A “Legitimate” Paganism Experiment: What Do You Spiritually Need?

BT Newberg referenced the concept of Pagans trying to legitimize themselves “in the eyes of the mainstream.”  Aside from the other interesting concepts in his post, including a naturalist/hard polytheist dichotomy, I found that an odd idea. I suppose to some degree it may be true, as the Facebook poll I created shows, but it seems to me we spend far more time trying to legitimize ourselves to each other, or knocking down rampant stupidity (such as the idea we are simply lazy Protestants).

I need some of this, jazz trombones included.

One of the recurring discussion loops in Paganism is whether we are copying the Christians, or copying the ancients, or whether we’re not copying anybody but we simply don’t want a bunch of people in our backyard every full moon. Regardless of whether you are intentionally copying ancient paganism or modern Hinduism in your desire to have permanent worship space with a working bathroom, someone is going to come along and claim you’re copying Christianity. That you’re selling out, a secret Jesus Freak, or simply an Uncle Tom trying to please your master overculture. It’s pretty petty and immature. We’re getting old, we’re having kids and sooner or later if we survive we will have infrastructure. Usually it is this topic, or theology, that discussions about “legitimacy” boil down to…

But what makes us legitimate? Is it infrastructure? Buildings? Well both the Mormon’s and Catholics have that but I bet I could scare up a dozen people in my town that don’t think they are real Christians. Is it theology? Reason? Logic? Magnificent liturgy? If any of those things were all it took, then most religious strife would be null and void. Moot.

So really all this talk of legitimacy is about insecurity. It’s why we attack people getting things done, it’s why we attack people who do nothing, it’s why we hate the idea of hierarchy and why we hate egalitarian consensus models. It’s why we go around calling people secret Christians as if “Christian” was a dirty word, and it’s why we claim no Pagan can ever write anything as lovely as the Magnificat.

We’re all so busy running around venting our insecurities on each other we don’t get anything done. We’re afraid to state our very real spiritual needs because some damaged person will come along telling us that’s not what “real” Pagans need and we should be thoroughly ashamed of ourselves. We’re so busy telling everyone we can do whatever we want that instead of doing what we want we spend our time interfering with others doing what they want.

Legitimacy of faith shouldn’t even be a question. Seeking out like-minded people to pursue achieving your common spiritual needs with is healthy. Maybe you don’t need other people. Maybe you need weekly group sacred ritual. Maybe you need a code of ethics. Maybe your soul needs freedom.

So I’d like to try an experiment here on this blog. In the comments section, without fear, post what you really need spiritually. Don’t worry about whether it’s legit. Don’t comment on anyone else’s needs. Just speak from your heart and state your own spiritual needs and desires. Be brave. Be bold. The comments are moderated, so no one will be able to tell you your needs are stupid, unnecessary, or “unPagan.” Go ahead and share. You may be surprised to find that stating your needs may encourage other’s to state theirs, and maybe we will all feel less insecure and alone. I’ll start:

I need regular joyous worship. I need song. I need dance. I need more joy and less mournful, dark, spooky, death-related Paganism. I need a sanctuary where I can go meditate, pray or just sit in silence without anyone bothering me, where I am made to feel like I belong. I need community that supports my need for joyous worship. I need a Paganism that is relevant to my life here, today, in this place. I need community that is willing to tell someone to take a flying leap, maintains safe space, and doesn’t try to be all things to all people. I need priests who are there to help me experience the sacred, not be a psychologist or play mind games. I need community that is clear about it’s values and seeks to embody and share them. I need family-friendly community, and beyond that, community that encourages family as the foundation of faith community. I need community that judges people on their character and actions, not on their sex, gender, race, age, income, education level, ability, politics or sexual orientation. I need community that values speaking from the heart AND speaking from reason. I need community that is built around a purpose larger than individual religious expression. I need community that has being supportive of each other as a core value. I need community that seeks to create, build upon, and leave behind a deep, rich, complex religious legacy and is not satisfied with a shallow faith. I need a community that insists on thoughtful ritual and a cohesive theology and practice. I need a community less concerned with what other Pagans or other religions think, and more concerned with what feeds the members souls. I need a community that isn’t afraid of magic, or superstitious. I need a community that believes people should be held accountable for their actions, and strives to practice that. I need a community that encourages daily practice, and regular household practice. I need a community where I can be useful, and one where I can find solace. I need a community that doesn’t believe intention is everything. I need a community that believes that the gods do care if we sing on key or pronounce words correctly. I need a community that respects scholarship, but isn’t bound to the archaic past.

