There was a question the other day asking me when I became Pagan that made me think for a while, because I realised I couldn't really find the answer. I couldn't really remember when i became as they say: a villiager or a "villian" as the Romans called it. I was raised on strict christianity, but there was a part of my family that decisively defined themselves as christian mystics, though this was very much secret. As one of my family members use to say: There are people that see things that others can't, that acceptable christianity chose to ignore, but God made us all and mistakes are not likely made by God. We use to get into these long philosophical chats that at least made us feel "normal" at the end of them.
Magic drew me at that typical rebellious stage of teenagehood yet I wouldn't say I did it out of rebelliousness but rather as a need to understand. Whether that was the beginning; I couldn't say I was sure.
I didn't choose paganism, paganism chose me. I didn't want to be a Pagan. I was first introduced during the "Witch Fad" of the 90's through some friends, who were "witches." They let me go through their books and the interest never left me. I was christian, mostly satisfied with my religion, and wasn't looking for a new religion when I first came across Paganism.
Well Paganism kept on poking me in my arm, until one day I gave in. I left Christianity for Paganism. There wasn't any agnostic down time for me. I did go through a Christo-pagan phase though.
Though both of my parents are Christian, my mother a Baptist, no idea which denomination my father is, none of us were made to go to church past age 6, and come to think of it, none of us ever did. I never thought about it when I was a kid, but I look back now and we were never baptized either. We were blessed at birth, but not actually baptized.
Also, we were sent to AWANA, and I never could stomach it. No coloring books to distract my sensitive soul from all of the garbage flying around like in typical service (we weren't sent to sunday school). Edit: "Garbage" as in the psychic and emotional problems everyone bottled up for their mistaken view of God. I didn't know what it was then, but it felt terrible.
I didn't understand why my religious upbringing never seemed to fit right, and me being a shy, skittish thing, never did get up the nerve to ask the questions that were on my mind then. I can't ever remember not pondering these questions, and they caused me much grief, especially the fact that I never felt the same level of depression other people seemed to at a funeral. As the years went on, and I discovered the computer in 6th grade, I found that no matter what keywords I'd type in, several flashy, colorful websites would always be listed, talking about things I'd been taught were either of the devil, or simply didn't exist. I soaked up the words like a sponge, as though it were a good book, beautiful but not truly real.
A good friend of mine invited me to her place for Halloween that same year, and looking back on it, it still holds the same wonder as it did, and it isn't hard to call up the memory of "a little scared but mostly excited" feeling when I walked in through her front door, was perfumed with a big smoking wad (it looked huge!) of stuff that smelled like roadkill, greeted her family, and also was asked to greet their dead.
The evening was so beeautiful and magical, and I didn't realize until later exactly how magickal it was. I was heartbroken when I asked my friend's parents to teach me their ways and they told me not without my parents' permission. I asked my parents, and my mom said "that is of the devil". My dad only said "if God intends for you to know it, then you will know it when you're supposed to". Neither of them allowed my friend's parents to teach me, and it got left at that. My friend explained to me on the sly about all that she was allowed to-I didn't know then that her family's tradition is an oathbound one, and when they moved away a few years later, I found that I could have learned all that she'd told me from the internet.
Since that first evening I've studied and soaked up all the information I could, and my journey has taken me through Gardnerian Wicca, back to Christianity (it's truly beautiful, just doesn't fit right), a hair of Native American tradition, to "who knows what but it works for me", Buddhism, Hinduism, Spiritual Satanism, Asatru, Faerie, Dragon, and what I call "nonreligious witchcraft", the skill set of moving magick/universal energies toward a desired end.
I've been blessed, self-dedicated, baptized, initiated, charged, etc. There are many things each of these paths have in common, and many areas in which they differ, and a little bit of each has followed me into the present. If anyone's wondering how thick my BoS is, the main book itself is surprisingly thin for the variety it's seen. The rest of it's scattered around in countless notebooks, several of which need to be recopied if I want to keep what I've recorded in them simply because they're that worn-out. *g*
What am I now? I choose to call myself a witch, no reason in particular, but I like the sound of the word. *g*
I, too was brought up in a very Christian belief system, which never seemed to me to be the "whole truth". I believe the deciding point in my life was many years ago, when my son passed away, and the minister at our church told my Dad that it happened because I was a sinner. That, among many other things that "religion" preached, turned me completely away from organized "anything", and began my spiritual journey, to a much more open-minded and accepting way of life. I can't say I chose Paganism, per say, because I believe that "all" beliefs are true! I believe that it's a personal choice for every human being on our great Earth Mother. I Love Paganism because it is so wide-spread in it's beliefs and understandings, and it's wisdom, especially the "magic", :O) and because the acceptance level is so much higher than anything with the "religious" attachment to it. I feel Paganism comes more from the Heart than from any book or rule or "doctrine" that accompanies "religion".
I Love the feeling of "Truth" that I get whenever I am in the midst of Pagans of any kind. And I Love that feeling of "Family", too! I feel at Home and Loved when in this Beautiful Energy! Thank you all for allowing this to just BE!!!! :O) ((((<3)))) Blessed Be!
AW,so very sorry about your child.......OR when they say God needs another angel......I find the Pagan circle simply fascinating....too. I have met Pagans in many places.
Thank you, Lass! :O) <3
I have many Pagan friends, too! Like you! HUG! ((((<3))))
right back to ya! have a great eve WeeBGB!!
I have never felt comfortable saying that I chose anything when it comes to Paganism. I have always told people that it chose me. I was raised Pentecostal, but always felt and some part of me just knew that there was something more.
I even told my Pastor in children's church one day that there was no one thing in the world that was absolutely right for everyone and proceeded to tell him the similarities of the christian and Pagan holidays. needless to say, it created a lot of problems between myself and my family at a young age, but it is possible for a person to grow into their natural beliefs and abilities.
Well - I was walking through a bookstore and SOMETHING made me pick up and buy Scott Cunningham's book The Truth About Witchcraft. He was the doorway for me as well as countless others. I have mixed feelings about Scott now, but he basically "brought me in" and I have been in the Craft for 18 years and loved every minute.
Thank you Scott.
I read all of mr C stuff too way back.I stil use his herbal book and magical household
I tried magic because I wanted to see if it worked, paganism was an alternative I needed to see if it "fit" for me.
Same. Raised atheist but curious about the paranormal. Still more into magic than paganism qua paganism as a religion.