The Pagan Experience, Week 2- August 10: New Paths of Learning.. This is the time of starting new paths of learning as students either prepare to return to school or complete their studies.
How do you determine what new paths of learning should be added to your foundations?
I’ve always gone with intuition and with topics that interest me. In the beginning of my studies I focused on Wicca as there were so many books, and I found one to rely heavily on. It told me to concentrate on one thing at a time, and it worked perfectly for me.
Moving around as often as I have as also assisted. In the very beginning I was drawn to fire, then moved to Ocean Witchcraft, moved to Sydney and was drawn to Druidry. So it’s very intuitive for me, and I take my time in learning.
Where do you seek further training?
Depending on what I’m aiming to learn, it depends. I began my learning of OceanCraft from being at the ocean, listening to the land and spirits of place. With Druidry I began the Bardic level with the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. When I became a Dedicant of Herne the Hunter, I spoke to him, I learned from him, and I continue to learn from him.
As part of my Dedication to Herne I decided I wanted a more positive impact on how I live and work with the earth, so I’m undertaking a Natural Science degree at University.
How do you balance the old and the new?
Dedication and planning! My uni studies takes precedents, but there are just times where I need a break from learning each semesters classes (this semester is (Forensic) Toxicology and Water Quality Assessment and Management) so I pick up a book.
Current Fields of Learning
As mentioned above, I’m studying a Natural Science degree at University. I’ve entered year 3 of 6, as I’m studying part time. This is incredibly rewarding! I began this journey as I currently work in Accounts and after talking to the Environmental Officer at my previous work site, I realised I wanted to do something in the environmental field. I honour it in my day-to-day, so what better way to fully honour the Earth (and what better way to study it by an academic stand-point) than to incorporate my love of the earth with how I put a roof over my head?! I looked online for degrees available at the universities in Sydney and New South Wales, and found the degree I’m doing now as it’s available part time and completely off campus. If I was able to work part time, I would change from “Environment and Health” to “Land Management” but I can’t give up work – it’s near impossible to live in Sydney and solely study.
My studies involving Herne the Hunter are forever ongoing, growing and evolving. He’s finding new ways to surprise me, just as I’m finding new ways to honour him. He is such an important aspect of my life, together we find new ways to honour myself while honouring him, honouring the land, and honouring his story.
I’ve been studying the Goddess path over the last few months and trying to find that balance in my life. This all began with someone reaching out on Facebook, and I soon became embraced by an amazing group of women who have changed my life, my view of my path, and have helped me bring closure and balance to so many aspects of self that I had no idea how to connect with. I cannot thank these women enough, as I don’t believe there are enough words to describe how thankful I am for them.
Through them I have begun working a lot with Damara and the Inner Child. This is having so many positive impacts on my life, how I deal with stress, how I deal with joy. It’s also giving me an outlet to play the Mother to a child because as I am now – my recently turned 31 y/o self – I get to comfort my Inner Child. As someone who only gets to play Mother to her ten amazing cats, embracing the Inner Child (all versions of them) is such a unique experience. And I get to celebrate this with the amazing women I can call my Pagan Family and my Sisters.
Through them I have been led down other paths. I became introduced to Shamanka Woman by UrMariAna who has made it her life’s work in the study, the honour and the embrace of Shamanka. Through Shamanka I reconnected with Sovereignty, someone Herne introduced me to years ago, but I don’t think I was ready to work with.
Now when I need a break from my current uni studies (this semester being (Forensic) Toxicology and Water Quality Management & Assessment) I’ve begun reading (from a rather academic point of view) King Arthur, stories of the Mabinogion, and the connection the Kings of Old had with Sovereignty – how she played a part in the choosing of the new King of Britain and Wales, and learning for ways that I can honour here in the Australian landscape.
I can’t stop learning. I love learning – I adore reading, I adore finding something new to lose myself in and embrace. When that something is found and I can step back and see just how positively it has impacted on my life, it empowers me to grow and learn more, to strive for more.