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Author Topic: Finding your path.... Any path....  (Read 15983 times)
GoblynQueene
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« Topic Start: January 04, 2008, 06:20:44 pm »

Greetings All -

I'm a newbie poster here and would like some friendly advice and conversation. My need for advice centers around a question. How do you find your path, and stick to it when it goes against your upbringing? Yes, I understand that the simplest answer to this is - find what you believe and follow it. And that's all well and good, but my problem is that I don't know what I believe and I don't want to be wrong. I don't want to choose a Wiccan, Pagan, Druidic - or even Catholic, Jewish, or Muslim pathway and be wrong and be damned for all eternity (or any other definition of Hell.)

I grew up Baptist. Spent time in Methodist, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, and non-denominational churches. But my problem with Christianity has always gone back to the holes and discrepancies in the Bible - not to mention the clear absence of HIM in my life. I'm not saying those who believe are wrong. I envy them in fact. I envy anyone who is able to find peace and purpose in any religion. Eventually, I spent some time as a pseudo Christian Wiccan. (Please don't flame me for this one, I know many people disagree on whether such a practice is even possible. Let me simple say that I 'practiced magic' (simple job, protection, etc spells - but called on no additional deities.)

There are a few things that I 'feel right' about. I know I like to think of my higher power as a loving, merciful, woman and not a temperamental, dictator-like man (aka "My Impressions of God.) I know I want magic to be real, but I don't know how much of what my spells accomplished was due to the spell, and how much was coincidence or fate. I know that Brigid, seems to strike a note with me, but I don't know why. Many would say those two things alone are enough to pick a path. But again, having grown up in Christian religion, I don't want to 'piss God off'. I can't prove He's out there, but I can't prove He's not either.

I'm sure I'm not alone in these seemingly murky depths. Please forgive this early post any offense. Please try to understand the spirit in which it is intented.
Any help and support is *GREATLY* appreciated.

Seeker GoblynQueene
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Dania
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« Reply #1: January 04, 2008, 06:40:45 pm »

How do you find your path, and stick to it when it goes against your upbringing? Yes, I understand that the simplest answer to this is - find what you believe and follow it.

You really do have to start with what you believe. A lot of people, it seems, try to start looking for something that matches their own beliefs. That, IMO is going about it a bit backwards (I started out that way too).

What I think you have to do (and what I had success with) is find out what you believe, completely disregarding any search for a religion to "fit into". Just find what you believe. A religion will come later, if at all. But if you start out trying to fit in somewhere, you're not going to find yourself. Because you have to find out WHAT you believe, before you can find what FITS.

not to mention the clear absence of HIM in my life.

Been there done that. That is why I left Christianity. That, and the fact that I just could not honor a god who attempted to regulate every aspect of our lives, while demanding that we go out and drag others "into the flock" so to speak.

But again, having grown up in Christian religion, I don't want to 'piss God off'. I can't prove He's out there, but I can't prove He's not either.

I don't know how much this will help you, but I'm going to offer my perspective on it.

I believe in YHWH. I believe that he exists. I believe that all gods exist as distinct individuals.

I also believe that some are called to follow YHWH just as I am called to follow Morrigan, or another may be called to follow Zeus. And I believe that if you do not "belong to" YHWH, he certainly won't get pissed at you for leaving. After all, you aren't his. And I believe that if you WERE his, and he WAS pissed at you, you would most certainly know it. Gods generally aren't shy about letting you know when they're pissed. Grin

I don't believe in a "universal" god. In fact, it says somewhere in the Bible (I don't know the exact quotes...I can look them up) that there are "other people" who live outside of the Garden of Eden...who fall outside of YHWH's jurisdiction. Smiley
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Alassea
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« Reply #2: January 04, 2008, 07:26:47 pm »

Eventually, I spent some time as a pseudo Christian Wiccan. (Please don't flame me for this one, I know many people disagree on whether such a practice is even possible..... I know that Brigid, seems to strike a note with me, but I don't know why.

