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What do you feel drew you to Paganism originally? How have your feelings re Paganism changed over the years?

Tannenfolletti

New member
Joined
Jul 5, 2021
My beginnings to paganism started after studying very many different spiritual traditions and coming to the insight that each were equally valid in their own way. Then I was faced with the idea of cultural misappropriation and it made me consider, perhaps I am best suited for the spiritual path of my ancestors. My biggest problem was that I was raised as an agnostic/atheist and I had a hard time believing in gods. Part of me thinks this is why it took me forever to lock myself into witchcraft. Not too long ago I was fortunate to have been visited by the gods Danu and Cern. Now I am working with them and they are teaching me a lot. Funny thing is, I recently learned that it is likely my ancestors didn't even believe in gods until somewhere around the iron age and that before this time, there was only "spirit". Now that makes my scientific and atheistic mind wonder, who and what are these gods? Where did they come from? All I know is, they seem to be real and living, dynamic beings. I have been instructed to work with plants. It is part of my calling to work with them. I have been blessed to have that capability. I seem to have unconscious knowledge of things regarding them that comes to me spontaneously. Like today when I made pineapple sage tea out of whimsy and then went to look up all of the magical properties after the fact. I suppose that my spiritual experiences in life (telepathy, telekinesis, lucid dreams, shared dreams, ghosts, and spaceships) were what always had me going back and questioning what those were and studying various religions and spiritual traditions helped me weed through what I thought they might be and gave me a way to explain it. So after studying buddhism and hinduism (the Eastern mysteries), kabbalism, Christian mysticism, and sufism, I dug into indigenous medicine and spiritual healing. The indigenous path is the pagan path and has become my shining star that pointed me back to my own ancestral roots.
 

Moonwitch

New member
Joined
Jul 5, 2021
The day I knew I was different was when I went camping with an older step-sibling.. the morning came, I went for a walk in the woods and danced in the stream barefoot. Mind you, I grew up mostly city. The feeling I got was magickal. and then as I sat on a rock, I could hear low singing and felt calmness... I shared this with my mom who always believed I should be allowed to find my own path. (She is Christian). I tried many different churches and never felt that connection. I finally learned at 21 what Paganism/Wicca was. Which was from the Charmed show.. I was intrigued and found out that is what I had been searching for. I've been learning and engaging in since.
 

Kodiak308

New member
Joined
Jul 11, 2021
Well, I grew up with a Baptist father, and an episcopal mother. My fathers subtle ways of exposing me to the word was to put audio cassettes of the Bible on tape on our long road trips.... like 2000 miles of the bible...

I've read the Bible fully through at least twice now, and was always interested in some of its wordings of other faiths, so i got to digging. Settled that the Bible acknowledges other gods by name, other peoples beliefs... there was clearly other gods and spiritual faiths out there that had just as much validity as Christianity.

I started studying cultrual based faiths, and as a Scots-Irish/Swedish descendant, I started studying Celt pagans, Norse paganism, Runes, different magic and rites from those cultures.... i felt immediately at home in it. It connected me with what I had already felt about being in and around nature. Having an explanation to my energy while walking through forests and springs, feeling dirt under my feet... it was like finding home for my spirit.

Of course, this did not go well accepted by my father, my mother... meh, she was more of "find your own path" kind of feels. My dad thought I was worshiping the devil.
 

Willow Witch

Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2021
Location
Southern NH, US
When I was about 12 I started questioning the reasons behind why Christians celebrated certain things on certain days. The one that sticks out the most to me was Easter. Why did it change every year? My mom didn't have any answers for me and told me to do some research. Well, I did and found out a whole lot of information that made me question a whole lot more things. My inquiries led me to really hate the Christian faith and set me on a path of knowledge seeking that has lead me to where I am now. I was fortunate enough to find a local herb shop in my area that held a weekly day camp for younger Wiccans, and I learned a lot from the mentors there, as well as getting some first hand experience in a setting that was safe for a baby witch. I'll forever be grateful to them for those summer weeks. I don't identify as Wiccan, or strictly pagan either.
 
