View Full Version : Was it Harry Potter or Death Metal That Got You?

09-25-2011, 02:20 PM
Inspired somewhat by a thread in the sci-fi/fantasy board.

I keep hearing this idea that people will turn to "witchcraft" after reading fantasy, playing Dungeons and Dragons or listening to heavy metal and I really don't know where the idea comes from.

Personally, I can trace my interest in Paganism quite easily. I have a loving family that isn't bothered by people's religious choices, and in which personal exploration of such things is considered perfectly healthy. My stepdad was taught tarot by his mum and practices it regularly, while his brother learned runes. My mum fervently believes that my father's spirit visited me regularly when I was an infant.

I have a deep love of nature and the natural world, and a desire to live close to nature where possible. I have an especial love of standing stones and other ancient constructions, and a fascination for the structures and the people that built them.

I find a lot of aspects of the mainstream religions problematic, or actively distasteful, but I feel a need to connect with some sort of spirituality.

It seems to me that it was pretty much inevitable I'd be drawn to Paganism, even if I'd never heard of fantasy.

What about you guys? Was it Buffy? Come on, be honest!

09-25-2011, 05:07 PM
None of the reasons in the poll. I just always knew I was a witch. I was raised Roman Catholic and sent to Catholic school, but I was maybe about 7 when I was sitting one day and realized I wasn't Catholic, and couldn't believe what I was being taught.

I wanted to use stones and herbs and spells. I felt an attachment to the earth and water fro my strength and spirituality.

At 10 I took my Aunt's Tarot Card splayed them out on the floor and told the entire story of what each card meant, having never read anything about them. I was drawn to them like a magnet every time I went to her house.

Most of my family is fully accepting of my religion, one isn't though. Oh well, her problem.

09-25-2011, 06:11 PM
I would say it goes back to when I was younger. I always had a fascination with the tales of King Arthur, Merlin, his knights, etc. Learning that Merlin was considered a Druid, I began to research what Druids were. That lead to where I am today.

09-25-2011, 08:04 PM
I ticked 'brought up in a pagan environment' although that's only partially true. None of my family were very active, no one ran a tarot booth or a new age shop or actively practiced much, but my family were interested in the occult, on an academic level, and believed in letting people make up their own minds. So I saw the books and tarot cards my uncle had and he explained to me what they were. When I was 16 he taught me how to read the cards myself and the rest was my own study and research. My great grandmother was more involved, and people used to come from all over the UK for readings from her, but I never knew her. Supposedly 'gifts' run in the female line of our family, according to the sort of family legends anyway.

And so it was kind of the opposite with me - because I was interested in paganism, I got interested in fantasy fiction and wanted to write it.

09-25-2011, 08:38 PM
I was brought up in a pagan environment. My mom was a fairly regular practitioner, and she'd take me along to group rites and things sometimes. I don't practice anymore, though.

I must say, if I hadn't been brought up to it, I'm sure Harry Potter would've done it for me though. I mean...it was just so REAL! And I was at an impressionable age! Besides, who doesn't want a magic wand? :tongue :sarcasm

09-25-2011, 11:33 PM
I was simply raised Pagan. Learned about Christianity and other religions after I turned 18 and never understood the rationale of most of them, especially the Abrahamic ones, so my spiritual beliefs have not changed. They may have grown and evolved over the years, but I remain Pagan. ^.^

09-26-2011, 12:08 AM
Actually, I thought Spike was the hot one...but I didn't become a vampire. I do like black nail polish, though.

Was raised Catholic, loved Christmas, Easter and was most comfortable with Mary. Later survived an ugly fundamentalist church with marriage intact(barely). Was truly done with that.

We moved to the mountains like they called us, I spent a lot of time reading feminist theology and moved onto goddess and pagan belief. Christianity, other than a respect for those who tried to live love, no longer had any hold on me by then(years later, I am old.) Cha-ching went my slot machine of ideas. Everything lined up.

As for magical fiction, the things in Harry Potter and Buffy that really stand out to me are love of friends and self sacrifice for loved ones/better world.

09-26-2011, 12:37 AM
Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler

Plus the contradictions inherent in Christian theology and their reliance on faith and the infallibility of the Pope

Ol' Fashioned Girl
09-26-2011, 12:52 AM
Even when I was very, very young, older religions than Christianity called to me. By the time I was in the 6th grade, I had discovered Greek, Norse, and Roman 'mythology' and my first question was, 'If no one believes in a god anymore, what happens to him?'. (Later dealt with, of course, by Star Trek in 'Who Mourns for Apollo?') The older I got, with greater access to the library and more research, I just couldn't reconcile the many different branches of Christianity with their myriad interpretations (sometimes to their own benefit) of the original texts. I couldn't accept that this group of men had any better handle on The Truth than any other group throughout history. The Pagans seemed to have it more right than anyone else, so if I'm anything...

09-26-2011, 12:58 AM
I studied a bunch of religions. My mother is Catholic (sort of) and took me to mass a lot when I was younger. I dated a Lutheran, a Baptist and a Catholic, so I learned more about the religions that way. In school, I studied a lot about Judaism. Really liked that one, but more for cultural stuff and philosophy than their theology.

