I decided to talk about learning for my "L" post. I think because one trait I see with most Pagans I meet is that they are either looking to learn or teaching. Of course I think we are all always learning. Learning about ourselves, each other, our faith, everything in life. Once we stop learning than life ceases, for once you know everything than what is the point?
I can only speak for myself here, but I think there are many others who will see similarities. When I first began this path I grabbed all of the recommended "beginner" books that all the sites and people say to start with. (Now, I'm not going to mention titles here because I do not think there is anything innately wrong with these books, and do not want which books they were to be the focus of this). Unfortunately as I grew into my path as well as into myself I realized these were all the wrong books to start with.
Yes, these basic books teach you what tools to use, how to cast a circle, and a few basic spells. They teach you that you are to honor nature and all that is.... you know the basics. But there is something even more basic that we need to know FIRST. And that is .... wait for it.... Me!... well you..... you, know your Authentic Self.
You need to know who YOU are. You need to know what your core values and beliefs are. I didn't need to read a book to tell me what my beliefs are or what I value. Once I truly found my authentic self I realized that the answers aren't in the books. They are in me. And while the books can offer me inspiration and some good info, they are not the end all be all of my Spirituality. Most beginner books tell you to cast a circle for a variety of different reasons, this never felt right to me. I can do my work much better without the circle. Until I had found my Authentic Self I was stuck where many people are, thinking that I HAD to cast a circle, because the books say so, and all the people I talk to say so.
Learning who we are at our soul level is the highest education we can find. it affords us the ability to live and walk our path in our own personal way, bringing us closer to the Divine. The closer you are to your authentic self the closer you are to the Divine in you. I also think that once you have learned about your authentic self and are living your authentic life than what others are doing, how they practice their faith becomes of little consequence to you. Once I learned this important lesson I have found it easier to let my Divine light shine, I have found my confidence in my beliefs and practices. All while at the same time allowing others to live their own authentic self. This was the best lesson I could have learned on my path.
Blissings and Love!