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Changing the world
one mind at a time
8th-Jul-2002 12:19 am
Why is it people get so offended when I start talking about changing my religious affiliation? Would people get upset if I suddenly declared myseld Buddahist? Why is going monotheistic such a crime? Yes, I'm pagan. I have been for 7 years now. I was Xtian for 18 years prior to that. Why is it such a big deal I'm getting interested in Judaism? Why can't I explore what it is I believe in peace? Hell, if you want to nail it down, I always thought that the various pantheons were just aspects of a greater divinity. No one ever said that God couldn't do something like that if God so chose. Or more to the point, what if the great divinity I've been pondering the past 26 years is nothing more than connective tissue? I've pretty much discounted Xtianity, since a good majority of its current dogma has no real relavence in my life. I've studied Islam, but again, most of it bears no real relation to what and how I believe. It does, however produce spectacular art and Arabic (the written word) is quite possibly the most wonderous thing I have ever seen. The problem I keep running into with paganism is hubris, as so many people I know get in these "my psychic penis is bigger than yours" debates that detract seriously from my enjoyment of practitioning. That and a real lack of desire to learn and experement among those I have talked to on occasion. Personally, I'm reaching a point in my life where I'm ready to explore other vistas. Polytheism will still be there whether or not I decide to leave it. And you can take me out of polytheism, but you can't take polytheism out of me. The things which I would take with me would be A) a sense of responsibility for my own actions, B) a love of learning and discussing what it is I have learned, and C) ways to create my own reality. One man's magic is another man's minor miracle.
I guess it just irks me that people seem to think I'm a bad person for trying to find a way to grow in my faith rather than stagnating in something that I've been growing beyond for a while now. Just as Xtianity is no longer where I belong, I think paganism is something that I'm fitting into less and less. I bear no ill will to those who follow it. It was where I belonged. And there are others who will still need it when I am gone. I just have to follow the path I need to follow right now. I have no idea where i's going, but the road is always interesting.
7th-Jul-2002 11:07 pm (UTC) - Getting on soapbox.(hey I make soap-g-)
This is one of the things that pisses me off most about the pagan community. The whole, "my way is righter than yours" mentality that is permeating the pagan movement at this time.

I, MYSELF, happen to believe that God is like me. He has multiple personalities. Basically, I think He came to different peoples in forms that they would understand culturally.

I also believe that we are all connected to God. That everything and everyone is bound together as one, one energy, that goes on forever. So, that is MY believe. How *I* choose to see it.

But to me, this means that as well as being a witch who has a strong connection to the Horned God, I am also very well educated about christianity and it's history. I know a lot more about how the bible and it's thumpers came to be how they and it are than most of the 'good christian folk' I know.

I happen to believe that Christ WAS divinely sent. I believe YOU, ME, the stock report, whatever was divinely sent. I see Christ as a Messiah and I know HIS words as opposed to the fucked up teaching his current followers embrace.

But you know what? Most of my christian friends find my beliefs odd, but it is totally ok with them. Most of my witch friends...they are aghast at them. "How could EVER follow THEIR false Messiah?"

Cause I wanna. Cause I feel it in my heart.

This weekend I was at a witches convention. And my own High Priestess, a woman who I looked up to like no other, has gotten this psychotic ego and engaged in demeaning and nasty behaviour to the woman SHE handed running circle over to a couple of years ago.

And everywhere you turned there was 'THIS is how witches do things. Not YOUR way. MY way is RIGHT."

Even from the people I trusted and looked up to. It was so disheartening, I wanted to cry.

Sweety, follow your heart. Follow your faith. Go where it leads you. Who the heck says you can't be a witch/pagan AND a jew? Or, be a jew, and yet fondly remember your pagan days and the things you learnt from them? I am currently not only a Christian and a Witch, but my constant curiousity about faiths has led to my studying Hinduism. I have an altar to Ganesh in my room, and he is just someone I am into at the moment.

If you are a good person, and I think you are, and your faith is one that makes you happy and gives you the things that faith is supposed to, then I don't give a fig if you decide to worship a pontiac that had three wheels.

