The opinions posted on the Pagan Perspective pages are those of individuals and are not neccessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
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
| Why... ||Feb 26th. at 12:20:12 pm EST|
|Uruloki (Bozeman, MT) ||Age: 20 - Email |
I began Identifying myself as pagan in junior high (not an easy time to do that) But I think I was one long before that. It was just that I had finally found a name for it. I had several family members and friends that tried to Help me "find the light of jesus" but I always felt that christianity didn't give me enough answers. I think it may have been the fact that I grew up without any imposed belief systems that allowed me to find my own path.
| My Pagan Ways ||Feb 26th. at 3:40:26 pm EST|
|Stormwind (Canada) ||Age: 25 - Email |
I was raised Lutheran, and my greatest struggle was never so much feeling that the faith was "Wrong" so much as lacking the connection to Deity that I sought. In church or at youth group I had to struggle to keep my mind on the service. I thought that worship and religion should be about interacting with Deity, not about watching someone else do it.
Meanwhile, I dreamed of the future in my bed at night and saw my dreams come true in my waking hours. I talked to the animals and the trees and the horizon and the night sky. I carved sigils in wood and built altars--for as long as I could remember.
I started practicing folk magick, like candle magick and mojo bags, before I became Wiccan. Magick helped make sense of those practices I'd been doing and things I'd been experiencing instinctually. A lot of the books were about magic and Wicca both, so I began to learn about Wicca as well.
In the end, I didn't so much stop believing in the Christian God so much as realize that the Christian view of Father, Son, Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary are only one of many aspects of God and Goddess. Rather than stopping one faith and starting another, I felt my vision expand. I had always accepted an idea of Deity that was both male and female, nor had had I agreed that people of other faiths went to a hell. I feel that Pagan is a more accurate word to describe me now, and have called myself that for...hm. My dedication was a year and a half ago, I was following a Pagan path for over three years, and have been one with the world all my life.
| Pagan To The Core! ||Feb 26th. at 3:53:22 pm EST|
|Ravencroft (Hammond) ||Age: 26 - Email |
I am a Wiccan (neo-pagan) because it was what called to me. I found the Christian faith to be bogus and an affront to rational thinking. I have attened many churches since I was born on a military base. My grandfather was of pagan blood and he taught me when he recognized the fammily witch traits. My parents were fine with this, since they'd witnessed the same signs. I have always known I was different, It wasn't until I was about 7 yrs. old that I could actually put a name to it.
I have considered myself to be a pagan for years, even in the eyes of the "church" I was one, since I always refused to be baptised and I argued with the preachers. These were seen as major No, No's.
The most satisfiying part of being a witch is being able to be myself and worship as I see fit. No man-made dieties, only nature.
| Cute Lil' Goddess ||Feb 26th. at 6:53:25 pm EST|
|StarrFyre (Richmond, VA) ||Age: 19 - Email - Web|
I've been a Witch for five years, come this year's spring equinox, and love it. Back when I was in the 9th grade, I met a few witches at my high school (basically just a Goddess Worshiper, and a Kitchen Witch) , and it was they-and neopaganism-that sent me into studying Witch Craft. Now, however, I do not consider myself to be a neopagan. I concern myself more with the ancient aspects of Witch Craft and paganism, as well as Goddess Worship. I am a big fan of celticism. I love being a Witch!!
| Mother Mary ||Feb 26th. at 8:12:25 pm EST|
|Opiate Adore (Washington DC) ||Age: 18 - Email - Web|
I was raised a devout Roman Catholic by a devout Roman Catholic mother and a fanatical father. Throughout the years of attending mass and learning about the sins I would one day be punished for, and the path I would have to take to validate my life to God, I found the most comfort in the stories of Mary. She was the mother of God, the giver of divine life, the sacred vessel from which salvation had come forth. And yet despite her obvious involvement in the very foundations in a religious movement, she had been demoted to nothing more than a side figure in the consciousness of the masses. This not only made her seem, in a sense, irrelevant to followers of this path, but also made it seem as if women were irrelevant in the very process of creation in itself.
I began studying Mary more. The lack of information about her drew more further in, like the fringes of a black hole into a point. Reading other texts not only enlightened me on her evolution (From Isis and Horus to Mary and Jesus) but also brought me upon other women whom had been so unfairly turned out in a world they too built. Lillith, Artemis, Brigid, Macha, all goddesses whom had been lost in patriarchal rhetoric. How could I follow, in good conscience, a religion that deemed women as second rate , and in some cases evil, compared to men.