What I found interesting was two main things. You said that Briget has sparked some interest in you, well I find irony in that Brigid (as you may or may not know) she is known for her smithcraft and often depicted as carrying a cauldron, which may be why you were attracted to this website (consciously or subconsciously). What I also find irony in is the fact that Christians made an attempt to sway devote Brigid followers by "converting" her to Catholisism. They cooked up a good story about how she was the daughter of a Druid who was converted by St. Patrick, and became a Saint when Pope Goeoge I gave her saint hood. It's ironic since you seem to be having some internal battle with the Christian religion. What ever you do decide, when you decide you won't nessesarliy find some warmness in your heart, if you feel it's right, or at least don't feel it's wrong, keep with it until something tells you other wise. One thing you might want to look into is the Dianic Tradition, they are a sort of feminist wiccan tradition in the fact that they focus more on the goddess, I just got some "guy hater" vibe from you. Not to say you "hate men" but maybe they make you uncomfortable or maybe you hold a grude, maybe you just like the company of a woman and find it less stressful, or maybe I'm entirely wrong. But I hope I helped Wink

 Many would say those two things alone are enough to pick a path. But again, having grown up in Christian religion, I don't want to 'piss God off'. I can't prove He's out there, but I can't prove He's not either.

[/quote]
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GoblynQueene
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« Reply #3: January 04, 2008, 07:34:11 pm »

I just got some "guy hater" vibe from you. Not to say you "hate men" but maybe they make you uncomfortable or maybe you hold a grude, maybe you just like the company of a woman and find it less stressful, or maybe I'm entirely wrong.

I'm not a guy hater. Simply put, God is always referred to as The Father, and my Father wasn't terribly loving towards me. My father was a seemingly strict man. He gave me 18 licks (spanking) for stealing candy bars. When I was 8, he tried to 'exorcise my demons' because I didn't understand why the dinosaurs weren't in the Bible.  My mother has always been supportive and understanding of my mistakes. That's why I feel more comfortable with Higher Power being feminine-ish.
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Dania
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« Reply #4: January 04, 2008, 07:55:14 pm »

I'm not a guy hater. Simply put, God is always referred to as The Father, and my Father wasn't terribly loving towards me.

(((Hugs))) I totally understand. Smiley
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Starglade
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« Reply #5: January 04, 2008, 08:13:05 pm »

<snippage>

I don't believe in a "universal" god. In fact, it says somewhere in the Bible (I don't know the exact quotes...I can look them up) that there are "other people" who live outside of the Garden of Eden...who fall outside of YHWH's jurisdiction. Smiley

The obvious reference there is to the women Cain and Abel married. They weren't in the Garden, only Adam and his family were. Those wives had to come from *somewhere*.

And tangentially--I know it's come up elsewhere, but it seems to bear repeating at the moment for the OP's sake, IMO. YHVH said "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me"--which is pretty clearly a statement that there ARE others, but He wants His followers to put Him first, period.

AND, to the OP: I too grew up in a Christian (Protestant) household, and for many years I did what I was supposed to do. I slowly started not doing those things, little by little, beginning in my junior-high years. By the time I was in my early 20's I felt I was a pagan of some flavor, I did some study in Celtic Wicca (with a group in NH, by mail *gasp*), and I called myself Wiccan for another 20-some years. A dream changed all of that, and I realized I'd been barking up the wrong tree.

It's an exciting journey, to be sure--and it's not necessarily one that ends. :-)
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Dania
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« Reply #6: January 04, 2008, 08:37:53 pm »

The obvious reference there is to the women Cain and Abel married. They weren't in the Garden, only Adam and his family were. Those wives had to come from *somewhere*.

Or else there's some really funny business going on there...Grin

And tangentially--I know it's come up elsewhere, but it seems to bear repeating at the moment for the OP's sake, IMO. YHVH said "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me"--which is pretty clearly a statement that there ARE others, but He wants His followers to put Him first, period.

Genesis 3:22 -- "And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever--"

(bolding mine) seems a pretty clear statement that there are other gods, don't you think?
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Áine
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« Reply #7: January 04, 2008, 09:19:55 pm »

my problem is that I don't know what I believe and I don't want to be wrong.

I went through this.  I had to battle with the decision to leave Christianity for years, before deciding that I would rather burn in hell for what I truly believed in than pretend to follow something that completely did not work for me.  You may need to reach this decision as well. 

