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Author Topic: How did you find the pagan religion that suits you?  (Read 8950 times)
Meg O'Druadh
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« Topic Start: January 25, 2011, 09:25:13 pm »

Paganism, as an umbrella belief and worship system, interests me. What I can't decide on is *which* pagan religion is calling me... I know it's easy to say "Just read books about wicca/asatru/kemeticism until you find the one that speaks to you"... While I agree it's important to learn about all of the various pagan religions, I'm still anxious to find the system that really clicks with me...

What draws a pagan to one particular system? Is it a certain deity that draws you? Is it a culture? Is it the artwork or poetry? The ritual? Does a pagan even need to follow a system, or can they choose to venerate gods/goddesses from various traditions? I.e., I've always been drawn to Isis, but I've also been drawn to Diana, Brigid, Neptune, etc.
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« Reply #1: January 25, 2011, 11:00:17 pm »



I was drawn to intellectually considering the beginnings and endings of everything. As I was considering things, I would talk to my friends about it and we'd puzzle out what the questions meant to us and what we thought the answers were. As far as deities go, I first found angels, and then I found spirits and lastly deities and they all led me to the others. (:
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« Reply #2: January 26, 2011, 01:11:41 am »

For me, it was a particular deity (Aset). I had felt Her for a few years, but was never completely sure of Her identity (especially when you get the whole "Isis versus Aset" debate in the mix, for those of us/you who make the distinction). I had some ideas and had done a little research, but I had never really taken the time to sit quietly, clear my head and really listen/pray/reach out. Part of that is because I have a really hard time "listening" in the spiritual/intuitive sense, and every time I tried to listen or connect, I didn't trust myself enough to get the message (or it may not have been the time for me to make that connection...). But after a bit of research, some time, some experience, and a real desire to grow spiritually, I really started to notice a number of hints at Her presence. One night, I finally took the time and effort to really calm myself down, clear my head, get some offerings together, and make a real, mature effort to reach out to the Deity I felt was making Herself known. For the first time, I felt like I really and truly was able to speak and listen to a specific deity. And, I knew for certain which Deity it was. Ever since then, I feel like I've began my first steps on a mature spiritual path. I have alot of work to do, and I thank Her for Her patience pretty often, and She lets me know when I could do better and when She wants something, but I feel like I've found the path that will help me to grow.

Granted, this does not mean I have any particular religion. I definitely stay within that pantheon, and I do use that culture's symbolism, and I try to learn about that culture as much as possible so that I can worship those deities in a way more relevant to their origin, but I am not a Kemetic reconstructionist, and alot of what I do is something I feel comfortable with that is Netjeru-approved and usually (but definitely not always) has some historic backing.

Personally, I feel that you should do what seems sensible to you. If you feel drawn to it, there may be a reason for it, and you should explore it, whether it is in the pantheon you normally work in or not. I would also encourage you to explore things that you do not feel are representative of how you view the world to expose you to new ideas. Part of the reason I think it took me a while to really discover my spiritual place was because there were some aspects of Egyptian culture/pantheon that at first I didn't like (there was a pretty big emphasis on tradition and kingship). But, over time, these aspects have taught me things about the world and myself that I may have never come to know had I not ventured into uncharted territories. They are also different from how I initially understood them. I was once told that when God calls, just answer. Sometimes, you should just answer, and the rest will fall into place (though it may take a while. I first got into paganism in general about 7 or 8 years ago. Aset and I have been together for about 2 1/3 Cheesy). Its definitely worth the wait.
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« Reply #3: January 26, 2011, 03:14:43 am »

Hi, Wren,

Just a quick note:  Please remember to quote, even if you're just replying to the first message in the thread.  It makes the discussion easier to follow, and it's required by our rules.

This isn't a formal warning, just a reminder.  No reply is necessary, but if you have questions or need clarification, please feel free to contact a member of staff privately.

