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Author Topic: Disconnect with others in my faith.  (Read 1086 times)

Jewitch

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Disconnect with others in my faith.
« on: July 27, 2012, 04:13:53 pm »
I am sorry, I was not sure if this belongs here or not. I hope you can move it if I am in the wrong spot.

I feel a disconnect with others of the Judeo-Pagan faith. When you merge two religions and each person has their own idea of what way the faith should go, or what the 'right' way to do things is it can be a bit hostile.

Has anyone else experiences similarities with their own faith? How do you try to build a supportive community? Or did you just go it on your own?
This is not the place I thought it was.

DancesWithHorses

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Re: Disconnect with others in my faith.
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2012, 04:56:54 pm »
Quote from: Jewitch;66293
I am sorry, I was not sure if this belongs here or not. I hope you can move it if I am in the wrong spot.

I feel a disconnect with others of the Judeo-Pagan faith. When you merge two religions and each person has their own idea of what way the faith should go, or what the 'right' way to do things is it can be a bit hostile.

Has anyone else experiences similarities with their own faith? How do you try to build a supportive community? Or did you just go it on your own?

 
I personally find that the beauty of a pagan path. I follow my own trail. I like being somewhat alone but I still have a connection to friends, family and my surroundings because that is part of the heathen beliefs I have people I talk to and we all have slightly different views which makes conversation excellent.

That being said, yes, there is some hostility. I would, for example, never get along very well with a recon Heathen or an Asatru if we tried to match up our faith. I find religion to be something personal so that does not really bother me.

My suggestion to you is to build up a support network with overlapping links within your chosen path. For example, one of my friends is a seer and a firm believer in the otherworld/spirits/empath so that is where we connect. Another friend has the same sort of ideas and thoughts about God and Christianity that I do, that's where we connect.
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Jewitch

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Re: Disconnect with others in my faith.
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2012, 05:41:17 pm »
Quote from: DancesWithHorses;66297
I personally find that the beauty of a pagan path. I follow my own trail. I like being somewhat alone but I still have a connection to friends, family and my surroundings because that is part of the heathen beliefs I have people I talk to and we all have slightly different views which makes conversation excellent.

That being said, yes, there is some hostility. I would, for example, never get along very well with a recon Heathen or an Asatru if we tried to match up our faith. I find religion to be something personal so that does not really bother me.

My suggestion to you is to build up a support network with overlapping links within your chosen path. For example, one of my friends is a seer and a firm believer in the otherworld/spirits/empath so that is where we connect. Another friend has the same sort of ideas and thoughts about God and Christianity that I do, that's where we connect.

 
I do have a friend who is non denominational pagan but I don't think she is very practicing. I have a friend who is Wiccan who maybe I can try to open up to. Most of the friends I have however are strict in their christian convictions.

I do so wish there was a social network for pagans.
This is not the place I thought it was.

wadjet

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Re: Disconnect with others in my faith.
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2012, 06:03:31 pm »
Quote from: Jewitch;66306
I do so wish there was a social network for pagans.

I have totally felt a disconnect with other people when I have tried to look into following a specific "path". Most of them seem so "solid" in their beliefs, and I never felt the sureness that they clearly had, never felt that I was being "called", or what have you. I always felt fake when being in a group of other pagan-types.

Another issue was always that people are people, and there are always bad people, or honest mistakes, or clashing personalities, etcetera. There are certain movements under the neo-pagan umbrella that I was really excited to discover, I felt they shared the same beliefs and values....until I scratched the surface, met some individuals, found out about the underlying schisms, etc. I've been very disappointed.

It's definitely strengthened my resolve to follow my own path and trust my own instincts.

As for social networks, I'm new to this forum, but I really like it! There are people from a huge variety of paths, but most people seem (a) thoughtful, (b) respectful, and (c) sane. And genuinely caring. So far I've been able to both share my opinion and have it be received with an open mind, as well as getting the perspectives from people I respect. It's good. (it's not quite the same as real life, but it's a great start)
« Last Edit: July 27, 2012, 06:04:08 pm by wadjet »

Jenett

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Re: Disconnect with others in my faith.
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2012, 07:44:10 pm »
Quote from: Jewitch;66306

I do so wish there was a social network for pagans.

 
Well, there are. Sort of. None of them are entirely successful at doing all of that.

There are forums - here, but there are others, though they're getting further between - where the focus is on deeper discussion, learning, exchanging ideas. These are not generally the most reliable source for "I'd love to find people in my area" but they can fill a *lot* of other gaps.

There are a bunch of social-network-software based options, but a) the conversation quality tends to be highly variable at best, and really really lousy at worst. (Both due to some of the most common software choices and the kinds of conversations they either force or encourage, and due to the wide range of people on them.) [I have a rant about how Ning's choices in software design make deep conversation nearly impossible, but I'll spare everyone.]

Don't get me wrong: diversity of viewpoint can be a great thing (one of the reasons I've stayed here as long as I have.) But I don't want to talk to other people *just* because they're Pagan. I want to talk to other people because they're interesting and interested in talking about a reasonable overlap range of stuff I am. Just saying "ooh, Pagans" doesn't do that for me. Doesn't do it for a lot of people, at least for terribly long.

There are a couple of other options. For finding people locally, there is the venerable site Witchvox, which has been around far longer than the modern social media concepts.  They do geographic listings, and they remain a good place to check out. Don't just look for people or for groups - browse group pages and look for local resource links or store listings or anywhere else you might potentially find like-minded people.

Likewise, we're heading into Pagan Pride event season. These also vary widely in size and complexity, but they're often a good way to see if there's resources in your local or regional area that might be a good fit. Pagan Pride events are free (though donations cheerfully accepted, and they often ask for a donation to their food shelf collection). You can find the ones nearest you at http://paganpride.org . (I was on the board for the Minneapolis/St. Paul one for about 6 years until moving out of the area.)

There are also various Pagan events: festivals, hotel-based conferences. (Depending on how far you are, I will be biased and mention Paganicon, which is held in March in Minneapolis: we had a sizeable Illinois and Indiana contingent last year: high quality conversation, it's still small enough you can meet lots of interesting people and have time to talk to them, and it promises to be awesome next year too. My bias is that I helped found it, and still help with operations and hotel negotiation.)

Convergence in Michigan is also supposed to be an event with interesting conversations and workshops. (There are a bunch of cons that use that name, but the one you want will be obviously Pagan.) Or there's the massive and complex Pantheacon in California, for people who want to travel, and a couple of options on the East Coast.

Even just a weekend somewhere can sometimes be the start of a great interaction - I know a bunch of stories of people connecting over a specific interest, and then being able to maintain the connection and conversation via email or other distance technology.
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