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New - And I Have Questions!


Guest Fraoch
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Hi, I'm very new and reading lots but confusing myself! Where is the best place for me to ask (probably stupid) questions? Sorry in advance for any head smacking or exasperated face rubbing I may bring on.... ????

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I'll move this to the "Starters Orders" section, which is a great place for any questions :)

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They have to put up with me! We could tag team driving them all insane... Muhuhahahahahaaaa!

 

welcome. :D

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sorry, did you intend to use this thread to ask any questions? If not, I'm re-classify it as a general enquiry about the site and and shove it in the axe-grinders section, which tends to deal with site issues.

 

otherwise - ask away!

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Sorry MH, yes I did. I posted then life took over! I have always felt a pull to this area of understanding, and since I've joined this group some of the things I have read have thrown me, I had an idea of what being pagan/Wiccan/witch was but the more I read the more I get confused. I'm trying to read about gods and goddesses, but I feel a bit like I'm back in school and I'm studying for an exam. My idea was that the universe was counter balanced and everything is co dependent and that respect and celebration of nature and the seasons was the backbone of the whole thing. So I got a little dismayed when I felt like I was on the wrong path because I don't feel the need to understand or try to communicate with the gods. Am I on the wrong path?

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Not necessarily. There are a growing number of people who identify as Pagan, but for whom Deities don't feature. It might well be that the sort of path you follow is one based not on Deity, but on nature. And this might change for you in the future depending on whether you experience Deity or not. A good starting point is to ask yourself what you believe already rather than search outside yourself for your path. Take it slowly and enjoy the journey.

 

All the best to you.

 

Mike

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Not necessarily. There are a growing number of people who identify as Pagan, but for whom Deities don't feature. It might well be that the sort of path you follow is one based not on Deity, but on nature. And this might change for you in the future depending on whether you experience Deity or not. A good starting point is to ask yourself what you believe already rather than search outside yourself for your path. Take it slowly and enjoy the journey.

 

All the best to you.

 

Mike

 

^^^^ This!

 

Breathe. You don't have to learn everything right now. Take it at your own pace. Start small with the things you actually feel and believe, and let your way evolve naturally.

 

There are plenty of atheist and agnostic pagans out there. And they are definitely no less Pagan for it! If nature is what you love and where you experience peace and spirituality then start there. Spend time experiencing as well as thinking :) at the end of the day, if whatever you think and do works for you then it's perfect.

 

Good luck and enjoy, and always feel free to ask questions!

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My idea was that the universe was counter balanced and everything is co dependent and that respect and celebration of nature and the seasons was the backbone of the whole thing. So I got a little dismayed when I felt like I was on the wrong path because I don't feel the need to understand or try to communicate with the gods. Am I on the wrong path?

 

If this is your belief then this is your belief. It is not wrong, how can it be? How can your beliefs be wrong? Who says? There is no requirement to believe in gods, just because some do. Remember what I said: no pagan police, nobody to tell you what is/ what is not pagan. Have a search for atheist in the search box Fraoch Hun, you will find you are not alone, by any means :)

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Thank you all! I'm lucky enough to have been allocated a brilliant mentor and I've been explaining some things to her. I'm not sure if I have the ideas I have because they're mine or are learnt. My family background was non religious and yet the older I have gotten the more I realise that I have inadvertently been on some kind of path whether it was recognised or not. We always hugely celebrated Halloween for example, but things I thought were normal for a Scottish family (ie scottish traditions) turned out not to be so common place (setting a place for the passed at tables and providing food and drinks for them for example, I will always remember a school friends expression when I told her that). So, I think what I'm asking is this, is my idea of paganism based on doctrine (judgemental word but I can't think of another that means "brought up with") rather than me feeling a pull or an identification with a path?

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That's how I was when I first started, then I sat down and thought right what do I believe and it has been so much better since. I believe there are God's but none have come to me yet and that's fine.

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Everyone's idea of Paganism and everyone's spirituality is based on their past and preconceptions of some sort. I wouldn't worry that it is because you have been led there. Perhaps it was the direction you were meant to take. But your path is your path from the moment you are born. That's when you start walking it. Whatever twists and turns it takes, it belongs to you and it's yours to tread however you will.

