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brymble
September 21st, 2009, 01:24 PM
I have a 12 year old boy who has expressed a desire to begin embracing Paganism as his cultural identity, but is also quite clear on his agnostic views, and is not interested in gods or magick. He does have a strong interest in ritual and myth. He has asked me for family rituals for seasonal observances, and I'm trying to come up with ways to do this. I'm used to very personal solitary practice, from a more traditional (but not Traditionalist) close-enough-to-Wiccan standpoint, which does acknowledge gods (albeit not your standard definition anthropomorphic supernatural problem-solvers).

How do I encourage him without stepping on his toes, and show him that Paganism and agnosticism are compatible?

TJEagle
September 21st, 2009, 02:15 PM
I was in the same situation as your son. So someone gave me a book titled "Paganism An Introduction To Earth-Centered Religions" by Joyce and River Higginbotham. I recommend this book to him, it will answer some questions and give alot to think about.

Shanti
September 21st, 2009, 02:27 PM
An agnostic is one who doesn't not believe in deity but says maybe, maybe not. Please correct me if I am wrong.

An atheist is one who doesn't believe in deity, period.

You dont have to believe in deity to practice various forms of paganism.

I am very spiritual but an atheist.

You can practice magic and not believe in deity.
You can be spiritual and believe in many metaphysical things and not believe in deity.

Deity beliefs are only needed in a path that requires one to believe in deity.

Infinite Grey
September 22nd, 2009, 03:29 AM
I have a 12 year old boy who has expressed a desire to begin embracing Paganism as his cultural identity, but is also quite clear on his agnostic views, and is not interested in gods or magick. He does have a strong interest in ritual and myth. He has asked me for family rituals for seasonal observances, and I'm trying to come up with ways to do this. I'm used to very personal solitary practice, from a more traditional (but not Traditionalist) close-enough-to-Wiccan standpoint, which does acknowledge gods (albeit not your standard definition anthropomorphic supernatural problem-solvers).

How do I encourage him without stepping on his toes, and show him that Paganism and agnosticism are compatible?

Rent or buy Carl Sagan's Cosmos series for him... or get him to watch Pale Blue Dot on youtube; he may not be interested as from what you said he remind me of the Atheistic Jews - they use it as a way of life and take comfort from the tradition; but do not believe in god. Sagan's philosophic musings scattered through out his various productions lean more towards an Einstein-esque approach; standing in awe of natural forces and contemplating both our scale and importance in the universe.

swapmeetmomma
September 22nd, 2009, 03:53 AM
I cant help you here, but I hope you and your son figure out the right path for him, and he is happy. :hugz:

thought_on_a_wind
September 22nd, 2009, 04:24 AM
I have a 12 year old boy who has expressed a desire to begin embracing Paganism as his cultural identity, but is also quite clear on his agnostic views, and is not interested in gods or magick. He does have a strong interest in ritual and myth. He has asked me for family rituals for seasonal observances, and I'm trying to come up with ways to do this. I'm used to very personal solitary practice, from a more traditional (but not Traditionalist) close-enough-to-Wiccan standpoint, which does acknowledge gods (albeit not your standard definition anthropomorphic supernatural problem-solvers).

How do I encourage him without stepping on his toes, and show him that Paganism and agnosticism are compatible?
I went through most of my life an inch away from atheism... I changed that to agnosticism short after seeing certain social mechanisms that chilled my heart... most people (save my very Satanist friend) attempted to push God's or God, or Satan this or Goddess that... some even attempted to replace deities with science... my dad wouldn't acknowledge any conversation we had any time I'd mention religion from a neutral standpoint... The point I'm trying to make (as I acknowledge you are not using such lack of tact as my example) is that no matter how subtle the attempt to change my view point inevitably made me turn away from humans beliefs in general, and as a whole... I worshiped Dian once, Cernnunos another time... these were more like trysts than actual timespans... there wasn't that much a pull, that's when I started to worship dragons, powerful, strength beyond physical understanding, their own council, yet not deities, the only reason to pay them reverence is so you don't piss them off when working with them... I didn't really have a long-term pull to the divine...

if your son is in the same boat (as i have a certain feeling from a belief standpoint... not the experiential standpoint) I'd wager the world itself is his own personal deity... It almost always is a lie when humans say that they don't hold something as a deity, even if that deity be a certain philosophy, or nihilism... I now have a connection with a god and goddess that know no names... it is the most powerful link I've ever felt, and happened because they'd been calling for me since I was a kid... if I'd accepted another deity for long I may have never discovered my own powerful link to divinity... I feel this may well be the path your son is on...

You see, in retrospect, the reason I strayed away from all the worlds gods and all the worlds goddesses was because I wished to feel that connection on a visceral non-socially conditioned raw... gutturally primal level... because I'd felt the call of these deities for so long lives and lives before, I'd felt what a true link to divinity felt like, as such any human interpretation not on what I considered the same level ended up hampering my universal urge to connect with the whole of my inter-dimensional being (not solely mine as everyone is an inter-dimensional being by my calculations)....

the point being, maybe your son has noticed certain social conditions he would like to avoid, or in this developmental stage he wishes to be a scholar/alchemist/magician... that does not mean he will always have these views... in fact, I'd wager that few who are truly spiritual don't go through such changes on a daily basis... I know that even with the kind of connection I have there are times when i need to step back, do some cards, sit down, flip the TV on and drink a beer... Is this making sense or has the beer I've imbibed thus-far impaired my ability to communicate effectively /:( ? I sometimes suffer from that...