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Author Topic: How long have you been 'pagan'?  (Read 9523 times)
Violet
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« Topic Start: December 22, 2007, 01:38:17 am »

Considering there are quite a few teens floating around TC, i was wondering what age most of you started exploring religions/paths outside the mainstream and how you got started.
How did this affect your family situation?
Were any of you raised with a pagan religion?
Have there been many advantages/disadvantages to starting young?
And do you think your age has affected your ability to follow your path - i.e. do you think you would have handled certain things differently at a different age?

I am just on the cusp between being a teen/adult (though being 19 i have legally been an adult for a full year now Roll Eyes) and i feel personally having waited this long before really exploring my spirituality has meant that i am in a less naive/more mature position to assess everything, which i think is a good thing. Having said that, if id started a few years ago then by now i might have a clearer idea of my direction, which would also be good Tongue

What are your thoughts?
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« Reply #1: December 22, 2007, 02:06:40 am »

How did this affect your family situation?

It makes things a little touchy, as I'm still expected to celebrate Christmas enthusiastically, despite the fact that I'm out of the broom closet. That said, it's also forcing my parents to understand that I'm 'growing up' now (I hate that phrase. X_X)

Have there been many advantages/disadvantages to starting young?

The main disadvantage, I think, is being unable to really participate. F'ex, I'm too young to be a full member on here (I'm probably not mature enough anyway, but that's not the point. XD). Lots of covens, I've heard, don't accept minors.

Because I'm dependent on my parents for transportation, I can't go to the bookstore and buy books for research or take any classes. My practice is limited because I have little privacy. Things like that.

Also, trying to 'belong' at this age is kind of tough. I don't think any pagan religions are missionary, so there aren't going to be people going out of your their way to make you feel wanted, which I find a little tough. (I'm used to Christians, obviously, who will hand out leaflets and invites and who'll talk to you even if you only mention interest in passing.)

And do you think your age has affected your ability to follow your path - i.e. do you think you would have handled certain things differently at a different age?

Had I been older, I might not have been as bitter and resentful towards Christianity and my parents not understanding (or even trying to understand). I wasn't *that* bad though, so I don't think it'll make any difference in the long run.
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« Reply #2: December 23, 2007, 04:06:54 am »

Considering there are quite a few teens floating around TC, i was wondering what age most of you started exploring religions/paths outside the mainstream and how you got started.
How did this affect your family situation?
Were any of you raised with a pagan religion?
Have there been many advantages/disadvantages to starting young?
And do you think your age has affected your ability to follow your path - i.e. do you think you would have handled certain things differently at a different age?

I am just on the cusp between being a teen/adult (though being 19 i have legally been an adult for a full year now Roll Eyes) and i feel personally having waited this long before really exploring my spirituality has meant that i am in a less naive/more mature position to assess everything, which i think is a good thing. Having said that, if id started a few years ago then by now i might have a clearer idea of my direction, which would also be good Tongue

What are your thoughts?

Well, since I'm 20 going on 21 I doubt it counts, but I was nineteen when really deciding. Before that I was agnostic, and didn't really look into faith. It didn't cause any rifts with anyone because it was possible I might be Christian later on. Considering what horrible Christians a large chunk of my extended family are, they don't have much to say in the matter anyways. However, when I revealed my choice in faith, I felt better. My mom accepted it, my dad was leery but he's okay with it now. I think he regards it all as some sort of confusion in myself but frankly, I don't care. He's an idiot. People around me were mixed, some friends I lost and some didn't care. Going to friends' houses was interesting especially if the parents were devout Christians and knew I was a devil-worshipping heathen or something. I have gotten kicked out of a house as to not "corrupt their daughter anymore," which was a smart move. I was planning on doing corrupting things with her in the back of the car anyways. Hey, she was eighteen.

