Converting To Paganism; A Journey Home

Converting To Paganism; A Journey Home

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Most followers of a Pagan religion are not born into or raised following a Pagan path. There are varied reasons as to why one chooses to follow a Pagan religion, just as there are varied
traditions and practices within Pagan religion. Among these various traditions and practices there are commonly shared beliefs such as respecting all life, the honoring of male and female energies, a Father God and a Mother Goddess and that all things within the universe are interconnected. Pagan religions also share an ethic of self responsibility in doing as you choose, so long as it brings no harm to anyone or anything.Among the first hand accounts of a group of practicing Pagans of varied levels and years of experience, the majority were raised within the teachings of main world religions such as, Catholic, Baptist, Christian and Protestant religions.

One first hand account is that of someone that could be said to have been born into Paganism, Daphne B, a 49 year old, who feels she is not Wiccan nor technically a Witch, but more Episcopagan,considering herself as a nature based but starry eyed mystical type stated, “ I come from a long line of traditional wise woman healers and herbalists from Appalachia.My ancestry are mixed from the British Isles, France, Germany, Shawnee and Cherokee, my personal motto pretty much sums up my attitude,,hold all sacred”
All at some point questioned the beliefs and practices of these main world religions due to a
feeling that their own beliefs and ideas did not agree with those of main world religions, Shara H, a Wiccan since her early teenage years stated, “ Christianity in general, started not to feel right” Denice Gold, a 64 year old who was raised in a Baptist household and is currently a coven

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member, High Priestess and Wicca teacher stated, “I always wondered how we can all be sinners, everyone of us? How can a baby be born a sinner.”3 Jamie S, a 26 year old , baptized Catholic and raised in a Christian household, stated, “Why, if God is loving, are we supposed to fear him and why does a god that wants us to love one another tell us to wage wars. No one had an answer I could agree with.”Jamie is currently a practicing solitary Witch of two years and soon to be student of Beginning Wicca 101 at The Pagan On line Campus, a reputable on line metaphysical educational facility which has been said to have a dedicated, knowledgeable staff of instructors,most favorably noted for his easy going humor that makes learning enjoyable is the facilities Wicca class instructor.
Timothy.M.Redfern,also known as Tigerdancer de Cannibius a 46 year old, who was first
exposed to Wicca ten years ago and is currently a solitary practitioner of Wicca for less than a
year, stated, “I was raised fundamentalist Christian and had every intention of going into the
ministry...at age sixteen I adopted a hippie lifestyle. I have found that the hippie philosophies I
learned 25 and 30 years ago fit hand in glove with the beliefs and precepts of Wicca.”
Lacking satisfactory answers, those who questioned the differences of their own belief and
feelings of what made sense in comparison with the teachings of main world religions, searched for their own answers. FP, also known as Lady Bleu, stated, “I started looking more into the aspect of the Holy Spirit that had been taught to me, not mich was found other than “it” was all around us and in everything.” Lisa C, a 44 year old student of Wicca and tarot, stated, “I felt the need to learn and develop myself spiritually.”
Many of those who found Pagan religion in their search for answers to define their spirituality felt that Paganism gave a name to an unidentified spiritual calling within them. R.T, also known as Morgainne DragonMoon, a 51 year old practicing Celtic Eceltic Wiccan for twelve years ,who has attained third degree rank of High Priestess/Elder, stated, “I had been reading cards and working with pendulums since my early teens, I read up on Occult subjects, dreamed dreams, and saw visions; but I did not think there was anyone else quite like me out there.” FP, also known as Lady Blue, stated, “The more I studied and learned the more I realized this was what had been missing in my life, I embrace the Goddess in a way that I now know has always been inside me, I just did not know what is was that I was feeling.”A 33 year old known only as Ravenhawk Shadowfeather, who is a teacher and Elder Priestess of the coven Hoof and Horn Dragonsway,Stated, “I heard the call of the ancients when I was very young.” Krish H, also known as Turtle, a 58 year old member of an Eclectic Pagan circle, who has been officially a practicing Pagan Witch for fifteen years, stated, “One day, as I like to say, the Goddess smacked me upside the head and said “look over here child” so I looked and found there were people who believed as I was coming to believe.” Those who found Pagan religion and define themselves as Pagan, regardless of the Pagan tradition they practice, did not decide one day to convert from a main world religion to a Pagan religion. The Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary defines the word convert, in part, as “Someone who changes their beliefs or habits” and as “to cause something to change in form, character or opinion.” In this context to claim that any of the first hand accounts that are the sources of this paper, are people who converted to Paganism, is unfitting.
Most describe their embracing of a Pagan religion as a feeling of coming home. Jamie S, stated, “When I began studying Paganism and Wicca, it truly did feel like I was coming home.”Mary S, a 35 year old Eclectic solitary Wiccan who has been practicing for five years,stated,“like many Pagans before me, I have always been attracted to Paganism, even before I knew it existed as a religion.” Dough H, a 57 year old Wiccan practicing for about eight years, who while searching for answers regarding his spirituality, found a book called “A Witches Bible” and stated, “...everything feel into place.” Denice Gould stated, “I am sixty four now and it has taken me quite a while to find this path that I have walked many times before.”Pamela W, a 41 year old Wiccan, who, in her spiritual search, learned about a variety of religions. Currently raises her children as Wiccans and has her own coven that focuses on teaching, stated, “After trying on so many faiths, I found the one that I could believe in, Wicca is the only faith for me. I live my faith, it is not a fad.” Derick V, also known as Ghostwalker, a 66 year old Pagan, stated , “I found that the ancient paths of the druidic way lay beneath my human footprint, and then I saw something that few ever see, the pure white light of the radiant beauty of forgiveness and love.”Jazzmin Skye, a 41 year old Eceltic Wiccan solitary practitioner for about eight years but feels she has been a Witch all her life, stated, “The calling was just too strong for me to ignore it any longer, I had to act on it, I picked up my first book on Wicca, opened it and a light came on. I felt immediately like I already knew this path, something came to life inside me as I read through the book and I felt a stirring inside me like I had never known before, I felt..Oh my goodness Why did I wait so long to come home.” As previously stated, the word convert is unfitting to describe those who define themselves as Pagans, although they were raised within main world religions.

