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Guest morrigan

What's My Path? - You tell me, I don't like hard decisions

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Guest morrigan

Eek.

Right well personally I just read tons of stuff on mythology of all sorts,folklore,books on general paganism,witchcraft ,druids basically anything that took my fancy and to be honest I still do.

I dont exactly know what my path is,just that it feels right .

Thats probably not much help.

Hope you find whats right.

If you do want book title names I'll root a few out for you.

 

Morrigan :rolleyes:

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Guest Pamela

Ooo that's a toughie. Only you can really know what your true path will be and we can only suggest books that you might enjoy reading. I read lots and they all have their good and bad points. Seasonal Magic - Diary of a seasonal witch is pretty good.

Bright blessings,

Hugs,

P.

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Guest Dryad

Morrigan's right, Moonrider. Your best bet is to read books.

 

Lots and lots and lots of books.

 

In the meantime, you can start reading here.

 

We're all here to answer any questions you have!

 

Dryad

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Guest Moonrider

thanx for the replies.. any information is good...and you are all quite right..I must find my own way.....but all help is appreciated

 

with light and love

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Esk

Nigel Jackson is good for Trad Craft, Call of the Horned Piper or Masks of Misrule. Read voraciously Moonrider and never forget that the author has no more a valid opinion than you.

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Guest Dave

Just immerse yourself in as much information as you can lay your hands on, from as many and varied sources as possible.

 

See all the information with an open mind. Try to avoid embracing any particular path that you may read about early on.

 

See as many views as possible before being drawn down a single route.

 

As your understanding and knowledge increases and broadens you will find the path that is right for you and although the principles will be pretty much the same,it probably won't be identical to anyone elses.

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Guest Blackie_Fen

Oh yes - books are good :( If you want a reliable historical perspective on modern paganism, start with Ronald Hutton - an excellent author and a very thorough researcher. Its often safer to stick with 'non-pagan' books for your starting points in history. Expecially when dealing with the middle ages and medieval period.

 

Aside from that, books on mythology, basic paths and general pagan beliefs are an excellent starting point. If you're working alone, try something like Rae Beth's Hedgewitch . From there you can go on to books written for beginners in certain disciplines that you have identified as areas you might want to work in - divination, herbalism, protection, reading tarot etc. And never be afraid to ask questions :)

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Guest Faith

Hmmm, not an easy place to be... Very scary :angry:

 

For heathenism, Davkin's topic is a really good place to start - very clear. Apart from that, we've had some good internet sites suggested over time, I'll see if I can hunt some up.

 

Good luck! :angry:

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Guest Cairneyhill

I don't know if this is the right place to post this but as I'm new to the site I think it's a good idea. I've been reading quite a bit on here and I've got a few questions that might offend a few people, however that's not my intention.

 

I was looking for a Pagan forum that's actually 'really' about Paganism because I've been on enough websites and mailing lists claiming they we're Pagan when most people were in fact looking for love spells or discussing relationship problems. Now, I don't really need that.

 

The biggest question for me is actually: How do you people define 'being Pagan'? I would certainly refer to myself as a Pagan. But does that mean I have to celebrate lots of rituals, do I have to be into witchcraft and lead an 'alternative' lifestyle to be accepted amongst other Pagans? There seem to be a lot of hardcore Pagans out there, maybe even on this site, that turn up their noses at the people that aren't serious enough, or whatever. Personally, I'm very mainstream on the outside. However, I've always cared deeply about the world around me, and while I'm not an activist I do make an effort, like eating vegetarian & organic, recycling my rubbish, driving a car that's as friendly to the environment as I can financially afford it, etc. To me, all this is part of a Pagan life style as I'd find it a bit sick to worship Mother Earth and still eat all the rubbish that the supermarkets have to offer and dump my rubbish in the countryside.

 

As for the spiritual side of things, that's very personal to me and I don't feel that I have to celebrate big, pompous rituals to worship nature. I do know all the Pagan holy days and they indeed mean a lot to me. I've connected with nature on a level that's comfortable for me and makes me feel content. I want to keep things simple. Does that make me less Pagan? We can't all be Druids, Shamans, Witches, whatever. I'm always willing to learn but what I don't want is dogma, I don't want people, no matter how experienced they are, to tell me what to do or not to do.

