Religion Of Self Expression Essay

1402 words - 6 pages

In my family, we see religion as our own personal decision; different to each individual. All the children in the Meyer family have been encouraged to explore religions and find what fit us best. As a child I was looking for a religion that I could relate to. I wanted to get in touch with nature and myself. I explored many different religions but I found no connection to them. My grandmother, a few cousins, and an aunt practice Wicca, and when I was nine I took immediate interest. I quickly felt like I belonged somewhere and had a purpose. My nana took me under her wing and I studied and practiced under her supervision. My nana is a High Priestess, an equivalent to a Pastor or Priest, and was therefore qualified to instruct me in Wicca. Over the course of my adolescence I have learned a great deal about Wicca, and I devoutly practice Wicca each and every day. There are multitudes of non-believers and some extremists that aim to harm Wiccans, but Wicca is not violent, or evil. Wicca is a beautiful, enthralling religion that is self- and nature-based and focuses on the journey of life through knowledge, wisdom, and exploration.
The history of Wicca is odd because Wicca, unlike many other religions, does not go back thousands of years. Wicca is a New Age denomination that stems from age-old practices of Paganism, Hebrew mysticism, and Greek folklore. The name “Wicca” stems from the Anglo-Saxon word “wicce” which translates to one who practices sorcery or herb craft(Wicca-Butler). Ancient Pagan-European tribes practiced early magick that is very similar to Wiccan practices today. These pagans used rituals to utilize nature’s energy to grant their people whatever they needed or desired including: game, favorable crops, health, love, wealth, and wisdom (History).
In 1147, Christians began the Northern Crusades. The crusades began much like the Holocaust of the 1930-40s. Christian crusaders began spewing propaganda about the pagans and began to turn the rest of the world against them. Crusaders changed the meaning of pagan, which means “country dweller,” to “unbeliever”. The crusaders also changed the pagan deities to be seen as evil creatures that only “evil people” worshipped. The crusaders attacked the pagan culture’s openness of sex and reverence for women. Soon, the crusaders were forcing Pagans to convert by using violence. The crusaders saw women as mere property. Over time, the acrimonious crusaders led the rest of the world to hate the pagans and during the 15th century, they made all forms of witchcraft, including Paganism, illegal. Stories and legends of evil witches were instilled in the minds of people for generations. This great fear started “witch hunters” on massive accusation sprees that eventually led to hundreds of women and a few men to be brutally tortured. For two hundred years, men and men were tortured, burned alive at the stake, or hung for their so-called crimes. Most of these victims had never practiced any form of...

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