Anyway, that’s mine. I’d love to hear what you need. If you think my needs are stupid, or someone else’s needs are “wrong,” then don’t bother to comment. We don’t need anymore of that, thanks.

About Star Foster

Polytheistic Wiccan initiated into the Ravenwood tradition, she has many opinions. Some of them are actually useful.

  • http://dashifen.com/ dashifen

    (in no particular order)

    • I need a space that facilitates calmness away from the hustle and bustle of my daily life, routines, job, family, and pets (mostly the pets). 

    • I need spiritual leaders adept enough to guide my journey while still letting me take one. 

    • I need a community that motivates me when I need it, criticizes me when I deserve it, and celebrates with me when I’ve earned it.

    • I need to feel like I’m not shouting into a void; that there are others who are listening and wish to interact with my either from a place of agreement or opposition.

    • I need to know that when I stand up and speak with people in other faith communities that others within mine may disagree with my words, but won’t tear me down for saying them.

    • I need a mentor that’s willing to work with me on more than that which can be found in books (e.g. herbalism).

    • I need a mentor that understands that I am not necessarily called to become adept in all areas and which to be the author of my own story, not a character in theirs.

    • I need a diverse community of people with different backgrounds and beliefs so that I can continue to enhance my faith.

    • I need mentors who are willing to explain themselves.

    (whoops … got to go back to work now)

  • Brian Rush

    I need the presence of the Sacred in my life. And I have that.

    I don’t need, but would like, a chance to build a working group that can pursue magic, both for spiritual and for practical purposes, beyond what I can do myself as a solitary.

    I don’t need, but would like, a community in which creative ideas can be shared in collective humility, absent the notion that the Truth is something already in our possession, now and forever, heretics be silent. I would like a widespread recognition that all religious ideas are metaphors — ours, too, not just theirs — and consequently many of the positions taken in religious debate amount to insisting that one metaphor is true and others false, which is silly.

    I don’t need, but would like, a deeper, esoteric layer to Paganism dedicated (for those that are interested in this) to a stronger, more committed devotion than is possible for the average person.

    I would like a recognition of the value of such dedication, of self-work and discipline, which seems to me to be the principle thing lacking in the Pagan community (or most of it) at this time.

    I believe, however, that all of these will emerge as Paganism matures, and that they do not need to be forced.

     

  • Akilahfahadaal Allat

    I need space and time to commune with my deities freely.
    I need like minded individuals to commune with, without having to travel hours to find them.
    I need peace, love, and positivity.
    I need my Goddess given abilities to not be judged.

  • Raven13472000

    i need to be out in nature away from concert and steel where birds sing, yet i am safe to walk or sit and feel Spirit around me.
    i need to feel that Spirit and i are one
    i need to touch, smell, taste all that the Goddess has given me.
    i need people to understand that i have a wheel that turns slightly differently than theirs nad to accept that
    i don’t need much for i am comfortable knowing the Goddess loves and cares for me and she will provide and protect me and mine. Blessed Be

  • http://sinnsreachdlife.com/ Dáire Hobbs

    I need real, functional, family-friendly community.
    I need enough structure that we can support each other and know who we are, but…
    I need enough freedom to allow for reasonable innovation.
    I need religion to truly cross over into mundane life and become “culture”.
    I need a religion-culture that provides a future for my children, and theirs.

  • http://www.facebook.com/elaposta Elizabeth LaPosta

    I need a spiritual community that accepts my doubts in the occult, and is willing to get dirty making the world a better place. I need a spiritual community that welcomes my kids. I need a spiritual community that puts it’s values into practice. I want a community that accepts both vegetarians and omnivores. I need a community that refuses to judge other people’s paths. I need a spiritual community that is willing to experiment with ritual and ceremony and have fun with it. I need a spiritual community that is totally 100% transparent in it’s leadership and decision making processes, and is run democratically with as much consensus building as possible. I need a spiritual community that isn’t afraid to sing. 

