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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.
|| Reverse Sort
| The Universe Made Sense ||Feb 25th. at 11:05:17 pm EST|
|Bryony Ravenwillow (Kansas City MO) ||Age: 34 - Email |
My first exposure to paganism came in Jean Auel's Earth's Children books. I remember reading 'The Valley of Horses' and the author's descriptions of Jondalar's Mother Goddess religion and thinking, 'That makes sense. Too bad nobody believes that nowadays.' HA!
I met my first Pagan when I was 21. We had many, many conversations about what she believed and why she believed as she did. While I didn't really feel a call to 'come home', the seed had been planted.
I didn't begin seriously questioning my Christian faith until my mid-20s, but the real catalyst for change was my father's death in 1997. I didn't find solace in the teachings of the church I had been attending. By this time, I had more Pagan friends than I did Christian ones, and they were the ones who helped me through my time of grief. It was also during this time that I seriously began studying Wicca and Paganism. The more I read, the more the universe 'made sense', and the more I felt that my dad was indeed in a better place.
I've been a practicing Pagan since 1998. Technically, my path is eclectic Wicca, but I feel the time is coming when I will find a group to learn even more from. I can't wait!
| All My Life ||Feb 25th. at 10:38:46 pm EST|
|Brenna Ce'Dria (Savannah, GA) ||Age: 20 - Email - Web|
For as long as I remember, the Moon mesmerized me. I worshipped it from my window at night when I was in kindergarten, and stared in awe nearly every moment I got for year upon year. When I was in fourth grade, I got in trouble for asking why we were supposed to pray to Mary when the 10 Commandments said to pray only to "God" (I attended a Catholic school that year, since that's what religion my former stepfather was) . When I was scolded for the question, I decided that Christianity as a group wasn't for me if they couldn't at least give me a reason for the contradiction (I wish I knew the word 'hypocryte' at that age) . By the end of 5th grade I was writing my own spells, however childishly they were worded (one of them I still use, only barely modified, for everyday workings) and during the three years of middle school I learned that there were other, non Christian/Jew/Muslim religions I could choose from. Now, years later and one brief and mistaken conversion and baptism in a *gasp* Baptist church, I know that I knew where I belonged all along, and have 'come home' so to speak.
My mom doesn't like my choice, but she doesn't argue too much; she just pretends she didn't hear when I say anything to do with it and continues with conversations as if nothing happened. My stepdad doesn't agree, but it's a source of legit conversation and he discusses and debates for fun occasionally (he's easily one of the best Christian's I've ever met) . The only person important to me that doesn't know is my boyfriend of nearly three years, he knows that I don't agree with institutionalized religion but hasn't persued (sp?) the matter. When he's ready to ask about it, I'll tell him; right now I just try and hint at it and ease him into the idea.
Easily the most satisfying thing I've encountered is feeling the change of the seasons, the year, and even the weather. The only high I've ever had (I've never smoked anything, tobacco or otherwise, and I'm not a heavy enough partier to even get a buzz) is the rush of a thunderstorm, and the power in a gust of wind. I've yet to find what path I follow, but I'm starting to feel that the Lady doesn't care, as long as I love Her creations.
| Why I'm Pagan ||Feb 25th. at 9:50:10 pm EST|
|Alana (Milwaukee, WI) ||Age: 21 - Email |
I first heard about some forms of Paganism from friends in high school. I decided to exploe it for myself. I had already inherited a tarot deck from my father after he passed away, so first I started with reading tarot. I read and studied for many years before I commited myself to my path of Celtic/eclectic Wicca. I've been officially following my path for three years come March 5th. The most satisfying thing about being Wiccan is my conection to Earth, and my hope that despite all that humans have done to her Earth will overcome. Also the fact that female is part of this divinity.
| Why A Witch? ||Feb 25th. at 9:47:43 pm EST|
|David Warren (Berlin, WI) ||Age: 18 - Email |
I became introduced into the craft ideas by my (former) friend Tommy. I was interested at the time (being the good little Methadist that I was) , but still strongly Christian (but I did practice magick that I had adapted from various pagan books. About eight months ago I was going through a religious turmoil since my life had seemed to slipped away with the heavy drugs that Tom ( a coke addict) got me into. I decided that this was enough of this and I turned aethiest for a two month period and got a new group of friends. They really helped me get my life back together more than I can even explain. Highest of Goddesse's bnlessings to them! I began to read into many, many religions including Satanism (which did not confound to all of my beliefs) and eventually got Wicca for Men by A.J. Drew. From what Tom had explained was different from what others explained the craft really was (he wasent all that wrong , just big with the use drugs in circle.)
