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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
| Because It Brought Peace And Understanding ||Feb 25th. at 6:58:29 pm EST|
|Vorick (FL) ||Age: 20 - Email |
Growing up, my parents were die-hard Catholics.
They tried to bring me up as such, but there were just too many problems with their beliefs.
When I was 10 years old, I started reading about religions in general.
I studied Buddhism, Judism, Daoism, Hunduism, etc and my path finally brought me back around to my grandmother.
She was born and raised in Ireland and was my first Pagan influence.
As I began studying Paganism in general and then narrowing my study down to Celtic Wiccan (which is what I know consider myself) I found that it made sense.
I have been a Pagan for 8 years now and am loving every minute of it!
| My Pagan Heart ||Feb 25th. at 7:20:24 pm EST|
|tonayallicue (midwest usa) ||Age: 21 - Email |
i first heard of wicca on an episode of the former fox show sightings (now on sci-fi) and was intriguied by it. i knew that if i ever changed my religion it woudl be to that one....i jsut knew it.
that was when i was 11. around the same time, my grandmother gave me a book she had found, "helping yourself with white witchcraft" by al g. manning. now, back then, i had the impression that witchcraft was about revenge...and then a few years later, after seeing a friend literally transform from teh inside out after studying wicca/paganism, i decided it was time for me to do my research.
i was raised catholic, and actually had many instances happen to me that "told" me that i was never supposed to be one in the first place. i can remember being a little girl and talking to a friend, and we talked about "god, " and we thought there was a god for every country...i'm not sure if i meant different religions or actual gods, that was so long ago...but i wonder where my old friend's heart is now. i also had a few other experiences with nature that really made me realize that we are aprt of nature, not made to conquer it.
in high school, a catholic high school that is, around sophomore/junior year i became very agnositc/atheist doubting and requestioning whether or not god existed.
my mom, a catholic, always told me that god was both male and female, but that never ever made sense to me - how can one individual/person be both male and female...they are so different to be one in the same!
and another thing - when i was catholic, i always loved the story of la virgen de guadalupe of mexico. then while reading z. budapest's holy book of women's mysteries, i came across a picture of her, la virgen. i previously rejected her as a catholic image and became interested in this. she appeared on a goddess site - this propelled me to research more, and i found out that la virgen is a goddess this whole time - again confirming for me that my pagan heart was always in teh right place somehow.
for me, to be pagan is to live with the earth and her cycles, to analyze and come alive thru my dreams, and to understand that there is never too much to learn. i used to consider myself wiccan, but i now prefer the more loose term of "pagan" or even "wiccan/pagan", since i like to read about differing ancient traditions and cultures and like to try different things (when i have time, that is) . i have always been an animal and plant-lover and always will be - it's literally something in me i can never escape...that's part of my pagan heart. i've always been a feminista type and have felt that girls are better than guys - sorry boys. but guys are good at lots of things girls aren't... (but to whose standard?)
i have almost no time for magick, and sometimes i've gotten results i never expected, and the truth hurts, but it sets you free..thats all i can say.
i wear a pentacle necklace - never a cross or crucifix ever again.
i am now a goddess - always have been and always will be - and plan to stay that way.
i dunno bout you, but i was totally goin, "You go girl!" for the woman who showed up in denver for the 'are you hot " show on ABC with a snake, belly dancing - she was like, "you are witnessing a physical incarnation of the Goddess!" and i was like, it's too bad opur culture doesn't understand her, but i sure do.
) 0 (
| Techno Pagan ||Feb 25th. at 7:41:47 pm EST|
|Carl (NJ, USA) ||Age: 32 - Email |
I first discovered Wicca/Paganism around 1989 - 1990 or so. I used to run an old BBS (WWIV) called The Realm Of Imagination. This was before the internet was around. You used to be able to network all of these BBSes so you could share message bases. Well, there was a group of message boards that were Pagan oriented call [PIN], the Pagan Information Network. I subscribed to them for my users, more as a curiosity than anything else. After reading them, and asking questions, I started picking up books galore. Like many others who found Wicca, I felt like I was coming home. I've been a practicing Pagan ever since. Formally trained in several traditions, but I focus mostly on Stregheria and Elementalism.
| Why A Witch? ||Feb 25th. at 9:47:43 pm EST|
|David Warren (Berlin, WI) ||Age: 18 - Email |
I became introduced into the craft ideas by my (former) friend Tommy. I was interested at the time (being the good little Methadist that I was) , but still strongly Christian (but I did practice magick that I had adapted from various pagan books. About eight months ago I was going through a religious turmoil since my life had seemed to slipped away with the heavy drugs that Tom ( a coke addict) got me into. I decided that this was enough of this and I turned aethiest for a two month period and got a new group of friends. They really helped me get my life back together more than I can even explain. Highest of Goddesse's bnlessings to them! I began to read into many, many religions including Satanism (which did not confound to all of my beliefs) and eventually got Wicca for Men by A.J. Drew. From what Tom had explained was different from what others explained the craft really was (he wasent all that wrong , just big with the use drugs in circle.)
