collapse

Author Topic: How did you decide which religious path was right for you?  (Read 2882 times)

lemonberry

  • Jr. Newbie
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2016
  • Posts: 1
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
How did you decide which religious path was right for you?
« on: June 05, 2016, 09:52:12 am »
With so much information and so many different paths, how did you choose which one to follow? Did you always know one religion was right for you, or did you experiment with different ones? What did you base your decision on?

I ask because I'm stuck between two paths and I don't feel right combining them or practicing each one separately.

Tom

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Jan 2013
  • Posts: 399
  • Total likes: 2
    • View Profile
    • http://serpentinetom.wordpress.com
Re: How did you decide which religious path was right for you?
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2016, 11:42:06 am »
Quote from: lemonberry;192271
With so much information and so many different paths, how did you choose which one to follow? Did you always know one religion was right for you, or did you experiment with different ones? What did you base your decision on?

I ask because I'm stuck between two paths and I don't feel right combining them or practicing each one separately.

 
It took a lot of poking at things and trying things to see if they worked. I'm still doing both to be honest and sometimes I followed some paths that led me to other paths and honestly, I guess the biggest thing to remember is that a spiritual path is a /path/ and not a destination since you're going to keep finding new information and learning about things. Also that it's not a race.

Also, the question that I've seen suggested by various people to ask one self is "does this work for me now?" to see if something is right for you at that moment and to accept that the answer may change in the future and that answer wasn't always the same in the past.

Sorcha

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Jun 2016
  • Posts: 387
  • Total likes: 33
    • View Profile
Re: How did you decide which religious path was right for you?
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2016, 02:42:51 pm »
Quote from: lemonberry;192271
With so much information and so many different paths, how did you choose which one to follow? Did you always know one religion was right for you, or did you experiment with different ones? What did you base your decision on?

I ask because I'm stuck between two paths and I don't feel right combining them or practicing each one separately.

 
I deliberately went shopping for religions, almost went with Buddhism, and then found neo-druidry and was like YES. THIS.

I'm still keeping my Christianity (loosely) for now, but druidry kind of thwapped me with how right it felt.

Sorcha

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Jun 2016
  • Posts: 387
  • Total likes: 33
    • View Profile
Re: How did you decide which religious path was right for you?
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2016, 02:44:56 pm »
Quote from: Tom;192273
I guess the biggest thing to remember is that a spiritual path is a /path/ and not a destination.

 
YES.

Wander the path. Stop to smell the flowers, or flip over rocks to see what's underneath, or take a side trail to see what's over that hill over there. :)

Kylara

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Feb 2012
  • Posts: 883
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 62
    • View Profile
    • https://www.patreon.com/kyndryana
  • Religion: Norse Fusion Witchcraft
  • Preferred Pronouns: she/her/hers
Re: How did you decide which religious path was right for you?
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2016, 03:41:04 pm »
Quote from: lemonberry;192271
With so much information and so many different paths, how did you choose which one to follow? Did you always know one religion was right for you, or did you experiment with different ones? What did you base your decision on?

I ask because I'm stuck between two paths and I don't feel right combining them or practicing each one separately.

 
When I was starting out, I did a TON of reading.  There was a big focus on joining a group, so I was sort of mentally stuck on that idea.  As I hadn't found a group that worked for me, I kept looking, but at the same time building my own 'what works for me' path.

Along the way, I read about different paths, some of which really called to me, while others I appreciated from a distance.  Some things I found absolutely lovely, but I also knew that they just weren't something I could do.  It's kind of like how I view fancy dress and makeup.  I think it's beautiful, and some parts of me wish I liked wearing those kind of things...but I don't, so I just enjoy it when other people do.

