Pagans generally think of themselves as very spiritual folks. We are supposed to be in tune with nature, respectful to a multitude of gods, and open-minded about the beliefs of others. But, believe it or not, Pagans can also experience a crisis of faith.
First, I’ll tell you a little bit about my religious history. I was raised Presbyterian. Not strictly, but I did go to Sunday school and learn my Bible stories. As a young teen I decided to read the whole Bible, and came to the conclusion that Christianity wasn’t the right path for me. So, after some looking around, I settled on Wicca, believing the basic framework but not totally wedded to all the ritual. After university I married a wonderful Catholic guy, and continued to be a semi-practicing Wiccan for many years, but once I had my son, I sort of found myself at loose ends.
Today I’m mom to a wonderfully curious little boy who attends Catholic school, and I’m trying to answer questions about what happens when we die and just who exactly this Jesus guy is. The little man is being exposed to a pretty liberal set of religious beliefs—God may be a man or a woman according to him. But I’m still trying to figure out what I believe.
So, I’ve made up a list of books that I want to read over the next 12 months in an attempt find my path. It isn’t exhaustive, and if you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear from you.
- The Lotus Sutra
- The Christian Bible
- The Qur’an
- Descartes’s Meditations on First Philosophy
- The Seeker’s Guide by Elizabeth Lesser
- Buddhism Without Beliefs by Stephen Batchelor
I’m also planning on working through the New Age/Buddhism-inspired book Everyday Dharma by Lama Willa Miller. Meditation and yoga are also on my list of practices to resume, along with prayer and who knows what else.
I’m hoping that I can find some way to incorporate my sort of free floating Pagan beliefs with some sort of great whole. I need to find a path to walk, rather than continuing to beat my way aimlessly through the underbrush. This column with be about this journey, about the books I read and the steps I take in trying to figure out what I believe and how to bring these beliefs into my life.