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Paganism?

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
DH was raised Christian, and though he still believes the Christ, and the Bible, he no longer wants to use the name Chirstian.
I think he feels that he is so much more than that.

What little we know of Paganism interests us, and we feel it could be compatible with our beliefes, but we know so very little!

Could you Pagans out there tell us about your beliefes??
post #2 of 32
Hi MarsupialMama :-)

I bumped the pagan path poll thread. We did it a couple months ago and many of us shared our personal beliefs.

I started out believing just in a universal force, and that we are all connected and part of the All. But the Goddess I have been working with has set me straight. She wants to be worshipped in a certain way. So I have been learning more so that I can follow her direction. The statement below pretty much covers what I am striving for, but I'm not there yet. Still learning.

Hellenic polytheists worship the ancient Greek gods—the Olympians, nature divinities, underworld deities—and heroes. We honor our ancestors, both physical and spiritual. Ours is primarily a devotional or votive religion, based on the exchange of gifts (offerings) for the gods' blessings. Hellenismos has a highly developed ethical system based on the principles of reciprocity, hospitality, and moderation.
post #3 of 32

Re: Paganism

Hi, MM,

I don't know how long ago this was posted about, but I wanted to add my two cents.

I became Pagan about 4 years ago. I was raised Christian. However, my mom was kind enough to let us choose our own ways but did ask that we participate in hers as well.

The reason I am pagan is I got tired of the idea that I was going to Hell for being human basically. All my children were born out of wedlock, I don't believe that baptism is necessary to wash sin away...as children are innocents in all ways. AND I don't believe that is right to Ask a God to give me things. I ask to be guided by the very thing that I came from. God is, and that's all I know as far as god goes. I beleive in the duality of God. Anyone ever seen Dogma? That movie really is a good one for the argument of the Duality of God. God is not a thing...or a tangible being. God is everything..and nothing. God is what you believe he/she/ it is.

I do use ritual to empower myself to do things. I have abilities that I cultivate. (I am empathetic..I see auras, and I also can do some animalspeak) Btw...Animal Speak is not what you might be thinking..I don't sit and bark at the dog or anything...its all in pictures and thru eye contact only. I have a half wolf dog that is very communicative with me and my family.

I also beleive in reincarnation. I believe that we are who we are by choice..not by fate. I don't believe in fate much. I do believe in destiny...but only thru our own power do we reach our destiny. I believe in Karma, and I follow the Wiccan Rede that reads

"Bide the Wiccan Law We Must
In Perfect Love and Perfect trust!
Eight Words the Wiccan Rede Fullfill
'An Ye Harm None Do What Ye Will"
Everything comes back to thee
So ever mind the law of three
Follow this with mind and Heart
Merry Ye Meet and Merry Ye Part.

I believe in the law of three rule, that everything comes back to you three times, and harming no one with what I do say and think. I use my energies to will my needs, dreams and desires to happen. I don't ask "God" for a new house. I know it won't happen until I can make it happen. I don't ask God to get me a car. I don't ask god to help me find the money to pay the bills. I ask the forces that be to give me strength, wisdome and courage to find what I need for myself, or to find someone that can help me when I need help. I also follow the idea that the body can heal. Everyone has abilities they don't know about. Some people are telepathic and don't even know it because they have been raised to believe that it is wrong to practice such things. I have known about my abilities since I was little. Even my mom has to admit that her and I spoke to each other when I was at school, and she was at home. (and I was sitting in Math at the time)

I do invoke names when I do ritual. I call upon Mercury, the winged footed God of the wind to speed my requests to four corners of the universe. I call upon my guides to protect me, and I call up the guardians of the elements (air earth fire water and spirit (the 5 points on the pentacle) to guide me. My nickname is AriesFlame because I chose that (or it chose me) as my Magickal name. It is the name I use in rituals to indentify myself to the spirits I ask for guidance.

I know its all confusing. You probably don't know much more from my post than you did before. There are so many ways, paths, traditions. I think the main principle of being a pagan for me is taking total responsibility for my existance. I chose to be here. I chose to come here and live the life I am leading right now. Would I make changes if I could? Well, sometimes. However if I changed them from the start, I would not have met my soulmate. When I stopped blaming things on others, and on a God I never truly believed in, and realized I was in control of my destiny, it really was the only way to go for me (being pagan that is) No other religions allow such freedom. Its not organized either. There are groups, but pretty much everyone deals with being pagan in a different way. Where one might follow the laws of a certain tradition to a point, we all mold it to our own needs. We don't follow commandments set in stone. We follow ideas that make sense, and rearrange them to fit our beliefs. Yes, that sounds a little wierd at first, but there is no such thing as Black Magick. Its all Magick in my opinion. I look outside and know that a powerful force is blowing thru the branches of a tree. Its not just air, its power. I believe in the balance that should exist between man and the elements, and respect the elements for being more than I can understand. I don't claim to know anything more than what I believe...and that is what makes me Pagan. I don't know for sure where I am going when I die. I will decide that when I get to that path in my life. I know, I am rambling. I tend to do that on these boards. Its nice to talk about things with open minded people though

