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  3. Roundtuit

    Any other late bloomers?

    Thank you. Yes, I'm starting to think it's the journey that matters. What a gorgeous image! I'd love to get back to the fells, there's something new around very corner there.
  4. Stonehugger

    Any other late bloomers?

    I've had varying degrees and natures of commitment to Christianity since I was at school but I've also always had pagan leanings and for quite a long time now my path has been entirely pagan. It's unproblematic in that my family and friends think it's harmless eccentricity, but I imagine it would be different if I took a strongly pagan stance on something. For me personally it's important to listen to what's going on around me and work out my path accordingly, so I celebrate the presence of many paths up the same mountain and have no concerns about reaching the top. I imagine that, like almost any walk in the fells, what currently looks like the top is just another place to see the next top from. Dangerous statement. Talk about tempting fate...! Definitely!! 😁
  5. Ellinas

    Any other late bloomers?

    Well, I've been called many things in my time... I'm also a former Christian, with a chequered history (Anglican, in the guise of the Church in Wales, then Plymouth Brethren with the odd foray into the Baptists along the way). I fell out with Christianity in the early 2000's, when I was late 30's, early 40's. Since then, the general nature of my meanderings has remained fairly constant, but the details and contents have changed over time. That's fine. The journey is the issue, not the destination. Ithaca calls, but Phoenician markets and Egyptian cities have the greater import (poetic reference - just means follow your path and hope to arrive late, if at all). What I believe tomorrow may be very different to what I believe today. What I believed yesterday is just a stepping stone. In short, don't worry about what you have been, as it is merely the pathway that got you to what you are, and don't worry about where you are going, there are any number of bye-ways for you to explore. As to others - I have struggled with family pressures and the tyranny of monotheistic faith. I understand your position and have no issue with a softly-softly approach such as you describe. In fact, it is the best way unless you are prepared to create and weather a family rift. Dangerous statement. Talk about tempting fate...!
  6. Moonsmith

    Any other late bloomers?

    Hi, Welcome. While I rarely go to bed before three am, I am also in the habit of switching off my phone between uses. This device is primarily outgoing. Many of us have been Christians at some point in our histories. Experiences vary considerably. I was heavily involved but just lapsed. No issues or problems. I know a lot of Pagans who have switched between different belief sets, pagan and non pagan over the years. They have a tendency to carry over elements from each crossroads they come to. My own beliefs have been evolving for decades. I don’t suppose that they will change much more but if anyone gives serious thought to their beliefs there must always be the risk of a new realisation. Don’t take any notice of what other people say, just be sure that whatever you believe is what you really believe. There is no top to that mountain. The road goes ever on. Take any path that leads in a direction that want to go. Don’t worry about the destination.
  7. Hi! Welcome to my self-absorbed drivel. I don't quite know where to start about this, but after years of trying to be a Christian, I'm exploring being a Pagan. Actually, I'd go as far as to say I am one, and was before in my late teens and early twenties. I grew up in an Evangelical household and my parents are now Pentecostal deacons. I started to question my faith from an early age, and later started to practice Wicca and study legends and folk customs. I had some health problems that made me a lot more dependent on family. I don't see any reason to ever let my parents or other family members know about my beliefs as that would be devastating for them, but they ask about church and my spiritual life every time I see them. In my mid twenties I started to think that I had to compromise with my parents over my beliefs if they were ever to accept other life choices I made. I have had relationships they wouldn't accept and didn't want to alienate myself from them even further. I wanted to be pragmatic. There was truth in virtually every belief system so I might as well re-adopt Christianity, find a progressive church and live as good a life as I could like that. So I did that for years, as a secretly pantheistic Christian who went to a church that worshipped God using male, female and gender-neutral pronouns and lived what most people would describe as a secular life outside of church. I'd left Christianity because so much harm was done in the name of a set of beliefs. Then I came back because I didn't want to cause harm to my parents in the name of beliefs, religion or the lack of it. How people are treated should always come first. Then aged 43, in January during the lockdown, I went 'pop'. It was like I'd been getting more and more resentful and thirsting after Earth-based spirituality. It was a need and I'm not sure it can be denied because I need to feel alive. I've been studying various pagan traditions ever since and have taken a break from church (my vicar knows all of this and is great about it). Not attending church is unacceptable in my family. I feel so behind though. Most people I meet or come across on social media has years of experience and say they've been practicing since they were teenagers. I once heard someone say that yes, there are many paths up the same mountain but if you keep changing paths you never reach the top. Do you agree, or not? Is anyone else here a new older pagan? Is it at all common?
  8. Ember Autumn Rose

