Jump to content
Monica Soto

Welcome Guest!

Welcome to UK Pagan; The Valley

Like most online communities we require you to register for an account before we give you access to read and post.

Only a small number of our forum areas can be read without registering for an account.

Please consider supporting us to help keep our Website and Facebook groups online. Become a Patron!

What books to read to become a Pagan?


Earthdragon
 Share

Recommended Posts

Here is an answer from Thomas Sheridan.

" It (the natural world) exists to provide sustenance in every way possible, there is the visual beauty of the landscape, there is the emotional nourishment of beholding it and being amongst it, the sensual thing of birdsong, the smell of flowers, the sunsets, the sunrises, the meteors in the sky at night, a butterfly stopping on a flower and beholding the glorious colours of their wings.

It provides me with psychological nourishment, it provides me with a sense of eternity,  it nourishes me with the concept of the eternal, the cyclical, of the preciousness of it all and I can gorge upon the mythological, the psychological elements it bequeaths upon me in terms of creativity. You want to paint that sunset, you want to write a poem about the burbling brook running down through that group of oak trees, you want to know that sound of birdsong in your heart all the time. And that my friends is how you become a real pagan. That is the Book"

What do you think? Are you an armchair and bookshelf pagan? Or do you subscribe to sentiments such as Thomas espouses?

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please consider supporting us to help keep our Website and Facebook groups online.

I subscribe to sentiments such as Thomas espouses (and how could anyone (pagan or otherwise) not?) but I should also do more armchair and bookshelf duty. I don't think one makes sense without the other. I couldn't have "become a pagan" just by reading books. I found a path in nature and then gave myself the eventual task of understanding and explaining what I'd found, at least to myself, which needed a little reading just to discover what words to use.

Edited by Stonehugger
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As a matter of principle, I am suspicious of anything that uses the term "the true..." or "a real..." - be it pagan, alien, Christian, or whatever.  I find the the terminology unacceptable.  Regardless of what I think paganism is or should comprise, my view is not to be imposed on any other.  Nor is Sheridan's.  "The true..." and "a real..." is the terminology of imposition, the beginnings of doctrine,

Yes, I find nature calming.  I recognise beauty in it.  I find it stirs sense and feeling.  So do an awful lot of people, regardless of whether they are pagan.

Yes, I do a lot of my thinking in an armchair and find a lot of ideas in written matter.  So do an awful lot of people, regardless of whether they are pagan.

Each to his own.  There is no process (unless you wish to become a particular "type" of pagan within some organisation or other) and I reject any suggestion that I or anyone else has a "right" way or a claim to being particularly genuine.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Ellinas said:

Each to his own.  There is no process (unless you wish to become a particular "type" of pagan within some organisation or other) and I reject any suggestion that I or anyone else has a "right" way or a claim to being particularly genuine.

Does it boil down to one's relationship with language, Ellinas? 

For some a definition is worthless if one doesn't have clarity.

It's one thing to say clearly what one's view is. That surely isn't the same as imposing what one's view is.

I tend agree with you that if someone had never experienced communing with what we tend to call a natural environment where there is wildlife that wouldn't preclude them from being a pagan or at least having elements of paganism individual to them. 

But I do also recall stories of young people in indigenous tribes being chosen to forego contact with the outside world to be then brought out into the light years later and to have a spiritual awakening of huge scale when they were then immersed in the life of the rainforest.

Books contain words which for the most part are a conceptual model of outer and inner things. Can they ever be a substitute for experiencing those things directly? 

So yes, I wouldn't put it as Sheridan did but I am in board with his general thrust.

Paganism for me is essentially about relationship and there is a base line, no doubt different for each of us, below which a lack of relationships would mean my paganism would sufferer.

Perhaps an interesting line to think on. Which relationships does one draw from to vitalise your paganism?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When written down, "and that my friends is how you become a real pagan" grates with me. It doesn't read well, partly for the implication that you have to pass a test and partly for the patronising tone. When spoken on the video, though, it doesn't grate with me at all. It sounds as if that's just the way he talks.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Living in Glastonbury there are so many 'real' Pagans, Witches, Druids (take your pick) I'm surprised to hear of actual pagans etc living anywhere else...... This is the reason we are moving ASAP.

