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mystical_moon

Pagan For Starters

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Guest scyld

Hi Rhys,

 

Well done mate. You're less scared than you were a few days ago, you understand a little more, you're closer to feeling happy with calling yourself "pagan". But it seems you've have the "seed" deep inside you for a long long time, and if love and wonder of the stars, sky and earth isn't pagan then I don't know what is.

 

I'm quite new to UKP too, and not good with crowds. I will be going to the next Cardiff moot, Rummer tavern, opposite the castle, Sunday 2nd April, 8pm. I have made one or two friends there, and enjoy the talks on pagan subjects. If you would like to go you would be made very welcome. I'm glad that seg (Helen) has mentioned her intention to visit the Cardiff moot (all the way from Swansea - dedication! :)

 

Books, I have many books. One particularly close to my heart is "Hedge Witch" by Rae Beth. A most unusual and enlightening collection of episodes!

 

Bye,

 

Scyld

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Guest Elunedd

And don't forget to read some good old fashioned mythologies! Whether it be Greek, Roman, Viking, Irish, Welsh, Egyptian or whatever takes your interest most. That's a good way of finding out about the gods and goddesses and how they play (and a lot of them don't play fair).

 

And nose around this site as well - there's always something to be learned.

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Queenie

I think once you start reading/reseraching and just talking to other Pagans that your path will find you. Read critically, don't accept everything that your told or you read. If something seems useful or poignant to the path that you're following take it on board. If on the other hand it doesn't seem right to you, discard it.

 

If you can find local Pagan's through a teaching circle, open ritual or local moot that can also help you find your path.

 

As to books, like Scyld I quite enjoyed the Rae Beth books and also Kate West. I think that they can be quite eye opening and a good starter.

 

Q

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Pomona
B) In answer to Pomona, this is why I have been drawn to Paganism:

 

It is my affinity to nature that is a major reason I was drawn to Paganism. I love being outdoors. I get a sense of relaxation, wellbeing and exhileration from it. After being out all day even sitting around doing nothing outdoors I feel tired and I sleep well. The weather affects my mood. I enjoy listening to the wind in the trees and the sound of birds. I go surfing in my kayak and feel exhilerated by riding the waves. I enjoy seeing the changing of the seasons, the changing colour of leaves, the new plants and animals that grow, and the older ones that pass. I look up at the stars and wonder if there's someone like me looking up at the stars on another planet thinking the same as me. I climb hills and valleys that have been forged over millions of years. I feel part of it and I respect it. The plants, animals, seas, hills and weather keep me alive, but they can also kill me if I dont show them care and respect.

I take an interest in conservation and its social and political views and arguements, and on how I can do my bit to reduce my impact on the environment. I care that people are treated with dignity and respect and do not face prejudice and discrimination, whatever there race, sex, age, religion or otherwise. 

 

I cant explain it fully without waffling on for ages and ages, but that about sums some of the main bits up. ;)  :D  :)  :)

110921[/snapback]

 

 

Hon, I didn't mean to make it sound like an interview question "convince us that you have an interest in paganism and why"! LOL! :P Just that generally your starter for 10 is what your interest already is - it's just a case of developing it. :)

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Guest Pigwidget
...I have been applying for jobs recently scratching my head wondering what to put on the religion section of the equal opportunities form. I come under the 'other - please specify' bit...

Personally if I was asked that, I'd just stick to "pagan" as anything else will just get too complicated and might not actually work in your favour after all - although we're all nice tolerent folks here, people "out there" aren't always as open minded however "equal opportunity friendly" they might say they are.

 

As far as knowing where to begin, well after over a decade of "doing" this paganism stuff, I'm still learning and weaving my path, and after a year out of the scene coupled with a spiritual shake up, I almost feel that I am once more just starting out again... it never ends... open a can of worms and you are asking for trouble! ;)

 

Like the others have said though, start with what moves you, what aspects of "paganism" interest you, and leave the rest for later. You've got bags of time.

