I know that learning something new can sometimes become overwhelming and there are times that you are just not sure if you are doing it right. Been There, Done That!
I was raised around the craft all my life but never taught much about it. I was taught the farming herbal wildcrafting thing but I have to admit I did not pay much attention so what I retained was mediocre at best. My family on my mother and fathers side was pagan/christian, I know, you can't be both but YOU CAN! The way you believe is all in the raising and choosing. They did not force me to be one or the other because thier belief was that the choice should be an individual one once you are grown or old enough to decide, which ever came first.
I went through the whole religious/withcraft is evil conflict. I became extremely superstitous and I did the unthinkable for years. I made religious fanatic. I made choices for my kids which is not entirely wrong. Giving your kids a good healthy dose of the family practices whatever it may be (as long as it is sane and legal)does help them decide when they are mature. I wish I had been taught more.I went overboard and became a religious fanatic for eleven years of my life. This came about after my aging grandmother sold the farm where I lived for several years. I believe if I could have raised my kids on the farm I would have evolved to the Path sooner. The money went to pay offf huge debts and we became poorer (not that we were not poor to begin with) really fast and I became dillusional and decided the wrong choice of beliefs led to our present demise, so I became a Christian Religious Holy Roller in the worst way.
Now, I still practiced the homemade herbal medication thing but mostly because of being to poor for medical insurance.
See, the thing about growing up Pagan, especially when your family history of five hundred years clearly shows that witchcraft is in your family to stay. You don't realize that, maybe, it is in your inherent makup. You are a Hereditary Witch, and Yes, I believe in that and this is why.
All the years I tried to instill Chritian beliefs in my children my pagan past would just pop up in my face. When I would stop to check out a trash pile or clean out a student dorm, I would come across literature on Wicca or some other Earth Based Religion so I would immediately give it away. You noticed I said give it away because I don't believe in wasting. I am an avid recycler of junk. I would have a disagreement with someone over something I was very passionate about and bad luck would cometo the other person. I would pray for justice and it would happen. People that made fun of us would become the brunt of other peoples scorn. They would suffer the same indignity as was forced upon us. I would pray for rain standing in my yard on a hot night only to wake to a downpour with tornado warnings. I also had dreams pretty much of my life that had ways of comeing true (in my early and religious years I thought I was cursed).
Then one day in 1980 I stopped to pick up some stuff out of the trash and there was a copy of the Modern Witches Spellbook by Dorothy Morrison. Being the saver (not Hoader) I am, I carried it home in a box of dishes.
A Note, We had nothing when I divorced so the junk was very badly needed, my kids literally played with dirt for lack of toys. most of my furniture came from discards and I had a pretty nice house.
I put the book on a shelf in my bedroom closet and forgot about it. Occasionally, I would pull something from the shelf and the book would fall on my head and I would stick it back upon the shelf.
This was a time when my religious fanatism was slowly dissipating thanks to a rough marriage and the lack of support from my fellow church members at that time of a family disaster. I had started to rethink my beliefs.
Just the same after about the four time of getting hit by this book I decided this was a sign and commenced to reading the book. Dorothy, you are a saint! This book was me, this was what I had always been and just did not give myself a chance to know it. This was what I should have had in my life, not casting away the chritian church but sharing, the way my ancestors did. They really had it going on and dumb me did not realize it.
Years of working three jobs, going to school and raising three kids did not leave me much time to study the path as I shoud have but I continued to collect book on witchcraft and wicca. The lack of training in the Craft of the Wise when I was growing up left me ignorant of the ways of the craft so I started from scratch.
When I finally had time in my life in the late 90s to really start studying I was often left with the feeling of doubt in the way I was carrying out the spell or other applications. I learned that witchcraft is a learn your own way in your own time kind of thing. When you feel good about the way it is done, then it is done.
However, some application should be carried out according to traditional methods to be completely effective so be sure to learn all you can. Also study other religious belief systems both Chritian and Pagan because in the end there is no place in life for criticism of other ways of belief. Life is what we make it, Religion is what we make it, use it all for the benefit of good and good will be your reward.
I am Gypsy, Gypsysquaw (YouTube) or Gaia Windwalker if you like. Gypsy is the name I chose for my user name. My pagan name is Gaia Windwalker chosen for me after years of searching. My birth name is Mary. You may call me either. I was born on a Harvest Moon, in Waco, Tx. I have three grown children and nine grandchildren and one great grandchild. I love animals of all kinds especially cats. I take in strays and find homes for them, I seem to draw animals to me.
I believe our Earth is the most precious thing Humans have going for them.Love her and she will love you back. I believe in right and wrong.
Mostly, I believe in the right to believe in whatever we choose to believe as long as no harm comes from it. This one function is a choice given to us by the great Creator, by whatever name he/she is called by.When we lose the freedom to believe we lose our humanity.