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: 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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| It Just Makes Sense. ||Feb 24th. at 9:26:12 pm UTC|
|Ali (Clearwater, Florida) ||Age: 18 - Email |
My parents always thought my beliefs were a bit weird. Since I was about 6 I have had such an interest in all sorts of mysticism. I remember watching TV when I was around 10 ... it was a show called "Beyond Bizarre", methinks. It talked about this family of Witches! How odd! I was amazed, and went around calling myself a Witch, and standing in the Goddess pose whenever I could. Then, I did not understand any of this Witch business, and quickly forgot it altogether.
2 years later ... a friend asked me if I knew what a Pagan was. I did not, and he explained. I was amazed, and we began to learn together. After being raised in a fairly strict, semi-religious home all of this seemed to fit. I actually felt the natural energies of Mother Earth. I could communicate with her, really communicate -- not sit on a hard wood bench and read words with no meaning. At the time, I went through a period of depression and suicidal thoughts, but I can honestly say that the Goddess helped me see. So, I have considered myself a Pagan since age 12. My parents still think I am crazy, but it's getting better. Now they sort of joke with me, asking me to cast a spell so we can win the lotto! Ha. Silly folks.
Anyway ... Gods, I don't shut up, do I? I find all of the Pagan paths to be amazing and truly spiritual. Nothing can compare.
| Why Not, When Not? ||Feb 24th. at 8:31:54 pm UTC|
|Allegra (Michigan, USA) ||Age: 15 - Email |
I sat in the car next to my mother staring at her long brown hair. Then asked her a single question, a question that has formed the fate of many, "Do you believe in god?" She smiled at me, I was 2 or 3, perhaps younger for I've always had a good memory, laughter seemed to dance in her eyes. Now before you get after me for my grammar let me explain why I spelled God with a lower case "g". When I was that young, I didn't know what "God" was. Of course her answer was long and detailed, making absolutely no sense to a toddler. In my confusion a quest for the or a divine had begun.
I talked to the tree's. Some times they talked back. I had 3 mothers in a sense, my Mom, my dog (doubling as a first familiar) , and mother earth. I spent as much time out side as most kids do sleeping, in fact so little time inside I was often though to be Hispanic from my skin color. (I felt honored, though I didn't really know what Hispanic was.) I never napped, there was too much energy in me.
As I got into upper grade school pressure was on from the community to be Christian. I read the bible, which I at the time thought was total fiction. (Parts of it surely are!) I couldn't believe that any one would kill each other over stories. Even so if some one asked I'd say I was Christian, after all I did believe in a sort of higher spirit. I guess not believing in Jesus, or there only being one god, or the devil didn't occure to me as non-Christian. I never believed it, so does that mean I never was? Trying then to remember the faces of little nymphs among the wild strawberries my heart feels a longing. I wanted to know what was REALLY out there.
I called to mother nature on the full moons, and on the non-full too, and asked her what there was out there. I took my staff, a gift from a spirit in our woods, and made doors in the air of which I'd step through to see the world in a different light. I once asked, "Am I the only one?" I felt that I was not alone. But how could I be Christian, I now saw that I never was, and never would be.
When I was 11, I over heard my aunt talking about a wiccan friend of hers. Curious, as always, I typed in those words. Well I'm not wiccan, I don't believe in two deities! Ah but then I hit a link to a definition of Paganism. Wow, you mean there ARE other people out there who believe the same thing I do?
