Guidance on my Journey into Paganism


In hopes that I am able to receive proper and overdue guidance in my sudden journey into paganism I would like to tell you a short summary of how I became the overwhelmed yet blindly dedicated being I am today….

First things first, no religion, deity, path, etc… should ever ask for BLIND devotion. Anyone that tells you differently – you need to run – far and fast in the opposite direction.

I’m going to go through somewhat point by point, but the TL;DR answer is – you need to slow down. You didn’t say how long you’ve been at this, but the impression I get is that most of this has been fairly recent and that you are expecting things to instantly happen for you. “Faith is a journey, not a destination.” It’s a favorite quote and one that is very apt for almost any Pagan path. The point being, it’s not how fast you get there (or even necessarily about getting to whatever your ultimate goal is), but rather taking the time along the way to fully experience all the things that bring you closer to it.   

Honestly, in disregard of all warning and religious or non- religious beliefs, I chose to very avidly work with a Ouija board. The board as I was told, was not yet used by anyone, nor the people who I ended up having a very odd and short roommate situation with at my home… so therefore, me being the one person that has always been in on the conversation with the board from the beginning, I assume rights are basically mine on it and it is most bonded to me. I do feel and have from the beginning, felt a very intrapersonal and protective Vibe about the board.

Worth noting here – ouija boards are just tools that help us focus (similar to other objects we might use during ritual or for casting). There is nothing inherently dangerous about them. Just make sure you are grounding yourself. If you feel it’s necessary you can always cast a circle for added protection, but that’s up to you. 

Regardless, once very deep into my spiritual “Adventure” with it.. I guess I would call it… I started receiving what seemed to be very important, and to this day I 100%believe to be more than subconscious (due to the knowledge both I and the other board member had/have on this subject), messages about being a naturally born pagan of some variation. It began religiously speaking of the potential Within Me of “strong” Magick and many times about spells the importance that I follow this path on the multiverse itself.

Being Pagan simply means that you follow a non-Abrahamic religion. There’s nothing about practicing Paganism that requires “natural born talent.” Witchcraft can be incorporated into one’s Pagan path, but again, it’s more a matter of practice makes perfect, rather than needing any sort of inherent talent. Magic happens because we will it. There are other factors that have influence, but “as I will, so mote it be” – that is the core. So while we all (or most of us, anyway) have innate potential, it’s how much we work on honing that potential that matters.

As unsure and skeptical as I was… I had always found interest in the craft and such. The instant I decided to begin converting myself, (or at least begin hardcore research and experiment the best I could on my budget, with it being so sudden)… Was the moment that my Patron Goddess Hekate visited me (through one of my MANY candle powered, Jade and frankincense incense fueled, board sessions) that she wanted me to “open myself” to her and create some form of spiritual connection, Bond or Pact. Since then, I have been mostly blind other than Google and my best friend’s mother who, coincidentally also has a very strong Pact with the same goddess. I have so far, chosen to try my best on walking this path and understanding it on my own… But I fear the mistakes and overconfidence that I may have mistakenly made along the way.

Again, why choose to be “blind” to all other things? This doesn’t make any sense. Even if your Goddess asked that you not serve anyone else (which is pretty uncommon, but not totally unheard of), you should still be looking into ways to properly work with her and serve her, which involves researching and talking to others who do the same. I’ll reiterate, no one asks for blind obeisance. If they do, there is something very, very wrong.  

At one point, I was very strongly attracted to Alchemy. However, while it seems to correlate with things in my life (such as the phrase “Full Circle”, which has been a very strongly charged and repetitive saying in my life)by random and seems to pique my interest… I feel this strong calling inside of me saying that it’s not my “correct” form of magick or that maybe this just isn’t all or I’m not processing it properly. Every simple spell, incantation, or enchantment , Etc seems to either backfire or not work plain and simple. I’ve tried creating them 100% of My Own, 100% by the book and also casting somewhere in the middle. I have crafted my own pendulum, my own candles and my own oil . I even crafted my own Ouija board . I’m not sure if NOTHING exactly work, but nothing that I’m aware of has… and it just seems that there should be a hint by now of something. Am I just completely lost?

