Comparative religious studies? Theology? Yes those were my other options if I hadn’t done Drama. So I have continued in an amateur way throughout my life because I am absolutely fascinated by religions.
Given that you have been following this A – Z series and understand that I am an ex-Wiccan and shaman, you may find it bizarre that I go to Mass in Roman Catholic churches and am a member of the Rosary Team in my village. We meet once a month to pray together for problems in the world and in our small corner of it. Should I explain? I have absolutely no problem with honouring other people’s gods. For me, all deities are just a manifestation of the spirit of the Universe, male and female. So in whatever religious company I find myself, I just join in. I also find the rosary a wonderful aid to meditation, to the point where I collect them. At the last count I had seven but my favourite is a very old monastic one that measures three feet in length and would have been worn from the waist cord on a monk’s habit.
I’ve been extremely lucky in my life that I’ve come into contact with just about every religion in the world and I’ve made friends, asked questions, been welcomed into their communities. I am blessed. I have very good friends who are Christian. One of them asked if it was okay to say “Bless you” to me and I beamed with pleasure. Of course it’s okay. Can never have enough blessings, say I.
We all get along famously because none of us is going to try and force their beliefs on anyone else. My friends respect my ways and I do theirs. What I don’t have much time for, is the “One True Way” people who think that they have the only correct answers. Even less time do I have for those who consider people not of their religion to be non-people. Sorry, mate, but what kind of god do you have who can deny the humanity of people based on a belief in something that may or may not even exist?
Amongst my circle are Quakers, Protestants, Roman Catholics, Jews, Muslims and Buddhists. None of us have any time for proselytising. So the people who come to the door wanting to change my ideas are ushered in, sat down and asked if they want to hear the good news about the Goddess. This usually surprises them. Well, fair exchange, you want me to listen to you about your religion, you can listen to me about mine. Strangely enough, they usually make their excuses and leave in a hurry.