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Posted: Sep. 8, 2002
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Question of the Week: 100 - 2/24/2003
Why Are You A Pagan or Heathen?
Why are you a Pagan or Heathen? What first attracted you to the Pagan/Heathen religion or path? How or where did you find out about Paganism?
How long have you considered yourself to be a Pagan/Heathen?
What is the most satisfying or meaningful aspect of the Pagan/Heathen religion, path or lifestyle for you?
| Reponses: There are 142 responses posted to this question.
|| Reverse Sort
| Simply Heathen ||Mar 1st. at 3:41:35 am EST|
|Dreamless (California) ||Age: 13 - Email |
It all started three years ago, when. Me and my friend were looking for something online, and we came accross things like the law of three, and uses for stones, candles, herbs, and oils. We discovered Wicca, and looked into it's magic and spells. My fascination grew and I was constantly looking through information that I would gather. Eventually my parents found out, and they were like "You can't do it anymore because it may have consequences". After an arguement with my mom, she asked me "Do you believe in God?" and I looked her straight in the eyes, though for a moment, and answered "No, I don't". Than everything went from there, I came up with theories, and built strong beliefs for myself. I can be quite igrnorant and foolish at times, not looking at the whole picture, and doing things before I'm ready, but now I'm trying to get past that. I've been slowly creeping along the details of history, philosophy, and whatever other details of any religion that comes my way. I'm expanding my knowledge, and looking into evan the monotheism religions. Though I know that they're not for me, I want to be able to say "But I do know what it's about, but it doesn't fit to the way I think, and I'd rather go with..." to anybody who said that I don't know what I'm talking about.
Sometimes I look around, and see everybody happy and content in whatever religion they follow, knowing everything, or as close to everything as they can about it. When I see these people, already settled in their place on the string of faith, it makes me feel lost and confused, and I begin to question my beliefs. I compare them to the beliefs of that of wich I am studieing, and seem to drift evan further away, making me feel kind of alone. Than I realize that I don't neccasarily need a title, that my beliefs can be one of a kind and it may be better not to follow boundarys of a religion wich may only confuse me. So if somebody would ask me if I was Pagan, I would say "Yes" because my dictionary tells me that a Pagan is a Heathen. I am a Heathen, therefore I am Pagan, the two are the same, only the title tells that I follow no certain religion, other than my own beleifs, but in stead, says only that I do not believe in/worship Yahweh; Jahova; God.
I think that that is important for everybody, because if people did not look inside themselves, and find what they truly believe in, than they would only be slaves of the religion, and not live to it's fullest. It is important for a person to find themselves, and their own beliefs, before they find a title.
| How Did I Become A Pagan? ||Mar 1st. at 5:17:49 am EST|
|Aithne (England) ||Age: 13 - Email |
I have always searched for a meaning to life, even when I was much younger. I went through a period of extreme christianity, which I then decided wasn't right for me. I had been a very imaginative child, and I was always playing imaginary games wehre I had 'magickal powers'. When I entered year 7 in secondary school I became friends with a girl who wanted to be a 'witch'. I obviously loved the idea and whenever I went round her house to sleep over, we read her books and tried some spells. I spent all the pocket money I had on a few books and discovered witchcraft was more than just spells. I loved the feminine deity, as when I was younger I thought it was very 'unfair' that god was a male. I also loved the whole concept of wicca and gradually I began to research it on the net and in any way I could. I have stopped my spellcasting as I am an amateur and it's possible that my spells wouldn't work the way I want, so know i am just researching crystals, herbs, scrying and so on, with a heavy focus on divinitation. My firend has halted her journey of the craft and now spends her time doing things I wouldn't dream of doing at my age, but I have been studying the craft dilligently for a year and a half and I don't plan to stop any time soon. I believe wicca is right for me and though I am to young to join a coven (if there was one in my area) and am not allowed to light candles or incense because and my parents don't approve of wicca, I attmept to carry out a solitary rituals to clebrate the sabbats to show the goddess I am in earnest in learning her craft. I spend hours reading on the internet and I truly believe that this is the path for me.
| Tongue In Cheek ||Mar 1st. at 9:42:53 am EST|
|Filomena Sophia (Duluth, MN) ||Age: 32 - Email |
The question should not be "Why are you a Pagan or a Heathen?" The question should read "Why isn't everybody?"
Daughter of Diana
| ...a Magazine Strange As It Sounds ||Mar 1st. at 10:16:19 am EST|
|Lansana (Yorkshire, England) ||Age: 15 - Email |
When I was 13 I was reading a magazine and I turned the page and there was the headline "I'm a real-life Witch!". I dismissed what she was saying but read the article anyway. I considered myself Christian but only prayed when I really wanted something (awful as it sounds) . My mum liked to call herslef Christian but we never went to Church. I forgot about the article but it was a niggling in the back of my mind that made me go onto the net and research it. It was fascinating and to be truthful i jumped in before I knew what I was doing fortunately nothing went wrong. I told my dad I was researching for school.