 

When you take part in the traditions, do you feel anything? Are you going through the motions or do you (forgive the pun) get into the spirit of it? If the ideas you have are things which you actually think might be right, does it matter where they come from? :)

 

To me, the fact that you've bothered to join a Pagan forum and talk about these things suggests that it's something which matters enough to you to explore it :) The road is never easy - but the ride is always worthwhile. You're learning and growing and it doesn't really matter if you are Pagan or will be Pagan or end up being something else entirely! :)

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Thank you, I think you're right. I need to take a lot more time to think things through, I have been really rushing things as if I'm on a deadline to know everything. It's a character flaw of mine! It's late now and I'm signing off but thanks all for taking the time to reply, sorry it's probably really mundane stuff to you all! :0/ xx

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It's never mundane and you never need to feel embarrassed about asking questions. All of us have questions from time to time - even those of us who have been pagans for years and years, so no problem! :)

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Thank you all! I'm lucky enough to have been allocated a brilliant mentor and I've been explaining some things to her.

 

If you mean a mentor here, then she's really there just to help you find your way around the forum, hun. Not to help you in your paganism. That's what the whole community is here for :) Besides, it's really much, much better if you gain a spread of ideas, to get a sense of the breadth of pagan belief.

 

So, I think what I'm asking is this, is my idea of paganism based on doctrine (judgemental word but I can't think of another that means "brought up with") rather than me feeling a pull or an identification with a path?

 

In the end, only you can sort that out, as you're the only person who knows what you were broght up with :)

 

But do take your time. Think of finding things out in years, rather than weeks. Give yourself room to draw conclusions that you later discard; to chage as you find things out; to develop new interests within your faith.

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Fortuna has put you on the right track. Try setting out what you believe right now before anything here influences you.

 

If this post makes your head swim - just ignore it - it's only a thought by an individual who has no more right to exert influence over you than anyone else whatever qualification or badge of office they are holding.

 

 

 

The list below IS NOT some sort of "Find your Path" magazine quiz!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is a just a few suggestions for logging what you have right now before you feel new influences. It's a way of writing out where you are so you can look back and control any changes. It's good to ask yourself why you changed as time passed.

 

I was once challenged - "Why aren't you just a nature loving Christian? " I had to think about that. Nothing I did would exclude me from Christianity. In the end it was obvious. "I have no need of priest, redeemer or guru." and "I take personal responsibility for my spirituality and my spiritual wellbeing." In other words I can't say the Christian creed in truth.

 

It was a very useful question indeed and it showed me where I had been as well as where I was. Luckily my erstwhile religion logged its own beliefs and practices and I knew where I stood now and was happy with the transition. For thirty years I asked no one, talked to no Pagan. I sorted it out for myself. What I have is robust so a list like this is very important to me. But then I am not too readily open to influence anyway.

 

So:

Not in any order:

 

Do you have a God? How many? How do you visualise him/her/it/them?

 

How do you currently acknowledge them if at all?

How would you like to acknowledge them if at all. What , words, skill, art, or craft might you use when inspired by your deity? Just the desire to say "Hi" or "Thank you" could easily be enough.

 

What influence do you believe deity [if you own it] has on your life?

 

What powers or influences do you recognise in your current deity?

 

What demands if any [ mine bloody well doesn't!] do you feel that your deity is making of you?

 

Do you believe in magic? What do you think it is? Do you practice magic?Might you want to practice it?

 

Do you have any existing beliefs or practices that you want to keep? Why?

 

Are there any beliefs of practices that you would wish to avoid. [i'm a Druid but human sacrifice is not part of my belief!]

 

What are your current views on an afterlife? Why?

 

What is there in your past which could be useful to your thinking. I'm a Druid but I don't do augery [as you might have seen in the "Signs" thread]. On the other hand I studied Psychology some time ago and find that useful in my Paganism and in my Druidry.

 

Would you want to practice/discuss your beliefs with like minded people? On line, face to face, as part of a study group? Attending a meeting / moot. Be very careful that you are ready to meet others face to face and take your list with you if only in your head. What might you have to offer such a group?

 

How would you feel about regalia [Dressing up] I do it even when all on my own! What draws you to regalia and or paraphanalia? In my own case it is for reasons I learned as a Christian. "Fun" is a very very good and Pagan reason.

 

Do you wish to find/study/read/chat your own way through your beliefs or could you accept a leader/guru /minister/ priest/priestess?

 

How open can you be about your beliefs in the world that you live in.

 

What symbols represent your belief, what semntics [words/language ] are used in your current beliefs. I have never understood why the Druid's Prayer still uses "Thy".

 

There are many more.

Just ask yourself what makes sense to you. The important thing is to log it as it stands NOW. You have come here possibly to search for something. Know why each of your thoughts has been logged. Some aspects of the Pagan world can be very alluring but can let you down. Teachers in all fields are human, they move away or die, they change their own thinking, just a few can be dangerous. If you intend to adopt anything different look at what you are giving up and to ask yourself why.

