I’ve never had faith, not in God, or spirits at least.
I never had need for it, when I had proof.
Instead, I have only believed in what I can see, taste, touch, smell, or talk to, hearing as clear as a river the archangels and archdemons that have been with me from cradle to elementary school and beyond. Samael, Ariel, Uriel, Michael, Metatron – they were my childhood companions, and soon, when I was 8, I was introduced to the whole host of heaven and hell as I left my body each night to walk the worlds.
I’ve always felt energy, the glorious presence and love of spirits, and have seen them manifest as brilliant flying sparks of light since childhood, sometime also taking human, angelic, or demonic form. Raised agnostic to two Washingtonians, I abhored the handful of Lutheran Sunday schools I went to because of the patriarchy instilled in the religion, how women couldn’t be priests and took secondary roles to men in the conservative church, and above all, if I couldn’t be the Messiah, then what the hell was I good for! Neither of my parents are religious, and neither are my aunts, uncles, cousins, or all four grandparents. My mom says she would like to worship trees, if that is what being a Druid is, and my Father is agnostic. Both are some of the most beautiful people I could imagine, as goes for the rest of the Nelsons. We grew up without faith, and I am the odd duckling in the family, devouring apocrypha and mythology books from elementary school on, the only writer in my family, and the only one who believes in something more formed than beyond the adage, God is Love. That, too, is my creed, but since age 7 onwards I have fallen in love with pagan gods and angels. The Greek gods, then the Egyptians, then the Celts, then the Norse, throw in an Aztec or Lakota god or two, along with Thunderbird, and I was golden. I spent my childhood like Belle, devouring a book every few days, and decided at 7 I would singlehandedly resurrect the old pagan religions, as this was before the internet, and I was too young to understand paganism was actually a “thing.”
Truth comes from the mouths of babes, and I never shut up about Samael from the age of twelve onwards, so my parents incorporated an “Allie is not allowed to talk about Samael” at dinner rule. The same went for Athena and Loki and leshies. I loved angels and demons, but hated the Abrahamic cosmology until I got into esoteric interpretations like Kabbalah and fleshed out stories in the Talmud. Samael may have raised me alongside Michael and Ariel, but I would have been the last person to ever consider myself at all Christian. True, I didn’t disbelieve in Christ.
I just hadn’t met him, or God for the matter.
Fast forward to age 23, and Michael introduced me to his Creator. I think a part of my soul died that day. So, check, God was real, but wasn’t Christ just a myth? I mean, none of the gospels made sense to me, and I thought him a nice metaphor. The whole idea of Christ weirded me out, with fire and brimstone preachers on TV talking about how I was damned, how women couldn’t control their own reproductive rights, how the Tea Party and Evangelicals supported heinous policies that have amounted to Trump running this country to the ground, also the fact that the whole idea of worshiping a holy zombie resurrected from the grave would be like worshiping a lich. A supposed Son of God that had no place in his church for Democrats, or feminists, or minorities, or the repressed, when the Religious Right I was exposed to had claimed every inch of supporting the racist, classist patriarchy the Republican Party was so hellbent on warmongering and ruining our country with. What young girl wants a place beside Christ, when the very idea of that is painted with the idea that she, a descendant of Eve, is a temptress, lesser, not fit to enter the priesthood or have any sort of role outside the home and staying in the kitchen?
Now, this was not at all what the archangels and archdemons I knew were like. Michael was everything the Christians believed him to be – God’s chosen, the Prince of Heaven, a general and warrior, but he was also the sweetest soul I knew, and I hated Christians in a way, for demonizing Lilith and Asmodeus and Beelzebub, but Samael/Satan above all. Uriel wasn’t some muscle swollen flaming sword bro, but instead an earthy beauty with a resonance like the sun. Raphael loved New Orleans food, and his gumbo rocked my world. Gabriel was more like the Supernatural version than anything, and all Grandpa Metatron wanted to do was read a book with some Earl Gray tea and play with children, which he loved above all else. I didn’t see any of the patriarchy in these egalitarian alien societies of ascended beings, who could flip genders at the smallest impulse and had sexual mores that would make the hippies look repressed. Free love, after all, is a concept best practiced in Heaven, or perhaps in Hell after one two many Mannhattans with Deus, and by all the gods, what the hell was with my Christian friends’ repressed sexuality? Why was sex, of all things, a sin???