Eventually, I came to realize I wasn't going to be joining a coven or official group, and that I had a practice that I had built up along the way.  It has elements from different practices, but isn't any one thing.  I never found one thing that drew me in enough that I could let go of everything else, so I just combined what I liked.  I also definitely agree with the idea that what works for me changes from moment to moment, so I don't have just one way of doing things, I have a toolbox of practices, and the situation will dictate which approach I take.
Check out my Patreon for more writing and other goodies!

anubisa

  • Apprentice
  • ***
  • Join Date: Apr 2016
  • Posts: 31
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
    • http://cauldronandbroom.wordpress.com
Re: How did you decide which religious path was right for you?
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2016, 06:31:09 pm »
Quote from: lemonberry;192271
With so much information and so many different paths, how did you choose which one to follow? Did you always know one religion was right for you, or did you experiment with different ones? What did you base your decision on?

I ask because I'm stuck between two paths and I don't feel right combining them or practicing each one separately.

 
I began studying and practicing in my late teens. I started with general Wicca then was drawn to Celtic Wicca. Later on, I was drawn to Norse Wicca, then finally I found my true path which is Egyptian Wicca. It depends on who you are and what you are drawn to. If you are drawn to more Celtic deities, you might try Celtic Wicca. I found Egyptian Wicca when I was getting over my fear of the dark and Lord Anubis came to me. You may want to try one path then the other. See if one draws you more.
Anubisa

Daughter of Lord Anubis and Lady Bast.

Yei

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: May 2012
  • Posts: 546
  • Country: au
  • Total likes: 133
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Mexica Reconstructionism
  • Preferred Pronouns: He/Him/His
Re: How did you decide which religious path was right for you?
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2016, 06:56:14 pm »
Quote from: lemonberry;192271
With so much information and so many different paths, how did you choose which one to follow? Did you always know one religion was right for you, or did you experiment with different ones? What did you base your decision on?

I ask because I'm stuck between two paths and I don't feel right combining them or practicing each one separately.

 
May I ask what the different paths are? I think the answer really depends on that. Ideally the religion you should follow will be the one that suits you best. In other words, you have to actually be able to follow it, and believe in its values and ideologies.

Jenett

  • Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Location: Boston, MA
  • Posts: 3054
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 589
    • View Profile
    • Seeking: First steps on a path
  • Religion: Initiatory religious witchcraft
  • Preferred Pronouns: she/her
Re: How did you decide which religious path was right for you?
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2016, 08:49:40 pm »
Quote from: lemonberry;192271
With so much information and so many different paths, how did you choose which one to follow? Did you always know one religion was right for you, or did you experiment with different ones? What did you base your decision on?


I was Catholic up until the year after I left college. (I was working for my college that year, so stayed in a campus religious community I really loved.) But it was clear by the end of that that I needed to look at something else. At the end of that year, I moved half way across the country, and gave myself a year to figure out what I wanted out of my religious life going forward.

So I spent a year doing a lot of general reading, and a lot of thinking about what I wanted in a religion - which was partly about beliefs, partly about practices, partly about what felt like satisfying religious ritual to me and what didn't. And while I looked at several things that weren't Pagan, by the end of that year, it was pretty clear to me that some strand of Paganism was probably where I should look first.

I was pretty clear that one of the things that I wanted was a group of people to do things with (because group ritual does things to my head that solo ritual doesn't, even though solo ritual is also important to me.) So I started by looking at what groups were near me, and what they were like, as part of my narrowing things down process.

I spent the next year doing a lot more specific reading, going to some public rituals and other events, and then ended up exploring a couple of groups in more detail. (I was very lucky in having a lot of choice: I'd ended up moving to an area with a wide-ranging and active Pagan community without knowing it in advance.) And then I did intro classes with one of them, liked them, and kept going.

(I'm now a 3rd degree priestess in that tradition, and while I'm now living nowhere near anyone else in my trad, and my current ritual practice has a lot of variation, that experience is something I deeply value and is a strong undercurrent in everything I do now - work, home, personal religious practice, everything)

If you're trying to figure out what kinds of things might matter to you, I have a list on my website of questions to think about. It's aimed at people specifically considering groups, but it works nearly as well for general paths. (It starts with the practical stuff, like what can you get to, and you can skim through that if you're not looking for a physical group.)

The other thing you might think about is - if you're trying to decide between different paths, which one is going to give you more options down the road?

