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Author Topic: What Was/Is Your Gateway into Paganism?  (Read 945 times)

Altair

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Re: What Was/Is Your Gateway into Paganism?
« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2019, 06:53:36 am »
My gateway to paganism was a team effort done by my two most influential role models. My mum (Jubes) and Auntie Marilyn (Absent) always told me bits and parts of different myths as a child. They encouraged me finding faith in whatever felt right and they introduced me to TC to get opinions from other people (when I was finally old enough of course)


So in a way, The Cauldron was your gateway (or part of your gateway) into paganism. How cool!
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

Zlote Jablko

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Re: What Was/Is Your Gateway into Paganism?
« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2019, 11:24:16 am »
Is there one thing that led you to paganism at the outset? For example, did your interest start with a curiosity about tarot, and then expand into more? Were you always fascinated with ancient mythology, and that drew you in? Were you attuned to the spirit world? Do you come to your paganism through a familial lens, handed down by a parent?...

...and whatever that gateway was, does it still serve as your primary pagan pursuit? Or has it been displaced by something else, or been subsumed into a more wholistic practice?

For me: birding. As a nature-based pagan, observing birds in the wild is my main window into the natural world. It's not the *only* one--once you start paying attention to birds, you pay attention to their habitats, ecosystems, fellow fauna and flora, the weather...and in the last 15 years, gardening has also linked me to nature. But my interest in birds is the main thing that made me realize where my spirituality lies, and birding remains the passion through which I deeply connect to nature, making me more aware of the seasons, rhythms, and wild ways of our Mother.

Honestly, it was probably runes. I remember hearing about them from fantasy books and getting an academic book on them from the library. Something kind of clicked. If you want to go back farther, then I was. Already a mythology lover back in preschool thanks to my mother.

I don’t follow Norse paganism, but it got me started on the idea that it was ok to explore mysticism or spirituality based on pre-Christian lore.

SunflowerP

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Re: What Was/Is Your Gateway into Paganism?
« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2019, 03:13:27 pm »

A Reminder:
Hi, Riothamus12,

We don't mind long posts here, but to avoid having a hard-to-read wall-o'-text, hitting "enter" twice every few lines adds some white space and makes it easier to follow - I've edited yours to add those breaks, but it's a really good habit to get into yourself.

They don't have to be the "proper" place for paragraph breaks (we're interested in readability more than technicalities), or a complete change of thought - some thoughts take a lot of lines and need to be broken up into sub-thoughts - as long as they're there.

This isn't a formal warning, just a reminder. No reply is necessary, but if you have questions or need clarification,  please feel free to contact a member of staff privately.

Thanks!
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LadyBug

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Re: What Was/Is Your Gateway into Paganism?
« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2019, 09:32:13 pm »
So in a way, The Cauldron was your gateway (or part of your gateway) into paganism. How cool!

Yep, in-real-life family and my online family via The Cauldron are my gateway to spirituality and more :)

It's weird to me to imagine not having this place to come back to and peek in on. I don't participate in a lot of the religious discussions but the conversations therin have given me a lot to think about over my time here

Altair

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Re: What Was/Is Your Gateway into Paganism?
« Reply #19 on: January 08, 2019, 11:06:38 pm »
As for the 'gateway' to my current path ... it's this very website! I remember that I was still vaguely agnostic/spiritual when I found TC. The resources and discussions here really helped me pull together a coherent practice.

I forgot to mention you, Sefiru, for whom this website was specifically cited as the gateway to paganism. Apologies!

What I find interesting is that, yes, some of the "gateway" things mentioned are clearly somewhat pagan-leaning (tarot, runes), so no surprise they might lead someone on such a path...but with others (birding, an interest in mythology), plenty of people have a passion for it without necessarily turning pagan. One person's gateway is another person's utterly unreligious interest.
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

ehbowen

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Re: What Was/Is Your Gateway into Paganism?
« Reply #20 on: January 10, 2019, 10:32:05 pm »
Is there one thing that led you to paganism at the outset? ...and whatever that gateway was, does it still serve as your primary pagan pursuit? Or has it been displaced by something else, or been subsumed into a more wholistic practice?

Well, I'm obviously not a pagan in belief or practice, although (more than!) a couple of folks have called me a heretic. But my gateway into discussions of paganism was the former "Religious Convictions" discussion group on the old Fidonet BBS network, circa 1992. I was still very much a doctrinaire Fundamentalist at the time (not much has changed, really!), and I got into several deeply involved discussions with local pagans who accessed Fidonet through the "Inn of the Laughing God" BBS in Houston. Then as now, I was a man of strong convictions...but I wanted to discuss from a position of knowledge and not ignorance. So, one day, using my real name and answering all of the questions honestly I formally applied for membership on the Inn of the Laughing God board. The administrator, whom I had had numerous spirited debates with, was shocked, but I promised to behave myself. He granted me member access, and for the most part I lived up to my end of the bargain.

After the BBS scene died away I didn't get back online for quite a while...I was using an Amiga, and it wasn't until 1997 or so that I finally obtained a working TCP/IP stack. I was on Usenet for a while, and had some more spirited discussions back when I thought my Girlfriend was about to make an appearance Real Soon Now...but then I dropped out of most religious and philosophical discussion. I was moderately active for a time on ExWitch, but my personal beliefs weren't really a good fit either for the Christian admins or for the practicing pagan participants. So I went dormant again.

