Runboard.com
You're welcome.
The Pagan Porch - a forum for Pagan Homesteaders and their friends

This board is now closed and read only. No new membership can be gained. Thank you for your interest.

runboard.com       Sign up (learn about it) | Sign in (lost password?)


 
ReneeS Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Registered user
Global user

Registered: 05-2011
Posts: 27
Reply | Quote
Hello


I've lurked here off and on and finally decided to introduce myself and share a bit about where I am on my own Pagan path. I am very new to Paganism, but have enjoyed learning what I have learned so far. Nature speaks to me, so an earth-centered path feels natural. I have not shared my new path with anyone that I know for a lot of the reasons shared on the thread about the woman pastor who came out as an atheist.
[sign in to see URL],offset=0 I know how hard that must have been for her and I honor her fortitude in telling her truth, and I respect the heck out of her husband for sticking by her. I can understand the congregation’s treatment of her to some very small extent given what her position was in their church, but the larger issue is that they are not following their own faith’s edict to love their neighbors as themselves. I pray for them in my own way.

I have been experiencing a crisis of faith of my own for a few years now. I was born and raised a Catholic. I went to church as a kid because I had to. It became routine and I pretty much stuck with it for most of my adult life until a few years ago when I started asking myself why things were the ways they were in my faith. Why aren’t women given a place of equal respect and honor? Why is the feminine suppressed? I was told in any number of subtle and not-so-subtle ways when I was growing up that I am not good enough because I am female. I believe the sexes should be equal, in all things. Each gender has value and its own strengths that should be respected and honored equally.

Other questions that I was asking about my faith included: Why am I a lowly, sinful worm for having natural human drives and instincts? I do my best to be a good and loving person every day. Why should I feel condemned if I slip up once in awhile and have an angry, hurtful or lustful thought or even say something mean and hurtful? Why should I confess my “sins” to a person who is not allowed to marry or be in the world the way his parishioners are? Along those lines, why aren’t priests allowed to marry? Why is it wrong to be gay? Why not live and let live as long as people aren’t hurting or killing each other?

I could probably go on and on with questions like those. There were enough of them that I finally started looking around for a faith tradition that spoke to me. One that would not compromise who I feel I am inside, which is a good, caring and loving person doing the best she can.

Before the start of my search I came across the Myspace page of a person well-known in their field who stated in her bio that she is a Pagan. My kneejerk reaction at that time was horror and revulsion because I had been taught that Pagans are evil.

Fortunately I had achieved some degree of higher consciousness and tolerance of other’s beliefs along the way and I was able to almost as quickly stop myself from continuing on that judgmental line of thought and just consider the possibility that she was not evil. She certainly seemed like a good person and I had no reason to suspect that she was not a good person merely because her faith was different than mine. I also had to admit that I knew nothing about Paganism firsthand, so I could not make a fair judgment of what that really meant.

I prayed to the God of my understanding at that time, to open me up to the possibility of learning about Paganism sometime in the future when I was ready and receptive to it. That time came about two years later. I found my thoughts drifting time and again about Catholicism and how it just did not resonate with me any longer. I started searching online for websites about Paganism and came across a book that introduces Paganism and purchased it on my Kindle [sign in to see URL]=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1397002970&sr=8-1&keywords=paganism

The book was fascinating, and very well written. I learned enough from that book to know that I wanted to follow an earth-centered tradition and so my quest began. I’ve read about Wicca and some of the other more mainstream religions and learned a lot. I think every faith tradition has some merit, but sometimes overzealous followers tend to muck up the ideals and/or twist interpretations then it starts to lose meaning for its other followers. Once I started reading about Druidism, I felt like I’d found my spiritual home.

I am by no means a full Druid at this point, but the path greatly calls to me and I am studying it. I also have some Wicca leanings and may pursue that, too, at some point. I had thought I might be an Eclectic Witch or a Hedge Witch for awhile, and perhaps I am, in addition to being a Druid. I certainly don’t mind being eclectic with my faith, and Druidism doesn’t demand that its followers follow a specific dogma, which is a refreshing change from my Christian faith. I know I am light years from understanding everything about Druidism and other faith traditions, Pagan or otherwise, but for now, I am at home overall with what I have found.

One thing I do struggle with, however, is worshipping a female deity, which sounds strange given my feminist leanings (not feminist in any male-bashing kind of way). I still find myself on occasion crossing myself in prayer, as I was taught in my Christian faith. Conceptually I think it’s natural to worship a female deity, because we clearly need both genders to survive, but so far it is not translating easily to my prayer practice, or lack thereof. The goddess I most relate to at this time is Brigid, as she is a goddess of inspiration, healing, (and war, apparently.) I do not relate to the war bit in the strictest sense, but I am a creative and a healer, so I can relate to her that way.

I have not yet shared my new path with anyone I know in my everyday life. I think my brother might be open, but I'm just not sure how my mom would respond, and there are still too many family matriarchs and patriarchs around that I don't want to upset them in their last years on earth with this kind of news. It stinks, but there it is.

I guess I’ve gone on a bit long. Sorry about that. I would be interested to know if anyone can recommend some resources for me that could assist someone new on the Pagan path or share a bit of their experiences in worshipping a female deity. Have you always done it, or did you ever struggle with the concept if you also came from a Christian tradition that did not teach such a thing? Thanks for reading all of this!


---
Renee's Place
4/9/2014, 1:12 am Link to this post Send Email to ReneeS   Send PM to ReneeS Blog
 
muladzh Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Registered user
Global user

Registered: 10-2008
Posts: 2068
Reply | Quote
Re: Hello


Hello, welcome to the Porch.