  • Dscarron

    I need my community and the Gods.  ‘Nuff said.  

  • Lark

    I need magic.
    I need joy.
    I need woods.
    I need to be a witch, not pagan clergy (worthwhile but not my path).
    I need to continue to learn from my cat, who is a champion at experiencing contentment.

  • Lēoht Sceadusawol

    I need community.
    I need isolation.
    I need a home.
    I need wilderness.

    That is basically it. Of course, it is all about the details, isn’t it?

    At the moment, I live in a town (population 35-40,000), but feel no sense of community, no sense of ‘connection’ to my neighbours. I’d much rather live in a village of 350-400 people.

    Sometimes I feel that, whilst I have no ‘connection’ to the people I share my town with, I am surrounded by so many people I get claustrophobic and just need to get ‘away’.

    I live in a house. It is a fine house, with water and electricity and doors and windows. But what it isn’t, is a home – my home. It is merely somewhere I happen to be living right now. I would love to build my own home with my bare hands from designs in my head.

    Whilst I want to build my own home, I also have a strong urge to go run off into the woods naked, with only a blade for company. This is something I would love to do on a regular (annual) basis. To go Wudu-wāsa, if only for a while.

    It may not sound like much to ask, really, but it is surprising just how much logistics are in the way of my ‘simple’ dream.

  • Jennifer Ramon

    I need a place to have rituals out of the rain that isn’t someone’s living room.

    I need sacred spaces, indoors and out, that really are *sacred* – set apart for the gods and spirits.

    I need places where Pagan art can be displayed and performed, and appreciative audiences, without the constant threat of defacement and disruption.

  • Mandi Leigh

    I need calmness, and Joy within my home, and among my family. I wish they could get along and the fighting would stop. I need some peace, and oh do I welcome it. I need a place I can worship that I feel welcomed in, and as if I belong. A place that does not discriminate against your beliefs, or make fun of you because you not only stay true to your pagan values, but your christian values as well that have been instilled in you. 
    A place I can talk to someone get advice, and a place I can take my children as well. 

  • Sobriquet

    I need a small group of people with whom I can talk about the gods — without the discussion devolving into who saw what deity the last time they dropped acid.

  • Kilmrnock

    Well , first off  …..i’m a celtic recon , so you know party where i’m coming from. I personaly do need a code of Honor and Conduct b/c my mind works that way. As a Celtic Recon i need a strong connection to my Gods And Ancestors , i am of Celtic heritage btw. I also need fellowship and commerodery with like minded people in a safe and supportive atmoshere . I need leadership that is kind , loving and supportive , never vindictive or controling .Altho i belong to a CR faith i also belong to ADF to fullfill my spiritual needs . As a warrior at heart that is where the honor conduct code comes from . the way my mind works concepts/ideals like Honor , Responcibility , Truth , Right Action ……..thinking along the lines of the Norse NNV , matter to me, always have .Living with a Celtic Pagan  mindset mixed w/ warrrior concepts fits how my mind works. Sinnsreachd along w/ ADF druidry fits my needs. Kilm 

  • http://www.facebook.com/marienne.foxwood Marienne Hartwood

     

    I need consistent contact with the divine, most often as a
    constant presence in the background of my life, but also willing to step up
    into the forefront when it is needed (for either/both of us). I think of this
    as “the divine as concierge” model. For me, the divine needs to encompass all
    genders (albeit not all at once) and does not necessarily need to take human
    form.

     

    I need to follow a pragmatic spiritual path. Among other
    things, this means I don’t need temple spaces; being “in nature”; fixed sabbats
    that don’t align with what is going on in the “real world” where I am at;
    esbats whose schedule interferes with the flow of life that their presence
    becomes distraction from the work being done; community organizations;
    workshops; and myriad books, tools, jewelry, statuary, or other
    spiritual-themed clutter. I need my spiritual path to be available to be
    practiced where I am at—whether that is at a theme park, at my desk, at a
    greasyspoon diner, or any other place that is part of my life. I need a spiritual
    path I can explain to family from ages two through eighty without trying to
    make justifications (to myself or others) for awkward theology, impractical
    practices, and shoddy fakelore.

