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Interested...

Posted: Sat Oct 09, 2010 10:01 am
by heydreamer
I am not sure if this is where I post this at, but I would just like to introduce myself.
I'm Dianna, and am 16. I find myself very interested; curious, in Paganism. I have
read a few things about it, but would love to learn about it from people who actually live it.
i'm not here to offend anyone with my questions, am only here to learn and maybe become
involved as I do not "practice" a certain religion.

Here are a list of some questions I just have not found answers to and would love to know about:

Are there any books that you would reccomend me reading to get a more accurate view of Paganism?

Do you have a book much like the "bible" that would let me learn of your God's and Goddess'?

What holiday's do you celebrate?

Are Paganism, Witchcraft, and Wicca the same?

What are the differences if so?

If I were to want to "practice" as a Paganist or to study Wicca etc, how would I go about that?

I've read that this is all positive magick, but have read that there are demons that come with Paganism. Is this false?

Thank you all! I may have a few other questions as I continue learning.

Re: Interested...

Posted: Sat Oct 09, 2010 1:02 pm
by white_harmony
Hi there Dianna. Welcome to the boards! Since you have posed so many interesting questions, I'm sure this part of the forum is as good as the Newbie section for this post lol.

I'll see what I can answer of your questions, from my own point of view, because indeed we all have a different perspective, and differing beliefs from time to time on this forum, as much as we are similar :lol:
heydreamer wrote:Are there any books that you would reccomend me reading to get a more accurate view of Paganism?
Can I ask what you have read so far, as you are asking for material to get a more accurate view? There are many wonderful websites out there, that are not all full of hooey and fluff that make some wonderful reading. You might try our Book Club section of the forum, and the Site Reviews as well to see what we have in there that we have discussed and found from time to time.
heydreamer wrote:Do you have a book much like the "bible" that would let me learn of your God's and Goddess'?
I myself do not. I became interested in the all the different Gods and Goddesses by reading history of other cultures; and some people follow only certain God/desses. A lot of references are made to Celtic, Gaelic, Norse and Welsh deities, so if you are a bit of a history and/or mythology buff, you might enjoy reading up on those.
heydreamer wrote:What holiday's do you celebrate?
I myself always try to celebrate the seasonal holidays eg - Samhain, Mabon, Lammas, Litha, Beltane, Ostara, Imbolc, Yule.
heydreamer wrote:Are Paganism, Witchcraft, and Wicca the same?
Some people say yes, some people say no. I say that they are all at least partly similar, or at the very least fall under the same "umbrella".
heydreamer wrote:What are the differences if so?
I have never really sat down and said to myself "That there, that's a difference between Paganism and Wicca" So I can't really give you a straight answer to this one lol.
heydreamer wrote:If I were to want to "practice" as a Paganist or to study Wicca etc, how would I go about that?
Paganism and/or Wicca, like all faiths, isn't something you "practice". It is a very personal journey to learn more about yourself, your place in the world, and about doing what feels right for you personally.
heydreamer wrote:I've read that this is all positive magick, but have read that there are demons that come with Paganism. Is this false?
Positive magick = being true to yourself. Demons sound like something straight out of a pastors mouth in my honest opinion. I have been walking this path since I was 15 or so, and not once can I say I have stumbled upon references to demons that "come with Paganism", nor have I encountered any personally.

There is plenty of reading ahead of you, but honestly, take everything you read with a grain of salt, if it doesn't feel right to you, then it probably isn't suited to you. But really - read read read! Read history, read mythology stories, read the internets and books, you will find plenty of information and interesting stories at your fingertips :-D

Re: Interested...

Posted: Sat Oct 09, 2010 7:36 pm
by FyreGarnet
From everything I've learned, my opinion is that no Religion is right because they are all created to get us closer to the Gods. Gods here is just a general reference to what you believe is out there. While Paganism and Wicca, and Druidry are all more accepted now, there are many facets to each of these. And there are fewer people who tend to follow one path, as compared with many of the monotheistic religions, because we tend to be more spiritual, than religious. That is, we don't need to visit a church per se to be close our God(s).