 

In friendship,

 

F

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Guest WelshBamboo
I think firstly its important to realise that knowing about tarot, crystals, magic, herbs and so forth do not make you "pagan".

 

True. Many from organised religions (Chrisitans in history such as John Dee and Culpepper for example) were associated with either herbs, scrying etc. and they would hardly be called Pagans.

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Guest arianwen

Hi Rhys - first off as all the others have said slow down take a deep breath and relax and take a step backwards.

 

You have made a big step forward deciding you are pagan. there are as you have seen lots of different paths - confusing at first. What are your interests myths egypt vikings etc etc etc. Then read up around them.

 

I started off wiccan then progressed to eclectic paganism - meaning i didnt have a path, and now i dont know. i need to do some more reading.

 

Dont worry about tarot and crystals. thatll come in time. if its something that you find interesting look into it. start with things that you find more interesting.

 

As for the Cardiff moot the guys who go are AMAZING people. they dont bite at all and they are very friendly. honest. i dont get the chance to go very often but i try to turn up for the big meets - and the meals ;) my first time i was petrified. i made a point of meeting up with a couple of people before my first moot, so i actually knew people.

you will be fine and feel free to pm me anyone in the cardiff area who is nervous or wants more info

 

Most of all have fun and enjoy yourself

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Guest Rhys

Hon, I didn't mean to make it sound like an interview question "convince us that you have an interest in paganism and why"!  LOL!  :)    Just that generally your starter for 10 is what your interest already is - it's just a case of developing it.  :D

111033[/snapback]

 

Sorry. It just helped to write something down. You never know somebody might have been interested! :D I guess Im still a bit nervous about what other people think about me and my motives. B)

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Guest Midori

I would suggest put down the books, get out into the Land and see what the plants, animals, trees, weather, Sun, Moon and stars can teach you. everyone gets confused with booklearning, there are so many different interpretations. let nature show you Her wisdom for awhile, it will help you make sense of the rest.

 

BB Midori

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Guest scyld
I would suggest put down the books, get out into the Land and see what the plants, animals, trees, weather, Sun, Moon and stars can teach you. everyone gets confused with booklearning, there are so many different interpretations. let nature show you Her wisdom for awhile, it will help you make sense of the rest.

 

BB Midori

111276[/snapback]

 

Perfectly put Midori! Just get out when it becomes too much, and take rest in Nature. Outdoors is my favourite place! :rolleyes:

 

Scyld

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Guest arcangel

Hi Rhys

 

Try to get a book by Starhawk, its a good foundational starting point.

There are many types of Pagan as there are Paths.

 

My path is Gaia, Being One with all life on the planet, and trying to fit in with the eco chain. Footprint etc...

 

Humans and ferocious human eating beasties are the hardest to be 'One' with.

 

Welcome fellow Pagan

Marc :)

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Pomona

Hmmmm.... I mean... hmmmmm... Starhawk, sorry, just wouldn't be anywhere on my recommended reading list unless it was to just point someone in the direction of pap. In my opinion. Far better, I think, going right back to the very beginning and reading the ancient myths, books on ancient history, archaelogy, to get something that's a bit more factual than Ameriwicca (no offense to our American Wiccan friends).

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Cosmic_Fool

I wouldn't rule out reading anything by Starhawk, especially if you feel that ecofeminism is your path, but I would suggest you get a wider view, preferebly grounded in history (points at those Hutton books) before specialising in some thing like that.

 

Oh and try to limit the books that have publishers beginning LL and sounding welsh

 

Kev

 

PS Ameriwicca - I like it :)

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Badger Bob

Heh heh!

 

Ask a dozen Pagans and get two dozen points of view :) ...

 

My advice, based purely on my own experience such as it is, is to try everything you can. By the time you have either read up or tried three or four different paths (moots are a good source of information) you will have a better idea of what it is that you want and whether it can be found in an organization or on your own personal path.

 

I went through phases of Wicca, Heathenry and looked into traditional witchcraft before settling on a Druidic Path. I feel that in so doing I have gained a depth of knowledge that has been invaluable to my current path. There are lots of interesting and exciting things out there so enjoy the journey! having said that, I feel it pays to settle down to a core path sooner or later if only to provide a focus for your energies.