God is everywhere, and He/She/They/It loves those of us who are seeking, those who are not, and those in between. Call the divine force what you will, and it will answer. And if your church is in a different building than mine is, I will still walk down the road to our churches beside you. Because in the end, we have the same destination.

That's how I see it. Much love, and encouragement to follow your heart where it leads,

7th-Jul-2002 11:35 pm (UTC) - Re: Getting on soapbox.(hey I make soap-g-)
The whole, "my way is righter than yours" mentality that is permeating the pagan movement at this time.

This time?

It has been that way as long as I have known pagans, which is 10 years now, and is why I was only pagan for 4 of those years. ;-)
7th-Jul-2002 11:42 pm (UTC) - Re: Getting on soapbox.(hey I make soap-g-)

I have been a witch for years, but this whole thing is new to me amongst pagans. Sucks big time, and I didn't know it was always this way.


8th-Jul-2002 01:29 am (UTC) - Re: Getting on soapbox.(hey I make soap-g-)
Once again, I'd have to say that in any place where more than 3 people are standing, there is going to be a dominance fight. So much for the "higher species" arguement.

Maybe the world would be better if we let the lesbians run it.
8th-Jul-2002 07:31 am (UTC) - Re: Getting on soapbox.(hey I make soap-g-)
HELL YEAH! Let the lesbians take over the world!!!
8th-Jul-2002 11:16 am (UTC) - Re: Getting on soapbox.(hey I make soap-g-)

This is just a slightly skewed observation...the reason I suggested this was from my time at WSU, since Lambda was run better with lesbian presidents than anyone else who tried to run it.
8th-Jul-2002 12:31 pm (UTC) - Re: Getting on soapbox.(hey I make soap-g-)
Why you said it matters little to me. I just want to be president. :)
8th-Jul-2002 02:32 pm (UTC) - Re: Getting on soapbox.(hey I make soap-g-)
You have my vote!
8th-Jul-2002 05:16 pm (UTC) - Re: Getting on soapbox.(hey I make soap-g-)
8th-Jul-2002 07:31 am (UTC) - Re: Getting on soapbox.(hey I make soap-g-)
Exactly what I was saying.
8th-Jul-2002 12:28 am (UTC) - Re: Getting on soapbox.(hey I make soap-g-)
Thank you so much for the encouragement here. I guess to me, I'm looking for something new, not so much looking for a messiah, but new knowledge and experience. I have never looked down on Xtians (bitched about a few individual followers, but as a whole religious system, they're ok by me), but again, so much of what I hear in the message has no relevence to my life. Like how to raise children correctly. I'm being the best uncle I know how to be, but that's only a small part of raising a child. And I honestly think that all too often the commandment to "love your neighbor" gets overlooked. It should never matter if a person is sinning. You should love that person. Stay 10 feet away to avoid a Murder 1 charge, but love that person. Any religion to me is an expression of divine love. I used to belive that the idea of God creating us in God's image was a way of saying that each of us has within us a way to express the divine. Like my writing. I love my characters, even if I hate some of the actions they take. But what they learn from those actions is stuff that I have learned.
And as for the High Priestess issue, it happens. I keep having to remind myself that we are all human, prone to the same stupidity as everyone else. I can't be mad about someone acting human. It's just that I'm so sick of the in-fighting among my old coven. I'm no longer a member of it, but (quite like my old church) I still hate to see things going bad. Just because you aren't part of something anymore doesn't mean you don't still care about it. My old HP is currently involved in a squabble with her ex-girlfriend over whether or not they were actually dating. I think this is another issue I'm having with my current state of affairs, since most of the people I practice with I'm also friends with. Sure, it helps things run smoothly on occasion, but if your fighting, it gets ugly.
If I do convert, I don't expect to find all the answers I'm looking for. What I am looking for is a chance to explore another perspective and hopefully come to a better understanding of the emanations of divine love.
I hope this is a better reply than how it sounds to my ears.
Peace and Love,
8th-Jul-2002 07:30 am (UTC) - Re: Getting on soapbox.(hey I make soap-g-)
It's been that way since forever. It's why I left the pagan community in 1995. Shoot, that was 7 years ago. I'm getting old.

