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Author Topic: Finding your path.... Any path....  (Read 18529 times)
Aster Breo
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« Reply #15: January 05, 2008, 12:44:58 am »

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

Other people have already addressed some of your questions, so I'll stick to the ones that I feel are more in my bailiwick.

I think a lot of us here at The Cauldron (but certainly not all) were brought up Christian and have had to find their way to a different path.  That's definitely true for me.  I think the best advice about that is also the simplest:  Follow what your brain, heart, and soul tell you is the right direction for you.

My way of dealing with this was (is) to do a lot of reading and research.  You mention feeling something with regard to Brighid.  I'd suggest reading everything you can get your hands on about Her and about Celtic history, mythology, art, archeology, etc.  If you keep striking notes about Brighid as you do the research, there's a good chance you'll want to approach her.  Understanding the context of the Celtic worldview will give you a solid background from which to approach Brighid and find out if you're on the right track.

There's a pretty comprehensive list of materials on Brighid in this thread:  http://www.ecauldron.net/forum/index.php?topic=401.msg5534#msg5534

As for being sure you're getting it right:  That's a tough one.  FWIW, I believe you simply have to trust yourself.  You'll know when you find the right path.  And please keep in mind that -- since we are ever changing, ever growing individuals -- our paths can change and grow in new, unexpected directions.  When you do find what's right for you (and if it isn't the Christian God), it will no longer matter to you what the Christian God thinks.  At least that's how it worked for me.

I'm reading a book at the moment called The Deities are Many:  A Polytheistic Theology, by Jordan Paper.  There's a quote in the Introduction that really resonated with me:

"People with differing personalities and experiences meet differing deities.  Without an enforced monotheistic creed, people are open to an abundance of numinous possibilities.  Faith is both meaningless and irrelevant. We know what we experience; it takes no leap of faith to assume the reality of deities we have directly encountered. As well, belief is meaningful only in creedal traditions.  Without creeds, let alone doctrines, there is nothing requiring explicit beleif.  Arising from encounters in ritual, visions, and so forth, our acceptance of the validity of the experienced deities is absolutely no different, except more certain, than knowledge gained from sensory experiences."

YMMV, of course.
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« Reply #16: January 05, 2008, 03:07:48 am »

Greetings All -





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

When you grow up in a predominantly Christian country immersed in a Christian culture you would probably be in a minority if, while thinking about becoming Pagan, you didn't at least consider the "what if YHWH really is the only god and if he is, will I 'piss God off' doing this. There is a lot of cultural conditioning to overcome.

Read the Pentatuch and see how many times other gods are mentioned. "Who among the gods is your like, YHWH?" Ex15:11 for example.

So follow your heart not your fear. Do as a poster above said and look into Brigid. Study the Celtic culture she fits into. Ask questions. Discuss. Take it slowly - you will find something that strikes a cord or you will allow yourself to be in a position where who ever is calling you can reach you. When you find something/someone that you do believe in you will find it easier to let go of that Wrath of God fear that is stopping you from progressing.

Of course it is also possible you might find a gentler, more loving side of the Christian God that you can be happy with.

Keep looking but try to let go of the fear.
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EverFool
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« Reply #17: January 05, 2008, 04:25:05 am »

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?

If I recall correctly, the plural in the original Hebrew was more of a royal 'we.'  I'm going by memory mind.

I could also see it as God addressing angels.  That's fairly irrelevant speculation.  Either way, I don't think it's necessary to assume that God is addressing fellow deities.

On a lighter note, Im suddenly feeling amused by the notion of pagan Biblical literalists. Smiley
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« Reply #18: January 05, 2008, 06:24:15 am »

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.)

*snip*

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 would personally question any religion that would have you condemned to eternal hellfire for following a different path.... But even so, it took me a long time to get over my own catholic guilt about not going to church enough; not knowing if i really believed, wanting to look into other religions. I wasn't so much worried about getting it wrong (I felt if catholicism was right for me i'd arrive back at it eventually) i had the most guilt because i felt looking elsewhere would be a betrayal of the way i was raised and the religion i was supposed to believe in.

Eventually i came to the conclusion that it was important to live your life the best you could and let everything else sort itself out.

But yeah, i second what others have said about spending time working out your own beliefs first, then reading as widely as you can on all the religions that interest you (and even some that dont). Where ever it leads you in the end, approaching religion intellectually as well as emotionally and having a decent grasp of multiple religions can only benefit your faith.

If it helps just take baby steps Smiley
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« Reply #19: January 05, 2008, 08:54:37 am »

I could also see it as God addressing angels.  That's fairly irrelevant speculation.  Either way, I don't think it's necessary to assume that God is addressing fellow deities.

