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Posted: Nov. 17, 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.
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| I Am Me ||Feb 25th. at 2:57:40 pm EST|
|Dragon (7 W Baseline Rd Tempe, AZ) ||Age: 26 - Email - Web|
I am a "pagan" as it is commonly used to cover all non-mainstream religions. I was raised catholic, and in high school, I started questioning the ideas the church was founded upon. I did not understand them. I did not understand why I got yelled at by a teacher, a catholic, for being prochoice, she said I had to be prolife as I was catholic. THat is when I decided to not be anything.
About a year ago, I decided to practice witchcraft. It called to me, reminded me of childhood past where things happened that I cannot explain very well. I had been talking with friends of mine, a wiccan and a solitary eclectic, and well I just decided it was time I did it.
I do not know if I am a "pagan" really, as I just don't know. I work with energy, and I work well with it, I have my deities that I work in a partnership with when I need to, I have my friends that help when I need them.
I am me, and that is all. I let others define me if they need to fit me into a category, but I do not try to fit into a category anymore.
Dragon of Magickal Paths
Link to More info related to this post -- HERE
| Family ||Feb 25th. at 2:48:05 pm EST|
|Brenna (Vancouver, BC) ||Age: 20 - Email |
I think I chose to become Pagan because of my family.
My father's side has always had an interest in the Occult, so I grew up learning about witches, magic and things that go bump in the night.
My mother's side has always had an affection for the Celtic mythos.
I decided to learn more about it, and about current witchcraft, and it led me to Wicca. From Wicca, I learned that there are other paths, and many involve the Celtic deities and heroes.
So that's where I am now, and I blame it all on my parents. ~_^
| Pagan/ Heathen ||Feb 25th. at 2:40:54 pm EST|
|Star Devil (Glendive, Montana) ||Age: 22 - Email |
When I was 14 I was introduced in the world of pagainsm. The kids at my high school who were my friends thought it was cool and wanted to learn how to "levitate" and to "cast spells on people." Well, while they had their ideas I went and picked up a book call Wicca: A guide for the Solitary Practioner. I loved it and I realized that the things that they wanted to do and their preconceived notions on paganism were wrong so I started to read more and more. Well 8 years later I consider myself to be Pagan (solitary ecletic witch) . It has been not only a religion or an art but a way of life. I incorporate the ideals into how I take care of myself, my son, my husband, and how I treat others. It has helped me deal with deep seeded issues of my own and helped me learn more about myself as well as the world around me. Regardless of the constant critcism and the fact that my parents still believe that it is "a phase" I finally found something that I can believe in that helps me believe in myself. Love and Light to you all...
| Choice ||Feb 25th. at 2:16:04 pm EST|
|The Sweeper (OK) ||Age: 48 - Email |
I am what I am by birth and by choice.
I have no control over the factors of my birth.
I selected neither my failings nor my gifts.
However, how I chose to overcome these failings and how I chose to use these gifts of birth is mine.
I could hide, cowering from the vengeful God of Christianity, terrified by his mysterious ways.
I could refrain from fulfilling my purpose in life because in his eyes I am evil.
Or, I could consider what makes this particular God better and more real then any of the others in our Deity strewn History.
I have concludes the answer is quite simply, better public relations.
When I looked past the public relations I see just another God, and I saw the truth.
The truth that, I could look into myself, I could find the center of my spirituality.
And find Her there.
And once I found Her there, I found Her everywhere.
And with Her I find Peace.
| The Right Harmony ||Feb 25th. at 1:00:05 pm EST|
|Anjie (North Dakota) ||Age: 20 - Email |
Why am I a wiccan? It seems lots of people are asking that question lately, or maybe I've just been noticeing it more. I won't get into the whole long story of events that led to me becomming a wiccan. I'll give you the shortened version of it. I loved magic. I learned every trick I could, but it wasn't enough. I wanted the real stuff. I wanted what I now call "instant gratification magic".
I was in a book store one day when I found the book "Witch: a magickal journey" by Fiona Horne. I got it and read it by flashlight at night, when I wouldn't be disturbed. I knew my fairly strict Lutheran parents wouldn't like this book. It took me all of a week of nightly readings to read the book from cover to cover. I was facinated. It didn't give me the instant powers I had dreamed of, but it gave me something far better than "pick a card, any card". The ideas in this book spoke directly to my inner logic. This religion fit my "inner song".
