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Feeling really confused - any advice welcome.

(77 Posts)
nearlythree Mon 15-Jan-07 11:03:45

I think I'm being a bit egocentric starting this thread but I'd really welcome some thoughts/advice/ experiences, esp. from Christians, pagans and anyone in between!

I've always been a Christian - in fact at one point I was going for the priesthood - but my faith has been expressed in different ways throughout my life. During my late twenties I became quite committed and was confirmed as an Anglican. But the church turned out to be quite unpleasant, and my intellectual study of my faith has led me to conclude that much of what Christianity teaches is false or unreliable in terms of the divinity of Jesus, although I still believe in his teachings as to how we should treat one another and ourselves.

My faith doesn't feed me any more. I've had a tough year and I get nothing from my faith, and the less I get the less I want to try. But I have tried, I pray, I read, I go to a different church - but it just isn't happening.

At the same time I've become interested in other spiritual ways. I have been collecting crystals and am starting to meditate. I've decided to get attuned so I can practise Reiki to help heal my children when they are ill. I want to start marking the solstices, and using nature in my sprituality more.

Although this doesn't really form a part of my tradition, it is a part of my family to some extent. My grandmother's family were Irish and I remember during my childhood little 'magic' things like she would never give a bag or purse without putting a coin in it 'so it would never be empty'. I am also sure that my mum described her grandmother as 'a witch'. I've also read a lot of the respected Christian author Elizabeth Goudge's works and her autobiography, and she clearly combined a belief in magic with Christianity.

I think that is what I am trying to do. I'm not interested in tarot or psychic awareness, that's not for me although I have no problem if it is for others. But still I am drawn to something.

If anyone has made it to the end of this, I'd really welcome your thoughts!

Thank you so much!

Twiglett Mon 15-Jan-07 11:19:02

have you read jonathon livingston seagull by richard bach?

(one handed typing sorry to be brusque)

nearlythree Mon 15-Jan-07 17:05:25

Thanks, Twiglett I haven't, no, but just had a look on Amazon and will def. buy iyt next time I place an order.

Does anyone else have any thoughts? (feeling a bit embarassed now...)

nearlythree Mon 15-Jan-07 21:01:47


shrub Mon 15-Jan-07 21:06:37

Your post makes me think of Rudolf Steiner, not sure if you are familiar with him? There are now many schools that follow his teachings

nearlythree Mon 15-Jan-07 21:11:40

Vaguely, Shrub. I know he was very into learning through natural play and exploration at a child's own pace. Just the sort of education I'd have wanted for the dcs but sadly not possible.

Thanks for your reply. Could you point me in the direction of any books?

nearlythree Mon 15-Jan-07 21:45:57


lulumama Mon 15-Jan-07 21:50:25

gosh...sounds very interesting and positive ! reiki is a marvellous gift, if you can do it ! glad you are looking at things moving forwards and trying new things to feel better.

my birthday is the summer solstice as it happens !

nearlythree Mon 15-Jan-07 22:17:55

Hi, lulumama!

I have no idea if I'll be able to do Reiki or not. I've prayed so hard to be able to heal, my dcs have been so unwell esp. my tiny dd2, I would give anything to be able to help them beyond the giving of Calpol.

As for the rest, I think I'm trying to decide how far I should go from what could be called conventional Christianity down a path that could be called more New Age or even pagan. I don't know about your tradition but mine often warns against New Age and Paganism - not warnings I take seriously.

But I'd love to know what you make of this. I once consulted a registered medical complementary therapist and I kid you not, I could see the evil in her room. I had that horrible liquid feeling inside and I just wanted to run. I felt very badly shaken and scared for some time afterwards. Later I found out that she did tarot etc.

Now, I've been with people who I know practise tarot etc. and not felt like that. So I wonder what it was about this woman that was so frightening? Was she doing something that was allowing something evil to work in her? Very weird.

Btw, I'm glad to speak to you, as it were, b/c I wanted to let you know I'm going to e-mail you but my address is an old one of dh's, so our mail ends up in the same in-box, IYSWIM.

lulumama Tue 16-Jan-07 07:13:04

our religion is not in favour of magic and that sort of thing,but kabbalah is incredibly mystical ..only supposed to be studied by men who have spent their adult live studying the torah anyway.....but there are certainly many superstitions and a belief in the 'evil eye' , if someone says your children are beautiful or lovely, you are supposed to say a certain phrase , 'k'nein a'hora' (can;t really write it properly, that is phonetically), to ward off the evil eye..lots of grandmothers do it! i think,that if traditional practising of your faith is not enough, it is ok to look outside its parameters and find something that fits....if god created the world, he created all that is in it, no? and people who can heal and help, whether that is called faith healing or reiki, or whatever......i know what you mean about sensing things...that is a good thing !

jabberwocky Tue 16-Jan-07 07:33:48

nearlythree, I have been down a similar spiritual path. After becoming completely disiluusioned w/ Christianity I didn't really know where to turn. I studied Buddhism for a while and still feel very comfortable with all that it encompasses. Still, it didn't completely satisfy my needs. Then I began to very tentatively research Wicca. I knew immediately that this was my spiritual home.

I suggest reading "Book of Shadows: A Modern Woman's Journey into the Wisdom of Witchcraft and the Magic of the Goddess by Phyllis Curott" as an introduction to Wicca. Even if you decide that Wicca is not for you the book is an interesting read.

It sounds as if you're grandmother may have been a Celtic witch. They have lovely traditions.

