Another Pagan Blog
 
Sorry for that long precursor to my birth much less my story, but to understand what kind of a family I come from one should know where my family is coming from. 
I grew up in a homeschooled house, my oldest sister L went to a public school, but until Jr. High my middle sister J and I both were homeschooled. Our textbooks were from a Christian provider, and taught us things about how Pocahontas was lucky because we brought her to God, and we learned our Language Arts lessons with Biblical scriptures. 
The first public activity, outside of Church that I was exposed to was a Bible Study type group called AWANA, a country-wide organization that separates children into their school grades and gives them books with verses in them to be memories, readings to study with questions to answer. There was a portion of the evening when a Leader would give the kids a Bible lesson, a portion where the kids would repeat their memorized verses to their Leaders, and a portion of games. I started in the Preschool grade and went all the way through the High School grades, memorizing over 1000 Bible verses. (Possibly more, what with 69 verses in the first three years alone, and 150 in the following four years.)
I was and still am very proud of my achievements in AWANA. Not every pagan can say they have a grasp of the Bible, much less have so many verses logged in random areas of their brainmatters. And aside from the verses I have memorized I was also to become familiar with many aspects of the Bible through church, and personal reading. While I have not read the entire Old and New Testament cover to cover I have read many of the books within start to finish. I have a pretty good grasp of my Biblical knowledge, and still keep a Bible on my bookshelf, in part to remind me of my start, and in part so I can pull it out whenever a Christian decides to challenge my learning.

I spent a lot of time searching for Faith between the leather covers of a book. But I was to find Faith from a very different book, or rather several books.
In the early years of my life I learned to read from Biblical stories written for children, or from morality stories written with a heavy Christian undertone (Uncle Arthur's Bedtime Stories for example)(Yes I'm only in my 20s, my parents liked those books). My sisters favorite series was the "Little House on the Prairie" books, by Laura Ingles Wilder, I loved them because the main character was also a little girl named Laura. Again, heavy Christian undertones. By my dad really brought it all together by reading "Little Pilgrim's Progress" which was a child-friendly adaptation of the John Bunyan "Pilgrim's Progress." (It was heavily edited because not even everything in that book was Christian enough). It is an allegorical bildingsroman (coming of age novel) about a young man who battles his vices, carries his cross, and is eventually saved by a "Prince" who shows him the path of safety (but if I remember correctly only shows up after a near-death experience).
But ironically I think it was that book that lead me to seek more books with a fantastical theme. Of course, even in a Christian household as mine fairy tales could not be entirely kept out. My dad was a huge fan of some of the original Walt Disney films, so I grew up with Snow White and Cinderella movies, sometimes those and the Looney Toons on film that we had were the only thing I would ever watch, as my parents couldn't always afford cable. The stories of princesses, and magic, and fairy godparents thrilled me. At the library I would pick up the picture books about the fairy tales. And a little later I would start picking up longer books, always reading the back and if it had a magical tone it was more likely to go in my bag than say, the next Boxcar Children's book. But there are two books in my youth that stand out as the ones that really had my ready to believe in fairies. But neither of them were to come into my life until the year I spent in a very small private school.

Until next week I am Tasho,
An Ex-born again, bi-sexual, pagan.
 
 
My parents hail from Washington and Idaho, having spent their youth moving around between the two states. My dad's family was a real country kind of family, they had built their own house when my dad was in middle school or high school, and they had some farmland. My mom's dad was a Protestant pastor, and she was the youngest of three children, with about 7 years between her and her closest-in-age sister. 
They both grew up, went to college and got married. Mom married a quiet athletic guy who fathered her first two daughters. Dad married...well all I really know about Dad's first wife is she was a waitress, and I just found that out recently...Dad's pretty closemouthed about the marriage.
I won't go into to many details about my Mom's divorce, but you should know that it was completely justified. My Mom kept her daughters, my big sisters and became a working single mother. At this point she was living in Washington. Her sister and her sister's husband had started attending a small, non-denominational church that had about 5 or 6 regular families at the time. And my aunt just knew she had to introduce her little sister to the trumpeter in the church. 
My parents courted, and I presume they fell in love, but they still kept their distance from one another. The church where they had met, where they were both now attending, taught that the old laws were not done away with, just because of the existence of the new laws in the New Testament.  The combed the Bible over, aware of the law that if a woman should be divorced from her husband that she may not remarry. My parents went over the laws with a fine toothed comb until they found the law that considered their marriage legal in the eyes of God. I couldn't tell you for sure, but if I remember the story right, I think it had something to do with the fact that he had also been divorced before. They were married in the summer of '86. Almost immediately they packed up the car and moved down to sunny California where Dad already had a job lined up.
I was born almost exactly one year later. 



 
 
Like about half of the pagan community I come from a Christian household. And while I would hesitate to call it hostile, it certainly was not a very open-minded household. My parents followed the Bible to the point where, as a child, I frequently got asked if I was a Jew because I didn't eat seafood or celebrate Christmas. 
Since becoming a Pagan and come out of the closet about my Bi-sexuality I've joked about my father drowning me in Holy Water despite not being Catholic.
But the sad truth of it is I don't have to worry about Holy Water. I do have to worry about disownment. The Bible teaches that thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. I doubt my father would go so far as to kill me, but I know he would never accept my identity as a Pagan, as a believer in and worshiper of multiple deities, as a practicioner of spells (even if my 'spells' right now are nothing more than the rituals). 
To my father, if he knew what I was, he would see me as nothing more than a Satan worshiper. Not to mention my sexuality.
And my mom? My mom is my best friend, I tell her almost everything. But it would slowly kill her inside if she knew who I identified as. And it kills me that I can't tell her, but I couldn't ever let myself hurt her in that way. 


So why am I telling you about my parents? Because I want to get the story out there of how I can to walk this path, but more importantly I want to get the message out there that even though I have every reason to feel a hatred and animosity towards the Christian religion, I don't feel that. An animosity towards my parents beliefs, yes, but I have nothing personal against the Christian religion. And the whys and hows of it can't be told in just one quick blurb. Because this story is about more than how I came to walk the way, it's about how Christianity introduced Paganism to me.


Until then, I am Tasho
An Ex-born again, Bi-sexual, Pagan.