Hello! This is my first post, so please do let me know if I err in any way.
I am 28, and I'm just starting to get into paganism, after many years of recovering from the very problematic Christian environment I was raised in. For a long time I just considered myself agnostic, but was frightened of going any further. Not that I was afraid of paganism or witchcraft or anything like that - I've always been interested in paganism, but was just so turned off of any sort of spirituality at all. My partner was already pagan for a few years before, just a few months ago, it was like a switch in me was suddenly turned on - I was ready to start. I've been going slowly, experimenting with things, and feeling my way into a path I'd like to follow.
My full question for the rest of you is: How old were you when you started identifying as a pagan (or whatever term you'd like to use!), and what lead you to that moment?
If there are already posts like this I apologize - I looked back a few months and didn't see anything recent, and think it would be a fun way to get to know people!
In the code I teach , and work with , Laurence ,
where letter and number align...
Book = 340 ( Obri / Hebrew )
Lore = 340 ( Runic )
People = 340 ( Runic )
There are the people of the Book , and the people of the Lore...
One was Oral Tradition...the other written , and became the Scripture
of different cultures , religions , and peoples...
Pagans , at one time , were people of the Lore...
Knowledge passed down , "mouth to ear"...
I really like that, actually. :)
I started identifying as a pagan at age 36, I had a NDE experience where I left my body and partyed in the world of the dead for about 2 weeks and I have been one since!
Aside from nearly dying, that sounds like an incredible experience!
I have heard of NDEs, but never where someone partied for two weeks, haha. I don't see how that COULDN'T change your mind, that's pretty amazing!
I'm in a weird period where I'm still trying to define what the heck I identify with! (Still doing a TON of research before claiming a label and upsetting others for not properly respecting their practices.)
I grew up in a very non-religious and unconventionally spiritual background... it might be better to say that religion and spirituality were pretty much ignored (with the exception of random Christian practices forced upon us during holidays).
As an adolescent, I ended up going to Christian churches with friends from school trying to simultaneously find God and friendship. I gave up on it shortly after some traumatic things happened to me and I switched to the easier Agnostic label...
Which just meant I would just try to be a good person regardless of an afterlife and I'm not worrying about that shit for a long time lol
Fast-forward to post-college drop out Riza and I became distinctly spiritual again after my own studies in herbalism and metaphysical properties of minerals. From there, I was noticed by my former spiritual mentor and began being her student for a year.
It ended poorly and I was back to ignoring my spirituality again, but this has been years and I'm tired of feeling so lost and alone.
I'm 25 and in another one of those life transitions that has a painful catalyst, but I'm doing my best to use this as a springboard for positive changes.
So, today I revived my account that I never used in hopes of finding community and guidance and I found this post!
Welcome to the community and thank you for making this post!
There is a philosophy about the evolution of religion and spiritual practices from the very beginning of human existence; I do not know to whom to credit this point of view because it's very obscure and has a lot to do with the "Age of Aquarius" and "Third Eye Spiritualist" mindset which always seems to be in a perpetual state of transitioning or waiting for the final phase to the point of becoming a meme.
The philosophy states that religious and spiritual practices have evolved from the Mother to the the Father (no doubt a dead ringer for the Abrahamic religions of present day); finally, the last phase takes us to the Child which is described as having a very innocent and child-like expression of spiritualism. This phase (which hasn't arrived completely and probably never will) is something that I think reflects the bulk of modern pagan practice.
That does resonate as true, the Mother-Father-Child thing.
Let's not only blame the Semites (Chaldeans, Hebrews, Phoenicians, Assyrians, etc.) for this patriarchal imperialism, it was also and about simultaneously spead by the Aryans (Indoeuropeans), as per Marija Gimbutas (Bronze Age immigrants into Europe, Persians, etc.).
There is an age coming of greater understanding, ethical understanding, which in many ways will seem a return to the Mother period, but in fact we could say will be a well-raised Child.
Those of us propagating what remains and what is re-created of earlier higher-level truths are bringing this to pass.
Yes, I totally understand the agnostic thing... it's a very safe identity, completely non-committal while at the same time reserving your right to believe in anything, if you should choose to.
Herbalism is an interest of mine as well! And I think you'll find a lot of companionship here, most people are very friendly from what I've experienced.
The earliest memory of being involved in Pagan practice that I recall was when I was a toddler, maybe I was three year old; or there about. I had not started government sanctioned school yet.
The people who looked after me at the time took me to catholic church. It was full of celestial incantations, smoke, bells ringing, chanting and petitions directly to their god from their priest for all sorts of stuff, like healing the sick and mercy for the poor - the litany of woes needing massage only a catholic god could provide.
Once it was over everyone got back to the busy work of being petty pricks to each other.
I enjoyed it - the ceremony and pageantry - the priest was dressed up more than a bedazzled drag queen!
This vanity of paganism never stuck with me though.
I was defined by animism. It was seamless with my first non archetype thoughts, once my internal dialogue commenced.
So, early in life cycle I suppose - very early.
That IS early! So you're saying you don't get dressed up and bedazzled for every ritual? ;)
Animism is a very interesting belief system... it feels very instinctual, doesn't it. And it's one of the oldest forms of paganism, too, I think. I'd have to do more research to confirm that, though.
To help your research :