I got into paganism through a friend, and it let me to Egyptian mythology, which I absolutely fell in love with. It shares a lot of the aspects of Judaism that I liked, without the vengeful god.

Plus the contradictions inherent in Christian theology and their reliance on faith and the infallibility of the Pope

Christian theology does have a lot of contradictions, but all religions rely on faith.

And not all Christians believe in Papal infallibility or that there should even be a Pope. That's mainly just the Catholics.

09-26-2011, 01:17 AM
Hey, Bunny, I think posting a link to this thread in that other thread might be helpful to the OP, if not others.

09-26-2011, 01:32 AM
Harry Potter and Death Metal didn't exist when I was a teenager. I think my dad had a book called "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Sorcery, But Were Afraid" and I found it interesting. But I was never raised with a God. My parents had given up religion, my dad became an atheist, and my mom started learning about alternative religious/spiritual beliefs.

09-26-2011, 02:59 AM
Hey, Bunny, I think posting a link to this thread in that other thread might be helpful to the OP, if not others.

Good point!

Will do :D

As to the rest of you, great answers and thank you!

09-26-2011, 07:39 AM
This is my first visit to this forum
I don't consider myself a Pagan, I am a Catholic (non-practicing) that has developed a strong curiosity to explore the craft.
My first real interest in Pagan religion & rituals came from a post-apocalyptic book by S.M. Stirling 'Dies the Fire'. One of his main characters is a pagan witch/priestess that forms a survival group with her coven.Whatever has caused the apocalypse has increased her powers as a witch.
I thought the premise intriguing and felt the need to check it out on a 'real life' level.
I'm interested a great deal in hypnotism & self hypnotism so it seemed like a good fit.
My Aunt is also in to New Age Mysticism (I'm not actually sure what kind to be honest) and she always told me that I have "an old soul", so things just started to click I suppose.
On top of that, my daughter brought me two books on witchcraft -
'The Witch's Magical Handbook' & 'The Magic Power of White Witchcraft' by Gavin & Yvonne Frost.
I haven't really studied the craft, but I guess I've dabbled (cautiously) a little to see where this new path wants to take me.
For whatever reason, something wants me to dig a little deeper.

If this post isn't appropriate for the discussion, feel free to move it or delete it, I'll understand.


09-26-2011, 02:57 PM
I ventured into paganism when I began having spiritual experiences I couldn't explain,among other things.

Check out Beth Winegarner's blog Backward Messages (http://backwardmessages.wordpress.com/). She building a writing project based on these kinds of assertions geared toward helping parents understand that death metal and video games don't lead kids to Satanism, etc, and that Satanism isn't paganism...

09-26-2011, 09:11 PM
I'm a Finnish Neopagan. I'm not Finnish, I don't come from Finland, it's just since I was young I've been interested by runestones and the Kalevala. Me and a bunch of Finnish Neopagan friends that me and another friend showed the religion too celebrate the circling of each hear four times a year, once in the middle of the summer, once in the middle of Autumn etc.

We also visit Finland occasionally to visit sacred forwards from pagans and rune singers years ago. We prey to wooden god images in the forests, we each have preferred gods we prey to. I prey to Nyyrikki, the hunter god, Ukko, sky god and chief diety of the Finnish Pantheon, and Akka, Ukko's wife and goddess of fertality.

We celebrate Hela, Juhannus, Kekri and Joulu, four festivals throughout the year. We read SKVR and the Kalevala and sing poems of the Rune Simgers from these pages.

I enjoy the culture of the Finnish Neopagan. It's a throwback to the Finnish Pagans in the past, and it's an interesting religion. You may think me and my friends are crazy, but we don't really believe in any of these gods but believe in what they represent, and we aren't devoted followers who pray everyday and let Finnish Paganism change our day to day life, we just keep it separate. But I recommend any kind of Paganism, they all make so much sense and really are interesting.

09-26-2011, 11:18 PM
If this post isn't appropriate for the discussion, feel free to move it or delete it, I'll understand.


Fits in just fine Adrian :) We're all at different stages of our path. You're just in the "piques my interest" stage.

09-27-2011, 12:01 AM

09-27-2011, 12:09 AM
I'm not a pagan. Christian actually, but I've always been fascinated by pagan culture and religion. The thing that draws me is that it's the culture of my ancestors. Learning about one's origins is really fascinating. I wish there more had been documented about the picts (among other peoples) before they were eradicated/absorbed into more mainstream cultures.

Mr Flibble
09-27-2011, 01:59 AM
I didn't tick anything

I wasn't brought up in any kind of religious atmosphere, though I think what my granny used to say about stiff really resonates. (She was a Christian but, er, didn't see the value in churches. Which led to other discussions...)

My parents were 'believe what you believe, but what you believe is private, yours and yours alone'. I don't even know if my parents are religious at all. I read all sorts of religious stuff growing up, though oddly not (much of) the Bible.

I am a pagan. There are certain aspects of the path I do not believe in. I think most/all religious texts are really just 'this is how we do things' manuals. Religions are how humans make sense of the greater universe/spirituality. Each are as valid as another. I chose this path because what it says resonates with what I believe are good and right things, and because I think there is someone/something up here. I do not believe he watches my every move.

