Changing Paths


I recently gave advice to a Tumblr user who was asking for advice on how to find what path they should follow.  The current religious path was not working for this person, and they knew Paganism was the right direction to go, but was having trouble figuring out which Pagan path worked best for them.  My advice was based off my own experience when discovering Pagansim: research as much as possible about the different paths, run Google searches for Pagan paths to find those they maybe hadn’t heard of before, and as the research progresses, narrow down the options by listening to what feels the most right.

For me, I had been in a similar situation back then.  I knew Paganism was my path, but I wasn’t sure which branch would be best for me.  Would it be Asatru?  Heathenism?  Wicca?  Alexandrian or Gardnerian Wicca?  Eclectic?  Or just general Pagan?  Some of the paths I ruled out pretty quickly after reading up on them, and others I needed to do more in depth research with books and blogs to narrow things down.  Searchers now have a much greater advantage using the Internet than I did in my search.  10 years ago there were so fewer blogs and resources available online than there are now, and fewer books and other resources, especially in my area.

This discussion has gotten me thinking, though.  What if you know you need to change, but you don’t have any idea of which direction to follow?  To use myself as an example, I feel I need a change from my current format, but I don’t know where to change to.  The particular path I’ve followed for two years no longer inspires or excites me, it no longer lights a fire within, and I know I need to leave this path in favor of a new one . . . but what is the new path?  I know for certain it’s still within Paganism, but none of the paths I know of truly call to me.  Once I leave the path I’m on, I feel like I’ll be in limbo, and that’s an uncomfortable thought.  So I’ve been avoiding the decision, but I can avoid it no longer.  I have to change, come what may.

But if the Tumblr user had posed that kind of question instead of the original question, what advice could I have given?  “Follow your intuition” or “follow your heart” sound trite and inadequate.  “Research other paths” doesn’t seem helpful in this situation either.

Nearly everyone is faced with a decision like this at some point or other.  It may be a big decision, it may be a little decision, it may be a monumental decision; but decisions like this are part of life.  In the end, it seems we have to choose the way that gives us the most happiness.  I couldn’t remain on a path that caused me undue pain or hardship, or one which made me unhappy, or which allowed me to coast without being challenged.  So I suppose the advice I would give to myself–and anyone else in this situation–is to find the path that most excites your soul, that makes you feel good about you and your life.  Find a path that makes you happy.  And if one doesn’t present itself, then be patient.  It will find you, or you will find it, eventually.

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3 responses to “Changing Paths

  1. At this point in time, I can truly say I have found my spiritual path. I identify myself as a northern tradition pagan and I am growing increasingly comfortable claiming Heathen as my spiritual identity. But I recognize that this conviction might change as I grow and develop spiritually. I commend your openness and honesty as you evolve in your quest for spiritual insight and development.

  2. I know how you feel. I’m in that limbo stage and I feel rootless and ungrounded. I started as Wiccan, then studied different paths and landed in the eclectic spectrum. Lately I’ve felt the need for more structure in my practice, so I find myself searching once again. It’s hard, and a big decision for me. I wish you luck in your journey!

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