Pagans is just a name so that the washed (we are the unwashed apparently) can put us into safe little categories i think we are the ones who couldnt be arsed in the actual participation of a religious practice but liked a good party so always found our way t the fires 😉 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/8/2020 at 7:05 AM, Earthdragon said:

Does it boil down to one's relationship with language, Ellinas? 

For some a definition is worthless if one doesn't have clarity.

It's one thing to say clearly what one's view is. That surely isn't the same as imposing what one's view is.

A question that deserves a considered reply.

I am a person for whom definitions need clarity.  I am also a person who is not overly bothered if a definition is unidentifiable.  It just means that there is no satisfactory definition.  But that is not the issue.

I have no problem with a clear, even a forceful, statement of a position - which may not come as any great surprise, I suppose.  But that is not the issue either

Nor do I think that this is a matter of "relationship with language".  Whilst it is true that words can be interpreted in various ways, and that some are more precise than others in their habitual use of language, there are instances where the implications of terms used have a certain inevitability.

As you are aware, I have a background in fundie Christianity.  It's a strange world.  All sorts of denominations, divisions and sub-divisions, quite a few of which (if not practically all) consider themselves to be trueTM, or even realTM, Christians.  Only those who believe the same things (with some leeway round the edges. depending on to whom you speak) are regarded as "believers".  That leads to inevitable conclusions:

  1. The more absolute the term, the less flexible the available interpretations ("true" and, in this context, "real" are pretty absolute concepts)
  2. The use of such terminology is exclusionary - it defines not the outlook, be it of paganism or Christianity, but the persons who are deemed acceptable;
  3. It is very difficult to conceive of a use of these terms that does not result in such exclusivity;
  4. It is very difficult to conceive of a method of maintaining the use of these terms that does not collapse into the "no true Scotsman" logical fallacy.

For these reasons, I do not consider that this is just relationship to language.  At the very best, Sheridan's terminology on this is extremely ill considered.  At worst, it renders him a person whose views are based in prejudice rather than any serious thought process.

 

On 9/8/2020 at 7:05 AM, Earthdragon said:

Books contain words which for the most part are a conceptual model of outer and inner things. Can they ever be a substitute for experiencing those things directly? 

Every experience is a conceptual model  That is the nature of subjective perception.  I know what you are trying to say, however.  The answer is that there is a balance to be struck between pure theory and direct experience.  However, the point of balance will differ according to the mental faculties and past experiences of the individual.  I cannot exclude a person for having a different balance to mine - to do so is to condemn myself in the eyes of those who have that different balance, for their approach is as valid as mine.

 

On 9/8/2020 at 7:05 AM, Earthdragon said:

Paganism for me is essentially about relationship and there is a base line, no doubt different for each of us, below which a lack of relationships would mean my paganism would suffer.

Just as the paganism of others might suffer if they adhere to your appreciation and baseline.

 

On 9/8/2020 at 7:05 AM, Earthdragon said:

Which relationships does one draw from to vitalise your paganism?

That sounds to me like it might benefit from another thread.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, Ellinas said:

A question that deserves a considered reply

For some reason this judgement amuses me. I wonder for balances sakes whether I should aim to make, for example, every other comment or question I direct at someone "deserving of considered reply" rather than a bantered or flippant one 😄

On a serious not though I think your replies have brought out some relevant and interesting aspects to this way of looking at things. 

There will always be different versions of definitions. An acceptance of variety and diversity can be informed through an appreciation of those very same qualities that are present in wild areas occupied by a balance of species of flora and fauna etc. 

The identification of discernable processes and developmental trends with particular elements within different belief systems will influence the balance that you describe as being different for each of us. This will be related to which relationships one pursues and also with the attached concepts that influence behaviour in those relationships. (I'm editing here and realise that is an unwieldy paragraph but don't have the time to re-write)

For example someone who emphasises communing with nature and it's spirit and conceives of the inherent value of each element of these ecosystems will likely be more careful with their relationship to them and level of exploitation that occurs in that. For some the observable evolution of that could be an example of a discernable facet of the outcomes of what might be called real paganism. As an observation that could lead them to define paganism necessarily as having that sort of observed development. I am careful to use the term 'sort of' here. There could be any number of ways to create this effect and with a different balance point between pure theory and direct experience for each one.

