Been doing a lot of contemplating and learning about myself. Something I believe I missed doing in my early 20’s due to religion. I definitely consider myself an Indo-Pagan and I have been looking into Wicca again. I am more of eclectic witch though, always have been.
Before I did Aztec reconstructionism, in my early 20’s, I was drawn to Hinduism. (I had read Mahayana Buddhist texts and Buddhism came from there.) I started worshiping Kali maa on the side. I did this for about a decade. Even as an Aztec person.
Over time, my views, quite independently, based on my experiences became more and more inline with Hinduism. I always revered Kali even not active in puja, she always had a shrine in my house, and she was always dear to me. I was always speaking good of her. I love her dearly. I also always believed in reincarnation and thinks of the nature of Hinduism without always knowing it.
I spent seven years in the Aztec religion. Seven long years, that I feel robbed me of myself and my life by that religion. My experiences with many, *not all*, of those teteo (Aztec word for “gods”. Singular “teotl”.) was definitely terrible. One of the biggest problems I had, wasn’t just the lack of support from the community and problems with the attitudes they had which scarred me for life when I was a kid, but also as time went by, me and the Aztec gods didn’t just grow apart, my whole ideology clashed with theirs!
I just couldn’t be that mean, prude, and sacrificial. I could no longer support the slavery system the religion called for. I could no longer be that anti-human. I hated the ideas of cultural purity imposed (Though some Aztec gods don’t really give a f*** from what I seen on that issue.) and I hated how not-very-progressive the religion was. And I really dislike their prude attitudes towards sex. (Yeah, that’s a thing in that religion. Even down to stoning people for adultery!)
Increasingly, because of my indulgence in Japanese pop-culture, (Shintoism has something to do with Hinduism in history) I could not let go of the Hindu cosmology. It is still used in much Japanese fiction and lore. And it totally fit my UPG! Everything I experienced. Yet the teteo would not have it, would not see it my way. I was a liar and delusional. I did not feel these gods were ever on my side and a lot of them just seemed to insult me. (They seemed to take other peoples’ side in debates, and then later, years later, apologized. It was too little, too late by then.) I feel like they contributed to my mental illness, in so many ways. But I want to make it clear, not every teotl made me feel this way. However, enough of them did to make me leave the religion permanently. (Also, due to scholarship, which other Aztec recons figured out eventually too, the religion never actually died. It merged with Christianity. I am not a Christian, I was raised one, and I don’t want *that* back.)
I was distressed in that religion. People were not as nice to me as they are now. I stopped believing in love. I believed in harsh things and hostility, because the world seemed hostile to me and I was hostile back. I was really losing it. Eventually I left Houston, after destroying my altar and I left the entire Aztec thing behind me.
I asked what religion made me the happiest, I thought it was Wicca and I have been seeking it, too. (The proper initiated way.) However, despite my eclectic witch leanings in my magickal practice, I believe I am thoroughly Hindu. (I still consider myself a pagan because of my magickal experiences and practices.) Specifically, Shakti Hindu and Tantra, which almost fits my exact beliefs I developed almost entirely outside of Hinduism. I cannot go back. (I don’t think Shiva will let me be Wiccan, too. But we’ll see what happens.) Especially after the Aztec religion caused me to lose family and friends.
I tried a few religions, this is all I tried; Buddhism, Hinduism, Neo-Wicca/eclectic paganism, and the Aztec one–that’s it. (Note: This is over a period of years. Aztec religion was my longest “pagan” religion. I am not a religious butterfly either, contrary to the sentiments other recons say about this. Trying out religions =/= a bad thing. Find yourself and your place!) Nothing else. I can’t say I “tried” Christianity per se, because I was heavily brought up into it with family almost to the point of total indoctrination. Buddhism and Hinduism are not really that far apart, in many respects. Some Hindus even consider Buddhists merely an off shoot.
Wicca lasted a few years until I got mad at all the bad history, this was my teenage years. (A lot of pagans start out as Neo-Wiccans.) Buddhist philosophy always influenced me during that time. Hinduism was exactly where I was heading until the Aztec gods bombarded me just because I like to study religion. I thought that was what was right for me, but it ended up being worse than Christianity for me. Kali maa was always there though, she never left me and I still have her statue from a decade ago when I was confused about my direction in life before the Aztec thing.
I sincerely apologize to anyone I ever offended or was unnecessarily mean to in my Aztec days. I was completely wrong. You didn’t deserve it. I was having issues with the religion, home, finances, school, and family. I do not ever want to be that condescending and rude again. (Except to my enemies and those who deserve it!!! Haha.)
Beware of any religion that says it’s the only way, but also beware of any religion that does not practice peace! Buddha was right on that one! And if a religion distresses you more than makes you happy, leave it. Don’t waste years of your life, like I did.