Jump to content

Welcome Guest!

Welcome to UK Pagan; The Valley

Like most online communities we require you to register for an account before we give you access to read and post.

Only a small number of our forum areas can be read without registering for an account.

Please consider supporting us to help keep our Website and Facebook groups online. Become a Patron!

Where To Begin...


Guest Elven
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hello everyone!

 

I understand that paganism is such a broad term and in it lay as many paths as there are pagans. I'm just a little lost right now, I've tried looking at other threads and I've got a few ideas and I think a lot of this journey is going to come from within. I'm looking for a general path to jump on, so I can read relevant books and information. I'll try to describe my beliefs and values (even though I don't know much yet).

 

So I guess to start off, I'll describe my background. All my life I have not been influenced when it comes to religion and spirituality. For the majority of my life I've just accepted Atheism to be true and logical. However, for the past year or so I've become more open minded and decided I want to explore my spirtuality to gain a better understanding of who I am and what is there. I am currently studying philosophy at College and it makes me question life. Nay, it forces me to.

 

At the moment my beliefs are set arround nature. I believe we have come from nature and we will eventually return to nature and we must treat it with the greatest respect as well as protect it. I feel drawn to a Goddess, it is hard to explain... A Goddess of nature. Sometimes when I meditate I can feel an energy, I feel it is that Goddess who is omnipotent, I feel that I don't even have to talk to her to have a presence with her. I'm not even sure if it's just a fragment of my imagination. But boy, I can deffinately feel something. One day I want to try talking to her, I haven't tried yet, I don't feel I am ready or I am in the right environment. Alpha through to Theta Binaural beats really help me to meditate.

 

I've felt there has been something missing in my life, I feel this is it, understanding spirituality and nature being the starting point. I just feel so overwhelmed right now, the fact that there is so much to learn and not knowing where to go from here, to the fact that there is a massive community on the subject. Any help or guidance is massively appreciated, blessings upon you all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please consider supporting us to help keep our Website and Facebook groups online.

Hi. Start by dropping the blessings and all that bountiful stuff. It may be your true nature, when you find it, to be loving and compassionate but if you want to explore what I will Capitalise for now, Nature, Her, the Land you should start by recognising there is no morality or niceness in Nature. that is a human overlay and you may find your way back to it, if you survive the buffets of deeper reality, but for now you should start by simply observing it as it is. In other words, remember at an instinctive level such things as entropy, rot, disaster, earthquake, tsunami, bush fires, volcanoes, death are also part of her. Quite how you remember at an instinctive level is not easy to explain but an intelligent person who can do fancy meditation should be able to come up with something that suits them.

 

Now start by wondering why the hell you personify Nature as female/goddess. That is probably a need for mother's tit rather than spiritual calling. No reason why Nature shouldn't be recognised withotu a simplistic personification that may or may not be the wrong gender anyway ...

 

Witchcraft has no religion to it, so perhaps you won't want to be a witch? Depends on your psychological make-up and needs. There are 'earth religions' and re-created ceremonial magick paths (including simplistic Wicca and much of modern so-called paganism) that love Goddesses and so on where you may fit in if you wnat or need to be worshipful. A good resource is Wikipedia as a start for definitions and so on before you get caught up in ritualistic observance and dogma and suchlike energy and time consuming practise. Then you can browse through 'Sacred Texts' website, google the link and if you can't find it I will try and dredge it up. Buy their DVD if you have a few bob, it keeps them going and saves data rates.

 

You will save a lot of time if you work yourself out psychologically first, most 'magickal' paths do a bit of that, mixed in with methods of opening to psychic realms in one way or another. So try that too, some astral travel or scrying or something to see if you have a knack. You will save more time again if you don't read anything, just go bush, camp out somewhere for a few days well off the track with no human interaction. Start with a night naked under the sky, no clothes or tent or mattress or fire but one blanket, just water so it is also a minor fast, no technology. Just you and nature. thats it. easy. Then of course you have a life to live starting from that point. but instead of being a follower or subject of any random unknown deity, you will be free to choose a path, make your own way.

 

If you still want to follow, any religion will do, they all have rules and regs and secret things and badges and even rewards if you are good. Oh yeah, there is another middle road where by being yourself and opening yourself up and all that stuff (it works) a god/goddess will actually visit you, invite you. You can then say yay or nay thanks and don';t get any demerit badges. The best thing about making your own road is you don't pick up or be influenced by the nonsense and mistakes of others, and you can shape it (your path and belief) and yourself together. Of course, it may end up being near the shape and form of some existing group, well then you have like minded friends to go along with. Or else you may become a walker in your own power and even, if you work hard, become a minor deity yourself in time a nd fullness. And always allow to have fun or don't bother.

