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For me, it has been incredibly liberating! It is the most joyful, hopeful and wonderful religion out there as far as I am concerned.

I can be human and am not forced to be ashamed of it, instead I can revel in it. I do not have to grovel at the feet of some god that supposedly created me but finds me to be abhorrent. I do not have to beg for "forgiveness" for being who and what I am. I do not have to fear coming up short at judgment and being sent to suffer for eternity. I do not have to have the fear and guilt that Christianity shoves on you. I do not have to constantly atone for being a woman. I have always loved being female and really hated how the church treated women. I also despise how the Bible treats women. I never bought all that crap the Bible says is true and now I don't have to feel bad about it. Science and religion can co-exist peacefully. I know that when I pass to the glorious Summerland, I will not have to stand around forever praising some god who obviously is insecure and has a inferiority complex.  I also know that I will cavort with Pan and will enjoy many pleasures with Him, my Goddess and my lover on the OtherSide.  Most of all, I will finally have peace.

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I definitely became more of an asshole, too. Witchcraft (while not paganism) has been pretty liberating, but I still feel unworthy in the eyes of deities. I think this is normal, but given how many pagans talk about how they defiantly stand up to their gods, I'm not really sure.

I am not unworthy in the eyes of my Deities and neither are you. Here is something you should remember,: They need us as much as we need Them. Our belief gives Them Their strength, when we no longer believe, that takes away some of Their strength and power. The Wheel is turning and Christianity is losing strength as so will their god. When you see people of a certain faith fight tooth and nail and want everyone to follow their way, what you are seeing is the death agony of their god(s) trying desperately to stay alive in the hearts and minds of people.

You can do things the gods cannot do and They can do things you cannot do, each needs the other.

For me, it has opened my mind to consider alternative realities. Though I may not concur with or follow a particular path in life, it does not mean that particular set of beliefs holds no validity. Reality is very subjective in my opinion. Studying ancient and contemporary Pagan traditions and cultures has opened my mind to the many possibilities of the human experience.

In the OP, Christianity is cited as having a negative effect on people and circumstances. But the Christian's reality is just as valid as the Pagan's reality.

In the OP, Christianity is cited as having a negative effect on people and circumstances. But the Christian's reality is just as valid as the Pagan's reality.

People aren't saying it's not valid.  A path can be valid and still negative.

It has opened my eyes to the beauty of this world and of life itself. 

yeah, paganism is very great for me. it has done many miracles, saved lives and guided people through time here in my place not after now that christianism took place. But i find myself in it so i still practice.

just one thing i wanna say,
if you can accept what i say here, put it in your actions and thoughts.
you're a magician, you must knew the laws of magic and deeds of magicians.
one there is how magicians percieve and judge. if you truly are magicians you must have known this.
--- every religion you knew are parts of one(well i don't care if you burst with the idea, shouting that it will never happen, that your religion or practice is independent. i say, go with what you believe, you're born hardheaded, but you'll never be a true magician.)

what i am trying to explain is that catholisism is also a great religion. it is not the religion itself that is misleading. it just went there for the reason that believers and even leaders lack the true understanding of what they really need to know. and it can happen in any belief system, it's understandable. we know why.

An interesting topic. When I read the title, I paused to reflect a moment. Some of this list, I would not say Paganism itself "did it" but was involved and influence not just my decisions, but the decisions of others involved as well.

I definitely see the world in a much different way than the average person. However, through paganism I have lost my entire family, received mostly ridicule from the ignorant and uninformed, felt isolated from the "normal" people around me, and worried that I would never connect with anyone in the way I crave.

My gods are quiet, but active. I could say the same for myself; I rarely pray, I have no tongue for it. Most places I go to meditate in the outdoors are eventually intruded upon by police assuming I'm up to no good. Pagan women in my area are either reclusive and unapproachable or starry-eyed with romanticized ignorance.

My power is bound, and my path is overgrown and shrouded. Paganism is the light in the dark mist ahead I can't help but follow, perhaps like a moth to the flame.

Paganism has opened my eyes to the world and bled my heart.

"And if my nature wants to touch the sky,

Towering to heaven with my head in the clouds,

I stand, perhaps not tall... but free!"

