There’s a reason I don’t read a lot of the Pagan blogs out there. There’s a handful of “won’t miss” ones such as Cat Treadwell’s “The Cat Box” – but for the most part, I’ve started breezing through many of the others. About a week or so back – those pages were being lit afire over the concept of “What is (or not) Pagan” which I’ve already made mention of in a previous posting. Now, there’s a move towards defining “modern Paganism” as a way of “bringing back the Gods”. Bully for them. Its a notion I don’t even bother to entertain.
So far, the few folks that I have talked about with this have dropped their jaws in awe when I make that statement. It seems completely out of tune, in their eyes, for me to not want to “bring back the Gods” as a Pagan (and forget that concept of a “modern Pagan” – unless you’re driving a Delorean with an installed flux capacitor, or have a Police Box that’s bigger on the inside – but that’s another rant for another time). My seeming “goal” as a Pagan seems to be to spread the Gospel of polytheism. Bullsmeg. All these people wringing their hands over what is or is not Paganism – bringing the old Gods back…how about something completely different? Why not LIVE your belief system and stop worrying about how everyone else is doing theirs?
Holy smeg, people. When did Paganism become like the Christian churches out there? When did we all have to start poking our fingers and noses into just how everyone else is practicing (or not) their stated religious beliefs? I’m a refuge from the Christian churches of the mid to late 1980s. I REMEMBER VIVIDLY when people like Mike Warnke and Lauren Stratford went around the country proclaiming their instances of abuse at the hands of “Satanic” cults. I REMEMBER VIVIDLY as broadcasters such as Bob Larson REGULARLY axe-poled Pagans as being those “Satanists”.
Who *IS* Pagan “enough”? My answer to that is simple: I don’t know. I can only speak for myself. Do I want to “bring back the Gods”? My answer to that is even simpler: They never left. If someone feels the need to incorporate that into their belief system – I applaud them for it and encourage them to continue seeking along their Path. Its not where I am headed on my Path — but the differences in our Paths don’t nullify the validity of what we each practice. For me, choosing Paganism isn’t about following the herd…its about setting everything in order for yourself. If having like-minded people around works for you – go for it. Just don’t assume that every other Pagan out there MUST follow your direction to be “valid”. Holy smeg, ya’ll…I know plenty of Wiccans. I USED TO BE WICCAN. I’m not anymore. But because I stepped off that Path doesn’t make it an invalid Path…its just not the correct Path for me to follow.
I completely grok the point being made about “bringing back the Gods” — what I don’t get is how others see this as the only “valid” Path for some concept called “maodern Paganism”. Every few years, it seems the community at large rolls through this perception of needing to “define” what is or isn’t…when we should really be looking at what works for our own individual selves, and realizing that what works for you will not necessarily work or be correct for others.