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Author Topic: Recently Interested.  (Read 8726 times)
Alardoo
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« Topic Start: March 25, 2008, 11:08:55 pm »

Please excuse anything I might be asking over, or anything that I could've found in an FAQ, but I feel that everyone has a very unique view, so I didn't bother looking. Regardless, just a couple weeks ago, my friend introduced me to Wiccan. I'm very intrigued by it. It feels like a very natural, and free religion. I've read a couple books on it, one from James Cunningham, and another by somebody else. I'm reading through, but I'm having a very difficult time fully appreciating everything. Ever since I was little, I've been a strict atheist. And my interest in a religion is suprising. But I like Wiccan because it's different than the other religions. There's no right or wrong, or some ever present God who decides to let a killer walk free, but lets a child die. I guess this is appealing because it's free. But to get back to my main problem. I can't really appreciate it. I guess it's been my closed-mindness that's left me in a state where I can't even imagine there being a higher power. I've been going to the park alot, sitting and just watching nature, but I can't really see where there can be divinity. Perhaps it's just all the modernization, and trash everywhere. I really don't know what's wrong. I want to believe in this more than anything. Can anyone help me? Or has anyone else had similar atheist - wiccan transitions?
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« Reply #1: March 26, 2008, 12:23:22 am »

Firstly welcome to TC

I myself am not wiccan so i cant really speak with much authority on the topic but i would strongly suggest that you read over the pagan primer (http://www.ecauldron.com/newpagan.php) as well as other articles on wicca that TC has for more information on the religion..

There's no right or wrong, or some ever present God who decides to let a killer walk free, but lets a child die.

By my understanding of Wicca there is a definite concept of right or wrong as decreed by the Wiccan Rede - "do harm to none" sort of stuff. e.i. it is against the rede to cast a spell on someone that hurts them (obviously) or manipulates their free will (makes them fall in love with you f'ex.). Other than that Wicca is far more accepting of the GLBT community f'ex. than some faiths, if thats what you mean.

Also you can be a witch who isnt wiccan, in which case it is up to your own moral compass to guide which spells you will or wont do.

There is also the idea of the goddess and god, feminine/masculine, but i dont know enough to speak about them..

Quote
I want to believe in this more than anything. Can anyone help me? Or has anyone else had similar atheist - wiccan transitions?

Finding a faith that you can follow and believe in can take a looong time, especially if youve been atheist all your life. But it isn't something that needs to happen over night, there is no rush to devote yourself totally. My best advice is just to keep reading and asking questions, TC is certainly a excellent place to start. Trust me when i say it's worth bothering.

Other people can probably clear things up better than me
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« Reply #2: March 26, 2008, 04:19:24 am »

Welcome to TC! I also turned an atheist/secular humanist in the course of my Catholic upbringing before I started to look at neopagan religions.

I think it's very important to ask yourself what you do believe instead of only reading books about what other people believe, envy them and wonder 'how can I become like them?'. Maybe there is something you have believed as a child, but now you don't allow yourself anymore because it's uneducated or superstitious? Maybe you believe in something, but can't name it?

It can help you to read books from various religions, but it's hard to find out about yourself if you view religions from a what-they-have-and-I-lack perspective. Take yourself serious and find out what you believe. I'm not saying that a thourough written religious book can't convince you, but I wouldn't force myself to believe something just to belong to somewhere. (Not saying you have lower motives, just acknowledging how hard it sometimes is to be a seeker and deal with all those people who have 'found' their paths. It's naturally to want to belong somewhere.)

Coming from Christianity it also took me a while to realize that many Pagan religions aren't all about believe, faith and devotion, but also about practice and experience. Not all paths expect you to believe in something you haven't experienced. I think it was good to go out to the park and search experience. I'd continue that. If you don't experience the divine in the park maybe somewhere else? In music, arts, crafts, friendship, sports, dancing, hiking or meditation?

For example when I looked at the (unprofessional) paintings I've made in my atheist teen time I found a lot of moon symbols, trees and animals. So looking at shamanistic/animistic paths and such that work with moon phases is my starting point. What kind of things are sparkling your imagination?

What helps me to find out my own believes and experiences is also writing them down. Ask yourself question you'd ask someone from a strange religion and write the answers down. They don't have to be perfect. Religiousity/spirituality is something that develops and changes. Write also down the questions you don't have made your mind up about yet.

If you need some literature that guides you through that self-exploring process I highly recommend Higginbotham's Paganism for the exercises it has. But note that it doesn't give good information material about the different paths, because it's oversimplifying there, but it gives you good information about yourself if you ponder the questions and do the writing exercises. So I'd read something else for information on the paths. Adler's Drawing Down the Moon is a classic with overviews on Wicca and some other pagan paths. But I'd try to find out what I want before I'd try to choose a path.

