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Author Topic: Difficulty Finding a Path  (Read 1293 times)

Zythan

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Difficulty Finding a Path
« on: June 24, 2012, 03:23:08 pm »
I was raised as a Catholic, but then flirted with atheism for a while, but knew I could never go past being agnostic. I know there's a higher power, but I'm not sure what it is. I found Druidry and I really like the spiritual aspect of it, but I have no idea what to believe for a higher power. That's where I need a bit of guidance.

I have a couple issues believing in a separate entity as God, which is one of the reasons I left Christianity. At the moment I like to think I'm pantheist, believing that God is in everything and everything is a part of God. I see it more as an energy than an actual being. But I find myself wanting to worship a pantheon, specifically Greek or Norse, because I feel an attraction and connection to both of them. I know tons about the Greek mythology because I loved it when I was younger, but not so much about the Norse.

I'm trying to see Gods in the pantheons as seperate parts of God with a Pantheist view, but I really have trouble with it. As I'm trying to follow the path of Druidry, I'm looking at everything as a part of nature and interconnectedness. I don't exactly want to force myself into a belief... Suffice it to say I'm confused. I have no idea what to believe.

Any advice would be very much welcomed and appreciated.

Ask-Embla

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Re: Difficulty Finding a Path
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2012, 07:18:07 pm »
Quote from: Zythan;61442
I was raised as a Catholic, but then flirted with atheism for a while, but knew I could never go past being agnostic. I know there's a higher power, but I'm not sure what it is. I found Druidry and I really like the spiritual aspect of it, but I have no idea what to believe for a higher power. That's where I need a bit of guidance.

I have a couple issues believing in a separate entity as God, which is one of the reasons I left Christianity. At the moment I like to think I'm pantheist, believing that God is in everything and everything is a part of God. I see it more as an energy than an actual being. But I find myself wanting to worship a pantheon, specifically Greek or Norse, because I feel an attraction and connection to both of them. I know tons about the Greek mythology because I loved it when I was younger, but not so much about the Norse.

I'm trying to see Gods in the pantheons as seperate parts of God with a Pantheist view, but I really have trouble with it. As I'm trying to follow the path of Druidry, I'm looking at everything as a part of nature and interconnectedness. I don't exactly want to force myself into a belief... Suffice it to say I'm confused. I have no idea what to believe.

Any advice would be very much welcomed and appreciated.

 
It DOES sound like you're confused, but don't stress! No one says you need all of your answers now. Finding out what you believe is just as important as believing it. Open yourself up. Admit to the universe that you have no clue, and allow what's right to come to you. (As gooey as that sounds.)

I'd like to say that I'm extremely sleep deprived right now. Too tired to revise, but I have a helluva lot to say, so bear with me, and I apologize if something doesn't make sense, or is in a fragmented, not grammatically correct form. Okay. Hem.

 Now, personally I like to belief or religion, as t  a several separate aspects, the most prominent being philosophy vs. practice. Now, lots of theologians would beat the shit out of me for saying this, but being a pantheist, an animist, an atheist, is separate from practicing as a Wiccan, a Christian, a Druid. What your core philosophy about the whole of the universe can be the same thing, or separate thing from the religious practices you act out each day. (Or every other day. Or once a month. Whatever floats your boat.)So identifying your philosophy, whether that's pantheistic or not, can be a different search that finding your identifying religion, whether that's druidry or not. And in my opinion, you can be a pantheist AND worship a pantheon. There are pagans out there that believe in physical, corporeal gods, and there are pagans that believe their gods are manifestations of their consciousness and there are pagans that believe that gods have been created by the belief of humans and there are pagans that believe that all gods are just multiple faces of one god and there are pagans that don't believe in any gods but worship them anyway because it's meaningful to them and much, much more.

