let's discuss how we all came to our paths. i'll post y story tomorrow, it's 2:30 am for my and the brain's not working so well. I'd love to hear from you all

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Its a long story so I will post it later I have had no sleep.
Many Blessings
Namaste'
WingedLightWalker
I came to my path when I was 16 years old.

For some years I had been struggling against my "strict-ish" Christian upbringing since I didn't agree with so much of it. I especially didn't agree when I discovered that I liked women as well as men in... ya'know...that way (a girl that likes to stir the punt from both the oxford AND cambridge end). Apart from that, since I was a little girl I used to get little snippet visions of the future. And getting older I started to know things that I shouldn't possibly know, like what was going through peoples minds or what they were feeling.

Both of these things are solidly put in the "against" catagory in the " ' Good Book ' " as my grandfather wont to say. Homosexuals (and bi or pansexuals by extension) are considered evil and unnatural...that puts me in the banned line for an urge. That I could work against, I could bury the feelings and concentrate on men or just full out abstience.

The real issue for me was my... uh... abilities? (I say abilities, I don't actually have a damned bit of control over them so I can't really say it's my 'ability'). Because I had no control it is something that I cannot help and have never been able to help, I was born to be a bit of a "freak of nature" in my view, my mother remembers my first showings at 18 months. The Bible is against anyone with even a glimmer of psychic abilities (at least Deuteronomy is). It's something I have no control over, so why would I wish to be in a belief system that says I'm damned to hell no matter what because I can't stop something outside of my control? The message was like telling me I'd be damned if I shivered in a blizzard.

So I looked elsewhere, for something I could agree with. I stumbled upon Wiccan and Paganism through a friend of mine, John. He was a wiccan and have had him explain a good amount of it to me, I started my own looking into the path, ignoring my previous uneducated opinions.

After practicing for a year in Wicca I discovered that some of it felt a bit constricting. I could not join a coven as I was only 17 at this point and when I looked at what awaited me in the coven I thought it overly-strict in comparision to what I'd been doing. That was also the year that I lived with Tim, my ex-fiancé, who used to hit me around and at one point almost strangled me to death (He did not mean it, he just lost his temper with his phone, wouldn't let me leave the bedsit to wait for him to calm down, one thing led to another...). During that relationship I had to hurt him to get him to stop hurting me and that flew in the face of "harming none". I have been told repeatedly that self-defence isn't what they meant, but the guilt was still there.

I loved nature still, paganism and the deities. I wished to carry on, but couldn't continue in such a binding tradition. So I became ecclectic solitary, borrowing from here and there as it suit me.

And that's...uh... pretty much my story.
MM, WolfishAura. Thanks for sharing. I certainly hope your path helps keep you balanced and safe.
I'm not sure I became ecclectic so much as just started out that way. I wasn't raised in a religious or otherwise spiritual environment, though I was encouraged to learn anything and everything. My dad is a prolific book reader and has many books about strange subjects - from college text books, to self-help, to witchcraft and even satanism (Anton LeVay).

The first book I picked up and thought, wow, I can really relate to this was Buckland's "Complete Book of Witchcraft". Unfortunately, it was geared towards coven worship and being 13 and living in Montana, I pretty much put it aside as 'beyond me'. The next book I really identified with was Anton LeVay's "Satanic Bible". No, I'm not a satanist, but I identified with the philosophy of "buck the system" and "please thy self". Yep, I was a bit of a rebellious teenager. Eventually, I came to feel that LeVay's satanism was a bit too anti-social for me - plus, I had no one to share it with.

Well, years go by and I drift along until I finally pick up Cunningham's "Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner" and I again thought, yes, I like this very much. I finally realized that I didn't need to belong to a church or coven to practise and enhance my spirituality.

After studying and practicing now for about 5 years, I realise that I have a couple "issues" with some of the beliefs in Wicca. Note: I do not have a problem with Wicca or any other beliefs for that matter - I only have problems with people who get in my face and tell me they're right and I'm wrong.