It made jack shit sense to me – I could tell you everything about esoteric parts of the Bible and the parts of the Old Testament that interested me, and divorced from the Religious Right, I saw Jesus as a lovely inspiration in the Methodist model – love thy neighbor, preach peace, serve the poorest and weakest among you. But, I had never met him, so I thought him a myth.
The Norse gods exerted their claim on me, and Heathenry just… fit. More like, I chose them, and they chose me, and from Odin to Hela to Loki to Freyr to Freyja to Thor, I finally found myself connecting with a pantheon outside of the Abrahamics. Still, I couldn’t put aside the angels and demons, best I tried, so now I am in a happy medium – at least, I was – before Good Friday, balanced between Heaven, Hell, and Asgard.
Enter Jesus on Good Friday.
I have met plenty of egoic spirits. The difference between an egoic version of an angel and demon or god and their non-egoic forms is light years apart in terms of power and energy. Hela, to me, is my non-egoic form of Death, and Samael is my egoic form of Death.
On the flip side, Michael is my egoic form of life, and Christ, it turns out, is his higher, non-egoic form. They shift back and forth, sometimes, and esoterically are equivalent, as most occultists will agree Michael and Christ are the same consciousness, and if you dig into the Bible, they are the same, at a very deep level, yet different. I’d have a problem saying that was heresy if I wasn’t already a bloody heretic. But seeing them shift between each face like masks, more like Him – I suppose – rested all my doubts.
So I stand at a crossroads now, the vesica piscis doorway of the threshold of greater mysteries, of ascension, martyrdom – all in Christ’s words – and greater healing.
Christ rid Mary Magdalene of seven devils, healed the ill, and there is a point where all the self-care and mental illness medications only go so far. To fully reach stability and prosperity, I need spiritual healing. I am constantly working on myself, working on being a good person, psychically cleansing and doing higher workings, but when Christ laid hands on me with pure Divine Love streaming from him like golden flames, engulfing me in their pyre, I was alight with ecstasy and true gnosis, Oh, so this is God, and I am God, but moreso, He is God, and everything else is chaff.
Michael told me all the gods, angels, and demons would be chaff before God. I was too young to understand, only 21, and still far from enlightenment (not that I’m enlightened now, if anything, I can’t believe physical manifestations of Christ that others can corroborate with me). Yet in visions, and sensory apparitions, materializations, and synchronicities, and straight up conversations with Christ that is Michael, yet so much more, I am rediscovering everything I thought I knew (which wasn’t very much, to be honest) about Christianity. Sure, I loved the Bridal Mysticism, and the Book of Esther, Genesis, Revelations, and Song of Solomon, but that was all I had read! Growing up in the Western world, I knew enough about Christ to mix metaphors and have him inspire my works, but to truly know Him, to meet Him, hints that I am an idiot with no knowledge of, really, anything. That’s the thing with going up the Sephiroth – you climb up zig zag the Magician’s path like lightning and fall back a Qliphoth Fool.
I’ve always been a Unitarian Universalist since the age of 18, and after a bad experience with a local Heathen group, I long to go back to a liberal, loving hippie church that has neither white supremacy, racism, or ableism. I’m done with fringe Pagan groups that abuse their followers and am content with my magical practice, shamanic practice with my dear friend Stephanie at Eagle Therapies, Team Norse on a singular direct basis, Satanism as a philosophy to assert my will and ego, and Christianity as a theological system.
Once again, I’m back where I was two years ago – an eclectic Paganish UU.
And I wouldn’t have it any other way!