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Thread: Finding Your Path

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    Finding Your Path

    Sorry if this is in the wrong section!

    How did you find the path that you're on now? Did you study all the different types of paganism before choosing one that felt right to you, or create your own picking elements from several?

    I've recently arrived at a place where I feel comfortable with my beliefs but wish to learn more about the different types and look forward to studying a lot. I consider myself a Pantheist-Pagan but don't feel I know enough to join in with conversations about this goddess/god/practise or another and want to work on the 'finer details' of my path.

    I'm naturally skeptical, but also can't help being drawn to certain things like runes. I've never tried magick and if I'm honest wouldn't know where to start, but wouldn't mind trying it to see if it could fit into my path

    How did you prevent getting overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information (often conflicting) on all the different paths and know which way to turn?

    Peace and love xxxx

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    Live and learn anunitu's Avatar
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    Re: Finding Your Path

    For myself ,it was something of a wandering around and checking out different beliefs(Prob why my path is so diverse) Looked at Buddhism,Wicca,some left hand stuff,some general nature based things(Animal rights) and lots more. Has been over 50 years of looking,and still open to ideas still.(I am 67)
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    Bronze Member Munin-Hugin's Avatar
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    Re: Finding Your Path

    Well, I sort of just threw myself into the mix, reading everything and anything I could about various mythologies and ideas (except Greek and Roman. Those just bore the hell out of me, though they do make good movies). At first, I approached everything from a Wiccan point of view, I guess you could say, but the people I met who were Wiccan and some of the concepts just didn't jive with my way of thinking. So, I kept looking, and found myself drawn to nordo-celtic practices more than any other. From there, I began to lean much more heavily upon the Northern Tradition and that's where I am today.

    Quote Originally Posted by Davella View Post
    I'm naturally skeptical, but also can't help being drawn to certain things like runes.
    A friend of mine, years ago, was highly skeptical about my runic practices. One night, she and I sat down and I sent about explaining it in a pseudo-scientific way that she could understand and almost come to accept. In an incredibly simplistic manner, this is what I said: Runes are the physical representation of sound, and sound is just vibration. Science has proven that various wavelengths of vibration can create a large number of different reactions. So, with runes, all you are doing is tapping into or creating those vibrations and sending them out into the world or tuning into those frequencies, in the case of divination.

    Quote Originally Posted by Davella View Post
    How did you prevent getting overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information (often conflicting) on all the different paths and know which way to turn?
    I didn't prevent it. I took in everything that I could until I felt like my head was going to explode, then started to get rid of the dross and the things that just didn't feel right with me.

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    Mostly Harmless nbdy's Avatar
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    Re: Finding Your Path

    I confess that the idea of "finding my path" doesn't mesh well with how I have experienced life. I feel as if I was born to who I am and my life basically falls into times when I have been more true to myself and times when I have been less true to myself, so I was born with my feet on the path of this life, and sometimes I wandered or backtracked or even just set for a spell, but I never had to "find" it. It is sort of like I never had to "find" my favorite foods; rather, I put food in my mouth and I liked it or didn't like it. Sometimes you have to do some digesting to realize it doesn't agree with you, but the analogy is sound, I think. If you are singing a song that feeds your soul, you know it.

    You say you want to learn more, so learn more. I would be aghast at anyone saying they didn't want to learn more. Some of the things you learn will resonate with who you are and some won't. Beware of anyone telling you what you must believe or how you must practice. I would also suggest that when you decide to begin a practice, and it doesn't have to be anything elaborate or time consuming, nor does it have to be something that has been done before, be sure that it is personally meaningful to you and that you thoroughly understand what you are doing and why.

    "No, no, you're not thinking; you're just being logical." -- Niels Bohr

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    Copper Member Thorbjorn's Avatar
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    Re: Finding Your Path

    I always had an interest in Norse mythology (as in 'stories and lore', not 'fantasy'). I don't remember when and how I became interested in Norse lore but it was a long time ago. I knew the basic stories and the basic gods and goddesses. I always had an affinity for Thor. As I drifted away from Hinduism, coming to realize it's not my "horn of mead" (instead of "cup of tea" ), I felt more and more drawn to Thor. Almost like he was pulling me towards him. Then he finally grabbed me in a headlock.

