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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 9775 times)
Monica M.
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« Reply #15: January 12, 2011, 05:39:31 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 decided I was Wiccan as soon as I finished my first book on Wicca. It was way too fast because I had no idea what I was doing, did minimal research with very limited resources. It's only been the last couple of years that Ihave been researching properly and that is mostly because I have no idea what I actually am.
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« Reply #16: January 12, 2011, 07:49:47 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'm the lone "Never considered myself Pagan" vote up there. I've never connected with any deity other than what y'all call the JCI God.

However, I also knew that there had to be a different path to Him than the one preached by my very conservative church because that always seemed as if He had no use for me since I was just a girl. The only things for me to do in the church were either serve food or look after babies (I like food and I like babies, but there can be too much of a good thing) and I knew He wouldn't have given me my specific gifts if that was all He ever meant for me to do.

(And when I say "He," it's only because I haven't found the right pronoun for the Triune God. "Them" doesn't seem quite right. Anyway...)

I studied what I call "alternate Christianity" for about a year on and off before I started exploring magic and witchcraft. I studied there for about 6-9 months, again, on and off, before I finally made a declaration that this was the path I was supposed to be on.

I'm always afraid I move too quickly, but I was determined to take this slowly. So far, so good.
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« Reply #17: January 12, 2011, 08:22:00 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?

As soon as I discovered that there was a whole community of people who believed some of the same things that I did I thought of myself as "pagan-y", but I studied for a year and a day before dedicating myself to witchcraft and thinking of myself as an "official pagan". Cheesy
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« Reply #18: January 12, 2011, 08:31:45 pm »

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!
<nod> I could have picked "I knew I was Pagan as soon as I heard of it," but that's because I hadn't heard all that much, and didn't altogether connect the bits and snippets I did hear to what I was doing, until later.  So I picked "other".

I've found Weird Stuff fascinating for as long as I can remember; when I was about 12, it occurred to me that I didn't have to wait for it to come along by chance - I could seek it out.  So I began devouring everything I could get my paws on - indiscriminately, but at that point I was reading more for the "fun to think about" factor.  It didn't take long, though, for me to start sorting it into "entertaining bullshit" and "there's some wheat in that chaff".

There pretty much had to have been some stuff directly related to the neoPagan movement in amongst all that, because I have too clear and concrete of a sense of how it felt to be on the fringes of the movement in the '70s.  But I wasn't consciously registering it as such at the time, nor was the word "Pagan" really on my personal radar ("witch" was; I'd been self-IDing as such, privately since I was still learning how, from about 15, but I didn't think of it as having a context in what others might be doing); it wasn't until I was around 20 (and by that time it was the '80s) that the penny dropped and the correlation between my internal doings and all these external developments was clear, and I could say, "this is what I am."

So both "I knew as soon as I heard of it" and "studied for longer than 12 months" are true (but not any of the choices in between) - which is exactly what "Other" is for.

As for the question about "too quickly or too slowly"... I'm not sure if it's meaningful for my progression.  But if I take it as being about whether I studied enough before I leaped, without reference to explicit Pagan identification, I'd say, some of each and it balanced out overall.

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« Reply #19: January 12, 2011, 08:34:03 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?

More than a year. As soon as I'd started to learn about paganism (through Wicca), I recognized what I was but hadn't had a name for up until then. But I was very resistant to adopting the label for a long time after that.

I don't think I moved either too quickly or slowly. I tend to think you do these things when you're ready.
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« Reply #20: January 12, 2011, 10:53:17 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 started with Valerie Worth's The Crone's Book of Words, but I didn't really start thinking about Pagan religions (specifically Neo-Wicca) until I read Teen Witch by $RW. And then it didn't take long for me to "be a Wiccan". But I usually told people I was a witch, for the initial shock value. Now I tell people I'm a witch only if they press, and only because it's the most accurate term for me.
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« Reply #21: January 13, 2011, 01:43:24 am »

<nod> I could have picked "I knew I was Pagan as soon as I heard of it," but that's because I hadn't heard all that much, and didn't altogether connect the bits and snippets I did hear to what I was doing, until later.  So I picked "other".

 ("witch" was; I'd been self-IDing as such, privately since I was still learning how, from about 15, but I didn't think of it as having a context in what others might be doing);

Sunflower

Yes - witch from early on.  But I didn't think of it as a religion.  I remember being aware of pagans (circle network news) by the time I was 22 or 23.  I got a hold of Starhawk's Spiral Dance about the same time.  That would have been about 1980.
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« Reply #22: January 13, 2011, 07:48:11 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?

