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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
| Several Reasons ||Feb 27th. at 11:24:07 am EST|
|amy (southampton, england) ||Age: 22 - Email |
My parents brought me up with no religion but sent me to a Catholic primary school, where I found out about all the contradictions in Christianity. By the time I was introduced to Witchcraft I was drifting about looking for the right path for me. I'd already rejected Christianity and I felt Buddhism was too pessimistic. For me, Witchcraft addresses the feminine divine, is tolerant and inclusive, and shows an understanding of the sacredness of this world as well as the world of the spirits.
I heard about the Craft 5 or 6 years ago from a friend in 6th form. Once I'd got hold of some good books I was in, and it did feel like I was at home. Strangely, my cousin, to whom I am very close, came to Witchcraft about the same time, without either of us being aware. I think this consolidated things for me a lot more.
I am not sure what it is about the Craft that is most important to me. I certainly feel inspired by the tolerant yet responsible ethics, and the room for further debate, exploration and evolution. For me, the monotheisms are very limiting, and the Craft is liberating in comparison.
| My Pagan Path ||Feb 27th. at 12:05:09 pm EST|
|Shay (Joliet) ||Age: 39 - Email |
I consider myself a pagan, and although I've been studying the Craft and participating in some circles and classes, I still consider myself "new". My journey on my path began when I found a book called "Practical Solitary Magic". It was purely accidental (or was it?) as my husband and I were in a bookstore in Bloomington, Ill that we did not have in Joliet. The title just grabbed me as I had always thought a witch had to be in a coven. I devoured that book, and from the bibliography found more, and more. Then a shop we had been going to for stones and crystals had an introduction to Wicca course. I signed up, and learned more. What was taught about the Goddess and the God just made perfect sense to me, like it was a link that had been missing in my spirituality. Then I read "When God was a Woman" by Merlin Stone, and it just blew me away. When I was young I had read every type of mythology I could get my hands on. And despite having gone to Catholic grammar school, most of the books I found were in the school library. The stories always seemed real to me. I would dream about the goddesses and the gods, Mighty Thor was my favorite afterschool cartoon. The moon always seemed like she was watching me as I did Her. Then there were the movies, as much as they always portrayed witches in a negative light, I somehow always knew that it wasn't like that. Unfortunately at that time, I didn't know where to go or how to find out anything. I'm fortunate that I have a very supportive husband, who while he chooses to remain Christian, has had experiences with at least one goddess and a few animal guides. He also accompanies me to circles on Sabbats (when we can get to them) and participates wholeheartedly. I am just getting to the stage where I am starting to consider spellwork. I felt it was more important to focus on honoring the Lady and Lord first. After all, spells are prayers with props (tools) . It's been just over two years now, I still have a long way to go on my path, but I've taken the first steps. Blessed be, everyone. May you find your path and know within your heart it's the right one.
| Pagan Why Of Course, What Else Is There For Me To Be? ||Feb 27th. at 12:06:35 pm EST|
|Farrah Skye (Gales Ferry, Ct) ||Age: 25 - Email |
Yes I am witch, a pagan. One of many masks. I celerat the passing and comings of the seasons and the times. I have always been. I was that child that never quit fit in. So I would go for walks by myself and "talk" to the trees and other living things around. I found trees espally comforting to me. When I "found" witchcraft" I was still in high school. But I wasn't as much as a change as it may have been for others. It was only a name of where I come from. I have since learned of other ways, besides what I first did. I am now a mixed bag of different things that I do and come from. Native ways for example really are my heart way also, I've found. So for me there is no other way. The mother is behind our feet. Her heartbeat is ours. The drumbeat is alive and well in us all. It is just how you use that engery.
Morning Star Farrah Skye
| Something Old, Something New.... ||Feb 27th. at 12:28:55 pm EST|
|Elf (cornwall, england) ||Age: 23 - Email |
I was brought up in the countryside of Cornwall and felt very isolated from society for years. When I reached the age of 16 I left my loving parents, which upset them deeply, and went to live in a city 25 miles away. It was a shock to me and I had to learn a lot in a very short space of time. During that time I wanted nothing more than to get away from the boring countryside which I felt imprisoned me.
However, during my time in the city, at the age of 17 I met the man who i feel is my soul-mate and life partner. It wasn't long before I longed to leave the city. It was ugly, I felt cut off from beauty and I felt suffocated. I would try to get away to the park to feel the land but I couldn't feel a lot there, it was too trapped itself.