     

    I enjoy interaction with specific individuals, especially in
    the context of “good ritual” or fellowship (the “life-long friends” kind of folks). These need to be people who live a life of
    adaptability, creative living, joy, and gratitude. (Ironically, I find more of
    these people in the Disney fan base than I do in the greater pagan world.) I
    need people who are authentic, willing to communicate, be intelligent, and able
    to own their motivations so they can live a life of personal responsibility and
    personal accountability. I need them to have shared values, including undervalued traits such as intelligence, importance of family, emotional stability, financial stability/socioeconomic status, and physical health along with the standard (and profoundly vague) “spiritual health”.

     

    I also need to write about it all, but I’m less concerned if
    those writings are read. If anyone does read it, I do feel fulfilled if it
    helps someone find his or her own path. If no one cares, I feel that the act of writing itself is enough goad to do it.

  • cometairy

    Need :
    • Enjoyable : My personal form of practice is commonly full of joy, dancing, laughter, meditation, observation—and as changing as the sky in a day. I want to LIVE, and I want my practice to be part of that. Are there “serious” times? Of course, but it doesn’t always have to be ‘serious.’
    • Respectfulness and Civility : toward rituals/ceremonies/practices, one another, the environment, the community, other religions, communications, etc
    • Safe
    • Welcoming to all, with no bias due to gender, race, age, sexual orientation, politics, capabilities, income, experience, weight, etc (wonderful point in your original post)
    • Opportunities to discuss, share, encourage, educate, etc without fear of judgement or ridicule.
    • Accessible, what good is place of worship, if only one person has the key? ^.^
    • Active community that supports it’s members at all time; happy, challenging, scary, exciting, etc
    • Active IN the community; by helping others in the within the larger community education naturally begins to happen; and education is the best way to avoid fear and misunderstandings. (Not to mention, it’s wonderful to have a place where people can meet up to help others ^.^)
    • No self-segregation : Instead the doors should always be open and welcome to whomever wishes to enter and learn—without suspicion. This can be a huge challenge, especially if there is past negative, suppressive, aggressive, hostile, bigotry or other abuses; but it is essential to better understanding from all sides. (I realize this could result in being taken advantage of or people entering under false-pretenses, but it’s better than scaring off those just trying to better understand and/or coming to terms with.)
    • No forced participation
    • Learning, sharing and mentoring for those who desire it.
    • Community Rituals that build and progress as the community builds and changes. (I just adore the idea of that.)
    • Family times that provide nurturing, inspiring, safe places for families to practice with other families.

    Desire :
    • Earth, sky, water, air; a place that is natural as possible while still providing shelter. Perhaps an area with a small structure that houses books, facilities (bathrooms; running, clean water) and storage of common use items. While having land with trees, a stream/pond/ocean/river/fountain, a bit of grass, etc. These are things that could even be done on top of a building in a city, if needed. The buddhist temples come to mind, actually.
    • Festivals! Where all are welcome. This is a great chance to positively introduce the group to the larger community—and share food, cant go wrong with shared food ^.^
    • A community garden and alter. I just love the idea of multiple people tending a garden and contributing to an alter. Can you imagine the magic that could build from that? ^.^
    • Mentor program for those desiring guidance.
    • Circles: Reading, knitting, magic, crafting, etc; just time to spend enjoying others magical company.

    Unsure of :
    Hierarchy. Elders, people natural to leading certain areas due to extensive knowledge and passion, voting, rotating positions—these sound like thing that are appealing to me. I know that I reject sole leadership; too many scary experiences with that. , there is a natural leaning for some toward struggling for power; which can eventually lead to  fracturing groups. Hmmm…there has to be a happy solution?

    Sorry for the length. Defining what was personally desired from the development of a pagan community was just such a great idea and challenge, and I really got into it. Thank you!