A fitting statement is that those who define themselves as practicing followers of a Pagan
religion, became increasingly aware of a calling within themselves to define their beliefs and
feelings. Finding Pagan religion was simply a revelation that others shared these beliefs and
feelings. The calling within was now definable. R.T, also known as Morgainne DragonMoon,
stated, “One of the things I expect you to hear in your survey is that the craft felt like home, I
know it did for me, and every time I get together with brothers and sisters and we tell these stories almost everyone says...and I came home.”This indicated that in her experience, not only has she herself felt this sense of coming home that many describe they have found in Paganism, but has first handedly heard many echo this description of feeling as if they had come home in defining themselves as Pagans. Therefore, it can be concluded that Pagans do not by definition convert to Paganism but rather, through an awakening and self revelation, they journey home.

Resources

1.Daphne B, first hand account given in January,2008.

2.Shara H, first hand account given on December,22,2007

3,15. Denice Gold, first hand account given in November,2007

4,12. Jamie S, first hand account given on November,24,2007

5.Timothy M Redfern, a.k.a. Tigerdancer de Cannibius, first hand account given in January,2008

6 , 9. FP, a.k.a. Lady Bleu, first hand account given on December,21,2007

7. Lisa C, first hand account given on November,24,2007

8 , 19. RT, a.k.a. Morgainne DragonMoon, first hand account given on November,24,2007

10. Ravenhawk Shadowfeather, first hand account given on November,27,2007

11. Kris H, a.k.a. Turtle, first hand account given on November,25,2007

13.Mary S, first hand account given on December,24,2007

14.Dough H, first hand account given on December,24,2007

16. Pamela W, first hand account given on November,27,2007

17. Derick V, a.k.a. Ghostwalker, first hand account given on December,24,2007

18. Jazzmin Skye, first hand account given on January,18,2008
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