Wicca is now my spiritual path, but if not for my early Catholic religious training I might not have connected to it as I have. I grew up in a devotedly Catholic household and attended parochial school until the eight grade. Both prepared me for a strong spiritual life.
My seventh grade nun piqued my interest in theology by introducing religious practices different from Catholicism. Curious, I wanted more than learning about other religions--I wanted to participate in them, something not encouraged or acceptable at school nor home.
At that time I didn't realize that what I was seeking was a spiritual practice that would empower me as a female.
In the United States many Catholics place God in the highest position as the supreme being. Jesus second followed by Mary, His mother. My own mother, who was completely devoted to Mary, taught her children to pray first to God's mother in times of need. Her devotion to the Mother stems from her Catholic European influence where Mary is a pivotal holy power. Mother's loyalty to Mary had a great affect upon my trust in, and bond to, female deities and made for an easy transition to a goddess religion.
Catholics also pray to other female deities known as patron saints. Many countries and cultures have their own goddesses and female saints who serve as protectors and guardians. To me they are sisters to the goddesses: Saint Joan of Arc from France is sister to the Greek goddess, Diana, warrior and hunter: pray to them for strength and courage during life's battles. Saint Rita of Cascia and the Hindu goddess, Kali help deliver abused women from maltreatment while Mary's mother, Saint Ann and the Greek goddess, Hera, are patroness to married and childless women.
The Catholic holy women, though held in great esteem, are not afforded the powerful positions as the goddesses who are equal to the gods.
With this unequal share of gender power as well as with great faith in Mary, and with appreciation of my Catholic foundation, I chose a strong female spiritual path to put my faith in. I am now free to dance with wild abandonment under the moon skyclad, if I wish. I can conjure up magic and be a powerful woman instrumental in the progress of humanity. I am whole.
In my novel, The Skye in June, my main character is a Catholic who also has a pull to the goddess.