One day I went to the moors and was wandering around looking at plants etc. like I often do, and I found some small mushrooms which I knew to be hallucinogenic. I ate quite a lot, which I wouldn't recommend because they can be dangeorus. However, I knew the dosage and it felt right so I decided I was willing to risk it and deal with whatever came.
What came, fortunately was an experience which changed my whole way of thinking forever. I felt the pulse and power of the planet, I heard the birds chatter and as I laughed they mimicked me. I went to this amazing level and felt the power of it. It was overwhelming, deep, intelligent, pure power. Animals came and sat near me and watched me, I could feel myself ommiting light. Then it went up a level and everything exploded into millions of eyes, except they were all one eye. She looked right into me.
I wasn't sure what to do but I thought, I couldn't bow before her I just had to let her look into me and hope she liked me. Seeing as now I know I am part of her, as we all are, it was ok. It just took my breath away. I knew then that everything feels, as one - everything is connected. There is this huge intelligence, the Goddess and we are part of it as is everything, like one beautiful creature. We are just a form of her consciousness.
What could I do after that but love Gaia, worship her in her different aspects. I am interested in magic, although I don't know much about it. I am very respectful of these magic plants as they are very powerful. You may not print this but I wrote it because I feel the mushrooms are a source of knowledge which the earth makes available to us. They must never ever be abused - they are hard work and not for fun. However, they are there, they are of her body and they are there for a reason. Since then I realised that my beliefs were of a pagan type and to me the most satisfying aspect of paganism is simply being part of this beautiful dance, watching the way she changes with the seasons, and knowing that life is pure magic and I am part of it....
| Why Am I Pagan? ||Feb 27th. at 2:41:49 pm EST|
|Nichole (Canada) ||Age: 28 - Email |
I like so many others was raised as a Roman Catholic. I have always been interested in "WitchCraft" but my family told me that I was just trying to be something greater than a normal human being. I am a very new Pagan, but I continue to learn as much as possible about the religion, and hope to meet others involved as well.
My sister and I have shared the same "Psychic" ability from the time that we were very young, but it wasn't something that we were allowed to talk about without being ridiculed, so we fell silent. Now I have broken out of the silence, and I talk freely with my immediate family about what it is I do.
I have been practicing now since (Ironically I tried my first successful spell) October 31, 2001. I plan to continue on my path, and fill myself with the love, compassion, and peace that is wiccan.
| Why I'm A Pagan ||Feb 27th. at 3:43:55 pm EST|
|Llewelyn Raven (England) ||Age: 17 - Email |
I was raised a Christian like many people have, yet when I looked at all the beauties in the world I could only imagine it to be created by a female and since finding paganism, i have been blessed.
I have been a pagan for 3 years now
| Born & Raised ||Feb 27th. at 4:18:32 pm EST|
|Lunae (rural STL area of MO) ||Age: 31 - Email |
I was born in a family still following the Old Ways. No there's no secret handshake. Matter of fact, some Wiccans I know have told me my beliefs are invalid as my family accepts the view of *any* religion's prescribed God as approachable for us too. In other words, if I like, I can talk to Yahweh or Mary or whomever I feel like. We're animistic in our views and I don't see how that can't apply to Mr. Smith's God.
In short, I find it amusing to hear Neo-Pagans and others refer to followers of mainstream religions as "blind followers who are just doing as they were taught."
Yup, lil ol' Pagan me too! It's not to say I don't question what I was taught nor haven't experimented w/ turning my back COMPLETELY on the Divine, let alone for a time wondering if all the Xtians who were beating me and bringing me up for charges of "endangering minors" w/ my beliefs (I, too was a minor) . Gee, & I thought I was fairly secretive! I have gone through growing pains and returned to the world of my childhood. If you ask me "why?" on quite a lot though, sorry friends:
I was taught that way. It works for me. And that's all that matters...to me.
Follow your bliss!
Kerridwen (aka Lunae)
| Why I Am Pagan? ||Feb 27th. at 4:22:03 pm EST|
|Hnyswtdl (Sacramento, CA) ||Age: 21 - Email |
I was raised christian like everyother bot on the block. Don't question what the good book says. Of course, "god" created the bible...not by ordinary men...who wrote about another ordinary guy who claimed not to be so ordinary. Needless to say, I was always getting into fights with the fellow church goers about how beautiful and serene life really was...and how it must have been created by a female diety...Or how if they're god is only love and devotion, then why does he make so many feel pain. I found the Pagan path by 16 and I read all I could get my grubby little hands on...I read the "teen" books (boy were they just a poser publication) and The cunningham books (cunningham was great!I highly reccomend them) . I researched all I could...and then I told my family. I was Pagan...and years later, I still am proud to say those words, "I am Pagan". And everyday, the pagan world expands...We are doing great things out here, for our community and fellow humans...I hope it continues, and I do hope to hear more say "I AM PROUD TO BE PAGAN"!
| Happy Heathen! ||Feb 27th. at 4:30:23 pm EST|
|Alithea Luna (Atlanta, GA) ||Age: 24 - Email |
Ever since I was a small child I've been talking to spirits and ghosts. I could always communicate with animals. I could get assistance from the Elements. I even began astral travel when I was 8 years old.
