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
| What Else Is There? ||Feb 28th. at 5:24:54 pm EST|
|Toni (Texas) ||Age: 25 - Email |
I've always considered myself "different", but intelligent. I guess the two relate. Growing up in a Quaker home and going to Christian schools I soon relized how different and intelligent I was compared to my peers. I could never grasp the Christian/monotheistic religions, they seemed like such a joke to me, but non the less I would try and fit in. Scared and stressed all the time I figured I was on the wrong path trying to be something I wasn't and lost my "christian friends" coming out of the closet, if you will. But no worries I soon came to my senses and embrassed my heritage. Paganism was and is my calling, I feel free, relaxed, and happier then I've ever been. It's been 10 years now that Paganism has fulfilled my life.It's good to be home.
| Heathen All The Way ||Feb 28th. at 5:43:56 pm EST|
|Ms. Kuykendall (Bay Area) ||Age: 16 - Email - Web|
I am a Heathen all the way. Nothing attracted me to it this is just me and I can not help what I am because I cannot control the fates.
Since I was born I have considered myself this way.
I am able to be who I am that is what I enjoy.
| Why Am I A Heathen? ||Feb 28th. at 6:17:43 pm EST|
|Raven Harbringer (Hohenwald, TN) ||Age: 34 - Email |
Though I was introduced young, I knew the Christian world didn't apply to me. It was not about intelligence, but comfort. I could not find comfort in the Christian World. I had to comply, and conform to standards that even those who who did pronounced them did not follow. A path found me that fill my souls need for honor amongst those who follow a religious life, not a path of hipocracy. I am a Heathen, and I am Damn Proud.
Blessings of the Raiding upon your households,
| Found My Way Home ||Feb 28th. at 6:26:19 pm EST|
|Claire (Pittsburgh, Pa) ||Age: 15 - Email |
I consider myself Pagan. Wiccan, specifically. Being raised in a Catholic family, I always had to attend CCD classes. It's not exactly that I flat out didn't believe in the faith, it's that they would tell me something that Catholics believed and I'd ask, "Why?" They couldn't give me answer. I realized that I had no faith in Catholicism and that the years of CCD had brainwashed me into believeing whatever they told me, even if I didn't soully accept it. I searched for alternative religions and saw Wicca among the list. I knew very little about it, but I'd heard that it was similar to Satanism and was curious to find out exactly what evil practices witches follow. Obviously, I found that Wicca is one of the gentlest and most organic religions I'd ever met up with. That was about three years ago and I have devoted myself to the faith ever since, appreciating the freedom and individuality of the faith. I have often read that true witches at heart will "find their way home." I feel that my discovery of the religion is fate. The most religiously ironic moment? Still forced to present a Catholic appearance to my father by attending church, I was also required to be confirmed. This was totally against my wishes, but I am but a lowly minor. The bishop randomly calls on people to answer questions about Catholicsm; of course he picked me. The Question--Why is baptism so important? Answer--::Catholic facade:: It's to erase the original sin which all people are born with. ::Inner witch::Totally pointless, no such thing as origanl sin, evil? yeah right, incoherent mumbling...
| I Chose Paganism, And It Chose Me ||Feb 28th. at 7:53:12 pm EST|
|Jenne (Oceanside, CA) ||Age: 29 - Email |
I think I had the heart of a Pagan early on in my life, but was brainwashed enough through my Christian upbringing such that I didn't have a clue until I was able to explore on my own. Throughout my adolescence, I had a big problem fitting into the mold that everyone else in my life tried to put me in. This led to depression and thoughts of suicide.
Fast-forward into college, and there I learned what my spirituality was all about. That it was contained within *me*--not some building or book or song. That spirit flows through me, gives me life, and gives my life meaning. I did not have a religion per se after I left the warm safe haven of my parents' Christian home. I turned away from the Bible and its teachings--they held nothing for me anymore. It was a dark time for me, for even though I no longer belonged in a Church praying to Jesus, I also did not know what else there was for me to do. I knew there was *something* out there, and it called to me, I just hadn't discovered it yet.