 

Any comments would be greatly appreciated!

 

Bright blessings,

Cairneyhill

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Pomona

Moved this to a more appropriate place for you. :)

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Guest Dave
I've connected with nature on a level that's comfortable for me and makes me feel content. I want to keep things simple. Does that make me less Pagan?
That's very much like my own paganism Cairney. I think you'll find in UKP that there are those that follow very clearly defined paths and others that do not.

 

I've not found in UKP that anyone gets away with decrying the choices of others for very long. We're generally all happy to simply enjoy the mix. You'll find some here that are totally into their "craft" and some that might stick fairly rigidly to a certain path but you'll also find many here whose paganism is comparitively eclectic.

 

You'll also find many different levels of craft practice within UKP, from those that call the quarters at every sabbat and esbat to those that perform any kind of ritual only very rarely if at all. But we're all pagans because our spirituality is connected to the same earth that we all walk on. In UKP, I think that I can safely say that we all enjoy our differences rather than fight over them. Generally :)

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Guest Shardon

Hi Cairneyhill :)

 

I am new to all this myself and I am studying wicca, I believe everyone has there on way of being Pagan. We all still follow the basic guidelines but we must do what feels comfortable for US.

 

I know what you mean about the "die hard" pagans as I have suffered abuse because I do not belong to a coven and I am not deemed worthy because I do not follow their "rules".

 

I love the way my studies are going, meditation has been a real experience for me :D In the next couple of weeks I will be doing my first Temple Ritual and to me that is very exciting.

 

Just remember we are not all here to follow the same path, we were created unique and that is the way I think the God and Goddess would want us to be. Free to make our own choices and to do our best.

 

"An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will"

 

These are my opinions and I too apologise if I offend anyone

 

Shardon

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Guest Nimrod

Hello,

 

I'm also rather new to it all and admit I had similar concerns. As Dave said though

 

...we're all pagans because our spirituality is connected to the same earth that we all walk on. In UKP, I think that I can safely say that we all enjoy our differences rather than fight over them.

 

From what I've read and seen of the forum so far that certainly seems to be the case. It's a very pleasant and informative place to read and post topics. As for defining 'being Pagan' I think that's possibly an incredibly tricky task! Honouring and respecting nature are obviously the general basis though. I definately don't think keeping things simple makes someone less of a Pagan.

 

Personally as a solitary I'm yet to conduct a "proper" ritual, as it were, though I do meditate whenever I can. That will change as of the coming Esbat though.

 

All in all their seems to be a wide variety of people and beleifs floating arount the forum quite happily together. :)

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Guest Julai

This site is really about paganism. Definitely. But no one here can define paganism, because it means different things to absolutely everyone. You can't prove you are a pagan by saying you do things a certain way, or prove that you're not either. But what's good about this site is that it aims to be civil and give space to all.

 

Why can't it be defined? Well, a pagan is someone who follows the wiccan rede, and a pagan is someone who thinks it's a load of rubbish; a pagan believes everything is linked, and a pagan believes there are discrete pantheons that have nothing to do with each other; a pagan believes you respect animals by not eating them, and a pagan believes you can eat with respect, and not to eat animals would put the earth WAY out of balance; a pagan does rituals with paraphernalia, and a pagan does rituals with nothing; a pagan works with magic, but then again a pagan believes magic is just the workings of the subconscious mind. A pagan believes you can't get wisdom from books, but a pagan loves books. A pagan vehemently upholds the right to hit people with hexes, and a pagan thinks you get back what you send out.

 

Relationship problems are what binds a community together, even a pagan community, and to my mind it would be very hard to maintain any kind of forum in a strictly formal manner like a debating society. However, the mods are doing their noble best to confine relationship issues to the blogs, so if you like that sort of thing you can have a good nose, and if not, don't.

 

So I would say, don't bother trying to define "pagan". Just read all the different interpretations and marvel, and take to yourself any bits of wisdom that ring true for you.

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Guest WoodSong

Heh. When you get beyond the Snug (and even in there sometimes!), we're a forum that is 'about' paganism.

 

Defining paganism though - that's a tricky one. It's easier to say what a pagan isn't. A pagan is not Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, or a follower of any of the Abrahamic religions. A pagan is not someone who slaughters animals or humans in rituals. A pagan is not someone who would automatically abuse their children, emotionally, physically or sexually.