Love and Light,
Merry Part
AriesFlame
post #4 of 32
Hi! I was not raised Christian & have been choosing my own spiritual path for as long as I can remember. I believe in a universal life force that manifests its splendor in each of us, and in nature. I celebrate many pagan holidays--primarily as a means of celebrating the season. I'm also drawn to a few Hindu deities--after studying yoga for many years. I also am interested in Taoism as it is very compatible with my core beliefs.
post #5 of 32
MM--

I was going to refer you to the cross religions thread, but I see you started that one too! LOL!

It's nice your dh is honest enough to say, some things in the bible ring true for him, but not all, so he can't feel right calling himself a christian any more. Some here have said, they have trouble with lots in the bible, but still want to call themselves christians, out of fear of offending god or something.

As Stevie Wonder sings: "when you believe in things that you don't understand, then you suffer--superstition is the way."

I would think, when you are looking for answers in several places, you would be naturally eclectic, and eventually you may settle on one established system, "hard" polytheism being one. Or pick one path, Hinduism, Sikh, Judaism, etc. But while searching, just keep an open mind, read, talk, ask questions, don't worry about labels. I now ID as (celtic) pagan, but spent so much time studying Buddhism and Hinduism, I still say or visualize OM when I pray. I have heard there is danger in traveling too many paths, using rituals or images from too many faiths, but haven't experienced and myself. I filter it all thru my instincts/heart.

BTW, I think paganism and xianity can be combined, I think the Catholic Church does it! no offense to Catholics. the cult of Mary seems so goddesslike. Of course, most big xian religions are set on pagan holy days--solstices and equinoxes.

edited for typos
post #6 of 32
well nm, i'm not sure what you ment exactly by saying christianity and paganism are "exact opposites"..... but it did raise some hackles for me... i'm sure you didn't mean to imply that christianity is about "good" and paganism "evil" or any such nonesense as that, but to someone who is unclear about paganism, comming from a christian perspective it could be interpreted that way.... could you clarify your position on "exact opposites" for those who are posing the question?

personally, i think there can me much crossover between christianity and paganism - if your form of chirstianity is not of the fundementalist path. there are many ways to be a christian, just as there are many ways to be "pagan" (about as many ways as pagans i'd say - since by nature we're fairly indepent in thought)...
post #7 of 32
respectfully, would you guys mind starting a new thread for the debate of "exact opposites"?

That way anyone who wants to debate such statements can, and we won't be highjacking this thread. The OP did request that pagans share their beliefs with her. She didn't request a debate over Christianity and Paganism and if you can combine them.
post #8 of 32
Some people follow a path which they refer to as Christopaganism- which keeps some of the Christian teachings intact. I do not have time to type now (nor do I know a whoel lot about it), but that may warrant some investigation for you and your husband. Good luck!
post #9 of 32
Here's a whole 'nother way to look at Christianity--Gnostic Christianity! Do a search, read the Gospel of Thomas. It is the underlying secret theme of xianity, that ties it in to paganism and the myth of the Old Testament and eastern thought. Very interesting.
post #10 of 32
Thread Starter 
ladylee, I liked what you said, dh & I feel very much that way, I think.

We beleive in a great power; a creator. It doesn't matter to me what you want to call it, we've been useing the name Creator. We feel that there is a part of that power in everything, even in us. We believe also that their are other spirits, powers, or energies.

We believe that the Creator intrusted us with the care of mother earth and the animals, and children. That is what is most important to me.

We feel that the earth was created to act a certain way, and to do certain things. We want to celebrate that! We feel that everything, and everyone has power within themselves, healing powers, telpathic powers, intuitive powers, ect,.

We want our children to apreaciate this also. We want some tridtions, or rituals, or holidays, or something to celebrate all of this.