My second year of undergrad, I visited a Buddhist monastery in Santa Barbara. I can still remember the chanting and the smell of the incense. It was such a peaceful place...and though the building that I was allowed to go into was empty, it was filled with a presence. I felt a peace there, within the hallowed space, set deep into the hills behind that seaside town. This was to be my first brush with a reliigion other than the one I was brought up in. While I didn't take it up as my own, it at least opened my eyes to the fact that there are other ways of believing that aren't wrong, but instead fit us as individuals.
Fast-forward again to my twenties, and I am still searching. Seven years ago, almost to the date, I found Paganism. I had read many books on spirituality, on finding one's own path, and on reincarnation. I read _Jonathan Livingston Seagull_ and _Way of the Peaceful Warrior_. Oh these books and what they did to me. I went online and found a whole community of people, real-live people, calling themselves WITCHES. Having always been fascinated with the iconic Christian "witch" (despite its negative connotations) , I was intrigued, and I started lurking on bulletin boards online. It was here that I learned about a way of life that is Earth based, seeking answers from the self and from Nature, as well as the Divine.
I can't begin to describe my joy at finding out I was *right*! There WAS somewhere I fit in--there was an individual path for me. I no longer needed to fit in a mold, I no longer had an empty slate. I belonged, yet, I set the pace, I decided the path. It brought appreciation rather than shame, joy in self rather than eschewing the natural, instinctive part of me, taught me that I had to deal with the consewquences of my own actions. *I* was my own Priestess.
In this sense, I chose to be a Pagan--chose this path and all the rocks, pits and furrows that I have dealt with while on it. But it also chose me, because there was nothing else until I found it.
Thank you for reading this far.
| I Was Always Pagan, I Just Was Unaware! ||Feb 28th. at 9:58:25 pm EST|
|Jessica Splaine (Torrington, Connecticut) ||Age: 17 - Email |
I guess it all started when I was about 15, but i didn't really think too much about it. My mother was having problems with her abusive ex-boyfriend. He kept threating our lives and nobody, not even the cops could do much about it. My mother ran out of ways to try to protect us, and she was about to give up hope for a solution when her friend from work told my mother that she was wiccan and if my mother wanted she would give her a protection spell. My mother is Christian, but fear outweight her beliefs at this point. Obviously, both me and my mother were clueless about magick, but we gave it a shot. We went to a favorite outdoor spot and preformed the spell. We were using a Coconut, and when we placed it in a stream to be carried away it wouldn't move. Although the current was moving quickly, the coconut was just bobbing in the water... It turned out we forgot an ingredent so i jumped in and retrieved the coconut. We tried over and when we dropped it back in the water the current eventually took it right out of our sight. After that the phone calls and threatining letters stopped. I was totally overwhelmed by the idea that the spell worked and i called my mothers co-worker with a list of questions. The first thing she said to me was that there's witch in all of us, even if you refuse to except it. It was up to me to decide if i wanted to learn and with her advise i locked myself in my room and read every book i could get my hands on. I was lucky that even though my mother is Christian she is very libral and told me at a young age that she would not influence me with her beliefs, instead let me choose my own path. Well i did and what a beatuful path it is... Thank you for reading my responce, and blessed be!
| Because Paganism Found Me Right When I Needed It. ||Mar 1st. at 2:41:01 am EST|
|Moonflower (Mississppi) ||Age: 19 - Email - Web|
Why am I Pagan, Wiccan to be more precise?
Because it found me right when I felt as though I had no where to turn to. Wicca came to me in the form of a girl, named Violet. I was in the 6th grade and in a horrible slump: No friends, no faith in the god I'd been raised to believe in, horribly low self esteem... Then Violet moved to town, and asked to sit with me at lunch one day. I was sitting alone and she thought I was new too. We began chatting, and soon became fast friends.