  • Limnaia

    I need joy.
    I need to acknowledge my own divinity.
    I need my flaws and problems to be part of that divinity.
    I need my creativity to be holy.
    I need a guide on the path and to know that I have a community that will welcome me on those rare occasions I step into it.
    Most of all, I need to sing to my Gods.

  • Onlycomeoutatnight

    i need a place to go be in nature, skyclad when i wish, without fear of being arrested and charged for indecent exposure or something equally vile that might get me fired and unable to work with children again. 

  • Eireann

    I need a religio -cultural community that seeks to provide and foster a collective cultural identity, a communal religious experience, a family -centered environment, and a vision to grow into an establishment to which my children can one day bring their children. I need spiritual and scholarly discussion, guidance in home hearth practices, and regular fellowship opportunities. I need a religious community in whhich my talents will be appreciated and utilized. I need a spiritual home and a religious family out of a pagan community. I need song and healing and peace and togetherness. I need company and conviviality. I need an anam cara. I need opportunities to continue to learn and grow with support, and the chance to support others, too.

  • Mokey

    I need to be heard. Any group that I’m a part of needs to take dissent seriously and make changes if real concerns are brought up, and make amends where needed.  Who know when a line needs to be drawn and people held accountable for actions.

    I need a community that walks its talk. Who doesn’t punish people for having doubts and encourages questions.  Transparency, democracy and consensus building.

      I need celebration of people’s creative gifts. A community that shares and recognizes and celebrates people discovering  new gifts.  Who wants to encourage excellence and combine those gifts to create something bigger than any one individual person. For me there IS no greater magic than this.

     Actions=words increases my trust.

    A community who prefers to teach and not control, and understands the difference.  A soft glove around an iron fist is likely to drive me and others away. 

    Who encourage continuation of supportive and loving relationships and productive creative projects that may exist outside the group, even if it takes some time away from the group itself, because healthy and happy members are likely to bring those assets INTO community workings.  If you can’t love others in your other circles, how can I expect you to love me in mine?

    I cannot make myself into anyone else.   I need a mentor who understands this.

    I need a mentor who helps me interact with Deity, who can help me navigate through the harder stuff.  Who respects scholarship without being bound by it.

    I need joyousness in my worship; singing and dancing and lots of laughter and silliness with a purpose.  While not neglecting the practicalities of getting to know this planet/Goddess/our home.

  • http://twitter.com/BTNewberg B. T. Newberg

    I need:
    1.  a spirituality that is plausible, i.e. that I can believe in as *real.*  For me, that means consistency with the best current research in the sciences and no revisionist history.
    2.  a spirituality that enhances my feeling of fulfillment in and appreciation for life and this world
    3.  a spiritual community, i.e. contact and cooperation with others of like mind

    Those three things are really all I need.

    Good post, Star.  :-)

  • sunflwrmoonbeam

    I need to feel connected to the Kindred and to my community. I need poetry, art, the outdoors. I need joy and confidence. I need mythology more than almost anything, and someone to talk about it with. I need scholarship, and I want theology. I need a vision of life that has nothing to do with sin and redemption but affirmation and connection. I need plurality. I need physical expressions of my religion. I need to not feel judged all the damn time. 

  • http://twitter.com/thelettuceman Marc

    Probably more.  I can’t think of any right now:

    I am a solitary, because I don’t play well with others.  But sometimes I wish I weren’t.  If this were not the case, I think I’d want and need the following.

    I need a community that will help me/let me find myself.

    I need a community which sees that ritual Devotion and mystical Esoterica are both valid in the same context. 

    I need understanding.  Of myself, first and foremost.  Of a community with others choices secondly.

    I need a community that does its damnedest to shed itself of Abrahamic influences of moral alignment.

    I need a religion that encourages people to understand the Gods, both as a whole and in personal terms, and doesn’t attempt to fit them into a cookie-cutter archetype.  It would be nice if that religion could move beyond the past understanding of these deities and understand them in the NOW, understanding and introducing themselves to (and to them, depending on one’s gnosis) the modern world.

    I need a community that is willing (and preferably capable) to go toe-to-toe with other national groups and trends to protect the rights, freedoms, and livelihoods of members.  I need a community willing to participate, fund, and put effort into works that may be distant and not ignore it because it does not concern them directly.

