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Posted: Nov. 17, 2002
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Have You Switched Pagan Paths?
Did you perhaps start out as a Wiccan and now follow a different Pagan or Heathen path/religion? Have you changed from self-identifying as a 'Witch' to something else? If you have changed how you self-identify under the Pagan/Heathen umbrella, why did you change? Did your beliefs change? Did the Pagan/Heathen community change? What do you think of folks who have switched? Is there currently a real shift into more diverse or selective Paths/Religions within the communities? Will Wicca remain the dominant Pagan religion that it now is? Why or why not?
| Reponses: There are 110 responses posted to this question.
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| Once ||Oct 1st. at 9:31:05 pm EDT|
|Eric (Mechanicsburg PA) ||Age: 18 - Email - Web|
I converted from Lutheran Christianity to LaVeyan Satanism. Mostly, I tend to think this was because Christianity had been shoved down my throat. I believed it, though. I was forced to. But, gradually, I began to think and came up with the usual questions. "How come God doesn't answer prayers?" "Why doesn't God ever show Himself so He proves to nonbelievers that He exists?" "Why aren't there any miracles anymore?" "Why do I keep having to be tested?" "How did all those inconsistencies in the Bible get there?" etc etc.
I did some research on the occult. I first came across what I now believe was Dianic Wicca. I moved away from it because it seemed to "fluffy" at the time (though I didn't know that word...I actually referred to Wicca in general later as "fuzzy bunny"). I found out about Satanism and figured it was to my liking. At the time it seemed like the imagery was harsh, it was dark, it was the anti-"fuzzy bunny". I had found Wicca too much like Christianity. Satanism contains a liberal dose of anti-Christian mongering. I liked that at the time.
I gradually fell away from practicing it over a matter of years. I kept to the philosophy, I just ignored the stuff about magic. I then managed to actually get my hands on a copy of "The Satanic Bible"...and I thought it was ludicrous. I figured it must have been one of the most poorly written books I had ever read. I disagreed vehemently with what LaVey said about magic (by this time I had gotten over my lingering dislike for Christianity and I had no negative attitudes toward Wicca because of the occasional resemblance). I was very much against some of his philosophies...I'm not a utilitarian.
As fortune (and I now believe, other forces) would have it, I picked up Aleister Crowley's Book of Lies at the same time I got The Satanic Bible...and I was mesmerized by what I read in Crowley. I learned more about him and Thelema, and...here I am.
| Old Thoughts New Stratagy ||Oct 1st. at 9:24:16 pm EDT|
I've been going through a huge change in the past year. I've been pagan since before I can remember, but I didn't know it. I was raised Catholic and all. Anyway, when I finally gave up on the "I can pretend to be Catholic while believing what I believe," I was pretty angry at the Catholic Church. I already knew what I believe now, I'm just alone. I read tarot, use energy, and have my own specific beliefs regarding the universe. Anyway, in the past year I've been finding that I'm starting to be drawn toward the Goddess. I guess you could say I'm not changing my belief so much as adding to it.
| Well... Sorta... ||Oct 1st. at 9:17:22 pm EDT|
|Hadriel Stoneroot (Massachusetts) ||Age: 15 - Email |
i am an eclectic wiccan, and really, i just follow the horned one and goddess... i am interested in bardic traditions, and right now i am making a mandolin to help me in my path toward bardism... it is considered a religion by some, but to me it is a way to express my love of the Lord and Lady. i have for some time considered myself a druid in fact. but recently, i decided that i follow my gods, and nothing else has to matter to me... so... to answer your question, yes, yes i have many times.
| Goddess ||Oct 1st. at 8:12:56 pm EDT|
|Diama White (Wayne, MI USA) ||Age: 46 - Email |
I was going to write in there that I have never, nor have I ever thought of changing paths. The plain truth of it is that I have on so many occasions that I laugh now as I sit to write this!