So why not, I was already in heart and practice Pagan, might as well adopt the name for my self.
| A Natural Progression ||Feb 24th. at 8:12:32 pm UTC|
|Lisa Lam (Weehawken, NJ) ||Age: 31 - Email |
I consider myself a child of the earth hence I call myself Pagan. When I was eight years of age my mother bought for me a pack of tarot cards. At first, this was just some tool for me that opened my mind to other possibilities. But, then I started reading about tarot, psychic developement and it just naturally progressed to Paganism and Wicca. When my mother use to bring me to church I never had the feeling of "acceptance". I did not accept what was being preached to me by my reverened. I always believed in reincarnation and I believed in psychism and these were either being denied as "Satanic" or non-existant. So in reply, I consider myself a Pagan.
| It Found Me ||Feb 24th. at 7:59:40 pm UTC|
|Running Wolf (Ohio) ||Age: 45 - Email - Web|
I used to be a christian, a long time ago. Problem was, I knew I had...certain abilities and perceptions that other people didn't seem to. I learned at an early age not to talk about it because it upset people. My mother considered taking me to a psychiatrist, but knew my father wouldn't stand for it (no son of MINE is crazy!) . I was taught in church that such things-- so-called "psychic" powers and visions were not special abilities, but deceptions caused by demons. And "born-again" christians could not be so influenced. So, if you were being influenced by demons, you were not born-again, and going straight to hell. Imagine my consternation. (Demonic influence is not the same as being possessed.)
Then about 25 years ago, in my early 20's, I met a Wiccan priestess, quite by accident. Eventually, she spent many hours talking to me, convincing me that I was normal and it was my upbringing that was...wrong. She finally talked me into going to a Wiccan full moon ritual, which I did with a great deal of trepidation. To make a very long story short, that rite was for me a profound and mind-blowing experience, that changed my life. And it seemingly occured by happenstance.
Becoming Wiccan, joining the Pagan community, felt like coming home. I was with people who accepted me for who I was, who I could openly talk with and learn more about psychic abilities, magic, and whatnot, without condemnation of any sort.
| Why Are You A Pagan Or Heathen ||Feb 24th. at 5:45:45 pm UTC|
|Shelsea Verduzco (Dallas Texas) ||Age: 14 - Email |
I consider myself a pagan because I feel an
extreme connection to nature as well as the fact
that I proudly say I am a Witch
I also find peace of mind, body, and soul
In the loving religon of Wicca
| Fulfullment ||Feb 24th. at 2:55:26 pm UTC|
|Zenith (Linden, Mi) ||Age: 21 - Email - Web|
~Why are you a Pagan or Heathen?
Why am I Pagan? Honestly, I don't think I've ever asked myself that question. I consider myself Ecclectic Pagan when someone asks me about my beliefs, but I've never really analized why I choose my path. The closest I can come to answering that is by saying I go with what "feels" correct and defining myself as what I am not. Why, for instance, would I ascribe to being a Buddist when I do not actively follow such strict meditation?
Why would I claim to be Christian when I can poke holes in the belief system of most of its followers with my index finger? I'm not "dissing" Christianity here, I apologize if at first that statement seemed as such. What I am criticizing is blind faith.
~What first attracted you to the Pagan/Heathen religion or path?
Science. Clear cut answers. Alchemy. The ability to boil down theology to its essential elements and discard the dogma that had been instilled to control its followers. I dislike the idea of someone judging my actions as morally right or wrong when they are as seperate from the concept of morality itself as you can get. You cannot judge a god's actions as being moral or immoral, they simply are. However, if you send out a specific vibration or frequency into the ether, it will eventual return to you. You must be prepared to reap the consequences of your actions. Cause and effect. If you would like to be happy and fulfilled, give happiness and fullment to the lives of others.
~How or where did you find out about Paganism?
It found me in the literal sense as I have stated above, but I first found the actual title when I was a very young child in a library. I was taught to read when I was three, so obviously I was always found near books. The more books, the more likely you were to find me curled up in a dark corner with stacks of poetry and mythology. It was in such that I found a book that gave a brief account of several religions. The only image that really sticks with me was a picture of a skyclad ceremony. Being young and male, I was obviously interested. Being granted a high profinency in reading comprehension, I soon was dissapointed to learn that it was not sexual. I continued reading and became interested once again, this time without blushing.
~How long have you considered yourself to be a Pagan/Heathen?
Since that time in the library in a linier (sic) sense. If I were to consider my actions over the whole of my life, I've always been Ecclectic Pagan.
~What is the most satisfying or meaningful aspect of the Pagan/Heathen religion, path or lifestyle for you?
