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Author Topic: Future Development of Paganism - Seeking & being raised Pagan  (Read 5566 times)
Waldfrau
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« Topic Start: July 18, 2008, 05:14:32 pm »

This is speculative about a specific aspect of Paganism in the near future:


Today and even more in the past 20th century most Pagans came from non-Pagan backrounds and had to go through a search phase before they settled on a path (or became eclectics or continuing seekers).

I wonder if this would change slightly in the next few decades. Do you think there will be more Pagans, more acceptance of Paganism and thus more people raised Pagan? If more people are raised Pagan, do you think Paganism will still contain this element of personal quest or will it become normal that Pagans are just born into their paths?

Would you say this seeking is an integral part of Paganism/specific paths or is it just there because many people come from non-Pagan backrounds and need to seek before they find something else?
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« Reply #1: July 18, 2008, 05:51:25 pm »

Today and even more in the past 20th century most Pagans came from non-Pagan backrounds and had to go through a search phase before they settled on a path (or became eclectics or continuing seekers).

I wonder if this would change slightly in the next few decades. Do you think there will be more Pagans, more acceptance of Paganism and thus more people raised Pagan? If more people are raised Pagan, do you think Paganism will still contain this element of personal quest or will it become normal that Pagans are just born into their paths?

Keep in mind that certain paths do have strong family tradition attached to them even now, but I think a lot of this is going to depend on the person.  There may be a lot of kids who "go pagan" because that's what their parents did, but there may be an equal number who "go Christian" as an act of rebellion, depending on how pushy their parents are about their paganism (much as I respect my parents, their blind devotion to Christianity certainly played a factor in my eventual departure from it...I'm not one to blindly devote myself to any cause).

In some cases, parents may even SET an aspect of "personal quest" for their children to see if the child is serious about pursuing their particular path (and to help the child think about other options if s/he is NOT serious).  It will be interesting to see what happens over the next few decades, I think.
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« Reply #2: July 18, 2008, 08:35:51 pm »

This is speculative about a specific aspect of Paganism in the near future:


Today and even more in the past 20th century most Pagans came from non-Pagan backrounds and had to go through a search phase before they settled on a path (or became eclectics or continuing seekers).

I wonder if this would change slightly in the next few decades. Do you think there will be more Pagans, more acceptance of Paganism and thus more people raised Pagan? If more people are raised Pagan, do you think Paganism will still contain this element of personal quest or will it become normal that Pagans are just born into their paths?

Would you say this seeking is an integral part of Paganism/specific paths or is it just there because many people come from non-Pagan backrounds and need to seek before they find something else?


well, there are certainly a lot more support resources for pagan parents than there were when I was growing up; it's easier to find people of like mind, at least on the internet, if nothing else, and there are some really good books out there. So I think that will certainly make some difference. I do think that over time, people in pagan faiths will get more mainstream acceptance. But a lot of that will depend on people acting right, of course, and continuing to show up peacefully and with their clothes on in public, like at Pagan Pride and so on.
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Goddess grant me:
  The power of Water,
  to accept with ease & grace what I cannot change.

  The power of Fire,
  for the energy & courage to change the things I can.

  The power of Air,
  for the ability and wisdom to know the difference.

  And the power of Earth,
  for the strength to continue my path.

http://rosejayadal.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #3: July 18, 2008, 11:34:55 pm »

I wonder if this would change slightly in the next few decades. Do you think there will be more Pagans, more acceptance of Paganism and thus more people raised Pagan? If more people are raised Pagan, do you think Paganism will still contain this element of personal quest or will it become normal that Pagans are just born into their paths?

Would you say this seeking is an integral part of Paganism/specific paths or is it just there because many people come from non-Pagan backrounds and need to seek before they find something else?

I think that Paganism holds such a diverse set of different paths and traditions, some in the forefront and some in the background, that it will take a while for Paganism to become something that doesn't need a whole lot of exploration to figure it out. I've been studying the various aspects of Paganism for almost 6 years now, and I'm no way near to figuring it all out!