I don't know...I know in modern times it would probably be assumed that he was talking about angels. But when you put it with the other scattered verses which seem to make reference to other gods, well, it makes even more sense to assume that he is talking about other deities.

On a lighter note, Im suddenly feeling amused by the notion of pagan Biblical literalists. Smiley

*rotfl* There are also verses in Genesis...several of them...that illustrate that the Snake in the Garden of Eden told the TRUTH, and God LIED. I don't pull them out often, but they are my favorite weapon against Christian proselytizers. Grin
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« Reply #20: January 05, 2008, 11:44:14 am »

I don't know...I know in modern times it would probably be assumed that he was talking about angels. But when you put it with the other scattered verses which seem to make reference to other gods, well, it makes even more sense to assume that he is talking about other deities.

I saw nothing in the Bible that suggested the other Gods were real though.  I recall that they were always idols etc.
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« Reply #21: January 05, 2008, 11:46:17 am »

I saw nothing in the Bible that suggested the other Gods were real though.  I recall that they were always idols etc.

For that matter, couldn't God the Father be an archetype or a metaphor?
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Caomi_Brannon
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« Reply #22: January 05, 2008, 12:15:07 pm »

If I recall correctly, the plural in the original Hebrew was more of a royal 'we.'  I'm going by memory mind.

I could also see it as God addressing angels.  That's fairly irrelevant speculation.  Either way, I don't think it's necessary to assume that God is addressing fellow deities.

What I was taught, was when God said "Behold, he is one of us," or somesuch, he was talking about The Father, The Son, and The Holy Ghost. I was taught to believe they were three seperate entities and the same being all at the same time. Doesn't that stike a cord of wonder? When I brought up that Christians worshipped three gods and feared one I got pulled to the back with a nice talking to.

However, there are other instances when God mentions other gods. For instance, Ba'al and the Fire on the Mount story. It was meant to discredit another god. My thoughts on it was, you know what, maybe Ba'al doesn't need to show off to get followers.  Deities don't typically light your fires for you and blow them out. I can't see a deity changing this to show one-upman-ship with another god.
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« Reply #23: January 05, 2008, 12:21:52 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*.

I thought it was always assumed that their relationships were incestuous. Huh
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« Reply #24: January 05, 2008, 12:29:54 pm »

I thought it was always assumed that their relationships were incestuous. Huh

That's what I would have thought...but then, both Cain and Abel must have married the SAME WOMAN and it would have to have been Eve. Ewww.... Shocked

I was taught to believe they were three seperate entities and the same being all at the same time. Doesn't that stike a cord of wonder?

Actually, it makes perfect sense to me. Grin but I'm batshit after all.

What I was taught, was when God said "Behold, he is one of us," or somesuch, he was talking about The Father, The Son, and The Holy Ghost.


They COULDN'T have been talking about the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost because, well, in Genesis Jesus wasn't born yet!!! Shocked
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« Reply #25: January 05, 2008, 12:32:56 pm »

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.

Yes, yes, I totally agree with Dania.  Begin by figuring out your own beliefs about spirituality, and dont worry about what religion you fit into yet.  You might not fit into any, like a lot of people here...
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« Reply #26: January 05, 2008, 12:35:45 pm »

That's what I would have thought...but then, both Cain and Abel must have married the SAME WOMAN and it would have to have been Eve. Ewww.... Shocked

*chuckles*  Sorry, not to be a bother, but I seriously doubt that it would have been "ewww" back then.  It was necessary and while today we find it morally wrong, things were a tad different then. Wink
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« Reply #27: January 05, 2008, 12:53:59 pm »

*chuckles*  Sorry, not to be a bother, but I seriously doubt that it would have been "ewww" back then.  It was necessary and while today we find it morally wrong, things were a tad different then. Wink

Oh I know, but still, I stand by my ewwww. Grin
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« Reply #28: January 05, 2008, 01:46:10 pm »

That's what I would have thought...but then, both Cain and Abel must have married the SAME WOMAN and it would have to have been Eve. Ewww.... Shocked


Why would it have had to be Eve?  I always understood that Adam and Eve had a lot of children.  Although I believe, with animals anyway, back-breeding is considered safer than sibling breeding, so it would make sense if it was Eve.

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« Reply #29: January 05, 2008, 02:07:02 pm »

They COULDN'T have been talking about the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost because, well, in Genesis Jesus wasn't born yet!!! Shocked

Actually, it says in... oh, one of the gospels, I want to say John but I'm not sure and I just checked and NO ONE in my house has a Bible that in the beginning the son was with the father. I can't find it on Biblegateway.com but I remember specifically being taught that in youth group.
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