 

...two dozen and two!

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Guest silverbirch

I go along with the general comments, I would add that if you read something that says YOU MUST or THIS IS THE ONLY WAY ignore it! Go with what you feel, if it feels right then it is more often than not right.

 

Wishing you well on your journey along your path

 

Zaf

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Guest Anubis

Exclnt post Rhys you put in words perfectly how i am feeling, I to am new to this path and am getting slightly confused thinking i dont know about gods etc, but i do love nature, i especally love walking in the rain and feeling it on my face and hair and when i see the moon i get all butterflys i feel im so close to it ( does that sound silly? :blink: ) anyway many thanks for making me feel im not alone

 

BB

Anubis

XXX

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JohnMacintyre

Dear Pomona,

 

"Hmmmm.... I mean... hmmmmm... Starhawk, sorry, just wouldn't be anywhere on my recommended reading list unless it was to just point someone in the direction of pap. In my opinion. Far better, I think, going right back to the very beginning and reading the ancient myths, books on ancient history, archaelogy, to get something that's a bit more factual than Ameriwicca (no offense to our American Wiccan friends)."

 

OK. I'll take the risk of standing up for a bit of Ameriwicca :D. I've done a little Reclaiming training, and respect a few folk I know who're pretty deep along that path, Enough to know it's not my path, and never could be. But I don't think Starhawk deserves to be lumped in with pop- or pap-Wicca. Behind all the naive ideology and wishful history, it is a system which can and does get people working with the hard and sacred realities of being born, living and dying in this world. 'The Spiral Dance' touched a lot of people all those years ago, and I'd be surprised if many of them took it as holy writ. Books like that are probably more valuable for the questions they start you asking than the answers they give. That said, some of the answers are good ones.

 

Of course the pseudo-history and the mix & match approach to deities will grate on Europeans who are grounded in the mythologies of their own lands. But she's coming from a culture that really is a melting pot, in which the memories of conquest are recent enoughto give the dominant peoples an ambivalent relationship with the memories of landscape they inhabit. It probably works better for them than the rather ridiculous pretensions to 'pure' Eurpoean heritages you find in some American groups,

 

Like I said, it's not my path but there's something I really admired about Starhawk's earlier writing. She didn't pad her books out with too much in the way of tedious ritual stage-directions for how to do this or that. She wrote, and wrote rather beautifully at times, about what made her believe what she believed. She thought that what you believed should change the way you lived. She had passion and commitment for a vision of Witchcraft that aimed to transform the society it emerged from, and she often enough put her body on the line for it.

 

OK, some of her followers have turned that vision into a politically-correct dogma that might as well be the patriarchy they hate so much. But much of that specifically feminist Witchcraft - not just Starhawk but also that inspired by thinkers such as Christine Downing, Carol Christ and many others, fed back into the Wicca, and the broader Paganism, of these islands during the 80's and, I'd reckon, helped break down a lot of the conventional sexual stereotyping of both human and divine roles that went on then. She deserves credit for that. Like you, I can find a lot to disagree with in her books but I'd still suggest she's one of the more significant thinkers and writers in the modern Pagan movement.

 

Of course you're right. Reading the ancient myths, and what history and archaeology can tell us of the mental landscape that engaged with them, is essential to renewing the connections that have become so terribly eroded over the Christian centuries. But there's surely a place for finding new mythologies within our much-changed modern cultures too?

 

It feels strange to be defending Starhawk when I disagree with a fair proportion of what she says, but I stiill think there's an approach to Witchcraft, and a vision of social transformation, in there that's worth respecting. Perhaps - it's late and I've drunk too much wine to be coherent so please forgive the wooly ramblings here - I feel she's worth disagreeing with, whereas pop=Wicca is only worth dismissing.

 

BB,

 

John Macintyre

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Guest arctic wolf

Rhys,

 

By now I hope the crisis stage has passed and your'e closer to being more in harmony with yourself, and that you're not too confused.