When you say Christianity, a whole load of different sects will spring to a person's mind: Catholocism, Lutheran, Anglican, Baptist, Pentecostal, Presbytarian, Jehovah's Witnesses etc. And yet a person could very easily start of Christian, with a belief in Jesus Christ as Saviour, and then after months, years, decades, find a specific denomination that seems to fit them.

But where would a Pagan start? What fundamental belief could they hold? There isn't one thing that 'unites' (for lack of a better word) all Pagans, and thus it would be very difficult to find a 'spring board' into Paganism.

Pagans can be very loosely categorised as those who, quite simply, aren't Christian, Muslim or Jewish. I often think to myself that Pagans are easier to be classified as what they aren't as opposed to what they are! Therefore I think that if one were to seek outside of the JCI religions the word Pagan would crop up eventually...but as to any specific characteristics of the path, that would be the individual's choice.

As for those who have been, or will be, raised to be Pagan, they would be extremely likely to encounter huge differences between their Pagan path and the Pagan path of another family. Yet one Christian family compared to another Christian family, albeit there will be differences, I think that they would be much more likely to find similarities than two Pagan families would. That's just the nature of Paganism; it's diverse. And that's why I love it  Smiley
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Waldfrau
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« Reply #4: July 19, 2008, 03:57:01 am »

As for those who have been, or will be, raised to be Pagan, they would be extremely likely to encounter huge differences between their Pagan path and the Pagan path of another family.
You raise an interesting issue. Nowadays it looks like Paganism is just an assembly of a couple of minority religions/paths, some related to each other, some not. I wonder if in the next decades when there's (hopefully) more acceptance of those Pagan religions/paths if the 'Pagan community' will somewhat break up into different sections.

So maybe if someone grows up in an Asatru family he/she will consider him/herself Asatru and not member of a 'Pagan community' in the first place. Thus will there s/he look into other Pagan paths or interact with them?

Could also depend of how open or eclectic a path or family tradition is and how many other paths are related to it. (Like Wicca could be closer related to other paths of witchcraft in some aspects than Asatru to other polytheist recon religions - I hope adherents correct me if I'm wrong.)
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rose
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« Reply #5: July 19, 2008, 11:44:14 am »

You raise an interesting issue. Nowadays it looks like Paganism is just an assembly of a couple of minority religions/paths, some related to each other, some not. I wonder if in the next decades when there's (hopefully) more acceptance of those Pagan religions/paths if the 'Pagan community' will somewhat break up into different sections.

So maybe if someone grows up in an Asatru family he/she will consider him/herself Asatru and not member of a 'Pagan community' in the first place. Thus will there s/he look into other Pagan paths or interact with them?

Could also depend of how open or eclectic a path or family tradition is and how many other paths are related to it. (Like Wicca could be closer related to other paths of witchcraft in some aspects than Asatru to other polytheist recon religions - I hope adherents correct me if I'm wrong.)

I think everyone will continue to show up at things like Pantheacon and Pagan Pride Day, or whatever you have in your part of the world. But mostly only people who are Asatru will take their kids to the Asatru public events. This is kind of different from other religions, and more akin to the Gay Pride Movement, and other kinds of minority unity movements, b/c all pagan groups are quite small, even the bigger mainstream-y ones. We still need each other, which is not how the JCI religions feel about each other, by and large, I don't think. People who are Southern Baptist, for example, don't generally go to the religious events that other kinds of Christians have, unless they are academic or doing some kind of special interfaith thing. But people who are Asatru are just as likely to come out to a big public pagan meetup, as Wiccans or Druids.

As for people in family traditions...I only know personally one person, and she does not talk about it much, b/c it's her *family tradition. Only people in the family are initiated. I would hazard a guess that those kinds of traditions will remain pretty much as closed as they've always been. But that doesn't mean that you can't learn about and join other traditions. I would hope that a healthy family of any religion would be open to their children's needs and beliefs, and support them in any positive religious choices they make.
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Goddess grant me:
  The power of Water,
  to accept with ease & grace what I cannot change.

  The power of Fire,
  for the energy & courage to change the things I can.

  The power of Air,
  for the ability and wisdom to know the difference.