When finding or exploring any religion, you must follow your heart.  You must ask yourself if what you are doing really makes you happy and is a good match.  Don't rush into this, it will only prove to be disasterous later. 

Blessings to you, Seeker.
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Jessica A
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« Reply #8: January 04, 2008, 09:31:50 pm »

Greetings All -

I'm a newbie poster here and would like some friendly advice and conversation. My need for advice centers around a question. How do you find your path, and stick to it when it goes against your upbringing? Yes, I understand that the simplest answer to this is - find what you believe and follow it. And that's all well and good, but my problem is that I don't know what I believe and I don't want to be wrong. I don't want to choose a Wiccan, Pagan, Druidic - or even Catholic, Jewish, or Muslim pathway and be wrong and be damned for all eternity (or any other definition of Hell.)

I grew up Baptist. Spent time in Methodist, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, and non-denominational churches. But my problem with Christianity has always gone back to the holes and discrepancies in the Bible - not to mention the clear absence of HIM in my life. I'm not saying those who believe are wrong. I envy them in fact. I envy anyone who is able to find peace and purpose in any religion.  Let me simple say that I 'practiced magic' (simple job, protection, etc spells - but called on no additional deities.)

There are a few things that I 'feel right' about. I know I like to think of my higher power as a loving, merciful, woman and not a temperamental, dictator-like man (aka "My Impressions of God.) I know I want magic to be real, but I don't know how much of what my spells accomplished was due to the spell, and how much was coincidence or fate. I know that Brigid, seems to strike a note with me, but I don't know why. Many would say those two things alone are enough to pick a path. But again, having grown up in Christian religion, I don't want to 'piss God off'. I can't prove He's out there, but I can't prove He's not either.

I'm sure I'm not alone in these seemingly murky depths. Please forgive this early post any offense. Please try to understand the spirit in which it is intented.
Any help and support is *GREATLY* appreciated.

Seeker GoblynQueene

I'm in the same boat as you.  Expect was born/raised into Roman Catholic religion, well sort like an non denominational one.  Just came back because I realize this is the forum that really fit me unlike certain another forums that pretty based on certain alternative Christian lifestyle.

Think thats it for now.  I'm going to read the replies to you now.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2008, 09:33:45 pm by Jessica A Bruno » Logged

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Jessica A
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« Reply #9: January 04, 2008, 09:35:54 pm »

Been there done that. That is why I left Christianity. That, and the fact that I just could not honor a god who attempted to regulate every aspect of our lives, while demanding that we go out and drag others "into the flock" so to speak.

I believe in YHWH. I believe that he exists. I believe that all gods exist as distinct individuals.

I also believe that some are called to follow YHWH just as I am called to follow Morrigan, or another may be called to follow Zeus. And I believe that if you do not "belong to" YHWH, he certainly won't get pissed at you for leaving. After all, you aren't his. And I believe that if you WERE his, and he WAS pissed at you, you would most certainly know it. Gods generally aren't shy about letting you know when they're pissed. Grin

I don't believe in a "universal" god. In fact, it says somewhere in the Bible (I don't know the exact quotes...I can look them up) that there are "other people" who live outside of the Garden of Eden...who fall outside of YHWH's jurisdiction. Smiley

Dania,

Yeah with you on this, please refer to my 1st reply for more information on my background.
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Caomi_Brannon
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« Reply #10: January 04, 2008, 09:36:27 pm »

I don't believe in a "universal" god. In fact, it says somewhere in the Bible (I don't know the exact quotes...I can look them up) that there are "other people" who live outside of the Garden of Eden...who fall outside of YHWH's jurisdiction. Smiley

Exactly, where did the land of nod come from?

I also think Dania and Starglade come up with some really good points. The Christian god doesn't want you to have other gods, or idols before him. The church teaches us that these are obsessions--money, a boy at school, etc--but if that were the case, why is it specifically "You shall have no other gods before me?" Why not something a little more... directed to obsession or something? Or false gods? Or something that doesn't imply that there are other deities out there? I think the Bible tells us that there are other gods out there, he just wants us to think they are bad.