Egyptology led to Stregria, Stregria to Wittan and in Isis I saw Brigid's smile, and in Brigid, I saw Mother Mary's smile. She led me to her past and guided me through my future and I know she smiles on me now, just as she did when she was first named.
| Why Are You A Pagan Or A Heathen ||Feb 26th. at 9:35:13 pm EST|
|Beltanegirl (London, UK) ||Age: 16 - Email |
I used to be a devout christian and for a long time i was content to be so. Then Istarted getting really depressed suicidal even i would dream of killing myself about the same time my best friend starting reading about wicca as I already had a major interest in the supernatural I was interested and started looking too. I found links to some bad sites and good ones and concentrated on the bad ones I was pretty going the right way about completely destroying myself. this was all happening whilst i was being bullied horrendously and had few friends. I started making new friends at school and got a lot happier and started getting into wicca in earnest about 3 years ago which was about 18 months after i first heard about wicca. I converted from christianity to wicca about two years ago.
I became a wiccan because it just felt like the right thing to do and it has brought my life back under my control and it has made me a better person it has helped completely changed my life to the extent that I can barely recognise the person I was before.
The part of the craft i find most interesting is using runes. I use them for everything spells divination everything. the part i find most useful is my growing knowledge of herblore as it has practical uses (I am a solitary witch and happen to believe that all witches should know at least some basic herblore) and spiritual uses and certain herbs can be uses in spells or to aid divination ie sage (which smells vile, tastes worse but is incredibly useful for divination) .
I'll shut up now bye bye
| Born OK This Time, Too. ||Feb 26th. at 10:57:43 pm EST|
|Kathryn (Uniontown, PA) ||Age: 40 - Email |
I became a student of the Wiccan religion about seven years ago, after a long, fruitless search for the truth. I can't remember exactly where I first became aware of Witchcraft as an actual belief system rather than something you see on TV. I do know that I have become a completely different person because of the lessons I have learned over the past seven years. I still consider myself a novice, and will probably continue to be a novice throughout this lifetime. I hope the seeds of Wicca are planted early the next time around so I can enjoy a more informed and involved experience of the wonderful traditions and practices. As it appears, we, as pagans, may have to become more involved in the public forum of politics, or I fear that this profound enlightenment we have all experienced will be for nothing. We must become one voice...not in how to cast a circle, or which color candle is more appropriate, but to keep the ideals of the Pagan movement moving forward.
| How I Found The Real Me ||Feb 26th. at 11:15:34 pm EST|
|Ness Nightclaw (DeKalb, Illinois) ||Age: 21 - Email |
When did I become a Pagan? I think I have been pagan all my life. I was raised in the Christian religions, but i was never comfortable. I always thought I was missing something in my religion. BAck when I was a kid I didn't know there even was paganism. I naturally assumed that paganism was a myth or that it had been wiped from the face of the earth with the introduction of Christianity. It wasn't until my freshman year of college that I found myself. I learned that paganism existed and I finally found where I belonged. It felt right.
I haven't been in paganism long, but what free time I do have i try to learn as much as I can. Wicca is a big interest to me, but at the moment I don't have the neccesary free time available to immerse myself in it. All in all, I am very happy and comfortable with myself in paganism. Its what I believe in and I love every minute it.
| My Dedication To Kemet And Ma'at ||Feb 26th. at 11:36:49 pm EST|
|Catherine V. Bidwell (Bridgeport, Pennsylvania) ||Age: 25 - Email - Web|
(That means "peace" in ancient Egyptian.)
I found my Lord and God Set 10 or 11 years ago through becoming disheartened with what I was finding written about Him. I just knew it wasn't true - somewhere in my heart - though I never heard of this God or had much care for Kemet in whole until that young age. It all came about through a friend of mine in Florida who had the teen/young adult magazine called Danae's Sun. She was a follower of Anpu and Sakhemet. Sakhemet's name did not strike a cord with me, but Anpu's did. I decided to do more research at the local and school libraries. In that, I came across Set and the myth of how he murdered Ausir. I was at first "Okay, an evil God, no problem, " and just moved on. But it was like over night that love for this God just grew in me - and I became angry with what was being written and said about Him. I wanted to throw many of the books that I've had come across the library in frustration and heartbreak. So, it was then, when I had also come across a few months earlier, the publisher Llewellyn, that I decided to learn from the source - actually go to Set and ask Him what was the truth. I purchased the book "Invocation of the Gods" by Ellen C. Reed (now published under another title and publisher, "Circle of Isis") . I used her 8-beat chant structure, made some honorable words for Set, and called to Him. First Anpu came and then Set did. All Set said to me was "open your eyes, " and he was soothing and smooth - in no way evil, cold or cruel. What I saw was Set materialized in my bedroom! He knelt there, looking at me, holding his golden Was sceptre (which also faced me) . His skin was a pure snow white. He was slightly muscular, His hair was scarlet (coke-can red) and flyaway, just below shoulder length and straight. He had his animal head, and the fur was strawberry-blonde. His eyes told a story though - He was extremely sad. His eyes glowed a white-blue, and lit up his head and chest like a halo. It was a marvelous site - BEAUTIFUL! :) I felt no fear, no anger, no hatred, no evil. I slipped into sleep. When I woke up I knew that this was my Lord and the God I was to be a priestess for and serve for the rest of my life.