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« Reply #4: January 26, 2011, 08:03:43 am »

Paganism, as an umbrella belief and worship system, interests me. What I can't decide on is *which* pagan religion is calling me... I know it's easy to say "Just read books about wicca/asatru/kemeticism until you find the one that speaks to you"... While I agree it's important to learn about all of the various pagan religions, I'm still anxious to find the system that really clicks with me...

What draws a pagan to one particular system? Is it a certain deity that draws you? Is it a culture? Is it the artwork or poetry? The ritual? Does a pagan even need to follow a system, or can they choose to venerate gods/goddesses from various traditions? I.e., I've always been drawn to Isis, but I've also been drawn to Diana, Brigid, Neptune, etc.

Well, Paganism in itself is so wide it's nearly meaningless.  Some people go for a specific faith - Kemetic, Asatru, whatnot.  Some people end up polyglot - they pick bits and pieces from different things to build their own system.  (some do this well, some do this TERRIBLY - it has a bad rap because of the people that do it TERRIBLY).  Some people start their own system and end up finding other people on the same path.  (ME!)

I'm going to say - figure out what world it is you want to build out of the one you're in.  Then figure out what fits in there.  It might not be the right answer, but it can help your search by getting rid of some wrong ones.
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« Reply #5: January 26, 2011, 08:04:49 am »

Paganism, as an umbrella belief and worship system, interests me. What I can't decide on is *which* pagan religion is calling me... I know it's easy to say "Just read books about wicca/asatru/kemeticism until you find the one that speaks to you"... While I agree it's important to learn about all of the various pagan religions, I'm still anxious to find the system that really clicks with me...

Often it is a matter of trial and error. Reading and the like can help one narrow things down, but it often comes down to trial and error. You pick and religion that you think will work for you and try it. The process is somewhat suimilar to what many Christians go through when moving to a new town and trying to find a church. Looking and web sites and the opinions of your neighbors can help, but they over have to go to the services of a number of churches -- sometimes multiple churches for some of the churches they are considering before they find the right one for them. Selecting a new religion often requires as much or more effort -- and much more time.
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« Reply #6: January 26, 2011, 01:25:52 pm »


For me it was mostly blind luck and instinct.

I got a strong response to a particular symbol in a clearly not-really-reliable pagan book; I did research on the symbol to see what was actually linked to it; I found modern pagans who dealt with the linked system; I read up on the linked system and said "Yes, that!"

For the other half of my stuff, I met someone involved in the tradition; I got told by a god that I could find stuff I needed there; I did some reading and looking into it; I studied with a teacher for a while to get some basic familiarity down; I took some time off; I found a teacher I really wanted to study with; I approached her and was accepted as a student.
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« Reply #7: January 26, 2011, 01:54:32 pm »

What draws a pagan to one particular system? Is it a certain deity that draws you? Is it a culture? Is it the artwork or poetry? The ritual? Does a pagan even need to follow a system, or can they choose to venerate gods/goddesses from various traditions? I.e., I've always been drawn to Isis, but I've also been drawn to Diana, Brigid, Neptune, etc.

As Randalls said, trial and error. That's how it happened with me. I went from Buddhism to Wicca to Druidry, then to Asatru and finally Roman polytheism, which is where I am right now and comfortably so. What drew me were different things in different moments: freedom from a Catholic environment, connection with Nature, historical interest, link to a Norse god and finally reconnection with my native Latin culture. The final result is an open Roman polytheism where Roman practices and ideas dominate, but, also in a Roman way, there's room for other gods from other pantheons.

Trial and error. It is somewhat surprising that we're asked from a very early age what do we want to do "when we grow up", even given books on different professions, take tours, and visit events on the subject. And yet, despite that, a lot of people move back and forth from one major to another, sometimes from one career to another until they find a right one. If that is so with something that we're told to think about since kids, why should it be any different with religion, which is rarely as discussed and thought about as one's future profession?