  And the power of Earth,
  for the strength to continue my path.

http://rosejayadal.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #6: July 20, 2008, 09:44:08 am »

This is speculative about a specific aspect of Paganism in the near future:
Today and even more in the past 20th century most Pagans came from non-Pagan backrounds and had to go through a search phase before they settled on a path (or became eclectics or continuing seekers).
I wonder if this would change slightly in the next few decades. Do you think there will be more Pagans, more acceptance of Paganism and thus more people raised Pagan? If more people are raised Pagan, do you think Paganism will still contain this element of personal quest or will it become normal that Pagans are just born into their paths?
Would you say this seeking is an integral part of Paganism/specific paths or is it just there because many people come from non-Pagan backrounds and need to seek before they find something else?

I think that today more people are aware of Paganism than they have been in the past. But being aware doesn't mean they are accepting. There will always be those who will never accept Paganism as anything other than the work of the Devil because it leads people away from Christianity.

I firmly believe too that for many out there today Paganism is a passing (cool/rebellious) phase.  I think a spotlight has been turned on Paganism in the last few years and many people are interested in finding out about it or trying it out, but in the long-run hardcore or devout Pagans will remain a minority.  In the 60's a lot of people were interested in the Eastern religions, in the 70's the trend was self-help (like EST), the 80's brought in New Age thinking, right now the new interest is Paganism.

As for personal religious quests, that is completely up to an individual no matter what religion they are "born into". Many Pagans do come from a Christian background, but rejection of Christianity is not a springboard into Paganism. Some people are just natural born seekers while others are natural born conformists. So, even if someone is raised as a Pagan it doesn't mean they are going to stay Pagan. My in-laws were Scientologists but their children rejected Scientology. One went on as a seeker (and is more agnostic than anything) while another acted as a conformist and converted to Christianity (mostly because she was tired of always being outside the mainstream.)

Today people have become aware that Paganism is another religious option for them, so naturally, the number of Pagans will rise, but I think Paganism will be a minority religion for a long, long time.

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« Reply #7: March 03, 2009, 05:42:33 pm »

I wonder if this would change slightly in the next few decades. Do you think there will be more Pagans, more acceptance of Paganism and thus more people raised Pagan? If more people are raised Pagan, do you think Paganism will still contain this element of personal quest or will it become normal that Pagans are just born into their paths?

I'm not a Pagan parent, but those Pagans that I know that have kids aren't really "raising" their kids in their religion.  I don't know how widespread an attitude this is, but the parents that I know expose their kids to their particular tradition of Paganism but they prefer to allow them the freedom to choose their spiritual path as adults.  For example, some close friends have two elementary age children that they take to Pagan events and allow to be present for some rituals, but they aren't really teaching them the religion in any organized way.  I'm sure the kids are picking things up, but that's very different then say, being sent to catechism class in a Catholic church.

For those that are raised Pagan I think the likelihood of them retaining the faith of their parents will vary from person to person.  But if current trends continue I think the overall number of Pagans will probably increase over time.  That also raises the question of what the various forms of Paganism will look like if that happens however....
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Caeia Iulia Regillia
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« Reply #8: September 18, 2009, 10:00:32 pm »

I'm not a Pagan parent, but those Pagans that I know that have kids aren't really "raising" their kids in their religion.  I don't know how widespread an attitude this is, but the parents that I know expose their kids to their particular tradition of Paganism but they prefer to allow them the freedom to choose their spiritual path as adults.  For example, some close friends have two elementary age children that they take to Pagan events and allow to be present for some rituals, but they aren't really teaching them the religion in any organized way.  I'm sure the kids are picking things up, but that's very different then say, being sent to catechism class in a Catholic church.

For those that are raised Pagan I think the likelihood of them retaining the faith of their parents will vary from person to person.  But if current trends continue I think the overall number of Pagans will probably increase over time.  That also raises the question of what the various forms of Paganism will look like if that happens however....

I think it eventually will become an ordinary religion.  I mean, everything goes through phases, but at the end of the day, if you are raised in a religion, you'll probably stay there.  But I think the future of paganism is just like the past -- they were open systems, constantly adapting to new situations, adopting forgein ideas, all kinds of things.  For better or worse there is no catachism, though the more recon versions of paganism probably have codes based on the old ways. 
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« Reply #9: September 19, 2009, 08:11:50 am »

I'm not a Pagan parent, but those Pagans that I know that have kids aren't really "raising" their kids in their religion.  I don't know how widespread an attitude this is, but the parents that I know expose their kids to their particular tradition of Paganism but they prefer to allow them the freedom to choose their spiritual path as adults. 

