I’m sure I have different versions of this all over. My family’s nominally Christian in that they themselves were raised that way and put some effort into raising my sister and I with some monotheistic training, but as they’ve gotten older, they’re kind of “twice a year” Christians now. Except we don’t actually go to church twice a year, and it’s more just the Christian derived secular stuff on holidays and such.
Anyway, I was dissatisfied with the Christian flavor of monotheism I was exposed to. It didn’t answer questions I was running into. I mean, no offense intended to those who do believe in the doctrines of their church, but as soon as I found out how different processes happened in this world, I couldn’t just swallow stories of miracles and believe in doctrines that couldn’t be questioned and mentally wrangled with without me being labeled a sinner for doubting.
For a little while I was this borderline area of atheist / agnostic in reaction to just leaving a Christian leaning belief. I couldn’t just write off all Higher Powers just because I didn’t agree with what people claimed about the Christian God, and I felt like Something was there, but I just didn’t know exactly what it was. I didn’t think Judaism or Islam would be a fit, since the monotheist thing wasn’t really my cup of tea, so I looked into Paganism on the basis of wanting to give belief systems that incorporated more than one Deity a try.
Wicca is the loudest voice under the Paganism umbrella, and while I obviously didn’t stay with it, I don’t regret it as a stepping stone to where I am now. I needed to transition through soft polytheism into hard polytheism after being in an atheist / agnostic point, and the Lord and Lady weren’t rude or anything. I grew to consider Them separate Deities rather than what some Neo-Wiccan books claim (They are the ultimate source of all Gods and Goddesses). I never made any promises, was initiated into any group, or even did a self-dedication, so it was as easy as no longer interacting when They conveyed that our journey together had reached its natural end at the beginning of this summer.
I had looked into specific pantheons, admittedly at the prompting of a part of a Neo-Wiccan book that suggested doing so, and had wound up with the Norse while also still maintaining contact with the Lord and Lady. I didn’t immediately land with the Norse, though. Because I was bombarded with Celtic stuff in these Neo-Wiccan books, I tried looking into that first (specifically Irish because a lot of people seem to use Celtic instead of Irish).
There just wasn’t this feeling of me clicking with this pantheon, so I took a stab in the dark by trying to find info on something Germanic (I’m Irish, Scottish, English, and German, so I figured I’d try those first simply to narrow down the list of there being a lot of potential pantheons). I kept getting led to info on Heathenry, specifically Nordic based, and I found myself on northernpaganism.org which has various Northern Tradition Paganism shrines. I specifically found myself on the Honoring Narvi page of Sigyn’s shrine and crying while reading: “[…] she asked me to make sure that someone, somewhere continues to honor Narvi. “Please try to find someone who can go to the beach for Narvi,” she wrote, “or take Him for a walk in the woods, or something. I don’t want Him to have to wait again, and be forgotten again.”
I don’t cry, so crying at this felt very noteworthy. I decided to start with Sigyn, Narvi, Vali, and Loki in trying to be respectful and reaching out. I ended up introducing myself to a fair few Others and wandering out of the Norse pantheon in interacting with Some, and I’m now here. I typically consider myself a Norse polytheist first with various side practices that complement it, though some sideblogs that are focused on a side practice will only talk of that and focus on that label.
[Accurate to the best of my ability and remembering as of 7.23.15. The pantheons and Deities that I’m compatible with outside of the Norse pantheon has changed over time, and I can’t guarantee Who I may wind up compatible with in the future.]