This path isn't a new one for me, or for my family. There's always been a witch somewhere in the ranks. Granted, most of my family is Christian. But there's no rule stating that a witch can't be a member of a mainstream religion. I'm the break from the pattern. I'm not Christian, but simply because it doesn't feel right to me.
The most amazing part of my path is the direct communication with the Divine and with Nature. I don't need to be in a particular building or have a certain person present if I need to address the Divine. It's as personal as close friendship- and what could be better in life than that?
| Why Am I Pagan? ||Feb 27th. at 6:54:00 pm EST|
|Cathy (Issaquah Washington) ||Age: 38 - Email - Web|
I was brought up strict southern Baptist, and while I went to church loyally every week I never felt comfortable or at home. I always believed there was so much more then what I was being taught. As a teen I began to learn things about nature, spritual things that was deemed evil by the church, I became so much more empathetic that I could never explain how "I knew things" but always was made to try to explain them by leaders at the church that I really never wanted to go anymore. And eventually I stopped. I started somewhat practicing ritual, and did not even really have a clue what I was doing, or why, what I did know is that it felt right, good, and just normal. After learning that on both sides of my family we have varies and sundry types of magical peoples I just figured that it was my heratige and I was doing what had been given to me by my family.
I never feel the need to explain myself, however, I never have a problem educating folks on my beliefs in I need to either.
I am pagan not only becuase of heratige but because I choose to be. I am at peace with my beliefs. I think that should be the intent of any religion, to find peace, harmony and balance. I achieve that with my beliefs. My prayer is that all people will.
| Why Am I Pagan? ||Feb 27th. at 7:05:06 pm EST|
|Cierra "Alora" Fromknecht (Pennsylvainia) ||Age: 13 - Email |
Well that question has always been a hard one for me to answer. I have been Pagan for as long as i can remember, and I have always been intrested in it.I started working with magic when I was seven years old, not realizing it of course, and found out about it when i was ten. I guess it all started when i first went into this creek near my Grandparents house. I always felt safe and was able to disapear when i wanted to. This is still possible for me the ability has enhanced as i got older. Paganism has always, to me, been one of the greater religions, and i love it as i love the earth.
| I Am What I Am ||Feb 27th. at 8:48:42 pm EST|
|Silverflame (pennsylvania) ||Age: 16 - Email |
i found wicca at a very young age. of course at the time, i had no idea that there was a name for what i believed. i'd been raised in a jewish family where religious values are pretty important to many of my family. my dad'ds family still isn't aware that i'm wiccan. anyhow, i had a very hard childhood. my dad used to abuse me when i was younger and my mom has clinical depression. i only had one or two friends when i was much younger and was free to daydream and wander around by myself much of the time. in judaism the bible always refers to God as being a male. i never agreed with this and somehow knew in my heart that God was made of two parts, male AND female. i always loved nature and reveried in its beauty. the other children always thought me strange for acting this way when they squealed in delight as they cut a helpless worm in half with a stick. i respected nature and understood that everything was connected to one spirit, or deity. another thing that i found as a child was that i had some wonderful psychic gifts such as premonitions, some telepathy, and the ablity to astral project. i never revealed these things because at the time i saw them as a game. as i entered middle school, i became extremely depressed. one day, i decided to take my life and stood over the bathroom sink, ready to slit my wrists. now at this time i had forgotten many of the things that i had wondered about as a young child, but suddenly i saw a beautiful woman in a white light. the one thing i noticed immediately that she had a third eye in the middle of her forehead. she spoke to me without moving her lips and told me how much she loved me and that i was still needed on earth, that i was a beautiful person and loved very much by others. i then dropped the knife into the sink, slumped to the floor and cried. not long after that, a very goodfriend of mine introduced a religion called wicca to me. i skimmed through a book that she lent me and saw that all the things that i already believed where contained in this religion. i finally found a name to my beliefs. do i have any witches in my family? maybe, i really don't know. but i don't think that it really matters. i'm happier now than i have been in a very long time and can say that i'm proud to be pagan!!!
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