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View Full Version : Hello beautiful people, an intro and a question.



Adama911
16 Jun 2018, 07:38
Hi all,

Thanks for having me.

I am Adam from Liverpool and would be grateful for your help. The information in books and online is vast and confusing and I thought your experiences may be more concise and a better source of aid.
I’ve always been a pretty messed up person, irritable, annoyed and unhappy with life. I despise modern life (computers, phones, etc) and don’t quite understand this complex society we have created in this beautiful world. I always thought I was just ungrateful and selfish (as others would label me), as let’s face it, there are always people worse-off than you, but I believe it’s deeper. I feel conflicted, broken, lonely, lost etc. My doctors put it down to mental health problems, but I honestly don’t think so. I think I’ve just been living a life that isn’t right for me.
I’m a lover of nature and the world on a whole. I’m a grower of life, passionate about animals, caring towards anyone/thing and respectful towards the earth. I don’t believe in gods, supreme beings or magic, in the sense of what I’m familiar with. For example, I don’t believe that crystals are anything other than beautiful stones created by this wonderful planet, and that in itself is the true magic. So I believe that the earth itself is the one and only true power. You treat her well, her rewards are bountiful, you treat her badly and she will respond. She has created the skies, the sea, the rock and EVERYTHING in and on it. What is more powerful than that?
I live in a city but only ever feel happy when I’m around nature. I feel at ease, happy (you know, the energy that runs through your body, gives you butterflies in your tummy, and makes you giggle for no reason whatsoever, happy). As you can imagine I place myself in nature a lot.
Anyway the reason I’m writing this is, I’ve never really understood myself or religion and it’s only until recently that I’ve started questioning this more. I come from a VERY macho household where questioning yourself was never allowed and seen as a bit weak and where this kind of lifestyle would be seen as odd. I'm older now and more open to my belifes and if this respect for the world/nature is what makes me truly happy then I am willing to devote my life to it. Having said that I can’t help feeling that I could be MORE connected with the earth, the seasons, nature . Understand it more, you know?

First and foremost would you say that I have the potential to be pagan and if so what path? It might help me know where to study and I'd like to engage with others who are similar as it’s been a lonely road so far.

Thank you all X

B. de Corbin
16 Jun 2018, 07:59
Howdy, Adam from Liverpool! Welcome to PF.

The question about potential to be "pagan" is easy to answer - yes, you have that potential. Everybody has that potential because being pagan has no requirements, there are no criteria beyond saying "I'm a pagan."

The other question - what path? - is harder because that question has no answer until YOU find it. I would advocate the "live & learn" method of subjective experimentation.

One suggestion I can offer is to be self aware of the anger issue. Go toward a thing because it attracts you, not because you are fleeing something else, otherwise the haven you find may not be the one you need.

Prickly Pear
16 Jun 2018, 10:57
Welcome! Of course you have the potential to be pagan. As to which path, well that is a little more difficult, in a vast potential kind of way. Be aware that many of us find our paths to be twisty and a bit challenging at times.

Because I know very little of you yet, I will suggest some very simple starting points. First, think of the places and activities that make you feel most yourself- you have said you have some nature places where you have found this. Go to those places and do those activities with an intention of open heart and mind. Listen to what comes to you and use that as a starting point. Second, think about spiritual or pagan things that may have interested you specifically in the past. Did you have a fascination with Egyptian mythology as a young person? Maybe the Greeks? Have you always felt a special connection to the sea? To the moon? Start investigating these things and see what sparks. Consider trying meditation. Simple practice of breathing and awareness can help you clear your mind and develop focus. Many pagans use it as part of their practice. Consider respectfully investigating any local pagan groups in your area. Actually participating in a ritual or gathering may give you a feel for a specific path. Think about what frightens or offends you. Are these clear and healthy boundaries for you, or are there some places where you maybe need to push yourself a little? Either answer is fine. Be patient with yourself. You mentioned growing up in a very macho environment, and feeling open to change. As an option, maybe investigate a pagan path where male/female balance is emphasized. Maybe that is something you need, or maybe that is not the point at all for you. Again, either answer is okay.Remember, that you are learning, and you do not have to make a full on commitment right away. This board has incredible archives, and while it can be sparsely populated as of late, members tend to be interested and helpful and thoughtful. I do not suggest buying a whole bunch of candles, special knives, statuary etc. You may want those things at some point, but you may find that any tools you need are already at hand. Of course, if something speaks to your heart, by all means buy it. You just don't need to break the bank to do this. You may find that your spiritual needs are better met with travel funds, or a kayak, or money dedicated to a special charity. Or, you know, a roof and food.

