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“I was born on the night of Samhain, when the barrier between the worlds is whisper-thin and when magic, old magic, sings its heady and sweet song to anyone who cares to hear it.”
― Carolyn MacCullough, Once a Witch

I was born on the night of Samhain. My mom prayed hard that I wouldn’t be born on my due date, Halloween, though I am not really sure why. I love Halloween. That is probably part of the reason I have spent the better part of the last decade as part of the Pagan community.

When I was 14, I read Silver Ravenwolf’s Teen Witch. I was on a trip to the Oregon Coast with my sister and her family. My niece’s friend had brought the book. I think it was supposed to be forbidden, but after the first chapter I was hooked. I cast several spells while on the trip. Since then I have read pretty much any book on magick I can get my hands on.

With one exception, I have no regrets about any spell I have ever cast. While they didn’t always turn out the way it hoped, nothing disastrous has ever occurred. I have learned to see the magic in nature, which my Christian friends inform me is God. My Pagan friends would likely agree, though their gods are many.

My mom thinks I believe in the wormhole aliens from DS9.  She had asked if I somehow have projected my beliefs into outer-space. This is not the case, though I am considering the possibility that gods are also supernatural extraterrestrial beings.

I see many similarities in the way Pagans practice their religion and in the way Christians practice their religion. For example, the other day I was told by Christian to open the Bible to a random page, there I would find my answer. Pagans call this divination. It isn’t really all that different from drawing a random Tarot card, or opening up to a random page of any old book. It is predicated on the belief that at random we can find answers.

A friend of mine suggested that this works because in fact because we are part of the God and goddess. We already know the answer, we just need assistance recognize it. Scientists would argue this is just a self-fulfilling prophecy. We don’t know anything, we simply react to what we see and assume that it is true, bringing about the intended result.

Similarly, prayer and spell casting are very similar. When I do a spell, I’m essentially putting out energy into the universe asking for an intended result. If it works the universe agreed to my request. If it didn’t then nothing happens. When you pray, you ask for an intended results. If your prayers answered that it is well but the will of God, if it is not God simply didn’t want it to happen. Of course, this is a massive oversimplification of both magic and prayer.

Science has shown that the universe is both complicated and beautiful. This may be one of the few things that all religions could agree upon. The difference I find, as the some religions rely so deeply on faith, that they fail to be able to see what is in front of them. Science can be eloquently demonstrated, but means nothing to them. This simply makes no sense to me. I am willing to consider opposing viewpoints, but I struggle to understand why someone who would reject what they see in order to cling to an unseen.  This is why I struggle to wrap my head around faith.

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