Next, there's this thing between the two. It's more than just practice, but not as end-all be-all as philosophy. For me, it's all about who or what I pray to, what I expect from that, how I make my decisions, how I'm comforted. As far as I'm concerned, that and a sense of community is what makes choosing a religion worth-while. If you want to find this, then as a pagan on a pagan forum, I'd advise you to reach out. You don't know "what you are" yet. It's cool. No deity is going to beat you up because you took too long to find them. (Or, I hope hope they don't...) Depending on the way you feel comfortable practicing, go out and introduce yourself to the divine, and invite the divine to introduce itself to you. Do lots and lots of research. I should have said that earlier, because it's pretty much vital for anyone even considering a pagan path to do twenty times more research than they think they should. Research until your eyes bleed. That's why a lot of pagan traditions follow the "year and a day" thing, where you study for that long before declaring yourself a part of that religion. Get a feel for the different God/desses and their myths (if they have them) and the culture and people they came from. Wait for someone to call you. If they don't, try calling out to someone in particular. Sometimes you choose your Gods, and sometimes you Gods choose you, and sometimes choice feels like it has nothing to do with it at all.

I know that was kind of vague, but really, this is different for everyone. Just DON'T WORRY, and do your research, and when something feels right, dip your toes in the water, if something feels wrong, ease your toes out. It's all good.
Be kind to little animals / whatever sort they be / and give a stranded jellyfish / a shove into the sea.

Shine

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Re: Difficulty Finding a Path
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2012, 08:04:14 pm »
Quote from: Zythan;61442
I was raised as a Catholic, but then flirted with atheism for a while, but knew I could never go past being agnostic. I know there's a higher power, but I'm not sure what it is. I found Druidry and I really like the spiritual aspect of it, but I have no idea what to believe for a higher power. That's where I need a bit of guidance.

. . .

I'm trying to see Gods in the pantheons as seperate parts of God with a Pantheist view, but I really have trouble with it. As I'm trying to follow the path of Druidry, I'm looking at everything as a part of nature and interconnectedness. I don't exactly want to force myself into a belief... Suffice it to say I'm confused. I have no idea what to believe.

Any advice would be very much welcomed and appreciated.

 
What you believe is something that will change and evolve within you organically. How you're going to wrap your head around the concept of deity will be specific to you, your upbringing, and other factors as well. (And also note that belief in deity isn't a requirement for paganism. I'm not sure about druidry.)

I'm something of a pantheist, too. I see deity everywhere: from trees, to thunderstorms, to electricity, to the air we breathe, and even to actions such as dancing, doing mathematics, etc. What's helped me is to be loose about my beliefs and not pin them down too much.

What may help you is to try to see your pantheistic view as manifestations of a deity's power. For example, a thunderstorm may be a manifestation of the power of Zeus, or Set. The manifestation is not the being.

Again, this is something that grows organically within you. You may find that, at the end of it all, you don't believe in deity beyond a pantheistic view. And unless your particular path holds that deities are separate beings with their own personalities, depending on how strict that path is, it shouldn't be a problem if you think differently.
Leave your darkness with me, and I will make you shine.

Nyktelios

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Re: Difficulty Finding a Path
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2012, 08:08:37 pm »
Quote from: Zythan;61442
I was raised as a Catholic, but then flirted with atheism for a while, but knew I could never go past being agnostic. I know there's a higher power, but I'm not sure what it is. I found Druidry and I really like the spiritual aspect of it, but I have no idea what to believe for a higher power. That's where I need a bit of guidance.

I have a couple issues believing in a separate entity as God, which is one of the reasons I left Christianity. At the moment I like to think I'm pantheist, believing that God is in everything and everything is a part of God. I see it more as an energy than an actual being. But I find myself wanting to worship a pantheon, specifically Greek or Norse, because I feel an attraction and connection to both of them. I know tons about the Greek mythology because I loved it when I was younger, but not so much about the Norse.

I'm trying to see Gods in the pantheons as seperate parts of God with a Pantheist view, but I really have trouble with it. As I'm trying to follow the path of Druidry, I'm looking at everything as a part of nature and interconnectedness. I don't exactly want to force myself into a belief... Suffice it to say I'm confused. I have no idea what to believe.

Any advice would be very much welcomed and appreciated.


I just say keep exploring and don't worry so much about fitting into a label. Maybe you'll find a particular tradition suited to you, maybe you won't. It's okay to be eclectic, or even follow multiple traditions. It's even fine not to follow any and just do your own thing.

Zythan

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Re: Difficulty Finding a Path
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2012, 09:53:15 pm »
Quote from: Ask-Embla;61453
It DOES sound like you're confused, but don't stress! No one says you need all of your answers now. Finding out what you believe is just as important as believing it. Open yourself up. Admit to the universe that you have no clue, and allow what's right to come to you. (As gooey as that sounds.)