    I need a community that accepts professionals as professionals, and doesn’t expect services to be rendered for nothing.  I need a community that understands the value and place of money, in making, giving, and receiving funds and income.

    I need a sacred space, beyond my own, where I do not need to fear interruption, heckling, or overly-interested persons creating an atmosphere of uncomfortable observation.  I would like this not to be in someone’s back yard if at all possible, just as…

    I need a location to do observations outside of a private residence or business, facilities to do this that I am unable to provide for myself. 

    I need a community that moves past the egoism and kowtowing to charismatic personalities.  I need that community to not fracture at the drop of a dime because of dissenting agreements between those groups of people.  I need the religion to have stable enough foundations to work through disagreements, dissenting views, and other such road bumps before moving back to business.  I need that community to not crumble with the leaving/expulsion of charismatic or vocal people.

    I need a religion that doesn’t rigidly dogmatize texts and a community that is willing to accept differing view points as equally valid, that encourages scholarship and academic discovery, and seeks to constantly KNOW.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/T43ATWIHPC3AGOKMXKKNC4FUTM Clémence

    I need a sanctuary where i can go weekly, need to have lectures with a priestress who doesn’t want to be powerfull but wise and share her knowledge. I need a place where i can meet other pagan, have some conversation about everything and feeling that i’m not alone anymore. But how can we make this happen with pagans so shy to show themselves or who doesn’t want to share anything because there great by themselves ? (I’m from France et it’s really not the same culture than in america where i think people show more their beliefs.

  • The Real Jersey Girl

    My spiritual needs:
    I need reassurance that the days will start getting longer after the Winter Solstice, that the earth will warm and spring will come.

    I need to know that seeds will germinate in the soil and grow towards the sun.  I need to know that the rain will fall to nourish the crops.

    My needs include knowing that all the creatures on this earth can live and eat and reproduce in their preferred environment to ensure their survival on this earth.

    Likewise with people……I need to know that humans are doing their best for each other and the earth.  I want all children to be welcomed by their families and raised with love and respect, taught well and cared for as they should be.

    I need to know that there are lovely spots where wildflowers grow in the shade of old trees; a place where a person can go and be part of nature.

    I just need to be reassured that technology and warfare and the misguided beliefs of many human beings cannot interrupt the sacred cycles of the earth.

    I do not fear my death, but need to know that my loved ones will go on in this world when I am gone.

  • DonnaB

    Others have said it better than I can, but I’ll take the time to echo them anyway.

    I need an honest-to-goodness community that is at least family-friendly, if not family-centered.  

    I need a community that nurtures and supports growth; my own spiritual growth, my family’s growth, and the growth of the community itself.

    I need to have mentors to learn from, not necessarily one-on-one teachers, but people who have tread this path before me, or even at the same time as me, that I can look to for inspiration, as examples, and even leaders.  Clergy can be a part of this group, but ideally would not be the whole of this group.

    I need at least one clergy person my family can turn to for major life events (like a birth, wedding, or funeral), or in times of crisis.  Just one person, who is not myself, that can be called on to preform the rites and rituals we all undergo from time to time, and can be a spiritual anchor when the seas are too rough or too unfamiliar to drift in alone.

      I need a community that will hold me accountable, even when I don’t want it to.  Not dogma, but real people who are willing to call me on my crap, and who wholly expect me to do the same for them.  

    I may not need it, but I’d love a community that is creative and joyful about their religion.  I don’t even care if our paganisms are the same, if we can write/sing/create songs, plays, crafts, rituals, or even have a pot luck every once in a while it would be very spiritually fulfilling.  This is where I start daydreaming about congregational paganism, and what occasionally gets me in the doors of one of the local UU churches. 

    Most of all, I need face-to-face relationships, especially since those are the relationships that are hardest for me to build.  I’m an introvert who spends too much time in her head.  I could be content to learn everything through reading and trial and error practice.  I could be content to have only those far-off, not-quite-real online relationships with my coreligionists.  I could be content to keep to myself and build my own ideas and ideals without all of the mess and mayhem of a community.  But that would be the easy road, and I would not face the same challenges or opportunity for growth, and would in that way be self-defeating.

