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Crisis of Faith

Discussion in 'Seekers Circle' started by Prea40, Apr 21, 2017.

  1. Prea40

    Prea40 New Member

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    Hi all

    I'm new to these forums but I like that they are not specific to any religion. I'm hoping that means I'll get some reasonable and fairly impartial advice to my issue :)

    I was brought up Church of England but when I was 17 I discovered Wicca and was eventually initiated into a Gardnerian coven. I've been involved in Wicca for 23 years, 20 of those as an initiate. Around four years ago I moved up to Scotland, a long way from my parent coven, and haven't really connected with any of the covens up here in the same way. I'm not a solitary practitioner - it doesn't really work for me. Since I had my son in 2015, I've felt even more disconnected from the Wiccan community and very much like I've been abandoned and left behind by everyone. Not only that but I find it really hard to connect to the God and Goddess now and am not finding much meaning in it at all, despite trying to reconnect on that level.

    Over the past few months I've started to have dreams about churches, going to churches, being outside of them and so on. Even more recently, I dreamt I was in what can only be described as a Catholic church with a female voice speaking to me, thought I couldn't really hear what was being said. I started looking back into Christianity in general just to see how it felt and found that the dreams and feeling of connection became much stronger, particularly when I started to look at Catholicism (something I've never really been drawn to at all). I'm feeling a very strong urge to find out more about Catholicism and have been getting a really strong sense that I'm being guided in that direction by God. I'd completely dismissed any part of the faith of my childhood and wanted nothing more to do with it but am finding myself more and more drawn back, though in a slightly different direction. I've been seeing signs all over the place that tell me I should investigate it further.

    What bothers me though is that I'm really torn about the idea of giving up on Wicca when it has been such a huge part of my life and I'm worried that what's really happening is that I'm feeling isolated from any sense of community and seeking it elsewhere. I don't think that's what I'm doing but I didn't realise how cut off motherhood would make me feel. I don't want to be convincing myself into something that maybe isn't right for me and making myself believe that I'm seeing signs I need to go elsewhere, but equally I don't want to dismiss what might actually be a genuine call to convert.

    Any advice would be very appreciated.
     
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  2. Thief

    Thief Rogue Theologian

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    I grew up with several religions...mostly for cause of custodian caretaking.
    one side of the family this way.....another portion that way

    Catholic teaching came as I was in high school and almost took me to the priesthood
    coincidence took me yet again to another church

    nowadays I have no religion
    and I don't feel the need

    for me.....to breathe every breath
    drink every drink

    Do unto others as I would have them do unto me......

    nothing else is needed
     
  3. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    Welcome to RF.

    Follow your heart and dreams to see where they lead. At some point we need to try on new clothes to see how they fit.
     
  4. Windwalker

    Windwalker Integralist
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    Hi, and welcome to the forums! I think there is something to consider as part of this change where your familiar religious community isn't there now as before. In our spiritual pursuits there is both the individual practice and the group practice. The best of course is to have the strengths of both contributing to us as individuals. Many can't do the solo work and need the group to help that happen. Others can't do the group thing and do the solo only.

    I tend more towards solo work these days, but force myself to try to find some sort of group work to add what is missing in solo and cannot be found outside group work. But likewise, if I start depending on the group to give me what I wasn't getting in solo to the point I quit doing the solo work, taking in only the group work, then something vital is being missed that cannot be found any other way. These should complement each other.

    I do tend to think from what you said you are looking to find another group that is rich enough in its symbolisms and ritual forms to replace that sort of structure you had previously. Whereas I think you may wish to focus on doing that solo work and developing it that first before trying to make another group work. You have to have enough compass direction from that work to help guide not only what sort of group might fit you, but how you should approach it in order to integrate that with your solo work to enhance and further that for you.

    To me, this seems more the opportunity that calling is pointing to, even though our minds tell us to find something to replace what we had before. The subconscious understands where the needs lie in new directions, while our habitual mind looks for simple 'repeat performance', to get food from the same tree again, while what is needed is a migration move, to try to use some metaphor here.