In some cases, picking a very narrow path may limit some options for you (places you could find help, or maybe a teacher or group to do things with, access to resources. Some specific practices may not be a good fit for your own personal health or other things you want to do - a deeply ecstatic practice where you lose yourself in trance, for example, may not be a great fit if you have a job that means you're on call a lot of the time.)

So if you're trying to decide, and you don't know which to pick, I'd suggest trying out the one that has more options for you, at least to start. If it works for you, great! If it doesn't, you can try the next thing, or you can add elements of the other things you want, depending on how things fit.
Seek Knowledge, Find Wisdom: Research help on esoteric and eclectic topics (consulting and other services)

Seeking: first steps on a Pagan path (advice for seekers and people new to Paganism)

Darkhawk

  • Senior Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Posts: 4805
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 685
    • View Profile
    • Suns in her Branches
  • Religion: An American Werewolf in the Akhet; Kemetic; Feri; Imaginary Baltic Heathen; Discordian; CoX; Etc.
  • Preferred Pronouns: any of he, she, they
Re: How did you decide which religious path was right for you?
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2016, 10:36:05 pm »
Quote from: lemonberry;192271
With so much information and so many different paths, how did you choose which one to follow? Did you always know one religion was right for you, or did you experiment with different ones? What did you base your decision on?

 
"Perceive first.  Then believe." - Victor Anderson

What works for you?  What makes your heart sing?  What has rituals that scratch that itch you didn't quite realise you had?  What has systems and theologies that promote your health, well-being, and development?  What is beautiful?

Start there.  You may not finish there.

I got to Kemeticism with a chasing sequence of mysticism and research, and wound up finding theologies that articulated things I had always known and let me dig deeper, trying rituals on a "Well, I might as well give it a whirl" and finding things that helped settle my depression and help my sense of self.  I got to the Craft chasing a divine direction, trying things out, and seeing what worked, and worked with it for quite some time before saying "This is something I also need."

Building is complicated.
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

Louisvillian

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: May 2013
  • Posts: 388
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 46
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Syncretic religio romana/Hellenised Romano-British religion
  • Preferred Pronouns: he/him/his
Re: How did you decide which religious path was right for you?
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2016, 06:01:54 am »
Quote from: lemonberry;192271
With so much information and so many different paths, how did you choose which one to follow? Did you always know one religion was right for you, or did you experiment with different ones? What did you base your decision on?

 
It took a lot of time, a lot of research, and a lot of experimenting. A lot of actually doing ritual to find what formats felt right to me. A lot of reading about mythologies, folklore, and stories of the gods. I didn't stay with Wicca because its myth cycle did not sit right with my experiences, but other mythological cycles of other religious traditions did.

And, to a certain extent, a lot of interaction with a community. I might've continued to describe myself as Hellenic if it weren't for a less-than-positive reception of my secondary practices towards Roman and Celtic gods. I drifted into Religio Romana mainly because the Roman recon communities I've interacted with have been more receptive to syncretism.

RecycledBenedict

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2015
  • Posts: 851
  • Total likes: 5
    • View Profile
Re: How did you decide which religious path was right for you?
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2016, 08:49:08 am »
Quote from: lemonberry;192271
With so much information and so many different paths, how did you choose which one to follow? Did you always know one religion was right for you, or did you experiment with different ones? What did you base your decision on?

I ask because I'm stuck between two paths and I don't feel right combining them or practicing each one separately.

I am still open for change. In a sense, I could be described as undecided, but in the meanwhile I practice exercises I have found useful.

Always? Certainly not. I practiced Lutheranism for decades (often in parallel with Druidry and ceremonial magic).

Several religions are ethnical: In most cases, adherents are born into them, and conversions - though possible - are unusual, complicated and screened before any converts are accepted. Hinduism, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism all belong to this category. Sikhism does theoretically not belong to this category, but for all practical reasons Sikhs behave as it does. I suppose, that Shinto qualify for this category, too. Since I am not born by Hindu, Sikh, Jewish, Shinto or Zoroastrian parents, I do not practice Hinduism, Sikhism, Judaism, Shinto or Zoroastrianism. I read some of their books, though.

Three big religions claim to be pan-cultural, universal religions aimed at all people: Christianity, Islam and Buddhism.

