FF#3 - How did you first get interested in Paganism, Wicca and / or witchcraft?
Looking back I think there was always an interest there long before I'd heard or knew anything about paganism. As a child I always thought there was more to the earth than just humans, I felt there was a spirit in things like stones on the beach or trees in the woods, and that there were other things around as well. I'm sure my parents thought it was just a phase I was going through. Religion's always interested me, I'm sure I was a real pain to my Sunday school teachers with some of the questions I use to ask, yet Christianity never seem to have any of the answers I was looking for. Then as my parent's work took them to other countries and I become an ex-pat brat, I got to know many new friends who had different religions, which of course just beg for more questions.
I must have been in my 20's before I met anyone who actually said they were Pagan and the more I learned and read the more I realised that this was a path that, while not answering all my questions was at least the one I belonged on and made sense of some of the questions that had bugged me since childhood. There is not one true way in Paganism, there is no one book or someone telling you what is the correct behaviour (though there are some who will try). It is very much about self responsibility, learning and trusting your own judgement.
The first Pagan I met was Wiccan and I'm happy to say I've now got many people who study Wicca as my friends, but, I soon realised that is wasn't the direction for me. Then I learned about Heathenry, there are no local groups around me and to be honest I'm not sure I'm a group person. If asked now I'm more likely to say I'm a follower of the old religions rather than a Heathen, yet it is the tenets of the Heathen religion that most sing to me, the Northern gods, my ancestors, the land I live on and the spirits within it. All of these things are part of my faith. There are elements of Druidry that also influence me as well, so for now I say the old religions of this land I feel my roots belong to.
There are many Pagan religions just the same as there are many other sorts of religions, all of which are then split into smaller groups. You can not lump all Pagans together and say we believe the same things, because we simply don't, yet there is often a common spiritual thread of independence that links us.
Now to witchcraft, ahh that is a whole different subject and as, unlike some of my Wicca friends, I don't see it as part of my faith I think it's best covered as a subject on it's own, which I will at a later date. I'd automatically have been called a witch because of my beliefs in the old religions of the land. So I'll accept that label now with pride, not shame. I'll take it as a description of someone who has an independent mind, spirit and a trust in my ancestors and my faith.
The above post was written as part of the Follow me Friday Blog Hop hosted by 'The Domestic Pagan' please visit the host via the link to find out the details and the other members of the hop are listed below;