Eight years ago, I made a big, life-changing decision - I left the church I had been a minister of for eight years.
Since then,I have been very wary about jumping out of the frying pan into the fire - saying "Pass" or "lots of my friends are Druids..." when people ask about my religion.
Labels. Love 'em or loathe 'em, people are going to give them to you.
Well, this year, something wonderful has happened to me. Something unexpected that has made my "religious" life complete.
The Goddess has come into my life.
I haven't joined anything, don't call myself anything new - I'm just alive to her and She is alive to me.
For most of my life (outside of being a minister), I would speak to God only in moments of crisis and think of Him (always a Him) as a Santa on a cloud, an ultimately cooler version of me (higher self) or something bigger, beyond and other - maybe the Holy Spirit or the all pervading "Force".
I barely considered the possibility of a girl-God - can you imagine? The only time I encountered a reference to the Goddess in my childhood was on a bumper-sticker: When God made man, SHE was only joking.
People in my experience have spoken of finding God or of Jesus coming into their life, but never the Goddess.
True, the Catholics pray to Mother Mary, but they only really ask her to pray to Father God on their behalf and I don't like to presume as we've never been properly introduced and she probably has her hands full anyway.
Nope, not even your Hannumans, Ganeshes, Buddhas or Confucii advertised as prolifically as did Father, Son and Holy Ghost for my prayers - they had the supplication market well and truly sewn up.
Even among the pagans I've hung around with for the last eight years, very few of them talk of an experience about the Goddess. It's simply taken as read that if you want to talk to a God or a Goddess (there's plenty of pantheons to choose from), that's your business, get on with it or not as the case may be.
So again, it's taken me a while to take the plunge as it were to talk. Speak. Ask. Supplicate. Introduce. Say Hello, commune etc.
I try to be like a little child in my attitude to God and Goddess. I love the way kids talk to everything and make up songs and poems for the world around us.
I love the way some First Nation Americans and Maori traditions refer to Mother Earth, Father Sky, Grandfather Fire - for these folks, the universe is alive and acknowledging this by talking to it, is the most natural thing in the world.
Of course, my experience is personal and non-transferable - I can't prove any of my experience to you and I wouldn't want to, and for now I don't even want to say too much about that.
I just wanted to tell you that my life is richer and more beautiful because of my new relationship with the Goddess and her Universe...
...and it's alive I tell you - ALIVE!!