Posted 15 March 2006 - 04:23 AM
Posted 16 March 2006 - 01:35 PM
When I was a teenager, I was very devoutly Catholic (even found refuge in St. Patrick Church and school in Eau Claire, Wis. as a young, scared teenager for 6 months until my family up-rooted, again). It is one of the few memories I clearly have of my childhood - going to that school. I made friends with a Sister there (she was teased mercilessly by the kids because of her over-bite, but I thought she was a lovely, lovely person and I knew how much it hurt to be ostracized). So, a lot of religious sentiment and life lessons were instilled within me, there.
Later on, I became interested in Buddhism, Wiccan and atheism. Ironically, a "bad spirit" pulled me back to Christianity, as I believe God protected me from the evil entity. My aunt has instilled within me strong ties to Christianity, as well. So, although I remain quite "open" spiritually (and, greatly admire Buddhist beliefs), I tend to consider myself a Christian, but not any particular denomination thereof.
My grandfather, Howard, used to always say when my grandmother was getting the kids ready for church on Sunday (Grandpa was, no doubt, watching the Packers game), "I don't need to go to church to talk with God. I can talk to Him right here." I always found that funny and, yet, quite poignant.
Posted 16 March 2006 - 04:46 PM
im really not sure, but i do enjoy learning about other religions and everyone is entitled to follow what they believe in.
Posted 16 March 2006 - 10:47 PM
I still have some doubts, though...
Anyway...err, Greek-Orthodox, actually. That's pretty much what there is here in Greece. x3
Posted 17 March 2006 - 06:05 PM
I love and try my best to follow the teachings of Jesus. I believe strongly in a source of creation that I call my God. However, I also believe strongly that the Earth is the mother of us all, with all of the respect and honor that the title implies. I believe that every organism on this Earth is connected in a very fundamental way to every other thing. I respect animals and plants as beings that are sencient and that they possess a spirit. I am a biologist and believe in the adaptation of species, and I do not believe in the fixity of species. I believe that the church has done some atrocious things in the name of God, which makes me extremely suspicious of any organized religion. I truly believe there is a balance of positive and negative forces in the universe. I believe that there is a spirit world that we cross over to when we die, may you call it heaven, valhalla, nirvana, paradise, or the clearing at the end of the path. I think that spirits that are too preoccupied with the material representations of this world may stay on to "haunt" the living, but I also think that these spirits are the exceptions, and that most "hauntings" are residual recordings of extreme emotional distress.
That may or may not have clarified anything, (sigh) oh well!
It certainly was longer than I expected, sorry...
Posted 19 June 2006 - 10:13 PM
In case you are wondering, I am curious (academically) as to rapid growth in the Wiccan/Pagan population especially here in the US. Basically, has there been a good sized population of Wiccans all along (contrary to the 1940'ish theory of the Wiccan belief) or did the interest just grow?
If your family is more traditional (Christian), what made you follow this path?
Posted 19 June 2006 - 10:20 PM
To answer your question, I guess I followed my path because I just think that you can only have your own beliefs, and it shouldnt be something someone teaches you.
Oh sorry, btw, Welcome to the village!
Edited by jakob493, 19 June 2006 - 10:23 PM.
Posted 19 June 2006 - 11:20 PM
I come at this from a slightly different angle. My mother is a Christian, my father is agnostic but comes from an Irish Catholic family. I was raised in a home that had no structural religious foundation - we never routinely went to church or the like, except for weddings or funerals.
When I was in the 6th grade, my parents pulled me out of public school (long story) and put me in an Irish Catholic school. This was my first real chance at experiencing Christianity and one of the few periods of my childhood that offer comforting memories.
I left the Catholic school after one semeter (my family moved). I was mostly homeschooled from then on until I graduated.
After my first divorce, I became very interested in Buddhism (it helped give me some answers to my life). After studying Buddhism for a while, I started becoming interested in Wiccan beliefs. I am fortunate enough to live in a town that offers an eclectic assortment of people from all walks of life and beliefs and it was this that led me down these various paths while in college.
Today, however, I have come "full circle" in many ways. Though I have essentially "cut ties" with most Wiccan beliefs, I still hold on to much of what I learned from Buddhism. I have also gotten closer in touch with my Irish Catholic side.
Though, I find religion as a strict structural element in my life rather difficult to take, I do still believe in God (He and I are working on our relationship, currently) and I find comfort in both the teachings of Christianity and Buddhism. I have seen the downs and ups of organised religion and follow my own path, so-to-say, regarding religion because of this.
Edited by Vivienne_DuBois, 19 June 2006 - 11:23 PM.
Posted 20 June 2006 - 03:04 AM
I live in the UK, but I still think it's worth posting my history for you, I also have a view on why Paganism/Wicca has had such a rapid growth not just in the US but globally.
My Parents were 'New Age', they bounced off the freedom of 60's thinking and searched for their own spiritual & religious needs.
Back then there wasn't a huge resource of information around to enable this, so they ended up with a mish mash of Christian & Hindu with a spattering of New Age bits & pieces thrown in.
For a young person this was quite confusing.
But I found myself uneasy with organised religion and the way it was force fed to me at school. Dull, lifeless and soul destroying - what on earth was the point?
So I was turned off spirituality in a big way, thinking that only the weak willed needed faith & belief as a crutch to help them through life.
