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Thread: My horrible confusion. Your input is very important! Your stories are appreciated!

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    Newbie seafoam's Avatar
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    My horrible confusion. Your input is very important! Your stories are appreciated!

    Well, here I am. I feel so isolated from anyone of any sort of Pagan belief that I've been lead to these forums; and hopefully, I'll find a comfortable place here to talk about things for a very, very long time.
    If you can keep reading, I would really appreciate it; I'll try to make this brief.

    Allright, I'll spare you the details of my story and give you what I feel are the most important points of it. Excuse me if this sounds familiar; born and raised christian- very devout christian family. I always had my doubts and even as a child felt sort of outcast in church. It never interested me much and a lot of the questions I posed even in sunday school never got answered. As I grew up, I changed quite a bit. I started listening to metal; Amon Amarth, things like that, and don't bash me for this one but Cradle of Filth was my favorite band for a long time in middleschool/highschool. I guess this is an important point because the words to many songs captivated me, Gods and demons and mythological beings and strange places. Hymns of a sort. My mind was first drawn away from the dusty stories in those thin pages bound in leather on my bookshelf that I'd had drilled into me for years.

    Now! Further down the line. At sixteen my friend 'committed' to Satan. She didn't 'sell her soul' or anything but rather wrote up some sort of devotional letter, signed her name in blood and burned it in a ritual and I was MORTIFIED. I begged her not to, actually. I was still Christian no matter how doubtful. But then, slowly, I started reading further into it. In particular, a website where she got this entire idea, which some of you may know what I'm talking about but I'll be polite and not name it . It all made so much sense to me! It clicked! When I was a child I would go under my blankets, close my eyes and pretend I was traveling in my mind until I fell asleep- astral projecting! I would sit with my hands pretending I had some energy passing in between them, mimicking cartoons of course but I thought I could feel it for sure and this told me that yes, I was feeling it and this is one of the most basic beginner practices for energy work/magic. My sympathy for Satan even as a Christian was answered; he was actually a GOOD god, Enki, and all of his demons were various other Gods, And they had been demonized by those wishing for power long ago, and we were told magic, meditation, any sort of spiritual transcendence, was evil. I always wondered, if Satan is supposed to be the great deceiver, why are so many people Christian/Catholic?

    Anyway... I was stunned by this new religion, committed myself, and practiced secretly for awhile. I had many close calls. My incense set off a smoke alarm and my parents almost found my whole altar set up. My mom opened my diary just 'out of curiosity' and found instead the diary I asked her to buy me was a black book. That was bad. My life started going really well though and I felt this energy interlaced throughout it that wasn't there before, I felt fulfilled and answered and learned a great many things in a short amount of time. I had all the things I wanted. It was perfect.

    However, for whatever reason, my devotion/high on this tapered out over time. One thing is, I started feeling very afraid and paranoid all of the time. I don't know why. During rituals, I didn't find comfort; I was extremely scared!So, I just sort of stopped practicing. We lost our house and my previously dreamy teen relationship turned abusive and I got in a bit of trouble and had to be homeschooled and my mother started drinking again and wow, things went from pristine to shit. I don't attribute any of this to my new-found religion, but I do think it all distracted me from it a bit.

    Furthermore, at 17/18 I did mushrooms for the first time and, wow. I feel like these played a HUGE role in dealing the final blows to any of my religious beliefs. I felt certain that no small minded religion could describe what was really at work in the universe.
    And I had so many questions now! I read a very well done, thorough debunking of the entire website that sparked my beliefs.

    I can say now I do believe in astral projection, the benefits of meditation, magic. Those things for certain. I THINK I believe in some sort of higher power but what, I'm not sure. I will say the idea that all of the gods over countless cultures and religions are the same beings, just with different names and attributes depending on how the culture perceived/perceives him/her, made and still makes the most sense to me and I suppose in some ways this makes Satanism a good choice, because in modern times a bit more of a modernized religion that still carries in it some important old traditions is important. But I'm not sure if anything is there at all. Maybe my senses have been dulled due to lack of meditation- oh, you know what? Just now, I realized, when I started smoking pot a lot in high school, around 16, I started feeling less spiritual! Strange. I'm not a 'druggie'- i did smoke, and I did try shrooms a few times, but I justified them as natural. I stopped smoking a year ago, so let's not debate drugs in any context EXCEPT their effect on you in relation to your spirit.

