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Posts Tagged ‘paganism’

I am wishing I had plans to be dancing ’round a bonfire on a hillside somewhere this evening.  The following is a wonderful article from The Wild Hunt :

http://wildhunt.org/blog/2010/04/a-merry-beltane-2.html

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Ever since I was a child I have had a keen awareness of nature and spirit.  I have always loved the woods, the sun filtering through the trees,  the wind rustling the leaves above, the feel of the breeze.  I always knew not to take it for granted; that it was special and magical and as a result spent a lot of time as a kid walking old beaten paths (or maybe they were not-so-old beaten paths ;-)) through the woods, hoping to find something of the Native Americans that were present here long before.  One of my most prized possessions was an Indian arrowhead I’d found buried in the dirt whilst playing with a friend at the age of five or six.  There were archaeological dig sites here and so from a young age I wanted to be an archaeologist and uncover what life must have been like for those that were here before me.  What did they believe? I wondered.

My interest spanned to Egyptology.  I took a profound interest in their pantheon of gods and goddesses and longed to see the pyramids.  The Celts fascinated me from an early age as well.  I absorbed anything I could get my hands on from the Emerald Isle, vowing to one day see in person its green hills and castle ruins.   England’s pagan past captivated me just as much as Ireland’s, and I read countless books, watched every documentary that came on television, and dreamed of the day when I could see all these places in person.  Next I read about Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism (which I must admit I didn’t know squat about until I discovered Rick Springfield had named one of his albums Tao, and well, Rick was THE MAN so I had to see what this was all about) and then made my way across the entire occult section at my local library.  What I eventually found was a faith and a history richer than I could have ever imagined, reaching back to the beginnings of life here on earth.

I struggled with Christianity, as many do who ultimately choose a pagan path.  The things I write here are my own experiences and opinions.  I think it’s important to reiterate that I am not against Christianity or those who choose to follow it. Everyone has the right to believe what they want and not be persecuted for it.  I was raised by Christian parents and attended church, albeit irregularly, and it wasn’t long before something just didn’t feel right.   Intolerance of others, conflicting messages and faith based on power and fear seemed to be the order of the day.  I sat and listened and became more and more uncomfortable.  It wasn’t long before I’d formed opinions about religion as a whole and my own spirituality.

So instead of going to college and becoming an archaeologist or an expert on world religions, life took me in a different direction.  Busy with the everyday tasks of life, there was a long while where I did not make the time to read much; to really seek growth for myself spiritually and as a result I was stagnant for a time.  I did pray, but I needed to do more.

As I sit here I am trying to remember the first time I actually set up an altar.  I have always been big on symbolism (ask my mother–I had a virtual shrine to my favorite rock bands in my room as a teenager ;-)) and perhaps as a little girl I had several accidental altars, but I think my first conscious effort at putting together an actual working altar was when I was 19.  It was one of those small wooden tables you get at the dollar store with the legs that screw into the bottom.  I covered it with a piece of black material and went about the business of decorating it with candles, my crystal and gemstone collection, my tarot deck and various other bits and pieces.  I remember being very proud of that little altar.

I struggle with regard to exactly what I will write about my experiences with faith and religion, because obviously it is a personal thing and here I am putting it all out there on the internet.   I don’t feel I have to hide, per say, but being a pagan in modern-day society one does tend to feel the blight of history and its intolerance of pagan religions (or anything that might be perceived as pagan or not of the more openly accepted and recognized Christian belief system) once Christianity was firmly rooted.   In the past it meant death.  In some parts of the world it still does.

So whether this is the first of many posts where I talk about my own experiences and views or just re-post various articles or items of interest, I just don’t know.  I guess we’ll see where it goes.  😉

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