Welcome! It will be a privilege if you share parts of your journey here.

- - - Updated - - -

I would like to add that you may be perfectly satisfied participating in environmental groups, intentionally finding ways to spend more time living and studying nature and considering yourself agnostic or atheist. Plenty welcome here if that is the case.

- - - Updated - - -

I would like to add that you may be perfectly satisfied participating in environmental groups, intentionally finding ways to spend more time living and studying nature and considering yourself agnostic or atheist. Plenty welcome here if that is the case.

Adama911
16 Jun 2018, 12:55
Wow thank you so much for your informative responses, especially yours Prickly Pear. The fact that you have both taken the time to respond to me is fantastic. I'm already getting great vibes from the group and can't wait to explore more.

I think what you've both said is food for thought. I keep thinking that somewhere I'll read something that'll tell me what I should be doing, or meet someone that will be my guide and teach me how to live, but the truth is, as you stated Prickly Pear, that I need to discover this myself. I'm totally prepared to do that also. I will start by saying that being alone in the country where it's quiet, surrounded by natural scents and raw energies is when I feel very at ease and my mental state is relaxed and connecting to everything around me. I can feel the energy and it wonderful. I want to explore that more and will look more in depth at what aspects of nature I connect with most to help me get started.

I will keep you updated.
x

anubisa
17 Jun 2018, 07:02
Welcome Adam! I agree with my fellow members. It takes a while to understand who you truly are. It sounds a bit that you have a bit of the Native American path in you, but then again I am not you. I cannot tell you what your path is. You have to discover it on your own. For example, when I began my change from Catholicism to Wicca as a teenager, the Celtic path drew me. Then I went to the Norse. Then finally I have found my right path is the Egyptian/Kemetic path for it is right for me. So just keep up going. It may take a while, but you'll discover it.

anunitu
17 Jun 2018, 07:45
I remember in my journey,one day thinking,I understand NOW. it was like a light went on in my head,and I KNEW!

faye_cat
17 Jun 2018, 08:23
Congratulations on beginning your journey! There are so many wonderful resources and people here to help you not be alone on it.

You've already gotten some great advice, and it sounds like you're super excited about this next step. So something I will say, is that so many people hurry to find a label (I am a pagan, I am a Witch, I am Wiccan, etc) that soon they feel disenchanted with their path simply because they decided to "stop" too soon instead of really delving into what they want from their life, in all aspects, spiritual and non.

Reading your post, I think you would do well to read the Tao te Ching, a lot of what you said rung that bell for me. It's more of a philosophy than religion, and it has a lot of wisdom to soak in.

Even if you aren't ready to decide on a label for yourself, words do have power. So start finding out the definitions and key words of paths, religions. Once you know what is out there, you can start to see if and how they apply to your life, and what you do and do not agree with.

Adama911
17 Jun 2018, 12:54
Thank you so much everyone. I think my problem is that I work fulltime and there simply aren't enough hours in my day to do the kind of research I want, and this really is a very very broad subject. Because my time is limited I want answers immediately... and it's not possible. I'm not really seeking a label as such but was more looking for a direction, based on my circumstances and lifestyle, so that I knew where to begin and can focus my precious time in one particular direction rather than months of sifting through irrelevant and confusing information to get nowhere.However, I do understand now that this will be a long journey, but I'm willing to take it as I know the benefits will be amazing, so that's a good thing.

