Your browser does not support script
TWV Presents...

Articles/Essays From Pagans

[Show all]

Views: 18,400,914

September 16th. 2015 ...

Sacred Lands, Sacred Hearts

Nature Worship: or Seeing the Trees for the Ents

Vegan or Vegetarian? The Ethical Debate

Weeds and Seeds

August 6th. 2015 ...

Lost - A Pagan Parent's Tale

July 9th. 2015 ...

Love Spells: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

The Magic of Weather

June 7th. 2015 ...

A Pagan Altar

The Consort: Silent Partner or Hidden in Plain Sight?

A Minority of a Minority of a Minority

Why I Bother With Ritual: Poetry and Eikonic Atheism

May 6th. 2015 ...

Sex, Lies, and Witches: Love in a Time of Wiccans and Atheists

Gods, Myth, and Ritual in Naturalistic Paganism

I Claim Cronehood

13 Keys: The Crown of Kether

March 29th. 2015 ...

A Thread in the Tapestry of Witchcraft

March 28th. 2015 ...

On Wiccan Magick, Theurgy, Thaumaturgy and Setting Expectations

March 1st. 2015 ...

Choosing to Write a Shadow Book

Historiolae: The Spell Within the Story

My Concept Of Grey

February 1st. 2015 ...

Seeker Advice From a Coven Leader

The Three Centers of Paganism

Magick is No Illusion

The Ancient Use of God/Goddess Surnames

The Gods of My Heart

January 1st. 2015 ...

The Six Most Valuable Lessons I've Learned on My Path as a Witch

Manipulation of the Concept of Witchcraft

Publicly Other: Witchcraft in the Suburbs

Pagans All Around Us

Broomstick to the Emerald City

October 20th. 2014 ...

Thoughts on Conjuring Spirits

A Microcosmic View of Ma'at

October 5th. 2014 ...

The History of the Sacred Circle

Abandoning Expectations and Remembering Your Roots

September 28th. 2014 ...

Seeking Pagan Lands for Pagan Burials

Creating a Healing Temple

September 20th. 2014 ...

GOD AND ME (A Pagan's Personal Reply to the New Atheists)

September 7th. 2014 ...

Deer Man- A Confounding Mystery

Web Oh-oh

The All

August 31st. 2014 ...

Coven vs. Solitary

A Strange Waking Dream


August 24th. 2014 ...

Thoughts on Cultural and Spiritual Appropriation

The Pagan Cleric

A Gathering of Sorcerers (A Strange Tale)

August 17th. 2014 ...

To Know, to Will, to Dare...

On Grief: Beacons of Light in the Shadows

The Darkness

August 10th. 2014 ...

As a Pagan, How Do I Represent My Path?

The Power of the Gorgon

August 3rd. 2014 ...

Are You a Natural Witch?

You Have to Believe We Are Magic...

July 27th. 2014 ...

Did I Just Draw Down the Moon?

Astrological Ages and the Great Astrological End-Time Cycle

The New Jersey Finishing School for Would-Be Glamour Girls and Boys

July 20th. 2014 ...

Being an Underage Wiccan

Greed, Power, Witches, and the Inquisition

Malleus Maleficarum - The Hammer of the Witches

Thoughts on Ghost Hunting

July 13th. 2014 ...

A World Of Witchcraft: Belief Is Only The Beginning...

From Christian to Pagan (Part III)

Being Wiccan

My Wiccan Ways...

July 6th. 2014 ...

Keys: Opening the Portals into Other Worlds

The Lore of the Door

Leaves of Love

June 29th. 2014 ...

What Does the Bible Say About Witches and Pagans?

Everything's Alright, Yes: Mary Magdalene

Are You My Familiar ?

Invocations of the God and Goddess

Results Magic and the Moral Compass

June 22nd. 2014 ...

Witchcraft vs. Religion

Christianity and Paganism: Why All Of the Fighting?

Norse Mythology

June 15th. 2014 ...

Becoming Your Own Wise One

Canine Familiars: Role of the Alpha

June 8th. 2014 ...

Moral Relativism and Wicca

Paganism in Cebu, Philippines

Color Infusion

NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.

Article Specs

Article ID: 12413

VoxAcct: 234607

Section: words

Age Group: Adult

Days Up: 2,686

Times Read: 4,356

RSS Views: 56,589
The Importance of Asking 'Why?' in Our Spiritual and Religious Beliefs

Author: Taylor Ellwood [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: June 1st. 2008
Times Viewed: 4,356

When I was 16, for a short time, I became a born again Christian. I went to an Assembly of God church with a friend and ended up being "saved." At first I felt like everything I had been looking for had been given to me. I know longer felt like I was living a life devoid of meaning. In my new spirituality/religion were all the answers and a divine being that had saved me from my sins.

However, as time went on, I found myself asking questions that couldn't be answered by a holy book or by the Christian God.

I remember when I found the first question I wanted to ask. My friend was the son of the pastor, at the church I went to. His family and I had gone to a mall and I picked up several fantasy books to read.

Later, back at their house, my friend's father took me aside and told me that reading those books was putting sinful thoughts into my mind, because they were about demons. I thought this was fairly strange and wondered why reading a book determined if I was sinful or not.

Later that night, I went to sleep and was told the next morning that I had started yelling and cursing in my sleep. I didn't recall this at all, and I'm a fairly light sleeper.

I realized my friend's family had lied to me, possibly as a way of trying to get me to conform to their beliefs, which made me question why they would go to such lengths, to the point that they committed a sin themselves, just to try and get me to conform to what they felt was true.

As time went on, I realized that the answers I had thought I had found in their beliefs could really only be found by myself. The answers they had access to weren't my answers. In fact, their answers seemed to be dogmatic. I found out about magic only a few months later and quickly realized I had found a spirituality that encouraged questions, answers, and seemingly open-mindedness.

