Is Paganism For Me? (1October2013)

Congratulations! You’ve made the first step of free thought by wondering if you truly belong in your hone taught faith! Even though it sounds like nothing, its something that plenty of people have to deal with on a daily basis. Feeling that even though they’re making their parents and family happy that they are really lying to them, putting on a mask to hide their identity. The fact that you have made this first step in wondering if another faith is for you shows that you are becoming more self aware and brave enough to consider the unknown. Few are brave enough to think such thoughts, even fewer leave the faith they grew up with, feeling as if they are in a prison they can’t escape from.

You must ask yourself why Paganism? Of all the faiths out there that are more popular and well known, what made you choose this hidden and oft misunderstood spirituality?

Before I left my native Christianity for eco-Paganism I was terrified, all the thoughts that were ingrained in my head made me reluctant to leave, fearing the worst. I was but a teen then, in tenth grade to be more precise, and boy was it a momentous occasion. I had it with Christianity and felt that I got no spiritual fulfillment being on my knees praying to a God I was told existed but never felt. No matter how I prayed I always felt restrained, held back by family tradition of going to church, praying, all that jazz Christians are supposed to do. Adhering like a robot to its commands, not thinking, not questioning, just acting- I had it.

You may or may not be at this point, but if you are, I heavily stress that you weigh your options carefully and not make rash and knee-jerk resopnses. We have enough people old and young who jump into esoteric faiths like Wicca or witchcraft just to make a statement, not for real spiritual reasons.

Do you think you could put up with your family if they somehow found out about your conversion? Even if you’re really secretive that doesn’t mean that its impossible for them to find out. All it takes is to see one Facebook post, one journal entry, one little finding to unravel all the secrecy you cloaked yourself in. You need to know that without a doubt you can handle whatever they throw at you no matter how negative it may be. “But DeShadara”,you may say, “my parents love me and wouldn’t do anything to make me feel bad or ashamed.” I’m glad you feel that way, and you know your parents better than I, so you can speak of them more accurately than I,but remember that things aren’t always how they seem. If they have strong religious convictions and you come to them talking how you’re involved in another faith then things may not be as strawberry and roses as you think.

This goes even farther though. Do you think you could deal with the pressure given to you by others who will try to convert you to Christianity?

I’m not trying to scare anyone out of wanting to be Pagan, whether that be Wiccan, witch, Druid, Asatru or what have you. I’m trying to make sure that you, the perspective convert, know what you’re getting yourself into, there’s no point opening the door if you have no idea of what’s on the other side. To make that next step into conversion means that certain things will change and could change if you decide on actually doing it, I just want to give you forewarning.

So once you figure out if you want to be in the faith you need to figure out why you want to. What sets paganism apart from your current faith? What rules, traditions, way of thinking, customs make things so unworldly terrible that you feel the need to leave it? Now is a perfect tine to consider these things because you can really give yourself a reality check. Everyone has their own reason, and you don’t have to explain yourself to anyone, but you will soon question why you made this life altering choice in the first place. Better prepare yourself by packing up everything you will already need than to go into the journey wishing you had.

Once you’ve crossed that hurtle, plus whatever else you think you need to address, you need to do your reasearch. There are plenty of good and bad sites out there just as there are good and bad pagans, you just need to have the discerning eye to question everything. I like to say walk in with the highest and strongest question mark on your face, ask why something is the way it is and the history/story behind it. ALWAYS QUESTION even the most mundane of pagan topics because everything has a story tied to it. Never just take things as they are because of customs, that’s taking the easy and ignorant way out. Even though I could tell you sites that I personally liked I used on my journey up until now, that would be taking away the thrill of the search, so if you think you’re ready to take the plunge then its time to start hunting!