All in all, it's all the same to me. We all worship in one form or another, just at some points we change styles or ideas. Ideas change to me, but not my ideals or morales. The path may be long and winding, with hidden agendas: but the path always leads the same way.
| You Read My Mind. ||Oct 1st. at 6:09:36 pm EDT|
|Manda (Memphis, TN) ||Age: 22 - Email |
Actually, my path is currently going through a big change. Now, everyone's path evolves a little, as the person grows and learns, but there have been some significant changes around here.
I started, as most people who come from a Christian background, in Wicca. Honestly, in my newly-introduced-to-alternate-religions mind, the words "Pagan" and "Wiccan" were interchangable for a while. *cringe* I know... I know...
Since then, in participating in the (limited number of) events that go on around here, I've come to realize that there are a thousand different flavors of Pagans out there. I've also come to realize that I'm not really much for the ceremonial magick... I'd rather putter in my garden and kitchen than plan huge elaborate rituals.
Lately I've been ditching ceremony for feasts that even my Christian friends can participate in, I've been reading books and finding my self voicing disagreements to my husband, and I've been listening to my heart and the wind a little more than I've been listening to the people who are screaming "but this is the way it's ALWAYS been done!!"
So, for now, I label myself as a kitchen witch.
As for people that switch paths: wonderful! If it brings them closer to Spirit, then that's great.
As for Wicca remaining the dominant Pagan "denomination" ... I don't know. Possibly, since it IS very popular currently, and being passed down throughout families. Then again, maybe not, since there are many other wonderful paths out there.
| Confusion ||Oct 1st. at 4:02:00 pm EDT|
|Ashleigh (aka Jaded Moon/Miss Jade etc) (London (England)) ||Age: 16 - Email - Web|
This takes a bit of introduction but bare with me!
Just over a year ago I went on a Jewish Summer camp (as both my parents are Jewish and at the time I believed in Judaism) in Wales. I came upon a cute little New-age shop and decided to buy a Dowsing Crystal. Now two of my friends from Summer camp already had been Tarot Card readers for many years and using my Dowsing Crystal I managed to start out by feeling Tarot Cards using my Crystal.
Just after camp, Me and another girl decided to learn from my two Tarot-Card-reading-friends to Tarot read... and so we did and bought each other our first packs (mine was "The Tarot of the Moon Garden"... BEAUTIFUL PACK!!!!!)
Flash forward to a few months ago. Im starting question my Jewish beliefs and starting to not believe some areas of it... and so I decide to no longer call myself a Jew by religion and started just saying I was Jewish by Culture.
Now to the present: Very recently I have been introduced (through yet another friend) to other Pagan beliefs (specifically Celtic/Druid.) The nature of the Goddess and other key beliefs such as "If it harms none, do what you will" seemed to make sense and I have recently been calling myself Pagan. However, I have not started practicing Majik (although I intend to) as a Tarot Card reading and Dowsing session has informed me to not go-it-alone and wait for someone to invite me to a Grove or a Coven before I attempt any form of Majik
So as a Summary I have gone from being a Jew, to being completely anti organised-religion to being some kind of a Pagan (and being confused!)
Ash (aka Jaded Moon)
PS. please feel free to contact me on this subject... In fact I would be most grateful!!!!
PPS. The link is to see the pack that I own... I feel the type of Tarot Card pack you have is a window to the soul
Link to More info related to this post -- HERE
| Evolution ||Oct 1st. at 2:54:23 pm EDT|
|Olwen (Brampton, Ont) ||Age: 45 - Email |
I think that rather than change, I've evolved. Coming suddenly as I did from a fairly fundamentalist Christian worldview, the idea of all God/esses = one God/ess was comforting. I've learned a lot since then, about myself, my world and my Gods, and have, in the process, become a hard polytheist following a Cymric path. (Note, I was always drawn to a Celtic path, although I didn't know which one, exactly.) It didn't happen overnight, it wasn't necessarily easy, but it did happen. Nor is it right for everyone; that much can only be determined by the individual.
