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April 10, 2013

Book Seventeen of my 2013 Goal

From the Cauldron to the Cross: My Journey from Wiccan to ChristianFrom the Cauldron to the Cross: My Journey from Wiccan to Christian by Shari Hadley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

From the Cauldron to the Cross by Shari Hadley is one of those books I just can't put down. I started it in the morning and finished it that night and it isn't what I would call a short book. It is just so interesting and I got so caught up in this true story of a journey to be saved that I just couldn't leave it alone. I was interested to see the journey Shari took since I know many Christians and I know many Wiccans but I only know stories of going from Cross to Cauldron (Christians turning Wiccan) and not the other way around. I also would like to add, I do consider Wicca a religion and refer to it as such in this review.

Shari's childhood life was anything but normal living in a house where she was abused by her mentally ill mother and sexually abused by her father. Eventually Shari met Randy when she was eighteen and soon after went to college and Randy followed her. Two years later they got married and eventually had a son named Glenn.

Many things turned her off about being a Christian including the way they treat women in the Bible. Shari's journey into paganism began when she was attending her local state university. One day her class had speakers who practised modern-day witchcraft and she was hooked. She studied and practiced and was able to call on the deities for guidance and knowledge. In a dream an ancient celtic god, Cernunous came to her. She thought he came to her to show her that she belonged to him and he was her god. Later she found this not to be true. She was a solitary practitioner of 'The Craft' which means she did not join a coven. She was a loner who did it all; she cast spells; read tarot cards; carved runes; cast the sacred circle; summoned spirits; worshiped the sun, moon, and stars; celebrated the pagan holidays, and more. She was a good witch true to her religion and her deities.

She started to hear 'Them' The voices in her head that were like being in a crowded room where everyone is talking but you can't make out any one conversation. She shared this with her husband who was concerned. They were getting more frequent and she was afraid, afraid of being labeled schizophrenic or put on medication so she declined talking to a psychologist. Then the dreams or I should say nightmares started. Weird things and so graphic, depicting every form of violence known to man. She would feel an evil presence in the room and sometimes see a dark shadowy figure at the foot of her bed. She kept telling herself there were no such things as demons. She knew all supernatural powers were good, evil only lurked in the heart of humans. She knew this because she was enlightened, her beliefs told her so.

A few days before Glenn's sixth birthday Shari was expecting Randy to come home and heard a car coming in the driveway only to find that there was a state trooper and a chaplain in it to inform her that there was a car accident and her husband did not survive. It was shortly after this Shari questioned her beliefs. She asked where her goddess was that she so faithfully served for nine years. As the doubt entered her mind and she realized she had no one to turn to since her goddess obviously isn't there for her (Or does she even exist at all?) the door to Christianity slowly opened for her.

I found what follows some of the most interesting parts of the book. The subjects about the spirits and manifestations, the voices and what they turned out to be, and the answers to the many questions that Shari had about Christianity. One of the question she asks is one I had myself. If Christians aren't polytheistic (belief in or worship of more than one god) then how can the Holy Trinity not be considered polytheistic? It consists of "the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; that is three, not one." The answer was very clever so anyone could understand it. I learned quite a few things about both religions in this book.

I found this story bittersweet in parts, scary in others, and heartwarming in others. Grab some tissues just in case because it pulls at your heartstrings. I found this journey to salvation extremely interesting. She wrote with honesty and as I said I learned things from this story I didn't know. It is the close inspection of her beliefs that really speaks volumes (both as Christian and Wicca) it is just so tragic it had to happen this way. I recommend this enlightening story to both Christians and Wiccans. In fact, no matter what your religion is, I think you can learn something from this book even if it is nothing more than ways to examine your own faith.

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