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So Much To Take In


Guest Leelee
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Having joined this forum very recently, I've spent time perusing threads as you do.

What I have gleaned about paganism so far is that it encompasses so much. Different gods, godesses, pantheons, paths, magick, ritual etc etc.. So much to explore.

The biggest thing I have learned is that there is NO right or wrong way to be a pagan. It is down to individuality and what you are comfortable and happy with. And that nobody else can tell you what to do.

This is very appealing to me however this does leave me in the position that I startef in where I'm left still feeling overwhelmed.

Nobody can tell me what path to follow but can anybody provide a signpost? I can't decide where to go if I don't know what is there to explore.

So any books, topics, pointers, weblinks etc woukd be great. I think I need one of those big yellow books that is a dummies guide to paganism lol.

 

What brought me here is the desire to explore something that's always been with me.

I personally prefer to appreciate the cycles of nature, plants, open spaces, communing with nature and personal quiet reflection or meditation than aspects of organised religion such as churches and a single central God figure who requires structured worship. I don't believe its all as black and white as heaven and hell.

I've also been brought up with a heavy influence of egyptology in my life and reverence to its pantheon of gods.

However I'm also aware that pantheons are interchangable within different historical cultures and that these gods can represent certain aspects that humanity requires and evolve to suit different cultures.

 

I guess I have always have considered myself pagan anyway. I know there's no doing it wrong. I'd just like to know what else is out there for me to explore so I can feel I am actually doing something specific to celebrate it, rather than just call myself a pagan with no real substance to back it up.

 

I hope I'm making sense and I'm sorry for rambling. I'm just new and need a bit of guidance.

 

And typing on a tablet doesn't suit me so sorry for spelling errors too, lol.

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rather than just call myself a pagan with no real substance to back it up.

 

Beware! When people begin exploring Paganism they often feel that they need to be doing something concrete or else they are not really Pagan. This leads to people giving themselves a label and grabbing hold of the first Gods they see......... only having to change it all again down the line. I know that when you are learning to swim it is reassuring to feel the rail at the edge of the pool, but Paganism needn't be about what you do or believe in..... it is very often about the journey you take. Sometimes the journey is (to use your phrase) overwhelming...... and sometimes it is wonderful and brilliant, but all of these stages are valuable in helping us along the path.

 

Others can point you to books or paths, but ultimately you have to find your own way, and most Pagans wouldn't want to influence you too much as they wouldn't want to take away from the joy of discovery.

 

I know I'm probably not helping you in the way you want, but if you like the natural world you can do a lot worse than buying a good book about birds or plants or the stars. A good understanding of the natural world and its cycles is never a bad thing, whether it eventually forms part of your path or not.

 

Maybe you could just trust that you will find a path even if you really want that swimming pool rail........ maybe learning to live with a lack of clarity will be a great lesson for you and one you will appreciate down the line.

 

(lines.... paths..... swimming pools - I'm a bugger for mixing my metaphors)

 

All the best

 

Mike

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Absolutely with Fortuna.

 

You're here because you feel you are Pagan. Therefore, you are Pagan and all that you is, by reflection, the act of a Pagan. Learning is great and important and you should absolutely do it but never do anything because 'it's what you do' or because someone else said so. If you learn of a practice that appeals to you and feels right then do it but if, for example, prancing around a wooded glade in cloak calling the quarters in cod-medieval verse makes you feel like a plank - don't bother. It won't make you feel more pagan, probably you'll feel less so.

 

Have a little confidence, from what I read there you sound to be doing fine :)

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It is totally overwhelming to start with, as you said, there's no "dummies guide" because there's nothing to be guided on.