    So here I am now, I have this gaping hole like so many humans that I want to fill with some kind of spiritual belief. I respect all religious beliefs but I know that Chistianity/Judaism/Islam aren't for me. I love aspects of Hinduism and Buddhism though I feel Buddhism is more philosophy than religion. And of course, I love Paganism Despite my great confusion, and the loneliness that comes with it. I believe all old pagan religions have some truth to them. I suppose I've posed a lot of questions here and many of which I'll have to answer myself; but, please tell me, what is your viewpoint as a Pagan- do you believe all Pagan beliefs have some truth? Also, what do you worship/follow? I have no idea what people do- do you believe in Greek Gods, Roman, Egyptian, Norse? What sort of tradition do you follow? And if you are feeling open enough; what is your story? What great experiences have you had spiritually? And do you belief there is a distinct difference between gods in different traditions?

    I hope this all makes sense. Sorry for droning on but I would SO appreciate any and all answers and will read your story no matter how lengthy. Thank you so much.

    seafoam

  2. #2
    Time Lord Apostle Malflick's Avatar
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    Re: My horrible confusion. Your input is very important! Your stories are appreciated

    I'm the worst person here to welcome you, probably, but welcome to the forums! I sat there awkwardly going "should I post? What if they're like "AHHH" and run away?" but that's me being silly. I'm Malflick, some Christian dude, my girlfriend is a Pagan (which I why I came here, to learn about her beliefs more) and I hang out here because the people are awesome.

    I can't really answer your questions, but this is a big accepting place and I'm sure you'll get many fine responses. You've had quite the journey to this forum, so I really hope you like it here.

    anyways, welcome again !

  3. #3
    Newbie seafoam's Avatar
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    Re: My horrible confusion. Your input is very important! Your stories are appreciated

    Thanks No worries, popping in to say hi is nice too! And thanks for the welcome.
    It's good to see someone so tolerant of other religions!

  4. #4
    Copper Member Aeran's Avatar
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    Re: My horrible confusion. Your input is very important! Your stories are appreciated

    and don't bash me for this one but Cradle of Filth was my favorite band for a long time in middleschool/highschool
    Some of COF's music, especially their old stuff, is awesome, and they write amazingly vivid and poetic lyrics Cruelty and the Beast & Midian are two of my favorite albums.

    I wouldn't worry about the confusion and lack of focus, that's totally normal when you first dig into the spiritual stuff after being away from it for so long. Best thing I can recommend is to read and study anything that sounds interesting, and a lot of things that don't, take up some kind of practice, even if it's only basic meditation, and eventually things will settle down as you reach a greater understanding and you'll find your path. You can't force it, just have to let things progress naturally.

    what is your viewpoint as a Pagan- do you believe all Pagan beliefs have some truth?
    Well I probably don't qualify as pagan, at least in the common sense of the word, but yeah, I believe that most religions reflect at least some aspect of a greater truth.

    Also, what do you worship/follow? I have no idea what people do- do you believe in Greek Gods, Roman, Egyptian, Norse?
    I don't currently work with any specific deities, although I have once or twice in the past. I do pray occasionally to God, who I believe to be a kind of overarching universal consciousness which we are all projections of, with the various deities being personified aspects of that consciousness which represent different forces or fields of human endeavor.

    What sort of tradition do you follow?
    Hermeticism. Although I practice Qi Gong on top of that, and occasionally some other eastern practices.

    And if you are feeling open enough; what is your story?
    In short: raised nominally Christian, stopped going to Church at 10, discovered occult/new age section of the library by 11 or 12, read a lot, dabbled a little in Wicca and the like, but was too young/undisciplined to take it seriously enough to override the strong skeptical instinct my upbringing had instilled. Reading and dabbling continued until 17, when I went to Uni, started reading a lot of philosophy and became an avowed atheist. This continued for 5 or 6 years, when various life circumstances and a few odd experiences prompted a major shift in worldview. I ended up digging up some of my old books, reading them over again with a more mature mindset, and decided to give things another go. Started exploring and experimenting with different systems until I landed in my current one.

