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Author Topic: Rituals for breaking free from a former religion  (Read 859 times)

EclecticWheel

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Rituals for breaking free from a former religion
« on: November 20, 2018, 10:43:23 am »
I am interested in hearing about any ritual you have performed or know of for breaking free from a former religion.  This could also be a ritual for breaking ties generally, but I am most interested in a rite for letting go of a former religion.

I need to devise such a ritual.  I am good at creating ritual, so I am confident in my ability to do this, but knowing what others have done could help.

I am entering therapy to deal with the aftermath of my terrible experience with Roman Catholicism and associated OCD.  No offence to any Catholics or the church -- I just didn't have a positive experience.  I will probably work through the therapy before doing the ritual.

I am not interested in performing acts of blasphemy black masses myself since I still work with Christian symbols and characters, though I don't mind reading about those things in the thread if those are the rites you're familiar with or have used.
My personal moral code:

Love wisely, and do what thou wilt.

Dynes Hysbys

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Re: Rituals for breaking free from a former religion
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2018, 12:05:06 pm »
I am interested in hearing about any ritual you have performed or know of for breaking free from a former religion.  This could also be a ritual for breaking ties generally, but I am most interested in a rite for letting go of a former religion.

I need to devise such a ritual.  I am good at creating ritual, so I am confident in my ability to do this, but knowing what others have done could help.

I am entering therapy to deal with the aftermath of my terrible experience with Roman Catholicism and associated OCD.  No offence to any Catholics or the church -- I just didn't have a positive experience.  I will probably work through the therapy before doing the ritual.


Nothing very fancy - I formally renounced any ties with the Christian church  and gave my baptismal bible and prayer books to the nearest charity shop.  I was strongly tempted to throw them in the nearest river but I didn't want to cause the pollution.

ehbowen

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Re: Rituals for breaking free from a former religion
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2018, 01:36:25 pm »
Nothing very fancy - I formally renounced any ties with the Christian church  and gave my baptismal bible and prayer books to the nearest charity shop.  I was strongly tempted to throw them in the nearest river but I didn't want to cause the pollution.

I don't know if it was done as part of a formal separation, but one late night while I was out on a walk I came across an Episcopalian prayer book which someone had left atop a fence post next to the sidewalk. (Prayer books and such are not part of the Baptist tradition; we focus on the Bible.) I took it and still have it; even if it's not my own faith tradition I sometimes like to see how others practice. So I would encourage you to structure your separation in such a way that it might be a blessing to someone else.
--------Eric H. Bowen
Where's the KABOOM? There was supposed to have been an Earth-shattering KABOOM!

arete

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Re: Rituals for breaking free from a former religion
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2019, 10:01:36 am »
I am interested in hearing about any ritual you have performed or know of for breaking free from a former religion.  This could also be a ritual for breaking ties generally, but I am most interested in a rite for letting go of a former religion.

I need to devise such a ritual.  I am good at creating ritual, so I am confident in my ability to do this, but knowing what others have done could help.

I am entering therapy to deal with the aftermath of my terrible experience with Roman Catholicism and associated OCD.  No offence to any Catholics or the church -- I just didn't have a positive experience.  I will probably work through the therapy before doing the ritual.

I am not interested in performing acts of blasphemy black masses myself since I still work with Christian symbols and characters, though I don't mind reading about those things in the thread if those are the rites you're familiar with or have used.
In 2001 I gave up Orthodoxy for atheism. I rejected the image of christ as love. It was a very painful thing to do. I regret it, actually.  :-\

Uneryx

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Re: Rituals for breaking free from a former religion
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2019, 11:35:10 am »
I am interested in hearing about any ritual you have performed or know of for breaking free from a former religion.  This could also be a ritual for breaking ties generally, but I am most interested in a rite for letting go of a former religion.

I need to devise such a ritual.  I am good at creating ritual, so I am confident in my ability to do this, but knowing what others have done could help.

I am entering therapy to deal with the aftermath of my terrible experience with Roman Catholicism and associated OCD.  No offence to any Catholics or the church -- I just didn't have a positive experience.  I will probably work through the therapy before doing the ritual.

I am not interested in performing acts of blasphemy black masses myself since I still work with Christian symbols and characters, though I don't mind reading about those things in the thread if those are the rites you're familiar with or have used.

I wrote a contract up, declaring my intentions, what I'd learned that had caused me to change my mind, and why I was leaving Christianity behind. I also thanked God/Jesus for their time with me but also asked that they please mind their own business and not try to compel me to return. I then signed, sealed with wax, and burned the contract.

The "officialness" of it is what made it feel real and made it easier for me to draw a line where things severed, instead of constantly looking over my shoulder or feeling guilty about praying to other gods/powers.

Aetherwinds

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Re: Rituals for breaking free from a former religion
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2019, 03:13:59 pm »
I am interested in hearing about any ritual you have performed or know of for breaking free from a former religion.

