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  • #76
    I was reared atheist. For a time I tried to be a christian, I read their holy book, used concordances and all but I was just to damn pagan it fit in - really

    I was always getting into debates. Sunday school teachers hated me as an adult because when I read their book I came to very different conclusions - I found I read the old testament of the bible like some of the orthodox Jews did. The more educated the teacher or preacher the more I was hated some time being attacked from the pulpit.

    After my children grew up I began having time to get into debates and over time befriended people of different religions - . One lady I got to know referred to herself as a witch so I began asking her questions about her path Then I shared my dilemma regarding my inability to fit into organized religions - Her advice was to seek out my own beliefs - she assured me I had always been on my spiritual path but it was up to me to walk my own journey -

    After several years of studying I learned why I did not fit into churches. Christian churches by and large cater to the more legalistic orthodox aspect of Christians which I was never designed to be -

    There are other types of Christians out there but they have been ridiculed and orphaned by what became main stream Christianity because their way did not serve the political powers that be - in Roman. Terms applied to them who chose to maintain their identity as christian are gnostic or mystic Christians

    Once I learned of gnostic Christianity I wandered that path but decided to drop the Christ aspect in favor of the "ALL" as referred to in Hermetics because that was a more in line with my idea of a deity.

    I went from gnostic christian into Hermetic now I am studying the Kabbalah - which explains a lot.

    I adopted the label pagan as a means to categorize my spiritual journey because I have more in common with others who have applied the same category to their spiritual path. It really is that simple

    My spiritual path has not really changed which is why I walked into paganism already knowing a lot about it - I have always been pagan it just took me over 45 years to figure it out.:goodgrief

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    • #77
      I've been in and out of paganism and Catholicism a lot so I consider myself "new" all the time. Christianity was fun and home when it wasn't so legalistic--my parents used to tell me that thunder was the angels in heaven bowling and getting a strike, which may be why I love watching thunderstorms as an adult. Or I would watch the trees in the yard, marking the seasons with their colors and the length of their shadows.

      Oddly, I think I was trying to paganize my Catholicism as I grew up. I brought pine cones to the statue of Mary in my home, since my mother always has flowers in front of it. And I felt such unexpected JOY--like the Mother was pleased to get something from me. Later on, I went through Confirmation classes with the rest of my classmates. Our instructor asked us to meditate on the saints and decide upon a patron saint, and possibly a Confirmation Name for ourselves. I really wanted to dedicate myself to Mary at that time, but so many classmates were treating it like just another assignment that I felt kinda stupid for taking it too "seriously". Unfortunately, I chose a different saint, and felt more dumb when others did in fact ask for Mary's patronage.

      Books that I bought from Barnes and Noble (I'll cop to it, I bought Angels, Companions in Magick by Silver Ravenwolf, lol), then books by Scott Cunningham and Ellen Cannon Read really taught me to think seriously about paganism, and to get over the teen rebellion thing and make it REAL OR GO HOME. Since then, I've continued on my pagan Catholic, eclectic way.

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      • #78
        Originally posted by cheddarsox View Post
        Ok, my turn.

        I became pagan "pre-Buffy" and pre "Charmed"...or maybe more correctly, I was born pagan and it just took me a long time to realize that.

        I was raised Catholic, and really tried to make Chrisitanity work, while I respect the teachings and ethics, I couldn't make it work as a belief system. It simply was contrary to my experience of life and the Universe. I kept thinking...wouldn't it be cool if there was a religion that addressed what I believe and feel inside.

        While attending a liberal Christian church, I was introduced to some basic pagan spirituality...yes, at the Church,by the ministers, who were discussion ancient spiritualities. I was like "YES!", but didn't know there were real live people still practicing those things, outside of the liberal Christians who thought they were cool.

        But about that same time some health and personal crises caused me to say "enough" to Christianity and start practicing my authentic faith, what I knew and believed deep down inside.

        A few years later I discovered that there are lots of people who follow this path and practice these beliefs and I was thrilled.

        To me, paganism is practicing from the inside out, rather than from the outside in.

        It is my authentic response to what I know and believe, not what is enforced from an outside authority.

        I didn't have to plan an altar, when I heard about them, I realized I've always had a few around the house. I didn't have to learn how to do ritual, I realized I've been doing them all along.

