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Are there any fellow pagans on this forum? Paganism played a huge part in my spirituality in the recent years, and it took a lot of courage to admit that I'm in fact a pagan. I was drawn to divine experience since I was a kid, but being raised in an atheist family I had no one to discuss these topics with. Even my craft didn't include any spiritual practices until I discovered some tarot youtubers (Kelly Ann Maddox in particular) talking about their deities. And then I start searching for my own... and it was a hell of a journey 🙂 currently I'm working with northern pantheon, it all started when I was studying runes, especially with Odin and Loki.   

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Posted (edited)

Pagan is like saying how long is is piece of string, to me. 🙂 

This is fun, but also informative to see how you stand specifically, mine seems to change every year as I move more and more away from any belief structures and disassociate from any rules. 

https://www.beliefnet.com/entertainment/quizzes/beliefomatic.aspx

 

edited to add: if asked by someone with an agenda,I suppose I would just answer heathen. I had a lady in a class today ask me if I had a prayer place in my home since we'd both had cancer. Some situations just don't call for a response, so I smiled. 

 

Welcome to the forum!! Great question. 

Edited by AJ-ish/Sharyn

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:animated-smileys-waving-065: Pagan here! For many years, I just referred to myself as ‘pagan’. Explored a bit of heathenry but have now settled on Druidry as the path which is best fit. 

Odin and Loki are an interesting pair - it often seems that they come together. Had some interesting experiences with them. 

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On 5/25/2019 at 2:43 PM, WolfMother said:

Are there any fellow pagans on this forum? Paganism played a huge part in my spirituality in the recent years, and it took a lot of courage to admit that I'm in fact a pagan. I was drawn to divine experience since I was a kid, but being raised in an atheist family I had no one to discuss these topics with. Even my craft didn't include any spiritual practices until I discovered some tarot youtubers (Kelly Ann Maddox in particular) talking about their deities. And then I start searching for my own... and it was a hell of a journey 🙂 currently I'm working with northern pantheon, it all started when I was studying runes, especially with Odin and Loki.   

I don't know what I am. Basically all my beliefs on everything pretty much revolve around, "I'm not the boss of you." Everyone should get just do themselves.

 

On 5/25/2019 at 6:05 PM, AJ-ish/Sharyn said:

Pagan is like saying how long is is piece of string, to me. 🙂 

This is fun, but also informative to see how you stand specifically, mine seems to change every year as I move more and more away from any belief structures and disassociate from any rules. 

https://www.beliefnet.com/entertainment/quizzes/beliefomatic.aspx

 

edited to add: if asked by someone with an agenda,I suppose I would just answer heathen. I had a lady in a class today ask me if I had a prayer place in my home since we'd both had cancer. Some situations just don't call for a response, so I smiled. 

 

Welcome to the forum!! Great question. 

I took this quiz and got Sikhism. I know nothing really about this religion so I guess I just got a new research topic. 😄

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Posted (edited)

Great discussion topic, @WolfMother 🙂 (So love your name btw!)

 

I think I was always pagan, though is took me a long time to realize it and even longer to admit it, even to myself. I always felt drawn to the moon, I always wanted a deep connection to the seasons. It took me a while to realize these were callings to my spirit.

 

Nothing but Catholicism was an acceptable expression of spirituality in my upbringing- even though my dad wasn't Catholic. My mom and her whole family and very strongly Catholic and I went to Catholic school kindergarten through high school. I realized at a pretty young age that Catholicism wasn't for me- I told my mom when I was 12 that I didn't want to get confirmed, but she convinced me to go through with it. (Ironically, my confirmation name was Brigid, and in retrospect I strongly believe Goddess Brigid was watching out for me even then.) When I was in 8th grade, one of my friends somehow got a hold of Wicca for the Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham. We passed it around our group of 4 friends, each taking a turn with it. It was right after the movie The Craft had come out and there was a kind of edgy coolness attached to the idea of Wicca at the time. When it was my turn with the book, I hid it under the very center of my bed when I had it at home. I was terrified my mom would find it and I would be in huge trouble. (When I got my first tarot deck a few years later, I treated it much the same way.) I was even a little scared of the book myself, because the I had been so ingrained with fear of any non-Christian practice and especially paganism. But the book definitely spoke to me. The idea of forming my own connection with the divine, of ritual practice, of being out in nature.

