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Posted: Sep. 8, 2002
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Have You Switched Pagan Paths?
Did you perhaps start out as a Wiccan and now follow a different Pagan or Heathen path/religion? Have you changed from self-identifying as a 'Witch' to something else? If you have changed how you self-identify under the Pagan/Heathen umbrella, why did you change? Did your beliefs change? Did the Pagan/Heathen community change? What do you think of folks who have switched? Is there currently a real shift into more diverse or selective Paths/Religions within the communities? Will Wicca remain the dominant Pagan religion that it now is? Why or why not?
| Reponses: There are 110 responses posted to this question.
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| An Interesting Path ||Oct 1st. at 12:41:36 pm EDT|
|Diana (Connecticut) ||Age: 55 - Email |
As I continue on my path I do not waver. No path is ever straight or without stones or roots to cause one to have to regroup. Have I changed? I would rather say my beliefs evolve. I came upon the realization that I am a witch only a few years ago. I embrace the name as I hold that words are things and in order to change the definition used by most people I choose to be known as a witch. I am Dianic and feel very comfortable with that "title" as I feel I spent 50 years of my life with a god...now it is time for Goddess. Oh yes...I am a Libra and that balance issue is just not one for me.My spirit and Goddess and I have worked it out.
My life has been blessed by meeting such a wonderfully varied community of women and men.
"One must allow chaos in ones life to give birth to a Dancing Star...Nietzsche"
| Change,Evolve,Twist,Curves, Whatever You Wanna Call It ||Oct 1st. at 1:56:41 pm EDT|
|Joshua Wilson (Van Buren,Arkansas (aka HELL)) ||Age: 14 - Email |
Of course, At first I thought wiccan was the only one so i clung to that, then i dug deeper and found it wasnt right for me. So I was just pagan then. Then druidism,astaru, celtic, and greek shouted at me, So I started at the top. And worked down. I am still changing, like my friend says "Youre a padlock, you spin around till you find your way or password" So I think I will change soon, since none of them capture me fully. But I think eventually I'll have to review see if I've changed so much I need to follow a path I've already turned down, but more liekly maybe I'll need to create my own and go backpackign through the lands of the universe.
| Evolution ||Oct 1st. at 2:54:23 pm EDT|
|Olwen (Brampton, Ont) ||Age: 45 - Email |
I think that rather than change, I've evolved. Coming suddenly as I did from a fairly fundamentalist Christian worldview, the idea of all God/esses = one God/ess was comforting. I've learned a lot since then, about myself, my world and my Gods, and have, in the process, become a hard polytheist following a Cymric path. (Note, I was always drawn to a Celtic path, although I didn't know which one, exactly.) It didn't happen overnight, it wasn't necessarily easy, but it did happen. Nor is it right for everyone; that much can only be determined by the individual.
I think now that I've found my place, although as I continue to grow, I expect my practice will change somewhat, and perhaps even my view of the Gods, as my experience continues. And that's okay, too. I'd hate to be stuck in one view the rest of my life.
| Confusion ||Oct 1st. at 4:02:00 pm EDT|
|Ashleigh (aka Jaded Moon/Miss Jade etc) (London (England)) ||Age: 16 - Email - Web|
This takes a bit of introduction but bare with me!
Just over a year ago I went on a Jewish Summer camp (as both my parents are Jewish and at the time I believed in Judaism) in Wales. I came upon a cute little New-age shop and decided to buy a Dowsing Crystal. Now two of my friends from Summer camp already had been Tarot Card readers for many years and using my Dowsing Crystal I managed to start out by feeling Tarot Cards using my Crystal.
Just after camp, Me and another girl decided to learn from my two Tarot-Card-reading-friends to Tarot read... and so we did and bought each other our first packs (mine was "The Tarot of the Moon Garden"... BEAUTIFUL PACK!!!!!)
Flash forward to a few months ago. Im starting question my Jewish beliefs and starting to not believe some areas of it... and so I decide to no longer call myself a Jew by religion and started just saying I was Jewish by Culture.