I'll keep you all posted.

- - - Updated - - -

You've all made me think about myself, my experiences, my wishes (etc) and I do have some basic understanding of who i am (but nowhere near as much as I could). I know everything about me and what makes me happy is all nature related (which is hard when you live in the city). I feel connected with the world in its raw sense and feel, at certain times, that I can connect with the energies of living things if I make contact and really put my mind to it. I don't think it's magic as such, more just an awareness that we are all part of this same life force and in the bigger picture Mother Earth's energy cycles. I don't want to explore any magic as it doesn't interest me at all. I don't think I need it.
I don't really meditate but will always burn incense and can't relax without it.
I grow my own food and have a wide range of herbs, which all have medicinal and culinary uses. I like researching herbs and it's become a bit of a hobby. All my plants are grown in containers as I've made the most of my paved yard area. I get a real thrill from making life happen, nurturing it and watching it grow. It's truly beautiful.

That's what I know so far.
x

Rae'ya
19 Jun 2018, 19:49
Welcome to PF, Adam.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), the nature of paganism and it's many forms means that most of us end up in a perpetual journey of discovery and personal development. But that journey is infinitely rewarding and is in many ways, the destination as well as the path.

As far as practical advice for you... I strongly recommend that you look into bio-regional practices +/- animism. It can be a tricky place for newcomers to start, because we tend to skip a lot of the foundational and fundamentally 'pagan' things in favor of just connecting with the Earth. But it sounds like you have strong leanings in that direction. There are lots of books and resources that talk about the sorts of things you are describing, but they are often dressed up in names like 'environmental magick' or 'ecoshamanism' or 'garden witchery' or 'totemism' or 'animal magick' or things like that. So it can be difficult to know where to start.

I would also like you to remember that there is nature in the city. I am lucky in that I don't live in a large city, and my local city-spirit is not at all like the huge American cities. But I can still find the nature when I visit a large city. There is still nature and energy and spirits all around you when you are in a large city. There are a plethora of urban animal spirits to connect with (Pigeon, Seagull, Rat, Fox, Cat, Dog, Crow, Raven... any of the bird or pet or insect species that live in your city). There are the plants in your pots and the trees and plants in the local park and the weeds along the footpath/sidewalks. There are the seasonal changes that are specific to your city... the cycle of seasons, weather, birdlife, wind, rain, sunshine, growth, life, death. There is still the earth beneath your feet, even if it's beneath concrete, you can still send down your ground and connect with it. There is usually a river or body of water near most large cities. And rivers, oceans, lakes... they all have a spirit and an identity. And the city itself has a spirit, an identity, an energy to connect to. We don't all resonate with city spirits the way we do with the spirits of wild places, but give it a try, because it might surprise you.

Those of us unsatisfied with modern human life (and believe me, you aren't alone there) often have a romanticised idea of nature and living by nature. I would love nothing more than to build a cabin in the bush somewhere with my husband and leave modern society behind. But life on the land has it's own challenges and is not all smiles and joyfully walking barefoot under the trees. There is harsh weather, failed growing seasons, poisonous plants, contaminated water, drought, flood, extreme cold, extreme heat, lack of food, lack of resources, food spoiling because we have no way to store it, ill stock, ill pets, no access to doctors and vets, getting snowed in or bogged in and not being able to drive out our own driveway... hardships that we just don't know or understand in the towns and cities.

Being truly connected to nature is being able to find it even inside the concrete jungle. Connecting to Mother Earth is feeling her even when you are surrounded by four walls and sitting three storeys up. Open the window and smell the air, grow plants inside, collect dirt from places you visit, grow your own food, eat local produce, be environmentally responsible, walk barefoot when you can, visit the park, go outside and close your eyes and feel the wind on your skin, let natural light inside whenever you can. Nature is all around you. If you are on this planet, you are surrounded by nature. Even underground there is the earth around you, just on the other side of that concrete and steel wall (which in itself is a product of natural resources, of rock and metal and substrate). You just have to look for it and recognise it and reach out and touch it. It's easier to find it when you are sitting out in a wild place, but that is the challenge given to you as a city-dweller. You love nature? Well I challenge you to find the nature where you live, no matter how far away from wild places you are. And enjoy meeting that challenge! Revel in it. For if you can connect to nature in a city... you will never be away from it!

pillar
20 Jun 2018, 11:18
I kind of came from the same place. Not believing in god(s) but having a love and connection with nature. So I looked at paganism. I started celebrating the solstices and equinoxes.