I found other friends who said they were Wiccan but they all fell out with the idea after a while. I told my mum i was Wiccan about 6 months after i had begun to consider myself Wiccan. She said hardly anything which hurt but I left it never plucking up the courage to talk to her about it more. My dad figured it out and now refers to it as my Witchy-Rubbish and my brother talks great care to tell my parents as soon as I light a candle or burn some incense. I told get told off but they don't approve but I'm a much happy and whole person for finding my beliefs and some critisism wont stop me learning.
I'm Wiccan because I found my calling.
| So Much To Say, So Little Time... ||Mar 1st. at 11:28:16 am EST|
|Eldryn Moonsong (Ontario, Canada) ||Age: 30 - Email |
I have considered myself Pagan for about 2 years now, and constantly wonder why it happened so late in my life. As with the States, Canada was predominantly Christian when I was growing up, and a lot of my schoolmates would remind me of God's vengeance if I said I did not believe in Him. I was raised in the United church (by non-practising Christian parents) , but could not swallow any of it. Christianity failed me early on, and I was tormented by my peers for it. Why, then, did it take me so long to find the path of the Goddess and the God?
I imagine I needed to make a long journey, to find the path on my own, and not listen to anyone else's opinion or "religious sales pitch". I had fallen in early on with the general misconception that witches were evil, and most often mentally unstable wierdos. But I did feel a strong connection to Nature, and saw wonders wherever I went. Years passed and I learned to appreciate the beauty of the world more and more. I knew that the Earth was a living, breathing entity, but I knew not what to call her.
Then one day, I happened to be in a bookstore and passed the New Age/Magick section. Some of the titles caught my eye and I lingered a moment. Then a clerk came by and offered me her assistance. After a few brief words, she revealed to me that she was a witch, and that for reasons unknown she felt comfortable revealing that fact to me, though I was a total stranger. I felt very comfortable hearing it. I also picked up a copy of "Drawing Down the Moon".
I was shocked. I had to read more. So I did. And now I'm home at last, amidst the persecution and discrimination and the beauty and the love.
Bright blessings to all....
| It Found Me... ||Mar 1st. at 3:11:59 pm EST|
|Ashley (Edmonton Canada) ||Age: 19 - Email |
Since I can remember I have had a belief in the magical unseen
side of nature and all things " fantasy ". Being raised in an
ultra conservative christian organization my young hearts beleifs
were thwarted and said to be of the devil, and I beleived them for
so long. At the age of twelve I began to rebel, I was begining
to break free from the ropes of conformity. My curiosity and love of
ancient cultures religions and the Earth kept me searching and
more open to others. It first began with an interest in natural
earth friendly products and simples like aromatherapy. Then at 15 I had
my first Tarot reading, the woman was so kind and gave me such a sense
of ease that I had never felt my whole life amoung my christian
congergation. I was ready and I wanted to learn I wanted a teacher
and the Universe sent me one within a few months of the first reading.
My best friend and his Mother who is now also my best dearest friend.
They helped me learn and not to fear that wich I do not understand.
His mother has an enormous collection of books, anything from herbology,
Edgar Cayce, to UFO's or Native shaminism. But the most I learned was from
the heart and soul of these two spirits. It seemed I had waited my
entire 15 years to re-meet them, to find the part of myself self that
was denied before. My beleifs that had always stuck with me were validated,
but most importantly I validate them myself with the help of loving mentors
and friends. That is why I say it found me, it would have happend sooner
or later, I'm happy it was sooner, still so much to learn...to discover
| I Was Found ||Mar 1st. at 4:21:57 pm EST|
|Kaela Salmons (Ohio) ||Age: 16 - Email |
Since I was lil I loved nature I loved to just go to the lake and walk around in the woods and sit down and just close my eyes.I was always interested into witches and instead of wanting to be a princess I wanted to be a witch of course thats when I thought you had to be born one and before I knew it was actually a wonderful religion.
13 years later...
I was at a stie delivering advice to people my age and helping them and I cam across the religious part of the site and found paganism I thought it was just an accident but after studying and reading books I've found theres no such thing.That everything happens for a reason.After reading books for what is now my 3rd year I've discovered that some things I did when I was little conesponds with some things pagans actually do and since I've discovered paganism I've been so peaceful and I've turned into a better person and I feel more in tune with nature and I've discovered some gifts and my mind is much more open and I wouldn't have it any other way.Paganism has filled the empty space that was once there before.
| My Reason ||Mar 1st. at 6:18:55 pm EST|
|Thomas Melville (England) ||Age: 17 - Email |
Well it all dates back to when I was young. I loved nature and I enjoyed many summers outdoors. Then I was sent to a Protestant primary school (between 8 and 11 for the American readers) . There I was encouraged to believe in the almighty, which I frankly disliked and not until recently did I know that there was an alternative to Atheism.