Later on, a few years down the road, I learned that my Mother is Ma'at-Sakhemet-HatHaru. She also has work for me to do - but whether it will be in the priestess category, or in my overall cosmic destiny, I have yet to find out. I pray though that she will be with me, lead me not astray, and that she love and bless me with prosperity and the ability to do such work.
This has not been all fun and game for me though. I am serious about wishing to worship my Father and Mother in the correct Kemetic fashion (I am not a member of Kemetic Orthodox.) I am learning from a few Kemetic Groups at a time, to not pass up anything or miss something important. I also frequent the boards of INK, International Network of Kemetics. I've had many trials and tribulations in the astral and spiritual realms...not because of my choice - or their choice - of Lord and Lady, but because of other things that seemed to be attracted to me for what ever reason - which through divination I found out. At times, I become extremely frustrated with the Kemetic Community, all of them - but I would never leave the Nutjeru for anything! I just hope I survive everything that goes on! :) LOL
And that is my story...
Link to More info related to this post -- HERE
| Comign To My Path ||Feb 26th. at 11:51:51 pm EST|
|Cardomancy (Waco, TX) ||Age: 31 - Email - Web|
Coming to my path was a little different than most. But I will share it with you.
Like most I had been pagan, but didn't know it. I was VERY active in my church, but as my psychic abilities and my studies grew I felt that my beliefs didn't not go along with the churches view.
A friend gave me a book, a Scott Cunningham book. Needless to say I was hooked after the first chapter.
| The Whys And The Wherefores ||Feb 27th. at 8:24:34 am EST|
|clio (York PA) ||Age: 30 - Email |
My Pagan/Wiccan journey has been a long and rather convoluted one.
The seeds were planted in my mother and father's divorce when I was ten. That was a traumatic event, but it ended up being a blessing in disguise. To make a long story short, my mom let me be what I wanted to be and she let me figure things out for myself, for which I am grateful. I turned away from Christianity, the religion of my family, for a couple of reasons. The intense patriarchy made my feminist sensibilities nauseous, and I saw, and still see, a lot of hypocrisy in a lot of the Christian theology.
I was first exposed to Wicca in the early '90s. Two of my best friends at the time were practicing Solitaries and I browsed through a lot of their books. I didn't start seriously practicing and learning the Wiccan Way until just about three or four years ago (1999, 2000-ish) , as I went through a long phase of anti-religious sentiment--ANY religion was included. I dabbled in a lot of studies in the five or six years in between, but finally I took a look at what I was doing. At that moment, I realized that I was on a superficial Wiccan Path already--following the Wheel of the Year and talking to the Full Moon. I then decided that the time was right to acknowledge what was already there and continue learning and strengthen my beliefs (and I have been doing so ever since) .
What about Wicca attracted me? Well I was drawn to the respect for Mother Earth and all of Nature. That was a natural extension of the environmentalism that my dad instilled in me when I was little. I was also attracted to the concept of Lady and Lord, Goddess and God. Discovering the existence of the Goddess was a freeing realization for me. I could escape the patriarchy.
The most satisfying part of my journey? As a Solitary, I can study as I choose and set up my rituals the way I want to. Only one person can tell me what to do and how to do things and what to believe and that person is me.
| I Am What I Am - Blessed Be. ||Feb 27th. at 9:45:04 am EST|
|Selena (Ohio) ||Age: 44 - Email |
I was born and raised a strick Roman Catholic. Refirmed my confirmation, was re-baptized and reborn. I almost joined the order, but I had issues. The big one was a psychic ability that I did not know how to handle and neither did the church. The best answer I received was from an elderly priest who said, "It is either a gift from God, or the devil." It was up to be on how to use it. (I think it scared them more than it did me!) . I felt like a caged tiger. Pacing back and forth, impatient for release. The power within, always felt like it was ready to explode! So I kept to myself, gritted my teeth and bidded my time.
Then I started researching religions for a romance novel I was going to attempt to write. I always loved to write and was half-way decent at it. I figured channeling some creative energy would help release some of the bound up energy within. I researched all the way back to the legendary, mythical Atlantis. What I found astounded me and brought me a large measure of peace.
Pagan, yes, I am pagan; but I am also so much more. I am a child of the universe, looking forward to becoming one with the engery that surrounds and flows through all of us. I am old, but yet I am so young.
I still am learning how to deal with the tiger within, but now, she's not so restless. Learning to how to ground that engery helped, learning how to send that engery helped even more. I chuckle when I think back to almost becoming a nun. I would of missed so very much of what actually happens around us. To me, they have a very narrow view of a very wide exsistence.
Yes, I wear a pentagram ring and pendent and when someone is courageous enough to snidely remark; "Oh, you're a witch?". I just smile and say, "You have no idea!"
(Oh, yes, I'm still writting that book. Entitled "In The Moment Before Twilight". I'm now on ch.15, and a previous english professor, who I mail the chapters to proof read, keeps after me to finish the dang thing and get it published! But there isn't a wide market for this genre - yet.)
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