I didn't give a really cohesive answer as to why I stopped wearing it then, but I'm ready to now.
While technically Pagan, as Paganism is simply the lack of following a written religion (Many thanks to orchidwings for catching my mistake! ^_^), I am a shaman.No minced words. While reading The Way of the Shaman, I had the proverbial ton of bricks hit me. Why was I wearing a pentagram? Why was I trying to fit my beliefs to a structure? Why was I trying to rationalize something that feels natural to me? I see, hear, and talk to spirits and it doesn't affect how I lead my life. I turn to specific animal spirits and nature rather than a set of gods and goddesses.
It is as natural for me to talk to Tiger, Wolf, Dragon, or Mother Earth as it is for me to talk to Chris, Terri, or Dennis. Fire is my element and Tiger is one of my three spirit guides, though there are many others who offer me guidance and advice should I ask of it.
I'm surprised it took me this long to realize what, no, who I am and to accept it. I have been active for several years, come to think of it. From that first time when I was in 7th grade that I asked Mother Earth to lend me her strength and was able to channel. Perhaps even younger.
I look at myself in the astral superimposed on the physical and see my hands as paws and feel the long hair of the wolf, the Dark-Pawed Sage. I know when I shift to my other forms and do not take this gift for granted. There is a reason behind it.
What is Shamanism to me?
Being a teacher and a healer, first and foremost. I am one who people know they can turn to in times of distress and I will listen. I might not always be able to help, but I offer my shoulder for comfort and my ears to hear. I consistently learn, and in turn, am able to teach and offer advice.
I am trustworthy. This goes hand-in-hand with my job in the physical, but in regards to my spiritual path, it means that I will not lead those who choose to listen to me astray. I am not a shaman for money or to be some freak show. I recognize that the title of shaman is one that is laden with responsibility, both to the shaman himself and the shaman's community. Too many have taken the title for granted and have harmed others for their personal gain. This directly goes against the shaman's responsibility of being a healer and a benevolent presence.
Shamanism does not mean that I "play" with things I don't know about. I do not get involved with forces that I do not know the motivation or capability of, thereby protecting both myself and those I am connected with. I am not a practitioner of voodoo, though voodoo is a form of shamanism, and one that I respect.