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Old Biography entry from May 2008March 19, 2009, 08:44:08 am
(updated on the 31st of May 2008)

- was raised in a catholic setting, especially my mother, one aunt and grandmother were very strict
- was afraid of this omnipotent God who saw and punished every petty 'sin'
- had a sick guilt complex and thought I was destined for hell (I'm not exaggerating)

Since the Age of 7 approximatly
- tried to fight against the dammnation I got assigned by my family
- my (immature) critic against Catholicism was:
- If there is a just father God, why is there poverty and violence?
- Adults are denying their responsibility by invoking God

Age of communion
- in community lessons I learned about a slightly different view of God than I had in my family, I appreciated that kids were seen as innocent and God as forgiving father to their little mistakes
- I tried to be a good girl and do everything right with my communion, I so hoped to get a second chance

Early Youth
- got to know Protestants and some of their views
- attended a Protestantic youth community for a few times, but then my family moved into a Catholic village and I lost contact to Protestantism

At the Age of 14/15
- had a rebellic Atheist phase because I was sick of the whole try to be a good girl, it hadn't served me very well
- wanted to become a scientist (physics)

At the Age of 16
- came into a city school because I wanted to attend university later so I met people of alternative movements like ecologists, communists, anthroposophists
- the contact with them brought my own nature love into my consciousness and I combined Atheistic views with ecologism, communism and some slight esoteric positions
- started to collect stones and developed some connection to plants

At the Age of 18
- left home, graduated from high school and started a voluntary one year practice at an organic farm and a medical herbal garden (for display)
- needed a lot of energy to cope with my adult life so I firmly sticked to Atheism because it helped me to cut myself loose from my Catholic family (which I hated for more than just Catholicism)
- to be more plain: I was running from my family and their religion, I even moved across the whole country later, I just wanted to forget my past
- I was still open towards certain esoterical stuff and had some important nature-mystical experiences while working with plants
- also came to the Tarot through a friend
- had some basic interest in other religions, but saw it more in an 'anthropological' or getting-to-know-the-world way
- had still a lot of prejudices against what my family would call 'sects' like Wicca etc.

Since the Age of 19
- (moved across the country) and started to study History and German language & literature to become a highschool teacher
- started to learn several martial arts (Kung Fu, Tai Chi Chuan) and Qi Gong
- had some important spiritual experiences while meditating and practicing, especially with animal style Kung Fu and animal Qi Gong
- learned to know a bit about Taoism, Buddhism and Shamanism in connection with my martial arts and Qi Gong practice
- started to teach Kung Fu and Tai Chi Chuan to newbies after a few years of practice
- had some strange dreams with animals that are very important to me

At the Age of 25
- had some startling empathic experiences and seen auras occassionally although not very clearly, but it had bothered to the point that I decided I need to learn how to cope with it and controll it if possible
- quite unconnected to this I realized that Taoism or Buddhism don't fully fit to my life philosophy either, although I was so desperatly hoping that one religion would
- I accepted that I might be religiously homeless for my whole life and finally got the guts to face my Catholic upbringing and re-evalute the marks Catholicism has left upon me
- I left Catholic church officially because now I was able to face that I haven't found God yet and might never find him, also I couldn't so before because I wasn't able to face my past, you need to consider your reasons before you sign a paper
- I felt free and suddenly stopped to see myself only from the viewpoint of disbelief, but was able to look at what I do believe too
- this coincided luckily with the meeting of some Pagans and esoterics in a Harry Potter Forum in the internet (laugh)
- I got interested in Paganism and they pointed me to some sources and sites, I started to research and found TC on the way
- I signed up here as 'Animistic & Pantheistic Seeker'

Now I'm 26

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Old Biography entry from December 2007March 19, 2009, 08:42:39 am
I've been brought up a Catholic, but always had issues with that religion. When I was a kid I was frightened of the concept of hell and thought I'll end there for every petty misbehaviour or just for being jealous of my little sister. While I couldn't trust this god I percieved as narrow minded and unforgiving I loved nature. Nature provided me with wonders and awe, she seemed so eternally generous. I imagined to be a bird and just fly over everything or how it must be to be a dolphin in the sea or a cat sneaking through hedges or climbing roofs. I also secretly talked to plants, albeit only in my mind. I've always had a lot of mystic feelings and also some weird experiences, but never understood what it was. But I knew I love animals and read everything about them  I could get hold of in the little village library, even if it was written for adults and barely understandable.

At an early age I suspected that adults had just 'made up God' to threaten kids and to deny their own responsibilty for poverty and all the injustice of the world, I think I was 6 or 7 then. I was a rather undiplomatic critic and shocked my mother with making fun of the mess and my very pious aunt and grandmother with claiming that God is just a fantazy.

