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Author Topic: Looking for a spirituality that feels like home  (Read 4546 times)
cygnus101
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« Topic Start: April 14, 2011, 11:52:27 am »

Hello everyone!

I had been a Christian for many years but never really felt comfortable there.  I was drawn to the supernatural aspects of it (my denomination believed in miracles ).  I had a few supernatural experiences that I can't explain, but I don't believe they came from a Christian god anymore, I don't know what they were.

Since I am not a Christian at all anymore and had a bad experience with it, I'm not looking for a relationship with another god.  I don't like the idea of someone watching me or having to please that god.  Since my Christian experience involved belief in demons and I was traumatized at times by that belief, so I don't like the idea of spirit personalities, it's too scary.

Is there a branch of paganism that might fit me?  I thought that being European descent (English and Irish) that I might find something that feels like home in paganism.  I'd also like to experience the supernatural, but I'm not interested in gods.  I feel a connection to fantasy stories and ancient symbols and I like the idea of witchcraft, but I'm not sure I believe it's real. Since deconverting from Christianity I've become somewhat agnostic/atheist, but I still feel drawn to paganism for some reason.
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Torkie
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« Reply #1: April 14, 2011, 02:13:44 pm »

Hello everyone!

I had been a Christian for many years but never really felt comfortable there.  I was drawn to the supernatural aspects of it (my denomination believed in miracles ).  I had a few supernatural experiences that I can't explain, but I don't believe they came from a Christian god anymore, I don't know what they were.

Since I am not a Christian at all anymore and had a bad experience with it, I'm not looking for a relationship with another god.  I don't like the idea of someone watching me or having to please that god.  Since my Christian experience involved belief in demons and I was traumatized at times by that belief, so I don't like the idea of spirit personalities, it's too scary.

Is there a branch of paganism that might fit me?  I thought that being European descent (English and Irish) that I might find something that feels like home in paganism.  I'd also like to experience the supernatural, but I'm not interested in gods.  I feel a connection to fantasy stories and ancient symbols and I like the idea of witchcraft, but I'm not sure I believe it's real. Since deconverting from Christianity I've become somewhat agnostic/atheist, but I still feel drawn to paganism for some reason.


You don't want a god, but you still want to be pagan? An interesting conundrum indeed.

When I was young, I was obsessed with ancient Egypt. I later realized my obsession focused around two things: gods and slavery. The issue with both has been large in my life. Recently, I've entered in to consensual slavery. I'm still working out my relationship with the gods, though.

I've been brow-beaten enough in to my Christian upbringing that I'm not ready to let go of the Christian god yet. But that doesn't mean I can't explore paganism.

I would suggest a simple learning plan - spend some time on the web, look up pagan religions (there are more than you expect, and the resources on some are frustratingly scarce), look up gods, look up magic, look up magical practices.

If you're not sure witchcraft is "real", some people subscribe to the psychological/placebo theory of magic. If I cast a spell to get a new job and truly believe it will work, then it will - because psychologically, I have convinced myself of the fact, and so my efforts will come to fruition.

Granted, many people on here have stories of witchcraft that cannot be explained by a psychological/placebo effect, especially stories about spells cast on other people.

A very basic place to start in regards to the "supernatural" is energy work. Most people believe in the effects and power of energy, with some modern stage magicians using energy in their performances (I can dig up a few youtube videos if you like). Energy is a proven phenomenon, and learning to use it can be very simple. You will also find countless resources on energy, because it is a favorite of not only pagans and witches, but New Age spiritualists and a large variety of open-minded secularists.

With some practice you can feel energy on your body, raise it at will, and send it to other people charged with emotions or ideas that can effect them.
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cygnus101
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« Reply #2: April 14, 2011, 03:37:17 pm »

ergy, with some modern stage magicians using energy in their performances (I can dig up a few youtube videos if you like). Energy is a proven phenomenon, and learning to use it can be very simple. You will also find countless resources on energy, because it is a favorite of not only pagans and wit
Thanks for the advice! Yes I'm very interested energy from what you've described.  I would very much like to see those videos.  I've seen many performances, mostly music, and I can remember 2 in particular where there was an unmistakable energy in the room, coming from the performers.  Those experiences seemed to bring me closer to the universe and to myself.

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« Reply #3: April 14, 2011, 07:18:51 pm »

Thanks for the advice! Yes I'm very interested energy from what you've described.  I would very much like to see those videos.  I've seen many performances, mostly music, and I can remember 2 in particular where there was an unmistakable energy in the room, coming from the performers.  Those experiences seemed to bring me closer to the universe and to myself.



I'll go ahead and PM you the videos, as I have no idea of tC's linking policy.

Re. my own experiences with energy, I began looking in to it when I first read about it when I was 16, I believe. It took me a long time to learn how to use it properly, because I kept trying to be very slow and methodical about it. It took me some time to learn that my energy was fast and hectic, not slow and controlled.

I raise energy through meditation, but from what I gather that isn't the easiest way (I was fighting myself the whole time, I tell you). As I said, there are plenty of resources on energy out there.

