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!
If it was just said by my Tradition , you and Laurence
would not have heard of the concept of giving the Tarot
deck , rather than buying it...all I was doing , was trying
to explain the why , of the old saying , and concept...
That's fine. I was also explaining how it's just an old story and not everyone follows it.
Excellent that you are preserving and passing on that knowledge and tradition. Very valuable, and it's loss is always sad. This is true of languages, culture, survival technology, as well as spiritual teachings.
I can't hope to devote that much time to learning the intricacies, as my path is to learn about food and herbs. I do utilize Tarot, from 4 decks I bought in Spain, favorite is Balbi, and am constantly amazed at how every card always speaks directly to the matter.
I'd say in my case I feel that spirit entities gave me those decks, that a lot of things happen that way these days as we live in an atomized and alienating global village in which people have few of the human contacts which were once common. The Tarot has many levels, and that's mine, that it speaks via archetypes, via the art of the cards, speaking for vibrational truth.
Tarot is indeed amazing.
I was raised in a Christian environment but, even as a child, I never felt comfortable in the Church. There was a feeling of alienation and detachment.
In junior high I began exploring eastern philosophies. It was then that I made the self-discovery that I was more spiritual than religious. I began adopting Zen practices. This helped me along my path but I still felt unfulfilled.
I graduated in 1975. My high school was rife with drugs. I had my share. But whereas my friends would want to 'party' (which would eventually lead to trouble) I would go off by myself. I'd take a hit of acid and spend the day the park. At this time I was reading 'The Teachings of Don Juan.' I found that shamanism held the key.
No, I no longer do drugs. But I have been involved with shamanism/paganism for perhaps 40 years now.
It has been a wonderful journey. And I am still learning!
From what I've heard, most people were doing drugs in the 70s. :/ Apparently they weren't as dangerous back then - more pure, less chance of an overdose, etc. Don't know if that's actually true or not.
Anyway, it seems that you've followed a very peaceful and solitary path. And 40 years, wow! Congrats!
Psychedelics were a way of Metaprogramming the Human Bio Computer...
Combined with ritual , meditation , etc...many of us attained levels of
"illumination" , or a restructuring of consciousness in a positive way...
PDF file :
As well , there was Aldous Huxley's work :
"Doors Of Perception"...
I imbibed more than my share , according to some...;)
Like the time three friends and I , took 40 hits of four way
"Clearlight" , each...160 hits of pure LSD...
Great book , by Tim Leary :
Goes into the importance of proper setting , and dosages...
Environment during experiences such as this, is extremely important...
I am not advocating such a path...but it has been a path , around the
world , since the first interactions of the human , and plant worlds...
It is for some...definitely not all...;)
One last person to check out...Terence McKenna...
You would find him on that deoxy.org site...
Oh my goodness, how are you alive, Shawn?! Although, I do see the difference in taking care with it, and doing it in a safe place, vs shooting up on the street like the guy who did it next to our window when we were at a cafe in Vancouver last month.
I have heard of Aldous Huxley, but not the others. Some interesting reading, thanks for the links!
I am only recently clean from drugs, mainly pills. I have taken shrooms twice and acid once. They were amazing experiences. Each time I came to a better understanding of myself. I believe that a "mind vacation" does so much good for yourself and in understanding yourself better you can commune more sucessfully with others. Also, studies I've read on the positive effects of shrooms for ptsd and depression.
I do not know what the "acid" of today is like. I've not wanted to do more of it since the early 70's.
There was some seriously clean and powerful LSD-25 available then. My first trip was 8 hours during most of which I didn't know whether I was a mammal, a speck of dust or a ray of light.
By 1972 I was taking "acid" and it sent me to the toilet plus felt more like a bad speed trip.
So... to make sure of purity, anything of that nature I'll eat today is a mushroom.
As for context... I like Leary's controlled approach more than Kesey's "drop acid and party with the Hell's Angels" attitude. So I would beware of hippies pretending to do peyote experiences for people and so on. One's called the "Road Show".
So over half your lifetime. Impressive!
Welcome to the community and also to the Path! I wish you much joy in your endeavors.
From a very early age, I was fascinated with pagan mythology and made offerings of flowers, fruit, etc. to various God/desses at a makeshift altar in my grandmother's yard. I believe I was around 5 or 6 when that began. Christianity never made sense to me, and I started doing magic in middle school before finally severing my ties with my family's Catholicism at 18 after reading the Bible in its entirety to make absolutely sure I didn't believe in it. Never once regretted that decision, either.
Thank you so much!
You had a natural tendency to that kind of thing, eh? The idea of a five year old giving little offerings is super cute.
Also, I love your icon, vintage witches are just rad.