    I'll give one example for myself. As I said I tend to do solo work as I had pretty much outgrown any religious structure available to me. But I felt the loss of that "we space" and energy of group work. I couldn't take what I know and truly find a home in a community that doesn't exactly mesh with my way of thinking about these things and holding them as truths in my life. I find myself more just going it alone, finding refreshment from my solo practices of meditation. As an interesting new thing for me as I have done this more focused solo work for the last six years now, that I recently took up a Tai Chi class to further my meditation with body integration, moving meditation, mind-body connection, etc.

    Oddly, while this is not a religious community at all, what I was finding lacking in "group practice" that I was deeply reluctant to expose myself to another tradition, such as following Tibetan Buddhism, Catholicism, or some other highly structured traditional lineage, I actually I am finding that missing element! We'll see how and where that goes, but for me it allows me to hold my spiritual practice as I choose to, and others as they do, while we all practice a standing meditation, and group participation in the Tai Chi forms of movement and motion.

    I would never have thought something like that would give me what I sensed missing, but my point is, you don't really understand what is going to be compatible reasoning it out with the mind. But if you don't have that inner awareness that only comes from solo work, you won't have that voice there to help know intuitively what actually you need on that level of the spiritual. As you become more Self-aware in this regard, through solo practice, that voice is much more a voice to help guide you through finding what it needs in a group. We shouldn't expect that to look a certain way.
     
    #4 Windwalker, Apr 21, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
  5. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    I wager you already know this, but Christopaganism is a thing. Even if you don't begin to explore a syncretic religion such as Christopaganism, there's nothing wrong with attending religious services from a variety of traditions and connecting with many different communities. It doesn't have to mean "giving up" on one's previous traditions. They'll always be a part of you, in some way. The legacy of the ancestors and of the past is not erased by steps into the future.
     
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  6. Rival

    Rival Noahide Fundamentalist
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    Keep emotions out of this.

    Choose the religion that makes most sense to you.

    Right now, your son is 10x more important than any religion.

    Bon chance.
     
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  7. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon Well-Known Member
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    An emotional personal attachment to one belief or another is always questionable, because people of many diverse conflicting beliefs claim that attachment to justify their belief. Wicca and the Roman Church are only two of many possible choices. Dreams can be revealing, but misleading. I had dreams pointing me to Buddhism/Taoism, and they inspired me to investigate Buddhism/Taoism and even became somewhat involved, but my awakening came in the simple form of realizing what "I" dream and want only reflects what "I" dream and want, and "clinging" is the first thing to give up, and detachment from what "I" dream and want leads only to what 'I' dream and want.

    The quest for the universal takes more of a leap than any one particular ancient religion nor belief system one desires or is comfortable with. If the shoes fit they are likely the wrong shoes.

    God is not a chess player
    with the white pieces
    God is the sea
    and we are the fishes.
     
  8. Carlita

    Carlita The lovers. The dreamers. And me.

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    I don't know anything about Wicca; but, if this sounds right, if you go to Catholicism, the communion of saints really helps. For example, Mother Mary (though not a goddess) can help with the female role that is vital to any son's development regardless if they are "the son of god" or not. The Church is considered a she, so learning about the Church and reading the book of Wisdom (I believe) in the Catholic Bible may help.

    I mean, do you feel you need a savior? I know I went to Mass over five years before I was confirmed five years ago. Maybe participate in Mass (going to bible studies, volunteering at local parishes, things of that nature) can help. Catholicism has a very good support network. Reach out the Legion of Mary (if they are in your area?) they have good resources.
     
  9. George-ananda

    George-ananda Advaita and Spiritualist and Pantheist
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    Perhaps consider skimming what feels best to you from both traditions. Religions are just tools for our spiritual advancement. If they help you feel more loving, more at peace, and more joyous go for it.
     
