I've been a recovering Christian now for about 10 years and have spent a great deal of time in the search mode. I've basically researched all...and I do mean ALL pagan religions and nothing seems to fit me. Some come close and I guess that's where I lean. Part of the problem for me is the "religious/worship" aspect. I think that's where I get hung up. There is so much out there, bits and pieces that and of make sense to me. Someone back in my Christian days called it "salad bar" Christians...where they took what they wanted out of it and left the rest. That seems to be how I'm viewing my pagan travels...or more precisely, wanderings!

Earth-based is where my heart pulls me. Being an older man, I don't have an issue with the idea of Mother Earth, in fact it feels right. But there is part of me that wants more and I don't know if that is a leftover from the Christian days or if I'm missing something.

I'd love some of your thoughts on this...and love to connect with others that perhaps are in the same boat. I'd like to feel like I fit in somewhere!! -G

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Hey hey. :) 

Yeah, we all feel like that at some point or another. For some, it lasts forever. The "salad bar" of the pagan community woud be Eclecticism, but it sounds like you're looking for something more solid. Something that's established and has a more concrete outline to it. 

Look to Reconstructionism. There's one for every ancient culture be it Germanic, Egyptian, Celtic, Roman, Greek, and so on. The study is harder, but there's much less guess work and no cherry-picking. I'd suggest looking to your ancestors - where did they come from? You were likely raised with the mindset of a certain pre-Christian people. 

If you'd like help, a number of Recons run a group to help folks find their way: Work in Progress. We have a group geared specifically toward Recon and Traditional religions. 

We all search and wonder, its a difficult process going from an established orthodoxic religion with large congregations to smaller group or solitary forms of spiritual practice. 

Reading and learning is important but paganism is essentially experiential, it was pretty much about the performance of cultic rites. Perhaps it's time to build a practice and you have already started by identifing an area you are drawn to (earth based and a mother earth deity) expand on that.

A few simple ways of feeling more connected and buliding your practice are:

1. Observe and learn about seasonal changes in your local area, keep a diary. This will help you get in tune with natures rhythms.

2. Set up an altar or shrine (indoors or outdoors) this can often act as a focus for devotion and, or meditation.

3. Construct a simple daily ritual, perhaps just a simple praise poem or offering on an altar to start with.

3. Research Earth Mother deities and read some mythologies. This may help you choose a specific deity or you may see your deity as an archetype.

There's no right or wrong way and eclecticism and or syncretism is perfectly acceptable. 

Blessings Greg,

First, I guess I would say, welcome to the club of discovery.... It is a difficult journey, one that often seems filled with more twists and turns, than seems to be necessary....Seeking out what you are searching for, I am sure feels like searching for a needle in a hay stack... :) Most everyone, at some point, has had to deal with this, so as I previously said, welcome to the club of "Seeker"... 

How you choose to move forward, well that comes down to you.... There are structured options, and there are ones that allow you to pick and choose what fits within you... That in, and of itself, is a starting point, and from there you can move forward... Either of these, require you to take a leap into the unknown... But, that leap  is how it all starts...

If you are not sure how to approach making this ...start, by trying to  draw up a list of the things that you learned that you like, and those you dislike... see if the list of likes tends to lean toward a structured order, or a more open eclectic  progression... Then, once you have done that, it is the first crossroads of your journey (keep in mind, this is not set in stone, and further down your path, you may want to turn back, and seek the other option... again- this can be normal ).

Honestly, your options are endless, and so will the journey, and learning be.... If Earth and nature are your starting point...use that affinity you have, let it guide you.... recognize it, let it flourish and develop.. Feed it, spend time outside and observe... see not only the mundane , but the bits and pieces that so many miss within a glance... take time and experience the air as it moves, the earth beneath your feet, the warmth of the sun, and the wet of a fresh dew... Open your heart and your mind to the experiences that are before you....Identify what strikes a chord within, and when you feel that hum, go with it... if it means a quiet conversation with nature, so be it... If it means that you just want to reach out and touch the world around you, do it...

If any of this is something you would like to discuss further, don't hesitate to reach out....Blessed Be and May your Journey bring you great joy <3

Always, MJ )O(

Appreciate all the insight. A bit of clarification. I view the Earth as a mother but not in the goddess sense. I don't believe in any god or gods, deities, etc. I do believe in the complete interconnectedness of the universe and nature. I will heed some of your ideas and advice to see if that helps me down my path. Coming from the structures of Christian faith, it's freeing but yet disconcerting to have basically no structure.