 

A pagan is someone who feels a connection with nature or our planet. They may believe in gods, a god, or no god. They may practise magic, believe in magic, or not. Generally, a pagan is someone who will weigh and consider something for themselves rather than simply accepting what they read or are told.

 

These are my opinions, and I won't apologise for them to anyone!

 

The BBC website has a pretty good definition of paganism, as does Fools Forum, run by our own Cos.

 

Oh, and anyone looking for a love spell deserves all they get, as far as I'm concerned :P That's a whole other barrel of worms!

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Guest ladypenndragon

Blessings,

And welcome to our "family".

Being Pagan? To me it is a respect for mother nature, learning new things every day, meeting new friends, and following my heart.

Yup, some hard core Pagans do the quarters, sabats, ect, and frown on those who do not.

I belive what ever feels right to you, is the way you should be, and not care too much about what others think of you. There are no set rules that I am aware of, but then again, some feel that if you dont follow the path they do, then you are doing it "wrong". Hum. :D

Some wear certain items of clothing, or jewlery, ect ect. I wear crystals, pentacles, ankhs, ect, but some dont wear any "Pagan" jewlery...again, what ever feels right to you, is right...for you. :(

 

Welcome, and hope you keep on being yourself. Seems you have a pretty good start. :)

 

Love, LadyP

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Guest Dave
A pagan is not someone who slaughters animals or humans in rituals.
Oh Bugger...... so that's where I've been going wrong all of these years.

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Cosmic_Fool
I don't know if this is the right place to post this but as I'm new to the site I think it's a good idea. I've been reading quite a bit on here and I've got a few questions that might offend a few people, however that's not my intention.

 

Welcome to the Valley Cairneyhill.

 

I was looking for a Pagan forum that's actually 'really' about Paganism because I've been on enough websites and mailing lists claiming they we're Pagan when most people were in fact looking for love spells or discussing relationship problems. Now, I don't really need that.

 

Well you've found one, and though it might seem like a case of blowing the site's trumpet, you have found a site that is open to all Pagans and where love spells (and their ethics) are more likely to be debated than swapped.

 

The biggest question for me is actually: How do you people define 'being Pagan'?

 

Now that is a topic in itself :( , if you really want a definition, then as Woodsong so kindly plugged for me, I have attempted to offer a short definition on my site, Fool's Paradox (link in my sig) and there is a reasonable outline on the bbc. However to be honest while many may agree on parts of a definition, most will offer their own version too.

 

I would certainly refer to myself as a Pagan.

 

That's fine. If you feel that the description fits, don't let anyone else tell you otherwise.

But does that mean I have to celebrate lots of rituals,

Only if you want to or feel they are important.

 

do I have to be into witchcraft and lead an 'alternative' lifestyle to be accepted amongst other Pagans?

 

only if you are a witch (or interested) and lead an alternative lifestyle already.

There seem to be a lot of hardcore Pagans out there, maybe even on this site, that turn up their noses at the people that aren't serious enough, or whatever.

Yep there are a lot of hardcore - do it this way - pagans out there but if they try to tell you how to follow your own path, the best thing is to tell them to stick to their own. I think you will find that any on here are more likely to question rather than preach, and if anyone does get too anal about things you have the choice of using the report button or the ignore option. Or simply watching them taken to task by the other members of the site :)

 

Personally, I'm very mainstream on the outside. However, I've always cared deeply about the world around me, and while I'm not an activist I do make an effort, like eating vegetarian & organic, recycling my rubbish, driving a car that's as friendly to the environment as I can financially afford it, etc. To me, all this is part of a Pagan life style as I'd find it a bit sick to worship Mother Earth and still eat all the rubbish that the supermarkets have to offer and dump my rubbish in the countryside.

 

As for the spiritual side of things, that's very personal to me and I don't feel that I have to celebrate big, pompous rituals to worship nature. I do know all the Pagan holy days and they indeed mean a lot to me. I've connected with nature on a level that's comfortable for me and makes me feel content. I want to keep things simple.

 

Thats my motto, simple is best - well in my experience (though I do still get days I feel like getting the robes out of mothballs, donning my circlet, drawing my dagger, lighting candels etc.. but by the time I've got that far I tend to sit down and say bugger to all this and have a cup of tea instead :D )

 

Does that make me less Pagan?