  10. CogentPhilosopher

    CogentPhilosopher Philosophy Student

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    I went from Christianity to Luciferianism to Wicca to pantheism then to atheism.

    If you want to base your religious beliefs off of emotion, then given your connection to Wicca and Christianity I would suggest looking into Trinitarian Wicca and Unitarian Universalism.

    On the other side if you wish to be a bit more objective about your beliefs I encourage you to ask yourself, if you can choose what you believe is it sincere belief?
     
  11. Brinne

    Brinne Active Member

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    I found myself in a similar situation to yours (albeit not 100% the same). I won't go into great detail but ultimately I found myself with a similar pull to Catholicism. Dreams, other signs, and just a general interest. I came from a relatively secular Catholic family but I considered myself somewhat of an agnostic for a while with a somewhat limited interest in religion.

    One day I decided to indulge my curiosity and went to a church in my town (of course I went to a few -- living in the south provides you with a variety of options to choose from). From there I did more research and soon I found myself in a faith I was comfortable with and one that was having a positive influence on my life.

    Now I'm not saying that my story is 100% applicable to you but I think it would beneficial to do some research and maybe go to a local church if that's possible. Show up for the service, pray, ask questions -- and if it's not what's for you than at least you got to experience something different and learn maybe a little bit about another faith.
     
  12. sunrise123

    sunrise123 Darkness will pass. Dawn is almost here.
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    Welcome to RF.

    Since you ask for advice, I would counsel patience. A genuine call does not seem to me like something which goes away. Your search for something meaningful is a fundamental search so takes time. I would "try on" what you are drawn to without making a commitment for a while.
     
  13. meghanwaterlillies

    meghanwaterlillies Well-Known Member

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    You know, Christian
    idk, I think both are terrible.
     
  14. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    Dreams are usually partially processed thoughts, so they can be about ideas that we repress and things we do not want to do. For example how do I not think about elephants? First I have to know what an elephant is, and then whenever I start to think about an elephant I change the topic. I cannot do this in a dream, because in a dream thoughts do not integrate like when I am conscious. They diverge and break into tiny pieces, and my consciousness is itself trimmed down to a bunch of roaming squirrels. (And then when I wake up I don't know where they buried all the nuts.) Dreams can also be about things that we want and can be symbolic etc., but their defining characteristic is that we are not fully present in a conscious way. So we can dream about things that we would not do, would never want to do as well as things we hate about ourselves.

    You have not given me enough information. You may be dreaming about churches for any number of reasons. Maybe you are afraid of them? Maybe they symbolize your loneliness?

    Maybe you just like bricks a lot. :D
     
  15. meghanwaterlillies

    meghanwaterlillies Well-Known Member

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    Now now you went from wealthy rape cultures to churches, then aliens bother me. Ummm... I don't know what to say to that.. other than you forget the natives you turn into jews suddenly mender through paganism the way to catholics again, they send in people to mimic what a native is, they send in muslim's and know they don't give damn it's positional, just so they can claim something, it's really disgusting. Job and corporation it's just...
    I have been in a predominantly catholic and whatever else ALLISM place and I'm not impressed really.
     
  16. CEMB

    CEMB Member

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    Having a child certainly changes your perspective on life. And if you are waking up several times a night to look after a baby, this is obviously exhausting and puts a lot of stress on both the mind and body. I know a lot of new mothers, and fathers, experience a sense of isolation. My wife and I did when my son was a baby. This passes though. I actually feel more connected to humanity and less isolated now than I did before the birth of my son.
    If you are have a reoccurring dream then there is a message there of some sort. Perhaps you will learn something in Catholicism that you didn't following Wicca. Or you might attend some Catholic masses and gain a greater appreciation of Wicca or a different perspective of Wicca that you didn't have previously.
    I think the most important thing is to heed/respond to the message in some way because if you ignore what your messenger is saying, be it your subconscious, your soul or God, then the messenger might stop speaking to you.
    Any new experience is worthwhile if it teaches you something and gives you a better understanding of yourself and others.
     
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