I’m not sure I’ll be able to accurately write about the transformation I have and am currently going through, but I think it deserves to be addressed if for no other reason than to give some clarity to my readers.
Around the age of fifteen was when I began to read books on Buddhism. I was interested in keeping a meditation practice and the idea of one day reaching enlightenment. Having grown up in one of the whitest cities in the U.S. I was also starved for diversity and curious about other worldviews. At the same time I also was introduced to my local metaphysical bookstore. A whole new world opened up to me. I eagerly began reading books about holistic health, astrology, self help in the vein of Louise Hay and the feminine arts (this includes books on magic and witchcraft). I always maintained my love for Jesus, and bought books about the lost years of Jesus and other non Biblical books based on him. I referred often to “Christ Consciousness” and thought of Jesus as an ascended master in the same ranks as Buddha and Krishna.
When I was twenty I moved to Kansas City. I made friends with the folks who ran a little hippie shop and even eventually worked there for several years. It was during this period that I started to delve deeper into herbalism and energy healing. I had completed massage therapy school in the first few years of living there and was most intrigued by the energy therapy classes I had attended, especially Reiki. Working at the hippie store I met all kinds of nice people and was turned on to Bhakti Yoga by a co worker. I was reading books by Ram Dass and even made annual pilgrimages to the NKB Ashram in Taos, New Mexico for the Bhandara Festival.
As the years rolled on I didn’t realize how deeply my identity was steeped in the New Age. I started reading the channeled Abraham Hicks books and could see a direct correlation between the Law of Attraction and practical daily use magic. I got really good at manifesting.
I left Kansas City in 2012 and moved back home to the Ozarks with my husband (then boyfriend). I was reading less and less of the Eastern philosophies by then, and was deep into my herbalism studies. I was taking classes from several local master herbalists and started to openly call myself a witch. Many women in the fields of herbalism and midwifery identify with the label of witch, and I felt a part of the movement that was reclaiming the word. Women who practiced these arts had at one time been called witch and burned at the stake. It felt like a badge of honor to align with these women who had come before me.
But in the Fall of 2020 something was changing in me. I was growing weary of the world of New Age. I felt like a dog chasing its tail. I knew I was a very spiritual person, but my brand of spirituality felt hollow. I had no community outside of the internet to share it with. I didn’t truly feel a sense of peace. I had spent twenty years reading one book after the other, hundreds of books! And still, I felt like I was seeking something. I had been to Hindu Ashrams, Buddhist Temples, Moon Circles, Pagan Pride festivals, Kirtan concerts, every type of yoga class you can think of, Reiki circles, drum circles, Rainbow Gatherings, etc. etc. etc. And still, something was missing. My heart was still aching for peace. I don’t know if it was the impending holiday season and all of the Christmas music on the radio, I can’t place my finger on exactly when it happened, but suddenly I had a desire to read the Bible and get to know Jesus the way the Christians know him, not as an “ascended master” in a New Age teaching.
For Christmas my husband got me a new Bible. I began faithfully reading it every night. Soon, I was researching local churches. God must have felt my sincerity because he lead my family straight to a church we fell in love with and have been attending every Sunday for a few months now. As I get to know Jesus better, I am filled with the peace I had spent so many years searching for. The church provides the community of fellow believers I was always painfully aware was absent, and my husband and son are now a part of my spiritual life. My heart is full.
It’s true that you can’t just erase twenty years of New Age beliefs from your mind overnight, but as I continue reading more of the Bible it is naturally falling away. I don’t regret the paths I’ve walked in this life. I am who I am as a culmination of everything I’ve seen and done. I’m just thankful that all of the earnest searching I did lead me to Jesus Christ, the true Lord and Savior.
I hope this clears things up for some of you who have been curious. I am always here if you have more questions, and thank you for reading!