    What great experiences have you had spiritually?
    Probably the most intense and meaningful I'm comfortable talking about publicly was when I had a kundalini experience while meditating. You get used to talking about 'energy' in occult discussions, and I've experienced different energies and forces during my other practices, so I thought I had a good handle on them, but the kundalini energy was something else entirely. It felt like someone had connected one end of a power cord to some kind of cosmic wall socket and the other end to my perineum, bursting waves of cool pressure and burning tingling vibrations rolling out through the body and up as far as the side of my neck and head, body drenched in sweat, limbs twitching and shaking. I lost track of time completely for a while, and then it was over, leaving me with residue energy pulsing through my body and a feeling of calm, connected, peaceful bliss unlike anything I've ever felt (without drugs, that is). The sheer intensity of it struck me, there was nothing ambiguous or subjective about it at all.



    And do you belief there is a distinct difference between gods in different traditions?
    I'm not sure about this one. I've spent a lot of time pondering the question of deities, trying to figure out to what extent they have independent existences, as opposed to just being anthropomorphized identities we project onto universal forces, but I haven't managed to land on an answer.

  5. #5
    Grey Warden Rowanwood's Avatar
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    Re: My horrible confusion. Your input is very important! Your stories are appreciated

    Welcome to PF. I'm not going to specific answer your questions, since I'm a Pantheist and my opinions are a little different than your average pagan...but let me just say that what you've been through sounds mightily familiar to me. The search itself is an incredibly important part of the spiritual process. Don't let it stress you so much...just flow with it. It can be very exciting.

  6. #6
    Cat Freak Gleb's Avatar
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    Re: My horrible confusion. Your input is very important! Your stories are appreciated

    It's an interesting story. There are many cases here of "raised Christian" thing.
    I also had trouble with my religion at first. I highly recommend that you explore different paths, and choose the most suitable one.
    The common purpose is quite the same, but principles are different. Best of luck!
    "Fair means that everybody gets what they need. And the only way to get that is to make it happen yourself."



    Since I adore cats, I might write something strange or unusual in my comment.Cats are awesome!!! ^_^

  7. #7
    Newbie seafoam's Avatar
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    Re: My horrible confusion. Your input is very important! Your stories are appreciated

    I wouldn't worry about the confusion and lack of focus, that's totally normal when you first dig into the spiritual stuff after being away from it for so long. Best thing I can recommend is to read and study anything that sounds interesting, and a lot of things that don't, take up some kind of practice, even if it's only basic meditation, and eventually things will settle down as you reach a greater understanding and you'll find your path. You can't force it, just have to let things progress naturally.
    Thank you, Aeran, that is really, REALLY excellent advice; ditto Rowanwood. And thank you for taking your time to respond to me; I really appreciate it. Don't worry if your beliefs are a bit off from what anyone else believes. I'm interested in all of it. So whatever you're comfortable sharing, I'd love to hear.
    It's an interesting story. There are many cases here of "raised Christian" thing.
    I also had trouble with my religion at first. I highly recommend that you explore different paths, and choose the most suitable one.
    The common purpose is quite the same, but principles are different. Best of luck!
    Thank you for reading.
    I think that a lot of people attribute it as rebellion? I don't think that's very accurate though, a lot of people are smarter than that.

    What would you say the purpose is? Being at peace with yourself and life?

  8. #8
    Cat Freak Gleb's Avatar
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    Re: My horrible confusion. Your input is very important! Your stories are appreciated

    Yes, this is mostly the purpose. People may also study different paths and beliefs in order to rise spiritually, or just for their own knowledge.
    "Fair means that everybody gets what they need. And the only way to get that is to make it happen yourself."



    Since I adore cats, I might write something strange or unusual in my comment.Cats are awesome!!! ^_^

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    Grey Warden Rowanwood's Avatar
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    Re: My horrible confusion. Your input is very important! Your stories are appreciated

    I think that you answered your own question about why in your original post. You feel like something is missing. That's the primary reason people flock to any religious practice.

    I was born into a lapsed Catholic family, though I did plenty of church with the grandparents. For lack of other options, I was a freeform Christian, visiting a lot of different sect/brands. Due to a particularly nasty Lutheran clergyman, I left the church in one fateful moment and started a search for the right path for me. I played a lot with the occult and the paranormal, I danced with Taoism and Zen Buddhism. Then I tried Solitary Wicca and various other forms of neopaganism over the years. Eventually that morphed into my current state of soft polytheistic, hedge Pantheist witchcraft, which is a heck of a giant title but not nearly as complex as it sounds.

    What it really comes down to is that there's nothing wrong with really throwing yourself into a practice. Its the only way you can really learn about it and see if it matches what you already know, even if you don't know you know it yet. It's normal to get a lot of satisfaction from something at first and then find that it falls short. That just means the search is still on.

