Hi everyone.  I am pretty new to the Nexus and was really excited to find this group. 
So, a little background.  I was raised in a christian home, but my family didn't take religion all that seriously.  My mother was a science teacher and I think I was always taught to think scientifically.  I gave up on the christian god at a pretty young age.  Maybe 11 or 12.  When I got into high school, I began practicing Wicca.  I always rationalized my pagan ways by claiming it was undiscovered science.  My favorite example was that an old witches remedy is to tie a piece of moldy bread to a wound and we now know that bread mold is penicillin.  I used this to justify my practice, saying that all the spells and rituals that I performed would someday be proven to be actual science.
It shocks me now, the level of self delusion I was willing to undergo just to have some sort of spiritual system.  I think it may have been the birth of my son that made me open my eyes.  Here was this beautiful boy created not by any mystical force, but by my husband and I.  I didn't ever want to lie to him and therefore had to stop lying to myself.

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Hello! I was extremely excited to find this group too and it was the whole reason I got on AN to begin with.

Undiscovered science? That's a new one. Usually people just say "science has its limits" or "science hasn't explained everything"! Wicca existed long before science (although I'm sure the modern version has been very niced-up), so you'd think its scientific advances would have been discovered by now.

Tying moldy bread to a wound? I never heard that one. My first reaction was "eww" but does it work? There are some herbal remedies that have medical value, and since I don't have health insurance, I do whatever works. Some of the Wiccan remedies were completely bogus, though, like using lavender for insomnia. It smells nice, but for a hardcore insomniac, it doesn't do anything. Then there were also herbal combinations to attract a lover, and things like that, which obviously have no effect whatsoever.
I too have seen lavender as an ingredient in a lot of sleep aids. But like most of the herbal stuff (and hard medicines as well), what works on one person doesn't always work on another.

Plus herbals are often a much milder remedy. If you have "hard core" anything, you probably need a harder core remedy. Or at least a different one.
Welcome! I also had my "proof" in this or that anecdote that helped me to believe that wicca was a system that could make positive changes in my life. Maybe it did at times... but if that change is based on illusion, how lasting can it be? Not very I found out. I am so impressed that you took such a responsibility to raise your son with truth. I couldn't wait to teach my kids wicca! Now I see that it's totally not necessary. Kids love nature already ;) I am much more interested in kids learning critical thinking skills now. I applaud you for stopping the lies. I also found that I just wanted to not be lied to anymore, by myself or others. I think at that age (13 for me) we are so prone to enhanced emotions and ritual does a lot to enhance emotions! It's like a high at times! Well, that wore off for me eventually too and I realized that I would probably never feel that way again, and that was okay. It was a product of being an adolescent. Now I have other new feelings and thoughts that are worth exploring that don't rely on me lying to myself or believing in a bunch of hogwash. well, in any case, welcome and I hope your transition goes smoothly!
allison
One of my former pagan friends found it very important to indoctrinate her small children into paganism. I just thought that's about the same as making them Christian or any other religion.
Welcome Randi!

I too quickly found that while some old home remedies did indeed have actual medicinal value (where do our medicines come from after all? Plants, animal products, etc), it also opens the door for a LOT of snake oil.
As a Wiccan I did the rituals, spellwork, and ancient remedies. I was also adamant about not throwing out western medicine. I wanted the best of both worlds. White willow bark does have salicylic acid and can cure a mild headache, it there's nothing like a percocet when the bone is showing!! I never didn't go to the doctor when I needed to. I was always horrified when I'd hear of some religitard Jehovah's Witness who let their kid die for refusal of a blood transfusion. But Paganism was my spiritual refuge when I escaped Mormonism as a 15 year old. I don't have any bad associations with it. Yeah, silly names and beliefs abound, but in my personal experience it was harmless and upbeat and fun. I miss it, o be honest, but I've discovered Naturalistic Pantheism to take it's place - and no cognitive dis as baggage. I was always an atheist even as a Wiccan/Pagan, using the gods as poetic metaphor, rather than literally, but I did believe in magick, and I still meditate and use creative visualization, but now not expecting the "universe" to manifest my desires, but to motivate myself to achieve them. Christianity, in my opinion, is wholly evil, vile and destructive, but I will always cherish my Wiccan years. I' ll take a lot of the good with me.

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