    Solstice Blessings

    Belated Blessings... or Early ones for Lughnasadh? 🤭
  9. Ellinas

    Solstice Blessings

    Late, as I have been away, but hope all who celebrate it had a good one
  10. Earthdragon

    Solstice Blessings

    May your Gods and Goddesses be around you, may your Kith be with you, may your kin be healthy and and happy. May you find inspiration and sustenance of spirit. Solstice blessings to all on here at the height of the season.
  11. Ellinas

    Touch wood

    For some, maybe. But others just hope to be asked what it means or why they are saying it. It's all about conversations to evangelicals.
  12. Stonehugger

    Touch wood

    Maybe DV is a bit of a code; a special handshake; a shibboleth. (This conversation is making me think of the "wee donkey" in Line of Duty.)
  13. Ellinas

    Touch wood

    Well, I suppose if you exclaim the name of someone else's deity, it is suitably meaningless and innocuous to the exclaimer. Thinking about it, I occasionally use "Jesus wept" - old habit from way back, probably even my pre-Christian days, let alone pre-pagan. Regarding "god willing", I know Christians who use that habitually, or even "DV", though it escapes me as to why strongly anti-catholic types would refer to Latin. I do have an issue with it - for the evangelicals, it is part of their evangelising strategy to advertise their "faith" and "dependence on god". At best (as they see it), it will give them the chance to start a "conversation" (thinly veiled personal preaching session), and at worst, it is a form of subliminal planting of a message. And that issue is quite apart from the fact I've never seen an instance of god's will that is not, quite clearly, based on the desires of the individual human.
  14. Moonsmith

    Touch wood

    I didn’t have a problem with Insha’llah, whatever we were discussing would probably get done. What I didn’t want to hear was: IBM:- Insha’llah, ‘Bukra,’ and ‘Ma’lesh, It is said with very varying degrees of sincerity and means God willing, tomorrow, whatever (who cares?) Salt has been very precious so spilling it mattered and was obviously the devil’s fault. When I tried to explain de-icing roads in the uk the first thing I was asked was, “How do you get it back?” How many Pagans yell or mutter, “Good God” or “Christ!” Or even “bloody”?
  15. Stonehugger

    Touch wood

    My daughter lives in Dubai and says that "inshallah" [God willing] means "I'll do it when/if I get round to it!"
  16. Stonehugger

    Touch wood

    Me too. Exactly that.
  17. Stonehugger

    Touch wood

    I still do that now. I remember relatives doing it when I was growing up. For some reason, I sort-of equate sinister/left with going widdershins. When I was at school we read a story that freaked me out at the time in which something bad happened if anyone travelled widdershins around something. I don't recall any of the details, but it definitely scared me big-time.
  18. Veggie dancer

    Inspirational Words for Newbies to Veterans

    From the Secret Garden (a surprisingly pagan old classic) “Sometimes since I've been in the garden I've looked up through the trees at the sky and I have had a strange feeling of being happy as if something was pushing and drawing in my chest and making me breathe fast. Magic is always pushing and drawing and making things out of nothing. Everything is made out of magic, leaves and trees, flowers and birds, badgers and foxes and squirrels and people. So it must be all around us. In this garden - in all the places”
  19. Veggie dancer

    Touch wood

    I say touch wood and then quickly touch something wooden. If there is nothing wooden I touch my head. (Which I think of as saying my head is wood ie. stupid for not checking there was wood around when I said touch wood) I tend to say it when I have said something else that I want to happen so that I don’t jinx it. Eg. It’s going to be sunny tomorrow - touch wood
  20. hedgerose

    Touch wood

    I think touching wood probably originated with invoking the tree's spirit. Which is also where the logic of jumping a broomstick to symbolise marriage came from, you were making a declaration using a branch of a particular tree as proof of sincerity. Rather like swearing on a bible - but I digress. In an emergency, the nearest source of wood will do, and tapping the head is saying one has a wooden head. But might that, too, have implied knowledge of trees and their religious and symbolic significance? At home, I do touch wood for luck, as my forebears did. When I do it now though, I do have a particular tree, or variety at least, in mind. I might mentally call on one or another depending on need. At other times, I have made requests of specific trees, regularly greet, touch, and spend time with them, and leave offerings (usually water or splash of wine but Blackthorn likes blood) both when asking and when giving thanks. My Gran would also throw a pinch of salt over her left shoulder to blind the devil if she spilt some, the logic of which escapes me. Your Grandmother hitting her other elbow is an odd one MS, was it common in her area? but it brought to mind another odd one (and there are many among the Beduin) I encountered. If a fly should land in your drink, you should dunk it entirely before fishing it out. This apparently is because one wing holds disease and the other the antidote, so be sure to get both sides. The person, maybe Irish Catholic repeating If I'm spared reminds me also of the Beduin community, and wider Muslim community peppering their speech with God Willing, and many similar formulaic phrases. In their case it was considered a praiseworthy act, would add to your stack of good deeds and if you were lucky, might tip the balance and earn you a place in heaven. It also makes you look holy without much effort on your part. So they were all piously repeating this phrase as often as possible. Both groups had also been conditioned to fear their deity and possible afterlife though, so maybe they meant it sincerely. We still use the word sinister without stopping to think of its origins. From Latin meaning from the left, it goes back to Augurs quartering the sky and reading omens from the direction in which the birds flew past. Anything coming from the left was bad news.
  21. Moonsmith

