Paganism is well-known to be a minority religion. There aren’t many of us, but our voices are loud, making it seem like there are more of us than there are.
Many Pagans describe various experiences that led them to practice their faith, such as visions of Deities and Spirits, the presence of various animals associated with certain Beings, and other communication with the Otherworld.
I am not one of those Pagans.
I feel as if I am part of a minority within the minority of Paganism–that I am a member of the small group of Pagans who have not had a religious experience prior to becoming Pagan.
I actively chose my faith. I did not have a vision of Freya, Hermes, Brighid, or other Shining Ones. I did not have an affinity for a particular animal or tree (unless you count the tree I talked to in elementary school because I had few human friends). I did not have a relative who passed down folk traditions to me.
The only “experiences” I have had that are remotely similar to those described above are general interests and fleeting thoughts that I remember. I remember that I had a general like of Nature, and I felt anything was possible, when I was young. I had the feeling magic was real. I’ve always been interested in fairies and other Spirits. I went through a phase where I was obsessed with the Western zodiac system. I am still interested in magic and how it fits into my practice of Druidry. I also remember having the thought that mythology was considered real to the people whose practices were based on it, so who are we to say that they were wrong?
When I found Paganism, I decided it was for me because I liked the emphasis on Nature and the Earth. It was also the religion that made the most sense to me out of all the choices I was aware of. I also liked the acceptance of magic as real.
Much talk in Paganism is focused on Patron Deities and Spirits. I have yet to find any. I have not been “called” by Anyone, despite my efforts within ADF to find Someone.
Perhaps I don’t need a Patron. I find that hard to believe because I have wished many times in life to have some sort of guidance. I feel as if I would learn more about life and myself if I had help.
There is always the question of whether any Patron would want me. This thought is rather depressing, especially since I have felt as if I was not wanted all throughout life. I always had trouble making friends, and today I feel as if my family would not want me if they knew the true me. If I have a Patron, wouldn’t they be aware of this issue and reassure me that I am wanted?
And so, I continue to wander through darkness, searching for Someone who will accept me as I am–nothing more, nothing less.