My name is Kris Bethea and I am a pagan. I used to define myself as an eclectic Wiccan, but that doesn’t fit any more. As I grow and change, so do my beliefs. I find I’m more spiritual than anything else and there really isn’t anything to define me other than pagan. My magical name through most of my pagan journeys has been Em. Em Twilight.
This is a story that continues to change and grow… I have added and subtracted to it as I change and grow. I have taken my original web page and adapted it and changed it for various occasions and introductions.
As of now, here is my story.
My beliefs started in a way that I thought was unusual, but as I got to know more and more people who have become “pagan” I realized that many have similar stories to mine.
I’ve always been fascinated by Halloween.
As a child, it was a magical time for getting candy, dressing up, and being silly.
As a teenager, it was a time for stupid pranks. (In my hometown, someone always set an outhouse on fire in the triangle on the main drag.)
As I grew older, I became captivated with the thrills of the scary symbols and gadgets. My now ex-husband had the same interests, so we had numerous skulls, noise-makers, bats, gargoyles, ceramic pumpkins, and other “scary” items. Every year we added to our Halloween collection. With the divorce, we did manage to split everything quite evenly. I was impressed with his willingness to share these, but that is a whole other tale…
but I digress…
After writing some articles and meeting some wonderful people, I discovered Samhain and the origins of Halloween. After a LOT of research, I realized that there was something more to Halloween than skulls, candy, and pranks.
With an idea from a friend, I started a series of newspaper stories for my college newspaper. These stories opened a door for me. There was a whole world out there that I had never truly been aware of.
The people I met, while investigating these story ideas, were more than willing to talk to me and teach me. This was amazing, because, here I was, a nearly complete stranger, yet they took me in, and allowed me to interview. There was a lot of trust, and I truly thank them for that, but more than that, there was learning, there was realizations, and of course, there was hope that my articles may create some more awareness and understanding. (I love you Lady Ursa)
I am still quite proud of my articles. They can be found at http://www.asamnet.de/~betheakr/articles.html
I was born and raised a Catholic, but there was so much in that religion that I didn’t agree with or simply didn’t understand. I have a whole other story about some discussions I had with a Catholic priest, but I won’t go into it now… Let’s just say, he is no longer a priest!
So, I read, all kinds of books. And I talked to all kinds of people. And I searched the net.
If you looked at my articles you will notice that I started my research in the spring of 1996.
Then, about three years later, many books, (both good and bad Wink) , and many wonderful new friends, I started taking the next step.
I started performing small rituals, usually just with the full moons and on the “holidays”.
This started before I became pregnant with my son, and continued until I was hospitalized. Then, once he was safely born, I found myself too exhausted to do much. Finally, he got older and I wasn’t just sleeping and feeding, so I started to do rituals once again. Mostly thanking the Goddess for my beautiful son. He was truly a blessing, because of my history…
Then we did a lot of moving. My husband was military and he was getting out after 10 years of service. Finally, we settled where we are now, and I was able to delve into the many boxes until I found my tools. Sadly, it took a while to find my BOS, but when I finally did, there was much rejoicing!
After moving back to Kansas, I became out of sorts. I was needing something, but I didn’t know what. I didn’t have a good place for rituals, except in my computer room, which was piled with stuff everywhere. I could perform rituals in my backyard, but I worry that I would freak my neighbors. Rolling Eyes I still read, was aware of moon phases and holidays, but something was still wrong…
Then, once again, much of my life changed. So many changes…. It is almost frightening. No. Frightening is not the correct word… intimidating, perhaps. Either way, I began a new circle in my life. I was changing. I started looking into changing my career. I loved teaching, but I didn’t like working with Administrators… (I made English FUN – the students liked me so I must have been doing something wrong…) and other things on an even more personal level changed.. I was no longer the person I was. I guess it might have been the 7 year cycle perhaps. It has been 8 years since I discovered paganism, wicca. It had been 8 years since I wrote those articles and was introduced to something that has felt so right ever since.
Perhaps that is why I started Flint Hills Pagans. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/flinthillspagans Maybe I am looking for myself. Maybe I am looking for that certain grounding that I need to get back where I want to be. Or where I need to be. I even took the Flinthills Pagans to the next level. We became a non-profit organization. http://www.flinthillspagans.org/
But then my career choice (computer programming) necessitated a move. I was working in Kansas City and living in Manhattan, KS. The drive was horrendous. I didn’t want to move too far from my son, so I moved to Topeka. Either way, Topeka was too far… for my responsibilities to FHPA. It started to die a slow death. (At first it had only the basic officers required to maintain a non-profit status.. but as of 2009ish, new people came to the area and have revitalized it. There are meetings and rituals again, classes and more. I’m so pleased!!) .
I became a recluse. I stopped all social pagan activities. I didn’t even make it to any of the Pagan Pride Days (I had read tarot for people the years prior) . I continued with my rituals and holidays for the most part, and I was always aware of the moon phases (I think that is ingrained into my senses… I just “know”) .
Now, my son is living with me. (My ex finally left his bitch-wife) Things are good with having my boy here. My ex and I are getting along great which is good for our son. We can finally build back that friendship that was destroyed by the woman who replaced me. He just returned from Iraq but we continue to be a team for our son. Things are looking up.
I’ve also met someone. His name is Thorik and I was finally able to admit I had fallen in love with him three years ago on Samhain and we were handfasted the following Samhain. It was beautiful.
I don’t know what the future holds.. It’s exciting not knowing… but scary too. Once again I have changed. I have changed who I am (but not what I believe) . I have watched What the Bleep more times than I can count and realize that I am in control of my own world and everything in it. I suppose I just have some decisions to make and then move forward to make them come to pass.
New things have been coming into my life. Life is exciting and full of change. Kali has come into my life thanks to an experience at Heartland Pagan Festival #25 (2010) … since then, change has been everywhere, but, that’s what Kali does. I’ve made some wonderful new friends and have been truly working on who I am and the path(s) I am meant to follow. Life gets easier when you find your paths and the rewards keep right on coming. I can’t wait to see what will happen next!!
Well, here I am, now, in Minnesota. My son has graduated high school and survived his first year in college.
My beliefs continue to change and grow, but most importantly, hubby and I have found a home that is our little corner similar to Camp Gaea at it’s height.
I just responded to a question about my beliefs and here is what I said (to a pagan group in MN)
I honor the moon, the universe, all energies and fae.
I have a ritual room for meditation, yoga and rituals..
I love being one with the Earth and look forward to dancing barefoot in my new yard when it warms up enough.
I have woods on my property and I have added magical offerings and protections around trees. I delight in the small things and I am working on creating my home as a safe haven for when I retire (or when the world turns to shit)
I believe that the gods and goddesses transcend name and gender but that there are certain ones for certain honorings and requests
I work at raising my vibrations and feeling the positive energies of the world rush through me.
I am an empath who tries to help and guide other empaths.