I need some perspective here. I had a major breakthrough today in regards to me calling myself a Pagan and I need as much help as I can get.
Back when I started exploring Wicca, I was just converting from Christianity. Therefore, I never tried to adjust to polytheism, which makes me realize I was never officially Pagan to begin with. Currently, I hold the psychological fear of believing in deities or God, because I don't like to believe in something blindly from past experiences.Belief in that stuff is blind belief, so I fear it immensely. I fear blind belief because the last time I blindly believed someone's deception and lies, it really hurt my psyche and caused me to think twisted things. Blind belief in my mind is unhealthy. I know for sure that I don't want to believe in a specific pantheon or God of any kind at this time. But, deep down I hold an intense longing for that kind of belief to be real to me again.
Basically, I'm questioning if this path is right for me anymore. I know I can only learn this for myself. I plan on attending a Unitarian church to explore and challenge my thinking. I still want the Pagan or witch lifestyle in my life; I love it extremely. But, today I have felt as if I've been aching inside because of all my fear and doubts. I feel as if I've dabbled in this for so many years only for this negative type of outcome. I'm trying to stay positive, but I need some advice.
Are there any other types of Pagan sects that rely less on deity belief that I can look into? I plan on learning more about Shamanism, Druidism, and Buddhism. But, are there any others that openly allow magick practice? When I explored Wicca, I think I was mainly there still for the witchcraft in spiritual ways. When I did rituals, I would cast them out to the Universe or I'd call it the Divine to relief my confusion about polytheism. I sent it to the Universe because it felt more comfy for me to do. Or, can I just practice witchcraft for my spirit and hope to learn of what path to go down from that?
I want to begin looking at alternative paths. Are there any paths I could look at that I haven't mentioned? Any advice or comments? I know that this is a personal matter that only I can figure out, but any type of help, path suggestions, or moral support would help during this tough time. Thank you for being such a great community. I can never repay all of those who have helped me here.
Many people seperate their practice of magic from their religion. You certainly don't need to be pagan to practice magic. Regardless, I think that exploring other paths is always good just from the point of veiw of understanding others and gathering knowledge so I would encourage you to continue your reading.
As regards to your religion, you have time to work all that stuff out. We weren't born knowing all the answers. My advice would be to relax, take your time thinking about it and when you work out what you believe, find a word for it rather than picking a word and trying to fit yourself into that definition.
Best of luck to you!
Re: Questioning By: Lark Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 4 Jan 11, 2015
I agree with BinaryBat.
There is no reason that you need to follow any sort of Pagan religion (which includes Druidry by the way) in order to practice magic. Magic is an art and a practice, not a religion.
Traditional Witchcraft is one aspect you might explore, and perhaps discuss a bit with Brysing. Much of early witchcraft was centered around spellwork that employed Biblical passages. So you could continue to follow the lifestyle practices while still embracing your Christian beliefs.
There are also some forms of Christianity that embrace concepts such as a Divine Femine, personal gnosis, environmental concerns and caring for the Earth that you might also want to look at. Try reading some of the books by Matthew Fox such as "One River, Many Wells" and "The Coming of the Cosmic Christ".
I think that attending a UU Church is a great way to start looking for something that truly speaks to your spirituality. And remember that there is nothing stopping you from stepping away from labels and traditions and creating a spirituality that is uniquely your own.
What has already been said is what it should stay at. I agree with you guys 100%. If you choose not believe in something, so shall it be. Remember, you aren't trying to benefit a god or deity, you're trying to benefit yourself in magick. You shouldn't have to kneel at an altar to cast a love spell.
There are so many different path choices for me to study. I'm going to begin studying some and write about them on my blog to help myself learn more about them. I did hear of the athiest Pagan perspective, but I don't think I'd even want to worship them as symbols. It's possible. I'd have to take a mythology course first.