In The Know?
Article ID: 9186
Age Group: Adult
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Posted: May 15th. 2005
Times Viewed: 3,819
Why start an article with a question for a title? Well, let’s see...
When I first tripped onto the Paganism path, I thought I had learned all I wanted to know. Then I got stung. By what? The Learning Bug. Have you heard of the Learning Bug? It’s this little infestation that tends to lead me down a path I have been on before, though a different branch of said path, of course.
What path is that, you ask? Well, I attended university twice when I was younger. No, not two classes, but two degrees. I had the Learning Bug then. It drove me to want more and more knowledge until I thought my mind would explode from all the reading I had done. Then it left me. I felt empty without it, a little more than lost, to be honest. I left my desires at the door and entered into a world where I thought I was supposed to stay silent and move on. A husband and children followed, effectively stopping any further desire to move on with my path to knowledge. Then it happened: that bug came back. It started with a slow growth; first as a larva it grew inside of me, growing like an ember of fire. Along with my growing self-awareness, this larva grew into my “Bug.”
I am not sure how it started its re-growth. I had been fighting with myself; my appearance of self had waned, and I no longer wanted me. Then came the courage to fight, the will to learn growing into my bug. My self-rediscovery had taken a few years to come about, but it has been an amazing ride. Then this ride took another turn, when I went out to Vancouver in January of 2004 to explore that environ. I met up with an old friend (she is not old; we have just known each other for a long time). We began to talk about our spiritual wants and needs, and she told me about Wicca and Paganism. Then that Learning Bug stung me HARD! I cannot seem to get enough, and just when I think I know enough to get by, I find another fork in the path and I have to traverse it.
What do I mean? Let’s see. It is impossible to learn everything there is to know about Paganism. I do not care how educated you are, there is just such a breadth and wealth of knowledge out there it would take ten lifetimes to draw it all in (I guess it is possible to learn it all then, after a few lives…). I am eclectic in my beliefs, solitary in practice, with a hint of Wicca for spice – but for definition’s sake I usually term myself an Eclectic Pagan (only IF I have to be “termed”). I want to learn all I can about herbs, dreams, mind powers, stones, candle magick, etc, etc…see my problem? I have begun to inundate myself with so many wants and desires, that I no longer know where to turn. I have begun reading four or five books at a time, and with two young children getting them read takes time. I ask for advice from my fellow Pagans whenever and wherever I can. I do not fear asking the questions, I fear looking foolish. After all, I am now in my 30’s, have two degrees, and have studied Anthropology/Classical Studies/Archaeology - should I not know at least some of this information? Ugh, my frustration seeps into my soul and leads me astray. Then I snap back and regroup.
Just because I studied all that “stuff” does not mean I know it all – far from it! Sure I know the different Gods and Goddesses of some cultures; I love the Welsh culture in particular (my father’s family comes from Wales). I have studied a great deal of history – I love it to the point of annoying my husband with unending tirades about how inaccurate certain films are, although I try not to do that anymore. I would love to return to school and do a Masters; unfortunately the funds simply are not there. I would love to take an herbalism course, but I have the same problem with that as I do with the Masters. I hope that I shall learn all I can from my friends, and that they know how much I appreciate their teachings. Life is a classroom for me and everyone, even my children, are the teachers.
So why have I written this article? I hope that this may help others who feel the same frustrations that I do. To know that they are not alone, and perhaps encourage those in the know to share their knowledge with those who truly want to learn. The Learning Bug is not a bad thing; it is something to be cherished and welcomed. I have come to grips for the most part with some of my ineptitudes. I try to laugh it off when I realize I got something wrong, and endeavor to right it. And for the most part the errors made are not serious and easily laughed off. For the most part I want people to realize how open and welcoming Paganism is: The freedom to practice as you see fit, to follow your designs, to be at one with everything and know there is time to do the things you want to. To be able to talk to your God/dess and know they are listening, that they are one and all with the earth and universe, just as you are one and all with the universe. They are no further then yourself and have always been there.
A sudden feeling of awe and joy hits me when I really think about how lucky we all are. To know that we are one with everything, and know that what we do affects everything, no matter how small the affect, brings about a feeling that is so…words cannot give it justice. To look upon the earth is to look upon the divine; such a thing brings about feelings of elation and pain. In my quest for knowledge I recently went to a natural history museum. Not so bad right? I was a step away from a river of tears just half way through. Why? The animals – stuffed animals, not the plush kind in the stores, but the real kind that have had their lives taken and then been placed on display for us. I know that these poor creatures were probably killed a long time ago – before environmental awareness came to the fore. But the thought that we, we who are supposed to be the caretakers of this earth could do something like this…I looked to my husband and said basically that I simply cannot believe that we do this. I guess I still have a lot to learn.
Speaking of having a lot to learn: Can someone out there explain to me how one person can hate another based solely on how they look, act, or feel? How can a person be different in emotions or soul because they do not agree with you? Is this something that must be learned? If it is, then I do not want to learn it. My mind has never been able to comprehend the hatred that springs forth in our world. I welcome the chance to learn from someone from another culture; I would love to hear what he or she believes in, what they want and desire. Does this make me different or wrong? No, I do not think so - if anything it just means I have a harder time in this world since I cannot accept what is happening. I know I am not alone in this, and I am not special or unusual because of it. If anything I am naďve in my sensibilities and have a lot to learn. This makes my heart break, for it is a lesson I do not wish to learn, and I pray every day that my children will never have to learn it either.
We are the students and the teachers of this world. Everything we say and do affects another, whether we realize it or not. This is the responsibility given unto us and it is not to be taken lightly. I pray that the example I lead my children in will one day enable them to teach another the ways of the world in a light that is loving and open. I pray that this will be their creed, and that they too will see that they affect others in what they do. I pray that I may have the will to do as I should, not as others think I should, and that one day I will arrive in the Summerland with my head held high in the knowledge that I did more than just what I could. I hope that this has been informative and at the very least helpful to those who need it to be so.
Many blessings on your path: May the God and Goddess smile upon you in your hunt for knowledge and truth.
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