Bad Pagan Me

Those who don’t know….I’m currently working on a Masters in History.  Its a selfish degree to an extent – and a little bit of defensive play on my career.  Nine Hells, I already have three degrees:  A bachelor’s in Computer Information Systems, a Masters in Information Systems Management, and a Masters of Business Administration.  The History degree does look a little out of place.

The two-year college where I work is always in need of History professors – so I realized that getting a Masters in History would insure that I stay in the classroom environment.  Plus, I’m one of those History geeks that reads History books for the fun of it.  On top of that, I have a huge love for Computer History.  So it all makes sense for me.  Its a degree that allows me to indulge one area of my life, and allow me to utilize that in a professional manner to work in an environment I absolutely love.

When I started the degree program, I also saw a chance to balloon-animal another part of my life into that mix:  I could study the path of Druidry.  There is plenty of scholarship there to provide my working Path (hat-tip to Ronald Hutton here), so its not as outlandish as I had thought it would be.  Over the first month of my first two classes, I’ve done my best to hyper-focus papers in that area – with a little indulgence from my professors.  But as I’ve moved along, I’ve started to notice my gravitation back towards an area of where I started my love affair with Historical works…the Romans.

I have to jump back a little and explain here.  The Romans have been one of those topics that has been under a super-large magnifying glass for me.  Since junior high school, I have been completely fascinated with the Romans.  I’ve read many books on various aspects of the Romans, seen quite a number of documentaries (some several times over), written a great deal of topical papers for class assignments, and even corrected my World History I professor’s exam (DURING the exam, no less). And yet with my love of everything Roman History – I don’t lean into of the Spiritual aspects (a notation that was made by a member of a Wiccan Tradition that I belonged to).  An interesting notation, which I’ll come back to in a moment.

When the class hit the block concerning the Greek and Roman Historians – I found myself leaning heavily into the Roman writings.  I covered the Romans in both of my assignments – despite my stated desire to cover a strictly Druid-ish tracking.  And I’ve actually found myself decoupling my wagon from that area to a strictly Roman one.  This won’t change my degree track, which was heavily focused on the Roman and Greek material to begin with.  But I just don’t see trying to mix my Spiritual Path with this degree program.  I can see where it fits, but I can see material outside and beyond that which I crave to get to.  So, I had a choice to make…and I’ve removed the two from one another as a result.  If that makes me a “bad Pagan” – so be it.  I have to be true to who I am as well.

But all of this got me to thinking about the way I see the so-called “old Gods”.  I know a large majority of the spiritual practices of the Romans – as interpreted by Historians – and many others.  I didn’t live in that time period – at least not that I am aware of.  I have a hardcore belief in reincarnation, but I don’t have a desire to explore any past lives that I have.  I’m just as much a complete person without knowing any of that, in my opinion.  My perspective of the Gods becomes a very complicated vision for me.  A mix of archetypal perspectives, as addressed by Jung, along with an understanding that each God and Goddess are singular entities as well.  What that means – I’m not completely sure, nor do I really care.  It works for me – and that’s what counts most in my eyes.

So, in the end – I’ve had to set my Druid Path off to the side – at least where my degree plan is concerned.  My concentration comes back more to the Roman civilization.  Bad Pagan me?  I certainly don’t believe so.

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