    It's a journey.

  10. #10
    Member Tarn's Avatar
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    Re: My horrible confusion. Your input is very important! Your stories are appreciated

    This is the day that I have been waiting for since I first put my foot to the pagan portion of my path! The day when I would see someone having as much trouble as I did when I first started. Oh happy Day!

    Sorry, that's just my crude way of saying "You're not alone".

    May I start off with some advice that has helped me quite a bit? As you begin to learn about the different Pagan beliefs, take time to un-learn Christianity. I'm going to burn in hell for that one. What I mean is that Christianity is such a dogmatic and enforced belief that you are told what to think; what to feel; how to act; how to not act; and what to believe. If you have a question, then the answer is told to you... period! And yes, I know, I had a lot of questions that never got answered either. Well they got answered by my being told not to worry about it, or that I was going to hell for even wondering (whatever I was wondering).

    For example: I was shown a picture of "The Devil". Oddly, I was shown this very same picture in different congregations in many different locations, even in Scotland. Imagine my reaction when I first came to be a Pagan (which by the way I will go to hell for being), and I learned about the Pagan God. So I googled Him and guess what I saw... that same picture of "The Devil". Talk about being confused; I didn't know if I wanted to just mess my pants or pee down my leg.

    I had to unlearn what I had been taught as a Christian. And, as I learn about Pagan ways, I am still unlearning my Christian ways. And one of those ways is that there is no one in the Pagan realm that is going to tell you "You have to do it this way". Nobody is going to drag you by the hand and shove the information down your throat. Which is, actually, quite nice. There are plenty of people who will tell you what they believe. But it is up to you to figure out what you believe.

    Now let's make that a little more complicated. The number of Deities is mind boggling. And most of those Deities have a number of ways of being worshiped (to use familiar terms). So don't get discouraged when someone does not tell you which, exact, direction to take; and don't get upset with them either. It can be quite frustrating, believe me I know. Especially when every single, solitary, confounded pagan believes differently than the others. Sheesh!

    Trust me, you are not alone in how you feel, or your confusion. Welcome to the club... we've got jackets!

    Learn what you can and explore. You will probably find yourself following one tradition (think denomination) for a while; only to end up following a different one later. That's not unusual. I'm sure that in a couple of years you will look back and see how your beliefs have changed from what they are now. Learn about what interests you at the moment. Look at it like going into a smorgasbord, you try this and that and these. You find out that this stinks, but you like that and these. At least you know not to order this any more.

    Gleb said something that I believe is very important:
    Quote Originally Posted by Gleb View Post
    ... People may also study different paths and beliefs in order to rise spiritually, or just for their own knowledge...
    Knowledge! Don't just study your own tradition. Look at others. See how they view the same issues. One of the things that makes being a Pagan so difficult is that there are so many different viewpoints on the same subject. And one of the most wonderful things about being a Pagan is that there are so many different viewpoints on the same subject. In other words, look at things from as many sides as you can. That way you will be able to find the answers you seek much easier.

    As for worshiping Satan... I have not looked into that yet. For starters I don't believe that He exists in the way that I was taught. I don't believe that ANYONE, or ANYTHING is completely good or completely bad. I even questioned that when I was still a Christian (and now I found my answer). Are you going to hell for following Satan? I doubt it because I doubt that hell exists. Unless you believe that what I call the "Underworld" was converted into hell by the Christians. Then Yes, you will go to hell, someday. But it's NOTHING like you've been told that it is. It's our real home. It's where we go when we are done with our vacation here. In other words, there is no eternal lake of fire for you to go to. But there IS the hell of being in a shopping mall on Black Friday... I'd avoid that if I were you.

    Follow the path (think worship) that you feel is right. Don't be afraid to ask questions. And don't be afraid to feel at peace with yourself. Think of it as if you had been in the Army. You had to march on hard pavement in heavy boots. You had to march over hill and dale in heavy boots. You had to march here and there. And now you are out of the Army. You don't have to march in heavy boots. You don't have to march, you can walk, or run as you see fit. You can wear boots, shoes, sandals or just go barefoot. Your path may be uphill at times, but you don't have to march up it. In other words, things are a bit less stressful on this path, so enjoy it. Follow your path and see where it goes.

    Oh yeah. Do I believe in Greek Gods as well as Celtic Gods? Yes. I may not follow them; but that does not mean that they don't exist. I even believe in Jehovah... just not in the way I used to.

    I hope this helps.

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