About four years after I made the decision to follow the Wiccan path, I had quit strictly following that path. I no longer considered myself Wiccan, but an Eclectic Neo-Pagan. I had created my own jigsaw religion composed of pieces I liked from other religions. I just made sure to leave out the Christian God because Christians were still hopeless idiots, and I met many Christians preaching on campus who further validated my views. However, since I was no longer part of an organized religion I stopped always going to the full moon Esbats, and only celebrated the Sabbats that coincided with the Solstice or Equinox. I started to become fascinated with quantum physics and string theory, and I started to wonder if the answer to finding a god was in there. I believed in the three-fold law of karma; that everything you put out into the universe you received back three times better or worse. Not only did I not believe in Jesus, but I believed it was irresponsible to put all your wrong doings on another person.
During this time someone in my life became addicted to drugs, for anonymities sake I will refer to him/her as X. The first time X went to rehab I supported him/her fully, the second time X checked out early and put my family and I through severe turmoil. My family was torn apart, we lost our house, I lost my entire savings. I was in my early 20’s at this point and I started filling up with hate and anger towards X. I would mentally plot acts of violence towards them, and I wished for their death. I was no longer strictly Wiccan but I still followed the “harm none” rule, so luckily I never acted on any of it, but that anger did just as much damage to my spirit as anything else.
After another four years, I still considered myself and eclectic neo-pagan, but I no longer went to any rituals or joined any covens. I saw god as an interpretation of the energy (non-intelligent) that flows through the universe. Around this time I moved away to an area where my pagan friends were not easy to visit and I had no other friends in the area. While this was a difficult and lonely time for me, I feel it was probably working for my benefit as it allowed me to look into myself and find what I really believe without peer pressure of any sort. I started looking more into Buddhism, and trying to better myself through meditation, but only half heartedly. I still harbored deep anger and hatred toward X, but I ignored it and most of the time it worked. Out of sight out of mind, but when X was in my sight or mind the fury welled up inside me and vile spilled out of my mouth. Had I been exposed to gamma radiation you would have seen me turn into a green beefcake. I bought a book by a Buddhist monk (Anger: Wisdom for Cooling the Flames by Thich Nhat Hanh) on dealing with anger, but I got so angry every time I tried to read it that I had to stop. I never forgave X, and knew I never would.
One more year later and within a few months of each other I lost two grandparents. One of them had been failing in health for some time and the other was sudden and unexpected. This was pretty devastating to me. I pulled back out one of my Wicca books and tried to get back into the routine of worshiping the gods, but it didn’t feel right anymore, and within a short period I lost faith in everything. I became an agnostic and was rapidly becoming an atheist, and as far as I was concerned Christians were even more stupid and superstitious. I would carry a sharpie on my key chain and would cross “In God We Trust” off of all the money I got. I even Photoshopped pictures of Jesus to look like a zombie for putting up on my friends MySpace pages for Easter. Jesus was as real to me as the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
This new anti religion stance lasted another four years. It waxed an waned through different stages, but two things were constant: God didn’t exist, at least not as a sentient being, and Jesus sure as heck wasn’t real.