 

but to add my tuppenth worth,

 

My own personal experience is of wandering around not knowing what I was for some time, but realising that I couldn't in all honesty call myself a christian any more. My way into paganism began with runes and thay still play the largest influence in what I belive and what I do. I am finding however that I am spreading outwards. I guess that either the runes and norse gods are only a part of where I am heading, or that maybe 15 years down the line I have changed and so has my faith/path. I think it is also worth mentioning that while the path we are on says where we are and where we have come from on our journey, none of our journeys are over. We still have new ways to explore, both in this life and the next.(or so I belive anyway) I think the travelling is more important than what road you are on or how far down it you are.

 

sending you positive thoughts

 

AW

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Guest CrystalArianhod

The first step for anyone interested into paganism is study. I highly reccomend too books that will get you a very good foundation and are a lot more of a comfortable and easy read than most. These books are:

To Ride A Silver Broomstick by Silver RavenWolf.....she may be fluffy but she gets things clear and simple

A guide For the Solitary practionner by Scott Cunningham

 

Read BOTH of these books and you will have a good starting base. Then start of with simple acts such as daily devotion, then clensing and consecrating items then perhaps casting a circle etc. Do things step by step until you feel comfortable. But do not rush yourself!

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Guest Oak

I can second the suggestion to read Ronald Hutton - he's clear, to the point, academically rigourous and well researched.

 

Also - getting outside is good - either in the great outdoors to meditate, think and observe (this is probably an important part of most pagan paths) or to the pub for moots and events.

 

Question everything you read and everything someone tells you, try things you're not sure of, and take your time. I've been reading for over six years and I've never cast a circle in my life. I'm still pagan. :angry:

 

Oak

 

(edited to correct typos)

Edited by Oak

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Guest maiden

Merry Meet Rhys

 

Wow, look at all these replies!! There is nothing to be scared about when all these people are looking out for you. Here's my reply, and I apologise if I repeat anything that others have said, these are just my thoughts.

 

Right, whoa and slow down - you have your whole life to make these decisions, Paganism isn't going to disappear overnight. I also agree with the point many have made, if you are a Pagan then thats what you are. Pagan is only a religious branch though, it doesn't define your path.

 

I find there are two aspects to being Pagan - the religion/philosophy and magick. You don't have to practice magick to be Pagan, and also there is no doctrine to being a Pagan so your path is completely your choice.

 

Personally, I am Wiccan. It is what I am and don't think I could be anything else. I studied solitary for years but am just completing my first degree in a tradition and have learnt more through these teachings than I dreamed possible.

 

Like you I was really scared to take the plunge, I was brought up Catholic so had guilt and indoctrinated issues to overcome. I also found opening myself up to the universe a bit scary - you know the whole this is me, I'm home thing. I have support though from my peers and my teachers and wouldn't be without them. So I would definately get out there and talk to people, go to the moot as invited, you may enjoy it. If not, we're here. I would suggest Living Wicca by Scott Cunningham should you wish to learn a little about my path, but I am unable to help on any others.

 

As others have said, it is not intrinsic to practice magick, divination etc as a Pagan, although many's paths include it. What I would suggest is to continue your research at a pace that suits you, and when you have the confidence go and talk to some people. An important tool that I would be using would be mediation, I would guess that your answers lie within you already.

 

Relax and be excited, there are whole new planes opening up to you, ready to be explored.I wish you joy in your journey, the thing with Paganism I find is that it is a path to enjoy and celebrate.

 

Brightest Blessings, you know where we are.

 

Litha x.

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Guest karlc

Hi everybody am interested in following a pagan path, but am not quite sure where to start, I've read lots on the net but this some times leaves you even more unsure of your route, can anybody help me ? Thanks Karl

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Pomona

Hi :wacko:

 

I know what you mean - all these know-alls telling you what you should be doing :D :lol:

 

Can I suggest you get out and see, feel, hear, what's going on around you? Listen to the wind, think about how that particular wind direction makes you feel, observe the plants which are growing and which are going to sleep, put yourself in the position of the land just now and think about how it's feeling.