Alchemy is more of a science, mostly involving chemical processes, rather than a form of magic. Keep in mind as well, that magic can’t defy the laws of physics/nature. So if you are trying to transform physical things with your spells, that’s probably why it’s not working. Additionally, if you are casting spell after spell and can’t get any of them to work, it’s likely because your focus is too scattered. You can’t manifest your will if your will is divided between multiple goals.

Start small. I know I’m repeating myself, but slow down. Magic takes time, it is rare that something happens instantly. So if you are expecting to say a spell and see immediate results, that’s unlikely to happen. Also, make sure that you are very specific with your goals (as much as you can be). Because if you are vague, magic will happen in ways that you didn’t expect. Example: You do prosperity spell (maybe you are hoping to win the lottery or some other larger sum of money), but when you are casting you just say something like “money come to me.” A week later you find a penny on the ground. Did your spell work – sure. Was it what you wanted – obviously not. But that’s not the magic’s fault, it’s on us to cover all the loopholes.

Also, even if we are super specific, that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen either. You don’t just say a few words and “poof.” Magic is not easy. It’s a lot of work and still often requires physical action on our part. Another example: You are sitting in a dark room and want to turn on the light. You can cast all the spells you want, but unless someone physically flicks the light switch, that light is never going to turn on. A key take away from that is to word your spells in a way that makes it easier for them to manifest. Using the example – instead of simply willing the light to turn on, which is unlikely to ever happen by itself, instead, focus your spell toward getting someone to turn it on. Of course, if you are the only person in the room, then obviously, the easiest method would just be to get up and turn the light on yourself. Magic is not always the right answer. In most cases we should always look to mundane solutions before turning to magical ones.

Am I not meant to do any of this? Is there any way to find out what my magical branch is meant to be, if so? And any other possible guidance that could be given in regards to my path… I would greatly appreciate…

I don’t necessarily think you are doing anything wrong, just that you need to take a few steps back and take a bit of a breather. I know it’s exciting when we embark on a new journey. Especially when we feel called to something that feels important, we want to do as much as we can as fast as we can – but that is not the proper way. So slow down, research, study, and practice. If something isn’t working – examine what it is that you are trying to do. Are you attempting something that is utterly impossible? If so, you need to make adjustments.

Also, there is nothing that says you have to have a particular “branch” of magic. Witchcraft is just witchcraft. There may be some things that you feel called to work with more specifically, but that is just personal choice. There’s no reason not to study and use whatever interests you (assuming it’s not something that belongs to a closed culture/religion – in which case you need to make sure you are not appropriating something you don’t have a right to)

In any case, take the time you need to really enjoy the journey. Don’t be in such a rush to get where you think you are supposed to be going, that you miss the meaningful insights that can be gained along the way. The point too, and if you ask any number of Pagans, I think it’s safe to say many will agree – the direction you are pulled towards when you start isn’t always the direction you keep going in or necessarily the direction that ends up being the right one. Sometimes too, there will be side paths that seem interesting, and it’s worth exploring them, even if we end up abandoning them at a later time. Or maybe it’s the old path that needs to be abandoned, or you’ll travel multiple paths simultaneously.

The point is that we are always learning and growing and changing. Change is scary, but not always a bad thing. Without it, we’d stagnate and that isn’t good for anyone.

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Who Can Worship The Norse Gods?


My partner wants to worship the Norse deities but runs into a lot of media that says that he only wants to appropriate them because he (as a white person) doesn’t have any connection to gods of his own. Do you believe you need to be descended from a certain group (in this case the Norse) in order to worship their deities?

Pre-Christian Norse culture/religion was never closed, and especially given how far and wide they traveled (and intermarried), it’s pretty ridiculous to even claim it. As far as I know, the only people who say such things are ultra-folkish and/or white supremacist groups who are seriously misrepresenting things to cater to their own exclusionary agendas.

I would point to this article published in the Iceland Magazine in May 2017, which focuses on Ásatrú (which is currently an official religion in Iceland), but would apply to the Norse Gods as well, and the following quote in particular:

Anyone can practice the religion but only Icelandic residents can join Ásatrúarfélagið

Only Icelandic citizens or people who have a domicile in Iceland can become members of the Ásatrúarfélag, but anyone can practice Ásatrú, regardless of their nationality or residence. It costs nothing to join and is open to all, irrespective of race, cultural background, gender or sexual orientation.

