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Same Path For 10+ Years...now Changing, Where Do My Beliefs Fit?


Guest Lisa Gibbins
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Am not new to paganism. For the past 10+ years have been a follower of Asatru paganism yet over the past year or so, something has changed. I never was one who "believed" in the gods all the time, it would waver. I always believed in the spirits of the land, and honouring my ancestors, but this is where I find myself not quite fitting into a specific "tag".

 

Most often my mind believes that the universe manifests itself in different ways for different people, but at times I believe all deities exist as actual entities even the Abrahamic god, just in different areas? (see, my brain gets busy) and because of this find my changing beliefs conflicting with others. I do believe in demonic entities, evil creatures that are separate from land spirits, I believe i ghosts, faery creatures, land spirits, ghosts.

 

Over the past few months was very close to reaching out to Catholicism (family are catholic) but even if I were to commit to that god, I do not believe in needing to follow a book or sit in a building to be a good person and as an avid LGBTQ supporter...well...yes.

 

I want to start practising tarot again, as well as magic (15 years ago was probably what you would call an aspiring witch) but is there any one or anything that combines various faiths and practises while including belief in the demons, angels, god/various gods and magic and spiritualism?

 

Hope this makes sense, still working out the inner monologue in my head.

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I want to start practising tarot again, as well as magic (15 years ago was probably what you would call an aspiring witch) but is there any one or anything that combines various faiths and practises while including belief in the demons, angels, god/various gods and magic and spiritualism?

 

 

there's "LisaGibbinsism". Isn't that enough? :)

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I want to start practising tarot again, as well as magic (15 years ago was probably what you would call an aspiring witch) but is there any one or anything that combines various faiths and practises while including belief in the demons, angels, god/various gods and magic and spiritualism?

 

 

there's "LisaGibbinsism". Isn't that enough? :)

 

I think my brain starts questioning itself as to whether I am practising/believing in something that is real rather than simply going with my gut instinct of just being content to be..if that makes sense.

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What is more real to you? Something you feel in you own gut or something that people with no more insight than you says is true? How can we ever know for sure what is real or not? It is far better for you to develop beliefs which are yours and which have integrity than it is to develop beliefs which fit the views of others, but don't feel right. Lisagibbinism sounds like perfectly valid path to me.

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It is my belief that you step onto your "path" when you are born and you walk it until you die - and if you believe in something thereafter, after you die! Along the way, you create the person who is you - you learn to walk and talk and all of the things humans learn. You are taught and you absorb and you choose what you believe at the time and then you may change or adjust, as you experience and learn from others and nature and so on and so forth. I have learned not to seek a label for me - my path, my life, my beliefs - because one label will never cover it all. I long since discovered that there are as many "paths" as there are people and all are valid for each person ... therefore, my path is valid for me and at present, I am a witch, practising sometimes through Wicca and sometimes not ... my contacts with deity are in the Norse pantheon and I have a relationship with the spirits on my land and in my home .... I am also a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a cousin, a step-mother and a step-grandmother, a wife, a friend, a lawyer, a coven leader ... and many other things - there is no label for me :)

 

You be who you are and who you want to be and, as the others have said, lisagibbinism sounds about right to me !

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I think my brain starts questioning itself as to whether I am practising/believing in something that is real rather than simply going with my gut instinct of just being content to be..if that makes sense.

 

Yes, that makes perfect sense. But you don't need an identifiable pagan religion to act as the stabilisers on your bike of belief. ;) Those of us in such a religion may well find ourselves disagreeing with many co-religionists. We may not agree with everything the Loremasters (as my own religion calls the fundamentalists) insist is 'right'. We may fall about laughing at our own fluffy bunnies (look at my nifty knife! How about this tattoo?) and disagree with the hotheads (We must demand that Heathenry is taught in schools!). So being part of an label is no guarantee of feeling part of of a supportive community. :P

 

But you're making the point about knowing the difference between what comes from inside you, from what comes from outside. TBH Lisa, being part of a label won't help you in this. It's a hard path we all have to learn, or else we'll just bear a label on a fake garment.

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I think, this thread is an example of why I came back to UKpagan, always helps set my mind at ease and allows me to trust in myself and go with the flow.

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I made a decision over a decade ago, when I finally let go of Christian belief.

 

I would never again join an organized cult (cult in the correct sense: Christianity = cult of Christ; Judaism = cult of Jehovah etc).

 

Had I remained a Christian, I would have distanced myself from a particular church organization no differently than I have as a pagan.