Twiglett Tue 16-Jan-07 10:00:46

have both hands now .. the book I recommended isn't about witchcraft but its about a different kind of spirituality form the Judeo-Christian beliefs .. it IS about a seagull though and on the surface could just be read as a kiddy story

but I liked it .. I think its uplifting and has a basic honesty that is closest to what I believe spiritually (I don't, simply can't, believe in organised religion nor in a single, separate, omnipotent Godhead that has been described by man, and gives us laws .. also determined by man)

squidette Tue 16-Jan-07 10:54:17


It seems like you are exploring a little bit! It think that it can be sometimes easy to become fixed on a destination so much that we forget that its the actual journey which is the 'living' part of life. Its ok to be confused - i often am. To recognise this is a sign that i am being aware that i dont know something and that there is a whole new part of something that i know nothing about! This is GOOD! Its being human - we dont always know everything and its fine to be uncomfortble or unsure.

You say you are drawn to something You may never find out what that something is, or you may. The feeling that you are drawn to it (whatever it is) is the feeling that is there for you to enjoy and explore and learn about. As you are doing in your own way.

nearlythree Tue 16-Jan-07 12:39:43

Thank you everyone!

Lulumama, I so agree about everything coming from God. That is why I feel comfortable with things like crystals and reiki. I think I've said before that Christian nature mystics talk of rocks and plants 'vibrating with God's love' - it seems to me it's all the same thing given different labels.

Jabberwocky, thank you for your ideas and book suggestion, I will get it when I order the seagull one! . I don't think wicca is where my home will be but I would like to have a deeper understanding of it - I'm really fascinated by some of the threads on here. I'm interested about what you say about my great-grandmother being a Celtic witch. I doubt she'd have thought of herself in those terms - in fact the family were Roman Catholic - but I believe she had second sight - I don't know anything else. By the time my grandmother was born the family were very anglicized in the East End. But I am very intersted in Celtic spirituality and the Celtic saints, and I know that a lot of the Celtic holy wells and stories of saints are pagan in origin. I don't know that I'm disillusioned with Christiamnity exactly...maybe more that I want to bring other elements into it; b/c I can no longer believe in the creeds or much of church practise there isn't a lot left. Certainly my ancestors semmed to be comfortable combining Christianity with what I think of as magic - I remember when I moved out my grandmother insisting I took a chair and a bag of salt - can't remember what else - for good luck.

Twiglett, I read the reviews of the book on Amazon and it sounds very interesting. I think much of what I was taught as a Christian is very distorted. I started a thread on making your own happiness but haven't gone back to it since GGG's little girl died - just seems so inappropriate with such a terrible tragedy - but in general everyday life I've come to realise that I can change my way of thinking and my world, whereas as Christians the expectation is that we 'hand it over' to God and then sit back and wait for it all to get better. And I've done so much waiting...Like you I can no longer believe in organized religion, and although I do believe that you can have a personal relationship with God (which I see neither male nor female but understandable with male and female charateristics) I don't believe in dogma, or the idea of a God who can save one child and not another, answer this prayer and not that - what kind of a god would that be?

Squidette, I do agree, even when my spritual life is all over the show I'd still rather have this confusion than nothing. It's all so interesting and exciting. The worse time was when I began to doubt my Christianity, something I had been very sure of - I tried to ignore it for so long but couldn't. If at the end of this I return to Christianity then it will be as a wiser person; if not, then I will have grown in another way.

SaintGeorge Tue 16-Jan-07 13:06:48

You sound Pagan to me.

Personally I found Wicca too constraining and structured.

Wicca is to the Craft as Roman Catholic is to Christianity, IYSWIM, all bells and whistles

nearlythree Tue 16-Jan-07 13:17:25

StG, thank you. I've noticed that a distinction between Paganism and Wicca is made, but I don't really know why. How is Paganism different?

SaintGeorge Tue 16-Jan-07 13:25:29

Paganism is really the catch all term. It refers to believers of the 'older' religions which general now means non main-stream.

SaintGeorge Tue 16-Jan-07 13:26:15

Wicca is a specific branch of witchcraft.

Sorry, that dropped off my last post some reason.

nearlythree Tue 16-Jan-07 13:26:56 where would I start looking to try to find a way that might be right for me?

nearlythree Tue 16-Jan-07 13:30:29

Sorry, x posts. So is does Paganism include witchcraft or is that not always the case? [shameful ignorance emoticon]

SaintGeorge Tue 16-Jan-07 13:32:32

You can be a witch without being a pagan.

You can be a pagan without being a witch.

Confused, you will be

SaintGeorge Tue 16-Jan-07 13:42:53

The book jabber suggested is good.

Also try:

Marian Green 'A Witch Alone'
Rae Beth 'Hedge Witch' & 'The Hedge Witch's Way'

As jabber said, even if they are not your thing they are interesting reading and give a good insight.

Caitlin Matthews 'The Way of the Celtic Tradition' is excellent.

There is nothing wrong with keeping an eclectic approach to faith. You don't have to settle to any given religion. I see my faith as a journey.

jabberwocky Tue 16-Jan-07 14:54:06

And then you can be an Alexandrian Witch, or a British Traditional Witch or a Celtic Witch (you've got the geneology for that one!) a Caledonii Wtch, a Ceremonial Witch, a Dianic Witch, an Eclectic Witch, a Gardnerian Witch, a Hereditary Witch (great-grandma once again), a Kitchen Witch, Pictish Witch, Pow-wow, Seax-Wica, Solitary, Strega, or Teutonic Witch.

Phew! Can't believe I got that down

If anything, I'm an Eclectic

SaintGeorge Tue 16-Jan-07 15:04:17

Merry Meet jabber.

I like to think of myself as an hereditary-solitary-kitchen-garden-hedge-green witch with eclectic tendencies.

Think that about covers it

jabberwocky Tue 16-Jan-07 15:07:52

We are of like minds, St. George

btw, both of my sons are named after Irish saints

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