Edited by jape
Link to comment
Share on other sites

i think the above post is really harsh and unnecessary.

When starting on the pagan path it is new and can be confusing partly because there is no 'organised religion' to which one can refer. The exception may be Wicca but even then guidance and encouragement are the order of the day.

We are here to help each other on this Path and the Path can be different for each of us depending on our own experiences.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's an opinion only Chiron, and based very much on Jape's own approach. And, actually, stripping away most of it you still get the core message which is one I would offer as well: get out there and experience nature and be part of it and let your psyche and mind dictate your path, rather than any person or book :) "Know thyself" is about the most fundental maxim one can adhere to, IMHO, because if you don't listen to your own heart and mind, you'll always be struggling to find your path.

 

And take it from there: I always say to people to explore the bits that interest them most as that tends to be your sub-conscious, or even a deity, prodding you. So if ancient Egypt is your thing, start there, nature, investigate the local flora and fauna, the beliefs and customs around that, and so on. And get out in amongst it all and get your hands dirty :D

 

There is too much out there to really start getting to grips with, but if you start at really getting out in nature, being part of it and listening to your heart and stepping from there you really can't go wrong. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd agree about experience - that's all I had for a very long time

 

BUT

 

I would add that your writing style and approach to Paganism is as welcome here as anyone else's.

 

There is no path but the one beneath your feet, there is no truth but that which you know yourself. There is no way to tell the story of your truth other than the words and songs that you choose. So please feel free to use any vocabulary or imagery you like and just poke your tongue out at Jape :P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^^^

just as Pomona says!

 

We get used to Jape giving it straight and with the wisdom of his long experience :) A newcomer, encountering a Jape post for the first time, might be taken aback :P

 

If you are seeking a mystery tradition or pathway, there is no substitute for seeking to experience that tradition starting with the world around and nearest to you, especially if you are not yet sure of where that path may lead - open you mind and your eyes - in fact all your senses, and get on out there! For me, "as above, so below" (or vice versa) holds very true and if you seek, you will surely find :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi!

 

My advice would be simply not to label yourself to any religion or path just yet. Your path is your own. No one elses. As others have said, experience nature, think about who you are and just go with the flow. Sometimes, IMO, people can be too quick to want to find a named path, ie Druidry, Wicca, Heathenism etc. Experience, finding the divine in your own way is important. What I believe, may not be what you believe. That does not matter. We are all people who think and feel differently, and therefore our interpretations of the divine will vary. For example, take 3 men and blindfold them and let them feel their way round an animal they have never seen before, take an elephant!! One man may feel the leg, one may feel the ears the last may feel the trunk. They will all have their own interpraetions of what they are feeling, but essentially they are all feeling the same thing! Very broadly speaking IMO, this is the same for religion/spirituality. So if your path leads you to a named religion, or deity or deities then so be it, thats your path.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We are here to help each other on this Path and the Path can be different for each of us depending on our own experiences.

 

Thats true Chiron...... but read what Jape wrote again. He has actually given absolutely excellent advice, and well thought out. And he has done this to help a person who is asking for guidance. Its a matter of personal style and although Jape hasn't gone for the "sugar dumpling" language, he hasn't been rude!

 

I particularly like what he says about how one might approach nature. It is beautiful, but terrifying. To concentrate on bounty and beauty is to do nature a great disservice. Bounty and derth, life and death, joy and terror. Nature is amazing, but it is not kind and it is not unkind.......... it can give and it can take, and we forget this at our peril.

 

Elven, you talk about the need for us to protect nature. I wonder if this is something you might explore a little. Does nature need us and our protection? What you say also implies an "us and it" approach..... but we are not separate from nature. We are nature and a product of evolution just as much as any other living creature or plant on this planet. We should protect the natural environment...... we'd be idiots not to, but don't think Nature cannot look after itself!

 

If you are at the start of your journey you have many choices ahead of you. Spend a little time thinking about what you really believe (and being atheist does not make you narrow minded by the way, you can be atheist an pagan you know). See nature for what it is and then work out your relationship to it...... Being a Pagan doesnt have to be love light and tranquility..... it can be hate, darkness and turmoile. Perhaps a healthy approach would be for you to see the balance in these things.

 

Mike

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow - what an interesting read! Jape - i was taken aback when i read your post but when you strip what you are saying back; you speak sense my friend! Excellent advice of which i will take if you don't mind...

 

Thank you...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Topics

  • Posts

    • Roundtuit
      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.    
    • Stonehugger
      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. Definitely!! ūüėĀ
    • Ellinas
      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...!
    • Moonsmith
      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.
    • Roundtuit
      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?  
×
×
  • Create New...