Thursday, July 18, 2013

Why do you need a path?

Over and over again, I see people new to paganism talk about how they struggle to pick a path, a tradition, a label.  They are so frustrated and disheartened and lonely, and it makes me sad for them.  I went through this so many years ago that I wasn't even the person I am today. Of course, most people at fourteen don't really resemble their adult selves, so that shouldn't be a surprise.    I'm rambling a bit.  Sorry.  I want to share a few thoughts about choosing a path for all of those people who have stepped away from long established religious practice and into something new.

Ask yourself this: What do I need spiritually?  You'd be surprised how often we over look this detail.  For me, I need balance and an equal opportunity to create my own destiny and to be equally loved by my my deities.  This need grew out of one of those childhood conversations with a family member about religion.  It left me unsatisfied, offended and determined to find something better for me.  I was eight, and my faith shattered then.  I tried for a while to be a good girl and do what was expected of me, but my heart wasn't in it. That faith denied so much of what I could see as real as the work of evil. It ignored so many bad things, so many unjust things, and I couldn't live that way.  I explored, through books, other ways of believing, other gods, other ideas about religion.  My mom bought be my first book on Wicca, and for a time, it seemed to be a good fit.  By the time I was twenty, I was finding it to be too stifling.  It was rigid and hierarchical.  The local covens made me uncomfortable, and so again I drifted.  I drifted so far that I was rather easily classified as an agnostic.  After by first baby was born, I began to explore my spirituality again.  It kept me sane; it helped me make sense of my world, and it made life richer, better.  Since that new beginning, I have never considered my journey complete. I am constantly evolving and forging onward to a goal that has no paths to it.  To get there, I understand that I cannot walk any well worn path, old or new, popular or rarefied.  I have to figure it out myself.  Maybe you don't need to do that, but you should at least acknowledge the possibility that no pre-made path will suit you because you need something else.

Choosing one path over another should not negate anyone else's.  In my opinion, there are no false idols in this life, only false prophets who would steer souls a particular direction for their own purposes.  If a path requires you to block out the call of one deity in favor of another, you should be asking questions about why that is. I may tend towards Celtic depictions of deities but that doesn't mean that Coyote and Mercury cannot call to me from time to time.  The sand painting of a Kachina that I've carried with me from place to place my entire adult life holds a protective energy that I appreciate, but don't understand.  It doesn't mean I can't acknowledge and believe the teachings of the Buddha or Jesus.  I can accept heartfelt and lovingly intended blessings from Christian and Muslim friends just as I can from those who worship the same as I do.  If you feel truly drawn to a path or a deity, follow where they lead, so long as the connection is there.  IF the time comes for you to part ways, thank them for their lessons, for their guidance and move on.

The last thing I will share is the hardest thing to accept.  Sometimes, our path finds us.  Don't struggle so hard.  Sometimes we have to wait until we are older, stronger, wiser, more confused, more open or more desperate to understand what we really want and really need.  I never set out to be here, but there are lessons that I learned that never would have found me if  I had never wandered lost and uncertain.

I hope that this helps those who are searching for a path.  It's not easy to leave an organized faith or even disorganized acceptance of certain principles of a faith for the unknown.  There is no road map for spiritual fulfillment because we all need something a little different.  If you are searching, meditate on what you need, what you want.  Challenge those thoughts and try to be open to the gentle nudges that will point you in the right direction.  It gets easier to do your own thing over time, and one day, you will wake up and find yourself where you needed to be.  Happy travels to you and a blessing to you as you journey!

2 comments:

  1. Wow! Thank you. Just thank you. This helps so much.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You are very welcome!

    ReplyDelete

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