Experiment! Try! Don't be afraid to do it, but remember not to make any life-long oaths, because you may have to change things. Perhaps one tradition will work for you, perhaps you'll prefer to follow several (with all the theological problems that may entail); or maybe take a single one in an open way. It takes years for most people to pick and start a career. Why should it be any different with religion?

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« Reply #8: January 26, 2011, 01:58:17 pm »


I ended up where I am today because someone made a comment at the right point in time. If the person in question hadn't actually said the words "Wicca" or "paganism" I would probably still be wandering.

The specific path part has been a long, long, long, long road that I've journeyed. I've been a Celtic pagan. I've been an eclectic pagan. I've studied Wicca, in and of itself. (I mostly was turned off from that when I met up against a rather snotty British Traditionalist who decided that anyone in America couldn't possibly be Wiccan.  Roll Eyes) It's taken a lot of work, a lot of learning, a lot of mistakes, but here I am. And I like what I do.

I recommend just kind of picking and choosing. If you know local pagans and can sit in on some of their rituals, like I did, then do it. It's the best way to see what will be good for you.
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« Reply #9: January 27, 2011, 12:00:42 am »

What draws a pagan to one particular system? Is it a certain deity that draws you? Is it a culture? Is it the artwork or poetry? The ritual? Does a pagan even need to follow a system, or can they choose to venerate gods/goddesses from various traditions? I.e., I've always been drawn to Isis, but I've also been drawn to Diana, Brigid, Neptune, etc.

What drew me to a particular system was a combination: I knew that I preferred settings with structured ritual as an option, with some kind of considered and persistent training/structure to learning, and that had some flexibility about personal practice. The combination of the first two, along with a recognition that folk magic was a thing I kept circling back to (it's never been the majority of what I do, or something I do all the time, but it's been something that kept coming up) made looking at something Wiccan-influenced make sense as a starting point.

What I then did was went and looked at what was available to me locally. I happen to live in an area with tons of options (there's a reason people call the Twin Cities Paganistan, these days: I can name 3 sets of public-access intro classes, plus of course all the smaller and more limited things like covens. Plus the druids, the heathens, the ceremonial magic folks, and much much else. And that doesn't count the community center, the brand new conference-model event I'm spearheading in March, and a bunch of one-off workshops and events at the two local stores.)

I started by looking at Witchvox and other local resources, and going to public rituals when I could. I was pretty sure that I'd eventually look at group work, but wanted to make sure that enough spoke to me in public settings that it made sense to invest the further time/energy. When that was clear, I started looking for groups that seemed like a particularly good fit: a combination of them being open for new students/members and stuff that sounded at least somewhat like what I was interested in. (I believe in keeping lots of flexibility here: how a group presents itself electronically, no matter *how* good they are, only gives you a piece of what they're really like, so I always encourage people to check out any group that even potentially looks like a fit further.)

If that hadn't worked, I was serious enough about group work I probably would have done a much larger geographic search - but I got lucky, and it turned out that the first group I met with was a really good fit. (I took my time figuring that out, but the other options I was looking at didn't fit as well.) Ten years later, I'm a 3rd degree and autonomous high priestess in the tradition, and still deeply satisfied with a choice that continues to console me, challenge me, and much more. (This is not to say that the journey is not without bumps: there are certainly things that have frustrated me in the group work. But that's part of working with people who are not me, and you can't get the good bits of that without a few frustrations and disagreements.)

