A Rocky Path: My Experiences As A Pagan
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Article ID: 10648
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 2,812
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Author: Vanora Wolfsfire
Posted: April 2nd. 2006
Times Viewed: 2,338
I have been trying to teach myself Wicca through books and websites like this one as well as through the experience and guidance of my friends and I have to tell you that I feel that something is lacking. I have tried repeatedly to find a teacher to help me with my chosen path but either they don’t know as much about the religion as they say they do or they simply don’t have the time/aren’t willing to teach me.
I think that the main problem facing people who want to start practicing Wicca is that there are few who are able to or want to teach those who want to learn. Then you have those individuals who have found a teacher, but do not put forth the effort required to actually learn the material and so waste the time of the teacher when the teacher could be imparting their knowledge to someone who is genuinely willing to learn.
To those who have worked out a structured way to teach themselves through books, congratulations, you’ve managed to do what people like me cannot claim to have done. Most people like me, who came from a Christian background and turned to Wicca, have tried to learn through the written texts of others. Some manage to do okay with that but then you have some people who, like myself, need someone actually in the room with them so they can ask questions of these learned individuals and thus deepen their understanding, or people who have trouble reading through dyslexia and cannot make sense of what they read.
To these people I think that a great injustice is being carried out because there are so few that are willing to take the time and teach. I believe that if this trend continues, we will end up with more people claiming to be Pagan/Wiccan with no idea what that really means or that there will be more of us that conduct rituals without ever experiencing the beauty that forging a bond with one’s chosen God/Goddess can bring. This is, in my opinion, wrong and must be corrected if we are ever to gain public acceptance because most religions train their newcomers in their ways and that is what most people consider an ear-mark of a “true” religion.
Personally, I have ADD and cannot focus on reading mountains of books for days at a time...I usually have trouble reading one book for more than an hour. This was a big problem for me until I actually started communicating with my Goddess, Bridgit. She is amazingly patient with me and is more than willing to explain why a spell has to be done during a specific lunar phase or at a specific time. This connection with Her is something that is more precious to me than anything else because, although I don’t have a teacher per se, I know that I’m not alone in my groping stumble down my path.
About a year ago I was in a terrible car crash and lost most of my memories of everything I had learned Craft-wise (as well as most of the mundane things like friends and family, anything from my classes at school) and was forced to start my studies from the beginning. As I was slowly recovering from my physical injuries I felt like I was slowly bleeding to death from a soul-wound. I felt like I should have been doing something but I couldn’t figure out what it was. Finally, one day, I heard a gentle female voice in my head saying, “You’ve not been talking to me for far too long, pick up the book to your left and remember me.” Of course I was freaked out; I didn’t know who this person was or how she knew that my diary was on top of a stack of books on my nightstand (which was on my left). Afraid of what might happen if I didn’t do as I was told, I picked it up and started reading.
I have never been an accurate record keeper but as I read my diary, I started remembering the joy of doing ritual and communing with my Goddess. By the time I had finished reading the record of my life I felt very ashamed for forgetting Bridgit who had been my main encouragement and the only being in my life who I knew understood me. I resolved that as soon as I could I would rededicate myself to Her and start my magickal education over (this was necessary because I really didn’t have any notes on anything I had read or discovered I only wrote down the feelings I had during the performance of these spells and rituals).
The first time after the wreck that I actually called her She surprised me because I had thought She would be mad at me for not remembering Her. She said, “You have a hard path ahead of you. You have realized that you have to start over but you don’t remember how often you were mocked or spit upon, you don’t remember the hate you have endured for the sake of what you believe in." I think I must have looked like a deer in the headlights of a car because She started to laugh. After that I started doing a daily ritual where I talked with Bridgit and asked Her questions about things I had read or pieces of memories I had uncovered and didn’t quite fit into what I remembered.
Over the course of the last seven months I have been able to piece together most of my memories but still am a green novice. I know that not every Pagan has as close a relationship as I have with my Goddess; for the newcomer they may not even be able to figure out how to contact a deity. This is why we need more learned people to come forth and take on students so that future generations will be able to carry on the traditions of our past and be able to carry these beliefs and practices into the future.
Location: Archdale, North Carolina
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