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Trying To Find A Way And Pretty Confused


Guest johnno42000
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As a real newcomer to Paganism I must admit to be very confused.

 

I have spent the last couple of days looking through the various forums and other internet sites trying to find out what type of way to follow. I think I have a natural affinity with water and places where water is, springs, lakes, rivers, waterfalls etc and have been looking through the various gods/goddesses/spirits to find if I feel a connection to any of them.

 

There are so many that it is almost mind blowing. Being Welsh I was thinking of a Celtic one but this got me thinking even more deeply, and the last few days are the deepest I have thought in a very long time.

 

I am not sure how to put this clearly but do most people on this planet think too deeply regarding what to worship? Most, if not everything, on the planet is related in some way to Earth, Air, Fire or Water, for instance a train. The metal is got from the earth. Water and fire were used in the making. So why is there not a greater worship of these four things? Why do we feel the need to add layers (in the form of gods etc) on top of these four things? I am not saying it's wrong to do this but I can't get my head around why we do this.

 

I think I may set up some sort of altar to these 4 things and just thank them for being for without them we wouldn't exist.

 

Sorry if my post is a bit mixed up but it's like my head is open to new ideas and thoughts that I haven't had for many years. I would be really interested to read other people's views and any pointers would be most gratefully received :)

Edited by johnno42000
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Hey John! It can all be so very confusing - when the familiar religions' many barriers are left behind and you are free to choose what you bring to your path as you walk it! I remember (many many years ago) having the sensation of walking along a sharp mountain ridge with the land falling away on either side and nothing to hold onto - only my own sense of balance to keep me from tumbling off the path on one side or the other ...... :) I came from evangelical christianity to find my pagan leanings ..... No more Bible to tell me what to do, think and believe !

 

It may help to think of your "path" as your life - you stepped onto it when you are born and you will leave it (on this earthly plane) when you die. Along the way, you import many things - learning, education, humour, love for family, friends, partners, work experiences, religious beliefs .... so, you are now at a place where you want to bring onto your path, some different spiritual thinking and there is so much choice? Start slow - elements are great - look into all things to do with each one of them and, as you say, we find them everywhere in all things! As for deity - gods and goddesses - you do not have to have any particular relationship with them indeed, you need not believe in them at all - there are many atheists pagans here in The Valley. There are also every other variety of pagan :lol: Many of us find complete solace in all things to do with nature ......... and so on and so forth!

 

I don't know whether you have browsed the threads in Pagan Paths and Starters Orders - two of the forums here. There's lots of stuff from people who have been as confused as you find yourself to be .... if you haven't found them helpful, start asking some more questions - we love to help where we can!

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Thanks Naomi. That is a really good idea of looking at things. I hadn't even got close to thinking like that.

 

I've had a look through those threads and there is some really interesting posts. I think I shall spend another couple of days having a better look through the various threads.

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I am not sure how to put this clearly but do most people on this planet think too deeply regarding what to worship? Most, if not everything, on the planet is related in some way to Earth, Air, Fire or Water, for instance a train. The metal is got from the earth. Water and fire were used in the making. So why is there not a greater worship of these four things? Why do we feel the need to add layers (in the form of gods etc) on top of these four things? I am not saying it's wrong to do this but I can't get my head around why we do this.

 

Well, I doubt most people have any relationship with gods because we decided to invent them. ;)

 

Many of us have such relationships because the gods - generally one at a time - simply came and smacked us on the head and told us to "attend, please! I am here!" :lol: After that you can choose to ignore them if you please, but those of us who have experienced that cannot tell ourselves they don't exist.

 

If you don't mind, hun, I'm going to transfer this to the "Starters Orders" section, as it may help others who feel the same way, when starting out.

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Hi John. I'm atheistic as a Pagan and base my Paganism on Nature and her cycles and there are a growing number of Pagans with the same approach (although most Pagans have a wonderful relationship with Deity). Integrity is what is important in Paganism, so don't try to believe something which isn't true for you. Most Pagans I know don't worship Gods and Goddesses, but have a sort of working relationship with them and are in communication with them..... faith can be quite redundant in Paganism.

 

I know the urge for people new to Paganism is to identify a God, grab a path and get stuck in, but this is a bit like a new swimmer needing the security of the bar at the edge of the pool. Being hasty at the start of one's path can often lead to having to make drastic changes down the line.

 

Instead of seeing yourself as Godless and Pathless it might be useful to accept your current feelings of being confused and directionless as a new and rather exciting stage of your journey. Perhaps learning to feel comfortable with this is a good opportunity to learn something new.

 

Enjoy it and soak it all in Old Bean and I wish you all the best.

 

Mike

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Thanks Moonhunter and Fortuna. I feel really open to new ideas at present and will probably have loads of questions further down the line. If all the answers are as interesting and informative as the ones I have got on this thread I will be really happy. :)

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Hi john

Really pleased to read your post as it resonates with me. I was very confused with finding a path that I was supposed to be following, I must do rituals, I must find a diety because that what you have to do!

I have found a firm starting point where my diety is simply the goddess. This to me is a metaphor for everything I feel on a more spiritual level. I have become so much more aware of the subtle changes in the seasons, water is my thing, is my church, a walk by the river etc, sit and ponder and feel somehow connected.

 

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Johnno, the traditional British neo-pagan paths are usually based upon the four elements in some way. The elements form the basis of a lot of the symbolism and ritual work and they are often mapped onto other things such as the seasons, plants and animals to form a coherent magical framework. This being so you might find some fruit looking into how the elements are referenced in Wicca, Witchcraft and Druidry.