Do I appreciate Pseudo-Dionysius, meister Eckehart, Jakob Böhme and William Law? Yes. Do I perform a type of magic, highly informed by Christianity? Yes. Do I appreciate Anglican choral evensong? Yes. Do I believe in a literal, physical resurrection of Jesus? No. I therefore does not define myself as Christian.

Do I appreciate Suhrawardi, Rumi and Mulla Sadra? Yes. Do I believe, that Mohammed was the last prophet? No. I therefore does not define myself as Moslem.

Do I find zazen useful? Yes. Do I find cultivation of the brahmavihara useful? Yes. Have I experienced anatta? Yes, but not I literally. Am I fascinated by the Lotus Sutra? Yes. Do I believe, that Buddism is the only one true way TM? No. Am I able to take exclusive refuge in Buddha, Dharma and Sangha only? No. I therefore does not define myself as Buddhist.

I find Neo-Platonism and Stoicism intellectually convincing, and are confirmed by personal mystical experience. I live in a culture using the Latin alphabet and maintaining a juridical system based on Roman civil law. We are surrounded by statues and heraldry derived from the old Romans. Culturally, all westerners are Romans actually. The mythological paradigm easiest to use by a Neo-Platonist of today, is therefore the grand syncretic mediterranean synthesis, which was present in the Roman Empire in the 3d, 4th, 5th and 6th centuries CE.

Intuitively, I feel a connection to my natural environment, and I feel a need of cultivating that connection. Since 1740 there exist a path for persons like me: Revival Druidry (or Meso-Druidry).

By personal experience, I have found, that ceremonial magic, despite its Christian content, is efficient in causing mystical visionary states. It works, so I use it.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2016, 08:54:18 am by RecycledBenedict »

the_raven

  • Guest
Re: How did you decide which religious path was right for you?
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2016, 11:27:16 am »
Quote from: lemonberry;192271
With so much information and so many different paths, how did you choose which one to follow? Did you always know one religion was right for you, or did you experiment with different ones? What did you base your decision on?

I ask because I'm stuck between two paths and I don't feel right combining them or practicing each one separately.

 
Here, where I am, there's not that much information on non-christian religions. In school, we learned a bit about the Dacians and their worship of Zamolxis, but back then, I didn't care much because I was a teen and hated everything to do with religions (or school for that matter). 'Growing up', and being fed up with christianity, I figured I'd look for something different, so I started exploring the ancestral roots of my people and stuck with the Thracians/ Dacians, because I love my country and generally love traditions and customs. I just felt drawn to it because everyone else who came into our land (Greeks, Romans, Goths, Slavs, Turkics)...well - they came - they weren't native, therefore, not something I wanted to look into.

You were probably already asked this but I'll ask again (because I'm kinda lazy) - what two paths are you following?

njsquarebear

  • Apprentice
  • ***
  • Join Date: Jan 2013
  • Posts: 39
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: How did you decide which religious path was right for you?
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2016, 08:23:11 am »
Quote from: lemonberry;192271
With so much information and so many different paths, how did you choose which one to follow? Did you always know one religion was right for you, or did you experiment with different ones? What did you base your decision on?

I ask because I'm stuck between two paths and I don't feel right combining them or practicing each one separately.


Personally, after 2-1/2 years of reading, study, reflection and worship I've managed to cobble together just the start of an uneasy, but always interesting Celtic Druidic Pagan-"Christian" worship.  (Having been raised in mainstream Christianity, then moving leftwards in my 40s into progressive-social justice/radical/gnostic "Christianity", and now for the past 2-1/2 years, into Paganism (some form of Panentheism).

My racial-ethnic background is Irish/English/German... so I've felt called to really read and research Celtic, Irish, Anglo-Saxon, German, Heathen cultures and mythologies.  That's a whole lot of work right there!  

THEN because I still connect with Christianity in a positive way (to some degree yet), I've felt drawn to Gnostic Christianity and its connection to Roman religion/gods/myths.  

ADD to that, because I'm also gay, I feel a special connection to Greek religion/gods/myths because it's the most gay-positive in the stories, as well as it interconnects / overlaps with Roman religion.