This was fairly easy because I don't live in a town or city. I just walked out my door and started a small campfire, called some friends over, none were pagan but didn't mind, played some music and got drunk. I found things like solstices were also representative of nature. I have never gotten in to moon phases but I do try to look at the moon if I get a chance.

You might want to read Pagan Paths by Peter Jennings. It's not complete by any means but does give a good overview of paganism, and gives overviews of some paths.

I do celebrate Halloween also. I keep it kind of quiet and personal, Just a few people and a fire. I use this night to think of people that have passed away, and maybe send messeges to or talk to them if I feel like it.

I guess I'm sort of what's called an eclectic pagan. I pick and choose practices and beliefs I like from different paths and have created my own kind of hybrid path.

I like what you said about how you feel that things are connected. You might want to watch the documentary "I am" by Tom Shadyak(sp?) he directed the Ace Ventura movies but was left feeling empty inside, then he had an accident and started questioning his life and how it could be better. So decided to make a documentary about the search of how he could make it better. To me it was very profound, and spoke a lot to the connections I felt to nature, animals, other people.

Over the years I've been opened up to a belief in god(s). It wasn't really what I was setting out to achieve, it just sort of grew out my practices, research, and my past. I started thinking a lot about the college level Biology classes I took in high school. I had a great teacher he squeezed so much understanding of living things in to that class. And also, how interrelated biology is to the physics and chemistry. Basicaly I came to believe that properties and makeup of this universe was far to precisely tuned to be formed by simple chance.

I am currently a polydeist which means I believe multiple gods created the universe but then just let it go, and they do not change it in any way. Which means you can ask the gods for things but they will not do anything to help you. It's where I am now, and my belief can very well change. It's what makes paganism so great, there are no hard and fast rules. It's more of a journey of personal understanding than giving yourself up to something you are supposed to be.

another thing I came to realize is that many practices of the major religions have roots in ancient nature-centric pagan rituals and practices. Think Christmas Trees and Easter eggs. this helped me relate my beliefs to those of the people around me who are not pagan.

Sorry for rambling, hope this helps.

Have a great day.

Adama911
20 Jun 2018, 23:08
Thank you so much Rae'ya and Pillar.

Such thorough responses. The more I write and the more responses I get, I realise that I sound spoiled and ungrateful and majorly taking my life for granted. There are people all over the world suffering and I'm talking about this stuff. I am truly sorry and I assure you I am very thankful for what I do have. I'm just 35 years old and seriously have no idea who I am and what I'm about. I know what I like and what I would like but as a person I'm a mess. ha I'm actually quite lonely too so i'm sort of using this forum as my place to talk.

I do need to look at my city more and think about where I can find nature. It's EVERYWHERE! Sometimes you search for things far and wide just to realise that it's right on your doorstep. Often right under your nose. I just need a smack in the fact and a wake up call. ha

I think with me, I'll one day read something or find something out and it will all click into place in my head and I will know what I'm all about. I will research the areas you pointed out also.

Thanks again x

anunitu
21 Jun 2018, 05:18
Adama,I see you are 35,and advice from a 71 year old is it does take time. There can be expected ups and downs,BUT that is life in general not even considering beliefs. Over time you can expect "MANY" moments of clarity that will help you find your path. Time indeed is a roller coaster, so buckle up and enjoy the ride. remember to as they say stop and smell the roses along the way. Gather shinny stones and objects,that may harbor secrets and wonders.