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Author Topic: How did you settle on your path and why?  (Read 4781 times)
nigel
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« Topic Start: June 09, 2008, 09:59:59 pm »

Figured it could spark some interesting questions, so how did you come to the path you currently came to and what brought you to settle on that? Did you take anything through your religious wanderings?

This is partly brought about because I keep wandering and finding new and interesting ideas, but I can't seem to settle, which is part of who I am, I like to explore and that fits into ideas as well.
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« Reply #1: June 09, 2008, 10:58:41 pm »

so how did you come to the path you currently came to and what brought you to settle on that?

Wicca was my first taste of Paganism that I had.  I tried it for about a year and realized that something just didn't feel right to me as if it wasn't the path I was suppose to be on.  I thought about what I did believe in and what I didn't.  I figured out that I was more of a hard polytheist which (to me at the time) didn't seem to fit with Wicca.  I also though about other things like Wicca's ritual structure and how many of its components (calling the quarters, casting a circle) didn't seem necessary.

I felt a connection to the Greek Gods and poked around on pagan paths that focused on them and found one site about Reconstructionism.  I called myself a Hellenic Reconstructionist for a while until for some reason (probably my dependence on UPG) I dropped the label and started to call myself a Hellenic Polytheist.

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Did you take anything through your religious wanderings?

As in my pre-Wicca agnostic days?  I think the only thing that survived over the years has been my belief in the spirit world.
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« Reply #2: June 09, 2008, 11:04:22 pm »

As in my pre-Wicca agnostic days?  I think the only thing that survived over the years has been my belief in the spirit world.

It could be that, or it could be when you were studying wicca. That part of the question is just wondering if while you were studying religion A and then you went on to religion b did anything (or nothing) come with you from religion A.
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« Reply #3: June 09, 2008, 11:24:25 pm »



I started out on a basic animist 'family' path, with some very vague and rarely directly discussed aspects, and some very precise and unchangeable ones.  It was/is more a collection of stories-with-meaning, some Named beings, and one or two encountered ones.  I don't know if it's more a religion or a 'lifestyle that includes gods'.

At 18 I went away to university and discovered the wonderful world of public paganism.  Legends I didn't know, strange and mysterious personages, mysticism and poetry in abundance.  I discovered concepts of personal perception I had never encountered before, names and stages and archetypes and functions that had never occured to me.

I also discovered systems of magic different from what I had grown up with.  High ceremony, co-operative spells, workings that were more simple, direct, and above all faster than anything I had learned at home.

I absorbed it all, both the religious concepts and the magical systems, and they're still part of me and my 'path'.  I can't turn up my nose at eclectics, or non-traditional uses of traditional images, because it's all such a gorgeous mosaic.  It doesn't all fit together but there's no reason it should.  If there's no over-arching meta-myth to explain the world, then there's nothing wrong with moving from paradigm to paradigm according to what's pleasing or useful.

I can believe contradictory things, even at the same time when necessary.  Just about everything I've learned has stayed with me, barring a few ideas even I can't find a worth in, and a few things that I find automatically offensive just because of who and what I am.  Some things have probably dropped out from lack of use.

I don't think my path has necessarily changed all that much.  It's just done what paths tend to do - gone onwards.  I can't (and don't want to) un-walk any of it.

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« Reply #4: June 09, 2008, 11:29:05 pm »


See, I can identify with that, b/c mostly I just flow. Studying and reasearching, adding idea's that fit and discarding those that don't. But it's true, paths just go onward, never backward and sometimes you pick up some souvenirs and sometimes you don't.
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« Reply #5: June 09, 2008, 11:35:06 pm »

It could be that, or it could be when you were studying wicca. That part of the question is just wondering if while you were studying religion A and then you went on to religion b did anything (or nothing) come with you from religion A.

I think there is one thing that is a hold-over from my Wiccan days.  It's the belief that the veil separating this world and the next is thinest on Halloween.  Of course, I don't believe in it in the Wiccan context anymore.  And since the festival similar to this was observed later in the year to the Greeks, it is one thing that makes me not use the Recon label.
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« Reply #6: June 10, 2008, 12:00:52 am »

Figured it could spark some interesting questions, so how did you come to the path you currently came to and what brought you to settle on that? Did you take anything through your religious wanderings?

I came to my path through books, or, to be more abstract about it, through the power of words, and stories. It seems kind of obvious to me now, but perhaps it was only inevitable that my path would eventually become one that was based absolutely in that power, and in storymaking.

But really, I can't attribute it all to books. Though it was through a guided meditation I first met Her, Brighid has been guiding me through my path ever since I started out. Brighid is my path--Brighid is an essential part of my story.


What did I carry over? Well, I did structure my earliest rituals on a Wiccan model, mostly because I had no other model. I don't anymore, but I discovered a lot of my personal symbology and mythology within that ritual system, much of which still remains powerful to me today.

I also kept the idea of "spirit friends" or "guides"--not because I thought I needed them, but because I had met them--they were real people whose relationships and lessons I valued and I couldn't very well just stop meeting with them. I'm still meeting with them.


Can't think of anything else--no brain left.  Tongue
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« Reply #7: June 10, 2008, 12:35:06 am »

Figured it could spark some interesting questions, so how did you come to the path you currently came to and what brought you to settle on that? Did you take anything through your religious wanderings?