One of the most important lessons I learned from that experience was to ask why. I wanted to know why these people I knew felt compelled to lie to me in the name of a god that told the that lying was wrong. When we don't ask why, we give up a very important tool in our spiritual life, namely critical thinking.

Critical thinking is an important tool because it provides us with skepticism. We need skepticism to maintain a healthy relationship with the spiritual beliefs and religious practices we engage in.

When we don't question these beliefs or practices, when we don't ask why, we risk falling into fundamentalist beliefs, and worse we risk compromising our personal principles.

It may seem contrary that a person would compromise personal principles by following a spiritual and religious practice, but as any cult survivor will tell you, sometimes you end up sacrificing your sense of self and personal principles for what you are told to believe. When we blindly follow the tenets of a belief system, we no longer question where everything dictated in that belief system is something we should follow.

This can be taken to some very unhealthy extremes, to a point where because a person feels that a deity or guru or person of spiritual authority has told him or her to do something, s/he has no choice in the matter. Or rather s/he has a choice, but if s/he doesn't do what the spiritual authority tells him/her to do, there will be bad consequences such as loss of health, loss of loved ones, or even the loss of life.

This causes me to wonder if a spiritual authority told such a person to jump off a cliff, if the person would in fact jump off that cliff because the spiritual authority told him or her to, or if the person would actually ask the deity the very important question of why.

Asking the question of why is really taking a step back from any situation and putting some distance between yourself and that situation so that you can examine it more objectively. Asking why is employing critical thinking skills, and more importantly claiming your own sense of empowerment by asking not only the deity, guru, priest, or whoever why you're being asked to do something, but also asking yourself why you think you're being asked/told to do whatever it was that was asked/commanded of you.

Another, equally important question to ask is: What am I supposed to learn from this situation? What are the lessons here for me? This question is all too easily ignored sometimes, because a person can become so focused on the external environment and on what needs to be accomplished that actually taking time to experience what is happening and then reflect on it via meditation is forgotten.

Yet meditation of some form is essential as both a way to connect everything that has happened, and as a way of critically examining what's happened in a mindful way so that the lessons can be fully appreciated.

In a spiritual or religious situation, it's important to ask what the lesson for the self is, because every experience a person has in his or her life has something to teach that person, if s/he is willing to take time to focus on asking why.

Asking why is really asking what the lesson is for you, in this situation. It's asking why you find yourself in this situation, why you have this particular pattern of behavior occurring. It's looking at the deep structures of your identity and asking how what you are doing both originates from and contributes to that sense of identity that is your divine spark within this universe. It's also a reminder that in the end, the ultimate authority for yourself resides within that divinity within you, as opposed to any external source within your life.

The external sources can provide inspiration and guidance, but in the end, it is still you who has to know the importance of asking why, of questioning the very beliefs you have so that you know you are staying true to the journey of your life, and learning what you can learn from everything you experience.

Copyright: copyright Taylor Ellwood 2008


Taylor Ellwood

Location: Portland, Oregon


Author's Profile: To learn more about Taylor Ellwood - Click HERE

Other Articles: Taylor Ellwood has posted 19 additional articles- View them?

Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE

Email Taylor Ellwood... (No, I have NOT opted to receive Pagan Invites! Please do NOT send me anonymous invites to groups, sales and events.)

To send a private message to Taylor Ellwood ...

Pagan Essays

Pagan Web
8,000 Links

Pagan Groups
Local Covens etc.

80,000 Profiles

Home - TWV Logos - Email US - Privacy
News and Information

Chapters: Pagan/Heathen Basics - Pagan BOOKS - Traditions, Paths & Religions - Popular Pagan Holidays - TV & Movies - Cats of the Craft - Festival Reviews - Festival Tips - White Pages (Resources) - Issues/Concerns - West Memphis 3 - Witch Hunts - Pagan Protection Tips - Healing Planet Earth

Your Voices: Adult Essays - Young Pagan Essays - Pagan Perspectives (On Hold) - WitchWars: Fire in the Craft - Gay Pagan - Pagan Parenting - Military - Pagan Passages

Pagan Music: Pagan Musicians - Bardic Circle at WitchVox - Free Music from TWV

Vox Central: About TWV - Wren: Words, Wrants and Wramblings - Guest Rants - Past Surveys - A Quest for Unity

Weekly Updates: Click HERE for an index of our weekly updates for the past 6 years

W.O.T.W. - World-Wide Networking

Your Town: A Link to YOUR Area Page (The largest listing of Witches, Pagans, Heathens and Wiccans on the Planet)

VoxLinks: The Pagan Web: 8,000 Listings

Your Witchvox Account: Log in Now - Create New Account - Request New Password - Log in Problems

Personal Listings: Pagan Clergy in Your Town - Adult Pagans - Young Pagans - Military Pagans

Events: Circles, Gatherings, Workshops & Festivals

Covens/Groups/Orgs: Local Groups Main Page

Other LOCAL Resources: Local Shops - Regional Sites - Local Notices - Global/National Notices - Local Skills & Services - Local Egroups - Political Freedom Fighters

Pagan Shopping: Online Shops Index - Original Crafters Sites - Auction Sites - Pagan Wholesalers - Pagan Local Shops

Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2015 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.

Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh G5.

Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections (including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wren’s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witches’ Voice, Inc. TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.

Sponsorship: Visit the Witches' Voice Sponsor Page for info on how you
can help support this Community Resource. Donations ARE Tax Deductible.
The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.

Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.
Witches, Pagans
of The World

Search Articles

 Current Topic
 Editorial Guide

NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.

The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.

All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).