Later I learned at school that he wasn't as unforgiving and punishing as my mother has taught me. In the age of communion I tried to fit in, be a good girl and come to terms with God, because I figured he would do the decision if I come into hell and not my mother or my other relatives. Early in my teen age I had kind of a fluffy protestantic phase where I peeked into a protestantic youth community, sang songs and believed that Jesus would save everyone, even a misunderstood girl, who is hated by her family. *laugh*

I don't remember why this didn't work out for me, but I entered my scientific phase when I was about 15/16. And of course a scientific genious who wants to do physics experiments and explore space when she becomes an adult doesn't believe in superstitions like God. So I left religion class and opted for 'ethics' in 9th grade (that again is a feature of the German school system). In my new subject 'ethics' I had a fairly open minded teacher who was also one of my admired scientists (she also taught maths and biology). But there she taught us some philosophical and ethical basic views of humanity and also world religions. (We also watched the movie 'Gandhi', lol.) I was fascinated and thought one day I might become enlightened and see the eternal truth behind all religions, lol.

I came first across the term 'pantheism' when reading Goethe's 'Faust' in 12th grade (German school system is a bit different). There's this dialog where Margarete aks her lover Faust about his religion and my teacher explained that his beautiful (and somewhat fluffy) response displays a pantheistic view. That was the moment I learned what I really think and feel about the world is called pantheism.

I didn't know however that it could be a real religion and not just some philosophical idea in classical literature. So I had no hope to ever fit in with society religiously.

I was still largely occupied with nature sciences of all sorts. I claimed to be an atheist and had physics and technics as main subjects in my final two school years. I learned that it doesn't represent my world view fully, because it was all about choping things which are connected into bits, sorting them into folders and view them seperatly. I was also influenced by some alternative political ideas and thought nature science is just another patriarchistic attempt to dominate and controll nature like women are opressed and all humans by capitalism. (I also tried to read Marx, Adorno, Horkheimer etc., but understood very little.)  

(You can tell I was largely idealistic in my youth, but hardly had a clue about real life, lol.)

So I made some volunteer work on an ecological farm for a year and decided then to study History and German literature & languages. Still a self-claimed atheist, but with vague nature mystic. I started learning martial arts and chi gong, read books about chinese medicine, herbs, animal guides, but I didn't view it at anything that could give me a clue about my religion. I was still formally a member of the Catholic church. I told myself that it just wasn't worth the bother of going to the town hall and paying a little fee for removing my name from a list. But secretly I was just afraid of cutting the last thread to my roots because I've already cut most of the contact to my family and felt that was all that was left. I found it hard to accept that I was really an atheist and would never fit in.

But then this spring I accepted that I would never fit in, that I just don't have faith in that God and that I will survive without that last root. After I had been in the town hall and officially left church I had this happy feeling of being free and an adult who can decide for herself. I was able to breath again, because I knew I don't have to belong to a religious community.

I started to read and discuss more boldly 'esoteric stuff' I've been interested in all along. I had another set of funny experiences this year, but this time I really started to examine them and not to just throw them into the bin as fantazies. Yet I don't have much of a clue about it.

It was a coincidence that I discovered there are still real Pagans on this planet and it's not just a feature of the past. The knowledge itsself wasn't really new, but I had kind of turned a blind eye to it. Of course I knew there were such things as still practicing native religions or revival movements like Wicca and 'Neodruids', but I thought those were just some very few freaks in another country you would occassionally cross in a book or news paper. I didn't percieve them as real people one could talk to. I realized that when I met a very small group of people in a Harry Potter forum (you may laugh) who were talking about the underlying 'shamanistic' and alchemical traditions. I just joined in as 'shamanism' is a topic I'm interested in from my work with animal energies in qi gong and some martial arts styles. I didn't think about those people I chatted with for a long time. I percieved them as somewhat esoteric. But I started to realize that I had missed someone to talk about the topics we crossed all along and I told them so. After critizising Christianity and whining that I just miss people to talk with about topics like shamanism for the umptieth time one of them pointed out to me that there are a lot people to discuss such topics with and there's no need for fitting-in-anxiety. That you can fit into society even if you don't follow a mainstream faith. After asking a whole bunch of questions to a very nice and patient Pagan woman and some others I got provided with a couple of links I tried. One of them was where I somewhere stumbled across a link to this forum.

I'm still confused and seeking, but glad I have reached an openness so I can examine everything freely. I've read so many things from Pagans that I had experienced myself or was secretly believing all along, but never had a name for it or thought it was of any significance to me. To be here is like breaking thick layers of ice and revealing what is growing underneath it.

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