Maybe he only created the universe cos he was drunk and it seemed like a good idea at the time and now he's sobered up and can't rememeber.... :D

09-27-2011, 02:28 AM
If this post isn't appropriate for the discussion, feel free to move it or delete it, I'll understand.


Actually, I really appreciated your perspective. Not everyone who shows interest in Pagan becomes Pagan or abandons whatever previous faith they had.

There are plenty of Catholics and other Christians that retain their faith and practice divination (my step-nan for one!), just as there are people who may choose one religion over the other. Your views are as valid as any.

09-27-2011, 05:49 AM
Thanks celestialwolf, I appreciate that.
I've been in the piques my interest stage for a while. Piqued but not quite willing to walk solely that path. I've been a Catholic for 50 years so it's not something I suppose I'll ever leave behind completely at this point of my life.
That's not saying that I feel something is not there about what I've experienced while investigating pagan religions.

Thanks bunnymaz, you've come close to hitting the nail on the head.
It wasn't about me abandoning my Catholic faith, it was about something.....else.
I've refrained from most pagan rituals due to my Catholic faith. I have found a website of a Christian sorcerer that I've utilized some of his works.
And, while I haven't evoked the Guardians in my circle, I have poured them a libation or two.


Rhoda Nightingale
10-08-2011, 09:24 AM
Was first introduced to witchcraft as a Thing That People Still Do when I was about thirteen, and my two best friends discovered Wicca.

Even before that, one of those same friends had a deck of Tarot cards (although she mispronounced "Tarot") and we would pretend to give each other readings although we had no idea what we were doing.

I wasn't raised in any particular faith--my mom is Christian, I think, but not devoted to any particular denomination. I go to an Episcopal church every Sunday because she directs the choir there, and likes me ask me things like, "How did the anthem sound? Was the pitch okay?" while we sitting around the alter waiting for our bread and wine. (I have a pretty good ear for that stuff.) But neither of us are Episcopalian, but all the folks in the choir are really nice.

So in fact, I was raised to seek out my own path, and wound up circling back to Buddhism and Paganism more than anything else once I'd done some research on various faiths. Lately I've been reading up more on practical magic. I meditate a lot. I've felt very close to the moon for some reason--I don't know why, but I never ignore my instincts. I use healing crystals--I have a collection of nine now.

I used to have prophetic dreams, especially when I was younger, but I think it got beaten out of me in my more cynical, depressed college days. I'd like to get it back. I still write them all down.

10-08-2011, 01:46 PM
1) Dungeons and Dragons wasn't on your list.

2) Is this because it would have canceled out the sex?

Rhoda Nightingale
10-09-2011, 07:36 AM
^Speak for yourself. My first serious boyfriend was also my Dungeon Master.

10-09-2011, 10:27 AM

Writing got me into witchcraft. :)

No, really!

Okay, so. Years and years ago, I was writing a book, and one of the characters was telling me that he was pagan. Wiccan, specifically. I didn't know much about Wicca at that point, since I was 17, so I hit up Google.

And realized that it wasn't that far off from my own beliefs, even though I considered myself Christian at the time.

One thing led to another and......


There were truthfully a lot of different factors at play. One, the way I was raised had an impact. My parents were conservative in some areas, New Agey in others. My mom works something like reiki, works with crystals, etc. Paying attention to and respecting the magical side of the world and self was a big deal in my household growing up, and they didn't believe that conflicted with Christianity; their attitude was that such things were gifts and God wouldn't give them something if it wasn't to be used.

I don't actually have any issue with Christianity, and for several years I described myself as Christian-Pagan. At this point, I'm just pagan, because Christianity just is not my path at this time in my life. Where I'll end up in ten years, who knows.

10-12-2011, 09:07 PM
The honest truth?

A video game.

SimEarth, for the Super Nintendo.

It made me fascinated in what scientists refer to as the Gaia theory, aka the theory that our planet and the life it holds is one great, beautiful living thing. From there, I started to study earth sciences and enviromental issues, which lead me to elemental energy, and from there I was hooked. Cross that with a series of events that led me to having a certain distaste for the local Christan preachers where I was living at the time, and there ya go.

10-20-2011, 12:42 AM
What a great thread!!!!

I was dipped (haha) Roman Catholic, as were all the women in my family before me, but we practiced the OLD religion at home.

I was raised in both Ireland and the USA, and we always kept our faith private. But you'd be surprised to learn how pagan most of the clergy is in rural Ireland! Ha! I learned everything I know today about the craft from my mother, just like she learned from her mother, and so on and so on. We never used titles like Wiccan, Druid, Pagan...we always referred to ourselves as witches. I never was drawn to the tarot, but I make and read runes.

It was always a personal journey through the faith, and I was allowed to choose my path accordingly -- whether or not I wanted to embrace the craft or not.

My husband was raised Unitarian, and wholly accepts who I am. He even helps out with circle casting sometimes on the High Days.

I have my gals who will join in a circle for extra oomph, but in reality I'm just a solitary practitioner.

That's me in a nutshell. Cheers!