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Christians with Pagan leanings - Page 2

post #21 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenneology View Post
OT: but have you visited either a Baha'i or Unitarian congregation near you? They are generally both of those.

Can you also describe what you mean by cultural appropriation? I'm interested.
We tried two different UU churches. At both, staff members (the pastor at one and the RE director at another) told me that my daughter was not allowed at services.

What I mean by cultural appropriation is when I see white Americans take practices without permission from other cultures without any understand of the context.

Obviously, not all Pagans do this. I think it's very possible to be Pagan, not Christian, and not appropriating other cultures. However, for ME, I found it very difficult for me to find an authentic faith without focusing on my childhood faith, particularly the faith in which I was raised and the culture in which I was raised, to the exclusion of others.
post #22 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by boigrrrlwonder View Post
We tried two different UU churches. At both, staff members (the pastor at one and the RE director at another) told me that my daughter was not allowed at services.
I have had MUCH luck with a United Methodist Church I've been attending for over a year now (grew up Episcopalian) - they have been the ONLY church i have found that has a strong children/youth ministry and where children are never made out of place in any part of services/etc.. it really has been a great find/fit for us!

That said - HI! I would say I'm a bit christian, a bit "pagan", though i would say pagan with christian leanings... though right now its just a mess with the year we've had . But i became much more interested in my... need (not the word i want - but it will do) in following what seemed to me to be instinct in observing/celebrate nature, when my oldest was about 2 1/2.
post #23 of 165
Quote:
Does anyone have any book suggestions on where to start? There are lots of books out there, but I'm not sure how to weed through them and find relevant information.
bump--i'm interested too.
post #24 of 165
Thread Starter 
Bookwise there is nothing really on Christopaganism. I think you are going to have to read on both subjects individually and then sort of combine.

I really liked the books Witch Crafting and Book of Shadows by Phyllis Curott. The latter is an autobiography of sorts of how she came to the path.

I REALLY love Goddess Initiation and Be A Goddess by Francesca DeGrandis. Even if I don't use her stuff directly it is very inspiring.

Of course The Spiral Dance by Starhawk.

I haven't read it but I want to read The Dance of the Dissedent Daughter.

Again because there are no books on Christopaganism the above may all be *too* heavy on the one side. Read them and take what you can to add to your own path.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

I am wondering what each of our Christian-Pagan ways look like. I need to think on this more for myself but I would love to hear yours!
post #25 of 165
Thread Starter 
Dh just reminded me of The Earth Path also by Starhawk. Duh!
post #26 of 165
I've requested Earth Path from the library!

Hey Magstphil, if you are aspiring to be a writer, there's an idea for a book for you, topic: Christopagan
post #27 of 165
I just found this book that I've also requested from the library.

Celebrating the Earth: A Year of Pagan Holidays

Solstice is coming up!

The day before the Solstice, I was asking to arrange a musical number for our church service. What did I pick? The Holly and the Ivy.

I sang it in my high school choir and my instructor told us about its origins. It was written in the time when Christianity was aiming to convert pagan traditions by melding and reassigning symbols. Holly and Ivy were pagan symbols reassigned to represented Mary, the mother of Jesus. And its symbolic of birth: the red of blood, the prick of labor pains, the blossom of a new life. Love it! And so excited to sing it!
post #28 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by boigrrrlwonder View Post
We tried two different UU churches. At both, staff members (the pastor at one and the RE director at another) told me that my daughter was not allowed at services.

What I mean by cultural appropriation is when I see white Americans take practices without permission from other cultures without any understand of the context.

Obviously, not all Pagans do this. I think it's very possible to be Pagan, not Christian, and not appropriating other cultures. However, for ME, I found it very difficult for me to find an authentic faith without focusing on my childhood faith, particularly the faith in which I was raised and the culture in which I was raised, to the exclusion of others.
How old was your daughter??

