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Author Topic: Unsure of my own path  (Read 1110 times)

njmassat

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Unsure of my own path
« on: April 12, 2014, 02:35:15 am »
Hello Everyone.

I am been pathless for some time now and I need/want this to change. I was introduced into the Pagan live style many YEARS ago and I have always felt it was where I belonged but I never had the time to spend nurturing my gifts or my understanding of the life style but this MUST change. I have had a lot of things within my life change within the last two years and I do not feel like the same person anymore. I find like I am missing something within my life, I am not hole anymore and i need to become whole in order to become me again.

 I found a copy of Paganism An Introduction to Earth-Centered Religions many years ago, and I have kept it around for years and have finally started reading it again and I also have found http://www.paganspath.com/index2.htm=1em & http://springwolf.net/ t=1emo be a BIG help to my need for information about the Pagan lifestyle but I still have some unanswered questions. In http://springwolf.net/2012/02/28/what-is-paganism/=1em its states that Pagan translates to “country dweller” then it also lumps Pagan Metaphysics and witchcraft into the same category. I understand and also don’t understand what’s being said here; does this mean that pagan and witchcraft in a nut are the same? Or is that saying that witchcraft falls under Pagan, which means it’s a religion that does not follow the doctrines of any faiths based on Abrahamic teachings?  This also brings me to my next question which is, that does that mean I am looking into the wrong path? I feel the reason I want to get back into the Pagan ways is because am lacking that connection from mind, body and soul. I have always found a connection with water, so that’s what made me think water is my element but I also have found peace within my kitchen. My friend told me, that she could see me as a kitchen witch but is that not Witchcraft vs. Pagan.

I have spent a lot of time this week thinking this stuff over, researching and I truly have no idea if I am over thinking this or what but please can someone, anyone give me some third party advice on this subject.  I am at the point where am ready to just walk away yet again.

Sage

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Re: Unsure of my own path
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2014, 08:09:29 am »
Quote from: njmassat;145073
Hello Everyone.


Hello and welcome to TC!

Quote
I understand and also don’t understand what’s being said here; does this mean that pagan and witchcraft in a nut are the same? Or is that saying that witchcraft falls under Pagan, which means it’s a religion that does not follow the doctrines of any faiths based on Abrahamic teachings?  This also brings me to my next question which is, that does that mean I am looking into the wrong path? I feel the reason I want to get back into the Pagan ways is because am lacking that connection from mind, body and soul. I have always found a connection with water, so that’s what made me think water is my element but I also have found peace within my kitchen. My friend told me, that she could see me as a kitchen witch but is that not Witchcraft vs. Pagan.

I have spent a lot of time this week thinking this stuff over, researching and I truly have no idea if I am over thinking this or what but please can someone, anyone give me some third party advice on this subject.  I am at the point where am ready to just walk away yet again.

 
There are a couple things to keep in mind as you continue exploring spiritual paths for yourself. First, there is no one single Pagan religion. We talk about "Paganism" as an umbrella term, which I think is mentioned in Paganism: An Introduction to Earth-Centered Religions. There are many, many different individual religions that may be considered Pagan. "Pagan" is a large, catch-all term that usually doesn't tell you much about how an individual believes or practices. The only thing all Pagans really share is using the term "Pagan" to self-identify.

So what this means is there's no one single way to be a Pagan. Some Pagans practice magic; others do not. Some Pagans are polytheists; others are not. Some Pagans have an earth-centered path; others do not. On and on and on.

Paganism and witchcraft are not equivalent terms. "Paganism" is an umbrella term for a lot of different faith. "Witchcraft" is a magical/energetic practice which may or may not be attached to a religion as well. There are Pagan witches, Christian witches, and atheist witches.
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Jenett

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Re: Unsure of my own path
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2014, 01:55:17 pm »
Quote from: njmassat;145073

I have spent a lot of time this week thinking this stuff over, researching and I truly have no idea if I am over thinking this or what but please can someone, anyone give me some third party advice on this subject.  I am at the point where am ready to just walk away yet again.

 
Sage has already gotten a great start to this, but I'd want to encourage the bit about witchcraft being a practice, and Paganism (or a specific religion within the very large Pagan umbrella) being a religion. Think of it like there being lots of ways to write, but writing on a computer being a specific tool or technique, or like there being lots of ways to cook a meal (and reasons for cooking it beyond a physical need to feed the body.)

I've got a website at http://gleewood.org/seeking that might help you sort some things out - in particular, the stuff in the basics section has a bunch of definitions and explanations of how I look at what Paganism is and isn't, and then at some more specific material about religious witchcraft (which is what I personally do).