I'd like to say that I'm extremely sleep deprived right now. Too tired to revise, but I have a helluva lot to say, so bear with me, and I apologize if something doesn't make sense, or is in a fragmented, not grammatically correct form. Okay. Hem.

 Now, personally I like to belief or religion, as t  a several separate aspects, the most prominent being philosophy vs. practice. Now, lots of theologians would beat the shit out of me for saying this, but being a pantheist, an animist, an atheist, is separate from practicing as a Wiccan, a Christian, a Druid. What your core philosophy about the whole of the universe can be the same thing, or separate thing from the religious practices you act out each day. (Or every other day. Or once a month. Whatever floats your boat.)So identifying your philosophy, whether that's pantheistic or not, can be a different search that finding your identifying religion, whether that's druidry or not. And in my opinion, you can be a pantheist AND worship a pantheon. There are pagans out there that believe in physical, corporeal gods, and there are pagans that believe their gods are manifestations of their consciousness and there are pagans that believe that gods have been created by the belief of humans and there are pagans that believe that all gods are just multiple faces of one god and there are pagans that don't believe in any gods but worship them anyway because it's meaningful to them and much, much more.

Next, there's this thing between the two. It's more than just practice, but not as end-all be-all as philosophy. For me, it's all about who or what I pray to, what I expect from that, how I make my decisions, how I'm comforted. As far as I'm concerned, that and a sense of community is what makes choosing a religion worth-while. If you want to find this, then as a pagan on a pagan forum, I'd advise you to reach out. You don't know "what you are" yet. It's cool. No deity is going to beat you up because you took too long to find them. (Or, I hope hope they don't...) Depending on the way you feel comfortable practicing, go out and introduce yourself to the divine, and invite the divine to introduce itself to you. Do lots and lots of research. I should have said that earlier, because it's pretty much vital for anyone even considering a pagan path to do twenty times more research than they think they should. Research until your eyes bleed. That's why a lot of pagan traditions follow the "year and a day" thing, where you study for that long before declaring yourself a part of that religion. Get a feel for the different God/desses and their myths (if they have them) and the culture and people they came from. Wait for someone to call you. If they don't, try calling out to someone in particular. Sometimes you choose your Gods, and sometimes you Gods choose you, and sometimes choice feels like it has nothing to do with it at all.

I know that was kind of vague, but really, this is different for everyone. Just DON'T WORRY, and do your research, and when something feels right, dip your toes in the water, if something feels wrong, ease your toes out. It's all good.

 
This really, really helped me out. I'm having issues trying to conform, even though I know paganism is all about being open. Suffice it to say I'm having troubles casting aside Christianity, even though I never really believed in it too much. I've always felt too much of an attraction to the Earth.

I like how you put the pantheons, I can see that working for me. I'm not used to a religion being so open, I just need to keep an open mind. Druidry doesn't require a deity, it's either a spirituality or religion depending on what the practitioner does with it. I really need a religion in my life though, I couldn't keep going as an agnostic. I'll open myself up to the divine, would casting a circle and asking for guidance work?

You weren't too vague, it really helped me out :) I've been doing research, but with exams and all, I haven't been able to read as much as I wanted to. I have a couple books on Druidry and one on Paganism in general that I'll finish working with, and then I think I'll read up on Asatru.

I'm going to the Spirits of the Earth festival next week which I'm sure will help me out too. I just wanted to have kind of an idea of what to believe in before I go, just so I don't feel like a complete noob.

Thank you and everyone for the help! I'll try to take things slow, and not force myself into anything.

Ask-Embla

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Re: Difficulty Finding a Path
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2012, 05:30:13 am »
Quote from: Zythan;61475
This really, really helped me out. I'm having issues trying to conform, even though I know paganism is all about being open. Suffice it to say I'm having troubles casting aside Christianity, even though I never really believed in it too much. I've always felt too much of an attraction to the Earth.

I like how you put the pantheons, I can see that working for me. I'm not used to a religion being so open, I just need to keep an open mind. Druidry doesn't require a deity, it's either a spirituality or religion depending on what the practitioner does with it. I really need a religion in my life though, I couldn't keep going as an agnostic. I'll open myself up to the divine, would casting a circle and asking for guidance work?

