The first thing I remember actually had something to do with the Catholic church. I remember that the little church my family took me to for Mass & the like was richly embellished with paintings, stained-glass images, and sculptured figures of angels. I was very taken with these. I remember asking the adults whether angels were girls or boys. The answer I received was that angels have no gender — that they are neither. I secretly knew in my heart that they were both.
A few years later I became very interested in books on archeology and in particular in ancient civilizations. My favorite of these was the Minoan culture. I loved the illustrations and photos of frescoes of the slim-waisted women & men jumping bulls, and the little figures of priestesses in open bodices concentrating on rites with snakes. I longed for a faith where people were that free & puzzled over what the images of those long past people might have meant when they walked the earth. This influence carried me a long way. In the late eighties I found myself standing in the ruins of Knossos & Phaistos on Crete. Rapt before the little snake priestesses I realized they were even more magical and strange than I could have gotten from the photos I liked as a child. I met several spirits and forces when I was in Greece — I must admit I was completely possessed — but these are stories for other times.