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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.
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| 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.
| IT'S WHAT I AM ||Mar 2nd. at 12:46:14 am EST|
|Peggy Cunningham (Versailles, KY USA) ||Age: 46 - Email |
There was no choice. I was raised Christian, but never felt it made any sense or was right for me. I found out there was a religion called "Wicca" three years ago, and after intense reading and studying ever since have concluded that I am some type of Pagan, probably a Kitchen Witch who leans heavily toward all things Celtic. I can't help it. It's like being born with blue eyes - it was never a choice for me. I simply found out that what I believe does indeed have a label. The Great Creator is alive, an energy force including all, male, female, all the elements and surrounds me 24/7. (My opinion) . I experienced deep satisfaction when I discovered that other people felt as I ded and made friends through some of the Pagan web sites. "Perfect love and perfect trust", and for me, "complete satisfaction". Krystall
| On The Right Path ||Mar 2nd. at 2:25:57 am EST|
|Storm (Michigan) ||Age: 24 - Email |
I was raised catholic kind of. At least my family was catholic, but the only time I went to church was when I visited my grandfather, or one of the major events came up. (Wedding, Funeral, or Baptism.) My mother never really wanted much of an influence on me or my younger brothers faith. She did however dictact what was right and wrong in the real world. Tried and teach us some sort of common sense.
Never knew much about Witches or Witchcraft except for superstition or what was taught about Halloween. Until I was about fifteen. When I was fifteen I discovered a group of my friends had started a small coven, and where researching various aspects of the craft. I took interest and they initiated me as a "grey" witch. One of neutral interests as they said. I later came to the personal beleif that color had no representation of your path, however there are a few paths to this day that still use color.
This coven I initially joined was kind of childish I think, and most the others thought too. For the coven didn't last very long. Some of the actions they took weren't very witch like, I'd be comfortable saying. But some of the herbological studies, and interests in nature or enhancing one's psychic abilities were quite strong ammongst some of us. But once I had moved away from the area, months after my initiation, the coven collapsed. Most converted back to christianity, some just went independant thinking as I mentioned before. One of the members who converted back to christianity was so convinced he allowed Satan into his soul that he commited suicide a while later.
My studies continued quietly and independantly for several years after. The only time I ever exposed myself was to a Wiccan woman of interest. Which backfired, she thought I was saying it just to chase tail. It was a year after that, that I let any of my dearest friends know. And here I am now, with a few friends who are Wiccan and/or Pagan interested in starting a coven.
| It Was Magick! ||Mar 2nd. at 3:07:10 am EST|
|Dana (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) ||Age: 35 - Email |
Raised hypocritical Roman Catholic, failed miserably in religion class at Catholic school, shunned by the church congregation and school officials ... these were my experiences growing up seking faith. Thankfully the goddess wrapped me in her embrace when I was young as her guidance provided me with a way to survive childhood. I have been proclaiming my heathen ways for 15 years now. It is such a relief to belong. It is so empowering to worship as I see fit. Paganism is not only a spiritual choice but a complete lifestyle. It's a beautiful thing!
| Paganism Always My Path ||Mar 2nd. at 8:10:10 am EST|
|Foxheart (NH) ||Age: 23 - Email |
First of all I guess I am a Pagan because I consider myself Ecclectic Wiccan and as far as I know most Wiccans consider themselves Pagan even though lots of Pagans don't consider themselves Wiccan. So here goes my story. As a child I was always very creative and had a vivid imagination (still do) . I had tons of imaginary friends (besides real ones of course) and would talk and chat with them just like real people. I also spent a great deal of time out doors pretending to be Wonder Woman (remember the series, her real name was Diana) , She Ra, Princess of Power, and various and sundry animals including deer and wolves.
Sounds like I'm crazy, no? Well maybe I was a nutty child but it gets better. When I got a bit older and could explore the trails behind my neighborhood I would make "cures" and "concotions" from things I found in nature. I would never eat them but I would pretend they cured my imaginary friends. Also I was always picking up sticks and rocks and using the sticks as magical wands.
I hadn't the faintest idea what Paganism was at this point. I was still going to CCD classes at my parent's Catholic Church and still learning about Jesus from my grandmother.
Then I became a rebel. I don't remember exactly how it came about but I remember taking home a booklet from my middle school about the Salem Witchcraft Trials. Inside it had a shortened version of Arthur Miller's "The Crucible." Well I read this over and over until I wore the booklet out. I just had to learn more!
Always an avid reader I hied myself to the bookstore and wandered. Lo and behold they had a New Age section. I picked up a book on Celtic Magic by DJ Conway. I read this. It seemed cool but didn't make much sense to me because it used all these terms like widdershins, athame, and censer that confused me.
Later I got a deck of tarot cards and did a reading for one of my 8th grade teachers. She told me that it was uncannily correct. At this point my parents were somewhat aghast at the idea of their Catholic-raised daughter dabbling in things the Church found "unholy."
Then I found Dan and Pauline Campanelli's "Circles Groves and Sanctuaries" and I was in heaven. Holy Mother of God there were people out there that actually did this magic stuff on a daily basis!
It was not until many years later that I actually decided Wicca was my religion. Only recently have I had a personal relationship with Goddess and God but it is very satisfying and beautiful to me.
Luckily my parents have accepted the fact that my religious path gives me all the strength and comfort that their religious path gives to them. My mother still wishes I was a good little Catholic girl but I think she feels better knowing that I at least believe in something and have a spiritual life rather than believe in nothing at all.
| I Am What I Am ||Mar 2nd. at 8:29:56 am EST|
|Glenn Farquhar (Massachusetts) ||Age: 37 - Email - Web|
Because I have been all my life, i Have looked at other beliefs, i have wondered about those people who go to church every week, i've even ventured into their churches trying to see, to feel, or just get a glimpse of what they see. but their reality is scary, they are trapped within theirselves, their energies don't flow, their belonging is only chaneled through one person, who tells them how he thinks they should be and live. they are blind to the energies, the animals, and the conection they have to their surroundings, blind faith.
Being who I am I feel the flow of energies every second of the day, I am never lonely for nature whispers to me assuring me I am never alone, This is why I am pagan.
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