 

Believe me, just stopping, listening, and paying attention is enough to give you your starter for ten and a good pointer in the direction to go in :)

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Cosmic_Fool

alternatively you could always buy the Llewellyn back catalogue, the Silver Ravenwolf and Tittania Hardie (you know the ones with the cool velvet covers) books and subscribe to Preditiction Magazine.

 

Then when you've run out of money go and find a nice quite spot and do as Pomona says...

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Ffred_Clegg
alternatively you could always buy the Llewellyn back catalogue, the Silver Ravenwolf and Tittania Hardie (you know the ones with the cool velvet covers) books and subscribe to Preditiction Magazine.

 

You forgot about the crushed velvet robes, full set of ritual kit, and collapsable altar!

 

Seriously speaking, Pomona said (far less wordily) what I tend to answer to this kind of question.

 

Get in touch with the Land, get rained on a little bit, and only _then_, start reading.

 

gwyn eich byd

 

Ffred

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Guest Rattenfaenger
Hi everybody am interested in following a pagan path, but am not quite sure where to start, I've read lots on the net but this some times leaves you even more unsure of your route, can anybody help me ? Thanks Karl

137041[/snapback]

 

After the from Pomona suggested walks in the nature etc, you could close yourself in a libary with some sandwiches and juice and try some books about the ancient celts, the ancient germans*, the ancient egypts, the ancient greeks, etc plus diversal books about witchcraft and so on. In case of witchcraft I would say, follow the path to the roots. Start with Uncle Gerald.

 

*In your case maybe books about the anglo-saxons could be interesting or maybe have a peek in the Odinic Rite GB. You can also have a look at seax wica, it´s Buckland Wicca Tradition and anglo-saxon orientated.

 

 

 

Always remember. Read the sources by yourself and not only in books from people, they heard about sources from books of other people who might evantually read once sources. You can search much about the Edda in the internet, finding a lot of *another word for excrements*, or you can read the Snorri Edda by yourself, forming an own opinion of the stuff.

 

 

Just my 5 sesterzas

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Guest Rattenfaenger
alternatively you could always buy the Llewellyn back catalogue, the Silver Ravenwolf and Tittania Hardie (you know the ones with the cool velvet covers) books and subscribe to Preditiction Magazine.

 

You forgot about the crushed velvet robes, full set of ritual kit, and collapsable altar!

 

Seriously speaking, Pomona said (far less wordily) what I tend to answer to this kind of question.

 

Get in touch with the Land, get rained on a little bit, and only _then_, start reading.

 

gwyn eich byd

 

Ffred

137359[/snapback]

You forgotten wind in the hair, dirt under the nails and dead flies on the teeths :P

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Guest Tas Mania
Hi everybody am interested in following a pagan path, but am not quite sure where to start, I've read lots on the net but this some times leaves you even more unsure of your route, can anybody help me ? Thanks Karl

137041[/snapback]

 

After the from Pomona suggested walks in the nature etc, you could close yourself in a libary with some sandwiches and juice and try some books about the ancient celts, the ancient germans*, the ancient egypts, the ancient greeks, etc plus diversal books about witchcraft and so on. In case of witchcraft I would say, follow the path to the roots. Start with Uncle Gerald.

 

*In your case maybe books about the anglo-saxons could be interesting or maybe have a peek in the Odinic Rite GB. You can also have a look at seax wica, it´s Buckland Wicca Tradition and anglo-saxon orientated.

 

 

 

Always remember. Read the sources by yourself and not only in books from people, they heard about sources from books of other people who might evantually read once sources. You can search much about the Edda in the internet, finding a lot of *another word for excrements*, or you can read the Snorri Edda by yourself, forming an own opinion of the stuff.

 

 

Just my 5 sesterzas

137362[/snapback]

 

Just exactly what roots do you suggest reader follow Uncle Gerard to? I am intrigued. Just a little bit though.

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