Thanks for explaining cultural approbation, the UUs and the Baha'i like to do this but I would say its an approach where they are outside looking in, instead of jumping in and taking what they want for themselves.
post #29 of 165
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenneology View Post
I just found this book that I've also requested from the library.

Celebrating the Earth: A Year of Pagan Holidays

Solstice is coming up!

The day before the Solstice, I was asking to arrange a musical number for our church service. What did I pick? The Holly and the Ivy.

I sang it in my high school choir and my instructor told us about its origins. It was written in the time when Christianity was aiming to convert pagan traditions by melding and reassigning symbols. Holly and Ivy were pagan symbols reassigned to represented Mary, the mother of Jesus. And its symbolic of birth: the red of blood, the prick of labor pains, the blossom of a new life. Love it! And so excited to sing it!
I LOVE that song! I love how The Medaeval Baebes sing it, too.

I have that same author's book "The Witch In Every Woman" and I almost suggested it because it is a very uplifting book for women and I think I remember someone here saying they were looking fro something more woman-based(???). Anywho good book! I'll have to add this one to my list too.
post #30 of 165
I can't remember if anyone else already mentioned them in this thread, but I'm currently lurking /occasionally posting on a couple of groups on Yahoo that might be of interest to some here: Christian Witch , the Christian Witch course, and Catholic Folk Magic
post #31 of 165
I find myself becoming very frustrated spiritually. I believe in Christ, yet I feel like my religion has been bastardized to the point which is would be unrecognizable to anyone from the time of Jesus. I struggle with having been raised VERY Christian...and now finding myself drawn to pagan traditions. I worry that the two cannot be mixed...yet I think that fear is simply my parents influence screaming in my ears.

What I find alluring about paganism is the observances of the seasons and the reverence for the world around us. I have felt cut off from the outside for a very long time and very much would like to be much more nature-centered for the sake of my daughter. I also tire of the constant male vision of God that we are force-fed. God is both and neither! It bothers me that using the term Goddess would probably be seen as inappropriate in almost all Christian circles...

It's at least nice to know that I'm not the only one struggling with this stuff.
post #32 of 165
I was a witch 6 years ago and am now a Christian. At first it was hard to reconcile, for me it was about leaving things up to God rather than taking them upon myself. But I still need to connect with nature, and that is not a problem. I'm finding it really satisfying to my desire to ebb and flow with the seasons and connect with the life on this earth by keeping my vegetable garden, feeding the soil, watching for planting time, planting, helping to sustain it, harvesting, eating and preserving and using medicines, mulching up the plants to rot and planting cover crops to tuck the garden in for winter. Just getting outside each day, too. Also my 3 year old loves to observe the moon cycles and the weather so I do that with him.
post #33 of 165
Thread Starter 
Back to answer my own question...

My Christo-Pagan path looks a lot like other's here. I am about revering the Earth we have been given to be stewards of and about connecting to her as I do believe she has a spirit and that she is our mother in a sense. I guess you could say I view the Earth as our wet nurse (do you think that would be correct, Jenni and Jenne?). I seek to follow the seasons and the moon cycles by being observant and by celebrating them. I of course believe in being gentle with her and giving back.

I also believe that the Earth and her creatures have a conection. Some see this as "mystical" but I view it more as logical. Animals generally sense things before we do because of that uninterupted conection. People who follow the rats out of a sinking ship aren't using magic in the typical sense of the word but there is something there that shouldn't be ignored, IMO. I view magic/divinition as most of the time being awesome powers of observation and connectedness though of course they aren't always. I also think there is a lot to be learned about us ashhuman beings and our nature in myths and legends. Symbolism is a great learning tool and magnifying glass.

