Interest/Ideas from a Beginner/Indo-European scholar

Hi all:

I have recently introduced myself on the appropriate forum.

I am someone from a very diverse religious/cultural background (mostly Abrahamic). I am beginner of sorts (in contacting people actually) interested in learning more about paganism; however, as someone who is preparing to enter academia I have collected a lot of information about historical pagan religions and/or religions of Indo-European peoples (and languages). I want to take the more humble route and just say that even though I have quite a lot of academic knowledge collected (and some limited research experience), I know next to nothing about practicing any kind of spirituality like these in the real world. I am a complete beginner.

I am drawn to Vedic (very), Celtic, and Germanic religions (and broadly Proto-Indo-European) as well as the Hindu Goddess tradition of Shaktism. Previously, I had some experience w/ New Orleans African traditions. I had a Semitic pagan/Israeli friend (romantic interest/partner) recently of Russian Jewish ethnicity (self-identified witch) who was a very interesting person. My grandmother’s family were (Quaker, Baptist, Presbyterian, various, but left), yet they had beliefs from the Gaelic ancestors that made no sense in the context of Christianity. I am fascinated, confused, and puzzled, and wonder where they originated. Beliefs like reincarnation, spirits, necromancy. My cousin is a woman in her early 20s of Persian/Iranian ancestry in addition to our Celtic, and a medium and witch (she seems to have embraced these ideas, but none of us know where any of this originates?). So my interest is piqued.

I have tried out various traditions but to no success. I tend now to be very science-minded, skeptical, even materialist. My “theology” if you could call it that is Jungian-like and Vedic materialist. I will say I am 100% convinced that Jesus is not the Messiah, that the God of Abrahamic Faiths does not exist (nor any kind of Satan or devil; not interested at all in any form of Christianity or Satanism, theistic or otherwise or magic/magick/occultism).

This is not to put down anyone else’s belief. My perspective is narrow and not really the definitive one, I understand.

The Goddesses/Gods/Devas to me are not supernatural beings, but the mind’s way of conceptualizing the forces of nature and the human body that we were dependent upon for most of our history. The Devas to me are human relationships to nature given fertile ground in our minds conditioned by cognitive development and evolution. We have the perfect mind for belief, even now. I believe that even though this is a material world and nothing beyond, we should get back to the way we were in outlook toward nature and supposed higher beings, with modifications for modernity, science, and education. A natural way of living not based on rule based ethics, but standard based ethics is what I advocate. Sexuality that is free (consensual and life-affirming) and in line with human nature. Feminine. To me this kind of stance is the healthiest and we have beautiful music, practices, and cultures which elevate the mind.

As someone who is from a Creole background (and significant German, Scandinavian, and Celtic) I want to learn a bit about these kinds of subjects, and I welcome helpful comments and constructive criticism. I am concerned about some of the racism I see in today’s world associated w/ pagan movements and I wondered if someone could address this.

I am looking for comments from beginners and more experienced individuals alike, and any information you could provide on what kinds of traditions may appeal to me. I am investigating several other religions un-related to paganism as well.

Is there anywhere in these religions for someone like me?

Thank-you for reading,

K

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