Purpose of my Religion

One of the greatest questions that a religionist can ask himself is what the purpose of his religion is. It is through answering this question with as much thought as possible that the spiritual pilgrim begins to truly own his path. It is my intent to begin answering this question for myself.

The most simple -- and most obvious -- answer to this question for me is to promote personal growth. I began my search along the Old Ways to grow as a person. However, I have decided that my continued growth at this juncture requires that I further clarify this concept.

As I see it, my spiritual walk has served two purposes in turn. At first, the primary focus of my spiritual journey was self-empowerment. When I left Christianity in 1998, I was trapped in a world of self-loathing, guilt, and feelings of helplessness. It was through ritual, meditation, spellwork, and many other disciplines that I began to break out of my bondage. I began to see myself as a wonderful and strong person. I came to take control of my own life and destiny.

Upon becoming more self-empowered and breaking through my prison, my focus began to shift slightly. Now that I was no longer afraid of myself, I found myself wanting to know just who I was. So I began a journey of self-exploration and self-understanding. Through the study of history, mythology, and runelore, I began to find what ideals and spiritual truths resonated with me. By focusing on these truths and working through the lore, I was able to learn much about my own personality and inner workings.

As time goes by, I find my journey beginning a third segment: That of self-transformation. As I continue to work with the lore that I have gathered -- and new lore as I add it to my understanding -- I find myself compelled to seek out new understandings. I find myths whose lessons and truths I have yet to learn. I find that knowing who I am today is not enough. I find myself compelled to strive to become the person I can be tomorrow. This life is truly about change. What transformation I shall ultimately undergo is not clear to me. But it does not matter. I know that with careful work on my part, I will be pleased with and proud of whoever I become.

Of course, neither of the first two stages of my journey are truly complete. They are all a part of one another. I cannot change without finding strength within myself. And that change will both make me stronger and help me understand myself better. It is all a part of the transformation process. And this process truly excites me.