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amberlaine
May 26th, 2001, 12:44 PM
I mean, if you tell people you are religious or you do "believe", they almost automatically think you are Christian or at least Jewish. Do you tell them what things are like?

This is a very good question, and I thought it might get buried in the thread itw as in, so I started a new one.

How *does* one deal with? Iget this quite a lot. I deeply religious, and very committed to my vision of Deity. But my belief doesn't really fall into any category--its not traditinally pagan, its certainly not Christian...it's actually quite Jewish, but thenwhen you throw in all my other beliefs...ack! Its very confusing. No one knows what I am. Including me.

Ultimately I dont usually bother to tell people whatI am unless they ask. Maybe I should just tell people "I'm a believer". I believe in God. Which GOd? Well Hell, everybody's God, really. I don't "disbelieve" in the Trinity. I dont "disbelieve" in Allah. They just aren't my chosen paradigm.

So when it comes to God--do your views fit nicely into one category?

Tigerwallah
May 26th, 2001, 04:56 PM
I answered this at the other thread, but, hey, I'll do it again. I say that "I am an Isian." That way I'm usually always asked to explain what that is. "I'm deeply spiritual and committed to my goddesses." That is another way I've handled it. Or just a blatant, "I'm a very committed pagan."

December7
May 27th, 2001, 07:05 AM
So I'll state to my own question too:

I have to say I usually don't talk about my believe in public. I don't go to people saying : "Know what? I'm pagan (or somthing like that)!" Coz I can't define my believe/religion myself. I couldn't say I only believe in Isis, only in Yahwe, only in Allah, only in Bridgid...My believes constantly change (sad but true).
Plus, most people I know wouldn't understand. Maybe they wouldn't care if I told them (as none of my friends is very religious), but at least they would start whispering.
They'd say: "Isn't that kind of unlogical, believing in such ancient gods?" But what do Christians believe? After all religion has nothing to do with logical thinking...

Tigerwallah
May 27th, 2001, 07:41 AM
For many years I was in the discovering phase of all of this. So, I was always saying something different. I didn't say anything to anyone for a while there other than that I was a pagan and believe in more than one god. Now, I am pretty well settled into a belief system. So, that is no longer an issue.

amberlaine
May 27th, 2001, 08:08 AM
My believes constantly change (sad but true).

*chuckle* Actually...I'd have to say if your belifs never changed, that would be sad. As it is, changing your beliefs means that you are evaluating and re-evaluating your thoughts, your feelings, your relationship with the gods, which is a GOOD THING!!

Heh, I'm constantly in spiritual flux. OVe all I classify myself as Wiccan, though there are days when I give long and serious consideration to conversion to Judaism. Heh. So it doesn't matter that your beliefs change. Be strong in knowing that its a positive thing.

Earth Walker
May 27th, 2001, 01:59 PM
I believe firmly in The Great Goddess, and based on all of the
herstory I have read on the ancient matriarchal societies,
and my own personal experiences with christians/christianity,
and other patriarchal religions, I will never endorse them, nor
will I ever accept the concept of a self-created male god, or
any male god.

December7
May 28th, 2001, 09:08 AM
@Tigerwallah and Amberlaine

I don't really think my constant changing believes is a good thing... At least I feel bad when thinking of it. I mean I don't have any special god or pantheon or religion I could consider as "my" god/religion/pantheon. It's confusing not being able to tell people "I believe that..." I mean if they ask "what's your religion?" I couldn't give an answer, I couldn't even answer the question "what's the name of your god?" And that drives me mad... :(


@Mystique

What do you mean with "a self-created" male god????
And why can't you accept the idea of a male god at all?

Tigerwallah
May 28th, 2001, 09:51 AM
December 7, I know what you mean. It will come to you though. It may be hard to believe that now, but it will. Just keep looking into the things you are interested in. Study the religious history of the cultures you are most drawn to, and research. Most of all, follow your heart. If something sounds wrong it is. If something seems like a reminder of something you knew all along, well, that is the path you should take. I was a Pagan/Wiccan/Witch for 5 years before I knew the name of my goddess. There were clues, but it took me that long to get one

Listen, she/he will talk to you.:sunny: :heartthro :sunny:

amberlaine
May 28th, 2001, 10:31 AM
Or...
you may never have a name for what you are and what you believe.

