nadon (nadon) wrote,

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Why Paganism? My Reasons and Influences.

Q: Why have you chosen Wicca/Paganism as a way of life? What factors influenced your decision?

A: I choose to be Pagan because it fits with my ideals and experiences. I personally may not live by my own ideals on a daily basis, yet my Paganism serves to remind me that I can be that right-acting person, I can do what I believe is right for myself, others, the world, the grand scheme of things... I can always fall back on my spirituality for a soft, yet uplifting place to land that will give me a hand up back onto the wagon I've created for myself, on this path I've chosen to take.
Also, I feel that the things that are important to me are shared by many other Pagans. I feel that having a sense of community is important to my spirituality, even as I fly solo most of the time.

More specifically, those ideals are things such as a love and respect for nature and environmentalism; a connection to the land, sea, sky and their cycles; a resonance with myth and storytelling; the attraction of magical and supernatural experiences; The beauty of the liturgy and ritual; honouring the sacred feminine and balance; sex-positivity and the sacredness of love and pleasure; the ethic of harm reduction; the freedom from intermediaries between self and higher powers, and thus the priesthood of any pagan; the (panentheistic?) view that expresses the interconnectivity of many awesome forces of the cosmos within the unity of deity; the humour and fun of celebrating the religious experience in its many aspects; the validation for unverified personal gnosis; the continuous learning and academic aspects of (re)constructing and coming to understand one's path; the various cultural traditions inherited through experience; the sensuality of garb, feast, ceremonial tools, music and dance; the joy and community of festival; the self-exploration and self-actualization involved; the mystery, enchantment and glamour of embracing the unknown and coming to know it; the wonder and awe from connections to the divine; the acceptance of alternative healing modalities; the camaraderie of learning occult skills and lore together with other seekers; the succession of intergenerational learning between practitioners of various paths and degrees, in the spirit of belonging...

I am certain there is more that I love about pagan culture and more that has influenced me to choose this lifestyle.

I suppose I initially came from a place of dissatisfaction with other options. It wasn't that paganism was least bad, though. Discovering paganism was genuinely a feeling of returning home, from my discovery of Wicca, my embracing it until I discovered other more resonant traditions, and even into the present moment, where I still feel that I am called; that I chose it as much as it chose me.

Pethaps it was reactionary to my explorations of Catholicism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Baha'i, and so on... but I won't say that it was only about what I wanted that was lacking or contrary to my rational, willful self. Rather, what I found in paganism was that it deemed other faith doctrines more or less irrelevant to it's own: peacefully accepting them insofar as they do not interfere with pagan freedom, but pagan truths not having been created as a direct response to what others are doing, saying, thinking, or believing. Shared Pagan truths tend to be more spontaneous, rather than codified by an authority, or debated in discourse, they seem more commonly to be revealed by experience.

I found the most influential pieces as a new pagan were anecdotes and poetry about pagan nature reverence, the inspiring table of contents of a book of shadows, and the acknowledgement of the Goddess. I was an Internet convert. Without the web, I'd have probably gone agnostic.

Nowadays what draws me is a curiosity about our indigenous ancestors from the old world, going way way back; a passion for watching environmentally respectful technologies evolve and unfold in a new techno-fertility; the need to be a wounded healer and seeker of wisdom to beneficially impact my world; and a deep gratitude for the mysteries, including my many unexplained blessings.
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