Let me explain my "inner song". I'm a musician and an artist (not an extreamly good one of either) , and see myself and others in a mixture of song and color. It's wierd, but that's how I see them. For myself, I see my colors change with my age and my moods, but my song is much slower to change. My song, as I see it, explains my world, and the logic that governs it. Anything that fits in with my logic, and thus my world, has a song that is in harmony with my inner song. (I hope that that makes sense) .
The religion that I read about in this book had a near perfect harmony with my song. I changed to it privately, and have heard a richer song ever since. Unfortunately, I am a broom-closet witch, and have been for about a year and a half now. My family is fairly strict in their ways, and I don't think they're ready yet to accept having a witch in the family.
| Born That Way ||Feb 25th. at 12:39:51 pm EST|
|Siara (Annapolis, MD, USA) ||Age: 42 - Email |
I'm another "born that way".
Spirituality had always been very important to me, but my family's beliefs (Christianity) didn't work for me. It was like there was no connection between the universe as I personally perceived it, the universe I learned about in science classes, and the spiritual structure in which my family believed.
I still remember the first time I stumbled upon the Pagan movement. I was surfing the net and there, on a web site whose address I don't even remember, were many of the things I'd worked out on my own. The whole room seemed to become lighter-- I realized my pupils were dilating in an effort to see more.
Of course, when I talk about "things I'd worked out on my own" I don't mean the legends of the specific belief systems. But the general concept that the natural world was a reflection of the spiritual world and vice versa has always been central to my understanding of reality. I hadn't realized that someone like me could share the pleasure of sharing sincere philosophical beliefs. What a joy.
It makes me wonder, though... how can someone be *born* with religious beliefs so firmly intact?
| Born That Way, Too! ||Feb 25th. at 12:01:20 pm EST|
|Kat (Kentucky, USA) ||Age: 38 - Email |
I have always been inclined to the spiritual and the mystical. I was raised in a Christian culture (of course, what American isn't?) . But Christianity never fit me. Even when I was a little kid, I'm talking second grade here, I knew that I was a pagan (of course, I didn't know there was a word for it) . I feel such an intense connection to the land, the universe, my fellow travelers on the Life Path. So, I first decided I was a witch when I was 8 years old. Then, I came and went on the Wiccan path, sometimes feeling devoted to the religion, sometimes ignoring it all together, but "hearing" it in the back of my brain. Finally, at the age of 38 I rededicated myself to the Goddess. My life has been so good since then. I am much calmer, more at peace with myself, more accepting of others, more willing to take career- and education-related risks (as well as other types of risks) . With the help of the Great Mother, I am even making a move to another state to take up writing full time. The meditation and ritual that are inherent in Wicca have led me to be more focused, more trusting of myself. I have become a better, less selfish "seeker".
| Raised This Way...? ||Feb 25th. at 11:32:33 am EST|
|Rilana (Tacoma, WA) ||Age: 28 - Email |
Well, I was raised in a fairly non-religious home. My parents could not agree within their religions and chose to raise my sister and I free of religion and having the poower to make a choice when we grew up. My father is Pagan and has been as long as I can remember. He taught my sister and I so much about weather, nature and respecting the earth. We did not discuss the divine though. So, I guess in a way I was always Pagan.
| It`s Been Tough... ||Feb 25th. at 11:09:01 am EST|
|The Horned One (Antigua, Guatemala) ||Age: 27 - Email |
I grew up with a conception of a christian god that watched and waited to count all your sins as most brown people do. I lived in poverty in downtown L.A. and all that was bad in life was acceptable because I was human, and I was born a sinner. My grandmother was a rabid pentecost and was probably the first to ingrain the idea of Hell into me. I lived in fear of this place for many years.
I had my "rebelious" phase late in life. I went through a period where I studied anything that had to do with religion and/or spirituality. I began to follow Mithrianism for its hard-line, soldier attitude. I became the Anti-christian. My culture has been decimated thanks to this religion and its followers and so I began to build a hatred for it. When I turned 21, I became a Satanist. I think I did it more for a statement, rather than to worship Satan. I wrote elaborate papers on how "god" is jelouse and insecure and needs to keep everyone oppressed to keep his power. Satanism wasjust the other end of the spectrum and I went from fearing this "hell" to wanting to reside in it.