Now to the present: Very recently I have been introduced (through yet another friend) to other Pagan beliefs (specifically Celtic/Druid.) The nature of the Goddess and other key beliefs such as "If it harms none, do what you will" seemed to make sense and I have recently been calling myself Pagan. However, I have not started practicing Majik (although I intend to) as a Tarot Card reading and Dowsing session has informed me to not go-it-alone and wait for someone to invite me to a Grove or a Coven before I attempt any form of Majik
So as a Summary I have gone from being a Jew, to being completely anti organised-religion to being some kind of a Pagan (and being confused!)
Ash (aka Jaded Moon)
PS. please feel free to contact me on this subject... In fact I would be most grateful!!!!
PPS. The link is to see the pack that I own... I feel the type of Tarot Card pack you have is a window to the soul
Link to More info related to this post -- HERE
| You Read My Mind. ||Oct 1st. at 6:09:36 pm EDT|
|Manda (Memphis, TN) ||Age: 22 - Email |
Actually, my path is currently going through a big change. Now, everyone's path evolves a little, as the person grows and learns, but there have been some significant changes around here.
I started, as most people who come from a Christian background, in Wicca. Honestly, in my newly-introduced-to-alternate-religions mind, the words "Pagan" and "Wiccan" were interchangable for a while. *cringe* I know... I know...
Since then, in participating in the (limited number of) events that go on around here, I've come to realize that there are a thousand different flavors of Pagans out there. I've also come to realize that I'm not really much for the ceremonial magick... I'd rather putter in my garden and kitchen than plan huge elaborate rituals.
Lately I've been ditching ceremony for feasts that even my Christian friends can participate in, I've been reading books and finding my self voicing disagreements to my husband, and I've been listening to my heart and the wind a little more than I've been listening to the people who are screaming "but this is the way it's ALWAYS been done!!"
So, for now, I label myself as a kitchen witch.
As for people that switch paths: wonderful! If it brings them closer to Spirit, then that's great.
As for Wicca remaining the dominant Pagan "denomination" ... I don't know. Possibly, since it IS very popular currently, and being passed down throughout families. Then again, maybe not, since there are many other wonderful paths out there.
| Goddess ||Oct 1st. at 8:12:56 pm EDT|
|Diama White (Wayne, MI USA) ||Age: 46 - Email |
I was going to write in there that I have never, nor have I ever thought of changing paths. The plain truth of it is that I have on so many occasions that I laugh now as I sit to write this!
All in all, it's all the same to me. We all worship in one form or another, just at some points we change styles or ideas. Ideas change to me, but not my ideals or morales. The path may be long and winding, with hidden agendas: but the path always leads the same way.
| Well... Sorta... ||Oct 1st. at 9:17:22 pm EDT|
|Hadriel Stoneroot (Massachusetts) ||Age: 15 - Email |
i am an eclectic wiccan, and really, i just follow the horned one and goddess... i am interested in bardic traditions, and right now i am making a mandolin to help me in my path toward bardism... it is considered a religion by some, but to me it is a way to express my love of the Lord and Lady. i have for some time considered myself a druid in fact. but recently, i decided that i follow my gods, and nothing else has to matter to me... so... to answer your question, yes, yes i have many times.
| Old Thoughts New Stratagy ||Oct 1st. at 9:24:16 pm EDT|
I've been going through a huge change in the past year. I've been pagan since before I can remember, but I didn't know it. I was raised Catholic and all. Anyway, when I finally gave up on the "I can pretend to be Catholic while believing what I believe," I was pretty angry at the Catholic Church. I already knew what I believe now, I'm just alone. I read tarot, use energy, and have my own specific beliefs regarding the universe. Anyway, in the past year I've been finding that I'm starting to be drawn toward the Goddess. I guess you could say I'm not changing my belief so much as adding to it.
| Once ||Oct 1st. at 9:31:05 pm EDT|
|Eric (Mechanicsburg PA) ||Age: 18 - Email - Web|
I converted from Lutheran Christianity to LaVeyan Satanism. Mostly, I tend to think this was because Christianity had been shoved down my throat. I believed it, though. I was forced to. But, gradually, I began to think and came up with the usual questions. "How come God doesn't answer prayers?" "Why doesn't God ever show Himself so He proves to nonbelievers that He exists?" "Why aren't there any miracles anymore?" "Why do I keep having to be tested?" "How did all those inconsistencies in the Bible get there?" etc etc.