It is convenient to have a lable like "Wiccan" or "Christian" to assign yourself so that such questions like "What religion are you?" become more readily answered. However, the convenience of a lable can also be very annoying. Imagind having to say to someone, "Well, I'm Wiccan, but I follow the JEwish God, and I follow Qabala, and I don't practice magic, and etcetcetc....." The trouble with a convenient lable is that once you call yourself "<insert religion here>" you assign to yourself all of the attributes of that religion--whether or not you believe them, and you leave out many aspects that yor probably embrace, simply because your personal beliefs end up falling outside of the mainstream of your chosen religion.

You may or may not ever find a convenient lable for yourself, and thats ok. You don't *have* to have your own pantheon. I think its "in vogue" for pagans to choose a pantheon, whether or not a particular pantheon calls to them, and this is unnecessary. In my own belief system, God is GOd is God--and whetever you call it, it hears you. It knows you. NAmes/faces/pantheons--these, again, are convenient handles to allow one to "get a grip" on God--but do you need one? I mean, really and truly *need* one? No. Does your deity need a name? No. If you throw your hands to the heavens ans scream, "Great Mother help me!" do you think She will ignore you because you have not arbitrarily given Her a name?

Probably not.


Your relationship with Deity is yours and yours alone. You don't need a title, a lable, or a name or a face for your Deity. You don't need to be able to easily answer the question, "What religion are you?" IF your religious and spiritual beliefs are complex, dont bother trying to simplify them to fit into any one religion. As you become more comfortable in your own belief system, whatever it may be, you'll still change and your beliefs will still evolve, but you'll come to expect and even welcome these changes. It's how one grows spiritually. You'll see :)

Earth Walker
May 28th, 2001, 10:32 AM
Originally posted by December7
@Tigerwallah and Amberlaine

I don't really think my constant changing believes is a good thing... At least I feel bad when thinking of it. I mean I don't have any special god or pantheon or religion I could consider as "my" god/religion/pantheon. It's confusing not being able to tell people "I believe that..." I mean if they ask "what's your religion?" I couldn't give an answer, I couldn't even answer the question "what's the name of your god?" And that drives me mad... :(


@Mystique

What do you mean with "a self-created" male god????
And why can't you accept the idea of a male god at all?



A self-created male god is an insupportable inconcept. All life
originates with the Mother.
A book I am familiar with, When God Was A Woman, by Merlin
Stone, tells us that when patriarchy invaded Goddess/Matriarchal
societies, they insisted that the Goddess have a husband for
"guidance"----which later became lover/son----and later the
christian "god" -----and other patriarchal "gods" Yahweh, Allah....
I have studied the Herstory of Goddess Traditions from around
the world, and they all agree with one another.
I have also studied bibles from different "christian" cults, and
other patriarchal religions and found that they all kill each other
trying to prove that only they are right.
Goddess/Matriarchal societies never had "religious" wars like
the patriarchs had and still do!!!
The bible: a patriarchal fairy tale that starts with; "In the
beginning..........."

Emy
May 28th, 2001, 11:48 AM
What you are saying here is very interesting, Mystique, and I must say I agree with you, I too believe that all lifes originates from a mother, and I find it much easier "to buy the concept" of a female god, a godess, than of a male god..

I'd however love to hear more about what you've learned studying all that herstory, do you wish to share with us some of the things you've learned?


Blessed be

Mairwen
May 28th, 2001, 11:52 AM
That would be a good topic to put in "The History Forum". Thanks.

eaglewolf
May 28th, 2001, 02:30 PM
The repugnant smell of cult is burning my nose...

...oops, did I say that out load? Sorry Mairwen et al!

Before you say anything Tiger, the answer is yes.

~ew

Mairwen
May 28th, 2001, 02:31 PM
:rolleyes:

eaglewolf
May 28th, 2001, 02:36 PM
I must apologize for my mindlessly foolish actions...