That includes my little tale.
NE one can send me info on thier tradition? I'm trying to compile them for a webpage. e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Brightest blessing to all!
| Why I'm Pagan ||Feb 25th. at 9:50:10 pm EST|
|Alana (Milwaukee, WI) ||Age: 21 - Email |
I first heard about some forms of Paganism from friends in high school. I decided to exploe it for myself. I had already inherited a tarot deck from my father after he passed away, so first I started with reading tarot. I read and studied for many years before I commited myself to my path of Celtic/eclectic Wicca. I've been officially following my path for three years come March 5th. The most satisfying thing about being Wiccan is my conection to Earth, and my hope that despite all that humans have done to her Earth will overcome. Also the fact that female is part of this divinity.
| All My Life ||Feb 25th. at 10:38:46 pm EST|
|Brenna Ce'Dria (Savannah, GA) ||Age: 20 - Email - Web|
For as long as I remember, the Moon mesmerized me. I worshipped it from my window at night when I was in kindergarten, and stared in awe nearly every moment I got for year upon year. When I was in fourth grade, I got in trouble for asking why we were supposed to pray to Mary when the 10 Commandments said to pray only to "God" (I attended a Catholic school that year, since that's what religion my former stepfather was) . When I was scolded for the question, I decided that Christianity as a group wasn't for me if they couldn't at least give me a reason for the contradiction (I wish I knew the word 'hypocryte' at that age) . By the end of 5th grade I was writing my own spells, however childishly they were worded (one of them I still use, only barely modified, for everyday workings) and during the three years of middle school I learned that there were other, non Christian/Jew/Muslim religions I could choose from. Now, years later and one brief and mistaken conversion and baptism in a *gasp* Baptist church, I know that I knew where I belonged all along, and have 'come home' so to speak.
My mom doesn't like my choice, but she doesn't argue too much; she just pretends she didn't hear when I say anything to do with it and continues with conversations as if nothing happened. My stepdad doesn't agree, but it's a source of legit conversation and he discusses and debates for fun occasionally (he's easily one of the best Christian's I've ever met) . The only person important to me that doesn't know is my boyfriend of nearly three years, he knows that I don't agree with institutionalized religion but hasn't persued (sp?) the matter. When he's ready to ask about it, I'll tell him; right now I just try and hint at it and ease him into the idea.
Easily the most satisfying thing I've encountered is feeling the change of the seasons, the year, and even the weather. The only high I've ever had (I've never smoked anything, tobacco or otherwise, and I'm not a heavy enough partier to even get a buzz) is the rush of a thunderstorm, and the power in a gust of wind. I've yet to find what path I follow, but I'm starting to feel that the Lady doesn't care, as long as I love Her creations.
| The Universe Made Sense ||Feb 25th. at 11:05:17 pm EST|
|Bryony Ravenwillow (Kansas City MO) ||Age: 34 - Email |
My first exposure to paganism came in Jean Auel's Earth's Children books. I remember reading 'The Valley of Horses' and the author's descriptions of Jondalar's Mother Goddess religion and thinking, 'That makes sense. Too bad nobody believes that nowadays.' HA!
I met my first Pagan when I was 21. We had many, many conversations about what she believed and why she believed as she did. While I didn't really feel a call to 'come home', the seed had been planted.
I didn't begin seriously questioning my Christian faith until my mid-20s, but the real catalyst for change was my father's death in 1997. I didn't find solace in the teachings of the church I had been attending. By this time, I had more Pagan friends than I did Christian ones, and they were the ones who helped me through my time of grief. It was also during this time that I seriously began studying Wicca and Paganism. The more I read, the more the universe 'made sense', and the more I felt that my dad was indeed in a better place.
I've been a practicing Pagan since 1998. Technically, my path is eclectic Wicca, but I feel the time is coming when I will find a group to learn even more from. I can't wait!
| Pagan ||Feb 26th. at 12:59:28 am EST|
|TheHollow (Vancouver, Canada) ||Age: 21 - Email |
I am definitly a pagan. My family has always been along the path of pagan spirituality (an ancestor of mine in the 17th century was stoned to death in England for being a witch/ my great aunt is an expert tarot reader and active pagan/ my mother has a vested interest in the occult and spirituality) . I was drawn to the celtic goddess Brigid in my teenage years and always felt the need to keep an altar of some sort. I can't say anything definitive happened that drove me to paganism, it just seemed right. Paganism always fit my life, my thoughts, and my lifestyle. I have to say I have always been a pagan, but probaly didn't start thinking hard about until I turned 13.
