An unfortunate misconception fostered by those new to Paganism is that you have to do everything the way someone else before you did it. They believe that there are “right” and “wrong” ways of believing and practicing, and they fear the consequences of non-conformity. Luckily for them, this is miles from the truth.
Generally speaking, Pagans are a pretty non-conformist bunch. They believe in finding your own way and doing what feels right to you. They believe in learning from what those before you have done and taking what works, while leaving the rest behind. Their practices are so widely varied that people often wonder how they can all fall under the same heading and feel that they have any common ground.
The only time you’ll have to do what others do is if you join a coven or group, and you agree to abide by their rules. Keep in mind though, that you always have free will. If something feels wrong, back out politely and don’t engage in that thing again, or at least talk to someone about it to see what you can learn from the feeling. You should never feel obligated to follow someone else’s path. This is your journey, you’ll figure out what’s right for you through time and experience.
*Disclaimer: I no longer practice Paganism, but I’ve left these Pagan Myths articles active because I believe they’re still valuable in helping people to understand Paganism and reduce negative stereotypes.*