When people drag me to church (I don't know why) I catch them looking at my reactions. They introduce me to the priest and I talk with him and eventually the bomb is dropped, "so I hear you're a pagan." Yep. You heard right, Father, I'm a pagan. I tell him all sorts of things about the religion, my distaste for the stereotypes and especially Nazi Germany taking all my symbols and idols and using it for what they weren't meant for and finally I steer the subject to religions being connected. They usually walk away with no ill-feelings after learning I'm not screwing headless chickens and smearing the blood all over myself. Of course the ones that don't ban me from the congregation. Not a very Christian thing to do in my mind, but whatever.
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« Reply #3: December 23, 2007, 12:52:30 pm »

i was wondering what age most of you started exploring religions/paths outside the mainstream and how you got started.

Well I had always felt a hole in my heart, like something was missing, when I was involved with the Church. Also, I had 2 pagan members in my family, but my parents have always thought them to be Insane, to put it nicely. I wanted to know more about paganism at a young age, but didn't start looking until I was like 13. I declared to the Gods that I was a witch at 14, almost 15, when I wrote "merry meet, merry part, and merry meet again" on the box of my grandma that was to be cremated. Lol, now that I think about, it seems a little morbid.

How did this affect your family situation?

All of my family, except the 2 I mentioned, are of the Church one way or another. Christians, Catholics, and Baptists. (thank the Gods that the baptists are FAR away!) I have only came out with my parents, one Aunt, and some of my closest friends. It hasn't gone much farther than those people. But it still causes problems. My parents wont let me attend night meetings with my teacher, who, by the way, they Hate, especially my father. Its hard to Learn when your parents would rather murder him then let me see him. My parents also think I'm a little crazy. My mother has started to bomb my religion. My Gods, my beliefs, my tarot (I don't understand this because she has a gift for the Tarot which I get from her. She thinks its "just a game" when in reality she scares me with the cards she casts. She can accurately see whats going on.), and it's starting to get hard. Because I'm 16, I depend on them to help me. *sigh*

Were any of you raised with a pagan religion?
I wish. Things would be MUCH easier.  Smiley

Have there been many advantages/disadvantages to starting young?
One good thing is that when you start young you know what you want later and you have more experience. One bad thing is that most covens and some teachers won't teach or except teens because they are too young or they don't want to deal with the legal problems. Your more likely to be an outcast if you become public. Your more likely to be looked down upon by the older Pagan community. Your more likely to come upon obstacles and road blocks. And so on and so forth. This bothers me, to let you know.

And do you think your age has affected your ability to follow your path - i.e. do you think you would have handled certain things differently at a different age?
If I was older, I could do things I really want to instead of following the watered down version. I would join a coven or start my own as well.

Quote from Jixijenga
""I have gotten kicked out of a house as to not "corrupt their daughter anymore," which was a smart move. I was planning on doing corrupting things with her in the back of the car anyways. Hey, she was eighteen.""

OMG!! I almost died laughing! At least your honest.  Grin Cheesy
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« Reply #4: December 23, 2007, 06:13:55 pm »


 Going to friends' houses was interesting especially if the parents were devout Christians and knew I was a devil-worshipping heathen or something. I have gotten kicked out of a house as to not "corrupt their daughter anymore," which was a smart move. I was planning on doing corrupting things with her in the back of the car anyways. Hey, she was eighteen.

  I've had the same thing happen. I have been banned from my best friend's house because his father (who is a preacher) decided that I was evil, said he wasn't even going to pray for me anymore, and that I'm not allowed back into his house. How nice.

  *chuckles* 18 is free game, as far as I'm concerned. Actually in Virginia, 16 is free game too. But I prefer the older women, and thusly I am to be marrying a 26 year old woman. I imagine I'm going to have to have some "coming out" talk with her one of these days, as she is a Christian. When I do, I'll be sure to post the story of what transpires here.

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« Reply #5: December 24, 2007, 01:53:01 am »

What are your thoughts?

I think it's a pretty personal thing- people mature at all different ages. And sometimes spiritual maturity can occur at a completely different time than the self-sufficient kind.

As for me, I am to be 19 in 2 weeks. I have been researching Paganism since I was about 13, and I would say I 'became' Pagan at about 14/15. So that's about 4 years. For me, this was optimum; as my mid-teen years was a time that I really benefited from having religion in my life. But I can't speak for anybody else.