 

As a Hellene I have stayed well away from reconstructionists and (though I probably would not be thanked for this description) their doctrines.

 

I have sought to follow my own version of whatever my beliefs developed into; I would listen, debate, research, experiment, accept nothing as final or permanent and meander along whatever way made sense to me.

 

So, I suppose Ellinasism is the result.

 

Believe what you want. Do as seems appropriate. Make sense of the world around you in whatever way appeals to you. Use or reject labels as you see fit.

 

I rather suspect that, if you did try to join a defined "religion", you would very soon be looking to jump ship. Yours does not sound the path of someone content to be constrained by any concept or structure.

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  • 2 months later...

Like many others here seem to, I identify very strongly with what Moonhunter said about having your own "ism".

 

It's can be easy to get caught in a pattern where we try to categorise ourselves and find a definition for our "ways" from outside, and thereby attach ourselves to a specific movement/path and so on.

 

But why limit yourself? Trust your inner voice, listen to the inspiration that comes in many forms and let yourself grow naturally - be your own ism (whatever that may be, or become), and encourage others to do likewise.

 

One size most certainly does not fit all!

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Why search for a label? As humans we are everyone unique - even identical twins :) So why do we need to find a religious club to join ... I am me and I bring to my path and life's experience, many many ideas, beliefs, study, reading etc etc .... No label will ever fit the whole ... I have the odd one or two that I apply if needed in certain circumstances but, before my gods, all I need is to identify me as me .... !

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    • Ellinas
      As I have said before, I knew on another forum, and maintain an occasional contact with even now, a person who was known to see himself as a Christian witch.  Pagan?  Well he was on a pagan forum and fitted in very well, and his concept of deity was not such as would be safely mentioned in many a Christian gathering.   Us lot, learned?  More like Moonsmith's favoured image of the "old farts" on a park bench.  If the concepts have no use to you, I'd leave them be - otherwise you are in danger of joining the realm of "Old Fartdom"
    • Moonsmith
      Up to you Nettle but I wouldn’t bother if I were in your place.  I think that your approach to your beliefs is where it needs to be right now.  This thread will move on and fade away.  I’ve done research because I give talks on belief and need to know from which end of my food tube I’m talking.  There are always Pagans in the audience who know their stuff.     What we believe is what we really believe - that might be as good a definition of Paganism as any.  There is no “truth” except our own.  Share what you will but never let it be a chore. I’m here in the Valley coz it’s fun😄
    • Nettle
      I am not as learned as most here when it comes to paganism and even religion.    Hence why I do not usually get involved in such discussions. It’s not that I don’t see value in someone analysing their belief system and tagging the most appropriate label. It’s just for me it’s not that important.    I don’t know what I am, and to be honest I am not really concerned. Yeah it assists in communication but it is not that important to me.    At one time I know I understood the meanings of polytheism/monotheism/atheism etc but I have forgotten what they mean. They have not stuck. And as such they are not required for me to engage with my path.   Lol I am getting older now and so find I have to purge information to allow for more information to be stored! Basically I empty my cup, keep what is useful to me and discard (“forget”) the rest.   However I will endeavour to reacquaint myself with such concepts as they seem to be important to other members here and so may be worth more investigating and gaining different perspective. 
    • Moonsmith
      I agree SH!  Some Irish, Polish and Hispanic versions of Catholicism (Inc. some of their priests) are very like Polytheistic Paganism.  Once Catholicism meets Voodun you’d be hard put to create a definition that divided the practice Catholicism from Paganism.  That said, the Christians in question would object to being called Pagan as I suspect a Voodunista might object to being called Christian but I don’t know that.  I’d keep definitions of religion well away from definitions of Paganism.  I certainly don’t have a religion and I’m Pagan.  The original use of the word Pagani - (those who lived out on the pagus; outside of citified civilisation = rustic) - distinguished between formal Roman polytheists who would be offended at being referred to as Pagani and the rustics who wouldn’t. I wonder if you can be Pagan and not know it?  Is it behaviour related rather than belief based?
    • Stonehugger
      Is it that kind of word though? Where would one find an authority about what it was formally meant to comprise? A dictionary will say how the word is used in practice, so that's not prescriptive enough. An act of parliament? A contract? Speaking in my capacity as humpty dumpty, I could use it to mean something that's not like Christianity, Judaism, Islam etc. It's a statement of difference but also perhaps of exclusion. I've never been a Roman Catholic but I imagine their attitude to the Virgin Mary could be a bit borderline-pagan sometimes, so I could therefore imagine a vicar advising someone that their understanding is "a bit too pagan for comfort."
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