Joined
Jul 6, 2021
Oh my. To begin. I've always known I was unusual. Quite honestly, I considered myself a freak. I dealt with the dead, had abilities to know things I shouldn't have, a variety of other things. Fortunately, I had a mom and great grandmother who did NOT treat me that way. I was allowed to grow up outside, in the woods and waters. I learned to grow things as well as hunt. I was put upon in many ways throughout my life, but have so far managed to get by. Now, I am a Crone. And very firmly on my path. I am now enjoying a peace in my soul as I never dreamed I could. As it stands for me, happiness is what it's all about FB_IMG_1557316957821.jpg
 

Amybeader

New member
Joined
Jul 6, 2021
Although I was raised as a Conservative Jew (note, this is NOT "conservative" as in politics, it's sort of the middle range of being Jewish) and still consider myself a Jew by heritage, I've had Pagan leanings for ages. I always found certain stories, although "fantasy" books, to have a depth that appealed to me. I have had Pagan and Wiccan friends for a long time. Living in the Bay Area of northern California for many years, i attended events that sometimes had a Pagan aspect. I remember that there was a "New Age Renaissance Faire" in San Jose that I attended and was also a vendor at. One thing that was interesting was the guys who ran it were, to be kind, rather out there, somewhere in the distant parts of left field. Met people there who I did not know what to make of (such as the guy who looked at my art and claimed that I was obviously channeling the "such-and-such Lizard People from such-and-such Galaxy." Yeah, ok. And then there was the info table from the Bay Area Pagan Assemblies. I kept finding myself hanging out with them. One of the saner groups there. I eventually ended up helping with their publication when it was taken over by a friend who was Pagan. And I had this art…I gradually came to recognize that certain images kept coming into my art and I was really at my heart Pagan. I do describe myself as a Pagan Jew or Jewish Pagan. And I am definitely an Eclectic Pagan. I've been to Pagan events over the years (actually went to Pantheacon a couple of times AFTER we moved from San Jose to Seattle—and Pantheacon had been very local to me in San Jose). I've always loved nature. Now I live in Albuquerque and am learning to love the desert. Oh, and Coyote is one of the Trickster Spirits I have a (sometime uncomfortable) relationship with. (Started at a workshop at Pantheacon.)
 

Chuck O

New member
Joined
Jul 6, 2021
Location
USA
I guess it's more about following a path. OK, so I was raised roman catholic. Left the church, became methodist. Left there over politics. My wife felt drawn, I started reading just to understand what she was talking about and going through. It became comfortable to me, started to make more sense than my old teachings. Over the last few years, I'm starting to see more universal truths in all of it. a lot more is making sense. At one time I was actually pretty mad at the churches. Once I could see them for what they really were, where they had gone wrong made more sense. Once that happened, I became comfortable rejecting the dogma. At this point, yes, I'm Pagan, and that's not going to change. The biggest thing is the "Big Tent" that Paganism is. Life experiences made me pretty non judgemental. I've never been uncomfortable at an open circle, but have been in a church.
 

Tina

New member
Joined
Jul 17, 2021
My cat went missing when I was like 13 or something, during winter, and came back 3 days later. My mom told me she had done some Magick to draw our cat back home. I let it sink in, as I was raised Lutheran from my dad's side and my mom's family is Catholic.

Finally at age 16 I was with a boyfriend who was 21 and had a much darker past if you will and was teaching me things, albeit benign things. One night I was in bed and felt something heavy step onto the bed from the direction of the wall, and when I opened my eyes it was a black panther...I screamed and it pulled me to the wall...my mom came running into my room to find me plastered against the wall like something was trying to pull me thru it. She grabbed my arm and could not pull me off the bed. So she yelled some words at whatever this entity was (I don't remember her words) and I was let go of.

She decided it was time to teach me some shit whether I liked it or not, but first of all, how to ground and center and how to protect myself. I did learn but then I had my 2 sons at age 18 and 21, got married and got too busy or tired to be active in the Craft for a while.

I went into a downward spiral of meth addiction at age 26 trying to be super mom and super wife, along with super employee. I crashed hard and went to rehab for a month or more. I attended NA meetings where you need a "higher power". Most called it "God" but I went back to my books and teachings from my mom and I called my higher power something else - God and Goddess, Source and/or The Universe.

I haven't done meth in many years. Haven't gone to NA in years either for other reasons. But I never stopped honoring the God and Goddess and honing my skills. I taught my boys and had nothing but support from my husband.

Lately I've learned to have more compassion for people I don't like and to take the higher road rather than lashing out or getting revenge. I still have my limits LOL. There are just some things I haven't learned to forgive or understand. I'm working on it though. I'm taking classes and connecting with like-minded folks. I've been to Pagan Pride out here in Denver and had a blast.

One thing that has dramatically changed is hiw much "in the broom closet" I am now. I used to be totally in with triple locks and bolts on the door. Now I stuck part of me out the door, calling myself "weird and new-agey" to people but some will never know my religious beliefs 100%. I'm mot ready to lose them in my life and maybe that's chicken shit of me but it's my truth. I'm mot ready to be treated badly or worse, put in danger over my beliefs. Maybe someday.
 
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