You're right, though. Pagans are always screaming for religious tolerance, but hypocritically seem to have no tolerance for anyone else. Of course, the disclaimer is that this doesn't apply to all pagans, but in communities of them, they seem very unwelcoming and intolerant to me.
8th-Jul-2002 12:04 am (UTC)
All I can tell you is to follow your heart, do what it is that makes sense to you. I believe we all do have the same destination but how you choose to connect with God here is what is important, not for God's sake, but for yours.


~and thank you for being there for me.
8th-Jul-2002 12:08 am (UTC) - Re:
I'll always be here when you need me.

And as for me, that's what I'm trying to figure out right now.
8th-Jul-2002 01:09 am (UTC)
the only reason i can come up with why a person would be annoyed with your changing of religoun is that religound is ingrained in us from a very early stage in our lives. we've been taught religous tolerance yes, but to some people, religoun is the foundation to who they are, and when you tell them you plan to change yours, it sets off the idea in their head that maybe their thoughts that religoun is this stable force in life, not to be tampered with, is shaken. messing with their reality. and who likes their reality messed with?

*that was worded pretty badly, try using a decoder ring
8th-Jul-2002 01:26 am (UTC) - Re:
Before I begin my reply, gothic_oreo (aka roommate reading over my shoulder) sez that you've nailed the issue on the head. Since he knows who this was adressed to, he knows the issues involved her. I happen to agree with him. You are wise, young one. *slowly morphs into Yoda*
But yeah, I got the gist of that. No worries. Better written than a friend of mine's definition of faith. I guess so much of the argument tahat is going on here is that I'm wanting to move on in a new direction, but if I do that, someone else is going to feel as if I have invalidated their faith. Which I really don't want that person to feel that way, but by the same token, I have to go on with my life regardless. but then, I've always felt that the wuestioned faith is the strong faith.
*drops $.02 in the collection*
8th-Jul-2002 10:11 pm (UTC) - Re:
ooooooh, now turn into a pony!

well also if you're sharing the same faith as the above person mentioned, they may be feeling that you're not only leaving the religoun, but them also. (although i have no idea if you are sharing the same faith)

*praise jesus!!*
8th-Jul-2002 11:09 pm (UTC) - Re:
Hey leve Jesus out of this. No more Mexicans;)

Mr. Oreo is gnostic, I'm converting, Lotus is pagan, and Jason the asshole is Xenos Xtian
8th-Jul-2002 04:57 am (UTC)
It's incredibly irritating when pagans get in those meaningless fights. And most pagans I know seem to just be going through the motions, doing it just to be different and get to wear those groovy pentacles without really giving a damn about the beliefs...No wonder I'm a solitary practitioner.

8th-Jul-2002 11:24 am (UTC) - Re:
Tell me about it. I'd go solitairy, but I miss the social interaction of covencraft.
8th-Jul-2002 07:33 am (UTC)
I think you should do whatever feels spiritually right to you, and as for anyone else, screw them. Seriously. If you want to feel "pagan on the inside" but find another community to be spiritual with, one that is closer to the ideals you set for yourself, then by all means do that.

I've never been more spiritually happy than when I stopped looking for a pagan community for me and joined the Unitarian Universalists. It was the best thing I've ever done, and seven years later, I'm not regretting it. I looked for the perfect (for me) pagan community for two dismal years. Ugh.

Either way, follow your heart, or your soul, or whatever. Be happy, be well, and be undaunted by others.
8th-Jul-2002 11:14 am (UTC) - Re:
Thank you. I've noticed here that just about everyone who has replied has a religious horror story. I guess we all just need to find a place where we feel comfortable.
8th-Jul-2002 12:31 pm (UTC)
I guess we all just need to find a place where we feel comfortable.

Isn't that the goal of life? :)
8th-Jul-2002 02:34 pm (UTC) - Re:
One would think so. But then on other days, I feel like other's purpose in life is to annoy the hell out of me.
8th-Jul-2002 09:41 am (UTC)
It's simple, baby... if the shoe fits, wear it -- it's your damn foot, not theirs...
8th-Jul-2002 11:11 am (UTC) - Re:
Just call me Cinderfella;)
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