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Thread: My experiences—not sure what they mean

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    My experiences—not sure what they mean

    So as I noted in my intro thread, I'm fairly new to paganism, and I'm still not sure what sort of path I'm supposed to be on, or which one is right for me.

    I think what started my journey toward paganism was a series of….I'll call them incidents, though they weren't negative at all, about three or four years ago. They all happened when I was living in southern Arizona, still with my parents while I finished my Master's degree. One Sunday in early spring, around Easter I think, I was outside after church, and happened to look up toward the steeple. It was a small stucco building, with a cross on top, and I remember the sky was the deepest blue I've ever seen during the day. A golden eagle had perched on top of the cross. It sat there for a long minute before flying north away from the church.

    Over the next three weeks, I saw six more eagles. Usually they were flying (and I think they always headed north—I remember because I usually saw them when headed down a main road that ran north to south) but a couple of them perched on various plants in the desert bordering the road. I don't know why, but I still feel like I was meant to see them.

    Over the past….let's say six months or so, I've felt the presence of a spirit (or I think I do) who I call Grandfather. It's…hard to explain? What I do know is that I've looked into a few different deities, and each time I've dipped my toes in a little, it feels like Grandfather retreats. Maybe it's all in my head; maybe this means something; I don't know. I don't know where to look for more information or what I'm supposed to be looking for, but I want to know more. Any thoughts?

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    Silver Member monsno_leedra's Avatar
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    Re: My experiences—not sure what they mean

    Just off the top of my head but as I read this I got the idea of animism. Especially in your usage of the term "Grandfather" as you see that usage in many Native American belief systems for a larger masculine side of animism. It's not specifically a deity but a larger idea of a spirit that fills all things and ties all things together. That's a very crude idea for certain of how it works as you'd hear people refer to Grandfather Mountain, Grandmother Sky, Grandfather River, Grandmother Willow, etc as various aspects or manifestations.

    Then it could be seen both as aspects of Animism or Animatism depending upon how one views it as a greater whole. I'm not doing it justice explaining it. But basically it's the idea that everything could be seen as alive and aware to a degree in the world. Which category one uses to a degree defines to which level for instance all plants and their parts or just the major family group for instance.
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    Re: My experiences—not sure what they mean

    Quote Originally Posted by monsno_leedra View Post
    Just off the top of my head but as I read this I got the idea of animism. Especially in your usage of the term "Grandfather" as you see that usage in many Native American belief systems for a larger masculine side of animism. It's not specifically a deity but a larger idea of a spirit that fills all things and ties all things together. That's a very crude idea for certain of how it works as you'd hear people refer to Grandfather Mountain, Grandmother Sky, Grandfather River, Grandmother Willow, etc as various aspects or manifestations.

    Then it could be seen both as aspects of Animism or Animatism depending upon how one views it as a greater whole. I'm not doing it justice explaining it. But basically it's the idea that everything could be seen as alive and aware to a degree in the world. Which category one uses to a degree defines to which level for instance all plants and their parts or just the major family group for instance.
    Animism….honestly, I hadn't considered that. (As mentioned before, I'm kind of new to paganism—growing up I was pretty much forbidden from looking into any faith other than the one practiced at home, and I just kind of fell into that habit as I got older.) But from the way you describe it, it seems like it might fit what I already believe?

    I think I'll look into it more. Are there any resources you'd recommend?

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    Re: My experiences—not sure what they mean

    Hi DogBearingGifts,

    I would highly recommend starting a journal to record your experiences of anything spiritual, it's a great tool to develop your path, and you will be amazed at the connections that you start to notice with signs etc.

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    Silver Member monsno_leedra's Avatar
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    Re: My experiences—not sure what they mean

    Resources on Animism is sort of hard as it's such a base practice. For many it becomes difficult to separate it from a groups culture and basic identity when it's aboriginal or first nation type stuff. When it's taken outside of that and moved into more of a shamanic type influence it tends to fall under what some call "Core Shamanism" in that it is a very base relationship with nature and the spirit world and see's all things as having a life force.

    But your best bet is just to look up the base concept and see how it strikes you.

    With regard to notes and signs and recording that I'll leave a general warning. That tends to be the easiest way to delude yourself into believing things are talking to you and trying to show you stuff. You stop seeing things in nature as natural events and animals acting as animals and try to make them guides, messengers or such when they are just animals being animals. The truly unusual or abnormal stands out but the normal only tends to stand out when the person who is observing is trying to make it unusual or abnormal. Ironically, if they were to ask others around them many times they'd find just how normal it is even as they try to make it unusual or abnormal behavior and something more than an animal being an animal.
    I'm Only Responsible For What I Say Not For What Or How You Understand!

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