:: A look at my faith :: >
When asked what religion I claim title to, I generally say
"non-denominational pagan." Simply put, I believe in the
powers of Nature and use representations of the earth as my
"gods" (ie: I will talk with the ocean or the moon rather than
towards, "Neptune" or "Diana") Names and rituals are
meaningless and trivial to me and so I do not follow Wicca or any other
"organized" pagan faith. (not that there's anything wrong with
that for others-just not for me) I see my life as a journey of
exploration and my magick as the lifeblood of my soul.
Pagan, to me, means
that I do not believe in any preconceived writings or teachings (such as
the Bible). It means that I do not turn to a personification for my
worship, I go straight to the Earth. It means I do not await my turn in
Heaven or fear my time in Hell. It means that I believe in magick and
mystery. I believe in the older ways of praising and thanking the earth
rather than begging forgiveness and mercy of a god.
Why do I refer to
myself then as Pagan?
Let me first explain the literal meaning of it...Let's first look at the
actual dictionary version of this word
1.One who is not a Christian, Muslim, or Jew; a heathen.
2.One who has no religion.
#1 we've established
that I do not follow any 'modern' organized religion-ergo, I am not a
Christian, Muslim, or Jew...
#2 religion is defined
as A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of
a spiritual leader. Well, I've also condoned any need for ritual,
structure, or formed practice in my belief and I have come to them on my
own and without any guide or direction.
#3 this is blatantly
#4 Now, this one seems
contradictory at first (as defined: Pursuit of or devotion to
pleasure, especially to the pleasures of the senses) but, truly, if
one looks at the focus of most religions, it makes better sense. 99.9%
of followers do so because of a fear of their god; the wrath of their
deity; and the damnation of their souls. I do not believe in such
restrictions, and as such, my life is in fact, a quest for things of
pleasure-both of the physical and the intellectual. (Pleasure need not
equal simply animalistic sex, I might note)
Now, on a more personal
level, I have found that by calling myself something as broad and
unstructured as "pagan" I can better find those of
similar-albeit not identical-mindsets and willingness to
"supernatural" issues. Approaching most followers of an
organized religion (such as Catholicism) and trying to discuss magick,
psychic powers, divination, or even angels-would result in either
confusion, fear, or hatred. Misunderstandings and a different mindset
act as efficient walls. Therefore, it is not that I refer to myself as
Pagan to claim a title per se, but to better find those who may have a
similar approach to life and the universe.
Just because you
don't follow Christianity doesn't mean you still don't follow.
I follow my OWN heart, mind, and soul. It is a faith of one. If you wish
to define a personal and unique belief as "following"
something, then fine. As I said, I follow only myself.
claiming "Paganism" as a title also "flocking?" It's
just a smaller herd of sheep, that's all.
As I indicated above, I am not following anyone, and by taking it on as
a general title (rather than getting into the overly detailed discussion
of "I follow the Church of M") I can better find those of
SIMILAR (but not IDENTICAL) mindset. It's not that I'm trying to join a
group, but rather find WITHIN a group those who might prove
interesting to communicate and relate with.
You can't lead a
crowd if you're constantly wasting time asking the acceptance of that
crowd you choose to lead.
But you fail to see, that I am not a leader. I am only myself. I do not
follow nor do I lead. I just am. I care not what people think or
say of me. I simply wish to cause as small a ripple as possible. When it
is easier to be silent and cause no argument or anger, than that is the
route I take. I do not enjoy negative emotions. I do not enjoy
hostility. Therefore, I simplify. Saying, I am a pagan to a group of
pagans is easier than saying "I am an angel, but not what you
immediately think, and I'm only a pagan by the loosest definition of the
word, and I really have a my unique set of beliefs, but that's not what
I came here to talk about..." means anything I actually wanted to
say would be lost in the muck. Simplify, not follow and not lead.
In short, it does come
down to a "I am me, take it or leave it" The thing is, I don't
often share that which IS me. Simplicity, peaceful, and yet I lose