    Since I live in a large metro area, and there are several pagan communities “out there” somewhere, the biggest obstacle to these things, for me, is myself.  I think I should print this out, and refer to it from time to time.  Especially when I’m talking myself into, then back out of, attending a class or group, or even visiting one of the several UU’s within an hour’s drive of my home.  If I were brave enough, if I were sure enough of myself, I could build or lay the foundations for all of these things and more.  And since I don’t like what that says about the fact that I’m not currently enjoying  this type of community, it appears I have some work to do.       

  • Virginia Carper

    Sigh.  I would like an accessible community.  One that folks with disabilities are welcomed.  Where we can show up without going through hoops of is it –wheel chair accessible, etc.  Can I sit during ritual? etc.

    My wish is to have a community that doesn’t assume that if we all Neo-Pagans, we all call quarters and do ritual in circles, etc.  I would it be assumed that we do things differently and brief or ask each other before rituals etc.

    I do wish I could talk to other Roman Pagan types other than the internet.  I do get tired of having to explain, yes I am a hard polythesist, no I don’t do Samhaim in Oct, I do Lemura in Feb. and May, yes proper ritual is very important to me….. blab, blab, blab…

    I would like other folks to talk to about weird ideas such as Diety possession, and the like.

  • WhiteBirch

    I need structure, liturgy and routine… a framework on which to build my individual practice.

    I need flexibility within that structure to build the practice that satisfies me. 

    I need a community that includes people of all ages and family statuses, that won’t age segregate but also won’t marginalize or exclude me as a single adult with no children (I have felt very excluded in most family-welcoming religious spaces because my family is “not right”). 

    I need a community with a shared moral framework (even if that’s as simple as “we take responsibility for our own actions”). 

    I need to not be afraid of being outed at work or in public until I’m ready.

    I need a mentor or a group to bounce ideas off, but who won’t tell me what to think. 

    I need intellectual challenge and intellectual honesty. I need openness to the possibility of truth outside of logic. 

    I need religion that exists in the body as much as the mind. 

  • Tori

    I need comfort in knowing that I won’t be judged. I need nature in all it’s forms.  I need to follow the seasons and cycles of the moon, just to know the earth is still turning, and will continue to turn. I need to feel connected to the gods, and to feel that they do walk with me on my path. I need other people to practice with and discuss things. I need a name for my path, and to know I’m not alone in practicing it.  I need to feel like I am surrounded by family and friends, people who care, even if they aren’t of the same beliefs I am. I need to feel at home.

    I’m worried I’m trying too hard to define my beliefs. And I’m worried I’m delving into studying and practicing religion more than I was before to make up for the fact that I just moved so far from my friends and family. I’m homesick. I want to find my gods out here in the desert the way I felt them in the mountains and river valleys.

  • Pythia Theocritos

    * I need to feel the presence of the gods in my life.

    *I need to gave a code of ethics and virtue I can strive towards as a mortal woman.

    *I need to have a religious community where I can voice my thoughts and insights without fear of The Rede Police.

    *I need a faith I can go to when shit hits the fan.

    *I need people who I can study with. I mean really study, have my assumptions shattered, my beliefs chipped away, and my soul rocked.

    *I need a couple of nights of good beer and better mythology.

  • Evan

    I need a Universal Polytheist Pagan Temple that can be a place of worship, contemplation, prayer and magic. With a sacred garden grove dedicated to all pagan gods I need pagan chanting sung like the liturgies of Catholics or Mantras and Pujas of Hinduism. I need devotion and mystic connection to the divine and nature. All this open, welcoming and transparent to the wider community of any religion or tradition.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-H-Halstead/1170545330 John H Halstead

    1.  I need woods.  I need a sacred space where I can worship outside.  I need to get out of the suburbs.

    2.  I need to lose my “self”.  I need to  dive deep.  I need something to hold on to so I can do this safely.

    3.  I need a spiritual community that I am not embarrassed to identify with publicly: liberal but not hippie, spiritual but not woo, open-minded but not credulous, and (maybe) pagan but not Pagan.

  • Derek in Iowa

    I need a drink.


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