Until early 2008. I decided that I wanted to reopen discussions and at least get some of these ideas off my chest, so I did an internet search for "pagan discussion forums". If I Remember Correctly, I went directly to the #2 search result. I was honest and up front about everything again, and while here I've tried to behave myself. At least, for the most part.

There were a couple of stretches there where I dropped out for fairly long times. It wasn't that I lost interest; it's more that I felt my God urging me to pull back and let things ripen for a while. Which may happen again. But, at least for now...pleased to meetcha!
--------Eric H. Bowen
Where's the KABOOM? There was supposed to have been an Earth-shattering KABOOM!

arete

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Re: What Was/Is Your Gateway into Paganism?
« Reply #21 on: January 23, 2019, 10:09:50 am »
Is there one thing that led you to paganism at the outset? For example, did your interest start with a curiosity about tarot, and then expand into more? Were you always fascinated with ancient mythology, and that drew you in? Were you attuned to the spirit world? Do you come to your paganism through a familial lens, handed down by a parent?...

...and whatever that gateway was, does it still serve as your primary pagan pursuit? Or has it been displaced by something else, or been subsumed into a more wholistic practice?
As wine matures, so did my like for pagan Gods. A long road led me to paganism. It took me more than ten years to become a pagan.  :)

EmberHearth

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Re: What Was/Is Your Gateway into Paganism?
« Reply #22 on: March 01, 2019, 12:25:48 am »
Is there one thing that led you to paganism at the outset? For example, did your interest start with a curiosity about tarot, and then expand into more? Were you always fascinated with ancient mythology, and that drew you in? Were you attuned to the spirit world? Do you come to your paganism through a familial lens, handed down by a parent?...

...and whatever that gateway was, does it still serve as your primary pagan pursuit? Or has it been displaced by something else, or been subsumed into a more wholistic practice?

Multiple ways.

1) My parents were Catholic Charismatic, and so they believed that the more-metaphysical gifts of the Holy Spirit: speaking in tongues, healing, prophecy were alive in the world today.

2) Star Wars.  I saw all the movies in theaters (although, honestly, my first in-theater memory of Empire is vague, and I probably don't have first-hand memories of seeing A New Hope for the first time.)

In my mind, the Force became linked to the Holy Spirit, and I went looking for more.

Unlike my parent's Charismatic path, though,  I was drawn to mysticism, and comparing & contrasting the mystic paths in all world religions.

3) Tolkien.  I first read The Hobbit in Third grade, and loved the series.

Eventually, at the library, I branched out to books about Tolkien, and learned of these things called Eddas.  I looked for them in the library, but had no luck.

This might have been good, since I was devoutly Catholic and my parent's were quite conservative.

The combination led me to have several spiritual / psychic experiences throughout my childhood, mostly in the Christian context - feeling power in the Mass, for example.

I went to University, and got into a local tabletop RPG group.  One of the GMs was publicly pagan (eclectic Wiccan).  I watched him for a year, listening to him talk about energy work.

Then I asked him to teach me about energy.

He never asked me to convert.  I stayed Catholic and regularly attended Mass for another 2 or so years after that.

Eventually, I started both going to weekly mass and weekly circle.

TheGreenWizard

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Re: What Was/Is Your Gateway into Paganism?
« Reply #23 on: Today at 03:15:59 pm »
Is there one thing that led you to paganism at the outset? For example, did your interest start with a curiosity about tarot, and then expand into more? Were you always fascinated with ancient mythology, and that drew you in? Were you attuned to the spirit world? Do you come to your paganism through a familial lens, handed down by a parent?...

...and whatever that gateway was, does it still serve as your primary pagan pursuit? Or has it been displaced by something else, or been subsumed into a more wholistic practice?

For me: birding. As a nature-based pagan, observing birds in the wild is my main window into the natural world. It's not the *only* one--once you start paying attention to birds, you pay attention to their habitats, ecosystems, fellow fauna and flora, the weather...and in the last 15 years, gardening has also linked me to nature. But my interest in birds is the main thing that made me realize where my spirituality lies, and birding remains the passion through which I deeply connect to nature, making me more aware of the seasons, rhythms, and wild ways of our Mother.
For me - and this is slightly embarrassing to say - watching Charmed, The Craft, and other shows in that vein really served as a gateway for me. Keep in mind context: for me, from birth to 10 years old, I had little former religious education (a la the Christian variety). As my family moved around the nation, the mainstay for me was Nature and exploring her beauty to satisfy my curiosity as a child, and then going to libraries, zoos, museums, and such to learn more about Nature. When we came back to Buffalo NY (where my family is from), I was forced to do religious education once a week and it honestly bored the hell out of me and made no sense whatsoever, especially with how it was taught to be THE end all be all, no exceptions.
 However, about that time, I started watching Charmed with my mom, and really got into the witchcraft aspect. It made more sense to me that there is a Goddess and God (which connects with what I knew about the natural world at the time with regards to procreation) and it made more sense to me about how there is a divine connection between the person and Divine. That show - though super flawed - was my main gateway where I then got into witchcraft in general, and slowly learned about other religious systems (both outside and inside school).

I would say what spurred me to really go in this direction were several experiences. One was with Tarot, another was an incident with spirits, and lastly my experiences with my dreams coming true. Having these experiences pushed me into thinking about exploring other traditions and seeing what I could go into.
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...”
― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You'll Go

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