Also, in my opinion, all the Gods out there that you hear about, are a face of the great thing I like to call Divinity. You may notice that a lot of Gods have similarities to others. The Gods that are spoken of in Judaism, Islam and Christianity, have a lot of similarities due to where these religions were born. They have been transformed over time, to an extent, but still keep some of these similarities. Much like the Gods of Norse, Roman, and Greek cultures, or even Egyptian, which have their own similarities.

So when you see people saying to follow your heart, I believe that most pagans have come to these conclusions, or at least close to it. And when you see someone saying that Paganism is evil and we worship the Devil or Demons, I believe that they are afraid of these possibilities, or they have learned nothing else besides their own religion.

These are just some of my thoughts, so you can take these with a grain of salt as well. But I hope, at least, that you can see where I am today.

FyreGarnet

Re: Interested...

Posted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 12:44 pm
by Crazy Healer Lady
Hello and welcome!

Some awesome answers already.
heydreamer wrote:Do you have a book much like the "bible" that would let me learn of your God's and Goddess'?
Unfortunately, many books that had been kept were destroyed in anti-Pagan times. European Paganism was also at its height when most stories were committed to memory instead of written down. So, no. We all have our own personal libraries of reference, but Paganism is so much about individual experience that no book can really lay down everything diffinitively.
heydreamer wrote:What holiday's do you celebrate?
Most of us celebrate the cycles of Nature. White_Harmony already named a few.
heydreamer wrote:Are Paganism, Witchcraft, and Wicca the same?
Paganism encompasses Native American spiritualities, Shamanism, Wicca, Druidism, and others I can't think of right now. It's a recognition of the power of Nature, and coming into harmony with the cycles of Nature. It's the belief that the natural forces have an intelligence behind them, in them. This is a form of animism/pantheism. Many Pagans centralize their religions around polytheism, or multiple gods/goddesses. Some are monotheists, although this seems to be rare. Some include it all. Wicca is the practice of Witchcraft. Some separate the two, but I haven't seen a good arguement except from a few that want to separate their personal practices from one or the other.
heydreamer wrote:I've read that this is all positive magick, but have read that there are demons that come with Paganism. Is this false?
I don't know about demons (as in, minions of a central evil which most Pagans don't believe in and seems to be a strictly monotheistic qualitity), but I have seen lots of negative spirits, big and little. The fact is that there are negative and positive energies out there. It doesn't make one bad or good, but one is productive to a healthy life and one is not. Whatever these forms manifest into for people depends largely on themselves.
heydreamer wrote:Are there any books that you would reccomend me reading to get a more accurate view of Paganism?
I love Ted Andrews books. Animal-Speak is my favourite to recommend to people.

Re: Interested...

Posted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 3:46 pm
by Glassmirror
Welcome!
I am an "ecclectic." That is my official title right now I believe. I believe that all the gods and goddesses exist and exercise their control to various extents but I don't worship or in other words, devote myself to any of them. I have done rituals with several of them though. You see, from what I've learned, technically you don't HAVE to worship any god or goddess (do show your respect for them, it's for your own good) to be "Pagan" because Paganism is a blanket term like CHL said. Obviously if your a witch you would follow the God and Goddess, if you get more attracted to the Norse you would follow one of the deities of that pantheon, etc... The point is you don't have to tie yourself down; allow yourself to drift with your feelings. You've already heard/read this I'm sure; and you will hear it far too many times to count (it gets rather annoying after awhile), but "follow your heart."

Re: Interested...

Posted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 6:37 pm
by runewulf
Agreed with the above, especially W_H. Even those of us you could classify as almost encyclopedic in knowledge could use some more insight into your interests and what you've studied and/or experienced to answer those questions because in all, simple honesty, paganism is an umbrealla term that covers a huge, wide swath of spiritual traditions. Add to that this little tidbit, most of paganism is either experiential or at the least experientially organic, in so that each person's practices tend to evolve over time based on their own, individual studies and experiences. Therefore, even within the same "denomination", if you as 10 folks those questions, you'll get at least 3 different answers and quite likely 10 or more, lol.

Give us some more insight into you and we can better answer those questions.

Bon chance,
RuneWulf