Unfortunately though, the younger you are the more likely you are to be seen as somebody that can't have founded solid opinions on religion just yet. In the UK, the Pagan Federation does not allow members under the age of 18 (or even a subsciption to their newsletter). This frustrated me. Yet I do see why they do it: they don't want parents getting on their backs about 'influencing' their poor, innocent children.  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #6: December 24, 2007, 06:11:55 am »

Quote from Jixijenga

Just a quick note...  Please don't forget to reply to each person separately so that we get the link-back to what you're replying to for everything you're replying to.  It makes the conversation a lot easier to follow.  (You can read our full quoting policy on the Rules and Regulations board.)  Thanks!
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« Reply #7: December 24, 2007, 01:54:29 pm »

What are your thoughts?

I was about 11 or 12 I think, and as far as my immediate family (parents) it wasn't much of a problem. It took my dad (an atheist) a little while to accept that I have faith, but as he has learnt a bit more about my spirituality he has come to realise that it is not just me deluding myself etc. My mom is Christian of the Anglican variety, typical to the English she is more of an agnostic atheist who likes the feel of service in the old English churches more than the religion. The rest of my family is very Evangelical and I have not come out to them to any greater degree than to say "I walk a very different path spiritually speaking from y'all" and I don't plan to. I love them all very much and don't feel that they need to know my religion in order for our relationships to work.

As far as advantages or disadvantages I can't really imagine starting any other time, this was the natural progression of things. There are of course the problems of how difficult it is to study as a young pagan with most reputable groups not accepting under 18s etc. but I find that all the resources I need are available to me. And as far as being accepted I am now at a very accepting and liberal college where I have no problem with folks accepting me. And before I got there I... well as a bisexual, polyamorous, high-grade-making, unconventional red-head I never fit in too well anyways, pagan just added to the mix.

As far as age effecting my ability to follow my path, I believe that my path will develop over time and as I age, but my age does not get in the way of my following my path.
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« Reply #8: December 24, 2007, 01:57:53 pm »

I have gotten kicked out of a house as to not "corrupt their daughter anymore," which was a smart move. I was planning on doing corrupting things with her in the back of the car anyways. Hey, she was eighteen.

Lol, my boyfriend''s parents won't accept that their 'little baby boy' has grown up, he's 18 for the gods' sake. He nominally lives in a different dorm building and we move his bedding back there when his parents come up Wink .
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« Reply #9: December 25, 2007, 03:47:04 am »


How did this affect your family situation?
Were any of you raised with a pagan religion?
Have there been many advantages/disadvantages to starting young?
And do you think your age has affected your ability to follow your path - i.e. do you think you would have handled certain things differently at a different age?

1-Affect?

2-Not really. I was raised with nothing at all, until about ten, (vague bits of Pagan-ish stuff before, but not RELIGION), when I went to Pagan Pride Day for the first time, with my parents. My mother is into Paganism and has a gift with the Cards, she's even on this forum, for Gods' sake.

3-No, not really, mainly because I'm creating my own path. My own religion following a being not commonly recognized as a deity, which-to my surprise-actually has more than one person in it now, and will soon have like... four people in it... and I'm priestess. So, since I'm making up my own stuff, and since I know a HUGE Pagan community through my mother, I have access to all the learning materials I need. I have the ability to get tons of advice from the people I know when I come across a situation I can't properly address without some outside guidance. Honestly, I have grown into this path and I'm creating it-it's not like I could ever join a coven or anything, and for some reason the older ones are all like uncles to me, so there...

4-I don't think I would have gotten into it at all if I wasn't pointed to it at a young age, really. It was something I needed to have shoved in my face, because I was really too lazy to go out searching. Once I had the faith, THEN I was devoted and prepared to go to just about any lengths. I've come to a good point because I am completely able to look past my emotions right now. Which is really helping me. And I'm rambling...