That includes my little tale.
NE one can send me info on thier tradition? I'm trying to compile them for a webpage. e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Brightest blessing to all!
| Techno Pagan ||Feb 25th. at 7:41:47 pm EST|
|Carl (NJ, USA) ||Age: 32 - Email |
I first discovered Wicca/Paganism around 1989 - 1990 or so. I used to run an old BBS (WWIV) called The Realm Of Imagination. This was before the internet was around. You used to be able to network all of these BBSes so you could share message bases. Well, there was a group of message boards that were Pagan oriented call [PIN], the Pagan Information Network. I subscribed to them for my users, more as a curiosity than anything else. After reading them, and asking questions, I started picking up books galore. Like many others who found Wicca, I felt like I was coming home. I've been a practicing Pagan ever since. Formally trained in several traditions, but I focus mostly on Stregheria and Elementalism.
| My Pagan Heart ||Feb 25th. at 7:20:24 pm EST|
|tonayallicue (midwest usa) ||Age: 21 - Email |
i first heard of wicca on an episode of the former fox show sightings (now on sci-fi) and was intriguied by it. i knew that if i ever changed my religion it woudl be to that one....i jsut knew it.
that was when i was 11. around the same time, my grandmother gave me a book she had found, "helping yourself with white witchcraft" by al g. manning. now, back then, i had the impression that witchcraft was about revenge...and then a few years later, after seeing a friend literally transform from teh inside out after studying wicca/paganism, i decided it was time for me to do my research.
i was raised catholic, and actually had many instances happen to me that "told" me that i was never supposed to be one in the first place. i can remember being a little girl and talking to a friend, and we talked about "god, " and we thought there was a god for every country...i'm not sure if i meant different religions or actual gods, that was so long ago...but i wonder where my old friend's heart is now. i also had a few other experiences with nature that really made me realize that we are aprt of nature, not made to conquer it.
in high school, a catholic high school that is, around sophomore/junior year i became very agnositc/atheist doubting and requestioning whether or not god existed.
my mom, a catholic, always told me that god was both male and female, but that never ever made sense to me - how can one individual/person be both male and female...they are so different to be one in the same!
and another thing - when i was catholic, i always loved the story of la virgen de guadalupe of mexico. then while reading z. budapest's holy book of women's mysteries, i came across a picture of her, la virgen. i previously rejected her as a catholic image and became interested in this. she appeared on a goddess site - this propelled me to research more, and i found out that la virgen is a goddess this whole time - again confirming for me that my pagan heart was always in teh right place somehow.
for me, to be pagan is to live with the earth and her cycles, to analyze and come alive thru my dreams, and to understand that there is never too much to learn. i used to consider myself wiccan, but i now prefer the more loose term of "pagan" or even "wiccan/pagan", since i like to read about differing ancient traditions and cultures and like to try different things (when i have time, that is) . i have always been an animal and plant-lover and always will be - it's literally something in me i can never escape...that's part of my pagan heart. i've always been a feminista type and have felt that girls are better than guys - sorry boys. but guys are good at lots of things girls aren't... (but to whose standard?)
i have almost no time for magick, and sometimes i've gotten results i never expected, and the truth hurts, but it sets you free..thats all i can say.
i wear a pentacle necklace - never a cross or crucifix ever again.
i am now a goddess - always have been and always will be - and plan to stay that way.
i dunno bout you, but i was totally goin, "You go girl!" for the woman who showed up in denver for the 'are you hot " show on ABC with a snake, belly dancing - she was like, "you are witnessing a physical incarnation of the Goddess!" and i was like, it's too bad opur culture doesn't understand her, but i sure do.
) 0 (
| Because It Brought Peace And Understanding ||Feb 25th. at 6:58:29 pm EST|
|Vorick (FL) ||Age: 20 - Email |
Growing up, my parents were die-hard Catholics.
They tried to bring me up as such, but there were just too many problems with their beliefs.
When I was 10 years old, I started reading about religions in general.
I studied Buddhism, Judism, Daoism, Hunduism, etc and my path finally brought me back around to my grandmother.
She was born and raised in Ireland and was my first Pagan influence.
As I began studying Paganism in general and then narrowing my study down to Celtic Wiccan (which is what I know consider myself) I found that it made sense.
