I did not know I needed this in my life until suddenly here it was.
I was in the habit of bumming around Barnes and Noble, and took to exploring parts of the store that I had never ventured before. One day, the title Archangels & Ascended Masters caught my eye, and I wound up purchasing the book.
It was the archangels part that piqued my interest, and despite reading the whole book, I could never muster any appreciation for ascended masters. I was a thorough angel junkie by that point.
The book was my first exposure to non-Christian spirituality.
There were several things that happened in 2008 that sealed my fate in paganism, and after about a year of research I knew that I wasn’t remotely the New Age sort at all. I could never accept the idea that humanity was supposed to transcend basic emotions (aka lower vibrations) like fear and sadness, in order to live in the rather emotionless state of peace forever more. How boring. How stagnant. How pointless.
I quickly outgrew Doreen Virtue, viewing her as the equivalent of cotton candy who says a lot of feel-good fluff, but lacks any substance. She made for a good introduction, but the sort of stuff that I ultimately craved wasn’t going to be found in Barnes and Noble.
I suppose this illustrates how out-of-the-loop I am, but I finally learned that Doreen Virtue denounced New Age spirituality in 2017 and is now a born-again Christian.
Wow, isn’t it a funny world?
I wish that I could believe it was an honest-to-God conversion, because I don’t care about the particulars as much as I care about sincerity, and I don’t know many people who are actually sincere about their religion any more. Unfortunately, the heavy censorship that Doreen Virtue is continuing to enforce around herself triggers my cynicism, and I’m inclined to think not.
Of course, I’m coming to the party late and I don’t know much of the story, so don’t take my word for it — I just don’t get a particularly good feeling from her.
The question is, does this invalidate all of Doreen Virtue’s products? She was prolific, and published an enormous number of books and card decks, which she now actively discourages people from reading/using. Am I left with tripe that I might as well burn?
It was never Doreen Virtue who mattered in the first place. She shared her thoughts, but the important part was me. It was the way I felt and interpreted what I read, the parts that I liked and the parts that I dismissed, that made up the foundation of my spirituality. No matter who Doreen Virtue is or what she believes, I am still me. She doesn’t have the power to change my story, and her books will always be part of my spiritual journey.
Like it or not, all of Doreen Virtue’s New Age products still have value, even if it’s just sentimental. There’s magic in honoring where you’ve been.
About ten years ago, I purchased a book that described demonic possessions in the summary on the back cover, and the first chapter was about the main character performing an exorcism. Seemed legit, and I had yet to learn to be jaded, so I went ahead and paid my scant pennies for the thing. However, after about a hundred pages in, the book was spending far more time and attention on gay BDSM than demons, and by the end it had never turned around. It turned out that the exorcism in the first chapter was the only exorcism in the entire book.
I had really wanted the demons.
Around the same time, I had purchased my field guide to demons (on clearance at Barnes and Noble, lol) and was ravenously studying everything I could find on demonology, so I thought it would be fun to throw in some brain candy on the same topic. When I had purchased the book that I had described above, I had been looking for a very specific sort of story, but what I got was completely different genre. The description never mentioned anything about BDSM or homosexuality, and I had been too naive and earnest to risk spoiling the plot by turning to page 150 to figure out what I was actually getting myself into.
It was such a huge disappointment, that it was the last newly released fiction novel I ever purchased. The best way I can describe it is that the author didn’t actually know what to do with her initial idea, so defaulted to the adage “sex sells” with the hope that no one would notice. As the reader, I felt like I had been sold fetish erotica in disguise, and I hate it when the product doesn’t match the labeling on the box.
So where on Earth is the literature for a girl obsessed with spiritual themes?
I still haven’t found it.
I’m what is called an eclectic Pagan, though I think of myself more as an obsessive cherry-picker.
Religion fascinates me. When I was 21, I made plans to move far away and get a degree in Religious Studies, but it turned out that I was destined for something else. Instead, I now have a large collection of books ranging from the Liber Null to Doreen Virtue.
I’ve dabbled in all sorts of magic, and I have a deck of Tarot cards that I consult regularly. If something doesn’t work, I move on to the next; if it does, I add it to the ‘eclectic’ part of my Pagan practice. All I really care about is finding what resonates with my soul, irregardless of what shape it takes.
I consider the religious beliefs of others to be sacrosanct, and while I will discuss why I do or don’t believe in a particular thing, I respect that everyone has their own path to follow. That’s also part of my beliefs.
All of my stories have an esoteric element to them, and they all happen in the same spiritual universe.
Light Eternal, for example, is pretty heavy on the spiritual stuff. So much so, honestly, that I don’t expect it to gain any sort of attention until after I’ve published a few novels. However, it was exactly what I needed to write at the time, and it’s a good foundation, so I went ahead and put it out there.
I’ve been a bit shy to say all of that right out. I’ve had very mixed reactions to this particular aspect of my personality, but considering that it’s an obvious part of my writing, it would be disingenuous of me to try to hide it.
So there you have it, I love religion. I’m just not picky about which one.