My earliest experience with energy was actually something I did not realize. It was with shielding. Shielding is a practice wherein you throw up an energy "shield" about yourself. It has many uses, but most obviously it keeps out negative energies and holds positive ones in. Shielding is a very good beginner skill and easy to do.

Anyway, I am a huge fan of horror movies. I would watch them alone at night. Unfortunately, when I needed to go for a glass of water, I had to walk through a very dark monster-filled house. I learned that imagining a golden bubble around me kept my fear at bay. This basic concept of shielding has helped me quite a bit. (I am now of the opinion that I was actually using energy to raise the shields instead of them being entirely psychological; when I tried to extend them to the other members of my family, I became exhausted and was unable to maintain them.)

Other people are far more experienced than I, but here are some things you should look in to:
  • Raising energy
  • Centering (drawing energy around you and scattered about your body in to one point)
  • Grounding (getting rid of excess energy and stabilizing yourself - energy "overdose" can really mess up your headspace. I recently started a thread about grounding here. That thread has great tips about grounding and how to recognize when someone is carrying too much energy. For me, it is headaches, out of touch with reality, and not feeling hungry when I normally would.)
  • Shielding

I'll also send you a link to an off-site page with good ideas about things you can do with energy.
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Collinsky
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« Reply #4: April 14, 2011, 07:38:26 pm »

Hello everyone!

I had been a Christian for many years but never really felt comfortable there.  I was drawn to the supernatural aspects of it (my denomination believed in miracles ).  I had a few supernatural experiences that I can't explain, but I don't believe they came from a Christian god anymore, I don't know what they were.

Since I am not a Christian at all anymore and had a bad experience with it, I'm not looking for a relationship with another god.  I don't like the idea of someone watching me or having to please that god.  Since my Christian experience involved belief in demons and I was traumatized at times by that belief, so I don't like the idea of spirit personalities, it's too scary.

Is there a branch of paganism that might fit me?  I thought that being European descent (English and Irish) that I might find something that feels like home in paganism.  I'd also like to experience the supernatural, but I'm not interested in gods.  I feel a connection to fantasy stories and ancient symbols and I like the idea of witchcraft, but I'm not sure I believe it's real. Since deconverting from Christianity I've become somewhat agnostic/atheist, but I still feel drawn to paganism for some reason.


There are many who fall under the Pagan umbrella who do not necessarily believe in a god or gods. There are pantheist pagans, for instance. There is no need to be interested in gods to be pagan. There are witches who are animist, agnostic, atheist, or pantheist (as well as those who hold other theologies.) That's not to say that witchcraft is necessarily right for you, but just an example of the range of beliefs - belief in energies, the supernatural, spiritual seeking, etc, don't have to have any deities involved at all. So there is certainly a place for you in Paganism if that's what you want to explore.

You might also want to see how others who do hold a belief in gods see those deities, how their relationship is. It might be very different than the Christian view of relationship with the Divine.

I'd suggest looking into pantheism. You might enjoy this site: http://www.pantheism.net If you would like a non-earth based path, then it might not be for you, but no supernatural beliefs are necessary for it. For the most part, reading about different experiences and ideas is the best place to start, as well as the different practices. Some Pagan paths are very orthopraxic (based on what you do as part of that religion) rather than orthodoxic (based on what you believe about gods, etc. - like Christianity.)

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« Reply #5: April 14, 2011, 08:57:05 pm »

Hello everyone!

I had been a Christian for many years but never really felt comfortable there.  I was drawn to the supernatural aspects of it (my denomination believed in miracles ).  I had a few supernatural experiences that I can't explain, but I don't believe they came from a Christian god anymore, I don't know what they were.

Since I am not a Christian at all anymore and had a bad experience with it, I'm not looking for a relationship with another god.  I don't like the idea of someone watching me or having to please that god.  Since my Christian experience involved belief in demons and I was traumatized at times by that belief, so I don't like the idea of spirit personalities, it's too scary.

Is there a branch of paganism that might fit me?  I thought that being European descent (English and Irish) that I might find something that feels like home in paganism.  I'd also like to experience the supernatural, but I'm not interested in gods.  I feel a connection to fantasy stories and ancient symbols and I like the idea of witchcraft, but I'm not sure I believe it's real. Since deconverting from Christianity I've become somewhat agnostic/atheist, but I still feel drawn to paganism for some reason.


I really feel for you here. I wanted nothing to do with god/desses when I started down my personal pagan path, because of my past experiences. Although I ended up working with a couple anyway (go figure!), you don't need to if you aren't drawn to the idea. Witchcraft is an obvious thing for me to suggest, because I am a witch and because there are plenty of witches who don't work with god/desses, but I'm sure there are other paths that you can find if you aren't drawn to witchcraft either. Remember, also, that what you do doesn't have to have a name. Do what works for you, believe what you believe (not that you can't learn and change that), and find your own path.
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« Reply #6: April 15, 2011, 05:59:50 am »

I'll go ahead and PM you the videos, as I have no idea of tC's linking policy.

Links to sites and media relevant to the conversation at hand are fine.  Smiley
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« Reply #7: April 15, 2011, 10:09:54 am »

Links to sites and media relevant to the conversation at hand are fine.  Smiley

I shall keep that in mind, thank you
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« Reply #8: April 15, 2011, 07:41:58 pm »

I really feel for you here. I wanted nothing to do with god/desses when I started down my personal pagan path, because of my past experiences. Although I ended up working with a couple anyway (go figure!), you don't need to if you aren't drawn to the idea. Witchcraft is an obvious thing for me to suggest, because I am a witch and because there are plenty of witches who don't work with god/desses, but I'm sure there are other paths that you can find if you aren't drawn to witchcraft either. Remember, also, that what you do doesn't have to have a name. Do what works for you, believe what you believe (not that you can't learn and change that), and find your own path.
You guys have given me some great ideas! I like pantheism alot. I had some ideas several months ago that I sort of let die but when I started to read about it the excitement about them came back. I don't know if it fits with pantheism exactly, because it has more to do with a deep awe of our existance and looking out towards the stars. I'm not convinced that we are supposed to be alone as a planet.
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« Reply #9: April 16, 2011, 06:05:50 am »

You guys have given me some great ideas! I like pantheism alot. I had some ideas several months ago that I sort of let die but when I started to read about it the excitement about them came back. I don't know if it fits with pantheism exactly, because it has more to do with a deep awe of our existance and looking out towards the stars. I'm not convinced that we are supposed to be alone as a planet.

Honestly, what you're talking about there sounds like FlameKeeping - it's a pantheistic philosophy that's future-centered and talks about the universe, not just this planet.
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« Reply #10: April 19, 2011, 10:29:20 pm »

You guys have given me some great ideas! I like pantheism alot. I had some ideas several months ago that I sort of let die but when I started to read about it the excitement about them came back. I don't know if it fits with pantheism exactly, because it has more to do with a deep awe of our existance and looking out towards the stars. I'm not convinced that we are supposed to be alone as a planet.

Awe at the entire universe is completely in line with pantheism, including the fact of our existence and the cosmos we're a part of.  Smiley
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« Reply #11: April 20, 2011, 01:46:20 am »

Awe at the entire universe is completely in line with pantheism, including the fact of our existence and the cosmos we're a part of.  Smiley
I wonder if there's a branch that talks about communicating with our neighbors in other star systems?  I'm skeptical about alien abductions and ufo's, but I know our little planet is just one little village in a vastly populated universe of countless other life.  Our science isn't advanced enough to travel, so maybe there's another way?  I'm skeptical that people here on earth have actually talked to advanced 'alien' species because I feel like if we did, we'd be getting some mind-blowing revelations.. along the lines of curing cancer. 

I became interested in our universe and our neighbors after watching the 3D Hubble movie.  I've been looking on the internet for people looking for ways other than science to travel or try communication.  Everyone seems to think it's either impossible or has a communication with something that they mistake to be an alien.  I could be wrong about that, but really the main idea is just trying to get to know the neighbors.  That's not undermining our world at all, I'm just very interested in the universe as well.
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« Reply #12: April 20, 2011, 03:20:04 pm »

I wonder if there's a branch that talks about communicating with our neighbors in other star systems? 

Communication through psychic means? I don't know of any in particular, but since there's a wide array of possible beliefs within pantheism, there probably are some who are interested in that as well. Most of the ones I know don't believe in telepathy, and wouldn't have an interest in communicating with other life in the galaxy by non-technological means.

While I don't think that contacting aliens is a big part of any religion or spiritual path (not one I know of, anyway)  in several spiritual and religious beliefs, there are Higher (or Ascended) Beings, and a goal of many in that belief is to connect with/contact those Beings. I have friends who have tried to contact Lemurians through mental/psychic means, and I don't know why there wouldn't be groups trying to contact aliens as well. There are also many who might be interested in that, completely separate from any religious belief.
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« Reply #13: April 20, 2011, 06:22:02 pm »

Communication through psychic means? I don't know of any in particular, but since there's a wide array of possible beliefs within pantheism, there probably are some who are interested in that as well. Most of the ones I know don't believe in telepathy, and wouldn't have an interest in communicating with other life in the galaxy by non-technological means.

While I don't think that contacting aliens is a big part of any religion or spiritual path (not one I know of, anyway)  in several spiritual and religious beliefs, there are Higher (or Ascended) Beings, and a goal of many in that belief is to connect with/contact those Beings. I have friends who have tried to contact Lemurians through mental/psychic means, and I don't know why there wouldn't be groups trying to contact aliens as well. There are also many who might be interested in that, completely separate from any religious belief.
I was thinking maybe something along the lines of astral travel maybe?  I don't know what it would be called.  One time I had an experience where I was shot up into space at very rapid speed.  I got scared and then came back to my body.  There's some power or entity that hears my intentions and sometimes answers me, sometimes it's even physical things I can see.  Things have happened that the odds of it being chance are just too high.  I wish I knew what this power/person is.  I used to think it was the bible god, but it's never identified itself as such.  I just call it the universe for now.
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