    beltane ritual dont know where to start

    I’m getting feelings of deja-typed but I’ve said something similar on other forums so if this turns out to be a repeat - respect your elders rather than mock😄 At last! A joyful Beltane to you all. The holly isn’t out with the Hawthorne this year but I guess that is Beltane 20th May 2021.
  22. Ellinas

    Honestly dont know were start

    All the above. Perhaps, from my standpoint, take the time just to be still - or rather, just to "be". The more you fill your mind with the busyness of business, the less likely it is you will get to realise what it is that resonates with you. Also, take your time. Most of us have been doing this pagan thing for a long time - and we've still not got to the end of it. There are no deadlines. You don't need rituals unless you really want them. You don't need rules. I would avoid anything that looks like doctrine. I would seek for for what I believe but avoid any suggestion of faith. So, stillness, patience. Watch the shadows cast by the clouds and listen to the wind. Let the thoughts come, accept them and work on them in due course. Then just keep going in whichever direction this takes your mind.
  23. Earthdragon

    Inspirational Words for Newbies to Veterans

    When every part of ourselves is in alignment with our magick, we become our magick and it is almost impossible for that magick to not become a reality. Mat Auryn
  24. hedgerose

    Honestly dont know were start

    My advice would be to get out in the fresh air. Spend some time somewhere that makes you feel happy, at peace, or uplifted. Some people are drawn to high places, or beaches, or forests, or waterfalls, but whatever resonates with you is right for you. It doesn't even matter if you try different environments and nothing seems to speak to you right away. Don't feel you have to do, or say, or feel anything in particular. Instead, just relax, listen to the wind, feel the sun, or the rain, and just be. Maybe moonlight, or stargazing fill you with awe? That is something else to explore. You are already on your path, it will reveal itself as you move along it. Good luck, and have fun with it!
  25. Earthdragon

    Honestly dont know were start

    You could start by setting aside ten minutes each day and asking for a connection with anything that, for you, is within paganism. It could be the presence of the gods/goddesses or the energy of a living being like a tree or a herb or the vibe that a piece of pagan poetry or music might bring up for you. Go with the flow and follow your instinct. My teacher used to say "ask a question with truth in your heart and you will receive a true answer". The nack then is to listen and hear the answer(s). Some of them will come from yourself. Keep checking in on the forum, it will be good to hear how things are going 🌞🌿
  26. Stonehugger

    Honestly dont know were start

    For me, it was simply a sense that there was more going on in my surroundings than I could put my finger on. The first time was at a stone circle but these days it's just as likely to be where boulders, trees and fast-flowing water are all in close proximity. For me personally, deities are useful models or metaphors but for others they're central to how they understand the world. There's no right answer. I steer clear of traditions that involve a sense of orthodoxy - the idea that a set of beliefs and/or actions makes someone a true follower of X and vice versa. But that's just me. Welcome to the valley 🙂
  27. Moonsmith

    Honestly dont know were start

    Relax😄 You’ve already started! First and foremost being Pagan isn’t like being a member of a church congregation. It is a deeply personal and very wide group of beliefs. The important thing is to spend some time sorting out what you REALLY believe. Don’t worry about what other people believe or what is right to believe. A huge number of Christians including priests do not believe in the main statements of their religion but for some reason that I don’t really understand they just keep going. Pagans do not need to do that, they believe what they believe and that is enough. If your partner is atheist don’t worry. There are plenty of atheist Pagans. Their beliefs seem to be based on spirituality and caring rather than reverence for gods. Of course it is reasonable for your partner to ask themselves why they think they might be Pagan at all. I don’t know how many times we’ve said here - sort out your own beliefs before you look for other people who believe something similar. Many many of us are out on our own and not part of any group - just on our own. There is no need to worry about what to do either. Just do whatever comes to mind as you think about what you believe. If you really believe that you are Pagan then you are; it’s as simple as that. There is no entrance exam😄 You might also think this through and realise that you are not Pagan and that is perfectly OK too. You could join a Viking reenactment group and enjoy the community and the costumes without concerning yourself with belief at all. Whatever you think, the very best of luck. Pat.
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