You weren't too vague, it really helped me out :) I've been doing research, but with exams and all, I haven't been able to read as much as I wanted to. I have a couple books on Druidry and one on Paganism in general that I'll finish working with, and then I think I'll read up on Asatru.

I'm going to the Spirits of the Earth festival next week which I'm sure will help me out too. I just wanted to have kind of an idea of what to believe in before I go, just so I don't feel like a complete noob.

Thank you and everyone for the help! I'll try to take things slow, and not force myself into anything.

 
Awesome, glad I helped. Casting a circle and asking for guidance will definitely help.
Be kind to little animals / whatever sort they be / and give a stranded jellyfish / a shove into the sea.

MoonCrone

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Re: Difficulty Finding a Path
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2012, 06:03:44 am »
Quote from: Zythan;61442
I was raised as a Catholic, but then flirted with atheism for a while, but knew I could never go past being agnostic. I know there's a higher power, but I'm not sure what it is. I found Druidry and I really like the spiritual aspect of it, but I have no idea what to believe for a higher power. That's where I need a bit of guidance.

I have a couple issues believing in a separate entity as God, which is one of the reasons I left Christianity. At the moment I like to think I'm pantheist, believing that God is in everything and everything is a part of God. I see it more as an energy than an actual being. But I find myself wanting to worship a pantheon, specifically Greek or Norse, because I feel an attraction and connection to both of them. I know tons about the Greek mythology because I loved it when I was younger, but not so much about the Norse.

I'm trying to see Gods in the pantheons as seperate parts of God with a Pantheist view, but I really have trouble with it. As I'm trying to follow the path of Druidry, I'm looking at everything as a part of nature and interconnectedness. I don't exactly want to force myself into a belief... Suffice it to say I'm confused. I have no idea what to believe.

Any advice would be very much welcomed and appreciated.


Greetings Zythan..
You are on your path already even if you haven't realized that.  
It is one of Seeker, and there ain't nothing wrong with that.  :)  
You had Catholic values raised into you and everyone I have come across who has "turned" Pagan from that background has these kinds of doubts and issues.
You need to unlearn one way of thinking and change your mindset completely because being Pagan isn't like being Catholic on lots of levels.  (Unless your new path becomes Santeria...  but there are those who argue Santeria isn't Pagan... but I digress)

I agree with an earlier post some Pagans choose their Deities because their qualities "sit well" with them, while some Deities actually choose their Pagans - even if that Pagan wasn't particularly interested... (I know many that has happened to.. myself being one of them!  My main interest lays with Green Man and Mother Earth... yet Neith (Kemet) seems to pull my strings from time to time, and I can't thank MamaCoca (Inkan) enough for all the assistance I have felt she has given to those who are sick that I have been able to feel better and Lord Ganesh (Hindu) has blessed many an enterprize I have been involved with and removed many an obstacle from my path for me, and so on...)
It's just how it goes sometimes so wait and see how it all pans out.
It's early days, and your life is still ahead of you.
I see somebody here in a rush...  somebody looking for a label or particular hat to wear but one of the nice things about being Pagan is there's no need to rush...  ;)  take time to smell the flowers... try hats on and if they don't suit you, it's no problem, find another one to try on...
It's not like you HAVE to decide RIGHT NOW and stick to it for EVER and EVER...  
It's not like if you don't have ONE TRUE GOD your world is going to come crashing down around your heels...
Not having any particular label is liberating and educational... and even if you get to the stage where you feel comfortable with one, if another comes along, even if it's only fleeting, then enjoy it...  but I am speaking here as an eclectic...  of course others will say I'm misguided perhaps.. I would say who are they to judge?

Nothing wrong with not having Deity or seeing Deity in the rocks... it's just the way some Pagans are.

You have some interests, ask yourself why... that's a starting point.  
What draws you to Druidry?  could it be it's links with Celtic myths?  
What draws you to the Norse path?  Could it be the warrior spirit (a lot of young people are)
You sound dis-enchanted with the Greek myths.. is there a reason?
Maybe writing it all down will give you some clarification and illumination.

Just my views on the subject, and good luck with however things go.
It\'s all about the Ebb and Flow...

