I read the article, “Way Back When I Was a Wiccan” the other day, and when I saw that you were accepting comments, I thought long and hard about whether to write in. This story was posted on a Pagan/Wiccan forum I have been frequenting lately. When I saw someone else (Kelly) write in, I decided that I should, too.
Being Wiccan certainly does NOT mean being part of “a rule-less religion.” Our Rede, “If you harm none, do what you will,” was interpreted by the woman in the story (Samantha) quite incorrectly. “Harming none” includes one’s self. I would hardly call doing drugs, having casual sex and allowing herself to be beaten up because it was the only attention she was getting as “harming none.”
To blame Wicca for her downward spiral is completely irresponsible. From what I understand, when one goes through substance abuse treatment, the abuser needs to own up to their responsibilities and make things right if they have wronged someone else while under the influence. By making the excuse that it was because of Wicca that she made the decisions she did, that isn’t what I’d call “owning up to it,” The only excuse is, “I made some bad choices,” There is nothing wrong with it and there is no shame in it.
I came to Wicca when I was in my mid twenties. I, too, was terribly misguided. I had abused drugs and alcohol, and treated my body terribly. I wasn’t on the best of terms with my family. I had no spiritual guidance, and I picked up a book on Wicca. Through Wicca, I learned to accept my responsibilities. It took some time, but I cleaned up my act. I got on better terms with my family, and forgave those who had abused me or wronged me in the past, but I accepted the blame for the bad decisions -I- made. It took time, these things don’t just happen overnight. I went back to school and I work in healthcare now. I’ve taken care of homeless people, drug addicts and the elderly. I don’t regret the things I did before I found my right spiritual path, for they have made me the independent woman I am now. I learned from my past and moved on.
I’m very glad to hear that Samantha found a spiritual path, and that she cleaned herself up. But, she should also accept the fact that Wicca didn’t put her through the trials she went through, her poor decision making did.