Even due to those differences, we have to be careful.
Humans have a very distinct ability to see only what we want to believe or see. Molding excuses, or reasons in order to reject an idea of another. Sometimes when we see what we want, we let it go too far.
In beliefs, there is a very strong line between reality and what’s in your mind. People draw those lines at different places. The biggest part, is to be sure what you are perceiving, is not your own mind ‘declaring’ something. People get excited as they experience something, and have an extreme tendency to ‘run off with it’ building it into something more and more than it actually is.
This is a huge problem in religions like paganism, where beliefs in energies, spirits and other metaphysical sorts of things manifest and can be considered normal.
This is also exactly how people manipulate others. In paganism, you have to draw strong lines. Usually that takes being screwed over once or twice to figure out. Most people I know have had it happen at least once. It seems stupid, someone gets you to believe something, where now when you think of it, it’s like ‘what the hell was I thinking?’
It’s very easy to manipulate someone. Especially, when they are innocent and simply reaching out for knowledge. Wanting to learn how things work. A lot of people take advantage of that, either for fun, or because they actually do believe they are the next messiah, or a spiritual war is happening all around them, and they somehow are the key to ending it.
In my opinion, a real pagan, will never force anyone to believe what they do. They can guide via knowledge and experience. They never force others in their beliefs.
Along with that, in my own opinion, a spiritual guide/leader/priest/ess- they stand as a understanding guide in a very confusing world of mixed beliefs. They encourage when their student does well, and they ‘drag back to reality’ or ‘check yourself’ when they start going in an unhealthy or delusional direction. They are people, teachers, just like ones in everyday life. They’re not there to manipulate you or to gain power or wealth through their followers. They don’t use their position as a place of utmost power, but give adoration and acknowledgement to those who deserve it.
I am sharing a post that is from my favorite heathenry blog. It’s my favorite due to the fact that the author actually really puts an intense amount of work into their posts, including providing actual citations to historical documents and studies. Along with making it clear what is their belief and what is found information. I recommend Grumpy to everyone. I won’t lie, the majority of my Norse knowledge is from his teachings. So thank you so much GrumpyLokeanElder for taking the time to do all of this for people ❤
Because of his site, when I started looking into studying Loki, etc. I actually felt like I was being taught correctly. Grumpy and others call out a lot of stupidity in the communities such as fake possession, manipulation, not using discernment, psychology, etc. These are all extremely important.
When it comes to learning anything about paganism or similar belief systems, I find this post specifically and as many as the following mentioned to be mandatory reading before delving further.
A list from GLE (GrumpyLokeanElder’s website) following his ethics post. I recommend finding the time to read or skim over all of them, although apparently twilight and fire is now no more L
Related links worth reading: