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Author Topic: Making Your Own Path  (Read 7125 times)
Pythiana
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« Topic Start: June 22, 2007, 02:30:55 pm »

This probably isn't the right place for this post, but I can't put it anywhere else, so here goes.

I've been studying Paganism and practicing the craft for several years now, but haven't found one specific path that I really feel comfortable with.  So, I've considered making my own.  I know I've seen alot on these forums about folks creating their own paths, so I thought I'd ask some advice.  How do I get started?  Other than the basic questions of my outlook on deity and ritual construction, what are some guidelines to use when getting started?  I just find myself trying to write it all down and it ends up being a jumbled up mess.   Huh  Help!
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Juni
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« Reply #1: June 22, 2007, 02:45:21 pm »

This probably isn't the right place for this post, but I can't put it anywhere else, so here goes.

I've been studying Paganism and practicing the craft for several years now, but haven't found one specific path that I really feel comfortable with.  So, I've considered making my own.  I know I've seen alot on these forums about folks creating their own paths, so I thought I'd ask some advice.  How do I get started?  Other than the basic questions of my outlook on deity and ritual construction, what are some guidelines to use when getting started?  I just find myself trying to write it all down and it ends up being a jumbled up mess.   Huh  Help!

There's no one way to start, really. It's a matter of figuring out what works for you.

I started with a FAQ list- because I wanted to start where the seeker starts, and elaborate and branch out from there. So I made a list (with the help of many Cauldronites) of all the questions that I'd want to know about a religion, and started answering them. Everything else has branched from there. But, I'm a very list oriented person. Someone who doesn't really work well with lists might not do so well with my way. And I'm terrible with essays, so (for example) I'd never be able to do what HeartShadow is doing with Flamekeeping. (Of course, I have essays I need to write, but I'm putting them off, as usual. Cheesy)
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Pythiana
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« Reply #2: June 22, 2007, 03:44:07 pm »

Quote
There's no one way to start, really. It's a matter of figuring out what works for you.

I started with a FAQ list- because I wanted to start where the seeker starts, and elaborate and branch out from there. So I made a list (with the help of many Cauldronites) of all the questions that I'd want to know about a religion, and started answering them. Everything else has branched from there. But, I'm a very list oriented person. Someone who doesn't really work well with lists might not do so well with my way. And I'm terrible with essays, so (for example) I'd never be able to do what HeartShadow is doing with Flamekeeping. (Of course, I have essays I need to write, but I'm putting them off, as usual. Cheesy)

I think the list thing would work best for me.  I know what I believe...it's just really hard to get that kind of thing on paper.  Any ideas?
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Juni
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« Reply #3: June 22, 2007, 03:57:57 pm »

I think the list thing would work best for me.  I know what I believe...it's just really hard to get that kind of thing on paper.  Any ideas?

Well, I can really only point you at what I've done myself. In this thread (it's on the 2006 Beehive Archive board) is the list of questions that I and other Cauldronites compiled. Most were drawn from other religious FAQ's- like the CR FAQ, the Gwyddonic FAQ, and the Kemetic FAQ. My own- the final questions, and their answers- is here.

After that, I started expanding. Inevitably, things change- my answer for "Who do you worship?" has changed as my terminology and deity groupings changed (I work with pre-Christian deities, but they're placed into modern "pantheons", sort of). "What is the ethical basis of Conair an Cheo?" got rewritten when we defined the RCR group's idea of ethics, and will probably get redefined some when I finish the ethics essay that I'm procrastinating writing. Once the deity stuff settled down, I was able to start hammering out the calendar. There's lots of writing and rewriting and tossing out and totally revamping- it can be frustrating, but if it's really worth it to you, you'll figure out how to keep (most of) your sanity.

I hope this helps!
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Pythiana
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« Reply #4: June 22, 2007, 04:04:54 pm »

Quote
Well, I can really only point you at what I've done myself. In this thread (it's on the 2006 Beehive Archive board) is the list of questions that I and other Cauldronites compiled. Most were drawn from other religious FAQ's- like the CR FAQ, the Gwyddonic FAQ, and the Kemetic FAQ. My own- the final questions, and their answers- is here.

