I grew up in the church and I was a God girl. I loved Jesus hard, and everything he represented. For the first 10 years it was the conservative Baptists in one of the original mega churches in San Diego. All of our head pastors were also internationally known authors, including Tim Lahaye who wrote The Left Behind series. We went to every service, which were less than stimulating with an organ and old hymns for music and subdued intellectual preaching that sent me to wandering my own imagination out of boredom.
In my teens it was the emotionally expressive Pentecostals in a tiny town at the other end of the state. All of our head pastors were taken down by crime and scandals (and all of the girls in the youth group were pregnant before adulthood). But the services were lively and joyful. We had a full band and sang modern musical arrangements. We danced in the aisles. There was always a prophecy, someone speaking in tongues, and I experienced being “slain in the spirit,” my first altered state. I loved church. It felt magical.
Then I discovered pieces of myself and realized my very nature as a highly sexual queer and kinky woman transgressed my family and community beliefs. Everything that felt like me was wrong. And then college religious studies classes opened my mind to what was really going on with humans trying to make sense of the universe and their place in it. More and more I found that Christianity didn’t fit me anymore. It was too constraining and hypocritical. I couldn’t stomach being a fundamentalist, nor believe in a so called god of love who sent people to hell for simply being real humans. I couldn’t believe in a god of love that required repression of queer love.
I would end up on a spiritual journey that would traverse Wicca, the New Age, consciousness studies, quantum physics, mysticism, and then a complete lack of faith in all things before landing on a new theology of the God Between Us (more about that later). Now relationship is my spiritual practice, including plant magic as part of my relationship with nature.