I think accepting that we might define things, including spiritual and religious practice, differently to one another does NOT mean that one is excluding the other person or undermining their worth. And this is a very important way to break our inherited sense of division that absolutist , monotheist religious dogma have inculcated in humanity both consciously and subconsciously. I think paganism in general isn't as prone to it. It's a major difference between orthodoxy and orthopraxy.

I think an aspect of the similarity between science and spiritual practice that I referred to in another thread that comes from this is that both are dependant on observation. I suppose clarity of definitions based on observations is what I'm getting at. 

On this forum the 'rules for exchange' include an acceptance that we can attack an argument but we remember that this isn't the same as attacking the person'. This is akin to realising that we indeed have different definitions of paganism and that's actually good and proper.

Perhaps Sheridan could have said "that my friends is how I think you can fulfill  my definition of what it means to be a pagan". Bit of a mouthful but that is probably just what he did mean.

Stonehugger made the point that hearing Sheridan use these words is different to reading a transcript of them. I think this is an example of a shift in balance between the conceptual model of something and a direct experience of the thing itself. Listening to someone speak is a fundamentally different and  fuller experience to reading their words. It's one reason why I often find listening to a recorded dialogue between two people a far more involving and revealing an experience that reading an exposition on something.

Which leads us to oral tradition versus book-lore. I seem to have a penchant for invoking new threads 😆

Edited by Earthdragon
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just received this.

To Walk a Pagan Path.

Its a bit "fluffy" in places for my taste but there are plenty of Fluffy Pride people here😄

I've only flicked through it.  It's a bit rural as you might expect.  It makes reference to all sorts of Pagan spiritualities but only along the way.

As I've said far too many times in the past🙄 -  In a long list of the things that Pagans do not hold in common is:  "A description of the life well lived."

What I most like about the book is that it describes living rather than praying.

 

IMG_6608.JPG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/10/2020 at 8:21 AM, Earthdragon said:
On 9/9/2020 at 10:32 PM, Ellinas said:

A question that deserves a considered reply

For some reason this judgement amuses me. I wonder for balances sakes whether I should aim to make, for example, every other comment or question I direct at someone "deserving of considered reply" rather than a bantered or flippant one 😄

I suppose it meant that I thought about it a bit longer than usual before replying.

Never underestimate the power of the flippant, by the way.

 

On 9/10/2020 at 8:21 AM, Earthdragon said:

think accepting that we might define things, including spiritual and religious practice, differently to one another does NOT mean that one is excluding the other person or undermining their worth.

I agree.  But it also militates against the use of exclusionary terminology.

 

On 9/10/2020 at 8:21 AM, Earthdragon said:

I think paganism in general isn't as prone to it. It's a major difference between orthodoxy and orthopraxy.

As to the first sentence - I very much hope that is the case.  Generally, I think you are correct.  But my concern is that, in anything termed "spiritual" there will always be those who sniff at the arse of prejudice.  My problem with the "true" and the "real" terminology is where it leads.  Been there, done that, not prepared to countenance it again.  If that is my prejudice, so be it.  Intolerance of the intolerant is something with which I can live.

As to the second sentence - I've never really understood that difference.  I first came across this division when investigating Hellenismos.  Looking at a the attitudes I found on an Hellenismos based forum - which I've since failed to find, so I assume it has disappeared during the years between then and now - I quickly came to the conclusion that this was an intellectual conceit.  In the end one's practice should have some basis in one's beliefs, so it follows that the edges must be fuzzy at best.  To say (as they did say) that "in order to follow Hellenic spirituality, you must do 'X'" meets, for me, the same objections as saying "you must believe 'X'".  It defines a specific system as "the one true way", at least in the context of what makes Greek spirituality, despite the fact that the practices of millennia past were not monolithic and are largely irrelevant to modern society.  Had they said "in order to comply with our version of Hellenismos...", I would have had no issue.  The view that was hidden behind the division of orthopraxy and orthodoxy, however, was no different to that of any extreme monotheist.  "We are the real Hellenes - you can't follow that path unless you do so in accordance with our version of it".  Whether characterised in terms of belief or practice strikes me as a distinction without a difference.

It was a message that I answered (albeit figuratively, as I did not engage on that forum) with a one fingered salute and a loud "sod off".

 

On 9/10/2020 at 8:21 AM, Earthdragon said:

On this forum the 'rules for exchange' include an acceptance that we can attack an argument but we remember that this isn't the same as attacking the person'. This is akin to realising that we indeed have different definitions of paganism and that's actually good and proper.