I was pretty lucky when it came to that whole thing, but seriously, I DID need the slap in the face. Trust me, without someone there to shove things in my face, I would not be here... and so I'm glad I am.
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« Reply #10: December 26, 2007, 06:51:41 am »

Considering there are quite a few teens floating around TC, i was wondering what age most of you started exploring religions/paths outside the mainstream and how you got started.
Well, technically I am not a teen anymore (I just turned 20 less than a month back), but I would like to answer anyway. 
Well, I have always been a philosophical kinda person. And at some point around the age of 9 I started to realise I had a LOT of questions that no one could answer. The whole thing started out to answer those questions, and matured into a spiritual quest. I figured, that it's best if i try to answer them myself. So first I figured out some kind of base of beliefs, basic beliefs and values that I have. Once I did that I went on to use them to answer those questions (very philosophical existential type questions). The immediate result of this was that while building the base of beliefs, I had to discard a LOT of beliefs that were not really my own, or just did not make sense. But that put me in an odd position, I no longer was a "Hindu". I wanted to know where my beliefs fit in. That is how this all started. A couple of months back a friend of mine mentioned paganism, strangely enough I had not studied that yet. Once I looked into it it fit very well with my beliefs.

Quote
How did this affect your family situation?
I have always been the philosophical/deep kinda person in the family, so the family situation really did not change. I still visit temples with family. Having extensively studied religions as a part of my "quest" I know they all have something to offer us. As for the being pagan, and studying paganism, it goes so perfectly with my character that my family did not even notice any difference. I have always loved nature, for example, so finding nature as divine is not that big a step for me.

Quote
Were any of you raised with a pagan religion?
No sadly. I was raised hindu. But i guess it was good in a way. At least that way I was exposed to other religions.

Quote
Have there been many advantages/disadvantages to starting young?
I never fit in very well. Of course this was less of a problem in my hostel in India, since the entire place was very nature oriented. Nevertheless, it was still a little odd for me. While other guys read hardy boys, I read scientific and philosophical books. While others my age played "cricket" I used to spend hours watching a bird.

Quote
And do you think your age has affected your ability to follow your path - i.e. do you think you would have handled certain things differently at a different age?
Well, me living with my parents is definitely an issue as always. But my step-dad is open in matters of religion. I guess he too has studied religion at a level where you understand that all religions at the core are very similar, etc. And he has seen things, so when I tell him the wind told me it's going to rain, he is not totally taken aback, because he too has seen amazing things that cannot be explained by science.

Quote
What are your thoughts?
Well, there are pro's and con's to either. What is best for you depends on the kind of person you are. For me, it was good that I started to explore my spirituality at a young age, since I am a very questioning kind of person by nature. Otherwise I would just accept the answers given to me by other, this is never ass satisfying as discovering the reason of your existance for yourself.

But for someone like my sister for example, this is NOT so good. She is not a very questioning person. She is generally someone who follows trends of society. And doesn't have much of self independence, she has to follow the latest trends. A "sheep" if you will. She would need to first discover herself, get a sense of self before going on to a spiritual quest.

So whatever come naturally to you. Sometimes its good to have some maturity and to see a bit of life before trying to answer the more fundamental questions.

-Tj
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« Reply #11: December 26, 2007, 01:24:31 pm »

What age were you when you started exploring religions/paths outside the mainstream?

I was about 15 when I started going to church with my parents, right at the start of my freshman year of high school... and I also went to the church youth group. And, within a couple of months I could see that I was never going to fit in with that particular Christian path. However, after being exposed to a mainstream religion it made me question what else was out there... high school cultural studies at the same time also helped to prompt that question... so I began looking into all different sorts of paths post Christian experience... Buddhism, Taoism, Native American religions, Kemeticism, Shamanism, Vodou... and then eventually Wicca which then led me to my own home path of Paganism (eclectic). Wicca itself is a beautiful relgiion, although I personally am not Wiccan. Wicca acted as a doorway, due to its popularity, to help me enter onto my own Pagan path. But, this exploration of various paths took years.

How did this affect your family situation?

It was a bit rough going at first as values between me and my parents collided during my various exploits and explorations. But, by the time I started walking my own Pagan path I was well out of the house and living on my own and married etc... so I think that made it a lot easier. I am 26 now and have been a Pagan for at least 5 years.


Were any of you raised with a pagan religion?

