How I Came to Polytheism from Catholicism

Someone asked me to write about my spiritual journey from Roman Catholicism to polytheism, so here I go . . .

I was raised in a loving home with a family of practicing Catholics.  My father spent a few years in the seminary, though he never took orders.  My whole family is very involved in church life.  I thought I would be a devotee of the Christian God all of my life.  I grew up as a monotheist with strong beliefs.  I was 13 or 14 years old when I went through confirmation.  I remember having a spiritual experience in my backyard the night before my confirmation and thinking, “This is it; this is the Holy Spirit.”

I grew up in a household that taught me to be accepting of others.  My father was always open to discussions about different religions and Catholicism, the good points and the bad points.  I was taught to think for myself, and I was a voracious reader as a child with a strong interest in different religions.  My senior year in high school (17-18 years old), I took a world religions course.  It was always in my mind that the Christian God loved everyone, even people who believed in different Deities.  At one point, I thought that perhaps He encompassed All of Them in some way.  I just could not comprehend that so much of the world would be totally wrong in their forms of worship.  (I realize that this is a rather weak argument, a large group of people can be wrong, but it is how I felt.)  This always sat in the back of my mind, although I still considered myself a monotheist.  I even taught Sunday school when I was in high school, and I felt a great joy in going to mass.  I talked with my guardian angel and with the Christian God on most days (no, I didn’t hear anything back, but I felt things).  I was comfortable.

As I grew older, I realized that I felt uncomfortable around the concept of Jesus.  I couldn’t relate to him.  I’m sure some of my discomfort came from worsening symptoms of my bipolar disorder and some outside events.  I felt a disconnect.  I studied other religions, but I kept coming back to Catholicism.  I think this was partly because of the memories of my youth and partly because I couldn’t find anything else that fit.  Feeling a stronger connection with the Christian God the Father than with Jesus, I explored Judaism.  Talking to a rabbi, he asked me, “How do you know that our God is the God that you want to worship?”  At the time, I was still a monotheist.  I thought that the God I was connecting to was the God of the Old Testament, the only God.  I didn’t realize how insightful his question was.  My anxiety got the better of me, and I never went back to talk to the rabbi again.  I never tried practicing Judaism or any other religion on my own until I became a polytheist.  I didn’t yet understand that experience teaches.

Last year, my issues with the Catholic Church became too much to overlook.  As a bisexual who has spent most of my life hiding my sexuality, I could no longer overlook the Church’s view on homosexuality and bisexuality.  It had never sat well with me, but it became such a big deal to me that I felt I no longer wanted to identify myself with the Church.  I had never thought that the Church was infallible.  My father taught me to be objective and to use my better judgement.  When I was younger, I wanted to be a priest.  I never understood why women weren’t allowed to do so.  I accepted these issues as things that needed to be changed from the inside.  Last year, however, after questioning my connection with the Catholic Church, I started questioning my connection with the Christian God.  I used to feel very close to Him.  I believe that He helped me out a lot over the years, but we grew apart.  My spiritual life felt empty.  I felt like I was not giving or getting enough.  Things just didn’t fit.

My mind went back to my wedding in the Catholic Church in 2008.  I knew my family wanted me to get married in the Church.  I had always grown up with the same feeling.  I felt a disconnection to the Christian God at the time, but I knew that I wanted some Deity involved in my wedding.  It finally hit me, five years later, that this was a polytheistic thought.  I had wanted a Deity at my wedding, not the Deity.  I thought of the little I knew of Hinduism and how I always believed that so many for so long couldn’t be wrong.  Hinduism is much more complicated than just the strict polytheism that I initially thought it was.  I don’t feel competent to discuss the details of Hinduism, however, so I am going to leave that to the reader to investigate as desired.

However simplified my ideas of Hinduism might have been, it opened me up to the idea that there are other Gods out there.  I wondered if I could possibly fill my spiritual needs with One or Several different Deities.  When I realized that I believed in the existence of other Deities, I was stunned.  It is still something with which I’m coming to terms.  I have always believed in spiritual beings.  I cannot say that I have never had my doubts, but at my core I have a deep faith that spiritual beings exist.  The idea that the Christian God wasn’t omnipotent was harder for me to swallow.  Was the God that I had been talking to throughout my life the Christian God or Someone Else?  Did my guardian angel exist, or did I just imagine all of the help I thought I had received?  Was it just a random being that liked helping me out?  I’m still trying to come to terms with some of these questions.  I’m also trying to comprehend the idea of the Gods not being omnipresent but still being many places and available.  All I can say is that the world seems to make a lot more sense now that I have acknowledged my belief in multiple Gods.

I want to be of use.  Towards the end of my years as a Catholic, I felt like I had nothing that I could give the Christian God.  I want to find Deities and a community whom I can serve.  I want to feel needed and wanted.  I am still exploring which Deities I want to serve and to Whom I can be of use.  I want a religious practice that honors One or Many Gods Whom I love and respect.  I respect the Christian God and have many fond memories, but it was just a relationship that grew to an end.  I wasn’t getting what I needed and I felt like I didn’t have anything to give to Him.  I currently honor Gods Whom I love and respect.  I am trying to see if I can be of use to Them.  They have helped me in different ways, and I feel a connection to Them.  My tarot cards and other divination methods have also helped me to feel like I have more of a connection.  I sometimes wonder if I had started divining when I was still Catholic if I would have felt more of a connection to the Christian God.  However, I am happy where I am.  I am exploring my relationships with different Deities, and a whole new world is opening up.  I am not just learning more about different Deities, I am also learning more about different people and about myself.  I’m taking better care of myself and standing up for myself and others more.  I know that some of this is simply from getting older and having experience, but I truly feel that my Deities are pushing me to be better.  This is where I want to be.  My journey is just beginning.

If you want to know anything else, please ask in the comments.  Thank you.

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