Indeed, and nothing here is an attack on you, or even on Sheridan.  He might be a very sensible bloke - just careless in his use of what I consider dangerous terms.

 

On 9/10/2020 at 8:21 AM, Earthdragon said:

Perhaps Sheridan could have said "that my friends is how I think you can fulfill  my definition of what it means to be a pagan". Bit of a mouthful but that is probably just what he did mean.

Maybe.  He could have said: "That's my sort of paganism".  Not that much of a mouthful.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/12/2020 at 10:24 PM, Ellinas said:

To say (as they did say) that "in order to follow Hellenic spirituality, you must do 'X'" meets, for me, the same objections as saying "you must believe 'X'".

My take on orthopraxy is that an  accepted cultural norm of participation in certain festivals, rituals and the like can coincide with an acceptance that such participation can be animated by different and even polar opposite beliefs.

And let's face it, if you have no belief or practice which is the same as a religious group you might still want to party with them after their event/ritual or whatever but you wouldn't be mixing with the crowd when they were engaged with their practice. 

The bugbear is the "must" I guess...having potential for a variety of practice according to personal input/creativity is better than "must do this or that" for sure.

On 9/12/2020 at 10:24 PM, Ellinas said:

My problem with the "true" and the "real" terminology is where it leads.

I understand your experience as you've described it. There is a huge history of non-pagan useages of such terms. 

What , if anything, would you say would exclude the use of the term pagan to describe a person, system or belief?

Conversely is the anything that you would consider to be necessarily present to permit the use of the term pagan for a person, system or belief?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 minutes ago, Earthdragon said:

The bugbear is the "must" I guess

Correct.

14 minutes ago, Earthdragon said:

What , if anything, would you say would exclude the use of the term pagan to describe a person, system or belief?

Conversely is the anything that you would consider to be necessarily present to permit the use of the term pagan for a person, system or belief?

I think the question of what defines paganism has been discussed before, though I've not researched past threads in saying that.

I regard "pagan" as a more of less imprecise umbrella term.  At its widest, it is spirituality with some basis other than abrahamic monotheism.  I would not quibble if Buddhists or Hindus were to describe themselves as pagan, though I doubt they would want to do so.  Having said that about abrahamic monotheists, however, as I've mentioned elsewhere, I am aware of a person who regards himself a Christian witch, and his approach to Christian doctrine seems rather creative.  I've never heard him describe himself as "pagan", but, were he to do so, it would neither surprise nor bother me.

So, in the end, I see it as just a term of some use as a label to avoid longer explanations, but highly inexact.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 minutes ago, Earthdragon said:

animated by different and even polar opposite beliefs

Reminds me of Hotel California - "some dance to remember; some dance to forget". I haven't been to a nightclub for quite a while but I remember often getting distracted into people-watching and making stories about why they were there. The event succeeds with all the very different reasons people have for joining in. Is it the same for a ritual though? Does it depend on people being somewhat aligned in their attitudes and beliefs about what's going on there? I don't mean that in a controlling sense, just in a social sense.

26 minutes ago, Earthdragon said:

What , if anything, would you say would exclude the use of the term pagan to describe a person, system or belief?

That was on my mind too. I've listened a few times and still not heard the word "real" in Sheridan's video ("become a [real] pagan"), but it's certainly implied. I said before that it sounds better than it reads, and I still think that, but my objection to the sentiment was tempered slightly by thinking about where the line (if any) might be drawn and how it could be drawn. The only hypothetical group I could think of excluding from the definition would be people who deliberately pretend to be pagan when they're not, a bit like someone pretending to be a concert pianist but getting caught out on-stage at the Albert Hall.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 hours ago, Stonehugger said:

Is it the same for ritual though?Does it depend on people being somewhat aligned in their attitudes and beliefs about what's going on there? I don't mean that in a controlling sense, just in a social sense

My experience with this is that the fundemental grounding and outcome of the shared experience of ritual is in the intentions that are being shared rather than the beliefs which underly the animation of the words and actions into a purposeful event. Intention can be beholden to belief in which case it may not work but this certainly doesn't have to be the case.