I think now that I've found my place, although as I continue to grow, I expect my practice will change somewhat, and perhaps even my view of the Gods, as my experience continues. And that's okay, too. I'd hate to be stuck in one view the rest of my life.
| Change,Evolve,Twist,Curves, Whatever You Wanna Call It ||Oct 1st. at 1:56:41 pm EDT|
|Joshua Wilson (Van Buren,Arkansas (aka HELL)) ||Age: 14 - Email |
Of course, At first I thought wiccan was the only one so i clung to that, then i dug deeper and found it wasnt right for me. So I was just pagan then. Then druidism,astaru, celtic, and greek shouted at me, So I started at the top. And worked down. I am still changing, like my friend says "Youre a padlock, you spin around till you find your way or password" So I think I will change soon, since none of them capture me fully. But I think eventually I'll have to review see if I've changed so much I need to follow a path I've already turned down, but more liekly maybe I'll need to create my own and go backpackign through the lands of the universe.
| An Interesting Path ||Oct 1st. at 12:41:36 pm EDT|
|Diana (Connecticut) ||Age: 55 - Email |
As I continue on my path I do not waver. No path is ever straight or without stones or roots to cause one to have to regroup. Have I changed? I would rather say my beliefs evolve. I came upon the realization that I am a witch only a few years ago. I embrace the name as I hold that words are things and in order to change the definition used by most people I choose to be known as a witch. I am Dianic and feel very comfortable with that "title" as I feel I spent 50 years of my life with a god...now it is time for Goddess. Oh yes...I am a Libra and that balance issue is just not one for me.My spirit and Goddess and I have worked it out.
My life has been blessed by meeting such a wonderfully varied community of women and men.
"One must allow chaos in ones life to give birth to a Dancing Star...Nietzsche"
| Get Ready To Laugh. ||Oct 1st. at 12:22:32 pm EDT|
|Eric (Pennsylvania) ||Age: 18 - Email |
I'm a Christian. I just happen to think it is completely immoral to tell someone that they are wrong about something when you don't know what their position is. And I can't really rationalize the phrase "all-forgiving" with a God who sends you to Hell for not believing in Him. So when I researched religions and found that 95% of the world's population are decent human beings, I had to look more in depth at things. So, here I am.
| Oh My No! ||Oct 1st. at 11:50:37 am EDT|
|Ted Peter Smith (Stillwater, OK) ||Age: 48 - Email - Web|
Oh my no, my grandmother, after discovering a vast disinterest for witchcraft in my two older sisters settled for me. At seven I could have cared less that I was her third choice. She was an incredible woman who I loved intensely. Those early years of challenge and love imprinted upon my spirit and are a deep part of me. She helped me discover who and what I am and helped me take my first step on the path that has the strength of my life. My path may twist and turn a bit, but is always there in front of me.
| Never Knew.... ||Oct 1st. at 12:15:31 am EDT|
|Moon and Stars (West Virginia USA) ||Age: 33 - Email |
When I was 14 I read a book about Witchcraft...I started to think and then practice it. I knew then I was not like the others that went to the local churchs. ( my bother episcaple, my sister was non-denominational holy-roller and my Dad Morman/cath. and my mother was Luthern, My mother always believed in the right of religion and every sunday my dad drove us to our own little churches....yea it was a trip and a half) But I knew then that I had way to many questions about things with the bible even at 10 or 12. When I stop going to church (which was non-instrmental chuch of chirst) Mom asked me why. I told her that I felt that I was a witch and I didn't feel that was the right place for me....I then asked her how she felt about that and she said that she felt I was going through my hippy 60's theme and I would get over it. I didn't go through a phase. I found myself and have known since then that I am one with my religion. I don't think of me as Wicca per se' but I do know I am Pagan all the way. I use what I need at the time of need and freely talk with Mother and Father about everything...I am Ecle. as they come and have more insight about what to do than the first 14 years of feeling guilty as hell that someone died so I might live.
During this past Ostara my mother asked me why I had a silver and gold candle place on what is my alter. I smiled and told her "Mom when I told you I was a witch when I was 14 I didn't lie." She kinda didn't know what to say but asked if I was happy and at peace....when I said yes...she stated that is all any parent could ask for....knowing their child is happy. I have always been a firm believer in that everyone is their own religion. It is within you. Love and Light to all
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