Any good ideas? Or any idea of what we "Are"?
post #11 of 32
May I recommend reading any of Sylvia Brownes books? She is Gnostic Christian (which best describes me at this time) and that sounds llike what you are leaning towards. Check out http://www.sylvia.org/home/aboutnovus.cfm

Also, check out my Santeria thread fro info. on onemFaith that
commonly intertwines Christianity and Paganism.
post #12 of 32
Here's a link to the books on Gnostic Christianity that I am reading now.

jesus mysteries

And an excerpt:

To anyone who is not familiar with historical and biblical scholarship of the last half-century or so, The Jesus Mysteries will come as something of a shock. Believing Christians will find it disturbing; Evangelicals will be horrified by it; Fundamentalists will no doubt ascribe it to the devil. And yet much in the book will be familiar to scholars. Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy demonstrate clearly and unambiguously that much of Christian belief and practice, rather than being (as the Church has always claimed) a vast contrast with the Pagan ideas of Greece and the Middle East 2,000 years ago, actually draws on those traditions. This controversial thesis will be dismissed by many readers, but the meticulous footnoting of sources, both ancient and modern, will cause others to wonder if this book ought to be taken more seriously than many recent rewritings of history.'
Amazon.co.uk

'Jesus Christ - man or myth? Freke and Gandy believe the latter, and in this weighty yet accessible tome, they set out to prove it. The Jesus Mysteries traces the traditional symbols and stories of Christianity back to their original sources, which the authors believe belong in Paganism. The comparisons laid out between the two religions are startling in their similarity; the three wise men, virgin birth, crucifixion, resurrection. Even the traditional dates associated with Christianity can all be found in the Pagan myth of Osiris-Dionysus, who was also the Son of God. Exhaustively researched, it is hard to dismiss this as yet another attention-seeking popular non-fiction work with little in the way of substantial content. However, it does raise more questions than it answers, so don't be surprised if a sequel is already in the making.
'The List' Glasgow and Edinburgh 13 May 1999
post #13 of 32
Thread Starter 
That does sound interesting, DaryLLL. However, we do believe strongly in the Christ, and the Bible.

It is all very confusing, but I suppose everyone feels that way. I just want to have an open mind. Though, it would be nice to be able to say I'm a so-and-so.

We would like to celebrate pagan holidays, but we don't really know all of them, or how to celebrate, not to mention when they are!
post #14 of 32
post #15 of 32
Thread Starter 
ladylee, thank you so much for that link!!!!
It really answered my questions; it was extreamly helpful for me!
It kind of told me what I already knew: we are Pagans, and we always have been, we just didn't know what it was called.

Thank you all for your help! I really appreciate that everyone is so open minded and respectful of others' beliefes - you don't find that often.

I'd like to know about holidays and rituals, preferably simple ones, but I would like to hear how all of you celebrate! Especaly having to do with the moon - I love her, I always have! This is very exciting!
post #16 of 32

Re: Sabbat Celebrations..

Hi MM,

There are lots and lots of ways to celebrate the sabbats..simple and private or public and grandiose.

I am a solitary Witch, so I tend to do mine in private with my oil lamps, candles and my computer altar. (I make wallpapers that serve as visual altars for people that don't have room for whole set up). (I sell custom designed ones, but I don't want to gratuitously advertise :

Anyway, celebrating the moon can be as simple and going outside and taking a walk in the moonlight, or it is the best of times to perform rituals. (I do a simple balance ritual every fullmoon. It helps me get things in perspective for the month ahead.) On fullmoons I try real hard to get out and see her at least once before she turns again.

Brightest Blessings,
AriesFlame,
(aka Heidi)
post #17 of 32
Well, if you believe strongly in the Christ, but are also pagan, what are you? I think those books will open your eyes. They sure did mine. I feel so much less confused since I've found them. By "believing strongly in the christ," i guess you mean as a real historical man, and not just for the symbolism of underlying mysteries and knowlege/enlightenment? Or what? I guess this is
T
post #18 of 32
This is such an interesting thread for me. I go to a UU church and in my feminist group we do some pagan rituals. I wondered what the history behind some of them was, and whether it was wrong for me to participate in some of the rituals because I didn't identify myself as a pagan (or anything, for that matter). The website was really informative, ladylee. I didn't realize how diverse paganism was. I feel much more enlightened.
post #19 of 32
You're welcome MM--your excitement is so beautiful . I try to find the moon every night and I just empty my mind and absorb its energy, just as I do with the morning sun. I can feel the energy going through my chakras & aligning them as they should be aligned. As far as sabbats go, I celebrate the changes in nature each season with Beltane, summer solstice, the three harvest sabbats, and the winter solstice, and perform various rituals for each that are meaningful to me. Best of luck to you in finding/creating your way...

caleb's mommy-I didn't see your post before . How interesting that you had these experiences in your feminist group--I had similar experiences in mine which also inspired me to dig deeper.
post #20 of 32
Thread Starter 
Ladylee, you are so wonderful, you make everything sound beautiful & meaningful. You spark such enlightenment, as well as curiosity in me. I thank you for it!

DarLLL, What I mean by "believing strongly in the Christ" is simply that it is very important to our lives, but I do think your books would be interesting.
I suppose, as I said before, I don't know what I am, I'm still finding my path. But I think that aspects of Paganism, as well as the Bible are part of that path.
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