    It's funny how things work, because from my teenage years I was drawn to the Hindu deities. But as I learned more about Hinduism and tried to practice it I became overwhelmed and disillusioned with the texts, philosophies, rituals, theology, "superstitions", "do's and don'ts" that rival or even surpass the Abrahamic faiths. An important thing in pushing me away from Hinduism and towards Asatru is culture, ethnicity and heritage. While I am fond of all things Indian, I came to realize I don't have a connection to the culture. I am European-American, most likely of northern of Germanic descent. That's my heritage, which I feel a connection to. Some things can't be intellectualized, but have to be felt. So to that end, I am draw back to the beliefs of my ancestors: "... Lo! There do I see the line of my people back to the beginning. Lo! They do call to me... " (a bit dramatic, I grant you. ).

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    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: Finding Your Path

    Quote Originally Posted by nbdy View Post
    I confess that the idea of "finding my path" doesn't mesh well with how I have experienced life. I feel as if I was born to who I am and my life basically falls into times when I have been more true to myself and times when I have been less true to myself, so I was born with my feet on the path of this life, and sometimes I wandered or backtracked or even just set for a spell, but I never had to "find" it. It is sort of like I never had to "find" my favorite foods; rather, I put food in my mouth and I liked it or didn't like it. Sometimes you have to do some digesting to realize it doesn't agree with you, but the analogy is sound, I think. If you are singing a song that feeds your soul, you know it.
    I sort of agree with this...and I sort of don't.

    Using the food analogy... According to research, it takes a child something like 10-15 times to "like" a new food. Sure sometimes we know right off that something is a good fit (at least for that moment of our life)...but I think, less often, that we are "right" when we are talking about something that is new and that might make us uncomfortable or uncertain because it is different. Sometimes you have to try it, many times over, before you can say that it works or not. Some of the things that I wass certain that I "knew" were true, I now know are not--and vice versa.

    I think often when people talk of finding their path, the are talking more about finding their destaination because there is a built in assumption that every destination has a road to get there. I think that this is patently false, when it comes to religion. There is one destination in life, and that is death (regardless of what one thinks comes afterwards). Religion, in my opinion, is not the road (or path) one takes to that destination, its the way you chose to travel (and in this instance, "religion" includes atheism), and like a car (or a bike, or your shoes), it changes over the course of your life.
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

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    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
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    Head Above Water habbalah's Avatar
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    Re: Finding Your Path

    I spent several years wandering around, spiritually. Like a lot of Americans, I started out in a Christian household, but the majority of it didn't touch me spiritually. I went from there, to Wiccan, to Santanist, to I don't know, to really confused, and then to "I'm just going to start reading about different paths and see what speaks to me".

    In the end, I realized that no pre-defined path fit what resonated with me, but as I keep learning and growing, I incorporate into my spirituality what does speak to me.
    “You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.” -- Bruce Lee

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    Sr. Member SleepingCompass's Avatar
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    Re: Finding Your Path

    Quote Originally Posted by Davella View Post
    How did you find the path that you're on now?
    Reading, learning, exploring, experimenting, mediating, talking with various Deity... I think I'm a little unusual in that I come from a very not-religious family, so I had a lot of freedom to explore my choices from a fairly early age. Started off with a Methodist Sunday School since most of my friends and people I knew from Girl Scouts attended it. Although I did feel something sometimes at that church, like when I looked at the stained glass windows or when the bell choir performed, but overall, it didn't hold the spiritual experience I was hoping for.

    I moved on to pagan/witchcraft after my mother gave me a book on it for Christmas one year; Encyclopedia of White Magic, by Paddy Slade. That book was the true start of it all for me... Not that it was a great instruction manual; it often didn't include the full rituals for the different seasonal festivals, but I found a spirituality, a personal involvement and a closeness to nature that I had been looking for within its pages.

    After that, I did a lot of reading about witchcraft and wicca. Researched different world religions, read books on mythology and fairy tales and the like. Even fictional books sometimes end up playing a part on how I follow my path... The Narnia books hold a special place in my heart, as do The Dark is Rising series, by Susan Cooper. Catmagic, by Whitley Strieber is another influential fictional book for me. And even Peter Pan, though obviously not a religious book at all, has something in it that speaks to me on a spiritual level.