The most satisfying aspect of the pagan faith is a feeling of connection with my goddess and the world. I also get the feeling that I know truth that those who subscribe to other Abrahamic religions may be missing. I also find it satisfying that my religion does not seek to confine my activities and lifestyle. I find paganism to be flexible and personal. I cannot imagine my life without pagan faith.
| Why? Blame The Mountains... ||Feb 26th. at 2:20:50 am EST|
|Jennifer (Tucson, AZ) ||Age: 20 - Email |
No, really. Blame the mountains. I grew up in Arkansas, but every summer my family would take a camping trip to somewhere in the Western US. The way Nature has shaped the land into so many different, hauntingly beautiful, and ancient yet fragile just took my breath away.
Why am I Pagan? I can watch sunbeams playing across the mountains and feel the power it all holds. I can pick up a piece of an ancient rock and feel connected to it. I can be a part of Nature instead of its master.
What attracted me? The fact that I am allowed to honor Nature and all the gods. I can work beside them, _with_ them. I don't have to fall down on my knees and worship a 'God' I cannot see. I can worship anytime, anywhere, and my gods will hear me. I can honor them as I wish and they will be there. I don't have a 'loving' God telling me I'll burn if I don't accept him. The life I live is one in tune with Nature and the gods, one where all are deeply connected.
I first found out about Paganism via a fluke. I was a Baptist at the time and had just been through a very hard six months. I'll spare the details, but this period of time changed me forever. One of many things it did was shatter my view of my own religion. I felt like I was following a lie and began searching for what I believed to be the truth. I had been researching all the religions I could. After reading "The Crucible" in English, I wondered what real Witchcraft was, so I looked into it. If my break with Christianity was a punch in my stomach, my discovery of Paganism was like a nice strong hug. It felt right. It matched the feelings I had deep inside, feelings I'd buried because they weren't Christian.
I'd say I've had Pagan beliefs and values for most of my life, say about fifteen years or so. I always questioned why people thought of the earth as a thing. The earth isn't an unliving thing that can be cut and carved to meet whatever plans men have. It isn't property. In a blink of an eye, something peaceful can become something violent. Sturdy soil can liquify. The ground can move. Nature is a never-ending cycle of change, life and death, creation and destruction. It is a cycle I am part of, and I'd like to honor that connection for the rest of this life.
| Dance Into The Light ||Feb 26th. at 3:59:24 am EST|
|Cassandra (Australia) ||Age: 18 - Email |
When I was very young, my father sent me to Sunday school along with the other kids. He wasn't devoutly catholic but it was the done thing... I didn't really know what it was all on about and so I went. The religion presented to the kids at that school doesn't have a lot to do with God and more to do with cutting out and pasting little pictures of Jesus to things...
In the due course of stuff in general, we spent a bit of time in the church and I saw a poster there one day that destroyed any chance the catholic church ever had of winning me over to a 'loving God'... in all honesty I've never been able to forgive them for this one thing...
From across the room I saw a poster that had a picture of a little girl, maybe 5, and she was obviously malnourished and poverty stricken. On the table infront of it was a little tin you could put change in, you know the kind. I thought it would be something like 'give money to feed her' or clothe her or educate her... something like that...
When I got up close to the poster and read the words I nearly died. It went something like 'This little girl has never heard the word of God, and as such, she's condemed to hell without chance for salvation. Please give generously so that this girl can have a bible and be taught the ways of God'.
I walked out of the church and refused to be a part of it ever again. After that I went looking for something that was the opposite of all that. A way of thinking that was incapable of saying something like that about a little girl... I wanted to have faith, but I also wanted to be grounded in reality, I hated the idea that someone could get so caught up in their faith that the real everyday things just melt away until you find yourself allowing children to starve while you read to them from a book.
In Wicca I found something grounded. I can have my faith, and celebrate it openly and wholeheartedly, with no fear that the Goddess or God will demand that I choose some musty old book over my stomach.
| Why I Am A Pagan ||Feb 26th. at 4:48:34 am EST|
|Garry "Animal"Pursell (Doncaster, South Yorkshire) ||Age: 37 - Email |
I am a pagan because I believe that there is a spirit guiding us and all the searching I've done through the Christian Church has not led me to this spirit. Also I have known for a very long time that I have been reincarnated in the past and that this life I am living is merely another to be enjoyed. I have a bird form as well, I am raven.
| Aether ||Feb 26th. at 11:06:43 am EST|
|Candice Christiansen (Coventry, RI) ||Age: 19 - Email - Web|
I am a pagan because I have believed in the spiritual order of things long before I knew what jesus or christianity or the pope meant. I remember a time before knowing of christianity and I "knew" that the things around me were alive, in a sense that a power pervaded them. As a child that was never rooted out of me, simply because no one knew it was there. As I grew older, I began to find things in my local library about spells and witchcraft. I was eleven years old the first time I cast a spell. It worked. I was skeptical of church from then on. It had never seemed natural to me.
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