There are various words in other languages that can be approximately translated as longing or yearning. Sehnsucht (German), a longing for a person or a place. Saudade (Portuguese), melancholic longing for a person or a place. Hiraeth (Welsh), a longing for home, possibly unattainable since we cannot revisit the past. Tizita (Amharic-Ethiopian), a longing or yearning, which has given its name to a style of music. Romanian has the word dor, which comes from the Latin word dolus which means “pain” and is related to the Romanian word durere (which means “pain”).
“Changing your religious or spiritual path can result in unexamined spiritual, emotional, and intellectual baggage from your previous tradition, which can cause all sorts of issues from depression to anger. We all need to unpack and deal with our unexamined baggage. The Tarot card of the fool traditionally depicts a small dog leaping up and biting the Fool’s butt. The dog can be seen as representing material from the unconscious trying to attract the attention of the conscious mind.”
If I hadn’t had access to books about mythology and King Arthur and Robin Hood, I might not have become a Pagan, and my life would’ve been very different. The book that I count as the one that made me realize I’m Pagan is Puck of Pook’s Hill by Rudyard Kipling, but I’m sure all the mythology and other stories helped too.
The power of stories to change and challenge a person’s worldview is immense. My worldview was definitely informed by reading A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin, Tolkien’s The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, The Writing on the Hearth by Cynthia Harnett (now sadly forgotten by most people), Mary Stewart’s Arthurian trilogy, and The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupéry. And of course the Narnia series by CS Lewis, and many other books depicting a magical mythopoeic worldview. Ursula Le Guin’s science fiction was and remains extremely important to me.
Changing paths is a wibbly-wobbly thing. During the process, I was all over the place. It was like having the bends (you know, the thing where a diver rises too quickly to the surface and gets cramps) or being on a giant scary roller coaster ride.