1/30/2011 | Share this article:
Ages are believed by some astrologers to affect mankind while other astrologers believe the ages correlate to the rise and fall of mighty civilizations and cultural tendencies. Aquarius traditionally “rules” electricity, computers, flight, democracy, freedom, humanitarianism, idealists, modernization, astrology, nervous disorders, rebels and rebellion. Other keywords and ideas believed associated with Aquarius are nonconformity, philanthropy, veracity, perseverance, humanity and irresolution. The appearance or elevation in status of many of these Aquarian developments over the last few centuries is considered by many astrologers to indicate the proximity of the Aquarian age. There is no uniform agreement about the relationship of these recent Aquarian developments and the Age of Aquarius. Some astrologers believe that the influence of a New Age is experienced before it arrives because of a cuspal effect or Orb of Influence. Other astrologers believe the appearance of Aquarian developments, indicate the actual arrival of the Age of Aquarius. (Wikipedia)
Not that I put my full faith in anything related to the zodiac, but I certainly find it interesting as my generation is gradually making the shift towards humanism. Leaving religion in the dust may seem like a trend, but surging on a deeper level is the river of logic and understanding. Debunking myths, old traditions, historical falsities, childhood belief systems (or adult belief systems for that matter)… all of these things point in the direction of asserting objection.
I was taught never to question anything, and the rebel in me couldn’t hold on to that much past 15 years old. That’s when I questioned the tenets of the fucked up religion I was dragged into at age 10.
I grew up Christian. My mother wasn’t always a Christian when she was off traipsing around foreign countries and obtaining lovers. (When I look at the photos of her and a couple gentlemen, she claims they were just ‘dear friends,’ but the look in their eyes indicate otherwise. Sometimes you just know). Somewhere in the time when she immigrated to Canada - lugging her crystal ball and tarot cards - and when she met her friend R, she became a full-blown, pentecostal/evangelical Christ-believer.
Naturally I was bestowed the “honour” of having those beliefs constantly affirmed, creating a community of people and friends that I grew to love. And then comes my 10th year, a cold-turkey shift to a pseudo-Judaism thanks to the discovery of Jewish heritage. My mother has ridiculous ways of finding things out, and years later I only learned that I had one grandparent for sure that was Jewish - my mother’s father and not both my grandparents like it was claimed.
Being ripped from my little Christian friends and thrown into a confusing array of new rules, dietary laws, days of worship, and holidays is all very traumatizing to a child just entering puberty. As if growing wasn’t awkward enough, I was now part of a minority of a minority. Messianic Judaism titles the screwed up set of beliefs mixing both evangelical Christianity and basic Judaism, using the Old and New testaments as their law, believing in all the bullshit of immaculate conception, etc. of “Yeshua” as the messiah the Jews were waiting for.
Around 15 or 16, I started to raise questions about the Christian side of it all, and infrequently built the courage to ask people in the congregation, however secretly. Responses to my quest included “I’ll pray for you” or “Without salvation there is death, and I pray you see the truth.”
Discussion wasn’t facilitated for my inquiries, nor that of other people who were questioning. I witnessed someone being shot down automatically for even raising valid questions that no one, not even the so-called ‘rabbi,’ could answer, just because it didn’t align with the already existing faith.
I secretly abandoned the Christian side of the faith, while still attending the congregation for my mother’s sake and comfort… for another 4 or 5 years. I adhered to the beliefs of Judaism for part of that time until I was perhaps 20 years old. Then started the flood of questions relating to the existence of god.
One day in a service, my mother came and stood next to me to tell me to stop texting during the worship, which I understand is rude but really? Sacrificing every single Saturday morning for over a decade and being 21 years old at the time, no one should be able to tell me what to do anymore.
She spoke to me like I was a child, her volume was loud and condescending and somehow, she thought I was dishonouring her and her alone. She failed to realize that I govern my own actions at this age, and that it was not the way she raised me that caused me to be this way.
I was defiant for once and avoided avoiding conflict with her in this instance. That was the day I put my foot down, told her the truth of me attending that congregation only for her sake - to make her happy.
In short, we didn’t talk for 2 weeks and I never, ever went back. My mother guilted me for weeks and didn’t refer to me as the name she usually does for a long time. But all I did was show her that I still loved her, and maintained decency and gentleness when it came to her. Was it worth it? Absolutely, and better late than never.
I haven’t been happier since fully withdrawing from religion. However, I still love Israel and cultural aspects of Jewish life, but it ends there.
The struggle is tough and the worst part about it is upsetting people who know they can freely guilt you. But the relief alone from swimming to the surface makes way for me to share my story to those who might be going through a similar situation. No matter what, someone will always love you, and you will love yourself enough to be empowered into choosing a path that gives you confidence and may inspire other people to reaching their full potential without worrying about the justice from an unseen god.
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