I have always had a elevated view of womyn and have understood the term "oppressed" from a young age. I came across a book one day that talked about a female based religion. A light went off in my head! I began to read all and any Wiccan books that I could get my hands on. They were not very good, just the standard mass produced kind, but it opened up a whole new world to me, one that fit me so well.
That was four, almost five years ago. I have been a solitary for most of this time but I have met many amazine people. I will always remember my first conversation with a real Witch (not someone that thought they were, but the real thing!) .I will alway remember my first ritual and my first festival, ect.
I almost lost faith in Wicca when I became more involved with it and discovered tha various schisms in it. It began to resemble these other religions that I had a distaste for. I found Ceremonial Magick and the Cabbala as a result. I studied eastern thought and Theosophy and even so-called New Age material, but I never lost my thirst for a Goddess. Most of what I was involved in still seemed to have a patriahtical flare to it. And it seemed to me that it was not very close to Nature, for I spent most of my time looking up into the sky for my deities.
I have been led into a third world country and I have come back to Her. I recently became a Dianic (I love this!) and I have never been so close to Nature in my life. I have found my Path, one that exalts the Goddess, that is committed to uplift womynkind and to fight those that continue to opress the Goddesses amongst us. So I guess the answer to the question is that I have been a Pagan for about five years, but it feels like I should have always been.
Blessings to all,
The Horned One
| Like Comfy Jeans ||Feb 25th. at 10:57:23 am EST|
|squib (oregon) ||Age: 33 - Email |
I started down my path in my late teens. The order of Thelema vs the chaos of the world was very attractive. I've done some shifting around since then, but the core belief is essentially the same.
| I'm Another Of Those "Grandmother Taught Me"-girls... ||Feb 25th. at 8:54:51 am EST|
|Tammipuu (Helsinki, Finland) ||Age: 18 - Email |
I've been a Heathen most of my life. Since about three years back, on one of the sunniest days I can remember, I bought my first Pentagram. I could probably give you an exact date, but that, I think, is irrelevant. My grandmother just smiled contently, when she saw it on me for the first time.
So, I have been Wicca for three years now. Of course there was the compulsory time before, when I searched for "The Deeper Meaning" of it all. It lasted for about six years. My religious education can be called somewhat confusing. I was baptised into Catholicism, my confirmation at age 13 was Lutheran. Two years later I finally settled with Wicca. It just klicked into place in my life, -and I have never doubted my choice.
I hate to admit such a cliché, but my grandmother is about as Heathen as anyone can be. She never tried to convert me, though. I just received some silent support and teaching in herbalism. I know at age 18 more about healing plants and of their use, than most people ever. My other inheritance from her is a perfect sence of weather. I can probably foretell a storm more accurately than any metheorologist (you wouldn't like it, it expresses itself as a form of sometimes severe migraine. There is evidence that my mother has the same ability, but hasn't learned to control it or "turn it down" when needed) . It is also no surprise, that "Mummi" gave me ny first and dearest Tarot cards...
My grandmother is nowdays weak and slowly dying. She has accepted Death, while I think it is a shame, for there is so much to learn from her. Not things you can read from books. Books could in the old days be found and used against people, she knows everything by heart. She has the best sort of first-hand knowledge about living a Pagan life in a society, which in her youth still considered Witchcraft a crime. I am going to miss the strong but often delicious scents from her huge pots and cauldrons in which she prepared the herbs we collected on our long forest walks. There is still some knowledge I have that I will eventually pass on. And I will add new knowledge to it whenever I can.
At this point in my life I have a bright future. I have my entire life in front of me. Only Time can tell what becomes of me. One thing will always remain: My beliefs in the Gods, Nature and my love for them.
| Was There A Choice? ||Feb 25th. at 7:47:49 am EST|
I guess I am Pagan because I was born that way. I never felt comfortable in a church (any church) . Of course after reading the Bible several times and then again using different versions I just felt I could not believe anything in it. At 17 I attended my first Pagan gathering and found that I understood where everyone was coming from, No one believed things the same way and that was OK! I have always felt closer to the deity while outside than anywhere else. I find the most wonder when out in the woods or while gardening. So I guess I was always Pagan I just never knew what to call it. At 51 my mom found out she was adopted and we learned more about our real heritage which is Lituanian and Russian. My great grandmother was a Pagan, and though I never got to know her in person I know her through a cousin and through her writings and such. My mom is basically Pagan as well. She does not call the deity any one name and refuses to buy into the male written Bible. So the question for me is are we born Pagan??? cat
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