In two days, a group of folks will get to celebrate the fact that they are Pagan. Surely, there will be others that show up that aren’t Pagan – some to potentially convert others to their own beliefs, and some that are merely curious as to what a Pagan might look like. There will undoubtedly be folks that arrive dressed in Ren garb or ritual clothing – looking like the Texas Renaissance Festival or Scarborough Faire suddenly showed up at White Rock Lake. I won’t be among those folks. Not because I think it would be wrong to dress in such a way. I just do not own any ritual outfit whatsoever.
Yes, I will be there. I am a self-described “foot soldier” for the Pagan Pride Day cause. Essentially, my self-described role is to do “whatever is asked of me” by other members of the Planning Committee. I don’t fool myself. I didn’t find out about the Planning Committee until late in the process. Most of the other folks that are on the Committee did the hard work of planning the event and all the smaller aspects of it. So, my job is to do whatever they need to be done. A foot soldier for the cause, as I am calling myself.
Most everyone that reads this blog (all three of you), likely knows that I know John Beckett in real life. I find him to be a rather neat and interesting individual. I really wish I had more time to just sit and talk with him…but he has a busy life, and so do I (or at least I do for the moment). So I spend a lot of time reading his blog “Under the Ancient Oaks” – where he brings up a lot of subjects I find compelling – and occasionally topics that leave me scratching my head and wondering why John found that to be interesting. A few posts back – John made the following comment:
This desire for reassurance is, I suspect, one of the main reasons many Pagans’ view of Goddess or even of individual goddesses and gods is simply a kinder, gentler version of the god of the monotheists. –John Beckett, Trusting the Gods
…and that single sentence started my mind into a quest to spend time with the Gods that claim me. Coyote and Crow. Several times, I have done communed with these two. Both can be demanding when they desire it. Both find mirth in teaching me lessons through trickery. Both have noted that I take myself too seriously when I work in my teaching and healing circles. Slowly, I have learned to ‘lighten up’ a bit – to have fun with what I do. And through that, my understanding of life as a ritual has slowly come forth. Throughout one’s day – there are moments of emotional presence. Happiness, satisfaction, sadness, frustration, anger, worry…and each emotion has a place within the daily ritual.
As John notes, many folks look at their Gods/Goddesses as being some “happy” manifestation of Life. The Gods care about us (they do). Sometimes, we seek the perfect parent in our vision of them. We ascribe a perspective of the gentle, caring, loving parent – who gently chides us when we do something wrong. Its not an incorrect perspective to have. But the Gods do get angry about some aspects of how we handle our lives. You only need to look at how the weather patterns are changing around the world in response to the damage we have done to our environment. My personal belief is that this is the Gods trying to bring back the necessary balance that we have broken in our pollution.
John has also mentioned somewhere in his blog (I am too lazy to go and look through all his other posts) about serving the Gods. We differ slightly here. While Coyote and Crow claim me…I still make my own choices of what I need to do. My service to the Gods is to live my own personal life the very best that I can. That does not mean trying to get the largest paycheck I possibly can. Just simply that I interact appropriately with my surrounding environment. This – to me – means carrying a trash bag with me when I do my walk. Yes, I pick up trash in the neighborhood. Part of that is being a nice neighbor. Part of that is being a responsible steward of my environment – my true service for my Gods – taking care of what I can.
I am not going to challenge anyone to be that same type of responsible steward. If the Gods call you to do something like that – you will do it. But I will challenge you to sit and listen to the Gods. Listen to what they are saying and what they want to do in your daily Life. To paraphrase what John says in his blog posting – “Trust the Gods…”