For a time I ALSO did quite a lot of reading and study about the Norse culture and gods, etc.  I think I was just attracted to the "Vikings" tv show too much and the image of the Norse (and modern heathens) as the rebel 'bad boys / bad girls' of Paganism! LOL  While I do like the Vanir gods/goddesses in particular, and enjoy the Norse myths... I have realized that Heathen worship practices don't interest me (all that drinking, toasting, boasting), nor do I care for how many Heathens hold a negative view of the rest of the pagan community.  My opinion entirely here... my experiences.

I would just say that you should enjoy the journey.  Feel free to take 'day trips' experimenting with different paths/religions in your worship.  I'm NOT saying that you should mix different cultures/religions/pantheons in a single worship, because as a novice myself that would confuse ME, and could be disrespectful to the gods being called.  That said, I believe the pagan gods - as opposed to the Old Testament Jehovah! - to be of the sort that none are going to get 'bent out of shape' if you are genuinely finding your way... in fact, he/she/they may point or push you in the right or new direction?

Just my 2 cents worth...
peace,
Brian (njsquarebear)

anunitu

  • Sr. Newbie
  • **
  • Join Date: Jun 2016
  • Posts: 10
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: How did you decide which religious path was right for you?
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2016, 06:05:47 pm »
Quote from: Sorcha;192285
I deliberately went shopping for religions, almost went with Buddhism, and then found neo-druidry and was like YES. THIS.

I'm still keeping my Christianity (loosely) for now, but druidry kind of thwapped me with how right it felt.


Personally,the feeling part is most important for myself..Mainly how I came to where I am right now..
Move along,nothing to see here.

Ash Arewolf

  • Jr. Newbie
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2016
  • Posts: 1
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: How did you decide which religious path was right for you?
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2016, 12:16:25 am »
Quote from: lemonberry;192271
With so much information and so many different paths, how did you choose which one to follow? Did you always know one religion was right for you, or did you experiment with different ones? What did you base your decision on?

I ask because I'm stuck between two paths and I don't feel right combining them or practicing each one separately.

 
It's also important to remember that you don't even have to go with a predefined path. I am new also, and I started studying wicca. Then I went to a metaphysical shop near where I live to buy some crystals and one of the ladies that worked there helped me realize that a spiritual path is such a personal thing, and it is all about how YOU personally connect with deity, not how an author connects with deity.

Tags:
 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
15 Replies
5319 Views
Last post September 15, 2011, 11:35:19 pm
by Asch
20 Replies
3511 Views
Last post November 19, 2011, 01:16:24 am
by MoonChild78
36 Replies
5390 Views
Last post July 08, 2012, 03:55:56 am
by StudiodeKadent
11 Replies
2002 Views
Last post June 22, 2013, 03:33:09 am
by Jack
9 Replies
1687 Views
Last post October 22, 2014, 12:54:26 pm
by Jainarayan

Beginner Area

Warning: You are currently in a Beginner Friendly area of the message board.

* Who's Online

  • Dot Guests: 28
  • Dot Hidden: 0
  • Dot Users: 3
  • Dot Users Online:

* Please Donate!

The Cauldron's server is expensive and requires monthly payments. Please become a Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor if you can. Donations are needed every month. Without member support, we can't afford the server.

* In Memoriam

Chavi (2006)
Elspeth (2010)
Marilyn (2013)

* Cauldron Staff

Co-Hosts:
LyricFox & Randall

Senior Staff:
Darkhawk

Message Board Staff
Board Coordinator:
Sunflower

Assistant Board Coordinator:
Aster Breo

Board Staff:
Allaya, Chatelaine, HarpingHawke, Jenett, Morag, rocquelaire, Sefiru

Discord Chat Staff
Chat Coordinator:
Morag

Reserve Staff:
Aisling

Cauldron Council:
Bob, Catja, Emma-Eldritch, Fausta, Jubes, Kelly, Phouka, Sperran, Star, Steve, Tana

Cauldron Assistants
[Non-Staff Positions]

Site Assistants
[Non-Staff Positions]
Webmaster:
Randall