When I decided a few years ago to embark on the journey of seeking spirituality and taking up magick for the purpose of achieving balance between my repressed intuitive feminine side and my overactive analytical masculine side, I had no idea it would lead me to an actual set of beliefs about God.

I spent most of my life as an agnostic. I was baptized Lutheran but schooled Catholic, which left me skeptical of religion (and adults) to begin with given that I was expected to believe in different things depending on which group I was hanging out with at the time. During most masses I felt deficient for not being able to feel whatever holy connection I was supposed to be feeling, and God became about play-acting. At age 18 I read Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with 1000 Faces and came to see that all religions and mythologies essentially told the same stories, and I came to see God as their commonalities – a way of beingness in nature that man attempts to explain with different names and characters. Then I took up chaos magick, and I smugly thought of God (and gods) as an idea, a thoughtform, a thing that exists inasmuch and only inasmuch as man has created it and yet which reaps tangible results in the world, God as the idea force behind multitudinous edicts, charities, and crusades.

None of these schools of thought were things I would have really gone to bat for though. They were interesting viewpoints in existential debates, things I found intellectually sound but really didn’t ultimately care about very much.

Then 2017 happened.

They say God is beyond language, beyond even human comprehension, because God is bigger than we can imagine. But I feel I’m at a vantage point now where I understand God enough to at least see why and how humans have made all the metaphors for it, the places it gets lost in translation, the whisper-down-the-lane of religious doctrine, the spots where even the religions I grew up with came so close to getting it right despite all the places they so tragically get it wrong. I get a glimpse of God and angels and heaven and hell and I think to myself, “Oh, that’s what Jesus meant by that parable. I get it now.” I read spiritual adages both religious and secular that I’ve read a thousand times over and I suddenly understand what they mean in a way I was blind to before. I see a God that encompasses all of science and chuckles at science’s failure to embrace it in return (as God is in everything, science included). I see a heaven that is happiness and a hell that is pain, both self-created but real, both falsely equated with societal morality, a concept that is so simple once learned and yet so difficult to impart, a Kingdom of Heaven that is upon us here on earth if we only choose to see it.

And this belief comes to me not as a doctrine from a cool social circle I wish to belong to, a set of beliefs I choose because I think it’s the smartest and makes me look cool. This comes to me as a knowing, it comes to me the way chills come during music, it comes to me like a memory from before I was born, it comes to me with a lifechanging impetus to live up to my own divinity. It comes to me as a key to a door, it comes to me as vastness and eternity and peace, it scrubs me clean and heals me from the inside out. It calls me to see the divinity in everyone else, and to have compassion where I once held fear. This is a God who changes everything about the way I experience the world. Whatever you may or may not believe personally, within my experience this is as real as reality, and it all makes sense to me. This isn’t something I merely believe; it is something I know.

And I can’t help but think… it was so much easier before. It was easier when I didn’t really care what people believed about God just so long as they weren’t fanatical or preachy about it. I don’t want to be someone who cares what people believe about God, but lately it feels like if someone isn’t on at least a similar page to me there’s a bit of a wall to intimacy. When I saw religion as solely a social construct, I didn’t really care if I shared the same beliefs as someone. But now that I see it as a path, I care. If someone isn’t at least asking the same questions and pondering the same mysteries, what am I… supposed… to talk about… with them.

It’s not that I insist that a person agree with my personal experience of God. But I want them to be exploring their personal experience of God too, and sharing what they’re learning with me. I want this to be something we can do together. I don’t want to be looked at like I’m a crazy person.

That’s really what it comes down to: I don’t want to be looked at like I’m a crazy person.

Back in February during the Pisces new moon I launched a sigil for “I am in the vibration of my soul’s fulfillment.” The fact that just months later I’m now writing about having an understanding of God is my understanding of God. That’s my proof. I know God exists because I asked to understand God, and now I do.