 

It wasn't until many years and many life turns later that I began to truly explore pagan practice. I had finished grad school, was questioning a lot of my life choices up to that point and trying to rediscover my center. I started paying attention to when the Solstices and Equinoxes were, something I innately felt called to do. Then I searched local pagan groups and went to a few public rituals. I'm into the Grateful Dead, and through a Deadhead friend I found out about a woman who held moon rituals. I went to one and it left a deep impression on me. I started reading a few books- the woman who hosted the rituals recommended Starhawk. Slowly I began creating my own small rituals and doing them at home.

 

Around this time I met my now-husband. We drove up to my mom's house to visit her for the weekend. I remember we pulled up in her driveway and I just sat in the car. I still have a lot of trauma around my relationship with my mom, and one of the areas this manifests is around my spiritual path. I felt like I couldn't tell her anything about what was really going on with me, but I desperately needed to express my truth. So as we sat in the car, I took a few deep breaths and said to my then-boyfriend, "I think I'm pagan." I then held my breath, waiting for the judgement I had come to expect about such things based on my upbringing. Instead of judgement, what I got was him looking at me and saying, "Well, yeah. That's why you're always doing that moon and equinox stuff, right?" It completely let out the tension of the moment. I started laughing. He had accepted the simple fact that I was pagan before I could even say it out loud.

 

I started spending more time with local pagan groups, and eventually found my home in druidry, which truly feels like the path of my spirit. I belong to my local OBOD druid grove and am currently in the Bardic grade. I would describe my path as nature-based and pantheistic.

 

I am still not "out of the broom closet" to everyone in my life when it comes to family and people I know from my hometown...although my mom does finally know now. Everyone in my current life, i.e. friends, people I know in Washington DC, all know. For the most part I don't shy away from talking about it with anyone. I think it's important for us to speak up about who we are, but it's not always possible or safe, and even if it is possible and safe it's not always easy. But with the people I have CHOSEN in my life, I choose to surround myself with people who celebrate and understand who I am, and this is a big part of who I am.

 

I love that I found my path. I just wish it had not been so difficult in terms of being both actively and tacitly discouraged from exploring who I truly was. But I feel the moon and the earth were always calling me until I was ready to acknowledge my true home.

 

ETA I meant to add, I am so grateful for this community where we can have these conversations and truly share our journeys! 💙

Edited by RavenOfSummer

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@RavenOfSummer thank you for this beautiful and detailed response, it actually brought tears to my eyes. I'm sorry I'm writing back months later, I was away and got no emails from this forum and checked it out just today. My experience with paganism was quite the same - the moon, the season changes and that peculiar feeling for the veil... I'm sure you know what I'm talking about  😉 Last year I found the Solitary Practitioner by accident (but there are no accidents, are there?) and it was my start as well. I slowly developed my rituals, practices and offerings.  

 

I'm very happy that you found your path and acceptance. I'm still deep in the broom closet, except few people that know what I'm actually practicing (pagan pantheism), but it's amazing to see that pagans are out in the open now and there is an actual thirst for spirituality after centuries of oppression and materialism. And it's finally possible to find your tribe in places like this - this community is indeed wonderful! 

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 @Flaxen they are sort of a two sides of the coin, actually. Different, but very similar 🙂 There are a few Druids here, its very interesting. Can you please explain the theology in Druidism? Are there any deities involved? The wiki is quite confusing. 

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Hi,

 

I'm quite new to the term of Paganism itself, if in this context it means worshipping many gods I was fortunate enough to be born Hindu, we have plenty of deities. You can pick and choose your own or worship all. In fact we made fun of this as a kid:

A christian man was drowning, he called for Jesus, Jesus came and saved him.

Muslim was drowning, he called for Allah, Allah came and saved him.

Hindu was drowning, he first called for Lord Shiva, he waited a few moments, then called for Lord Vishnu. He waited again for a few moments, then called Lord Ganesha, but eventually drowned because non came to his rescue as each thought that the other lord was going to go save the man.