It was a month or so before I finally asked her about the small, discreet pentacle she always wore, and when she told me that she was a Wiccan, and that her parents were as well, I was floored! I'd always been a fan of fantasy fiction, Tolkien, Lewis, and anything else I could get my hands on, so to find out that my best friend was a real life Witch.. well, you can imagine my excitement. Upon realizing my interest in her religion, she began telling me about it, about magick, and the Goddess and God. I was completely enthralled, so she lent me some of her books to read. I completely devoured the material, and saved up my allowance to find more.
Soon, my world was full of magickal studies, and various Goddesses and Gods, and I spent many late nights working with energy play, and casting my makeshift circles of old and yon. With the help of Violet's parents, who I knew only as WindRaven, and Two Feathers, I grew more and more adept. With the consent of my mother, I spent the Sabbats and Esbats with the family so that I could get a feel for the holidays, and what they were about.
I can honestly say that Wicca turned my life around. I was happier, had more self esteem, and a new family in the Craft. So, that is why I am what I am. I'm happy, I'm spiritually, and emotionally fulfilled, and I really couldn't imagine how I lived in the Catholic world.
| Simply Heathen ||Mar 1st. at 3:41:35 am EST|
|Dreamless (California) ||Age: 13 - Email |
It all started three years ago, when. Me and my friend were looking for something online, and we came accross things like the law of three, and uses for stones, candles, herbs, and oils. We discovered Wicca, and looked into it's magic and spells. My fascination grew and I was constantly looking through information that I would gather. Eventually my parents found out, and they were like "You can't do it anymore because it may have consequences". After an arguement with my mom, she asked me "Do you believe in God?" and I looked her straight in the eyes, though for a moment, and answered "No, I don't". Than everything went from there, I came up with theories, and built strong beliefs for myself. I can be quite igrnorant and foolish at times, not looking at the whole picture, and doing things before I'm ready, but now I'm trying to get past that. I've been slowly creeping along the details of history, philosophy, and whatever other details of any religion that comes my way. I'm expanding my knowledge, and looking into evan the monotheism religions. Though I know that they're not for me, I want to be able to say "But I do know what it's about, but it doesn't fit to the way I think, and I'd rather go with..." to anybody who said that I don't know what I'm talking about.
Sometimes I look around, and see everybody happy and content in whatever religion they follow, knowing everything, or as close to everything as they can about it. When I see these people, already settled in their place on the string of faith, it makes me feel lost and confused, and I begin to question my beliefs. I compare them to the beliefs of that of wich I am studieing, and seem to drift evan further away, making me feel kind of alone. Than I realize that I don't neccasarily need a title, that my beliefs can be one of a kind and it may be better not to follow boundarys of a religion wich may only confuse me. So if somebody would ask me if I was Pagan, I would say "Yes" because my dictionary tells me that a Pagan is a Heathen. I am a Heathen, therefore I am Pagan, the two are the same, only the title tells that I follow no certain religion, other than my own beleifs, but in stead, says only that I do not believe in/worship Yahweh; Jahova; God.
I think that that is important for everybody, because if people did not look inside themselves, and find what they truly believe in, than they would only be slaves of the religion, and not live to it's fullest. It is important for a person to find themselves, and their own beliefs, before they find a title.
