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Why I became a Pagan
By Jamie

Growing up I had always belonged to a Methodist church. During my teenage years I was particularly close to the church probably because of their strong youth group program. It gave me something to do on weekends when I was bored and also gave me a sense of belonging and filled a need I had at the time. I basically knew nothing else at the time. I had even considered (very briefly) becoming a minister.

I grew up in a isolated rural communtity on a dairy farm. I was always very close to nature. On a farm sometimes closer than I really wanted to be. I went through phases where I was closer to the church and other phases where I was farther away.

When I grew up the church was much less fun than I remembered it as a teenager in the youth group. We no longer took fun field trips and played volleyball or softball on a hot summer day. I became somewhat disenchanted. I found it very dry and stuffy. Basically it had reached a dead end.

I found myself longing for the connection yet tiring of the lecturing and hypocracy. During my marriage I felt obligated to occasionally attend church. Yet I was feeling increasingly disenchanted and left each sermon feeling drained and empty instead of uplifted. I got to the point where I believed less and less what was being fed to me.

I wanted the freedom to make up my own mind what I believed instead of just following along with the program. One particular part of X-tianity that bothered me was the Jesus thing.

I never understood why did some guy 2000 years ago have to be horribly tortured and mutilated and die a slow agonizing death for me to be forgiven. Nope, I just don't buy that.

I tried telling myself it was just symbolic, but I just don't believe it. Don't get me wrong I believe Jesus was a good man and a great teacher and had some good ideas. But, I believe if the Goddess wants to forgive me she will simply do so, and why exactly do I need forgiveness?

We are all human and that is the way we were made. It's simply our nature and we don't need to go around apologizing for it all the time. We are all here as a learning process. We all choose our paths and make our mistakes and eventually after repeating them over and over hopefully learn something from them. But back to what I was saying... I went through a divorce and some painful times.

I really needed some spirituality in my life. Unfortunately the church i was attending just was not meeting my needs for many various reasons. I wasn't going to the Methodist church and I wasn't about to go back. I just wasn't comfortable there any more. Only this left me with a void in my life. Being divorced I no longer felt obligated to keep up the pretense of being a "good christian" I was finally free to explore new directions and I began to feel the call of the Goddess. I could go to any church I wanted.

I briefly toyed with going to a spiritualist church, but there were none nearby. I was simply not interested in attending any of the Christian churches nearby. It turned my stomach to think of going back there. If your a Christian reading this I don't mean any disrespect. It just wasn't doing it for me.

You're welcome to believe whatever you believe and if that is what you need in your life and makes sense to you then that is where you need to be at this point. I however did spent over 30 years of my life in such a church so I feel that entitles me to at least express some of my own opinion. Just don't let it bother you.

I began to realize from my interest in the paranormal that many of my friends online were pagans or wiccans. I didn't really understand what this meant, but I did know that they were really interesting and really neat people. I decided to learn more of my own accord. Nobody approached me and I had to do quite a bit of research to find out what it was all about.

The more I read and learned the more interesting it seemed. It was like what I had beleived my entire life. I heard the goddess calling and I answered that call. An online friend of mine put me in touch with a Unitarian church. They in turn put me in touch with a wiccan who was forming a learning group.

I sometimes wonder if she has any idea how much that tiny bit of information she gave me helped me. I seriously doubt it. Its Shocking what a little change can do for your life! I suddenly felt in touch with the universal diety again.

I've been going to my wiccan learning group for a year now. I affectionately refer to them as my coven. Its been very interesting and far from being tired of it I still have tons to learn and Im still very excited about paganism and wicca. I no longer feel a void in my life spiritually.

I have found the path I was looking for, or rather she found me, and it feels like Im finally home. Wicca is an earth centered religion. That means that nature and the earth is sacred to us. We aren't here to use nature as we please. Nature isn't here to only to serve us. Rather we exist as a part of nature. The cycles of the sun and the moon are also important to us as are the seasonal changes.

They remind us of the circle of life and how the universe operates. Another thing important in Wicca is the recognition of the Goddess as a female instead of a male. We believe that divinity is not separate from us in some lofty place, but omnipresent all around us in every thing.

Wiccans are not evil and don't worship satan or the devil. One of our most basic tennets is not to harm others. We sometimes worship in a temple or church, but just as often outdoors in direct connection with nature. We don't worship by sitting on a pew and having people telling us what to believe.

We worship by participating, chanting, singing, dancing, and feeling the connection with the divine powers. Magick is often a part of Wicca, but not in the way you think. Spells are more often like prayers asking for help in our daily lives much as other religions do. Its just a different manner of doing so.

So why all the tools and robes and stuff you ask? Its not necessary and many Pagans don't use any special equipment, yet many do. Its simply used to set our worship apart from our daily lives and to help set the mood for a more spiritual atmosphere. Blessed be!

May the goddess smile upon you.

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