Ásatrúarfélag is the national pagan association in Iceland – which is why that particular group is only open to those who live in that county. But the religion itself and worship of the Gods is open to all. And I mean, if anyone would know, it’s them right?

Now, I do feel that it’s worth mentioning the following though. Whether or not other religions are able to be practiced by everyone depends on the culture/religion in question. Some are open to everyone – Norse and Hellenic practices for example, while others, such as Native American religions, are closed to those who are not members of the culture (or who have not been adopted into the culture). So it’s always better to ask, if one is unsure.

 

Happy New Year!!


Our sincerest apologies for not posting the last month or so. Seems like the last Mercury Retrograde of the year hit hard, and despite it heading off on it’s merry way a couple weeks into November, between the Holidays and everything else, posting fell to the wayside. (Must of been all the prepping for the end of the world!! XD) In any case hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday season, and as always we would love to hear about your experiences.

In November we celebrated we not only celebrated our One Year Anniversary, but we also passed our 10,000 view milesote!! So we are definitely excited about that. Here’s to a prosperous and joyous 2013 as we continue our journey together!!! It’s already off to a great start, as we have 2 questions lined up for the month, and we are looking forward to many more. So if you’ve got a question you’ve been dying to know the answer too, or need a different perspective on – please feel free to ask!! That’s what we are here for.  We will also be continuing the Pagan Insights Project, so feel free to join us in that as well!!

For those that are interested – The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report us, so if you’d like to check out some of the highlights that you missed…

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 11,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 18 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Happy New Year!!!  🙂

Call for Submissions


Just wanted to take this opportunity to let you all know that we are always looking for new devotionals, prayers, chants, etc… for our Sacred Moments posts. This can also include images of your altar or shrine, as it’s decorated for a particular ritual or celebration, or art work as well. If you have something that you’d like to share with us, please feel free to email it to submissions@theinformedpagan.org

If it’s something that you personally wrote, please be sure to include your name, so that we can give credit to you. If you are not the original author, please give the original source, if known – or if you don’t know, mention that you don’t know, but give as much information about it as you can. That way we can try to look it up before posting. For all artwork, or altar/shrine images please only submit items that are your original works (again along with your name so that we can give proper credit).

Also a quick reminder, if you have any questions please feel free to use the Ask A Pagan page. We sort of rely on user input and questions, and when no one is asking – it’s up to us to come up with what we think you might want to know. However we’d much rather write about what sort of things you are actually interested in knowing more about, so please don’t hesitate to ask, comment or email us. Suggestions are always welcome!

🙂

Pagan Blog Project


Hey there!

Some of us at T.I.P. have been writing along with the Pagan Blog Project (see blog roll to the right). We’ve found it an interesting and fun way not only to explore different areas of our religions and spiritualities, but to see what other Pagan blogs are out there, and what people are writing about.

Are you participating in the Pagan Blog Project? What have you enjoyed (or not!) about it thus far? What will you be writing about this week?

Welcome


The Informed Pagan is a collaborative Pagan community that can be used as a resource for learning more about the various religions and practices that fall under the Pagan umbrella. A place where one can ask any question and expect thoughtful, honest answers, based not only on collective experiences, but currently available scholarly research.

Founded by a group of Pagans from various paths, we are dedicated towards promoting responsibility and integrity within the Pagan Community, through knowledge and awareness. Paganism is a very broad topic, and there is a ton of misinformation that has been perpetuated over the years, and unfortunately, very little has been done to stop it.

Most of us started out, as many do, rather “fluffy”, not knowing what we were doing, and often trusting what we thought were reliable resources, only to find that we’d been misled. The misleading wasn’t always done intentionally, but it was clear that there was a serious lack of genuinely reliable resources for those who were seeking a Pagan path. In talking about how far we had come and how embarrassed we were at some of the things we had once said and written (and yes we have ALL been there), we felt strongly that more guidance should be available for Pagans of all types. Talking about this wasn’t enough, and we decided we needed to take action. Which brings us here, to TIP.

The Informed Pagan is for anyone who needs a bit of help navigating the world of Paganism. If you are unsure of what you should be doing, which authors are reliable, or even what you believe, just ask. ALL QUESTIONS ARE WELCOME!! We have the knowledge and experience to help you find the answers that you seek, as you journey forward on your Pagan path.