| How Did I Become A Pagan? ||Mar 1st. at 5:17:49 am EST|
|Aithne (England) ||Age: 13 - Email |
I have always searched for a meaning to life, even when I was much younger. I went through a period of extreme christianity, which I then decided wasn't right for me. I had been a very imaginative child, and I was always playing imaginary games wehre I had 'magickal powers'. When I entered year 7 in secondary school I became friends with a girl who wanted to be a 'witch'. I obviously loved the idea and whenever I went round her house to sleep over, we read her books and tried some spells. I spent all the pocket money I had on a few books and discovered witchcraft was more than just spells. I loved the feminine deity, as when I was younger I thought it was very 'unfair' that god was a male. I also loved the whole concept of wicca and gradually I began to research it on the net and in any way I could. I have stopped my spellcasting as I am an amateur and it's possible that my spells wouldn't work the way I want, so know i am just researching crystals, herbs, scrying and so on, with a heavy focus on divinitation. My firend has halted her journey of the craft and now spends her time doing things I wouldn't dream of doing at my age, but I have been studying the craft dilligently for a year and a half and I don't plan to stop any time soon. I believe wicca is right for me and though I am to young to join a coven (if there was one in my area) and am not allowed to light candles or incense because and my parents don't approve of wicca, I attmept to carry out a solitary rituals to clebrate the sabbats to show the goddess I am in earnest in learning her craft. I spend hours reading on the internet and I truly believe that this is the path for me.
| Tongue In Cheek ||Mar 1st. at 9:42:53 am EST|
|Filomena Sophia (Duluth, MN) ||Age: 32 - Email |
The question should not be "Why are you a Pagan or a Heathen?" The question should read "Why isn't everybody?"
Daughter of Diana
| ...a Magazine Strange As It Sounds ||Mar 1st. at 10:16:19 am EST|
|Lansana (Yorkshire, England) ||Age: 15 - Email |
When I was 13 I was reading a magazine and I turned the page and there was the headline "I'm a real-life Witch!". I dismissed what she was saying but read the article anyway. I considered myself Christian but only prayed when I really wanted something (awful as it sounds) . My mum liked to call herslef Christian but we never went to Church. I forgot about the article but it was a niggling in the back of my mind that made me go onto the net and research it. It was fascinating and to be truthful i jumped in before I knew what I was doing fortunately nothing went wrong. I told my dad I was researching for school.
I found other friends who said they were Wiccan but they all fell out with the idea after a while. I told my mum i was Wiccan about 6 months after i had begun to consider myself Wiccan. She said hardly anything which hurt but I left it never plucking up the courage to talk to her about it more. My dad figured it out and now refers to it as my Witchy-Rubbish and my brother talks great care to tell my parents as soon as I light a candle or burn some incense. I told get told off but they don't approve but I'm a much happy and whole person for finding my beliefs and some critisism wont stop me learning.
I'm Wiccan because I found my calling.
| So Much To Say, So Little Time... ||Mar 1st. at 11:28:16 am EST|
|Eldryn Moonsong (Ontario, Canada) ||Age: 30 - Email |
I have considered myself Pagan for about 2 years now, and constantly wonder why it happened so late in my life. As with the States, Canada was predominantly Christian when I was growing up, and a lot of my schoolmates would remind me of God's vengeance if I said I did not believe in Him. I was raised in the United church (by non-practising Christian parents) , but could not swallow any of it. Christianity failed me early on, and I was tormented by my peers for it. Why, then, did it take me so long to find the path of the Goddess and the God?
I imagine I needed to make a long journey, to find the path on my own, and not listen to anyone else's opinion or "religious sales pitch". I had fallen in early on with the general misconception that witches were evil, and most often mentally unstable wierdos. But I did feel a strong connection to Nature, and saw wonders wherever I went. Years passed and I learned to appreciate the beauty of the world more and more. I knew that the Earth was a living, breathing entity, but I knew not what to call her.
Then one day, I happened to be in a bookstore and passed the New Age/Magick section. Some of the titles caught my eye and I lingered a moment. Then a clerk came by and offered me her assistance. After a few brief words, she revealed to me that she was a witch, and that for reasons unknown she felt comfortable revealing that fact to me, though I was a total stranger. I felt very comfortable hearing it. I also picked up a copy of "Drawing Down the Moon".
I was shocked. I had to read more. So I did. And now I'm home at last, amidst the persecution and discrimination and the beauty and the love.
Bright blessings to all....
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