Anywho I hope that all made some sort of sense. Basically I want to live more fully connected to nature through the wheel of the year, moon cycles (this is for me too for my own cycles), observance, etc etc. I also want to be more aware of the female/mother aspect of the universe and the male/father. I do believe in a Goddess type figure but I don't pray to Her. Still, just being aware can open up so many doors.
post #34 of 165
I would be so interested in continuing this conversation. I was raised Christian, but about 14 yrs ago I really started questioning my religion - and I have not stopped questioning it. Today I would describe myself as a very open person. I draw strength from Buddhism, Christianity, and Earth-based spirituality. More recently I have been digging into Earth-based spirituality. For the last 2 years I have been using a We'Moon calendar, but this year I found the Lunaria calendar - it has a bit more space to keep a journal of sorts. That would be a good place to start for those interested in keeping the moon cycles.
Also there's a good article at http://margaretwendt.com/columns.php#copy
Tracy posts her knew articles on MDC and this one is about the New Moon in Sagittarius. This would also be a good place to start for those who are interested in La Luna and her cycles.
I also have a deep rooted interest in Native spirituality. My family has native ancestry and I have had an interest in native spirituality since I was a child.
I have found it hard to really embrace other religions with my whole heart - mostly because I hear decades of relatives screaming in my ears (as a previous poster mentioned). But I do know that I am a very open and loving person and I find inspiration in lots of different philosophies.
Oh, btw, magstphil - The Dance of the Dissident Daughter is excellent! I would highly recommend it. Changed my life...
Looking forward to further discussion
post #35 of 165
subbing
post #36 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieCatheryn View Post
I was a witch 6 years ago and am now a Christian. At first it was hard to reconcile, for me it was about leaving things up to God rather than taking them upon myself. But I still need to connect with nature, and that is not a problem.


I've been pondering the use of spells and how they could be related to prayers in action. Instead of claiming the witch's power to enact the desired result through ritual, but rather invoking the God in the Christian sense and coupling that with ritual actions like spells. Ritual can be really comforting and gives me a sense of doing when I may feel powerless. Any thoughts on this?
post #37 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by sky*hawk View Post
I draw strength from Buddhism, Christianity, and Earth-based spirituality.
This sums me up too. I really find strength in some of the Buddhist practices of meditation, right living, etc and think that they help me live the Christian ideals better. In trying to define my spirituality, I've been wondering if it could be kosher to call myself Pagan Buddhist Unitarian Mormon. One of the ideas that I love about how the LDS religion teaches about the gospel of Jesus Christ is that the gospel encompasses all truth, wherever it can be found. That gives me some of the reassurance that I can seek truth in various religions and spiritual practices and still remain "true to the faith."
post #38 of 165
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenneology View Post


I've been pondering the use of spells and how they could be related to prayers in action. Instead of claiming the witch's power to enact the desired result through ritual, but rather invoking the God in the Christian sense and coupling that with ritual actions like spells. Ritual can be really comforting and gives me a sense of doing when I may feel powerless. Any thoughts on this?
I agree and have always felt that way about spellwork.

I really need to sit down and plan out the year...
post #39 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenneology View Post
One of the ideas that I love about how the LDS religion teaches about the gospel of Jesus Christ is that the gospel encompasses all truth, wherever it can be found. That gives me some of the reassurance that I can seek truth in various religions and spiritual practices and still remain "true to the faith."
I love that idea. I was raised to believe that Jesus Christ is the savior and the ONLY way. It has taken me quite a while to come to the belief that, for me, Jesus was a wonderful teacher and I should try to immulate him in my life as much as possible. I tend to really believe that I was "born ok the first time." Though the spiritual experience I had upon baptism was really powerful and I count it among one of the best spiritual experiences in my life. Hmmm... That's kind of confusing for me right now??? It's so hard to develop ones own spiritual beliefs, yet crucial to a fulfilling existence on the planet...

Magstphil - last year my Birthing From Within Mentor gave me a New Year Questionnaire that I am going to use again this year. It involves completing and remembering the past year and creating 2010. It was eye opening to look back at the one I completed for 2008 and to feel like in some way, I knew the trouble that was coming my way. My goal for this lunar cycle is to complete my New Year Questionnaire and set goals for this year. If you would like to see the questionnaire, I would be happy to post it...
post #40 of 165
Thread Starter 
I'd love that, Leslie! Thank you!
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