 

16 hours ago, Stonehugger said:

I've listened a few times and still not heard the word "real" in Sheridan's video ("become a [real] pagan"),

It's interesting that most of the focus of this thread has been on that word. It is implied for sure but I think that hooking onto one aspect of all of this is a strength in that it doesn't overlook that a seemingly small part of communication can, in fact, contain alot of influence. But also has the weakness that the main thrust and potential value of the rest of what was said might be lost.

16 hours ago, Stonehugger said:

The only hypothetical group I could think of excluding from the definition would be people who deliberately pretend to be pagan when they're not

Hence I might query the usefulness of such a label if it's like a fishing net that is so wide as to catch everything apart from an elephant.

16 hours ago, Stonehugger said:

remember often getting distracted into people-watching and making stories about why they were there.

My wife does this (though not in nightclubs - AKAIK 😆). I have had a bit of practice now and am not quite so terrible at it 😀.

16 hours ago, Ellinas said:

At its widest, it [paganism] is spirituality with some basis other than abrahamic monotheism

My take on this:

Conversely I can see the relevance of a narrower definition of paganism through examining it's characteristics rather simply discerning a lack of Abrahamic monotheistic content. 

As I said earlier, different definitions will exist and also as soon as one defines something then one is also defining what is not that thing. The challenge being to relate to that otherness in a mutually beneficial way (which requires reciprocity).

The resulting clarity will be and seem empowering, until the limitations of the whole process might be realised in which case new definitions are no doubt there to be found...

Edited by Earthdragon
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...
On 9/14/2020 at 10:16 PM, Stonehugger said:

I've listened a few times and still not heard the word "real" in Sheridan's video ("become a [real] pagan"),

He says "become a pagan" and the title of the incorporates the phrase "the true pagan". 

I think "become a real pagan" was me paraphrasing 😁

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/2/2021 at 2:11 PM, Earthdragon said:

I think "become a real pagan" was me paraphrasing 😁

Well, it started a good conversation!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In reply to this topic. I honestly do not believe there are any specific books to read to become a pagan, also i do not believe one becomes one. I believe that with spirituality, life paths , anything is based on internalisation. Its the same with singing or writing, in order to sing one has to internalise the song. In order to understand one has to internalise the understanding.

Feed it from the root, the wick that lights the flame. I think there is a path for all and each person has their own way. Though I do believe nature plays a big role in paganism and magic. One can learn things from books are other people though a spell is a spell and it has to be cast, which one does with their internal focus. I dont read much but a little of this and that, I find it very fulfilling to learn about folktales, stories, myths, listen to peoples life visions. Listen with open ears. At the moment I am listening to a series of podcasts 

This Mythic Life Podcast - SHARON BLACKIE

Its very enriching to listen to these. There is food for thought and in some I find a reflection of what ripples in my own soul. In each of us is a portal and the question is what makes you enter this portal, what suits you best. For me writing is a vein, a root. Ive  always liked working with symbolism, creativity, and when I write I can journey. Later often I recognise something in what I read or hear from or through others. I just think the path chooses you sooner or later you will know.

greets

Anne

 

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, OdinsDaughter64 said:

In each of us is a portal and the question is what makes you enter this portal, what suits you best. For me writing is a vein, a root. Ive  always liked working with symbolism, creativity, and when I write I can journey. Later often I recognise something in what I read or hear from or through others. I just think the path chooses you sooner or later you will know.

Thank you for sharing some of the wisdom of your perspective, Anne. Valuable words of advice. 

Regards

ED

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Books are not and cannot be anything more than inspiration when it comes to describing personal belief. No human is perfect, so what they write is at risk of this imperfection. If humans could perfectly describe what can only be held as faith then there is no reason to believe you could perfectly understand your own world without their help. However we can't and we all have to ultimately figure it out on our own. Unless you want a religion spoonfed to you, a book can only be a sounding board, a vague set of directions. Unfortunately, not all of us can get out into nature. It is tone deaf to ignore that for many, this is out of reach. For many minorities in Britain, for example, rural areas are openly hostile to their presence and they do not feel welcome. It's not enough for them to simply "ignore it". For many, books end up the only escapism out of the world that wants to suck them dry and into some form of spiritual comfort.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Topics

