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Guest Elven
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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.

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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
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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.

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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. :)

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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

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^^^

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 :)

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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.

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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

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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...

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