Not really, no. Both of my parents are Baptists. My brother is an agnostic. My closest Aunt is athiest. And, the rest of my family is somewhere within the Christian spectrum, I believe.


Have there been many advantages/disadvantages to starting young?

I enjoyed being able to explore various paths both religiously, educationally, and professionally at a young age.

It allowed me to gain a greater sense of awareness to a global perspective as well as a deeper sense of self. In the educational realm by studying so many different things I feel well rounded. In the professional realm by holding various types of jobs while in school I gain a great sense of workplace politics and different skill sets. And, within the spiritual realm, by exploring many different paths it allowed me to understand myself, who I truly am and what I truly believe... and why I believe it. Doing this at an early age makes the early twenties a lot easier, IMHO. There is no quarter life crisis. It is as if you got it out of the way. Now I feel I am much more grounded than I may have been had I not explored my options in many different life categories. And, in exploring those options in essence I was also exploring myself. This is great not only to do at a younger age but at any age and even all throughout life.

And, do you think your age has affected your ability to follow your path - i.e. do you think you would have handled certain things differently at a different age?


I think being younger and exploring this path that I am on and walking it daily allows me to do so with a sense of awe that can (but does not always) fade with age.



Blessings!


Adele
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« Reply #12: December 26, 2007, 02:53:14 pm »



Welcome to The Cauldron, Adele.

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« Reply #13: December 26, 2007, 04:26:33 pm »

Welcome to The Cauldron, Adele.

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Thank you soooo much!  Smiley
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« Reply #14: December 26, 2007, 07:41:03 pm »

What are your thoughts?

I hope this is right  Undecided

I'm 20, about halfway to 21 now and i've been 'practicing' for about 2 years now. I live in the Uk which i think makes it easier.
One thing i have noticed on message boards is that strong Christian beliefs are expressed far more overtly in the US. The Christian Union at my University is strong and, i feel, agressive but still nothing like what has been described.

Were any of you raised with a pagan religion?
I was Christened becasue my parents thought that it was an important step if i wanted to become Christian, they themselves aren't.

How did this affect your family situation?
I've always been interested in magick and the occult so my parents don't see anything unusual with tarot cards, runes and crystals - or when i mention gods and goddesses and magick. i'm not 'out' to them but that's becasue they feel no need to question my beliefs. as long as i'm a good person it's enough for them.

Have there been many advantages/disadvantages to starting young?
Of course i'd been interested in paganism since my early teens and i think it let me decide if this was the 'right' path for me. one of the stong points is the flexibility, i don't feel constrained. i went to Christian, Bhuddist and Islamic workshops but they didn't seem right - all with the full blessings of my parents.

And do you think your age has affected your ability to follow your path - i.e. do you think you would have handled certain things differently at a different age?

I think as i've grown my faith has become more integrated within my life. rather than something 'other' - practiced in secret, time set aside. it has become natural for me to meditate, to think about my faith. i'm still not there yet but i only hope that this will continue as it is one of the most fufilling aspects of my life - it keeps me grounded (in both senses of the word  Grin )

I really feel for all those whose parents aren't as understanding. with so much going on in life teenages do not need the added pressure! One thing i will say, is it's far easier living away from home (i'm at Durham University).

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"Pagan Newbie's Letter": (very long, but amusing)
Humor and Quizzes
RedWolf 12 4065 Last post March 06, 2008, 11:47:59 am
by Phoenix
How long we been around? « 1 2 ... 7 8 »
Philosophy and Metaphysics
INsearch 118 18862 Last post September 07, 2009, 09:41:28 pm
by ladysade
How long did it take you to decide.. « 1 2 3 »
Paganism For Beginners
madame.kiera 33 6296 Last post October 23, 2009, 11:40:22 pm
by Carnelian
How Long did you Study Pagan Religions before you declared yourself Pagan? « 1 2 3 »
Paganism For Beginners
RandallS 38 9022 Last post February 07, 2011, 08:16:04 am
by SleepyRedGirl
What do you do during long vigils? « 1 2 »
Worship and Ritual
Juni 20 5083 Last post April 04, 2011, 03:32:20 pm
by Altair
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