Research. Knowledge. Books. The satisfaction of applied knowledge and solving of problems. Practical applications of metaphysical concepts. The reasons why in ceremonial magick it follows a set procedure, as defined by the practitioner. Understanding how the world works, and in doing so, understanding myself.
| Pagan By Choice ||Feb 24th. at 2:15:21 pm UTC|
|Terry Moyers (Knoxville, Tennessee) ||Age: 48 - Email |
Between the two, I would call myself Pagan. I started my journey down this path several years ago, before I had a name for it. The actual path that I am on now came through a call for service as a policeman. I answered a call for service at an old building that has been used by people for several years as a ritual site. There were symbols and markings that I did not understand and as a class "A" personsality I could stand not to know.
The first stop the local bookstore. I brought two books The Satanic Bible and Drawning Down the Moon. One answered the questions about the scene. The other lead me home and down a path that I still follow. This would have been in the mid eighty. I was initiated as a first degree in Dec 1990.
The biggest chance in me was my lifestyle. In my opinion Paganism or being Wiccan is a lifestyle, not something that just happens once a month, eight sabbats, and any gatherings that I may be able to attend. It effects every choice that I make in every aspect of my life. It has change my personsailty from a class "A" to something that it not on the mainsteam chart.
| It Is What I Know ||Feb 24th. at 2:14:10 pm UTC|
|Maeva Freyjasdottir (Anchorage, Alaska) ||Age: 24 - Email |
My family was never very spiritual. My mother is someone I would describe as superstitious and a mystic. She enjoyed Tarot and Astrology on a superficial level but never was very deep spiritually, or at least that she shared. She did, however, nurture my interest in Astrology, mythology and Tarot when I was very young. I had friends that were Catholic, Christian, Mormon, Muslim, Lutheran, and Pentecostal while I was growing up. But during my life, I have only been in a church of some sort a handful of times. Usually for a wedding. As a child, it didn't seem fair/right/just to me for a religion to deny the existance of other gods and goddesses or discount other beliefs. When I was twelve my mother bought me my first "wiccan" book on charms, spells and magick. Everything made sense. At that point in my life, I was constantly out of doors, communing with the spirits of Nature that I *knew* were there. The wind, the rain, the Moon, the stars, I felt quite in tune with the universe. In my teenage years, I had a severe anti-christian streak. I had this self-righteous anger at the "brainwashing" effects of christianity. I have since calmed down and truly see that you cannot be the master of another's path. I love being Pagan. I enjoy the openess of Paganism. I enjoy being able to feel magick in the world, in the Air, and in the Earth - to be a part of the magick in this world.
| Ne Obliviscaris ||Feb 24th. at 2:12:05 pm UTC|
|Danceswitsacredlandscape (Maidstone, Sk, Canada) ||Age: 36 - Email |
I have come across many who claim that Christianity was the first religion etc and so forth. But it is a well known fact that Pagans or Heathens have predated Christianity and I believe this to go back to the time of creation, when the first men and women walked the earth. And despite what I was taught in school, I never believed in the ape to man theory. And I believe we have always been bipedal.Here is something I found interesting:
At one time the oldest human ever to be found was just over 4 million years old. They named it "Lucy" and said that prior to this bi-pedial being (two-legged) we walked on all fours. Now, the earliest human is now dated at 6.1 million years old and it proves that we walked on two legs then. Blowing the old theory out of the water. Apparently it was never believed that we were bi-pedial back then. Scientists are also disproving the theory of the so called "inbetween stage" as it proves to be extremely difficult to walk that way. It goes further than that. Some are beginning to doubt the whole "ape to man" theory all together.There were many many different species that eventually died out. The original "Lucy" find of 4 million yrs old is now believed to be a branch that "died out" and is NOT related to us today. The closest and oldest so far is that of which has been found dating back 6.1 million yrs ago found in Africa.
