Anxiety surrounding my path?

Just to give some background, I struggle with pretty severe anxiety and depression, to begin with and I found eclectic paganism through witchcraft.

Recently I’ve been feeling so much doubt/stress/anxiety surrounding the entire concept of worshiping deities.

A lot of this has to do with what I see other pagans doing and saying online.

I try to filter that out and focus solely on my path, but I feel like I’m constantly doing everything wrong.

At this point, it feels like spirituality/paganism is hurting me more than it’s helping.

I have no idea what to do or if I should take a step back and take down my altars to the deities I worship for the time being.

I don’t even know if I truly believe in deities anymore.

Part of me wants to just step away from paganism altogether right now, but I’ve also been known to make impulsive decisions out of panic before.

I feel so confused, disconnected, and lost.

Has anyone else experienced this? If so, how did you get through it?

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There’s no one judging you or checking to see if you do it right or wrong or do it at all.

If you want to take time away, do that.

In my opinion, we do rituals to connect with the divine within and without ourselves to lead more connected, enriched lives.

If it’s not helping you do that there’s no reason to do it.

Deity is there for us when we need them.

Paganism is finding a revival through social media, and social media is known to be a petri dish for negativity.

We find helpful information online, but at the same time, we are also exposed to a variety of negativity including

crabs in a bucket attitude,

competitiveness,

exhibitionism,

trolling,

cruelty, and intolerance.

It’s ok to step back away from the practice.

Your heart will probably tell you within a matter of months whether you wish to return or not.

There is no punishment for taking a break.

Many pagans actually don’t have an interest in gods and exclude them from their practice altogether.

I’ve heard some pagans make legitimate arguments that god worship is overrated, and other components like ancestor veneration or nature are underrated.

Don’t feel bad for having your own opinions.

In particular, I’ve noticed that many pagans having been introduced to witchcraft feel their approach is getting lost in translation.

You’re not alone, and you aren’t doing something wrong.

Take a break if needed and maybe write a list of what drew you to the path in the first place – what parts you care most about and what parts you can skip over. Good luck.

 

 

You can’t be doing anything wrong because there are no strict rules.

Your faith is whatever you believe in.

It seems like the negativity isn’t coming from your practice, but from what you see online and feel like you “should” do.

I recommend stepping away (at least temporarily) from the sites that add the most anxiety.

I wouldn’t tear down your altars yet, but use simple meditation to really delve into what it is that YOU believe in.

You don’t have to worship deities at all if you don’t want to.

You can have none, just those from certain pantheons, a mix of different pantheons, ALL the deities, or stick to just basic God and/or Goddess.

The whole point is to enrich your life.

If it adds stress, it is not enriching your life.

Just spend some time contemplating what you really believe in.

And if that changes down the road, that’s fine, too!

Trust yourself and your instincts and you WILL find your way.

It took me years to find my deity.

This whole thing about needing a deity right away is not a thing.

I don’t know why people feel they need one right away.

You can set up your altar just for the seasons or the gods associated with the sabbats.

Just do you and ignore what everyone else is doing.

 

I’m gonna be honest, as a baby pagan, it’s not really a great idea to factor the opinions of many others into your practice.

I’ve been pagan for a few years now, and I still don’t like to go online and talk about it much.

I lurk but rarely comment.

This is simply because paganism, like any religion (or even hobby) is filled with people who think their way is always right, their version is the best, etc etc.

But that’s the thing about paganism.

There is no right way, and a true follower of the Old Religion would know that and should know to support their soul siblings or shut their mouth.

For example, I don’t worship any deities at all.

I’m something of a non-theistic, if not atheistic worshipper, so that means I have no place to speak when people ask about deities.

I can provide historical context and what the books say, but not my opinion, because I don’t worship deities.

But people online don’t think that way.

People often shove their opinions in everywhere, unsolicited, even if they have good intentions.

I share a similar experience from when I began my journey.

I found some of the most stressful and anxiety-ridden experiences surrounding the growth of my spirituality were when I talked to other pagans.

Too often did they try to prove their knowledge to me, or try to convert me to their way of things, or tell me I was wrong for my beliefs.

That’s the thing about paganism.

Nobody is wrong for their beliefs.

We don’t have a single Bible, we don’t have a universal way of doing things.

Read, watch your videos, and if you feel you’re ready, discuss with others.

But always remember that whatever you believe is valid, and you really don’t have to do anything that doesn’t make sense to you.

Blind faith isn’t really a thing here.