After that, I started expanding. Inevitably, things change- my answer for "Who do you worship?" has changed as my terminology and deity groupings changed (I work with pre-Christian deities, but they're placed into modern "pantheons", sort of). "What is the ethical basis of Conair an Cheo?" got rewritten when we defined the RCR group's idea of ethics, and will probably get redefined some when I finish the ethics essay that I'm procrastinating writing. Once the deity stuff settled down, I was able to start hammering out the calendar. There's lots of writing and rewriting and tossing out and totally revamping- it can be frustrating, but if it's really worth it to you, you'll figure out how to keep (most of) your sanity.

I hope this helps!

Thanks so much!  I expect my own information and ideas to change over time.  I think it would be questionable if it didn't.  Cheesy
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« Reply #5: June 22, 2007, 04:19:02 pm »

This probably isn't the right place for this post, but I can't put it anywhere else, so here goes.

I've been studying Paganism and practicing the craft for several years now, but haven't found one specific path that I really feel comfortable with.  So, I've considered making my own.  I know I've seen alot on these forums about folks creating their own paths, so I thought I'd ask some advice.  How do I get started?  Other than the basic questions of my outlook on deity and ritual construction, what are some guidelines to use when getting started?  I just find myself trying to write it all down and it ends up being a jumbled up mess.   Huh  Help!

I did things completely different from Juni, though every so often I try to figure out what questions I haven't answered yet.

I try to come up with a question: Why do FlameKeepers do X, or what is the moral basis of Y, or something like that.  (like, how do you treat people that piss you off?)  Then I write an essay about it, with some questions for thought.  Then I write commentary, including answering those questions.

And I ask for people to PLEASE tell me if there's stuff that *should* be in there and isn't, because of course I can't see it.  Organization might be helpful. Cheesy
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Purplewitch
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« Reply #6: June 22, 2007, 04:23:22 pm »


And I ask for people to PLEASE tell me if there's stuff that *should* be in there and isn't, because of course I can't see it.  Organization might be helpful. Cheesy

Some days organisation AND sanity are over-rated, the resy of the time, just sanity Wink

I don't have any answer, other than that stealing Juni's list of questions at least got me past the blank page=blank look=blank brain feeling... other than that, all I have is organised chaos that I'm working on, slowly.
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« Reply #7: June 22, 2007, 04:27:32 pm »

... other than that, all I have is organised chaos that I'm working on, slowly.

*grin* it is so nice not being alone *lol*
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« Reply #8: June 22, 2007, 04:31:46 pm »

*grin* it is so nice not being alone *lol*

*moves over*
Oh there's always room for one more in the chaos zone Wink

Actually, I should go do some more... only a demonic thing steals every pen it sees.. he's discovered the joy of scribbling *sigh* including on the window! lol
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« Reply #9: June 22, 2007, 05:32:16 pm »

This probably isn't the right place for this post, but I can't put it anywhere else, so here goes.

I've been studying Paganism and practicing the craft for several years now, but haven't found one specific path that I really feel comfortable with.  So, I've considered making my own.  I know I've seen alot on these forums about folks creating their own paths, so I thought I'd ask some advice.  How do I get started?  Other than the basic questions of my outlook on deity and ritual construction, what are some guidelines to use when getting started?  I just find myself trying to write it all down and it ends up being a jumbled up mess.   Huh  Help!

Actually, you have already begun! By studying pagaism and practicing, you probably already have a good idea of what "feels right" for you and what doesn't.

Now you might want to zero in on what you like and think about why it feels right.  Is it the connectedness to the universe you feel or maybe a connectedness to a God or Goddess? Is it the strength from stones or fire?  Is it the tranquility of colors or scents?

You may want to meditate, or ask a spirit or God/Goddess for guidance, but above all be honest with yourself, don't do something just because you think you should if it doesn't feel right to you.

Go ahead and try new things, experiment with various methods, get creative.  Don't be afraid to pick and choose, because you are going from "off the rack" to tailor made! In the log run it will be a much better fit.

Personally speaking, my beliefs have evolved over time, in fact - are still evolving!  Currently I have adapted Kemetic traditions to the Wheel of the Year to better suit the seasons where I live. Some people  might think that is off-beat, but it is really working for me.

Don't ever worry about someone (even pagans) telling you that what you are doing is wrong, that's what traditional religions are for. Smiley
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elaoin
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« Reply #10: June 22, 2007, 06:17:40 pm »

There's no one way to start, really. It's a matter of figuring out what works for you.