The biggest things I'd suggest as you try to sort this out are to remember there are lots of different kinds of things under the Pagan umbrella. Some of them are specific religious paths with clearly defined practices (I'm a priestess in an initiatory religious witchcraft tradition: there are specific ritual things I'm committed to doing, or that are done a certain way to remain within the tradition). But there are also tons of people out there putting together a combination of things that work for them.

There are some complications in both. In the first, finding a specific path that suits everything you want, and learning it are both tricky! And in the second case, sometimes people don't realise that specific things don't fit well, or they don't realise they need something until they *desperately* need it, and that can be hard. (There's lots of threads around here about both issues, so you might also just want to browse around and see what you find and get some ideas.)
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Faemon

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Re: Unsure of my own path
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2014, 08:43:07 am »
Quote from: njmassat;145073
I understand and also don’t understand what’s being said here; does this mean that pagan and witchcraft in a nut are the same? Or is that saying that witchcraft falls under Pagan, which means it’s a religion that does not follow the doctrines of any faiths based on Abrahamic teachings?  This also brings me to my next question which is, that does that mean I am looking into the wrong path?

 
Welcome! If you don't want to practice witchcraft, you absolutely do not have to do so, and you can still be pagan.
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Guest888

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Re: Unsure of my own path
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2014, 09:18:01 am »
Quote from: Faemon;145121
Welcome! If you don't want to practice witchcraft, you absolutely do not have to do so, and you can still be pagan.

 
Likewise, you can practice witchcraft without being Pagan.

Quote from: njmassat;145073
Hello Everyone.

I am been pathless for some time now and I need/want this to change. I was introduced into the Pagan live style many YEARS ago and I have always felt it was where I belonged but I never had the time to spend nurturing my gifts or my understanding of the life style but this MUST change. I have had a lot of things within my life change within the last two years and I do not feel like the same person anymore. I find like I am missing something within my life, I am not hole anymore and i need to become whole in order to become me again.

I have spent a lot of time this week thinking this stuff over, researching and I truly have no idea if I am over thinking this or what but please can someone, anyone give me some third party advice on this subject.


If I may ask, what was it in the past that you felt made you feel whole? And what is it that you feel might do that for you now?

beith

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Re: Unsure of my own path
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2014, 10:08:54 am »
Quote from: njmassat;145073

I found a copy of Paganism An Introduction to Earth-Centered Religions many years ago, and I have kept it around for years and have finally started reading it again


One thing you'll find as you browse these forums is that not all religions that are under the pagan umbrella term are earth-based.  If that is where your interest lies, you've already narrowed down some possibilities for your path.

Quote from: njmassat;145073
In http://springwolf.net/2012/02/28/what-is-paganism/=1em its states that Pagan translates to “country dweller” then it also lumps Pagan Metaphysics and witchcraft into the same category. I understand and also don’t understand what’s being said here; does this mean that pagan and witchcraft in a nut are the same? Or is that saying that witchcraft falls under Pagan, which means it’s a religion that does not follow the doctrines of any faiths based on Abrahamic teachings?  


I won't get into this much because the previous replies are already great information for you.  I'll just reiterate that you can practice a religion with witchcraft (including but certainly not limited to Wicca), you can practice a pagan religion with no witchcraft, or you can practice witchcraft with no religion.  There are certainly those who call themselves Christian witches, though that tends to be a can of worms.  They make it work, though.

I personally follow an earth-based path (neo-Druidry) without practicing magic.  I have some resources on it and may continue to learn about it, but it isn't a major interest for me at the moment.  However, other Druids do practice magic.

Quote from: njmassat;145073
This also brings me to my next question which is, that does that mean I am looking into the wrong path? I feel the reason I want to get back into the Pagan ways is because am lacking that connection from mind, body and soul. I have always found a connection with water, so that’s what made me think water is my element but I also have found peace within my kitchen. My friend told me, that she could see me as a kitchen witch but is that not Witchcraft vs. Pagan.


Because pagan is an umbrella term, there are many paths.  My advice is to get a good sense of what you're looking for in a religion and what you would like to practice, then read read read!  The TC forums are a good place to learn about many different paths that fall under paganism.  I would also encourage you to visit Jennett's site: it is a very good source of information.

Quote from: njmassat;145073
I have spent a lot of time this week thinking this stuff over, researching and I truly have no idea if I am over thinking this or what but please can someone, anyone give me some third party advice on this subject.  I am at the point where am ready to just walk away yet again.

 
My advice is be patient...very patient.  Read.  Learn.  Question.  Experience.  Then decide if one of the paths under the pagan umbrella is right for you.

You have referred to paths.  Remember paths must be traveled.  People who practice for decades are still traveling and learning all the time.  Be patient...keep reading and keep learning.

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