Although I have not found my path yet I figured I may still have some good input.  I was raised Lutheran and believe in it as well up until I was 13 or 14.  Up until recently, I believed in nothing, or at least that is what I thought.  I ended up realizing that I believed in something, which was the concept of energy (cosmic energy, personal energy, etc.).  So I started doing research on whatever I could get my hands across and Pagan religions came up, mostly Wicca because of the current "fad" (for lack of a better word) on Wicca .  Then I just felt this overwhelming sense of belonging.  It's hard to explain but whenever I think about it, I just think "Finally, I've found something," or maybe something found me.  What ever it is, I am grateful. 

I think going from Lutheran to nothing helped me what what I didn't believe in, as opposed to what I believed in.  When I found Paganism, I think I just realized what I felt, or what I believed.  It, sorry to be cliche, opened my eyes.  Going through the others were just eliminating things for me.  Kind of explains why I felt so awkward and always a misfit in my own body.


Quote
This is partly brought about because I keep wandering and finding new and interesting ideas, but I can't seem to settle, which is part of who I am, I like to explore and that fits into ideas as well.

I know exactly what you mean.  I'm finding it so hard to focus on one thing because there are so many other things I want to learn about.  And there is so much to learn!  It's overwhelming but so exciting. 
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« Reply #8: June 10, 2008, 01:46:21 am »

Figured it could spark some interesting questions, so how did you come to the path you currently came to and what brought you to settle on that? Did you take anything through your religious wanderings?

This is partly brought about because I keep wandering and finding new and interesting ideas, but I can't seem to settle, which is part of who I am, I like to explore and that fits into ideas as well.
I started out reading every book I could find about Wicca. Eventually I decided that Wicca wasn't for me.  I'm a eclectic polytheist pagan with leanings towards shamanism/animism. The pantheons I feel most connected with are Egyptian, Norse and Celtic. I had always been interested in Shamanism. I finally found a drumming circle and had my first journey.   I haven't had a journey in quite awhile.  Shamanism was just so interesting to me and it had been calling to me for awhile.  I'm so grateful I found this path.
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« Reply #9: June 10, 2008, 07:05:23 am »



I figure learning is still a path, so that's what part of the journey your on.
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« Reply #10: June 10, 2008, 11:05:54 pm »

Figured it could spark some interesting questions, so how did you come to the path you currently came to and what brought you to settle on that?

There are questions that college and the church ignore.

Most Christians believe in a God who is too small and when it comes to spirituality, academia generally cant see past their nose.

I needed answers.
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« Reply #11: June 11, 2008, 01:53:57 am »

Your story sounds very interesting and unique. How come your family had an animistic tradition? From which paths or ethnic backrounds did they come? (I hope I'm not too nosy.)

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« Reply #12: June 11, 2008, 12:07:16 pm »

How come your family had an animistic tradition? From which paths or ethnic backrounds did they come? (I hope I'm not too nosy.)

It's actually a very jumbled tradition.  Going from grandparents, there is one English, one First Nations, and two Scottish from very different areas.  My dad is Christian and my mom a combination of animist and sort of conjoined highland and FN beliefs.  Everybody on both sides of the family tells stories and nobody has ever bothered to separate out the cultures or the traditions, and I'm now convinced they all added whatever embellishments took their fancies, to illustrate whatever point they were making, if any, each time they told one.

It all makes sense to me, and does a good job of explaining the cosmos, human nature, etc., but I can't speak with authority for any single part of it, or teach it coherently except to kids in my own family, who tend to think this way anyway.  Basically it's lived but not studied, and I'm always fascinated when I find one of the 'original' stories and see what got mixed or changed.

I imagine most families have some kind of 'base' of this sort, that only gets examined or refined when a member gets interested in religion as a separate thing.  It's the background noise we're raised with for the most part.

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« Reply #13: June 11, 2008, 01:03:39 pm »

Wicca was my first taste of Paganism that I had.  I tried it for about a year and realized that something just didn't feel right to me as if it wasn't the path I was suppose to be on.  I thought about what I did believe in and what I didn't.  I figured out that I was more of a hard polytheist which (to me at the time) didn't seem to fit with Wicca.  I also though about other things like Wicca's ritual structure and how many of its components (calling the quarters, casting a circle) didn't seem necessary.

Yeah, that sounds kinda familiar; Wicca was also my first 'taste' of Paganism. I also began to feel like the ritual aspect of Wicca wasn't working for me, as I prefer a much more casual approach. That's probably why I'm a Hedgewitch--I don't feel as if I'm as bound by organized ritual and structure.

The one thing from Wicca that has stuck for me though, is the seasonal cycle. This is where the 'Neo-Wiccan leanings' comes in when I try to describe my path. I love to follow a seasonal cycle, as I feel as if it helps me to connect to nature, but also draws attention to not only the transitions in the world around me, but the transitions that occur in my own life.
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« Reply #14: June 11, 2008, 01:49:58 pm »

There are questions that college and the church ignore.

Most Christians believe in a God who is too small and when it comes to spirituality, academia generally cant see past their nose.

I needed answers.

A bit off topic, but I like the way you put that, Ramci.  Ages ago, trying to explain to Christian friends why I  had left the Church, I tried explaining that I didn't find their image of the divine inclusive enough....better put, not big enough.  But you know, many just didn't get my meaning...the difference between looking at a 8" x 10" photo and a wall sized mural.
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