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Author Topic: Mistakes  (Read 6016 times)
Hannah
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« Reply #15: May 28, 2008, 06:55:20 pm »

Heh. A lot of us have been there, don't worry. And frankly, the idiotic things I said to other pagans when I was starting out turned out to be the best learning opportunities. I got smacked down many a time for spouting off about things I thought I knew all about. The trad Wiccans and recons I was exposed to were happy to gently (and NOT so gently!) correct me and what I learned from them was more valuable in the long run than almost anything I could learn from a book.

Well I'm certainly DELIGHTED to know I'm not the only one who's gone through that. xD
Indeed, there are some things you gain in conversation with other Pagans (or even other religions in general) that you could never gain through reading.
In fact, I'm not a very avid reader.. the only thing I absolutely devour as far as reading goes is books on Wicca, Paganism, spirituality, etc.
I got some gentle (and not-so-gentle) responses as well, but though none of them said it, I suppose it's true that most of them were in my place at some point or another.

It certainly is a wonderful thing to learn, even from your mistakes. Smiley
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     Doth walk in fear and dread,    
And having once turn'd round, walks on    
     And turns no more his head:    
Because he knows, a frightful fiend    
     Doth close behind him tread.

-"Rime of the Ancient Mariner," Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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Jabberwocky
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« Reply #16: June 10, 2008, 09:10:49 pm »

Coming from a somewhat ceremonial magic background, I incorrectly assumed that every ritual, prayer, libation, etc. had to be done perfectly or horrible things could happen.

I had the opposite problem of assuming that details were entirely irrelevant if I had a clear goal in mind.

As well as that, if I can take the liberty of quoting someone else's words:

Initially, I had to learn that every chaos magician wasn't a globetrotting rock star with an eviscerating wit and impeccable fashion sense. Later, I had to learn that every chaos magician wasn't a basement-dwelling recluse with semen-crusted fingers and an unfinished "hypersigil" about nailing Julia from the coffee shop..

(Doc Checkmate)

It's funny because it's true.
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Estrella
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« Reply #17: June 11, 2008, 01:58:36 am »

Well I'm certainly DELIGHTED to know I'm not the only one who's gone through that. xD


Me too.  I'm glad to know that all of you guys started out like us, young and dare I say naive?

Quote
It certainly is a wonderful thing to learn, even from your mistakes. Smiley

I'm starting to think that this is part of the process.  It makes you stronger in so many aspects.  Plus, it will make the end result even more amazing because of what we go through, I hope...
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Hannah
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« Reply #18: June 11, 2008, 04:50:42 pm »


Me too.  I'm glad to know that all of you guys started out like us, young and dare I say naive?

I'm starting to think that this is part of the process.  It makes you stronger in so many aspects.  Plus, it will make the end result even more amazing because of what we go through, I hope...

I couldn't agree more... sometimes when you're out there in the big bad world you feel like the only person who's ever been wrong.
It takes a really mature person to be able to own up to their own mistakes to people who are less experienced than them. Smiley
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Like one, that on a lonely road     
     Doth walk in fear and dread,    
And having once turn'd round, walks on    
     And turns no more his head:    
Because he knows, a frightful fiend    
     Doth close behind him tread.

-"Rime of the Ancient Mariner," Samuel Taylor Coleridge
wisdomsbane
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« Reply #19: June 15, 2008, 12:26:29 am »

Thanks for this thread! I'm still such a newbie and think I make a lot of mistakes without knowing.  Roll Eyes

One of the worst was thinking because you don't believe in 'God' automatically means you're not religious. (Though obviously that was before I started to research Paganism.)

I made the same mistake.  In fact, here's one for you.  Until I started researching, I thought witches were make believe, and almost laughed to find out there were people who considered witchcraft a religion.  I found it very appealing though (I had found sites on Wicca), and decided to try it.  Then the whole Christian-Wicca thing.  Both seemed on the surface to fulfill the needs I had, but neither really fit right, almost like buying an out fit that fits perfectly at the store, then washing it and finding out it's shrunk just enough to be too small.