Problem of plenty..u see!!

On a serious note... most prefer Ganesha, as he gets you everything you hope for, love, peace, harmony, money, success. But for some it varies. Personal preference.

Pardon my ignorance, not sure if I am on the right track.

Edited by ashwsh

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1 hour ago, ashwsh said:

A christian man was drowning, he called for Jesus, Jesus came and saved him.

Muslim was drowning, he called for Allah, Allah came and saved him.

Hindu was drowning, he first called for Lord Shiva, he waited a few moments, then called for Lord Vishnu. He waited again for a few moments, then called Lord Ganesha, but eventually drowned because non came to his rescue as each thought that the other lord was going to go save the man.

This is pretty funny! 🤣 Though if your gods were kind, they would all go and save that man. 

 

Personally, I don't believe or disbelieve in higher powers, but I do not worship any. (just adding this in because I didn't want to come in here and only laugh at a joke, disregard if you wish)

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@ashwsh I was brought up vaguely Christian but my first exposure to other religions, and one of two root causes of me following a more pagan path were the little statues of Hindu gods my grandparents brought back from India. I was fascinated by them. There's Shiva, Ganesh and I think Krishna and another I'm not sure of.

 

The other cause was the 80s TV series Robin of Sherwood. It seems to have had that effect on a few people from what I've read!

 

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20 minutes ago, ilweran said:

@ashwsh I was brought up vaguely Christian but my first exposure to other religions, and one of two root causes of me following a more pagan path were the little statues of Hindu gods my grandparents brought back from India. I was fascinated by them. There's Shiva, Ganesh and I think Krishna and another I'm not sure of.

 

The other cause was the 80s TV series Robin of Sherwood. It seems to have had that effect on a few people from what I've read!

 

Am sorry not much aware of Robin of Sherwood, but what came out in India and neighbouring countries the time 70’s and 80’s was of ‘flower power’ aka hippy culture. All following lord Rama and lord Krishna, both these deities are known to have no strong relationships other than with themselves, no strings attached. Lord Krishna was believed to have over 1000 wives and Rama was a good soon but not a good husband.

Edited by ashwsh

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I took the quiz and it told me I’m a Unitarian Universalist, and reading a little about it, I quite like it, although there’s a little voice in my head saying it’s a bit like sitting on the fence - and that can get uncomfortable.

 

In reality, over the past 18 months of so I have felt called to explore what I really believe; this has resulted in me beginning to study Buddhism, Zen, Taoism and paganism; I’m booked onto a Buddhist retreat later in the year, and have joined a local pagan social group and attended some of their events, including the Yule ceremony last year which is held on the beach here. I’m also looking at enrolling on the Bardic grade of the OBOD course, and I’ve read the Ramayana to dip my toe into Hinduism, too. 

 

I figure I will find my way and I’m enjoying it. 

Edited by King of Swords

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@ashwsh didn't expect you to know about Ribbon of Sherwood, was just mentioning it in case anyone wondered what the second cause was.

 

My grandparents being in India would have been a bit earlier than that, late 50s perhaps? My grandmother was Catholic, so I don't know why she was buying statues of Hindu gods! I have them now.

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On 7/19/2019 at 5:10 PM, ilweran said:

@ashwsh didn't expect you to know about Ribbon of Sherwood, was just mentioning it in case anyone wondered what the second cause was.

 

My grandparents being in India would have been a bit earlier than that, late 50s perhaps? My grandmother was Catholic, so I don't know why she was buying statues of Hindu gods! I have them now.

May be ur grandmother bought it for decorative purpose, but who knows. My mother in law has a carved statue of Jesus, she saw it in Rome and picked it up. No religious value attached. In fact she belongs to a community who only believes in ‘OM’ and power of meditation. Prayer room has no pictures of god or no idol statues. Unlike a lot of Hindu and astrology belief, for them all days and moments are auspicious. I find it a bit odd to pray without any image or status of deity in front of me. But probably that is how I was brought up. 