    Then there's experimentation and actually trying to do what you read about. I found that long, drawn out, involved rituals didn't work for me. Simple, short and sweet keeps me focused and seems to work best, in my experience.

    Sorry, this is turning into a book; I'll move on to the next question


    Quote Originally Posted by Davella View Post
    Did you study all the different types of paganism before choosing one that felt right to you, or create your own picking elements from several?
    I'm definitely of the picking various elements and combining them together to create something new school of thought


    Quote Originally Posted by Davella View Post
    I consider myself a Pantheist-Pagan but don't feel I know enough to join in with conversations about this goddess/god/practise or another and want to work on the 'finer details' of my path.
    I don't see why you can't join in on conversations, even if it's something new to you; you can always ask questions and/or google can always help as well

    Quote Originally Posted by Davella View Post
    I'm naturally skeptical, but also can't help being drawn to certain things like runes. I've never tried magick and if I'm honest wouldn't know where to start, but wouldn't mind trying it to see if it could fit into my path
    To me, in my opinion, prayer is a type of magic, so if you've ever prayed before, you've probably performed magic without realizing it. Runes are pretty cool; you should definitely give them a try If money's an issue, they're easy enough to make your own set of with just some nail polish and stones or sliced up branches carved with a knife.

    Quote Originally Posted by Davella View Post
    How did you prevent getting overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information (often conflicting) on all the different paths and know which way to turn?
    Start simple; make a list of things you'd like to learn about and then work your way through it. Read until something strikes your fancy and give it a try. If you like it and it works for you in actual practice, then keep it. If you don't like something, or it doesn't feel right to you when you try it, just discard it and move on. Sometimes you'll find that something that didn't work for you before will work for you in the future, and that's fine too. Use your intuition. Don't trust what others say blindly; take everything with a grain of salt. Don't worry about learning everything right away; it's impossible anyways.

    Sorry that was so long; hopefully some of it was a little helpful!

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    Sr. Member Noir's Avatar
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    Re: Finding Your Path

    Having been born into a family of many spiritual paths (besides having my grandmother who was a traditional witch, and mother being a Protestant Christian, I had aunts and uncles that also practiced magick or worshipped other God(s) ) all under one umbrella which was home, I was never forced to be just one thing. There was no tugging or pulling; it was as simple as being given knowledge and having the personal decision of taking it in, or walking away.
    I know I was born to be who am today. I'm the first Christian traditional witch in my whole family, and that's because this path chose me and I embraced it with no need to question.

    I have an older brother, and he was raised exactly in the same way as myself, taught the same things, and given the same knowledge, yet he leads a life of no spirituality or magick. He doesn't worship a one Divine or have deities. He simply respects everything and everyone around him.

    I've never felt such a strong connection with any other path than the one I live by and practice 'till this day. And while I continue to learn with an open heart, my mind, body, and soul will always feel drawn to what needs to be part of me for the better.
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    Reads a lot Amadi's Avatar
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    Re: Finding Your Path

    Quote Originally Posted by Davella View Post

    I'm naturally skeptical, but also can't help being drawn to certain things like runes. I've never tried magick and if I'm honest wouldn't know where to start, but wouldn't mind trying it to see if it could fit into my path
    I'm like this ^^

    I discovered Paganism through music (a metal band, Kiuas) and first it was a vague interest, then a hobby. I think for a time I took it on as a 'fashion religion' but I'm not sure, I'm fairly skeptical about what happened there myself. Eventually I developed a particular niche and interest in the areas I liked, and ended up here now.
    Essentially what I'll say is pick what interests you and ignore anyone else, ask for help if you want it and ignore it if it's not help. If I could start again I'd google any new term, not to get a really in depth feel but to get an overview, to find out if I'd like it and then delve deeper. Keep notes, just bullet points if necessary, it's not possible for someone to memorise everything first time round.
    And take your time! Enjoy discovery, don't view it as a hurdle to overcome to fit in with anyone else; aside from the occasional rune I don't practice magic, it isn't a necessity ;P

    OH, and I'll leave this thread here, because it's funny and pretty much outlines the opinions of 'some people' in this community that you should just ignore ^^.
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