Having only just discovered Wicca I obviously don't know everything, I would like to get in touch with any more experienced Wiccans in my area, so if you live in Wales, feel free to contact me at email@example.com
| I Am That I Am. ||Mar 1st. at 8:27:06 pm EST|
|Michael (Richmond, VA) ||Age: 26 - Email |
I used to sit in Church and want to cry because God didn't talk to me. I prayed to have the faith and rapture that other people seemed to have. I cut church when I could and ran off into the woods to explore. That's where I found my bliss. I found it in my dreams, in the ocean, in the sky. I found it in buildings and cars, beetles and worms. Essentially I found it everywhere but the place that I was supposed to find it. Little by little I learned to listen to myself and develop my own faith. Oddly enough, the things that I thought on my own began to line up with the ideas of complete strangers. I suppose that is when I became a "pagan." In reality, I don't think I ever realy became anything different. I am that I am. Aren't we all?
| Proud To Be Pagan ||Mar 1st. at 8:37:41 pm EST|
|Daphne (waukesha, wi) ||Age: 39 - Email |
MM to one and all reading this post....I am very proud that I am Pagan, I grew up in a strict catholic household. Whenever there was a question I wanted answered I was simply told, " I was raised this way and now you are live with it. The Lord above will answer your questions in his good time. of course being a child the next question was, " How god cant talk to me." I pray and pray and he still doesnt answer this earned me usually some sort of punishment and you do not question the almighty.
As I grew I went to many different churches, methodist, lutheran, baptist, etc. always searching but never finding that elusive answer. I always have been infatuated with learning about nature. Herbalism, and Kitchen Recipes aromatherapy are a passion of mine. At about age 23 I started to have my family and felt that I would be letting my children and various other family members down if I did not adhere to tradition and custom of catholicism. I began to go to bookstores and the library searching books about clairboyance, spirits, tarot, runes. I came across Laurie cabots book of "The power of the witch and I was immediately drawn to it. I devoured this book. That was about five years ago. I am 39 now happy to discover that I am unique. Happy to know that there are many others who share some of my views and beliefs. Most of all I am happy to have the goddess in my life she is such a positive force for me in my life. I dont blindly believe anything anymore. I have been told i am crazy I am stupid etc. but that will not stop me. I try my best to grow and learn daily. Peace, joy, love, and trust are no longer just words but a code I live by. Brightest Blessings to all
| Another Raised-as-a-Christian ||Mar 1st. at 11:23:41 pm EST|
|FrogWitch (Canada) ||Age: 19 - Email |
I, too, was raised in a Christian household. Ever since I was very young, I was always interested in witchcraft and a more nature-based way of living. My parents viewed anything that even had fantasy in it (dragons, wizards, etc.) as bad and they were banned from the house. As I got older, I started to drift more and more towards more "New-Age-y" type thinking, mostly for the entirely open-mindedness of it. I believe that every religion is valid, what you believe is right for you (as long as it works) and that they're all just different points of view on the same thing. I started looking at all different religions, but felt that the Wiccan religion drew me the most. I feel more content with myself now that I'm learning about the Wiccan path than I was when I was walking through the Christian path. I only really started looking into Wicca about 3 years ago and I intend to keep on learning for a long, long time.
| Always I Have Been, Always I Shall Be ||Mar 1st. at 11:40:49 pm EST|
|DD Lilaron (Albuquerque, NM) ||Age: 28 - Email |
In reading many responses to this question, I noticed the lack of truth most of us find when growing up in the traditional Christian community. I think that's because most families go to churchas a matter of tradition and duty. They don't necessarily discuss what it all means with their kids. My father was a devout atheist, and my mother a Baptist by tradition. We were "not welcome" after a while at our church because we couldn't afford to devote 10% of our income to the church. This left me from the age of 5 to devise my own opinion. As I grew older in my spiritual independance, I decided that the All spoke to everyone in a language they could understand and accept. You just have to know how to listen, be it God, Allah, Lord and Lady, Zen, or Nirvana. It was all of these and yet none of them that I spoke to in my solitary days on the river as a child. Then in recent years I began to understand the scientific universe. The cycles of minutes, days, weeks months, millenia, ice ages, extinctions, sun life cycles, and universe life cycles that dictate exitance. Then the Olde Religion of celebrating the cycles of years and life made sense, and the fact that those cycles have been the core of spirituality since before we knew we were "we", I really felt I reached the "All" in the language it could understand from me. And I knew that every time I spoke to a beetle on a tree or looked at the sky or the water for guidanc in a question, I was communicating as well as when I prayed to God as a child. Now when the people and pastor at my Grandfathers church tell me I am doing His work by taking care of Papa in his old age, I tell them I know, because He and I still talk every day. But my He is She, and She lives in the Trees.
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