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On 7/19/2019 at 3:57 PM, King of Swords said:

I took the quiz and it told me I’m a Unitarian Universalist, and reading a little about it, I quite like it, although there’s a little voice in my head saying it’s a bit like sitting on the fence - and that can get uncomfortable.

I used to get that in the #1 spot. But I'm told by people who actually attend such services that they lean Christian, so I never went.
Now it says I'm a Liberal Quaker, but NO. The idea of sitting around a table and talking about Jesus doesn't do it for me.
I think I broke the test. 🤣

Edited by katrinka

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1 hour ago, katrinka said:

I used to get that in the #1 spot. But I'm told by people who actually attend such services that they lean Christian, so I never went.
Now it says I'm a Liberal Quaker, but NO. The idea of sitting around a table and talking about Jesus doesn't do it for me.
I think I broke the test. 🤣

I just took it and got UU #1, Liberal Quaker #2. Jehova's Witness came in last. 

Edited by Charlie Brown

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I made the quiz! The questions in themselves are very interesting (regardless the final answer).

 

I just read the final result: Mahayana Buddhism! LOL (yes!)

While Jainism & Taoism are both at 94%, but after Mahayana Buddhism; next comes Sikhism (92%), then the New Age (90%). Theravada Buddhism is only 70%, and yes, I'm not wild about Theravada (while I don't reject it).

 

Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodox Christianity are at the bottom with 19% only, and yes, absolutely!!

 

ETA: I just realized that India would have been a better country for me with regard to religions, and indeed maybe, while I don't idealize India too.

Edited by Decan

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4 hours ago, katrinka said:

I used to get that in the #1 spot. But I'm told by people who actually attend such services that they lean Christian, so I never went.
Now it says I'm a Liberal Quaker, but NO. The idea of sitting around a table and talking about Jesus doesn't do it for me.
I think I broke the test. 🤣

I happen to be married to a Quaker. That is NOT what it's all about, and not what they do. (Most of their meetings in this community are actually silent.) They can, if they like, discuss Jesus, but in fact Quakerism is NOT a Christian religion, though some Quakers do also say they are Christian. He certainly does not. There is also a Quaker Buddhist somewhere locally. It is all about seeing the light in everyone. the inner light - your own and that of others.

 

SOME can be evangelical Christian types "as well" - but 

Quote

A written list of beliefs is considered inappropriate. Quakers feel people should follow their 'inner light' rather than external rules.

 

Quote

Quakerism is almost 400 years old. It's the common name for the Religious Society of Friends. It grew out of Christianity and today we also find meaning and value in other faiths and traditions. We recognise that there's something transcendent and precious in every person. Different Quakers use different words to describe this, but we all believe we can be in contact with it and encounter something beyond our individual selves.

 Sorry to interrupt, but I get fed up with wild thoughts about Quakers. I asked an elder once if I could be a Quaker and an atheist; she thought about it for a long while and said yes, but if I went for membership, I would be questioned exceptionally rigorously. It is so very non-prescriptive.

 

Have a read;

 

https://www.quaker.org.uk/about-quakers/our-faith

 

 

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OK - came in as almost equally secular humanist and liberal Quaker. Makes sense to me. But that is a RELIGIOUS site that assumes belief is the "right" way, I note.

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4 hours ago, gregory said:

Quakerism is NOT a Christian religion

How exactly do you separate Quakerism from protestant Christianity? Personally, I can't think of anything more thoroughly protestant. 🤔

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5 hours ago, gregory said:

I happen to be married to a Quaker. That is NOT what it's all about, and not what they do. (Most of their meetings in this community are actually silent.) They can, if they like, discuss Jesus, but in fact Quakerism is NOT a Christian religion, though some Quakers do also say they are Christian. He certainly does not. There is also a Quaker Buddhist somewhere locally. It is all about seeing the light in everyone. the inner light - your own and that of others.

 

SOME can be evangelical Christian types "as well" - but 

 

 Sorry to interrupt, but I get fed up with wild thoughts about Quakers. I asked an elder once if I could be a Quaker and an atheist; she thought about it for a long while and said yes, but if I went for membership, I would be questioned exceptionally rigorously. It is so very non-prescriptive.