For a long time I considered myself Eclectic Wiccan - but, if asked now, I believe a more accurate description would be Eclectic Pagan.
Wow long story I will try to shorten well I was first studing witchcraft then I mixed in Native American stuff and a little bit of buddism just a little, and Ishtar but then I am studing to be a shamanistic witch so I have no idea what you can call me. lol I mix and add bits and pieces in my work that works best for me all the time as I study more.
One of the reasons I left Christianity was because I hated having someone or some tradition tell me what I had to believe. Also, I had found truths and things that worked for me in several belief systems and paths. I started out and plan to stay eclectic because being eclectic means I get to choose my path and I will never be tied down by ideas and ideals that don't work for me and don't apply to me. Also, I am a pretty eclectic person in most things.
Im really not sure but I do know that when I realized I had to perform rituals a certain way I started asking questions thats when I found out about ecclectic. I enjoy it alot better it gives me more room to learn about other forms.
Many Blessings
Namaste'
WingedLightWalker
Due to a misspelt email, (I blame in part the spell checker and typing while being tired.) I once told a friend that I was an 'Electric' Witch, rather than the intended 'Eclectic' Witch. . .

I'd like to say that he was shocked, but that would just be a bad pun, tagged onto a true story.
None of the set paths seemed to fit me completely, some parts felt right, others did not. I also didn't fit into some of our more structured systems, and this does not imply those are wrong, they are simply not for me. Being eclectic allows me to employ those concepts and beliefs that are right for me. I feel like I've come home.

Be well,

Peter
i dont know, i just found interest in many systems, and thought all were knowledgeable and powerful. I mostly practice Druidry, but i also throw in other systems like Wicca, Greek, Norse, some Egyptian, Shamanism, New Age/Ascension/Light working and some Hermetic/Solomonic. I believe that all spiritual paths bare wisdom, power and knowledge, you can learn and draw something from them all, all can teach you something beneficial and valuable, all have power and energy, and all also share almost the same concepts and are reaching for the same goals and causes. Ive just been drawn to Druidry more than all, im more connected to the celtic-druidic path, im more comfortable, but i do practice and study other beliefs and systems as well. Brightest Blessings! :-)

First a primer on my folks. I grew up in a deeply Roman Catholic household. My mother was born into it, and my father became Catholic by choice. My mum was very into prayers accompanied by candle-burning. My dad was very "nature-oriented". We used to watch storms together, and he had all this information on weather folklore.

 

When i was eight, my brother's Wiccan gf moved in with us. We bonded over things like tarot and crystals, things I always had an affinity for but never knew why. She used to take me with her to some of the many 'botanicas' in the south florida area. These shops usually catered to the local santerians and other spiritualists. I loved those places. There was just something really mystical about them. So anyways I was always a very devout Roman Catholic child.


I got into lovecraft and mythology at 12, inspired by browsing, of all things, the AD&D cthulhu mythos. Then at 14 my folks pushed me for confirmation, and something in me didn't feel like I could go through with it. So the three of us had a chat with the priest of the church who convinced my folks, esp. my mother (who would accept anything religious authority had to say) that it would be best to let me find my own path. Read more mythology and took up the tao te ching. At 16 some friends 'reintroduced' me to Wicca, and in it I was attracted to the balance of energies exhibited in the god and goddess archetypes. But after a while I was discovering things about Wicca which I did not agree with. I felt it should be one way and Wicca taught the opposite. So I started looking elsewhere but remained true to a Celtic pantheon. Then I read up on other pantheons (Norse, GrecoRoman, Egyptian, Sumerian, Slavic) things that made me take notice. Also explorations of different types of folk magic, work with dragons, chaos, sigils, dreamwork, but also things like reincarnation and astral travel. I realized there was a lot of sound value in continuing to explore other avenues, not just of Paganism, new age and the occult but of other religions as well.

 

By now my ideas were beginning to embrace chaos, darkness, necromancy, and the ancient ones more in my practice. And then I read LaVey, and it was an eye opener. I found in his writings a reflection of many things I had felt all along but had never heard conveyed until I read his work. Strangely I found that it put off some of my pagan friends because they thought I had crossed over to the 'dark side'. *rolls eyes*

 

After I met my husband, I introduced him to Paganism, and he introduced me to Gnosticism. Something I know so little about still, but is still a huge interest of mine. So I guess in a nutshell, my eclecticism is an ever-evolving process.

Your experiences sound very similar to mine Tavthe,  I hope by now you have also explored Gnosticism.....It's been an interest of mine for years.....very interesting and in many cases very contradictory to the current Christian Bible.....Thanks for you posting, Blessings, Ianna:)

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