Some time ago, something rather big happened in my life and I didn't blog about it. It's kind of odd really: one's blog is not necessarily an accurate record of his/her life, but rather a record of events which are both worthy of account and have passed the author's personal filters for "shareability". I'd never really thought this topic suited for a public sphere, but since a considerable percentage of my family and friends follow my life in part by reading this blog, it seems appropriate that I share this element on it.
A few months ago, I took off my silver pentagram necklace and put it in a box. I've not replaced it since.
To understand the significance of all this, you have to understand how I came to call myself a witch in the first place. I'd always had a personal understanding of how the Universe worked -- understanding in the sense that I make assumptions of how things "are" based on a mixture of what I observe in my life and a healthy dose of intuition.
I've come to believe that the Universe is conscious in a way we cannot yet understand, that it is alive, and that all elements within it are connected. I believe that these elements can be explored and even manipulated in a variety of ways including chemistry, physics and math, but that we must acknowledge that these are all simply understood representations of a field our ancestors would have considered to be "magick".
I've held these beliefs for as long as I can remember, and when I discovered what witchcraft was, I felt that I'd finally found the label for me. I was never comfortable practising with other pagans -- in fact, I was rarely comfortable practising at all. To me, my faith was always more of an understanding than anything else.
But that's just the problem really. Faith, as Dawkins puts it, is a "process of non-thinking". By definition, faith removes all possibility of contradictory thought, even in the face of quantifiable evidence. How then, could I claim to be both a rational person and one of faith? I couldn't, and so I cannot walk that path anymore.
It's important to stress though that calling myself an Atheist does not negate my belief that the Universe is conscious and that everything is connected, but I feel that it's important to stress that this is theory and not faith. I honestly feel that blind faith is too dangerous a mentality to be encouraged and will place my bet with my friend Galileo when he says:
I do not feel obliged to believe that the same god who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.