 

Have a read;

 

https://www.quaker.org.uk/about-quakers/our-faith

 

 

Thanks for this. 
I've never actually encountered any Quakers (or if I did, they didn't mention their affiliation), and had only read bits here and there. So I did a little googling, as well. There seem to be various sects ranging from liberal to evangelical, and even with those categories, it's kind of confusing:
"At the same time, some individual monthly meetings within the liberal branches of Quakerism are less comfortable and open with the wide theological diversity that characterizes liberal Friends than others, and some meetings within other branches–particularly the Conservative branches–are in practice highly diverse and open, though commonly identifying themselves as explicitly Christian. While these affiliations provide a clue, it’s hard to know just how “liberal” a meeting is or isn’t without spending some time there, in worship and fellowship. " (source http://liberalquakers.org/find-liberal-quakers)

 

They seem reasonable enough, for the most part. I'm not a joiner, but I like them. Maybe I didn't break the quiz after all, lol.

 

 

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1 hour ago, devin said:

How exactly do you separate Quakerism from protestant Christianity? Personally, I can't think of anything more thoroughly protestant. 🤔

I will get my Quaker partner to do this one when he has a minute, as I am NOT a Quaker, and don't feel qualified. But he certainly wouldn't call himself Protestant or Christian, and nor, AFAIK, would any of those who attend the local Quaker meeting.

 

You'll have to wait, though - he's very busy at the moment.

 

@katrinka It's not confusing as such - it is simply the most accepting of groups, and so you will almost find that every group is different. That old phrase political parties use: "We are a broad church"... (ugh when used by them in that way) could be said to apply ! What it definitely is NOT is a religion with a proscriptive creed etc.

Edited by gregory

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OK he says to that - that although some Quakers feel that their inner light has led them to find the teachings of Jesus particularly illuminating, and express themselves in Christian language, others find light in other religions, in humanism, philosophy, or in the practice of deep meditation or out of body experiences. Quakers are a very diverse community. What holds them together is this belief in inner light, pacifism, simple living and the equality of humankind. A traditional Quaker would go as far as addressing the queen as Elizabeth Windsor! They have no time for honorifics and the like.

 

Quakerism's ORIGINS were in protestant Christianity but even in the early days, the witness was more through the way they lived than in any set of rigid beliefs. There are advices and queries as they call them (here you go: https://qfp.quaker.org.uk/chapter/1/ - they took out the word Christian from the title several years ago because it is not exclusively Christian, and it was seen to be inappropriate ! God is mentioned in there a lot - but as he says, it's an old book, and would take an awful lot of consensus to edit !) but there is no Quaker creed. Also, of course, in most Quaker communities outside the USA, there is no form of worship and there are no formal prayers. They don't celebrate Christmas or Easter as religious festivals as the inner light is equally discoverable at any time of year, not particularly on a special religious occasion. (In the US there are "programmed meetings"; he has never come across one in the UK.)

 

Because all Quaker decisions must be made by consensus, some of the older terminology - such as "meeting for worship" still survives because no-one has yet agreed on a suitable change, even though very few of them - in the UK at least - see themselves as worshipping in the Christian sense of the word. Canadian Quakers, he says, find it very strange that in the UK,  the term "elder" is still used for anyone holding a post of responsibility in a local meeting, which they see as archaic. As treasurer, he suddenly says, he supposes he is an "elder" of sorts - this had never occurred to him till this minute. That's how much it means.

Edited by gregory

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16 hours ago, gregory said:

OK he says to that ... 

Many thanks to you and your hubby. I found his/your reply to be very interesting. That being said, and this is probably a bit rich coming from someone who's not a Quaker (or even a proper Christian, really), I still very much see the Society of Friends to be a strongly protestant practice. I might even go as far as to say it's philosophical Protestantism taken to its most logical (and most decent) conclusion. 

 

And while I understand why many might want to jettison these Christian roots, I can't help but think there's a danger of losing something important in the process....

 

Anyway, thanks again, and I don't want to off topic this thread any further. 🙂 (Is that a sneaky attempt to get the last word? You decide.) 

Edited by devin

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