’m saying this is how I feel about it. If you feel differently, I can accept and respect that. Please read to the end of this post. I promise you, Christianity does tie into my life in the end. The Universe is a wonderfully cyclical place.
Over the course of my life, I had drifted in and out of Christianity. I never believed, despite what the Bible indicated, that the only true path to the divine was through Jesus. I refused to believe that God was so random as to doom someone to hell no matter what they did because they’d been born in another part of the world where Christianity wasn’t the norm and consequently wound up being raised in a different faith.
I also had always believed that deity didn’t care what we called it. In short, I’d always believed all Gods are one.
Nobody taught me these things, these are just the things that I know to be true for me.
I wanted a connection to the divine, but just couldn’t seem to connect well enough through Christianity. Why? There are the reasons stated above, but there’s also a very simple question. It’s one that I’d asked ever since I was five years old, and I never did receive a satisfactory answer to it.
Where are the women?
If you look at the Bible, God is male. Period. If you try to think about the feminine aspects of God, you are generally shut down hard by churchgoers, those who are deeply religious, and pastors.
The idea that God made man first, and then had to improvise a woman from his rib cheapens my existence.
There are some that believe that God made Adam, then all the other animals on the planet, and then woman. That disgusts me.
I am no one’s afterthought. I sure as hell am not God’s afterthought.
And some Christians believe that Eve is responsible for all the suffering in this world, and I’m supposed to somehow also be responsible, simply because of my gender?
No effing way.
What women there are in the Bible, outside of Eve, Mother Mary and Esther, generally were of little importance and did not have much in the way of power. I refuse to believe that all the struggles in this life are all Eve’s fault. And there is no way I’m qualifying for Mother Mary.
Esther is the only one of these I feel I can really relate to. She told the truth when she had to, and it saved the lives of herself and her people.
Jesus is supposed to be a role model. We are supposed to live up to His example. In fact, Jesus is supposed to have known everything I’m going through because he lived as a human being.
Jesus was never a girl. He was never a woman. There is no way that he has experienced everything I personally am going through.
And yes, I know the Bible was written more than 2,000 years ago, when men ruled and women were property. That explains the fact that there are not many women of power in the Bible, but it doesn’t explain the creation stories, the refusal to consider the feminine aspects of God, or the idea that I should be somehow be equated with Eve and her sin.
I asked where are the women. The better and more pertinent question is, “Where am I?” I personally could not see myself reflected in the Christian faith.
For these reasons, I drifted in and out of Christianity like a distant radio signal on a summer night. And while I had some trepidation about Paganism, the idea of a Goddess alongside a God was exactly what I personally had been seeking. Divine feminine.
Eventually, I began looking studying the basics of Paganism in general and found a group of Pagans in my area.
And they understood.
I’m an empath. Always have been, always will be. And for once, I didn’t hear, “That doesn’t exist.”
“That’s not possible.”
“What’s wrong with you? You are way too sensitive. You need to grow a thicker skin.”
Instead, I heard, “I am, too.”
“My sister is an empath. I’m a channel.”
“My friend can do that. I talk to trees.”
I had always been the odd one. So had they. I had sought the Divine Feminine. So had they. I had sought balance in religion, Divine Masculine and Divine Feminine together. So had they.
Christianity didn’t fit me. I found my spiritual connection by knowing I was a child of Divinity, a bearer of God’s/The Universe’s/The Lord and Lady’s fingerprints and using those fingerprints to trace my own path back to the Divine.
Today, I am a solitary practitioner of Paganism.*
Feathers are gifts from angels. In my case, they are specifically from Archangel Michael.
So I believe it was Michael – and his supervisor, the Christian God – that set me on this path.
I could not find through Christianity a connection to the divine that I can feel in my deepest heart and mind. Yet without Christianity, I could not have found the connection I now enjoy.
I owe Christianity a debt of gratitude.
I am grateful.
*If you have questions about those terms, please see my definitions page.