...there is a yellowish tint to the milk in my cheerios and I don't know who did it.

aaarrrrggghhhh, life's little mysteries really get to me at times.

~ew

Tigerwallah
May 28th, 2001, 08:23 PM
Originally posted by eaglewolf
The repugnant smell of cult is burning my nose...

...oops, did I say that out load? Sorry Mairwen et al!

Before you say anything Tiger, the answer is yes.

~ew

Eaglewolf, you are a real stinker!!! ;)

December7
May 29th, 2001, 08:46 AM
Don't have to get that, have I? :)


Another question: How do you deal with Christian culture, which most of us are completely surrounded by? I mean no matter if you consider yourself Christian (Christian related, Christian-Wicca or what ever) or not, you can't escape Christian influence at all. I guess most of your relatives and friends are Christians (whether they practice their religion or not), so do you (for example) celebrate Christmas with them?
Wouldn't that be somewhat...false (You celebrate the birth of a god you don't believe in)?
And those of you having children (or knowing a wiccan/pagan parent), how do you raise your kids?

My, there are hundreds of questions I could ask :)

Tigerwallah
May 29th, 2001, 12:04 PM
You are absolutely right!!! It is very difficult to live in a Christian society, but not impossible. I simply go my own way when it comes to spirituality, and let my friends and family go their own way. Conveiniently, Christmas can be celebrated as Winter Solstice, instead of Easter, I celebrate the New Year etc. Luckily, when Christianity took over from Judaism, which took over from the old religions, they all kept the holidays the same so as not to put the followers into a state of confusion. So, I can celebrate all holidays with my family. Instead of sending out Christmas cards, I send out Nature inspired "Season's Greetings," and I rather enjoy the whole gift giving aspect of the retail Christmas, which is far removed from the Christian "Christmas." Even my Jewish friends celebrate Christmas in the Fat man in a red suit bringing gifts to good boys and Girls way. Many Christmas traditions are not Christian at all, but Pagan - like kissing beneath the mistletoe. So, my theory is that as long as it is joyous to you, celebrate away. One does not need to embrace the Christian faith to do this, just embrace your friends and family.

I, personally, would raise my children to be pagan, but would give them the opportunities and freedom to chose for themselves when they started to ask questions.

amberlaine
May 29th, 2001, 01:26 PM
I don't try to escape Christian culture. I see it for the beauty that it does hold, I reject the things I cannot accept, and I see within their religion reflections of my own path.

I think pagans get their panties in a knot over nothing sometimes. Rather than trying to "deal with" the Chrstian culture, we should try to "work with" that culture. Within everything and every path there is a notion of the Goddess. All you have to do is find her. When I go to church with my mother, I pray. I pray to God the way I envision it. The energy that surrounds me, the love the other people within that space have for God, is very real, and though we may see God differently, we still acknowledge God. Names, faces, pantheons--these things serve to alienate and separate people far more than they do to unite people, imo. If we could stop arguing over which is better--Yahweh, Allah, Kernunnos, Isis, Inanna, etc, and just accept that God is God is God, we'd all be a lot better off.

I think there is beauty in all religions. I believe that the Goddess exists in all religions--just sometimes she may appear incognito to traditional pagans.

I wrote an article a few months ago called "Ave Maria, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Recognize Goddess." It's about my experience discovering the Goddess in the middle of a catholic wedding ceremony. You can read it here: http://www.mothersmagic.net/witches/wicca/pdf/maria.pdf

I wrote another article about discovering what it means to be part of the Body of Christ from a pagan point of view. You can read that article here: http://www.mothersmagic.net/witches/wicca/pdf/christ.pdf

You need Adobe's Acrobat Reader to read this documents (because I'm much too lazy to convert them to HTML right now), and you can downlaod the Reader here: http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html

I have a 2 year old. I'm raising her to follow her heart. I'll teach her my views of God until she's old enough to forge ar elationship of her own. I dot care what title or lable she gives herself, as long as her relationship with God is real and honest.