 

You may have seen an apparent frisson between Belief and Science here. Some people Believe others try to understand how things work, some are able to adopt different paradigms [a sort of "choice of windows" to view their world] for different occasions [Like a devout Irish Catholic who acknowledges fairies and who practices contraception]. I don't fit either of those categories.

 

By logging your belief and practice now even if you don't think or do much, you can forge a belief that is fun, fits you like a tailored suit, makes sense of your world and is strong enough to support you when you need it.

 

If this post has made your head swim - just ignore it - it's only a thought by an individual who has no more right to exert influence over you than anyone else whatever qualification or badge of office they are holding.

Edited by Moonsmith
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Just in case you draw any false inferences from any of MS's questions :P :

 

Do you have a God? How many? How do you visualise him/her/it/them?

 

pagans come in all shapes and sizes: two or more gods, pantheists, panentheists, atheists, agnostics, are just a few of the varieties :)

 

Do you believe in magic? What do you think it is? Do you practice magic?Might you want to practice it?

 

many pagans don't practice magic. For some, it isn't a part of their religion.

 

What are your current views on an afterlife? Why?

 

Not all pagans believe in an afterlife. Of those who do, it takes all sorts of forms, depending on individual belief.

 

Would you want to practice/discuss your beliefs with like minded people? On line, face to face, as part of a study group?

 

Many (?most) pagans are not part of a group of any kind. Except online. Sometimes that's personal choice and sometimes it's simply because there isn't a group in their area that they like.

 

How would you feel about regalia [Dressing up]

 

Many (?most) pagans don't do this.

 

Do you wish to find/study/read/chat your own way through your beliefs or could you accept a leader/guru /minister/ priest/priestess?

 

Even if you wanted to find a guru/priestess/whatever, they are extremely think on the ground and the ones you're most likely to come across are the ones you shouldn't touch with a bargepole! :P

 

You may have seen an apparent frisson between Belief and Science here.

 

it is only apparent. Everyone is different., but most pagan I know manage perfectly well to tread the line between belief and science with little effort. :)

 

Some people Believe, others try to understand how things work

 

Most people do both. :)

 

By logging your belief and practice now even if you don't think or do much, you can forge a belief that is fun, fits you like a tailored suit, makes sense of your world and is strong enough to support you when you need it.

 

But there is no rush ... you have all the time in the world. Nothing needs to be done immediately. Indeed, most of us find things change, and we have to be willing to wait for answers. And what we think now may not be what we still think in a year or two. :)

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Quote

 

How would you feel about regalia [Dressing up]

 

Many (?most) pagans don't do this.

 

Really .... Have you never been to a Pagan Conference or Pagan Pride march ? :lol:

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Quote

 

How would you feel about regalia [Dressing up]

 

Many (?most) pagans don't do this.

 

Really .... Have you never been to a Pagan Conference or Pagan Pride march ? :lol:

 

Heh. I was thinking about "normal" stuff. ;)

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Just in case you draw any false inferences from any of MS's questions :P :

.........................................................

 

But there is no rush ... you have all the time in the world. Nothing needs to be done immediately. Indeed, most of us find things change, and we have to be willing to wait for answers. And what we think now may not be what we still think in a year or two. :)

 

I have no quibble at all with MH's annotations except that my advice is to log your current beliefs as far as you may have any, right now. That is the whole point of my post. All the questions were nothing more than guidelines as to what to log thereby creating a stake in the shifting sand of the future. Your own list would be far more valuable.. If you answers are NO, Nothing, I Don't, I Haven't or "Not a Cat in Hell's Chance then that's fine.

 

I have just done this exercise again for myself[Last October] so that once again I know where I am.

 

I find the exercise valuable. I offer it to all who read this, nothing more.

 

It is highly likely that you will see all sorts of thoughts and ideas in your search, ideas which might blurr your rear view mirror. In my view it is good to know where you came from so you can ask yourself why that which is on offer is any better than what you already have.

 

Your past experience is imeasurably valuable; treasure it.

Edited by Moonsmith
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Thank you MH for explaining the mentor side of things! I understand now. Again thanks to everyone for taking the time to reply, I have lots to think about and all of your advice and input is of so much interest and value to me. Already I realise that I'm trying much to hard to "know" everything and immediately, it's definitely a character flaw of mine. I'm still reading through different threads and some catch my interest more, so I'm going with those first. I feel comfortable with what I imagine might be termed the more "Celtic" type beliefs, again probably because it's what I'm familiar with, but it's certainly never seemed like something that was just like going through the motions for me. I've always felt deeply connected, peaceful and "home" for want of a better description, so I think I've answered my own question on whether or not my leaning towards that idealism is purely because it's what I'm familiar with. Thank you all again!

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