I wish you the best success and joy along the path of self-exploration. Smiley
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« Reply #3: March 26, 2008, 07:10:30 am »


Welcome to the Cauldron.
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« Reply #4: March 26, 2008, 08:17:47 am »


Welcome to the Cauldron
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« Reply #5: March 26, 2008, 08:25:17 am »



Welcome to TC!
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« Reply #6: March 26, 2008, 08:28:15 am »

By my understanding of Wicca there is a definite concept of right or wrong as decreed by the Wiccan Rede - "do harm to none" sort of stuff. e.i. it is against the rede to cast a spell on someone that hurts them (obviously) or manipulates their free will (makes them fall in love with you f'ex.).

This is generally true of Neo-Wicca, but more traditional Wicca sees the Rede as moral advice (not moral law) that it is always okay to do something that causes no harm. In this view the Rede says nothing whatsoever about doing things that cause harm.
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« Reply #7: March 26, 2008, 08:35:31 am »



Welcome to The Cauldron, Alardoo!
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« Reply #8: March 26, 2008, 11:06:20 am »

But to get back to my main problem. I can't really appreciate it. I guess it's been my closed-mindness that's left me in a state where I can't even imagine there being a higher power. I've been going to the park alot, sitting and just watching nature, but I can't really see where there can be divinity. Perhaps it's just all the modernization, and trash everywhere. I really don't know what's wrong. I want to believe in this more than anything. Can anyone help me? Or has anyone else had similar atheist - wiccan transitions?

Well, seeing as you've been atheist for so long it is hardly surprising that you don't feel able to put your whole heart into it just yet. But it's completely ok that you haven't just been able to 'jump on the band wagon' as it were. It takes a lot of time and a lot of thinking. Don't feel as if you are expected to immediately see things cleary- things just don't work that way.

As for now, something in Wicca seems to have caught your interest: good, now go from there. Read more, think more, and eventually you'll come to realise what it is that is right for you. Because that's all that matters in the end, really.

Good luck, and welcome to TC.
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« Reply #9: March 26, 2008, 04:34:48 pm »

Thank you, everyone, for your advice. It really helps. I'm basically going to try to live as much as a spiritual life as I can, until I can put my heart into it. Spring is here, so I'm going to start my own garden, and just being outside more. I guess I'll try to live a simple, clean, meaningful life until I can realize that there may be a higher power. Once again, it means more than you know that you helped me! Smiley Thanks!
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« Reply #10: March 27, 2008, 01:30:30 am »

What kind of things are sparkling your imagination?

I realize it was most likely a typo (you meant 'sparking', right?) but I just love this construction.

/ot

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« Reply #11: March 27, 2008, 02:55:11 am »

I realize it was most likely a typo (you meant 'sparking', right?) but I just love this construction.

/ot

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Um, no, got that phrase wrong. *blush* To my defense, I've to say that the words are related.  Tongue
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« Reply #12: March 27, 2008, 05:56:12 am »

This is generally true of Neo-Wicca, but more traditional Wicca sees the Rede as moral advice (not moral law) that it is always okay to do something that causes no harm. In this view the Rede says nothing whatsoever about doing things that cause harm.

ooops, thanks for clearing that up Embarrassed
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« Reply #13: March 28, 2008, 11:44:57 pm »

Or has anyone else had similar atheist - wiccan transitions?

I'm not Wiccan anymore, but I was for a little over a year, but that sounds like me. (and it's something i still have trouble with sometimes). I was a complete atheist for about a year and a half. I thought that there was such a thing as 'ultimate truth' and believed science was the only thing close. But then I read about all the weird stuff physics does at the smallest scales imaginable and about how a particle can supposedly exist in two states at once until we measure it (have you heard of schrodinger's cat?), I realized that a) the world is a lot weirder than we can imagine so magic isn't really all that far fetched, and b) there might not be a true way of looking at the world, if a particle can exist like that in apparent contradiction of itself, so there's no reason science and magic or religion can't exist at the same time either. My reasoning is probably faulty because I there's no way I'll ever be able to understand physics like that, but it makes sense to me. So if I ever find myself falling back into atheism (not that it's *bad*...just depressing), I just remind myself of that.

But since I have no idea if you're interested in science, I don't know whether that will help or not.  Wink
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« Reply #14: March 29, 2008, 04:56:29 am »

So if I ever find myself falling back into atheism (not that it's *bad*...just depressing)


I'm curious.  Why do you find atheism to be depressing?
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