You could also go the formal way asked by your church. Like for catholics in Canada we simply have to write a letter to our church renouncing our faith and they declare us apostate. That's it legally broke free, not only in your mind but on paper super simple and powerful in terms of meaning.

EclecticWheel

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Re: Rituals for breaking free from a former religion
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2019, 05:03:05 pm »
You could also go the formal way asked by your church. Like for catholics in Canada we simply have to write a letter to our church renouncing our faith and they declare us apostate. That's it legally broke free, not only in your mind but on paper super simple and powerful in terms of meaning.

A friend of mine went that route and could never get anything official.  We are in North America.

I think I have made progress emotionally, but I haven't performed a ritual regarding this.  I may not need to.  The last time I spoke to a priest I was denied absolution due to heresy and schism.

I think I've made my peace.  I am not compatible with a tradition that doesn't allow me to relate to Christian symbols and imagery in a way that satisfies me intellectually and emotionally.

I think just taking the eucharist in my own Episcopal setting is enough to break free ritually as this is considered a serious schismatic offence as well.  I never thought sincerely and devotionally taking the eucharist could be so transgressive!
My personal moral code:

Love wisely, and do what thou wilt.

Aetherwinds

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Re: Rituals for breaking free from a former religion
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2019, 09:53:40 pm »
I am not compatible with a tradition that doesn't allow me to relate to Christian symbols and imagery in a way that satisfies me intellectually and emotionally.

Well, make it your own! How many groups have branched off, even came up with their own holy book? You can have your own interpretation of religious writings and rituals. Pretty sure the saints and holy trinity care more about your pure faith then following what is accepted currently (because historically speaking religions change a LOT, hence why I think anything goes as long as you are firm in your truth).

Jainarayan

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Re: Rituals for breaking free from a former religion
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2019, 10:23:16 am »
I am interested in hearing about any ritual you have performed or know of for breaking free from a former religion. 

No ritual in my case. I simply drifted away from being Catholic and gradually embraced Hinduism. Even as a Catholic (and later  Orthodox) I had very Hindu leanings. It just made so much more sense. I didn't feel the need for any sort of formal break, because Catholicism, or any form of Christianity, no longer had a hold on me.
śivāya vishnu rūpaya śivaḥ rūpaya vishnave
śivasya hridayam viṣṇur viṣṇoscha hridayam śivaḥ
Vishnu's appearance is Shiva; Shiva's appearance is Vishnu
Vishnu is the heart of Shiva; Shiva is the heart of Vishnu - Skandopanishad
 

Sorcha

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Re: Rituals for breaking free from a former religion
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2019, 10:41:33 am »
I am interested in hearing about any ritual you have performed or know of for breaking free from a former religion.  This could also be a ritual for breaking ties generally, but I am most interested in a rite for letting go of a former religion.

I need to devise such a ritual.  I am good at creating ritual, so I am confident in my ability to do this, but knowing what others have done could help.

I am entering therapy to deal with the aftermath of my terrible experience with Roman Catholicism and associated OCD.  No offence to any Catholics or the church -- I just didn't have a positive experience.  I will probably work through the therapy before doing the ritual.

I am not interested in performing acts of blasphemy black masses myself since I still work with Christian symbols and characters, though I don't mind reading about those things in the thread if those are the rites you're familiar with or have used.
I've also just drifted a bit. I still attend an Episcopal church; the ritual and community are important to me and I still find meaning in the communion. But I am pagan as well. I doubt I'll ever do a ritual unless I truly wish to sever all ties with Christ and the church, and I don't want to yet.

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EclecticWheel

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Re: Rituals for breaking free from a former religion
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2019, 08:34:37 pm »
I've also just drifted a bit. I still attend an Episcopal church; the ritual and community are important to me and I still find meaning in the communion. But I am pagan as well. I doubt I'll ever do a ritual unless I truly wish to sever all ties with Christ and the church, and I don't want to yet.

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As of the last several years I feel the same way about the Episcopal Church, the community it provides, and its basic rituals even if I do have to interpret some of the doctrines inside out, backwards, and upside down.  Sometimes that takes a lot of work, but the community has always given me the freedom to do that and be included among them, so why not if the community is important to me?  If they're willing to include someone like me then I consider that the community's business and no one else's.

And I always have the personal path I've created for a more explicit narrative structure of my beliefs, observations, and basic philosophical framework.

Should I relocate eventually, and I think I will be, possibly even in the next year or so, I might look for community elsewhere or I might not.

For an update on the original post of this thread, I've been working on my issues in therapy, and I'm not thinking much about the original topic these days or suffering much from OCD, though I'm still interested in the approaches people have used when having to depart from a religion that wasn't a good fit for them.
My personal moral code:

Love wisely, and do what thou wilt.

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