Then one day in my early 20s I was walking on Dartmoor and was hit by a revelation; I had always loved nature & spent as much time as possible on my own surrounded by wilderness. There was comfort in this, although I had no idea why. I began to think that I was missing the point of something, that there was a huge secret that I needed to know that could explain why nature was so important to me.
By chance I watched a TV programme that explored indigenous nature-worshipping around the globe - Bingo! Everything slotted into place, Nature was my religion, That was why I was so touched by it, it affected me at a spiritual level.
From there it was a natural progression into Paganism via the readily accessible information on Wicca.
I have moved away from Wiccan thought over the last 3 years now and find myself very eclectic in my approach - a bit like my parents I suppose, but thankfully with a lot more knowedge at my disposal.
Now, I'm sure that my path would have been more difficult without the Net, the fact that information is so easy to come by these days and that popular TV shows like Charmed, Buffy & Angel & countless others address Witchcraft in a positive way (thankfully) has meant that people are asking the right questions that can lead them to research Paganism & Wicca.
It allows them a spiritual freedom, a way to seek their own truths rather than to be told what to believe or how to worship.
We have entered a new age, one of heightened personal awareness and a need to discover the truth about ourselves, our history, our potential.
More and more people are asking the questions that can lead them to greater spiritual awareness and paradoxicallly this has caused a shift away from organised religion, although they are still going strong.
I think that Wicca is the most easily accessible 'alternative religion' available and that attracts a lot of people.
Posted 20 June 2006 - 04:18 AM
well my mum was brought up a catholic and my dad was brought up as a Protestant, but none of them were bothered and we never went to church apart from weddings or funerals, my dad was also a bit of an atheist, which has rubbed off on me a little bit.
through my teens i got very intrested in wicca and paganism and im now 30 and still interested in that, but i have always loved the outdoors and love everything about nature - there is nothing better than walking through the forest on my own and just feeling so at home with nature. i love animals, plants, flowers, butterfies, dragonflies, and the way nature changes with each season. i think spring is the best as everything is renewing its self and starting over again.
so i would say it would have to be nature-worshipping for me.
my parents always taught me to respect other peoples beliefs and i do, as long as they respect mine.
welcome to ghost village!!!
good topic by the way!!!
Edited by rat girl, 20 June 2006 - 04:18 AM.
Posted 20 June 2006 - 04:37 AM
~I really don't have any beliefs...except to do what's right, greet & treat other's with open arms (jerks need friends too), don't lie, steal, or cheat, raise my kids to know the difference between right & wrong, between responsible & lazy, and to help those in need...no matter what skin color (my son's school has alot of racist crap going on)& to dance to the beat of a different drum. I've had many, many bad things, since childhood, that has happened to me & made me question certain things. One time in Florida, I dated a man that was into Wicca...but I think he wasn't doing it right because when he tried to introduce me to it, it scared the living crap out of me. I got me and the baby (he's 17 years old now) outta that house real fast & in a hurry!!! Lately, I've found myself getting a better grip on my Indian (Blackfoot) Heritage & how I have this *knowledge* of things to come that has seemed to have been passed down from my Great-Great-Great Grandmother, who was some kind of "to-do" in the tribe. I believe the major artery, if you will, of all religions is to have PEACE... in some way, shape, or form. Oh boy...I'd better stop because I can get into this pretty deep. Anyhoo~Welcome again & can't wait to read your experiences, see pics, etc...
Posted 20 June 2006 - 08:47 AM
I am from India, so I am not sure if my opinion might help you. I am a Hindu, and my family is too. Hinduism is about self-discovery, and worships God as the Supreme Being. All the old age religious practices all around the world, including Buddhism, Wiccan, Shamanism, Celts, Druids etc etc is said to be originated from the same line of beliefs that is Hinduism.
Posted 20 June 2006 - 01:25 PM
After the US' war with Mexico, these pioneers petitioned for statehood but were denied because of their religious beliefs. They kept petitioning, finally achieving statehood in 1896 - 45 years after their first request.
Why do I bring all this up? For starters, the 24th of July is coming up. Pioneer Day commemorates when Brigham Young reached Ensign Peak and declared the valley below him as the right place.
Secondly, looking over my ancestors' histories I see the result of religious intollerance, so it reminds me to be respectful - even if I don't agree with all the ideas out there.
I grew up in a lot different environment. My home village is 95% LdS, but all Christian denominations combined formed a minority at my high school. We had lots of Taoists, Buddhists, and people still practicing the ancient Hawaiian religion. Even Christians borrow ideas from the others. Nearly every home has a tiki of Lono (the god of peace) and at least one ti leaf plant (used to ward off evil spirits).
Edited by aloha_spirit, 29 December 2006 - 04:28 PM.
I didn't lose my mind - I have it backed up on a disk ... somewhere
Posted 21 June 2006 - 11:37 PM
My mothers mother was Wiccan and I saw a lot of strange things my grandma did that gave me a little faith in Wicca too.
I don't know what religion I am. I believe in God and I believe that Jesus was God's son. I believe that there is something more in nature than we modern humans could possibly comprehend. My Wiccan grandmother's father was Apache so I guess that's where that comes from. The worship of nature comes more natural to me than anything else. As you can see I'm very confused about religion and I'm sure I'm not the only one.
Posted 03 July 2006 - 10:12 PM
Welcome to Ghostvillage. great post.
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