Of course, I never believed in the Christian version either.History was written by those who conquered and as a conquerer the first duty is to change the ways of those you've conquered. This was done by many ways; breeding them out, punishment, death and so forth. The conquered had to forget their ways of life and worship a new god, one god. And when everything else failed, then spread terror to make them change. The worst case scenario in our history no doubt was the time of the Inquisition.
I have always lived by the code "Forget Not" and while looking into my husband's family history (Campbells of Argyll) , I found out it was his family's motto "Ne Obliviscaris", which means forget not. His family's emblem has the boar's head on it. The boar was originally an emblem of the mother goddess, like the Galley, and may have come to the Campbells when they inherited Lorne through heiresses who descended from the Old Norse sea-kings of the House of the spirit Freya. I will spare you any more details of family history.
Despite all what has happened throughout time, our many gods and way of life have not been forgotten. And I'll tell you from my own experience: all that I have learned, all that I have come to know, was not taught to me from any books, internet or family member, or friend. Coming into this world, I just knew and it became my way of life and I have lived by it ever since. My gods have always been there for me and the relationship I have with them is very real to me. I have always believed in the aspect of both the god and goddess in every living form. There cannot be one without the other. It is who I am and nothing will ever change that. I never knew there were any others around until I had use of a computer approx 10 years ago and what a joyous day that was for me! Since then, what I have come to learn is that I could finally put a name to certain things. Just knowing that there are so many others out there, confirms to me that I was not way out there in coockoo land.*chuckles* It is very real. Our gods are very real. Our way of life was, is and always will be. That's powerful to me!
Enough babbling, I need a coffee *smiles*
| Here For Each Other ||Feb 24th. at 2:10:28 pm UTC|
|Jake Arzt (Phoenix AZ) ||Age: 25 - Email |
This wont be a very long response but I would like to address my own personal views concerning the concepts of "paganism" and "heathenism". The root words pagan and heathen originally referred to someone who lived in the countryside, or "on the heather, or the heath" and had nothing whatsoever to do with spiritual choices. over time these words were changed to carry very negative connotations. Frankly I'd rather not have anyone refer to themselves as pagan or heathen. The titles to which I refer to myself are as many and varied as my thoughts, but one I particularly admire is "knight in the service of our lady ISIS". Forgive my long windedness, we all have our faults. My views on what it means to be a (shudders at the word) "pagan" are that the details of your life are not nearly as important as the need to remember and follow the simple rules for harmony laid down by countless gentle masters of the past and present. Do not focus on desire, simply give your help freely to others. Take joy in your surroundings, in the world. And remember that as Einstein said, "every action has an equal and an opposite reaction" A special thank you to the hard working people who make this website possible.
| I Belong ||Feb 24th. at 1:53:51 pm UTC|
|jeitoh (California) ||Age: 31 - Email |
Why does the Sun warm my soul? Why does the Moon calm my spirit? Why does the sight of Nature in her glory fill me with love? Why do I feel the changes of each season? Why does the wave of the ocean caress my being? Why can I feel the energy of Life flowing around me? The answer to all of these is why I call myself Pagan. I was not raised as a Pagan. Nor was I raised as a Christian. I was given the choice to follow my own path. To find my own way. And I found the path I walk now. I look back and see that I have been walking along this way for a very long time, though the realization was slow in coming. I walk this path because I feel that I belong. And that is why I am Pagan.
| Freedom ||Feb 24th. at 12:30:58 pm UTC|
|jennifer pittl (ohio) ||Age: 25 - Email |
I am pagan because life is a series of mysteries that will never be explained. I am pagan because I don't believe a god that never manifests himself as a mortal should serve as judge and jury over mortal affairs. Paganism supports the idea of divinity within each soul, as something that already exists, not as something to be attained though denial of the self, or purchased through the winning of converts, or adherance to arbitrary guidelines of behavior set up by fanatic misogynists.
I am pagan because I believe there must be magic within every element to support its existance.
I have only recently (within the last 6 months) declared myself to be pagan, but I feel that it is something that has been with me since birth. I am drawn into the beauty of this world as the beauty of this world is drawn into me.
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