 

Not at all. No

 

We can't all be Druids, Shamans, Witches, whatever. I'm always willing to learn but what I don't want is dogma, I don't want people, no matter how experienced they are, to tell me what to do or not to do.

 

Any comments would be greatly appreciated!

 

Bright blessings,

Cairneyhill

97692[/snapback]

 

 

As I said before, be what you feel is right and by all means take on suggestions, and listen to advice but don't let anyone else tell you where your path should wander.

 

I hope you find the Valley helpful and an enjoyable place to be.

 

 

Kev

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Guest chris1

Ive studied and (only basically) practiced for the last couple of years and now looking more into it (now im comfortable that this is what i want) how do you decide which path you want to follow? Ive read the silver ravenwolf books and have a few other 'autobiographies' from witches etc. im intreagued....cos im not sure.....also how have any of you decided on your panthenon?

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Guest Blackie_Fen

The main consideration is which path makes the most sense to you, and which path you can see yourself following - there's not much point dedicating yourself to a path on the basis of who else has joined it or how good they say it is if you cringe at the thought of following their rituals, or disagree with their ethics.

 

Before you dedicate yourself to anything, have a very careful thought about what you believe - which approach to deities you feel is the most appropriate for you, your feelings on ritual and magic, your ethics and the way you apply them to your faith. Be honest with yourself - if you don't give a stuff about celebrating every single sabbat and esbat, then you won't want to follow a path which preaches strict adherance to the passing of these festivals. If, however, you enjoy ritual and ceremony you may find yourself irritated by a path with a more flexible attitude.

 

A path at a time, read everything you can and try to talk to followers of that path in order to find out how it works, what will be expected of you, and what it can teach you. Remember that it is very unlikely you will find a path which is compatible with all of your beliefs, but you shouldn't let that prevent you from learning more about paths which interest you; your beliefs may well change as you develop your knowledge and skills and you should be prepared to allow this to happen. You will only learn and develop as long as you are flexible about the labels you place upon yourself.

 

And remember, you don't have to declare yourself as a follower of any particular path. Until you find a path that's right for you, and even once you feel you have, remain open to all the information available to you and don't be afraid to say that you're pagan but haven't found a strict path to follow yet.

 

Personally, I'd only ever label myself as a hedgewitch (and if you want to know more about that I'd recommend Rae Beth's books on the subject). I believe in the God and Goddess as representations of the feminine and masculine in all aspects of life, but don't follow a particular pantheon of deities.

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Guest chris1

I recently bought Rae Beths book just to see what it was like. I must admit i do tend to find it hard finding time to do all the rituals but dont feel bad about it cos i feel i give my thanks in a different way so i guess im more relaxed. Reading the silver ravenwolf books makes it all seem a bit daunting and abit false. almost like there is pressure to conform to a path rather than be a 'floater'

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Guest littleyellowidol
almost like there is pressure to conform to a path rather than be a 'floater'

99982[/snapback]

 

I haven't read that book, but in general terms, I know what you mean.

 

I found mine by feel, and it took me a while. For some reason I felt a need to belong somewhere (I think we all do), so I went looking for that place. Fortunately, I found it.

 

sorry if that didn't make sense; I'm in a very strange mood.

 

Peace,

 

lyi.

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Guest chris1

No that makes sense......i do feel like i should belong in a category.....like i suppose everyone does really....its almost like a longing with this though...like i wont be 'real' til i have this label

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Guest Blackie_Fen
its almost like a longing with this though...like i wont be 'real' til i have this label

99984[/snapback]

 

Again, that's something you need to think hard about - the reason behind that feeling. If its down to the attitude of others (e.g. 'oh you're not a real pagan if you're not a wiccan/witch/follower of the great green Fungle), then its the wrong reason to go path hunting.

 

If, on the other hand, there are things you feel you are missing out on from not being a member of a particular path, I would suggest thinking about how those particular things can be addressed, rather than trying to find a path that will act as a cure-all. For instance, if you feel you lack a sense of 'belonging', try finding moots in your area - I can pretty much guarantee you won't be the only 'floater' there. If you feel you need to find a teacher, identify those who you would like to learn from, whatever their path, and ask them if they will share their knowledge with you.

