Unpacking/Repacking Your Baggage

May 16, 2015 at 12:55 am 3 comments

Before we go exploring Paganism(s), we need to be prepared by unpacking and repacking our spiritual and emotional baggage from our philosophical, and/or religious upbringings. We need to make sure we aren’t bringing things along that will drag us down, and make sure we are equipped with the right tools for what we might find!  Even if you have been practicing Paganism for a while- or many years, sometimes it’s good to take a look at what you are carrying around, sort thru it and repack!

Initially I was dividing this up into questions for people who had a religious upbringing vs. a secular one but it felt like a rather artificial division- so just answer whichever questions seem relevant to you!

What religions or philosophies are dominant in your country, region and/or cultural background(s)?

Is there any status, privilege or social advantages that go with belonging to those religions?

If you were brought up with a minority religion or philosophy (this can include a secular/nonreligious one) how did this affect you and your family?

Are there customs and traditions you were brought up with that have religious origins? What personal and family meanings do they have?

What attitudes did you learn about people of different faiths or non-religious people? People in or from other cultures and countries- or even regions of your own country?

What attitudes did you learn about gender and sexuality?

What kind of ethics, morality or value systems were you brought up with? From what sources do these values come?

Views of death and the afterlife- importance or lack of- as compared with the value of this life?

Important for Repacking and Setting Off to Explore:

How have your views on these various issues changed over time, and what influenced them to change? (Education, talking to people with other views, reading/watching/listening to media, your own thoughts, experiences, etc)

Do you have any feelings of anger, guilt, frustration towards your upbringing, family members, clergy or religious communities? What work do you need to do with those feelings so they don’t get in the way of your spiritual explorations?

What positive things did you learn and experience from past religions you’ve participated in? What worked for you or didn’t? What helped you grow spiritually and emotionally?

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Entry filed under: Approaching Paganism, How-To. Tags: .

Approaching Paganism- What and Why? Culture-Based Religions

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