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Question of the Week: 113

Pagan Problem Children: What Can We Do About Them?

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 Author:    Posted: Sep. 8, 2002   This Page Viewed: 10,093,233  

Vox Q Stats

Times Viewed: 32,767

Reponses: 142

Lurker/Post Ratio: 230 to 1

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 I'm A Pagan Feb 27th. at 3:43:55 pm UTC

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
Blessed Be!


Born & Raised Feb 27th. at 4:18:32 pm UTC

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!
Blessings,
Kerridwen (aka Lunae)


Why I Am Pagan? Feb 27th. at 4:22:03 pm UTC

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"!
BB,
Hny


Happy Heathen! Feb 27th. at 4:30:23 pm UTC

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 UTC

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.
Namaste
merry part
Cathy


Why Am I Pagan? Feb 27th. at 7:05:06 pm UTC

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 UTC

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!!!


Naturally Feb 27th. at 9:36:57 pm UTC

Lilith (Austin, Texas) Age: 32 - Email


I too was drawn to Paganism at a young age. I was that "tom girl" you saw stomping around barefoot in the creek, trying to coax the red bird to take food from my hand, and my face full of awe at the very wonder of nature. Much to my dismay, I was forced to put on a dress every Sunday, go to church, and listen to an hour of endless droning. I never found any connection with what was being "preached" to me during that time. I constantly wondered why I couldn't I go out and play? Looking back on it now, I realize my connection with nature was much more holier than any thing sermonized.

I did not know that my bond to nature, my attraction to “natural” religions had a name. As I grew older, I discovered the word Pagan but truly did not know what it meant. Only after attending a Native American Powwow did I fully understand. There is so much that Paganism has to offer. It beseeches you to ask questions, to go on quests for discovery, and to connect with the person you truly are.

I do not know how long I have been a Pagan. I am guessing since childhood. It was always there, slowly blossoming. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me and Paganism. There is no doom, no eternal damnation, nor fear of God. There is only hope, love, and trust.


Proud To Be Pagan Feb 27th. at 9:41:09 pm UTC

Meryl (Connecticut) Age: 16 - Email


I am Wiccan/Pagan, and personally I couldn't find a better religion. Everything I had always believed by myself, I found in Wicca. I saw hypocrites in the Christian church, but when I asked about that I never got an answer. I also didn't like that the religion was racist against women. I have been a Wiccan for four years, and I'm not about to change.
-Meryl


A Way Of Life Feb 27th. at 10:25:18 pm UTC

Willow Wolf-Hawk (Illinois) Age: 17 - Email - Web


There are so many reasons why I am Pagan - but in the barest sense, no reaons- as often it seems so instinctual and fufilling that it would be more relevant to question "Why wouldn't you be a Pagan?" My choice of spirituality invokes a feeling of warmth, wholness, and stability. Applying this to my day to day life has allowed me to live and interact as a better, and more aware, individual.

Being Pagan, to me, is being an honourable person; and more now than ever, honour and virtue is something, which everyone should strive for in an attempt to calm and bring peace to a turbulent world. The list is endless, and the reasons often imply to internal and external purposes. Paganism, however, for me - is my heart. It's not what I am; it's what I live, breath, and it's the crimson liquid in my veins. He He... yeah :) kind of intense.


I Made A Clean Break! Feb 27th. at 11:28:23 pm UTC

Thunder Oak (Tennessee) Age: 40 - Email


I chose to follow a Shamanic path, one of many Pagan persuasions, and like many others I made the choice consciously and deliberately. I, like many others, left behind a different set of beliefs in order to follow this religious course, and for a good while immediately afterwards, I felt a bit of animosity toward that former faith. But perhaps that animosity was misplaced a bit, seeing as how I really felt anger or sorrow due to the time I felt I had wandered along wishing for something else. Something that would make me feel at peace and that engendered all of the inclusiveness that I believed must exist in a worthwhile faith. I found freedom in Goddess religion. I found acceptance and the exaltation of the individual's self-worth as part and parcel of the belief system. I had felt oppression under my former belief system. And that oppression was multi-faceted. I can honestly say that the beliefs I held were not in and of themselves oppressive or self-denigrating, but the application thereof by so many who claimed to be like-minded yet fell far short of upholding those beliefs in a non-threatening and non-judgmental way -- that was what had so disillusioned me of my past religion. I was not only disappointed in my own performance (keeping of doctrines) at times, but I found myself increasingly 'alone' on issues of social responsibility that I thought any good, morally-minded individual would be supporting. This feeling of betrayal by people claiming to 'agree' with my faith lead me to re-examine my spirituality, if indeed there was anything beyond doctrine to it. And I found I was indeed seeking a more spiritual approach to faith. That one of the main reasons for my dissatisfaction with the group I was in had more to do with the lack of a spirituality than it did with any specific doctrines or social issues. Those areas also disturbed me, but the lack of a motivating spirituality to direct the practice of faith was the main catalyst in my choosing to become Pagan.

There are indeed many paths to choose from which can lead one to peace or happiness, and I have chosen my Shamanic path because it allows me to embrace what I know is good and right in the world and with myself. It is a peace-bringing choice for me. And I know that, eventually, all the 'demons' of my past will indeed be vanquished in the contentment I feel through this choice.
That is why I became Pagan. And that is why I will remain so.

Blessed be,
Thunder Oak


Paganism Feb 28th. at 1:07:48 am UTC

StormRavn (Mesa, AZ) Age: 41 - Email - Web


I first became attracted to the Pagan path as a teenager. When I was in eighth grade we were assigned a semester long term paper project and it could be on anything we wanted and we worked with a partner. My best friend Tina came up with the idea of doing it on modern witchcraft, because of a book her sister had, and that she had read. She brought the book for me to read to see what I thought of it. Well the book was Stewart Farrar's "What Witches Do". As I read the book, I began to feel a multitude of emotions--peace, joy, happiness, and just an altogether feeling that I had found my way home again. Needless to say, when my parents found out about my interest they weren't very happy and some very angry and emotional scenes soon followed. So for a long while my practice and following of the Pagan path went underground. All I knew was I had finally found something that I could truly believe in. I had never felt that way in my church, and I always had questions that no one could ever give me answers too. In this I found the beginning of my answers. As the years have passed by, I find that I still have questions, so I continue to read, to learn and to grow on the Pagan Path. At each bend and turn I find new knowledge and continue to grow and expand in my beliefs. The path has been long and at times trying, but never stagnant and never boring. I always look forward to rounding the next bend to see what new lies beyond the horizon.


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