I have been a Pagan for 8 years now and am loving every minute of it!
| Because Its Me ||Feb 25th. at 6:46:18 pm EST|
|Brian Coover (Suffolk, Va USA) ||Age: 20 - Email |
I am pagan because almost eleven years ago I found my Aunt's Book of Shadows. I asked her what it was, I was only ten at the time. And I found out she had been a "in the closet" witch most of her life. As we sat down and she was explaining all this about the goddess and about magick, she had told me that she always thought that I was a natural witch. She told me I was a natural empath. I didn't know what that was at the time but she explained, and she was right I felt all those things. This was more then interesting to me. And as she taught me more and more, it felt more right for me. I was orginally a puritian before that. My whole family is, which explains why she was a "in the closet witch". So I already knew what that was, and it did nothing like this did in my heart.
I've been pagan for almost eleven years and loving it! Its just hard to find any other pagans in my area. lol
The most satisfying part about paganism is its openness, to me anyway, and you can interpert it anyway you like. No overly strict laws. Just the rede (by the way I'm a witch noturnal tradition) . The bliss I find in doing magick and the part inside me that smiles a big grin when I help someone with my magick. And lets not forget about worship! I love to worship my own soul don't you? :-P
| Because It Feels True ||Feb 25th. at 5:43:07 pm EST|
|Lawmage (Louisiana) ||Age: 32 - Email |
I'm Pagan because it is what feels true to me. I believe that the world contains Magick and the Divine is both Male and Female, if not in person than in nature. I believe we are all inescapably linked to the world around us and are responsible for both what we do and what we fail to do. I spent many years as a Seeker and still consider myself to be one. I guess I would be "categorized" as a Solitary-Eclectic Pagan. Still I'm not truly solitary as my wife shares many of my beliefs and I don't really consider myself eclectic so much as I think others are unnecessarily limiting their options...Still, my own personal visualation of the Divine is best expressed in the Greenman and in the "traditional" Goddess. I consider myself to be moderately well educated and by no means a crackpot. To me, many of the fundamental underpinnings of Paganism, Wicca, Heathenism and what have you are "more true" than traditional religions. The Earth is alive, we are part of the Earth, we are responsible for ourselves, the Divine is both masculine and feminine. These things ring true, and they are at the heart of what it is to be Pagan.
| Why I Am Pagan ||Feb 25th. at 5:38:39 pm EST|
|Alana (Strawberry Plains, Tennessee) ||Age: 23 - Email |
Becauce I don't agree with Christian or Catholic beliefs.
| Why I Am Pagan ||Feb 25th. at 5:21:52 pm EST|
|Lillian Shipp (Vallejo, CA) ||Age: 47 - Email |
It started with my great-grandmother she was a witchdoctor in her community. What she did was passed down through the ages to me. I am the one to keep it alive. I have 4 children and two of them have decided that it is the only way to keep sane in a crazy world. I can't say enough about being pagan except I no longer feel compelled to follow with other just for the sake of trying to fit in.
| It Came From A Book...or Two ||Feb 25th. at 5:00:28 pm EST|
|Ratguppy (Honolulu, Hawaii) ||Age: 41 - Email |
Since I was little, I have always been drawn to nature, animals, the moon, the sky, and what was considered "fanciful" daydreams of fairies and other beings. When I learned to read, my favorite stories were fairie tales and mythology from different lands. As I grew older, I also took an interest in astrology, tarot cards, astral projection and other metaphysical leanings...and yet, I considered myself Buddhist, like the rest of my family. I also attended various religious services with friends--Christian, Mormon, other Buddhist sects--but none of them called to me. Maybe it's because I came of age in the "I am Woman, hear me roar" era, but all of these religions just seemed too patriarchal.
An epiphany came when I read "God Herself" by Geraldine Thorsten. (I don't think it's in print anymore; my copy is very dog-eared.) This book explained a lot of the Old Religion to me and actually made me feel envious of our ancestors who lived so in tune with the Goddess! Then I began to read more and more books about Paganism and especially Wicca, and by 1998 had decided to become a Witch by self-initiation. To this day, I feel right about my decision and consider myself an Ecletic Solitary Wiccan. I feel as though I've finally come home and that the Gods and Goddesses are my family. I wear my pentacle with pride and though I get my share of rude looks and snide remarks, there are also those who ask questions and lucky for me, most of my family is fairly open-minded, especially my mom.
My 19 month old daughter may actually be more pagan than I am...she loves animals (especially cats) and being outdoors, and has been to a few circles with me. She's made friends with our pet rabbit and the chicken and cat next door, communicating with them in a way that I no longer can. I am proud to raise her with the love of the Gods and Goddesses, as well as with some Buddhist teachings (the two religions have some similarities, such as the concept of karma) .
Love and Light to All,
Ratguppy and the little Ratling
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