 

Okay. Accept you're never going to know everything and target your learning for areas you do feel an affinity, a pulling towards. If Egyptology interests you then start looking there. You say you feel an appreciation for the cycles of nature, so maybe start a diary of a place that is special to you, of how it looks and how it feels at different times. Spend some time outdoors and just pay attention to what's going on around - just now there's plenty of activity. Do you garden? Could you sow some seeds and watch them grow? Few things connect you to nature more than gardening IMO. In terms of the cycles of the seasons, different paths celebrate the markers at different times: the beginning of winter, the end of summer etc, and some to the gods of their pantheon. You could do worse than read Pete Jennings "Pagan Paths" which provides a good basic guide to many of the more common pagan paths.

 

Oh, and

 

However I'm also aware that pantheons are interchangable within different historical cultures and that these gods can represent certain aspects that humanity requires and evolve to suit different cultures.

 

 

That's not how everyone sees the gods. Although many of the "jurisdictions" of many gods are the same across the world, many people hold them to be entirely different entities and individuals, not mere archetypes, but discrete and actual beings. Like there being mechanics across the world but they aren't the same person traversing the globe. ;)

 

 

 

 

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It is totally overwhelming to start with, as you said, there's no "dummies guide" because there's nothing to be guided on.

 

 

Well, actually http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/002864266X/ref=mp_s_a_1?qid=1365892106&sr=8-2&pi=SL75

 

And also http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/0764578340/ref=mp_s_a_1?qid=1365892106&sr=8-1&pi=SL75

 

 

Sorry, couldn't resist :P I do agree with what you're saying I just knew there was at the very least a wicca for dummies book

 

(I hope the links work, am posting from my phone - also I have no idea what those books are like, I just know that the wicca for dummies one is the only wicca book in my town's library )

 

Anyway, typing on my phone is not easy for long posts so I promise I'll write a proper reply when I'm next on my laptop.

 

 

Edited by Idhreniel
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Thankyou so much to everyone that has replied to me.

Despite how it may come across, I'm not in any rush to prove my paganism or to reach an end goal. I completly understand the I'm pagan therefore I am idea.

I suppose I'm just thirsty for knowledge so I can make more informed decisions.

However yes I am aware that the journey is as important as any end result. If there is one.

I understand that there is no wrong or right way and that none of you can tell me what to do. And frankly I would probably be a little suspicious of anyone that tried to.

 

Pomona, I appreciate your advice about taking to gardening. Since moving to a new house with a garden last year having NEVER had a garden before I feel like I've had to become more attuned to nature.

I've found immense pleasure in planting and growing. This is probably what started me off on my explorations in the first place. So yes, a great starting place for me.

 

Like paganism, I am a newb to gardening too. I have no idea what I'm really doing there but I'm just trying stuff, muddling through and finding my own way of doing it.

I guess the perfect metaphor for my experience.

 

I'll probably have a look at that book too as well as continuing to read threads and absorb knowledge.

 

Thanks for everyones advice and metaphors. It is really appreciated.

 

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the one on paganism is strictly US oriented, and baasically excludes the recon faiths in favour of Wicca (which is a recognised church in the US), Druidry (different groups operate in the US to those here), and shamanism (which will probably we based on NA stuff).

 

It's only fair to flag a warning sign that paganism in the US is a very different flavour. It is very difficult for many US pagans to understand the pagan culture here.

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Ah, I meant the pagan paths book...

 

That is a good idea!

 

Leelee - it might help to think that you are actually on "your path" from birth to death - your life's path - and it is what you bring to it along the way that is important! As a child, you are provided with teaching and guidance and all those things but then you grow up and find that you have choices. Your everyday life is your path and you have come to discover that you are pagan in your interests and thinking and want to learn more! So, you bring into your life and path, those things which have begun to interest you - as you have said above and others have encouraged you to explore. These things add to your experience, your path, and help you to make more choices about what you will pursue and so you form your own beliefs and practices. This is why we say that we cannot tell you what to do and you already recognise that to be so! This stage can be so exciting as there is much to explore and it is all your own to choose! Take the next step - pick up the books - there are good gardening books and programmes too, to help you with your garden. I wish you every blessing as you step out ... keep us in touch with your progress !

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