Zythan

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Re: Difficulty Finding a Path
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2012, 01:02:52 pm »
Quote from: MoonCrone;61490
Greetings Zythan..
You are on your path already even if you haven't realized that.  
It is one of Seeker, and there ain't nothing wrong with that.  :)  
You had Catholic values raised into you and everyone I have come across who has "turned" Pagan from that background has these kinds of doubts and issues.
You need to unlearn one way of thinking and change your mindset completely because being Pagan isn't like being Catholic on lots of levels.  (Unless your new path becomes Santeria...  but there are those who argue Santeria isn't Pagan... but I digress)

I agree with an earlier post some Pagans choose their Deities because their qualities "sit well" with them, while some Deities actually choose their Pagans - even if that Pagan wasn't particularly interested... (I know many that has happened to.. myself being one of them!  My main interest lays with Green Man and Mother Earth... yet Neith (Kemet) seems to pull my strings from time to time, and I can't thank MamaCoca (Inkan) enough for all the assistance I have felt she has given to those who are sick that I have been able to feel better and Lord Ganesh (Hindu) has blessed many an enterprize I have been involved with and removed many an obstacle from my path for me, and so on...)
It's just how it goes sometimes so wait and see how it all pans out.
It's early days, and your life is still ahead of you.
I see somebody here in a rush...  somebody looking for a label or particular hat to wear but one of the nice things about being Pagan is there's no need to rush...  ;)  take time to smell the flowers... try hats on and if they don't suit you, it's no problem, find another one to try on...
It's not like you HAVE to decide RIGHT NOW and stick to it for EVER and EVER...  
It's not like if you don't have ONE TRUE GOD your world is going to come crashing down around your heels...
Not having any particular label is liberating and educational... and even if you get to the stage where you feel comfortable with one, if another comes along, even if it's only fleeting, then enjoy it...  but I am speaking here as an eclectic...  of course others will say I'm misguided perhaps.. I would say who are they to judge?

Nothing wrong with not having Deity or seeing Deity in the rocks... it's just the way some Pagans are.

You have some interests, ask yourself why... that's a starting point.  
What draws you to Druidry?  could it be it's links with Celtic myths?  
What draws you to the Norse path?  Could it be the warrior spirit (a lot of young people are)
You sound dis-enchanted with the Greek myths.. is there a reason?
Maybe writing it all down will give you some clarification and illumination.

Just my views on the subject, and good luck with however things go.

 
Thank you, that really helps me out :) I'm trying to be open to anything and everything, I know that my heart's already set on Paganism. I couldn't go back to a big organized religion, there's just too much that doesn't sit well with me.

I admit, I'm way too impatient. I'm thinking that since I've wanted to research for 3-4 years now, I want to finally start practicing and believing in something. But I know I can't do that, I'm trying to step back and read everything I possibly can.

I have a very Irish background (my last name is O'Reilly, how much more Irish can you get?) and I'm drawn to the Celtic culture and myths. Thing is, I know literally nothing about it, which is getting me to read more about it. I already believed some of the same things that Druidry promotes, so I felt sort of a click. It felt... I don't know, but it felt nice. Kind of nostalgic actually, as I read up more about it and spent time outside with my eyes open in a new way.

I've always held an interest in Vikings and the whole Nordic culture. Maybe it's my love of the Medieval era causing it. I often wish that I was born somewhere in Europe when Christianity wasn't taking everything over, just living a simple life. I think that's something I like about all Paganism, it just makes me feel like I can live a simple life, without all this technology and warfare. I'll admit, it's also the warrior spirit drawing me ;) I just love everything about the culture, but once again I know little to nothing about the myths.

I grew up with Greek myths, and I'm not sure what I think of them. When I was a kid I also thought they had some truth to them, because my parents were very open-minded and basically let me believe whatever I wanted as long as I believed in Jesus as well. Ever since I started looking around for guidance and a teacher in Druidry, I've been thinking of owls and Athena. The first time I tried casting a circle and called for a teacher, I felt something following me home, and I kept thinking of owls. I had a dream that night about one, actually. Not sure if I'm overthinking or what. But I do like Greek myths.

I'll try writing some things down for myself too, thank you for the help :)

MoonCrone

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Re: Difficulty Finding a Path
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2012, 11:57:36 am »
Quote from: Zythan;61517
Thank you, that really helps me out


:) any time! feel free to ask me more questions... I'm no expert, but I can at least help you work through things

MoonCrone
It\'s all about the Ebb and Flow...

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