About Jarred

My Picture

I was born on 11 June 1974 in a small hospital in Northeastern Pennsylvania. I was raised by two wonderful Christian parents and attended an American Baptist church for the first 22 years of my life. I went to Susquehanna University for a degree in computer science. I became involved in a "Full Gospel" church and became baptized in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. I was highly involved in both my home church and my college church, as well as on-campus Christian organizations.

My life was practically perfect except for one small thing: I was sexually attracted to other men. I was able to ignore this fact and repress my feelings from age fourteen until I reached my senior year in college. Unfortunately, I hit a breaking point at that time. I could no longer deny how I felt without having my emotional turmoil end in self-destruction. So on 1 April 1996, I came out to myself and my good friend, Merion.

After graduating that May, I returned home and continued working with my home church. I kept my sexual orientation to myself -- though I never denied it. I began to work with the youth group as both youth leader and Jr-Sr High Sunday School class teacher. I continued on with thus until August 1998 when I left the church. I chose not to join another one after leaving, needing time to myself.

From August until late October, I began to wonder about theology and numerous other things. I just found so many questions, and Christianity didn't seem "right" to me anymore. So on November 1, I asked my friend Mother Mooncrow for advice. She recommended that I read a copy of Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham. So I did.

And my world changed. I became convinced of a worldview that followed a more Pagan model. The idea of power as a natural product of life appealed to me. The idea that -- instead of being "basically bad" or "basically good" -- humans had the capacity both for moral and immoral behavior and tended to demostrate both in reality was a powerful fact to me. So I began to study more about eclectic Paganism.

During my search, I met a good local friend named Mike. He taught me a lot and introduced me to ADF. I joined that organization and learned about their ritual structure. I also learned from them the purpose of ritual and how the symbology of ritual plays a part in one's spirituality.

In 2001, Mike suggested that I begin studying Norse mythology. He knew that I had been studying the runes and suspected that I got more from that than much of the Irish myth I had been reading. So I began to look into the myths of the Scandinavian gods and fell in love. I began to interract with Freyja and Odin in my rites as well as meditative work. In the summer of 2001, I joined The Troth.

My journey continues every day. I have not arrived at a final destination, but have arrived at a point where I am ready to further equip myself and continue on to whatever my personal destiny may be. I think that every step I have taken along the way -- even the 22 years I spent as a Christian -- has served me in this. As such, I embrace all my past, though I may have moved on.

Note: A more recent and more thorough biography is available on the main Northern Grove site.