Pulled in Two Directions

I alluded to this in my previous post, but I really want to talk about where I am spiritually. Honestly, I’m stuck. That is, I feel pulled to go into two different directions. On the one hand, I’ve spent the last few years exploring Judaism and really trying to immerse myself it its culture and ritual. I subscribe to Jewish blogs and websites, I say shabbat blessings on friday nights over my candles, I celebrate Pesach and other holidays throughout the year. I added hebcal to my google calendar! And to be honest, I truly enjoy learning more and more about what it means to be a Jew and I crave that stability and ritual. It’s a comfort to know that when I am singing my prayers on friday nights I am joined by many all over the world, even if in my own home I am alone. Also, I have Jewish friends who have been so kind and eager to help me learn. I feel less isolated than I did when I identified as Pagan.

On the other hand, no matter how long I’ve been away, I still feel witchy. Maybe it’s my hippy nature that I just can’t shake off, or just habits I have yet to break, but I still identify with the magical side of life. And that’s not to say that I believe that I can do Harry Potter magic if I put my mind to it (but we only use 10% of our brains, who knows what we could do with the other 90%…. but I digress). I just see natural things as complex and fascinating and that is a kind of magic to me. I still mark the Sabbats in my calendar (did you know Mabon and Yom Kippur are on the same day this year?). I’ve kept all of my books, and I still have my tarot cards (no I don’t think that spirits talk to me through the cards). It fulfills me spiritually to honor my ancestors on Samhain and to recognize the power of nature. I don’t believe in individual Deities per se, but I do believe that talking to different “Gods” is a good tool for reconciling the unfathomable nature of the Divine. I don’t see honoring nature as idolatry because God is in nature and nature is God. Divinity is in all things, and I don’t think that there is just one way to worship Divinity.

I don’t know where this leaves me. Judaism is a beautiful faith, but scripture makes it very clear that there is only one God. I see it as many and one. Can got be many and one at the same time? I think so. But I’m not sure mainstream Judaism provides space for that. Thinking of the Divine as anything but a “One God” seems to be anathema. I don’t want to rock the boat, I just want to worship in a way that feels authentic to my life and to connect with the Divine. If Judaism doesn’t have a space for me somewhere in one of its Movements, then so be it. But I will have a hard time letting go. What I’ve learned in Judaism is very valuable to me. So Here I am, being pulled in two directions, not sure if I can reconcile them into one practice without degrading both, if that make sense. How can I do Paganism and Judaism justice? Are the just completely incompatible? And even if they are in some way, can I handle having to justify my choices to mainstream Paganism and Judaism? I’m not entirely sure I’m up for the task.

7 thoughts on “Pulled in Two Directions

  1. joouna8shadows says:

    In my opinion it is perfectly fine to be drawn to more than one faith. I would keep participating in both, and with time you will see what practices fit you and what don’t. The most important is to listen within, and to be patient and open.

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    • Ndeya says:

      Yeah, I’ve been fighting it for awhile, in the back of my mind, thinking that I have to pick just one. But I keep coming back to this crossroads, I suppose. I’m allowing myself to be open to whatever develops, but there is a certain fear– one of my biggest issues in life has been fearing that I’m not doing things the Right Way. I have a hard time letting go of that fear, but I think it’s worth it.

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  2. joouna8shadows says:

    I am also pretty sure i saw the word “Jewitch” floatjng around the internet a coulple of times, maybe look into that? It is Judaism with a dose of witchyness apparently although I dont know the details.

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    • Ndeya says:

      I’ve seen a couple websites and articles, but I’ll have to look into it more closely. There are definitely those out there that don’t see paganism and Judaism as mutually exclusive, but they are in the minority. But I should be used to being in the minority by now!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. skyloverwitch says:

    There has to be a way to reconcile the two faiths you find yourself pulled between! Don’t worry about doing things the “right way” – faith is deeply personal and to be completely honest, there is not a right way to practice any religion – I’m sure even a more concretely defined religion such as Judaism has internal bickering over interpretation!

    Also, there can totally be one god with many facets. I personally believe that everything in the universe is a facet of the divine!

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    • Ndeya says:

      Yeah, I know that I should just go with the flow. I mean, ultimately my spirituality is my business alone. But one of the things I really appreciate about organized religion is having a spiritual community to belong in, and I worry that I won’t find a place that I can truly feel safe and have a feeling of belonging. But perhaps I’m worrying too much.

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