That's fine you are not alone in veiwing gods as metaphors, there seems to be a growing group that have a non-theistic approach to honouring the earth. But as a polytheist I wouldn't know how to advise a person to build a practice. Have you read:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29753070-godless-paganism


Greg Martin said:

Appreciate all the insight. A bit of clarification. I view the Earth as a mother but not in the goddess sense. I don't believe in any god or gods, deities, etc. I do believe in the complete interconnectedness of the universe and nature. I will heed some of your ideas and advice to see if that helps me down my path. Coming from the structures of Christian faith, it's freeing but yet disconcerting to have basically no structure.

Definitely looks like something I need to get my hands on. Someone else recently coined the term Antheo-pagan. Same idea. Thanks.

Mercia said:

That's fine you are not alone in veiwing gods as metaphors, there seems to be a growing group that have a non-theistic approach to honouring the earth. But as a polytheist I wouldn't know how to advise a person to build a practice. Have you read:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29753070-godless-paganism


Greg Martin said:

Appreciate all the insight. A bit of clarification. I view the Earth as a mother but not in the goddess sense. I don't believe in any god or gods, deities, etc. I do believe in the complete interconnectedness of the universe and nature. I will heed some of your ideas and advice to see if that helps me down my path. Coming from the structures of Christian faith, it's freeing but yet disconcerting to have basically no structure.

Antheo-pagan, I haven't seen that in the Google sphere yet. Got a link?

Greg Martin said:

Definitely looks like something I need to get my hands on. Someone else recently coined the term Antheo-pagan. Same idea. Thanks.

Mercia said:

That's fine you are not alone in veiwing gods as metaphors, there seems to be a growing group that have a non-theistic approach to honouring the earth. But as a polytheist I wouldn't know how to advise a person to build a practice. Have you read:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29753070-godless-paganism


Greg Martin said:

Appreciate all the insight. A bit of clarification. I view the Earth as a mother but not in the goddess sense. I don't believe in any god or gods, deities, etc. I do believe in the complete interconnectedness of the universe and nature. I will heed some of your ideas and advice to see if that helps me down my path. Coming from the structures of Christian faith, it's freeing but yet disconcerting to have basically no structure.
You may be interested in pantheism, the idea that there is a source of divinity in all things, you, me, my dog, the tree in your yard, possibly rocks and the stars, but there is no anthropomorphic being who is going to lift a finger in your hour of need.

https://humanisticpaganism.com/category/contributors/mark-green/

Mercia said:

Antheo-pagan, I haven't seen that in the Google sphere yet. Got a link?

Greg Martin said:

Definitely looks like something I need to get my hands on. Someone else recently coined the term Antheo-pagan. Same idea. Thanks.

Mercia said:

That's fine you are not alone in veiwing gods as metaphors, there seems to be a growing group that have a non-theistic approach to honouring the earth. But as a polytheist I wouldn't know how to advise a person to build a practice. Have you read:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29753070-godless-paganism


Greg Martin said:

Appreciate all the insight. A bit of clarification. I view the Earth as a mother but not in the goddess sense. I don't believe in any god or gods, deities, etc. I do believe in the complete interconnectedness of the universe and nature. I will heed some of your ideas and advice to see if that helps me down my path. Coming from the structures of Christian faith, it's freeing but yet disconcerting to have basically no structure.

Pretty much where I've settled...in a fashion. I need to fluff the cushion a bit to make it more comfortable!!

Tom said:

You may be interested in pantheism, the idea that there is a source of divinity in all things, you, me, my dog, the tree in your yard, possibly rocks and the stars, but there is no anthropomorphic being who is going to lift a finger in your hour of need.

This might hit closer to the mark for you: Gaianism.


Greg Martin said:

Appreciate all the insight. A bit of clarification. I view the Earth as a mother but not in the goddess sense. I don't believe in any god or gods, deities, etc. I do believe in the complete interconnectedness of the universe and nature. I will heed some of your ideas and advice to see if that helps me down my path. Coming from the structures of Christian faith, it's freeing but yet disconcerting to have basically no structure.

Sad to me that the Greek primodial creatrix can be perceived in a such mundane way, seems somehow lacking. But that I suppose that is the POV of a committed polytheist. 

Callisto said:

This might hit closer to the mark for you: Gaianism.


Greg Martin said:

Appreciate all the insight. A bit of clarification. I view the Earth as a mother but not in the goddess sense. I don't believe in any god or gods, deities, etc. I do believe in the complete interconnectedness of the universe and nature. I will heed some of your ideas and advice to see if that helps me down my path. Coming from the structures of Christian faith, it's freeing but yet disconcerting to have basically no structure.

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