I started with a FAQ list- because I wanted to start where the seeker starts, and elaborate and branch out from there. So I made a list (with the help of many Cauldronites) of all the questions that I'd want to know about a religion, and started answering them. Everything else has branched from there. But, I'm a very list oriented person. Someone who doesn't really work well with lists might not do so well with my way. And I'm terrible with essays, so (for example) I'd never be able to do what HeartShadow is doing with Flamekeeping. (Of course, I have essays I need to write, but I'm putting them off, as usual. Cheesy)

This is the way I'm going as well. (Much thanks again, Juni, for letting me snag some of the FAQs from you!) I'm one of the 'needs organization to get anything done' types - at least when it comes to ideas on paper. I've got a few questions that still can't be answered until I get farther down the list (for coherency's sake, and because I haven't thought it out completely yet). But I've learned to find ways around, over or under the roadblocks that head my way.

The best advice I can give is to just trust your gut. I'm finding the more I do that, the more things fall into place and actually make sense. Sometimes logic just doesn't cut it. Wink
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Juni
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« Reply #11: June 22, 2007, 06:22:50 pm »

The best advice I can give is to just trust your gut. I'm finding the more I do that, the more things fall into place and actually make sense. Sometimes logic just doesn't cut it. Wink

This is absolutely true! And sometimes, the words to make it work just won't come until you leave it alone for awhile. If something is pushing back, let it be for a little bit.
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« Reply #12: June 22, 2007, 06:24:39 pm »

How do I get started?  Other than the basic questions of my outlook on deity and ritual construction, what are some guidelines to use when getting started?  I just find myself trying to write it all down and it ends up being a jumbled up mess.   Huh  Help!

I'd suggest, for negative assistance, having a look at the chunk of my eclecticism essay at http://www.ecauldron.com/eclecticism.php and go through the mistakes some people make when they're building stuff on their own -- and work to not do that. Wink
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« Reply #13: June 22, 2007, 06:28:51 pm »

This is absolutely true! And sometimes, the words to make it work just won't come until you leave it alone for awhile. If something is pushing back, let it be for a little bit.

Definitely!

Unfortunately, I have so little time to work with sometimes that I leave it alone and forget I got stuck there - until a year later... Embarrassed Cheesy
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« Reply #14: June 23, 2007, 12:04:19 am »

I know I've seen alot on these forums about folks creating their own paths, so I thought I'd ask some advice.  How do I get started?  Other than the basic questions of my outlook on deity and ritual construction, what are some guidelines to use when getting started?  I just find myself trying to write it all down and it ends up being a jumbled up mess.   Huh  Help!

As for making your very own path -- for you -- just do what feels right. I think this will eventually lead to your destination. Oh, and read. A lot. Starting with an easy read about quantum physics. I recommend "The Holographic Universe." This will explain more to you than any 20 books on specific traditions or pantheons or rituals. Quantum physics is the way to go.

If you are talking about generating a new path/tradition of paganism, I have to say I'm not in favor of it. There are already a billion traditions, none of which agree on much. (Or maybe I just live in a cranky town, I don't know.)

I have a Kemetic primary God and Goddess along with a rather vaguely defined northern European God/dess duo; I do shamanic stuff; I keep a toe or two in the Western Esoteric;  and I think the Wiccan sabbats resonate like little tuning forks with anyone born in a temperate environment, so I love them. Yeah, Thoth and Ma'at don't really appear to fit in with the whole Wiccan thing, but so what? I can either start my own Wiccan/Kemetic tradition -- the idea of which sends shivers down my spine -- or I can join the ortho Kemetics with whom I have nothing but two Gods in common or I can just go along with most traditions even though they may have places where they irritate me something awful.

So I tend to hang out with random pagans, most of whom are Wiccans. Wiccan ceremony? Fine by me? Gardnerian? Peachy. I go along. That's why I call myself "Wiccan-compatible" or "Wiccan-compliant."

My Kemetic Deities and the Northern Numinosities get along fine. So, yes you can, within reason, mix and match. The ancients certainly did, so give me some of that that OLD time religion!

Go your own way (reading all the while) and in time your beliefs will become clearer. In more time they will be super clear to you. And that's great! But keep it your own personal secret, because we don't need another official tradition to divide us further than we are already.


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