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Author Topic: Paganism and Relationships  (Read 3450 times)
albas
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« Topic Start: January 22, 2008, 04:12:09 pm »

Before I start I would like to say that I have already made a post in “Partners and Paganism” as regard to this topic but thought it may be best suited in its own thread. I would also like to apologise for the length and possible lack of structure and clarity as of this post, it’s taken me a while to put down what has been running through my mind recently. 

I would like to start by saying that I see my self as an Agnostic and extremely open-minded and respectful of other beliefs with a willingness to learn more; which has brought me to this forum. I have been with my current girlfriend for about 4 months now and she recently told me that she is Pagan. Now when she told me this I wasn’t sure what to think but as our relationship has continued I have come to realise that her spirituality makes her who she is and forms part of what attracted me to her in the first place.   

Paganism is something that has always interested me and something that I wish I knew more about (especially now). Now here’s my dilemma as much as much I try to show my interest in her beliefs I cant help feeling that she constantly has her guard up. It’s almost as if she doesn’t feel comfortable discussing her spirituality with me; which has lead me to feel uneasy about asking her more questions about her beliefs. This has lead me to search the internet for a better insight into Paganism, but I am a little sceptical over the reliability of some of the sources. 

As far as I can make out from talking to my girlfriend (of which she has been very vague) she is Wiccan and she having her initiation (if that is the right term) some time soon. I understand this to be something that is of great importance to her and something (from what I have read) very personal and somewhat secret. I suppose I can take comfort in the fact that she has told me that I am one of the very few people who is fully aware of her beliefs and that she practices rituals that are important to her (though don’t I don’t know what this involves)   

I guess what I hope to achieve from posting this is maybe links to places where I can get a better insight into the religion (customs and beliefs) and possibly hear from other people who have been or who’s partners are in or were in my situation. 

Many Thanks

« Last Edit: January 22, 2008, 04:18:23 pm by albas » Logged

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whambamcam
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« Reply #1: January 22, 2008, 05:27:55 pm »


I would like to start by saying that I see my self as an Agnostic and extremely open-minded and respectful of other beliefs with a willingness to learn more; which has brought me to this forum. I have been with my current girlfriend for about 4 months now and she recently told me that she is Pagan. Now when she told me this I wasn’t sure what to think but as our relationship has continued I have come to realise that her spirituality makes her who she is and forms part of what attracted me to her in the first place.   

Paganism is something that has always interested me and something that I wish I knew more about (especially now). Now here’s my dilemma as much as much I try to show my interest in her beliefs I cant help feeling that she constantly has her guard up. It’s almost as if she doesn’t feel comfortable discussing her spirituality with me; which has lead me to feel uneasy about asking her more questions about her beliefs. This has lead me to search the internet for a better insight into Paganism, but I am a little sceptical over the reliability of some of the sources. 

As far as I can make out from talking to my girlfriend (of which she has been very vague) she is Wiccan and she having her initiation (if that is the right term) some time soon. I understand this to be something that is of great importance to her and something (from what I have read) very personal and somewhat secret. I suppose I can take comfort in the fact that she has told me that I am one of the very few people who is fully aware of her beliefs and that she practices rituals that are important to her (though don’t I don’t know what this involves)   

I guess what I hope to achieve from posting this is maybe links to places where I can get a better insight into the religion (customs and beliefs) and possibly hear from other people who have been or who’s partners are in or were in my situation. 

Many Thanks



Hey there first of all it’s great that you’re keeping an open mind. 

Your girlfriend may keep her religious beliefs to herself for a variety of reasons; she may have had bad experiences in the past when she has told people, scared of being rejected because of her beliefs or just a private person.  I personally don’t volunteer information till asked by my previous partners.  One is a fear of freaking them out, being laughed at etc.  I also tend to just do it when I feel comfortable and ready. 

The relationship is still kind of new so she may feel it to be too early to discuss such an important matter to her. Just ask questions, but don’t bombard her with them or come of as being demanding etc.  Also don’t turn your whole relationship in to about her beliefs, she may tell you when she is ready.

Her spirituality does not make her who she is.  It is an important part of her but it is just not her:  just one aspect of her.