The thing for me about working in a tested system - even a relatively young one (the tradition as a whole is about 15 years old, though it's got roots in some older sources) that I really liked was not having to reinvent the wheel every time. We have a standard set up for ritual that does reliable, predictable, known thing. Certainly, we can and do vary that when we need to - but *everyone* in circle who's been there for a while not only knows that foundation experience, but also how they can hook their own energy in to work. Even when I'm working on my own, I click into the steps of the ritual set-up, and I start running as much on well-smoothed pathways, rather than having to fight my way through to my goal. It's like being in a well-worn river: the direction we're going isn't totally fixed (rivers move, and flood, and change), but I can spend most of my time working on what we're going to do when we get there, not how we're getting there in the first place.
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« Reply #10: February 01, 2011, 04:58:20 pm »

Well, Paganism in itself is so wide it's nearly meaningless.  Some people go for a specific faith - Kemetic, Asatru, whatnot.  Some people end up polyglot - they pick bits and pieces from different things to build their own system.  (some do this well, some do this TERRIBLY - it has a bad rap because of the people that do it TERRIBLY).
I think that's what I might be called. I started getting calls and instinctual vibes towards worshiping the moon,then I started looking stuff up after and found this whole world of pagan stuff was out there. I still kinda do my own thing,but try not to step on toes. ihope I'm not doing it terribly....lol
I think actually the reason I started getting interested in eshu was because for the last few months I had been trying to get a closer more official connect with the moon in it's dark phase and was having issues with it,I only just noticed two days ago,my knot spell bracelet that was made with the intention of seeking contact from a goddess had fallen off,I have no idea where it went,so perhaps my plan to get eshus help was the right one.
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I still don't know what you'd call my " path" but I never felt the need to name it.
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« Reply #11: February 01, 2011, 05:21:14 pm »

Paganism, as an umbrella belief and worship system, interests me. What I can't decide on is *which* pagan religion is calling me... I know it's easy to say "Just read books about wicca/asatru/kemeticism until you find the one that speaks to you"... While I agree it's important to learn about all of the various pagan religions, I'm still anxious to find the system that really clicks with me...

What draws a pagan to one particular system? Is it a certain deity that draws you? Is it a culture? Is it the artwork or poetry? The ritual? Does a pagan even need to follow a system, or can they choose to venerate gods/goddesses from various traditions? I.e., I've always been drawn to Isis, but I've also been drawn to Diana, Brigid, Neptune, etc.

For myself, I've 'circled' Paganism for probably 15 or more years. I was always drawn to the Celtic cultures and pantheons. Recently I decided I needed to live for myself and not everyone in my life that might disapprove of my choices or desire to leave the remnants of my birth religion. So I took the first steps. I recently joined OBOD and ADF because like other posters I prefer a structured system that allows a lot of thinking and studying as well as ritual.

There's no set path for anyone, like a lot of folks have said it's a lot of trial and error. Although, I will say one of the best things IMO anyone can have are solid critical thinking skills. The best course of action I could recommend would be studying and reading about every and anything that interests you. From there you can find and then follow your real passions until you find or are shown what you need Smiley
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« Reply #12: February 01, 2011, 08:24:17 pm »

There's no set path for anyone, like a lot of folks have said it's a lot of trial and error. Although, I will say one of the best things IMO anyone can have are solid critical thinking skills. The best course of action I could recommend would be studying and reading about every and anything that interests you. From there you can find and then follow your real passions until you find or are shown what you need Smiley

*Nods* Agreed.

Also: Your egg hatched!  Wink
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« Reply #13: February 01, 2011, 08:25:39 pm »

*Nods* Agreed.

Also: Your egg hatched!  Wink

Cheesy I totally didn't notice! hee hee baby dragon ftw XD
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« Reply #14: February 01, 2011, 08:38:52 pm »

What draws a pagan to one particular system?

For me, I was drawn to my origonal roots. I am Greek and Danish. So, I felt particularly drawn to Norse and Greek Mythology. From there I found I really liked Poseidon, Athena, Frey and Freya. I also just read some books, and found I agreed most with Budhism and Wicca. And I kind of combined the two with my mythology beliefs, into my own kind of system of beliefs.

So to answer your question, it was my historical roots. And from there it was just kept branching out. Plus, since I am a twin myself, I really liked Apollo/Artemis and the other close siblings in mythology. The Gods I could relate to were the ones I could really feel connected to...not sure if that helped. But hope it can.
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