Sunday, June 7, 2009

Getting onto my path

I turns out we only stayed one night for the Highland Games, not two, so I got back in town yesterday. There isn't much in my travel journal to share. Sorry. I'll just tell you that the five hours I spent at the games were fantastic, and the twelve hours round trip were ok. :D

So bearing in mind that this is Pagan Values Month...onto Paganism!

I want to share how I got onto this path, but first I also want to share what I have found to be the most common story: someone grows up in a very Christian household, gets sick and tired of everything (they often talk about "lies" told to them, and how asking questions was discouraged), discovers Paganism somehow, and leaves Christianity behind. There are variations, but that's basically how it usually goes.

I was raised liberal Christian. I grew up hearing all about Jesus, celebrating Easter and Christmas, and saying prayers at dinner time. Without any influence from my parents, I started saying prayers at bedtime. Not only that, but I also sang a song to God every evening, with my prayers. However, we never went to church, and read from the Bible only rarely.

I do remember experiences with the divine when I was younger -- Yahweh and Jesus. (Yes, I do consider them separate deities.) In particular I had two dreams, and one experience after saying bedtime prayers. In each case I remember knowing I was loved, very much. I think I may have also gotten Yahweh irritated with me, when I tried ignoring him. Oopsies.

I remember the first time I heard about Paganism. My mom had mentioned that someone was Pagan, and I asked what that meant. She said that a Pagan is someone who holds the earth sacred. I remember thinking "That's a weird religion." lol But even then my mom was teaching me to respect the earth -- not that I recognized that as religious teachings. I simply accepted that the earth was to be respected, and that was that. (My mom combines Paganism and Christianity, by the way, though I didn't realize that growing up.)

In spite of my experiences with Jesus and Yahweh, I did go through a time of questioning the existence of the divine. I was too ashamed to admit it until after the fact, but I shouldn't have been. Questioning is natural. There's nothing wrong with it.

I am certain I would have wound up on this path one way or another, but I like to cite Juliet Marillier's book, "Daughter of the Forest," as being the turning point. A friend gave it to me for one of my birthdays, and I fell in love with it. It got me into learning about ancient Ireland, the ancient Druids, modern Druids, and Paganism in general.

I can't say exactly when I became Pagan. I think I may have been Pagan all along. But I very clearly remember the moment when I realized I was Pagan. My thoughts after that realization? "When did that happen???"

1 comment:

Madam Lost said...

Angel, you were born pagan. All I did was raise you.