I did some research on the occult. I first came across what I now believe was Dianic Wicca. I moved away from it because it seemed to "fluffy" at the time (though I didn't know that word...I actually referred to Wicca in general later as "fuzzy bunny"). I found out about Satanism and figured it was to my liking. At the time it seemed like the imagery was harsh, it was dark, it was the anti-"fuzzy bunny". I had found Wicca too much like Christianity. Satanism contains a liberal dose of anti-Christian mongering. I liked that at the time.
I gradually fell away from practicing it over a matter of years. I kept to the philosophy, I just ignored the stuff about magic. I then managed to actually get my hands on a copy of "The Satanic Bible"...and I thought it was ludicrous. I figured it must have been one of the most poorly written books I had ever read. I disagreed vehemently with what LaVey said about magic (by this time I had gotten over my lingering dislike for Christianity and I had no negative attitudes toward Wicca because of the occasional resemblance). I was very much against some of his philosophies...I'm not a utilitarian.
As fortune (and I now believe, other forces) would have it, I picked up Aleister Crowley's Book of Lies at the same time I got The Satanic Bible...and I was mesmerized by what I read in Crowley. I learned more about him and Thelema, and...here I am.
| I'm Probably The Odd One Here. ||Oct 1st. at 10:30:12 pm EDT|
|Etain (Ohio) ||Age: 31 - Email |
I was never christian and was never told witchcraft was evil. I grew up in an eastern religion with no idolotry. I come from a long line of witches.....although they don't call themselves witches. They are what they are...they revere the earth.
I look at the god/goddess as a faceless, but powerful energy, but with a duality to it. I don't necessarily call them gods because, to me, that's too much like christianity. Paganism & witchcraft became very interesting to me because it's something I've always felt linked to, but couldn't put a name on it. It feels like home. The non-proselytizing, the elementals & divas, the energy work, the respect for the earth and the celebration of the year are just a few things that make paganism welcoming to me.
I still have my eastern beliefs and my native american beliefs (yes I'm that too) and feel comfortable going to circle with my friends. To me the gods aren't going to strike me down if worship them in a church, a temple or nature. They know what I know..... it's all the same, just a different avenue, a different way of expressing a belief that no one else can make judgement upon. It's a very personal thing. You and your divine expression.
I never understood christians and their craziness. They're so hung up on the small stuff. It almost becomes a pissing contest of who's right and wrong and who can quote the bible best. I don't think this is what Jesus had in mind.
Although, there will never be a name for what I "believe" in, I kind of like it that way. It's who I am. I'm a mixture of different cultures, ethnicities, and religions.
Peace, blessings & namaste.......
| Necessary Labels? ||Oct 1st. at 10:58:35 pm EDT|
|Mydnyte Blue Moon (Johnstown, PA) ||Age: 27 - Email |
When I first got into Paganism, the first books I read were the Witches' Bible, and a guide by Jan and Stewart Farrar. I think what a lot of us don't realize is that we can be a Pagan, a Witch, a Heathen, whatever the case may be, without any of the pomp and regality of Wicca, or any of the other Earth-based religions practising with rituals and tools.
At first I told everyone I was Wiccan, because I believed that a Witch and a Wiccan were one and the same. Now that I know better, I choose to call myself simply a Witch. I use herbs to heal, may light a candle every now and then, but what makes me a Witch is a very simple few things. I live by the Rede of 'Ye harm none', I hold everything in Nature in highest regard, and I believe in the concept of positive and negative energy being the source of all life in every form, Earthbound, Ethereal, and otherwise.
So, have I changed? Only when I decided to question my Christian roots. And only then, was it my label, and a few misconceptions that changed. For I have always been a nature lover, and practised things considered by some to be abnormal, or paranormal.
The bottom line for me is this: No matter what you call yourself, you are what you are. If you do not live by the very simplest of the laws of nature, then you are nothing to me. If you profess to be a Wiccan, or a Pagan, or a Witch, yet cast to hurt others, litter, poison the earth, eat things unecessary for survival, use resources beyond what you need, then you are not what you profess to be. Simply put, before you label yourself, please be ready to practise what you preach!
| Always The Same ||Oct 1st. at 11:45:21 pm EDT|
|Panther (Beliot,Wi) ||Age: 36 - Email |
I have baeen in the Santeria pATH FOR OVER 20YRS. I have studied other paths but this is the one that is right for me.I still have contact with many Wiccans and I learn a little fron all.
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