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Poll
Question: How Long did you Study Pagan Religions before you declared yourself Pagan?
I didn't read/study, I knew I was Pagan as soon as I heard of "Paganism" - 4 (6.1%)
One Day - 1 (1.5%)
One Week - 1 (1.5%)
Two Weeks - 1 (1.5%)
One Month - 0 (0%)
Two-Three Months - 6 (9.1%)
Four to Six Months - 5 (7.6%)
Seven to Twelve Months - 1 (1.5%)
Longer than Twelve Months - 27 (40.9%)
Other - 19 (28.8%)
Never considered myself Pagan - 1 (1.5%)
Total Voters: 66

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Author Topic: How Long did you Study Pagan Religions before you declared yourself Pagan?  (Read 9187 times)
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« Topic Start: January 12, 2011, 08:17:13 am »

How long did you study Pagan religions, read about Pagan religions, talk/think about Pagan religions before you decided that you were Pagan? Do you think you moved too quickly or too slow? Why or why not?
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« Reply #1: January 12, 2011, 08:29:54 am »

How long did you study Pagan religions, read about Pagan religions, talk/think about Pagan religions before you decided that you were Pagan? Do you think you moved too quickly or too slow? Why or why not?

For me, about six months-ish. For me, that was enough time to gather information and decide this was a path I wanted to step out on.
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« Reply #2: January 12, 2011, 08:30:31 am »

How long did you study Pagan religions, read about Pagan religions, talk/think about Pagan religions before you decided that you were Pagan? Do you think you moved too quickly or too slow? Why or why not?

I was fourteen when I discovered Paganism, and, like a lot of kids that age, immediately declared myself one because it was "cool." Tongue I definitely moved too quickly, but after six years of atheism and nine months of research and study, I've accepted that yes, I am Pagan. Anything deeper than that, and I might have to tell you to wait while I do more research. Grin
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« Reply #3: January 12, 2011, 08:36:23 am »

How long did you study Pagan religions, read about Pagan religions, talk/think about Pagan religions before you decided that you were Pagan? Do you think you moved too quickly or too slow? Why or why not?

Other, of course.

I was vaguely aware of Paganism, mostly in Wiccish form, for quite a while before I considered myself pagan.  I didn't bother much with reading about it, though until one day I ran across some "intro to" FAQ (might have been Witchvox's) that described some specific beliefs.  At that point I was sold pretty immediately, but I wouldn't say that overall it was an "as soon as I heard about it" situation.

In retrospect I think it might have been wise to find out more about what I was jumping into, and possibly to do a little more research first on the various options available under the pagan umbrella.  But...  At the time, I think just jumping in was what I needed to do.  I needed to have that moment of recognition (as much about what I wasn't as about what I was) and the kind of kick in the pants to get me going.  I have the rest of my life to get the specifics straight, but I had to even get started first.
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« Reply #4: January 12, 2011, 08:45:53 am »

How long did you study Pagan religions, read about Pagan religions, talk/think about Pagan religions before you decided that you were Pagan? Do you think you moved too quickly or too slow? Why or why not?
I spent well over a year...actually, closer to two.  It was hard for me to break away from my childhood religion and while I studied I also tried to reconnect with my Christianity.  The reconnecting didn't work so well, so here I am.
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« Reply #5: January 12, 2011, 09:06:16 am »


I forgot to add the other reason I'm an "other" vote, which is:  I got into paganism via Wiccish stuff, but then made another pretty major transition from that to Reconstructionism.  And THAT was the decision that took years of research and sort of flirting with the concept to come to.  It wasn't the "yes, I'm pagan" decision, but it was the "finding where I actually belong" decision...
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« Reply #6: January 12, 2011, 09:42:44 am »

How long did you study Pagan religions, read about Pagan religions, talk/think about Pagan religions before you decided that you were Pagan? Do you think you moved too quickly or too slow? Why or why not?

I have been studying world mythology and religions since I could read. I have a curiosity about spiritual ideas.

I became a Christian at age 12 and was a Faith healer in my early 20's.

I studied Wicca for exactly a year and a day before I took on the lable of Pagan.

I don't think that for a solitary like me that a year and a day was enough time to really learn everything I needed to make an informed choice, despite my hobby of mythological studies.

Perhaps those who have more direction and guidance in a coven can utilize the year and day for better understanding.
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« Reply #7: January 12, 2011, 11:19:05 am »

How long did you study Pagan religions, read about Pagan religions, talk/think about Pagan religions before you decided that you were Pagan? Do you think you moved too quickly or too slow? Why or why not?

I was always interested in other cultures - so I read all the 'myths' I could get my hands on starting by the time I was 10 or 11.  I knew by 14 that xtianity was not right for me, but that was in the early 1970's so there wasn't any internet and not a lot of info at the library.  By 20 I would have definitely used the term pagan to refer to myself, but I don't remember when the actual moment was.  It wasn't something that was as common as it is today to hear about.  I had no clue!
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« Reply #8: January 12, 2011, 11:30:26 am »

How long did you study Pagan religions, read about Pagan religions, talk/think about Pagan religions before you decided that you were Pagan? Do you think you moved too quickly or too slow? Why or why not?

I didn't do any reading or studying on paganism, really, before I determined that was what I was; it was more that I had finally found a label for how I had already believed. I don't think moving too fast or slow is really applicable here.

I did, however, spend about a decade studying before I got any more specific than "pagan," and I think that was a good period of time for me, since I was in middle and high school during the period, and with so much going on in my life then, moving faster would have been a mistake.
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« Reply #9: January 12, 2011, 11:58:26 am »

I didn't do any reading or studying on paganism, really, before I determined that was what I was; it was more that I had finally found a label for how I had already believed. I don't think moving too fast or slow is really applicable here.