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Cosmic_Fool
Ive studied and (only basically) practiced for the last couple of years and now looking more into it (now im comfortable that this is what i want) how do you decide which path you want to follow? Ive read the silver ravenwolf books and have a few other 'autobiographies' from witches etc. im intreagued....cos im not sure.....also how have any of you decided on your panthenon?

99977[/snapback]

 

I would be careful about what 'qualifications' you declare as citing Silver Ravenwolf to a hardcore linneaged coven could result in at least laughter..... :D

 

To be honest much of what is out there is not exactly what it pertains to be. Linneaged covens, whether Gardnerian, Alexandrian or what ever tend to hold their initiates to certain vows and I am assured by a number of initiates that what is out in these DIY Wicca books is missing those innermost secrets. Of course they won't tell me what these secrets are and for all I know it could be anything from the size of Uncle Gerry's attributes or how many sugars to put in the High Priests cup of Typhoo :o_beer:

 

If however you are talking proper non Wicca witchcraft then you can learn the basics from simple observation and a few visits to the reference section of your local library (try looking at books about wildlife, wild plants, folk customs and mythology, human psychology and meteorology) the actual witchy bit comes from knowing when to apply them. Of course some investigation of magic is always helpful and that is probably the only time a 'pagan' book will be the only recourse (though please try and avoid books with velvet covers - though they may contain useful info, the velvet tends to look really scruffy everso quickly :o_cute: )

 

As for choosing your pantheon, firstly decide if you are going to be a witch, a Wiccan , a reconstructionist or simply a pagan following a life path.

 

As a witch you don't need a god or a goddess unless you want/need one and then technically you can work with any god you feel drawn too, though YHWH is known to be rather anti-witch so I wouldn't appeal to him :o_devil:

 

If a Wiccan then as all gods are just facets of the single god it is really down to what your coven is based on, or if a solitary then whoever you feel is right.

 

If a reconstructionist then you choose the culture you feel is closest to you and you are stuck with their gods. That is don't follow the ancient greeks and try and work with the Aesir :rolleyes:

 

If yo simply wish to be a modern pagan (Neo-Pagan) following a life path based upon your own experiences, research and mistakes then you will most likely find it better to let the gods choose you. Until then just keep on researching, experiencing and learning from your mistakes. In other words you're an eclectic and that is no easy path believe me, but it can be extremely rewarding.

 

so in summary the more you learn and the more you do the more likely you are to find a comfortable and rewarding spiritual path (or in otherwords read the above ;) )

 

Kev - eclectic and proud of it!

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Guest thebanringwanderer
so in summary the more you learn and the more you do the more likely you are to find a comfortable and rewarding spiritual path (or in otherwords read the above :rolleyes: )

 

Kev - eclectic and proud of it!

99993[/snapback]

 

I couldn't agree more. You find the more you learn from reading, meeting other pagans, witches, wiccans, druids and heathens that you begin to make informed judgements for yourself.

 

There is also that very magickal/spiritual element to it all that makes your path cross with some very great books, people and natural phenomenon. That's definitely my experience.

 

Blessings

trw

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Guest chris1

Its funny cos a lot of the peopel ive spoken too dont like siver ravenwolf (and like you say sometimes the best you get is a laugh) yet the girl in the shop (and it was a 'magickal' shop) highly recommended the books.......Why do some feel so strongly against her do you think? I just find what she says all a bit daunting and very regimental. to me learning you religion should be done at your own pace and you should explor the 'next phases' as and when you feel ready not the 'you must study for 3 hours a day' thing and 'by week 26 you should be able to....' etc.

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Guest WoodSong

I would suggest that most people are against her simply because it's so regimented, and she's convinced that her way is right and no other way is valid...Personally I find her views shallow and not very well thought through, and not valid to me.

 

It's a good starting point, even if it means you find out what you don't agree with at the outset.

 

Why not pop over to Bookworm's Corner and have a look at some of the recommendations people have made for beginners? Once you've got an idea which direction you want to go in, at least where you want to go first :D you can always put a post in there yourself asking for recommendations on your subject.

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Cosmic_Fool

Yep I'd say that is a major part of it - the old my way is the only way syndrome.

 

Kev

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