Don't take any of that to be bashing of either of those paths.  I have respect for both, they just simply weren't what I was actually looking for.  It did take me a while to figure that one out.  I believe it took almost two years, and second crisis of faith to make me realize that I didn't have to fit into someone else's ideas and beliefs.  I finally hit on the idea (in fact given to me by the one who introduced me to the idea of Christian-Wicca) that I could believe what I wanted to believe, within certain bounds (up is never down no matter how hard you believe in it, etc.) without having to actually classify myself or my beliefs under a special heading.  About five years ago I decided to simply call myself a "generic" pagan, and since then have been quite happy.  Especially when someone gets their "holier-than-thou" hat on and tries to tell me that there is no such thing as a "generic" pagan.  I like telling them that if that's the case then why are they talking to something/someone that doesn't exist. Roll Eyes
« Last Edit: June 15, 2008, 08:33:50 am by RandallS, Reason: Quote fixed » Logged

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Waldfrau
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« Reply #20: June 16, 2008, 08:34:57 am »

About five years ago I decided to simply call myself a "generic" pagan, and since then have been quite happy.  Especially when someone gets their "holier-than-thou" hat on and tries to tell me that there is no such thing as a "generic" pagan.  I like telling them that if that's the case then why are they talking to something/someone that doesn't exist. Roll Eyes
LOL, good answer! I personally hate it when others try to force a label on me that doesn't fit to what I do and believe, just because it fits into some of their boxes.

People often assume that newbies are too stupid to label themselves and that they know much better what the newbie is really doing and should be called just by reading a few posts. Of course it happens that a newbie misunderstands a label, but still that doesn't mean that anyone else knows better what the newbie is really practicing. I think if you want to help someone with finding a label you had to listen a lot to the person and not just sort him/her into some box by one single aspect you percieve (and your perception might be wrong if you're too arrogant to ask).
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Juniper
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« Reply #21: June 16, 2008, 08:22:36 pm »

I think if you want to help someone with finding a label you had to listen a lot to the person and not just sort him/her into some box by one single aspect you percieve (and your perception might be wrong if you're too arrogant to ask).

Or not 'wrong' but maybe just different. IMO one of the most difficult things about labelling is that one person views a label completely differently to how another person views the same label.

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'How she longed for winter then!-
Scrupulously austere in its order
Of white and black
Ice and rock; each sentiment within border,
And heart's frosty discipline
Exact as a snowflake'
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« Reply #22: June 17, 2008, 01:57:43 am »

Or not 'wrong' but maybe just different. IMO one of the most difficult things about labelling is that one person views a label completely differently to how another person views the same label.
True, that's another point. My argument was that it's hard to label other people anyway because you have to know what they are doing and believing exactly and it's easy to get misperceptions about what someone else believes or does when you're not very familiar with the person and hir concepts and practices.

For example for me it's hard to tell if someone is Methodist or Presbyterian just be hearing them say a few sentences about God. I don't know much about those Christian paths (because there aren't many of them in my country) to name them just by their concepts of God. I'd better ask them how they label themselves and why.
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SwitchWitch
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« Reply #23: June 26, 2008, 12:40:19 pm »

Hmm. Been a while......I can only think of 1 so far: when I 1st started studying paganism, I fell into the "sweetness and light, fluffy bunny trap" and was pretty pacifistic for a while. (I'm not trying to knock anyone who is pacifist,there are some very valid reasons, for it, but it isn't for me. Same goes for Fluffies.)


Recent mistakes: not keeping up with regular practice.  Waiting so long to join a Feri ritual. not keeping in touch with pagan friends
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thain
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« Reply #24: June 26, 2008, 01:40:45 pm »

This one is information for the newbies, as we all made mistakes when we were new, and I thought that newbies would benefit from hearing the ones we had made so they wouldn't make the same.

My biggest mistake was not standing up for myself and my beliefs sooner.  I spent my last 3 years of Christianity growing more and more restless, seeing more and more inconsistencies of word and action, and, to be honest, allowing myself to be treated more and more unconscionably by those I considered my authorities.  My experiences there have left me scared to becoming anything more than a solitary practitioner, but they have also left me with an unjustly sour taste in my mouth toward my deity as I continue working through the issues caused by what I allowed to be done to me. 

I was young enough at the time that it was difficult to separate my mental abuse at the hands of the church leaders from the deity I felt so compelled to seek and serve.  Even though I'm now older and wiser, clearly able to see that it was a handful of (insert your favorite pejorative expletive here), and NOT the deity, who were responsible for my bad experiences, it is still very hard to reconcile my head with my heart and actually discover the intimacy with the deity that I have always craved.
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The world is full enough of hurts and mischance without wars to multiply them. -J.R.R. Tolkien

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