I have identified with paganism for a few years now, but since as far back as I can remember I have always felt so drawn to nature and all things spiritual. I was not particularly raised any religion, and I am grateful for that. I have always felt free to pursue my own spiritual path in life, and pagan based spirituality is what my heart and soul truly connect with. I love any and everything that honors the Earth, as well as nature and the Gods and Goddesses. Since fully embracing my own spirituality, I have truly discovered who I am, and have been able to shed all the things I have been conditioned to believe, things which no longer served me well. I am open to learning and growing and cultivating my own unique spiritual path more and more each day. I know there is still so much more to discover.

I identify nominally with paganism because it gives me a broad spectrum in which to operate.  I do not identify with any particular religion or tradition and refuse to limit myself to the constraints of any.  Religions and Traditions are man-made (yeah, ok, and woman made as well, don't shoot me down feminists).  I am also a member of the human race so I don't feel I have to accept the authority of anyone else's singular theology. Thank you but I prefer to go it alone. 

I see similarities and connections between pantheons and religions that others reject so why should I limit myself on the basis of someone else's religion, philosophy or dogma?  If I want to set bounds I know better than anyone else what they should be for me. Before anyone starts forming opinions about me I need to interject here that I don't see myself as a great individualist although I respect individualism, I don't see myself as a rebel although I respect the right to rebellion and if at any time I should see fit to identify with those concepts, I will and there is no given ideology that will hold me back from it.

If I want to set delimiters, I'll take up programming.  I don't need artificial limitations in my personal philosophy. I'm changeable as the weather; so, I operate under the broad umbrella of Paganism as opposed to the Big-3. That does not mean that I reject all principles of the Big-3.  I just think differently than it's adherents.

From my past posts some might think I have an abiding dislike for Christianity, and the Big-3 in general.  Not so. I have every respect for the aspects of the Big-3 that allow for growth.  I simply reject the faddish interpretations that their adherents focus upon and which shift their moral outlook from generation to generation while seeking to force individuals into their current mold. That is a human failing I try to avoid. It has nothing to do with their Gods.  I'll make up my own mind what holds true and under what  circumstances and conditions. The rest is just current fashion and the constraints groups seek to impose on adherents because of current fashion is a power ploy...I'm out of there.

Perhaps I have a divergent morality but I think my ethics are fairly sound which brings me to *paths*, a topic that has currently been featured in one way or another on the pages of PS. I have never thought of *paths* as being a group thing.  A path is a journey through life so one's path is one's path, it is not a community organisation to be structured by others and to which one becomes subject. A path is a personal thing with religions, philosophies, etc, merely signposts that indicate to one where one is at at any given moment.

These institutions help us trace where we have been and where we might be going but I don't think they are laws to either keep or break (and I suppose someone or group is bound to keep them or they would cease to exist, just not me). I'm just not that rigid. I learn my lessons where I find them along the way. If one philosophy, religion, tradition answers one question, it may not answer another in the face of what I have seen and known. I call myself an eclectic since I don't except any *given* set of values wholesale. I have not yet found any single religion or tradition that totally encompasses me and I don't care to cop to any one of them just to be part of a community. That would be limiting to me as well as lying to the structured community. Life is too short.

I live under the umbrella of paganism because it is broad in scope and I get tired of answering to those who want to know where I stand, "WTF do I KNOW, wadda ya got? Still, it is only a label and I'm not bound to it either. My path crosses many other paths constantly. Lol, so what? No big deal. It's only life. :)

it feels like i came  home.  after  nearly 2 decades of attempted brainwashing by my family and their church.....yeah..HOME!! JOY !! COMFORT!!! an not looked back since! :D

Simply put it saved my life. When I was at my lowest it was the Goddess who pulled me back from the edge. I've been told that just isn't possible but I know who propped me up when I would have other wise fallen. I share that with you all because here we can be ourselves. No need for masks. And while I am very aware of the toll wearing such a mask can have sometimes there isn't much choice. I'll digress though. Thanks for letting me ramble. Blessings all.

In a nutshell, my 45-year spiritual journey:
It wasn't paganism itself that so improved my Journey but the fact of its pervasive existence at the edges of my former reality that illuminated for me the veil that separates us from greater realities. The idea of paganism gave me the freedom to explore my limits. Early successes with psychic phenomena led me to eventually understand why our limits are self-imposed, and that we ourselves placed the Veil to enable and enhance our experience. As I learned to use that knowledge in allowing the favorable bias of chance occurrences, my appreciation of the balance of will vs. entropy practically reversed my perceptions of the divine, which has left me wondering why I'm still here.
:-D

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