And, controversial topic here-- isn't Satan a deity in his own right?
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Jessica A
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« Reply #11: January 04, 2008, 09:37:36 pm »

I went through this.  I had to battle with the decision to leave Christianity for years, before deciding that I would rather burn in hell for what I truly believed in than pretend to follow something that completely did not work for me.  You may need to reach this decision as well. 

When finding or exploring any religion, you must follow your heart.  You must ask yourself if what you are doing really makes you happy and is a good match.  Don't rush into this, it will only prove to be disasterous later. 

Blessings to you, Seeker.

darkplume,

Yeah that as well, please still refer to my 1st reply on this for more background.
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« Reply #12: January 04, 2008, 11:20:14 pm »

How do you find your path, and stick to it when it goes against your upbringing?

Breaking away from your upbringing is extremely difficult.  I was raised Catholic/Lutheran and turned out studying Witchcraft.  While I try to break away from my Christian background, there are many things that stick (not the dogma, but centralized themes [this is a PG area, therefore I shall not elaborate, except to say it stems from a Catholic view...]). 

The best thing you can do is to study and to really look deep within yourself.  Once you find the answer your body tells you, then go with it.  You will always find yourself struggling with where to go or how to do something, but there will be a time when you are struck with an "Eureka" type feeling, and you know you touched your true path.

Quote
...but my problem is that I don't know what I believe and I don't want to be wrong. I don't want to choose a Wiccan, Pagan, Druidic - or even Catholic, Jewish, or Muslim pathway and be wrong and be damned for all eternity (or any other definition of Hell.)

I can understand what you are saying, but who are we, the living, to know what is the true and right way?  Aristotle believed that pursuing The Good was the ultimate.  Being Virtuous.  Here, we have a plethora of religions and who is to say which is right and which is wrong.  I believe that no matter what religion you choose, as long as you are true to yourself, you can't be wrong.

Quote
Eventually, I spent some time as a pseudo Christian Wiccan. (Please don't flame me for this one, I know many people disagree on whether such a practice is even possible.

Eh, while Christian Wicca and/or Christian Witchcraft is a strange notion, I don't believe that the practice shouldn't be possible.  Think of the Hindu religion - All Gods are One God, and Jesus is just another God to worship.  Nothing wrong there!

Quote
There are a few things that I 'feel right' about. I know I like to think of my higher power as a loving, merciful, woman and not a temperamental, dictator-like man (aka "My Impressions of God.) I know I want magic to be real, but I don't know how much of what my spells accomplished was due to the spell, and how much was coincidence or fate.

A loving, merciful woman?  Nothing wrong with that.  I also had a multitude of problems with the Abrahamic God and that is why I strayed from Christianity.  My Grandfather, a wholly devote man, died forgetting God and family.  I always had a hard time dealing with how a great God could do that to one of his strongest followers.

I believe that God is something like Jung's Collective Unconscious.  And I believe that all Gods are faces and aspects of that one entity.  So, I guess the Abrahamic God fits there too (though I don't acknowledge him...).

I think the only thing you can truly do, is quest.  Seek (like you are doing now), Reflect (on your ideals and reasoning), Learn (about a variety of paths to find one/few you like), and Act (put all things together).

Remember, the path we are on now isn't the one we will be on tomorrow.  Each day brings new learnings and insights...and everyday, we tweak our beliefs, albeit slightly.
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« Reply #13: January 04, 2008, 11:29:35 pm »

I think the Bible tells us that there are other gods out there, he just wants us to think they are bad.

Based on those few Bible passages (I've never read the entire Bible, nor have I studied it so I'm no expert) I'm not even sure that the Bible or that YHWH wants us to think that "other gods are bad". I think that "Thou shalt have no other gods *before me*" simply means "I am King. I reign supreme. Worship me foremost."

I am sure a lot of things got "lost in time and translation" as it were.
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Jessica A
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« Reply #14: January 04, 2008, 11:38:49 pm »

I've never read the entire Bible, nor have I studied it so I'm no expert  I'm not even sure that the Bible or that YHWH wants us to think that "other gods are bad". I think that "Thou shalt have no other gods *before me*" simply means "I am King. I reign supreme. Worship me foremost."

I am sure a lot of things got "lost in time and translation" as it were.

Dania,

Ditto and bought one because I was a part of an Christian Forum that recommend it.  Keeping it for sure for reference.
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