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You've had several replies saying what I was thinking as I read your post so I won't repeat them, all I will say is that the hardest thing for me to learn about Paganism was that each person's path within Paganism is as unique as the individual. I understand the need for a label for your beliefs, I'm the same about lots of things, but the only person who can tell you your path is you.

 

Maybe make a list of things that you feel connected to and start reading about them. This Valley is a treasure trove of information and it's the first place I go to for answers to my Pagany questions now. No question is silly or too small or whatever and you won't be laughed at here so ask away as soon as you're ready! You can have one Higher Power, several, or none - all are equally valid in Paganism... take things at your own pace and you'll find a path when it's the right time for you.

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each person's path within Paganism is as unique as the individual. I understand the need for a label for your beliefs, I'm the same about lots of things, but the only person who can tell you your path is you.

 

This was the hardest thing for me to realise too, but Amanda is absolutely right.

 

Also.... you dont need to believe in, or do anything that you're not totally comfortable with.

 

Although..... please do keep an open mind to every possibility. Ive lost count of all the things that I considered unbelievable ..only to be shown the error of my ways.

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What the others have said. It's what you feel right with, it doesn't have to be anything clear cut or defined. If it evolves into that then so be it. But literally just follow your heart bud. Waes Hael.

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I reckon you should go with your love of the elements and take it from there... start simply and just follow the path that calls to you. You don't have to have a Higher Power in Paganism but never say never either. Listen to the water and see if you get any message from it, open your heart to running water and just enjoy it. If you are meant to have a God/dess in your life they will come to you and start dropping hints that many people would dismiss as nature or coincidence or whatever, but open yourself up and if a Higher Power wants to get your attention they will! :o_rainbow:

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Thanks for the messages. I have been spending a little bit of time looking at the site, reading books but sadly not being able to go up into the hills lately. I intend to rectify that in the next week or two. I have been finding out some fascinating information regarding the area I live and when the muse hits me I shall attempt to put it onto the site.

 

One thing I did find out that I shall share very quickly is that one of my uncles who passed away many years ago was a miner as was his father and grandfather. He used to tell me his grand father had a small friend at the coal face called Cob. I was quite young and thought he meant a horse/pony and had visions of a pit pony. I was reading a book online called British goblins : Welsh folk-lore, fairy mythology, legends and traditions, and lo and behold there was a mention of Coblyns a type of fairy which were generally friends of the miners. It has got me thinking if he meant these. There are none of his generation left in my family so I can't find out for sure which is a shame.

 

As far as me finding something, or something finding me, I have developed a bit of a daily ritual. In the morning when I wake up and in the evening before I go to bed I have a little table on which I have a little bit of earth, a feather, a candle and a bowl of water. I bow to each and say thank you for bringing life and say sorry for the pollution mankind has brought (apart from the candle (fire) which I say sorry to for mankind using it to pollute the other elements). I then look out of the window to the sky and say thank you for bringing light to either the sun or moon according to the time of day/night. I then ask if any spirit/God/Goddess would like to come to me and that they would be welcome. Before I go up to bed I also leave a little cup of sweetened milk and bread besides the window downstairs and invite any who are hungry or thirsty to accept it as a gift.

 

I feel an awful lot calmer than I was a little while ago and have had one or two very strange dreams that seem to mean very little.

Edited by johnno42000
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sweetheart, we had blogs which are really good for so much personal material. Why don't you start one up? As this is only an intro thread, we don't go into detail here. It's just for folks to say hello to you. But if you transfer the info from your last post into a blog, people can respond to you there. Scroll up to the top of the page and click on your name. On the drop down menu you';; see "manage blogs". Click on that and you'll have a Valley blog in less than a minute :)

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sweetheart, we had blogs which are really good for so much personal material. Why don't you start one up? As this is only an intro thread, we don't go into detail here. It's just for folks to say hello to you. But if you transfer the info from your last post into a blog, people can respond to you there. Scroll up to the top of the page and click on your name. On the drop down menu you';; see "manage blogs". Click on that and you'll have a Valley blog in less than a minute :)

 

Will do :)

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Hi Johnno, echoing what others were saying, follow your heart and try doing some research into things that interest you as they come up, like the elements, what they mean to different people, how people use them in ritual and things like that (as an aside the elements in Chinese tradition are also quite interesting), and looking at the folk lore that interests you.. I understand your impatience to be expressing your paganism and not really knowing how or what Exactly your paganism even is. But don't worry, as someone said your path is a continual growing thing. It will probably be meandering and you will probably change your mind about all sorts of things along the way. Researching and reading takes time but you will learn lots of interesting stuff, but aside from all that stay connected to whatever drew you to paganism in the first place, keep that instinctual feeling and you will find your way. :)

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Thanks Veggie Dancer, I've learnt a great deal from peoples' posts on the site so far and am definitely taking everyone's advice on board. :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks Veggie Dancer, I've learnt a great deal from peoples' posts on the site so far and am definitely taking everyone's advice on board. :)

 

Glad to hear it! There are plenty of threads for you to direct your material to :) open forum as always. It's good to hear you're learning :)

Waes Hael

SW

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  • 3 months later...

Hi Johnno. It sounds like you're already well on your way :)

 

I just posted on another thread saying similar - but don't feel you have to choose a deity. Many of us simply view the many deities as aspects of the 'whole', not as individual living entities. They're useful in study, meditation or ritual as they help focus the mind (much like the 4 or 5 elements). However it's perfectly acceptable to see deity everywhere (nature), to perhaps divide this as simply male/female - or whatever feels right to you. There is no right and wrong.

 

Your morning and evening ritual sounds very grounding - I may try something similar myself!

 

Steve

Edited by thespirit3
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