One popular idea is that there exists a distinction between two different modes of relating with the divine or the sacred: religion and spirituality. Religion describes the social, the public, and the organized means by which people relate with the sacred and the divine while spirituality describes such relations when they occur in private, personally, and even in eclectic ways.
In my time I have learned in my own time that the two cannot always be seperate.
Religion is spiritual and spirituality is religious. One tends to be more personal and private while the other tends to rituals. The lines between one and the other are not clear and distinct — they are all points on the spectrum of belief systems known as religion. Neither religion nor spirituality is better or worse than the other; people who try to pretend that such a difference does exist are only fooling themselves.
Being spiritual, gives me piece of mind and allows me to feel calm when the rest of the world is in chaos. Observing the ritual practices and Sabbats, mostly participating in ritual provides a sense of control. This has been true of my path since before I found Paganism. My Path took me on many different avenues before I found where I was supposed to be.
I had my first encounter as a young adult, and since that time everything has been pointing me in the same direction.
A lot of the most popular teachers of anything tell you to read and read some more, and only after you have done the reading ask questions. Any Missionary can tell you that you can only learn so much from reading, there hits a point where you need to practice the skills you are reading about. As it is with religion and spirituality. I have never found one book that held all the answers. Studdying made me feel in tune with the world arround me and the universe as a hole, an experience entirely outside of reading. Networking and holding rituals, keeping an altar were my best teachers.
I am Macha. Touched by the Patron Goddess of my ancestors in County Armaugh of Ireland. Since I was small my Irish born grandfather always said I had the Sight. Maybe that is where it all started.
Finding my path was full of pitfalls as I was raised Christian, I had a lot of preconceptions. It all started shortly after I returned from my Mission for the LDS church. I was in my early twenties and wandering the shops in San Diego, the city I grew up in, when I found the shop curiously labled "Ye Olde Witches Shoppe" (In may have been Raven Grimassi's "Ye Olde Enchantment Shoppe"). Now I feel its important to say, a good Christian never would have stepped across the threshold. Fully expecting to find books on the devil and satanic texts with old engraviung plate style pictures. I was wrong. I picked up some books, and took them home... It was reading those books that gave me a realization that Paganism might not be evil.
It was also those books that allowed me to finally attend a gathering in a small strip mall in here in Utah. Attending a Wicca 101 class helped me find direction, about two decades after I read my first non-christian book.