That is quite an intro. If you have lurked here, you probably know all of the regular posters. I am the strange guy who was born over sixty years ago, into a Pagan family. I have no problem with the Goddess being female - I do not regard Her as a Deity, that is a little too formal for me - She is a friend, a mentor, and a protector. Funnily enough though, I can feel where you are coming from. The Roman church plays on ritual and guilt in equal quantities - just to keep people from straying. Don't worry about it, it really doesn't matter.

If you wish to feel the Goddess, go stand outside on a moonlit night, look up and ask where She is. Almost every time, she will answer you. Then you will see that she is not the overpowering massive female deity, She is a very compassionate Goddess who cares. She has MANY names, and she has a bunch of Sisters, who are also Goddesses, some of whom spend time in mortal bodies. Most of the more modern Neo-Pagan groups tend to structure some kind of worship - rituals can help a neophyte in many ways, but they really are not necessary. Living a life true to nature, accepting that there is a very friendly, caring Goddess, and her Consort, known as the Green Man, and a few other names. They both walk the earth regularly, and I see them often.

No, I am not mad, eccentric perhaps, but not insane, and yes, I do see the Goddess and Consort.

If you do not have a Path to follow, don't rush to find one - learn who you are first, take time to shake off what you don't want, then look around for a way to honour the world - that is all it is - not giving to an already rich church, or worshipping some being so high as to be impossible to know.

Eventually, after you have looked around, and rid yourself of the insistence in dogma, you will eventually feel something that is very right.

Feel free to ask anything of me, or anyone else here - they are all lovely people, two of them are very dear friends I have met, others are very dear friends I have not yet met.

---

4/9/2014, 5:07 am Link to this post Send Email to muladzh   Send PM to muladzh Blog
 
Firlefanz Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Administrator
Global user (premium)

Registered: 05-2003
Location: Germany
Posts: 5712
Reply | Quote
Re: Hello


Renee, welcome to the Porch!

I was raised an atheist, yet I've come to believe that people (and maybe all living beings) have a soul, and that there might be higher beings who look out for us.

I love Muladzh's description of the Goddess. This is what I often feel, a gentle, generous, helping hand.

The funny thing about Pagans is that there is no "one" way or right way. Ritual can be used but isn't necessary. We can all find our own, personal preferences - and I love that, too.

So be welcome and blessed. emoticon

---
- Firlefanz

Mystical Adventures
Hannah - Blog
The Pagan Porch
4/9/2014, 8:24 am Link to this post Send Email to Firlefanz   Send PM to Firlefanz Blog
 
Justbec Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Registered user
Global user

Registered: 06-2006
Location: Paradise
Posts: 332
Reply | Quote
Re: Hello


Welcome Renee. I too lurked a long time. I love the people here they are wonderful. I am an atheist, but I love it here. I'm sure you will too.

---


4/9/2014, 9:37 am Link to this post Send Email to Justbec   Send PM to Justbec
 
ReneeS Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Registered user
Global user

Registered: 05-2011
Posts: 27
Reply | Quote
Re: Hello


Thank you, everyone for both your wonderful welcomes and your comments! Being a baby Pagan, I just don't know which way to look sometimes because all of it is so exciting to me and I want to learn as much as I can.

Thank you, Muladzh, for your insights about the Goddess. I really like the idea of her being more a compassionate and caring friend, if you will, than a deity, and the same for the Green Man, whom I have also seen.

Thank you, also, Firlefanz and JustBec! I am happy that folks from different paths are able to chat about things in a respectful way to all.



---
Renee's Place
4/9/2014, 5:01 pm Link to this post Send Email to ReneeS   Send PM to ReneeS Blog
 
Firlefanz Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Administrator
Global user (premium)

Registered: 05-2003
Location: Germany
Posts: 5712
Reply | Quote
Re: Hello


Being respectful is part of the Porch! We don't want it any other way.

 emoticon

---
- Firlefanz

Mystical Adventures
Hannah - Blog
The Pagan Porch
4/9/2014, 6:40 pm Link to this post Send Email to Firlefanz   Send PM to Firlefanz Blog
 
Justbec Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Registered user
Global user

Registered: 06-2006
Location: Paradise
Posts: 332
Reply | Quote
Re: Hello


Yep. Just jump right in the water is fine. emoticon

---


4/9/2014, 11:31 pm Link to this post Send Email to Justbec   Send PM to Justbec
 
Queenyforever Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Registered user
Global user

Registered: 01-2007
Location: Walking a new path in Nature.
Posts: 3596
Reply | Quote
Re: Hello


RENEE!!!! emoticon
Oh sweetpea, I AM so very glad to see you here! I'm basically on an Earth based path myself.
Your story sounds so much like mine.... emoticon
Bless you for coming here and for starting your story. You have so much to look forward to. So much more enjoyment, such pleasure in the day to day wonders you will find.
There is no [sign in to see URL] LOVE! ♥
MERRY [sign in to see URL]! emoticon

---

✴ Birthplace: Earth ✴ Race: Human ✴ Politics: Freedom ✴ Religion: Love♥

4/10/2014, 4:22 pm Link to this post Send Email to Queenyforever   Send PM to Queenyforever Blog
 
ReneeS Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Registered user
Global user

Registered: 05-2011
Posts: 27
Reply | Quote
Re: Hello


Merry Meet! emoticon

---
Renee's Place
4/11/2014, 1:10 am Link to this post Send Email to ReneeS   Send PM to ReneeS Blog
 


Add a reply





You are not logged in (login)