        So, it was like I started living as a pagan, because it was inside me, and then later happily found community.

        What attracted me to paganism was it's authenticity.
        This is how I feel. I tried so hard to be a good spirit filled Christian and it never fit. It didn't fit the beliefs that burned inside of me. It wasn't logical in any way. I knew there were things I had been told didn't exist. I knew because I felt them and saw them. Sometimes experimenting nad researching but never letting go of y fear.
        Finally a few years ago there was a massive shift in my life...like platonic shifting massive...and I dropped all pretenses. No more faking it for the world or me and guess what was below all of that fear and front?
        It was not a woman on her knees begging "god" to help, it was a woman in her bare feet in the middle of a forest inviting the goddess to teach me the truth.
        IT is amazing how true the statement is that the truth will set you free. People don't really understand that statement until they experience the freedom of letting go of pretense and expectation.
        “When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure” ~ Peter Marshall
        sigpic

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        • #79
          i've pretty much always known i didnt belong in a standard church/organized religion, i didnt really believe in the judeo/chrisitan god, was pretty sure i wasnt a monthiest in general.
          for a while i was content with being agnostic, no need really for a religion or whatever however i've alway sort of been intrested in polythiesm, buddhism, new agey stuff... and eventually i felt like something was missing so i did a bit more research. was at first really drawn to druidry - the sound of the name, the celtic origins (i'm part scottish), which - i love the celtic culture in general... but recently - i read alot and its a little too strict/demanding...so no i'm more or less exploring wicca/witchcrafy, very limitedly as i'm home for the summer and will be living in a dorm come the end of august....

          but in general - i love the flexibility, the nature base (goddes how i love plants and animals) and the other little things like - herbology, tarot, crystals and gems...healing, chakras... so yeah - for now i'm a nonthiest/animist nature loving witch (i think) :P

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          • #80
            Originally posted by Arinya View Post
            I also got introduced to the idea of witchcraft through a movie...The Craft! Haha...oh my. But hey, I was only 11 and it got me to pick up a book on the topic. I had another friend do the same...and there we were 10years later and she made fun of me for still being "into" witchcraft. I guess that's where the difference lies...I found something that sparked with me. The elements, the idea of energy in everything, my undying love for stones, my interest in divination, it all kind of came to a pinnancle and even though it was a movie that told me hey, look into this, and even though it was a bad movie at that, I still found something that just struck me hard. Struck me down, even and never let go.

            The real hook for me...was that it just made sense. I never feel like something I'm trying to do is a real stretch, it just...it just is. I suppose then...I had a natural draw and I followed it.


            heheh - i remeber being into the whole witch thing and expecting it to be like the movies with glowing pentagrams on the floor... i was younger then - and my dad kind of, discouraged it.... but i'm definitly pagan now with more realistic expectations but...
            main reason for quoting you- I loooove the doctor, specially that one :D

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            • #81
              Originally posted by cheddarsox View Post
              When I was in grade school, the school library had a series of books about careers and the titles were all "So you want to be a ......." And I thought they were hilarious.

              So, as a "new" pagan...what attracts you to paganism?

              As an "old" pagan, I am curious about how paganism is seen and what aspects of it are catching the attention of people and making them study it or choose it as a life path.

              How did you learn about it? What made you think "THAT is for me!"

              I'll share my experience a bit later, I don't want to color anyone's responses with my own.

              Even if you are not so new...feel free to answer, there had to have been some "hook" for each of us that made us hungry for more.

              cheddar
              Hah, I don't know what classifies someone as an 'old' pagan or a 'new' one, but I'll play along. :D

              I first 'discovered' paganism at the school library in Jr High. Honestly, I can't remember why I kept reading into it. Probably the guy I was dating :P

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              • #82
                I was always interested in some aspects of paganism but wasn't allowed to study it. Teachers and family tried to convince me that it was really silly. As I aged I never really forgot about it and just recently starting looking into it again. I think the fact that people tried so hard to convince me that it was evil or stupid is what drew me to it. I didn't understand how something so amazing could be hated so much. I used to be ashamed for believing but now I am proud of my beliefs. I still hide it from my family and some friends. It comforts me. I hope that one day I can find people to talk to and build a community of friends who understand.
                There is a logical reason for the things I do,I just haven't figured it out yet.

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