  • Posts

    • Roundtuit
      Thank you.  Yes, I'm starting to think it's the journey that matters.   What a gorgeous image!  I'd love to get back to the fells, there's something new around very corner there.    
    • Stonehugger
      I've had varying degrees and natures of commitment to Christianity since I was at school but I've also always had pagan leanings and for quite a long time now my path has been entirely pagan. It's unproblematic in that my family and friends think it's harmless eccentricity, but I imagine it would be different if I took a strongly pagan stance on something. For me personally it's important to listen to what's going on around me and work out my path accordingly, so I celebrate the presence of many paths up the same mountain and have no concerns about reaching the top. I imagine that, like almost any walk in the fells, what currently looks like the top is just another place to see the next top from. Definitely!! 😁
    • Ellinas
      Well, I've been called many things in my time... I'm also a former Christian, with a chequered history (Anglican, in the guise of the Church in Wales, then Plymouth Brethren with the odd foray into the Baptists along the way).  I fell out with Christianity in the early 2000's, when I was late 30's, early 40's. Since then, the general nature of my meanderings has remained fairly constant, but the details and contents have changed over time.  That's fine.  The journey is the issue, not the destination.  Ithaca calls, but Phoenician markets and Egyptian cities have the greater import (poetic reference - just means follow your path and hope to arrive late, if at all).  What I believe tomorrow may be very different to what I believe today.  What I believed yesterday is just a stepping stone. In short, don't worry about what you have been, as it is merely the pathway that got you to what you are, and don't worry about where you are going, there are any number of bye-ways for you to explore. As to others - I have struggled with family pressures and the tyranny of monotheistic faith.  I understand your position and have no issue with a softly-softly approach such as you describe.  In fact, it is the best way unless you are prepared to create and weather a family rift. Dangerous statement.  Talk about tempting fate...!
    • Moonsmith
      Hi, Welcome.  While I rarely go to bed before three am, I am also in the habit of switching off my phone between uses.  This device is primarily outgoing.  Many of us have been Christians at some point in our histories.  Experiences vary considerably.  I was heavily involved but just lapsed.  No issues or problems. I know a lot of Pagans who have switched between different belief sets, pagan and non pagan over the years.  They have a tendency to carry over elements from each crossroads they come to.  My own beliefs have been evolving for decades.  I don’t suppose that they will change much more but if anyone gives serious thought to their beliefs there must always be the risk of a new realisation.  Don’t take any notice of what other people say, just be sure that whatever you believe is what you really believe.    There is no top to that mountain.  The road goes ever on. Take any path that leads in a direction that want to go.  Don’t worry about the destination.
    • Roundtuit
      Hi!  Welcome to my self-absorbed drivel. I don't quite know where to start about this, but after years of trying to be a Christian, I'm exploring being a Pagan.  Actually, I'd go as far as to say I am one, and was before in my late teens and early twenties.  I grew up in an Evangelical household and my parents are now Pentecostal deacons.  I started to question my faith from an early age, and later started to practice Wicca and study legends and folk customs.  I had some health problems that made me a lot more dependent on family.  I don't see any reason to ever let my parents or other family members know about my beliefs as that would be devastating for them, but they ask about church and my spiritual life every time I see them.  In my mid twenties I started to think that I had to compromise with my parents over my beliefs if they were ever to accept other life choices I made.  I have had relationships they wouldn't accept and didn't want to alienate myself from them even further.  I wanted to be pragmatic.  There was truth in virtually every belief system so I might as well re-adopt Christianity, find a progressive church and live as good a life as I could like that.  So I did that for years, as a secretly pantheistic Christian who went to a church that worshipped God using male, female and gender-neutral pronouns and lived what most people would describe as a secular life outside of church.  I'd left Christianity because so much harm was done in the name of a set of beliefs.  Then I came back because I didn't want to cause harm to my parents in the name of beliefs, religion or the lack of it.  How people are treated should always come first. Then aged 43, in January during the lockdown, I went 'pop'.  It was like I'd been getting more and more resentful and thirsting after Earth-based spirituality.  It was a need and I'm not sure it can be denied because I need to feel alive.  I've been studying various pagan traditions ever since and have taken a break from church (my vicar knows all of this and is great about it).  Not attending church is unacceptable in my family.  I feel so behind though.  Most people I meet or come across on social media has years of experience and say they've been practicing since they were teenagers.  I once heard someone say that yes, there are many paths up the same mountain but if you keep changing paths you never reach the top.  Do you agree, or not? Is anyone else here a new older pagan?  Is it at all common?  
×
×
  • Create New...