This is what I was going to say as well.  As a parent, I know I am raising my children to be, foremost, tolerant and educated of other belief systems.  They know what I believe, but they are also educated in general about all beliefs, or as much as I know to teach them.  They know about Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, etc.  They know about a lot of Native American stories just because I love those stories, even though that belief system is not my own.  Parenting is tough, and I just hope that by doing this, I'm going to accomplish my goal of educating them, and not just confusing them.  Tongue

And, I think this teaching also stems from the fact that pagans in general don't hold the belief that theirs is the "only way" so they're less likely to be so insistent that their children are raised that one way.

I do see, in the future, and even now, more tolerance of pagan beliefs, regardless of the specific path.  I heard a bishop on the radio the other day saying how it's now quite acceptable to carry prayer beads, but carrying a rosary is odd.  I think he was speaking from his own area, which was somewhere obviously more progressive than where I live, but I can see this trend as well.
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« Reply #10: November 05, 2009, 12:30:53 pm »



I wonder if this would change slightly in the next few decades. Do you think there will be more Pagans, more acceptance of Paganism and thus more people raised Pagan? If more people are raised Pagan, do you think Paganism will still contain this element of personal quest or will it become normal that Pagans are just born into their paths?

I strongly believe that religion should not be taught or brought into individuals lives below the age of 18. After the age of 18, people are normaly mature enough to think for themselves and that way people have the choice to choose what religion they want to beleive in and embrace into their lives. If an individual is brought up with a religion it is hard to change that faith at will. I also think it would be best for all religions to be an option to learn about, not just christian or pagan but all faiths in existence. Doing this, people gain free choice what they want to believe in and wont have any problem in changing their faith.

I think there will be more pagans in the future, but not more accepted. At the moment im living in a catholic country so, I guess thats the reason why im not seeing it more accepted. I hope that in America and european countries it is getting more accepted as the years pass.

As I said before, I do not wish anyone to be brought up into a faith. Because it takes away their free will to believe in what they want to believe.
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« Reply #11: November 05, 2009, 01:37:41 pm »

I strongly believe that religion should not be taught or brought into individuals lives below the age of 18. After the age of 18, people are normaly mature enough to think for themselves and that way people have the choice to choose what religion they want to beleive in and embrace into their lives.

I am of two minds about this.  I was 18 when I learned about paganism.  I hadn't been raised religious.  The Christian norm sort of filtered in, but I was never baptized or considered myself a part of any religion, and for the most part my education was secular, focused on arts and sciences.  At 18, I felt that I had gone too long, and I could never actually have "faith." I now consider myself very pagan, but whether I have learned "faith" is . . . questionable.  Part of me feels like people should at least be exposed to and perhaps taught ABOUT religion before 18, but not that any religion in particular should be enforced.
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« Reply #12: November 07, 2009, 08:03:49 pm »

I strongly believe that religion should not be taught or brought into individuals lives below the age of 18.

I was raised Lutheran. In fact, I wanted to go to church with my neighbor when I was little and then the rest of the family started going to. We were close with those neighbors. I was involved with my church from 8 to 18. After I went to college, I ended up converting to Wicca and that was the culmination of a several-years' long religious quest (I later realized).

I don't think it's wrong to bring up a child with a faith. What feels wrong to me is disallowing children to explore other faiths in an age-appropriate way if they like. I want to raise my future child Wiccan. If he or she wants to explore other ways, fine. As long as it isn't something dangerous or damaging. If this child eventually decides to follow another faith, fine. Same caveat.

But it would be difficult for me and my husband to be actively Wiccan and not share that practice and those values with a child in age appropriate ways. As it would be difficult for me to disallow my father to share Lutheranism with that child. He is still active with the church I grew up in, and my issues were with my own disconnect to the tenets of Christianity rather than any issues with Lutheranism or that church.

Karen
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