I did, however, spend about a decade studying before I got any more specific than "pagan," and I think that was a good period of time for me, since I was in middle and high school during the period, and with so much going on in my life then, moving faster would have been a mistake.

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« Reply #10: January 12, 2011, 12:23:01 pm »

How long did you study Pagan religions, read about Pagan religions, talk/think about Pagan religions before you decided that you were Pagan?

I studied, off and on, about various magical things and various Pagan things for twelve years. I started looking into various branches of religion (from Wicca to the Hermetica to Satanism) when I was a teenager. It was only after I hit nineteen/twenty that paganism, in and of itself, came to mind/was shown to me.

Do you think you moved too quickly or too slow? Why or why not?

I think I moved at the proper pace that was needed. If I had thrown myself into any of those religious branches that I had studied as a teenager, I would probably still be looking. I think that in doing that kind of research it opened me up for the beliefs that came later. It was during that formative spiritual phase from the age of fifteen to eighteen that I declared myself an atheist, but I coalesced a lot of separate beliefs (reincarnation, karma, Summerland) into one giant conglomerate. And now I have a religion that assists me in the beliefs that I had already held.  Smiley
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« Reply #11: January 12, 2011, 12:59:20 pm »

How long did you study Pagan religions, read about Pagan religions, talk/think about Pagan religions before you decided that you were Pagan? Do you think you moved too quickly or too slow? Why or why not?

Depends how you count:

3-4 years of being generally aware Pagan religions were out there.

4 years of reading Pagan religion related material with some specific aims in mind (personal energy management techniques, mostly - centering, grounding, warding, stuff like that), and general "I like knowing stuff" curiousity. (Throughout this time I was Catholic, and extremely active in my college Catholic group.)

1 year of "Let me take time to seriously consider what I want in my religious life if that isn't Catholicism"

And then 18 months between settling on a specific direction, and my initiation, where I consider most of that time to be "I think this is what I want to do, but I'm not yet at a point of making a long-term commitment to it.

I continue to think that taking time to resolve leaving a former religion that you've been significantly active in, or significantly affected by is a really good move: my own sense of that is that a year or 18 months is about the right time frame for a lot of people I've talked to, and that short-cutting it can lead to problems later, especially for people looking at initiatory paths, or paths with clergy commitments. (I do think it's possible to do some overlap with the "learning about this new thing as a possibility", too.)
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« Reply #12: January 12, 2011, 01:27:36 pm »

How long did you study Pagan religions, read about Pagan religions, talk/think about Pagan religions before you decided that you were Pagan? Do you think you moved too quickly or too slow? Why or why not?

About a decade ago, I started learning about Paganism in general.  At the time I thought it was interesting, but not necessarily for me.  A few years ago I made a close friend who is an eclectic Pagan, and learned a lot from her.  Some of it I felt a connection with, and some of it I didn't.  Based on what I learned from her, I had the thought that "if this is what Pagans do, then Paganism is not for me".  It wasn't until last year that I learned that "Pagan" is a blanket term, and that there are many, many paths!  Once I had that revelation, I felt compelled to study hard and find what is right for me.  Even still, once I started to study, I learned that there isn't necessarily a prescribed path that's going to fit me, and that it is up to me to create my own.

I didn't label myself as Pagan until just a few months ago, when I really began to understand my own beliefs and started connecting with with deities.  I think that was the right timing for me - I don't think I should label myself with something that I don't fully understand.
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« Reply #13: January 12, 2011, 02:27:58 pm »

How long did you study Pagan religions, read about Pagan religions, talk/think about Pagan religions before you decided that you were Pagan? Do you think you moved too quickly or too slow? Why or why not?

I had to go with "Other."

I started studying various mythologies since I was....(let's see, I was in 6th Grade which was 1998)....about 11.  I remember finding some books on things like the historical beliefs on witchcraft and a book on folklore that included some folk spells in the school library the next year.  I read a little bit more in my first semester of high school on various other subjects that are tangentially related to paganism.  It wasn't until the second semester of my freshmen year that I started to call myself pagan.  But those were the fluffy Wiccish days which I try to forget as much as humanly possible despite having retained some non-fluffy beliefs.

Of course, in the nine years since then I have gone from fluffy Wiccish to Greek Recon, to Greek Reconish, to Historically-Informed Eclectic.
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« Reply #14: January 12, 2011, 03:57:24 pm »

How long did you study Pagan religions, read about Pagan religions, talk/think about Pagan religions before you decided that you were Pagan? Do you think you moved too quickly or too slow? Why or why not?

I knew from a relatively young age, back in early elementary school, that I didn't connect with Christianity. In late elementary school, when we started studying Greek mythology in school, I realized I had more of an affinity with the Greek God/esses than the JCI God. Being raised in a Unitarian church, our Sunday school spent each year studying different religions from different parts of the world, and while I don't remember anything specifically about this religious education, it probably had a significant influence on my religious/spiritual path. But I definitely didn't know anything about "paganism" or that people modernly worship ancient Deities.

My sophomore year in college opened my eyes to paganism, but it took me another three years to actually make the move from atheism to paganism. I wouldn't say I did a lot of research in those three years, mostly just thinking hard about what I thought about the world and my place in it. My research didn't begin until I'd made the decision to try paganism. Like Juni, I didn't need in depth research to decide the broad term "pagan" worked for me. Finding a specific path, that took reading and research and time. Admittedly, not three years worth of time; probably about three months to settle on a form of druidism and another six months to decide ADF was the best fit for me. But I'm still reading and researching, I don't think I'll ever be done.
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