Embracing Christianity While Connecting To Divinity
It’s just a few weeks until 2019 and I’m already anxious to know what my horoscope reads for the year. What truth will it reveal? When should I schedule my next tarot reading? How do I stay grounded in the present despite my anticipation of the future? All of these questions seem normal for any witchy-feminist millennial in tune with their higher self, but for me, it’s a reality I try to keep secret.
I grew up Christian — I also still consider myself “Christian” even though I have no clue how to label it all. I’m very spiritual, I believe in God, I also believe in Jesus and the non-problematic ideas in the Bible… but then I’m also into tarot, psychic readings, and all things new-agey. I’m like the Jesus loving hippie who smokes weed, does yoga and doubts most of the religious foundation I grew up on. I’m a walking oxymoron but I like the idea of a man who chilled with prostitutes over rich aristocrats while also loving the freedom of exploring my own truths through tarot.
I had my first experience with new ageism and divination when I was about five years old. I wouldn’t say it was just one event, but a culmination of multiple smaller moments that I think the universe used to draw me closer to my current beliefs. The first was at daycare when a group of very diverse and annoyingly curious kids who watched The Craft too many times decided it would be cool if we all sat outside held a seance. A mix of genders held hands and swayed in unison as the wind picked up. Looking back on that moment it's funny how we really thought we were invoking a spirit when in reality we were probably just annoying the neighbors.
Then there was my dad’s girlfriend. She lived in the backwoods of Savannah, Georgia where we’d take trips along dirt roads where the street lights were non-existent and children ran around barefoot — it was the 90s but it felt like the 50s. The relics in her house weren’t off-putting but in some ways comforting. It always felt like something was hugging me in a magical way. Come to find out the ethereal beauty that captivated my dad’s heart was a voodoo high priestess (something he found out later on). While I never had an encounter with her work, I felt the power of just being in her space. It was that pivotal moment that piqued the interest that I tried for the longest to hide.
I later dabbled in spell-making in middle school with two of my friends — we genuinely thought our incantations were making something happen — again, too much of The Craft. But I also went to church every Sunday. I grew up very Christian. I went to vacation bible study every summer, I was required to recite the 23 Psalm before any trips to Chuck E. Cheese were allowed, and yes… I went to purity-camp. A four-week commitment to learning why my virginity was priceless including a purity ring. I dropped out after the first meeting.
College is when my interest grew to another level after a spirit-filled trip to Sedona, Arizona. While exploring the magical town full of vortexes and crystal shops, I wandered into a new age shop that offered psychic readings. My curiosity and free-spirited nature sat me before a psychic who laid out my very first tarot spread, along with a reading that foreshadowed two life events that came to fruition later in my life: reconnecting and forgiving my dad and a career that had nothing to do with my original plan of law school. Cards that revealed innocence, comparison, and patients spoke to who I was in that very moment and I was hooked.
I had three other tarot/psychic readings since that experience, all at very poignant points of my life where I was dealing with a lot of change and needed clarity. Each one gave me enough hope to continue to “trust myself” but to also listen to my spirit guides. Today I wear a bracelet that includes two quartz crystals for protection. One that reveals “truth” and the other “emotions” because my dating life is an emotional rollercoaster of men with zero emotional I.Q or deep-seated, un-worked childhood trauma.
But as I reflect, I realize I’ve always had this in me. Since I was a kid I’ve had lucid dreams, out of body experiences, and then as a teen, I started experiencing my first set of premonitions. By the time I was a senior in high school I knew what college I would be accepted into any other answers to my deepest questions, often revealed through a dream. My grandmother called them “visions” and “gifts” from God — at times sharing with me her stories of seeing ghosts (or spirits as she called them) or having visions herself. But if I ever spoke of those experiences out of context I was told it was a sin. Anything dealing with “witchery” or divination with my Christian upbringing was of the devil.
I’m basically the free-spirited anomaly of my family. On one occasion my dad saw the tattoos on my wrist (they’re literally birds) and asked me if I was, “into that witchcraft stuff.” Anytime anyone sees me rocking a new piercing or wearing too much crystal jewelry I’m given the side-eye. The man who once received chakra healing treatments with crystals is now an ordained minister, but I wouldn’t dare ask him about his past because the conversation would be quickly shot down. I wonder, with all the African statues I grew up around thanks to my dad's many travels to the continent — did he ever feel the calling too?
Today, as I prepare to light my green heart chakra candle and my white candle that I often speak small “spells” over, I see my open-faced bible in my peripheral. I often think that my spirituality is an ode to my African ancestry that honored spiritism and divination as a means to make some sense of our reality — a mortal existence between our ancestors and the unborn. I rock imitation cowry shells in my twisted course hair with a Zulu tribe-made bracelet on my left arm from South Africa. I pray to a God who is neither man or woman, and I abide by scriptures that remind me to treat others with love and kindness. I’m an anomaly, or maybe I’m just another reborn reincarnation of my ancestors who has yet to fully actualize her power. Whatever this is, it’s my truth.
New Moon “Letting Go” Ritual To Bring In 2019
Using red ink write all the things you want to let go of on the piece of paper. Draw a circle around what you have written and cleanse the circle with sprinkles of salt or the smoke of burning sage. Call on your guides or helpers and light the red candle.
Next, call on your higher self and take a moment to hear what you are asking. Use the red candle to light the paper and visualize yourself free of your former self and everything holding you back. Set the paper on the fireproof dish and allow it to completely burn.
Let the candle burn until it is gone either over the course of the night or over a series of days.
Release and move forward in freedom.