Anyway, after many years of struggling with my sexual identity Mom made peace with it all as much as she could and loves me wholly for who I am. I honestly believe that we are the masters of our own destinies but then there are some things that you just can not change. You can blame god or genetics or the Devil himself but it’s my belief that homosexuality is Mother Natures own form of birth control! Could you imagine if all the gay folks in the world were too suddenly go straight and start having children?? How many more mouths there would be to feed? The needed resources it would take to raise them up? How much more room we would need? No, I’m glad I’m gay. I’m contributing to keeping the world a little less crowded!
My life continued on. I moved with my Mom, her husband and my sister to Natrona Heights, PA the summer just before my 11th year of high school at Natrona Heights High. That was not so much about spirituality but there were some eye opening moments living there. For my 12th year of high school I moved back down to Bradenton. I lived with my biological Dad and his new wife. On my 18th birthday I left the safety of their home to go out on my own and that’s all talked about a bit more in the “All About ME!” section dealing with being a drag queen and doing other foolish things. Needless to say in that part of my life there was not much in the way of any spiritual anything!
Skip some years later and I end up in California.... it was in this part of my life that I renounced Christianity all together and began my own personal journey to discover my soul and “God”. One day at the grocery store, in line to check out, I happened upon a book titled "Out On A Limb" by Shirley MacLaine. This was when I was living up in San Francisco with a couple of roommates on the corner of Haight and Fillmore. That was the book that helped me realize there was more to it than praying in a church. I must have read that book a half dozen times!! Yellow marker in just about every page. That book alone really opened my eyes!! It wasn’t until years later, after being diagnosed with HIV and a confirmed alcoholic, that I realized I had a calling to do some work on cleansing my soul! At that point of my life’s journey I was living in Redwood City, downstairs neighbor to a good friend who was a quasi Buddhist which further influenced my spiritual journey. I still believe that Buddhism is the most peaceful belief system to this day. A very nice compliment to one’s own path & truth!
Skip to the point of discovering my sobriety .... and was desperate to make peace with the universe in case I was short for the world with my HIV status seemingly getting worse. To make matters more arduous I was allergic to just about everything that my physicians put me on to try to control the viral load that kept climbing up as my T-cells slowly diminished. It was during this period that my curiosity brought me to study Satanism for a short time, how uninspiring that was. It’s been said that both Christianity and Satanism are quite similar in many aspects and after reading the Satanic bible from cover to cover I would have to agree with that notion but in other aspects not so much, the flip side if you will! During this period I did a bit of conjuring and up came an unseen little being, a demon if you will, who would climb up the same leg and up my left arm all the time and you could FEEL it in the house. I remember being really sick allot during that period! It wasn’t until I learned something of Wicca and Shamanism that I was able to get rid of the little critter. It had no form but he was felt. A visiting friend detected it in my house and also felt it go up her leg and it freaked her out. So I knew I was not going nuts. In the midst of all this confusing exploration of my dark side my light side emerged fully and thus began my work with angelic energies and eventually my true path to Wicca. Talk about hopping around!
Wicca is a very old earth based faith (religion is used loosely here but faith is more appropriate) it is the worshiping the God the Goddess and All That IS!! It is having profound respect and learning to work with the FIVE Elements (Spirit, Earth, Air, Water and Fire), the Moon, the Earth and ones Higher Self. In a nut shell it’s having respect and faith in the Universe, Nature and Self, intertwined and flowing peacefully along. So I studied this for a while and also discovered that I am very much connected to the Pan energy. During this time I hooked up with a wonderful group of Pagans, who were (are) closer to me in my heart than just about anyone out there. One day, walking past the Two Sister's Bookstore, on the way to the salon I happened in for some reason. Curiosity got the best of me so in a went! It was an alternative living and spiritual book store and there was Laurel, the first "pagan" that I had ever met. Or at least was aware of! We soon became good friends. I met her husband at the time (Ted) and we all began to hang out a bit. Two Sisters was bought by two women, Owl and Jan, Owl ran the place most of the time, Laurel managed, Jan was there but didn't see her much then. It was an interesting time for all of us, we all grew in getting to know one another!! Around the same time I had met Ron and his friends at Powerhouse Gym, old location. I eventually introduced Laurel & Ted to Ron and friendships were forged and eventually a Coven was born. Two Sisters eventually was renamed to the Lavender Dragon and time moves forward. Our little coven “circled” a few times and all felt growth from the experiences together. When you circle it is a very powerful form of prayer. Much ritual and formality are a part of the process. After the coven disbanded many of our little circle relocated to Washington State where they still live to this day and have met other Wiccan's to meet with. Over the years Laurel and Ted were blessed with two beautiful children and spend their time raising them up with love and devotion. The Lavender Dragon eventually closed it's doors and the world changed once again. More growth. Over time we reconnected via Facebook and Laurel with new husband came to visit a little back and got to see the girls and met Rich's sons, all a lovely and loving family.
All in all It seems that no faith can hold someone such as I. While I consider myself a Wiccan I have also incorporated bits and pieces of Christianity, Buddhism and Shamanism into my life and feel very at peace with myself. I still struggle at times with stuff but I think we all do. It took my mother many years to come to terms with her only son being an HIV+, openly gay, non Christian man. Very much nondenominational in my belief's and path. It’s hard on someone that loves you so much and only wants you to be happy. Yet I am happy, for the most part, and I feel like in this existence that I have just about every thing I need and want. Isn’t that the main thing in life, to be happy and content??
I have a wonderful extended family and my mother and I are closer than I think we have ever been. I have good doctors that care too!! I work a little and laugh a lot but still work towards what ever I am to be and where I am to go but above all, even though I don’t always show it, I love my family, blood and extended. I have a close relationship with God - Goddess - All That IS! And I have a fairly healthy body to work my magic with in this life. Pretty darned good, I think!!
Peace be with You. Prayers and Blessings to You and All who are in your Circle of Life.