It's Easter. A time for renewal, reflection, and the awakening of spring. A time for cleansing, reaching out and welcoming others, and introspection of who we are. I am not religious. I was, raised Catholic and educated in catholic schools I had always been at church on this day. I have not exactly turned from my faith, I just know that my personal beliefs would make continuing to practice Catholicism hypocritical on my part.
I am filled with faith and spirituality. I believe in God. But I also believe in the Goddess and the force of nature. I believe that what we put into this world we get back tenfold. I believe that the commandment that makes the most sense is the ancient Wiccan law: "Do what ye will, as it harms none." If you think of it that sums up all the great commandments of the world 's recognized religions. And by harming none it means yourself, others, your world, and your God. Think of how your actions affect those you come in contact with.
My children know God. We read the bible, we discuss morality, I have made sure they have the basic tenants of the faith I was raised in. I have two very loving boys who always put others first. In fact I think they have more morality than their church going peers. I have seen them in action. My boys don't care what color you are, who you love, or who you worship. As long as you have that moral code and believe in honesty and compassion, they will befriend you. They have a hard time understanding the evil in the world. Some have told me I have sheltered them. Why? Because I don't allow video games and R rated movies? Because I have filled our home with books? Because they choose to be outside and with their animals more than at the mall? Because we eat dinner together every night and our lives are not ruled by cell phones? If that is sheltering them then yes I am guilty.
There are others like me.
When you read my books you see I combine two central belief systems. Christianity and Wicca. I blend them into this hybrid where my characters form their own spirituality. It's basically how I live my life. I don't preach it. I don't go out shouting it to the world. We live our beliefs quietly and honestly. Researching basic religions you can see the common thread that runs through them, and the connection they all have to the ancient "pagan" religions that worshiped the seasons and the heavens. In fact two major secular images of Easter, the bunny and brightly colored eggs, stem from the wiccan fertility goddess. She was said to have been followed by two white rabbits who gave her offerings of eggs. All symbols of fertility. All symbols of the reawakening and renewal of the earth that spring brings.
So I say to you Happy Easter. Go forth in the promise of new life and the faith of the risen God.
Whatever your belief for this day, look at it as a new beginning. A chance to reinvent yourself and make better the world you live in.