A good site with accurate info about Wicca is http://wicca.timerift.net/







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« Reply #2: January 22, 2008, 06:34:30 pm »


It takes alot of guts and courage to learn something new for someone you are with, firstly i hope things work.  Personal experience and views initiation is pointless (I should mention I was initiated myself) there is nothing saying that one MUST be initiated its more a personal belief.  One important thing you may be interested in reading is the Wiccan Rede, the one on Witchvox is pretty good and desciptive, you could also try this article from Religous Tolerance
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yewberry
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« Reply #3: January 22, 2008, 06:40:51 pm »

Personal experience and views initiation is pointless (I should mention I was initiated myself) there is nothing saying that one MUST be initiated its more a personal belief.

Some paths specifically require initiation, though.  In order to be part of a given tradition, initiation is necessary.

Brina
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Mari
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« Reply #4: January 22, 2008, 07:15:32 pm »

Some paths specifically require initiation, though.  In order to be part of a given tradition, initiation is necessary.

Brina

Mine certainly does. Nobody can get through the front door without Initiation. Period.
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RunicWarrior
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« Reply #5: January 22, 2008, 08:44:20 pm »

Some paths specifically require initiation, though.  In order to be part of a given tradition, initiation is necessary.

Brina

I disagree, it is a personal like everything else in life its a personal choice. yes i agree some paths require it, others dont and the rest arent fussed, end of day like your path its a personal choice, if your path is one of those that doesnt require it or whom dont care then why should you feel like you must be initiated.

Now how is it personal as you every choice you make is personal, should you open letter a or b first, should you do as your boss says or not, should you screw someones life up or just there heart, these are all personal choices, just like every decision in a faith.
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« Reply #6: January 22, 2008, 10:10:23 pm »

I disagree, it is a personal like everything else in life its a personal choice. yes i agree some paths require it

Your original post seemed to indicate it was never necessary, and that's what I took issue with.  That's why I said "some paths"...

Brina
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Jenett
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« Reply #7: January 22, 2008, 11:13:41 pm »

As far as I can make out from talking to my girlfriend (of which she has been very vague) she is Wiccan and she having her initiation (if that is the right term) some time soon. I understand this to be something that is of great importance to her and something (from what I have read) very personal and somewhat secret. I suppose I can take comfort in the fact that she has told me that I am one of the very few people who is fully aware of her beliefs and that she practices rituals that are important to her (though don’t I don’t know what this involves)   

One comment on the initiation bit to help explain it:

Some traditions ask that certain material be kept private from people outside the tradition. There are various reasons for this, (and therefore, I can't say for certain which ones would apply to your girlfriend).

Sometimes it's about making sure that all group members feel comfortable being vulnerable with each other about hard topics. (Sort of like a therapy group would be, though it's usually about different kinds of material.) Sometimes it's because there are specific techniques or pieces of information that are only shared once people are prepared to use them in the context of the tradition they're initiated in (and that really aren't relevant to anyone else.) Sometimes it's because the ritual itself involves dramatic techniques that are more effective if you don't know exactly what to expect (and therefore, if someone talks about it, it might affect future initiates' experience.) Sometimes it's because the anticipation and not being sure what's going to happen helps make them more open to deeper effects of the experience.

(There are also abusive uses of secrecy: they're worth keeping an eye out for, but if you go into a situation with your eyes open, harder to get caught by than they used to be.)

All of that said, in many oathbound traditions, there *are* things that can be shared. For example, my oaths mean I can't share details of how our initiations work with other people (even really close friends or relationship partners.) But I can talk about how those things made me feel emotionally, or personal experiences I had (say an interaction with a deity). I sometimes choose to talk about these things, and sometimes not, but they're my choice, rather than the oath. (Not all oaths work this way, and some people find it easier to just not say anything about the topic, rather than have to think each time.)

But it's certainly fair game to ask your girlfriend what she *can* tell you, and whether you have any particular concerns. It's a relatively common issue, so many people talk about it explicitly with students or potential initiates before initiation.

I'd also encourage you, if you want to support her, to ask her what you can do around her initiation that would be important to her. It's quite common for people to want to assimilate an intense and important-to-them experience, so she may want some quiet time. On the other hand, she might want to know she could call or see you if she wanted, or to arrange a quiet get together the evening following. She may not know immediately, but asking at least opens the discussion up.
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