What Do You Really Know About Pagans?
By Gena Haskett on December 22, 2009
BlogHer Original Post
It occurs to me that there is a group of people whose faith is mentioned at this time of year but we gloss over it and head for the mall instead. Pagans. People complain about the commoditization of the holidays. Some folks invoke the word “pagan” but what the heck do any of us know about the faith?
We know that there are elements of some holiday activities that have been appropriated/stolen from Pagan practices.
I am not a Pagan. I am not about to try to define or quantify the faith or belief system. What I can do is learn and observe from bloggers who are Pagan and share how they came to their faith and what their lives are like.
Seeking the Place of Acceptance
I started with Michael Gorman’s video Why I Am a Pagan Druid. In eight minutes, Mr. Gorman speaks about his transition from Catholicism, Fundamentalism and currently to a Pagan spiritual practice.
I turned off my internal question machine because I wanted to hear his narrative of coming from an institutional structured system into a totally different path. What I heard on the surface was a search for finding an affirming place in the world.
What I also got from his video was a better understanding of not everyone fits into place when they turn 18, 38 or 58 years of age. Perhaps there should be more of an acceptance to find the life that works but it seems to be a struggle to evolve to your best self.
Well the questions can’t be suppressed forever so I find my way to Isabella Lecour at the Seeking Sanctuary blog. I dig into the archives to find posts like 2007s My Pagan Beliefs and Ethics My Personal Life’s Creed:
I affirm my Self Responsibility.
As an adult, I am the only one responsible for my actions, thoughts, words, deeds and beliefs or lack thereof. No one but me is responsible, not my husband, nor my mother or my father or any kin nor any person of authority. I alone am responsible for me and I alone will bear the consequences of my actions, both desirable and undesirable; intended and unintended.
Expressions of Faith
There is no one path of practicing the Pagan faith. These are examples of how some individuals cultivate and explore their faith traditions.
Sabrina at A Goddess A Day goal is to list the 10,000 names for all of the goddesses. This means not just Greek and Roman but all goddess known on the globe will be included. Stumbling On the Path of the Goddess explains her process of her daily practice which many times include just what she has time for in her day.
Witchy Mama has a brief background post on the importance of the Solstice. A Pagan Tapestry and Magaly Guerrero view the rise of a new day. Rowena Pendragon also explains about the Solstice, depending on what side of the equator you live on.
Charming Pixie Flora shows viewers how she composes her Book of Shadows:
Christine at Pagan Witch is involved in homeschooling her children and is involved with incorporating her faith into her life. The Pagan Librarian is trying to figure out what would go into a pagan centered collection and database.
Have My Questions Been Answered?
No, not in the least. I don't understand the difference between the various names and practices. What is traditional practices and what would be considered contemporary practices?
I think my goal is and continues to be is to make room inside of myself for new information to enter. My internal weeding process of cultural errors that pass for common knowledge needs another work through.
From Michael Gorman I learned that you keep trying, learning and listning to the resonance around you. The answer could be speaking to you but you have to learn to be quite long enough to hear it.
From Isabella's blog it is be true to yourself. I struggle with accepting that not everything makes sense but it is a journey.
And from Charming Pixie Flora who is passionate and enthusiastic? Well, after watching a number of her videos I'm cutting back on my sugar consumption. But she also reminded me to enjoy the space and time I currently occupy.