Looking back now I think I always had a pagan-y heart and mind, I just didn't know it.  I was raised 'fundy' and was never really exposed to Paganism until last year. I began reading Paganism type books out of simple curiosity and found myself in them.  It was a shock because it was unexpected.  I spent about six months reading and wondering and thinking really hard before deciding to pursue the path with determination.  Now here I am ... still putting one foot in front of the other and the more I learn about Paganism the more I find myself in it. 
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« Reply #23: January 13, 2011, 08:03:25 am »

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

Several years. I started reading about the occult, magic, and Paganism (not that there was much on the latter) several years before I really thought of myself a Pagan. Even then it was more a "magician" than "religious".
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« Reply #24: January 13, 2011, 02:14:00 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 was raised a fundamentalist baptist, but it never clicked with me. When I was little, I thought pagans were the people back in Bible times that didn't believe in God and practiced magic. Granted, that was only the information that was fed to me by people who didn't really know what they were talking about, but that's beside the point.

I spent from Kindergarten to eighth grade being taught religiously in school something that I didn't believe. Then, I went to a public high school and everything went crazy. At first, I clung to my "beliefs" like a safety net. Then, as the year progressed, I opened myself up more and started being more receptive to the voice whispering, "The truth is out there... Look for it." So, I did. I found a group of kids who were also looking for the truth.

We began practicing biblical "white" magick. At first, I soaked in the knowledge of the fact that what I was taught wasn't exactly true. About a year went by and I went from labeling myself as a Christian, to a "Christo-pagan", to a polytheist, to a pagan. It's been about a year since I've been really taking things seriously, a little less maybe.

I don't think I jumped into it too soon, or relabeled myself too rapidly or without knowing enough. From what I knew I believed, I labeled myself accordingly. I'm quite proud of myself for figuring this out and finding out concretely what I believe in by the age of 16. Smiley Of course, I'm still open to suggestion and haven't closed my mind off from other ideas, but I finally found a path that resonates with me and that I can put my heart and soul into. Smiley
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« Reply #25: January 16, 2011, 08:48:07 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?

Well i was baptized as Christian but i grew up in a non-religious family, so i was pretty much left to find my own way. Although i now know that i am Pagan, before the amount of actual study before hand i never thought of myself as that. I used to think that pagans was a religion that worshiped mother earth (which is true in some(?) cases) as a general summary. Wasn't till within the past year with alot of study that i understood ''pagan'' as a more broad term which also encompassed myself. I still can't say that i am this or that, but I'm getting closer to the answer of that.
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« Reply #26: January 16, 2011, 09:21:39 am »

I used to think that pagans was a religion that worshiped mother earth (which is true in some(?) cases)

Some Pagans do honor Mother Earth or work closely with earth goddesses (Gaia, Demeter, Danu), or consider ecology an important part of their spirituality. So in some cases, yes, it is true.
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« Reply #27: January 16, 2011, 10:48:52 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 to go with "other". I knew I was pagan as soon as I heard of it. It just gave me a label for much of what I already believed. Having said that it then took around 13/14 years of on and off study and research to find out exactly where I fit in under that umbrella. Even then, I'm a solitary so there are things that I'm making up as I go along.

I don't think I went too fast or too slow. I think I moved at the right pace for me. And I'm not finished learning yet Cheesy
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« Reply #28: January 16, 2011, 11:56:30 am »

After spending a lot of time researching Taoism, Buddhism and than coming across 'shamanic' stuff, I did feel pretty quickly that the Pagan direction was what I needed to look instead of Asian stuff when I had some spiritual talk with a pagan in a (not inherently pagan) internet forum.

But I didn't declare myself pagan until I started to practice consciously instead of just researching paganism so I voted 'more than 12 months'.
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« Reply #29: January 18, 2011, 02:46:34 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?
It's kind of hard for me to say. I sort of knew I wasn't a Christian by the time I was about 15-16. So I began reading about all kinds of religions and felt particularly drawn to paganism. And with Wicca being one of the more common forms to learn about, I read up on that a lot. But I never went so far to declare myself one. After a few years of bouncing between general Occultism, agnosticism and some random stuff, I've came to call myself Pagan. But that's just the general filing of my beliefs.

I think I moved at the right pace. I think that if I lived in a more supportive environment (very Christian family who'd probably want me to have an exorcism if they found out I worshiped gods besides Jesus  Shocked) that I might've moved on quite a bit faster; although I don't really have regrets about it, due to the fact that it's given me a lot of time to float between things and find out what I really do believe - regardless of what I choose to identify and call myself.


EDIT: I am nearly 21 now, so it's taken a good 4-5 years to where I've felt sufficiently certain of my beliefs to know what I can myself.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2011, 02:49:22 am by Mata » Logged

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