Good morning…I’m a day late with the Tuesday blog, and since I am getting a shot in my eye for diabetic neuropathy (been doing this for a while), I realized I need to write this blog post this morning. My eyes will get dilated, so I’ll have a rough time seeing a computer screen; though my eyes will be back to normal vision by tomorrow morning.
I wanted to tackle a topic that Cat Treadwell approaches in her video on “Paganism in Isolation (Part 1)”, which I’ve added the URL to the video on YouTube below. You should watch it and listen – she makes some awesome points…and honestly I could just sit and listen to her talk all day. 🙂 She brought up a point that I really think needs to be openly discussed within the Pagan community – maybe among ourselves, but definitely on our own: Have we taken our Paganism for granted??
Its an interesting thought – especially with most of us shut into our homes. For many folks, myself included, most of our Paganism takes place outdoors. Rain or shine. Usually shine, since most folks tend to have issues with the bad weather scenarios. However, now we’re confined to the indoors of our homes. If we’re lucky, we have a backyard that we can step out to and have a level of privacy to do what we do. Some don’t. Some are ok with doing their Paganism in their living rooms, so this might not be a difficult thing for them, but for those that are used to being in the outside – whenever you want….how are you faring now?
Me? Yes, being outdoors is an essential part of my Paganism. Right now, I’m still under “shelter-in-place” orders (not really orders, more like a suggestion), but I can head outside as I need to. That means I can get sunshine on my face, take a walk around the block, and do most things I want – so long as I keep my two meter distance from everyone. The rest of the time, I’m inside. Does my Paganism go away when I close the front door? No, not at all. If wound up with a “lock-down” scenario, where being outside is only meant for extreme essential things such as grocery and supply runs or trips to the hospital…does my Paganism go away? No. It certainly doesn’t.
In Cat’s video, she tells us of a scenario where there was a lot of rain, and the participants of a ritual were late because they stayed in the pub to avoid the weather. Its not an uncommon perspective. Bad weather usually does push back or cancel a lot of public rituals, because….well, a lot of reasons. But if you show up for a ritual in the rain, and you make a statement that you “wish you were in the warm, dry pub” instead…are you taken your Paganism for granted? I would say…maybe.
There is a reason I am not so hard-core on that concept, Many people have medically related issues…I do. I am a diabetic. I have recently finished with a bout of pneumonia (a word I apparently still can’t spell since spell-checker corrected me AGAIN). All of that would lend towards me not going out in a driving, cold rain or being outside in a snowstorm – two events that I actually enjoyed doing rituals during in the past. So, I do understand that sometimes, being a fair-weathered Pagan can be a necessity.
Then there are the folks that will turn to their Gods only when situations look dire. I saw a Christian related meme on Facebook, where the perception was that everyone who might be in a lock-down situation was home-schooling their children, and on their knees in prayer – thus God was in control. Really? If this is what God does to make people worship Him…I want nothing to do with it. But the suggestion is that everyone out there is praying to God. Like God was an ATM. We pray hard enough, we get rewarded. Slide your God card into the slot, pray up your PIN number, and the rewards will fly out of the slot. Bullshit. The Gods, no matter which ones you believe in and work with, are not ATMs. If that concept works for you, wonderful. But its weak belief, in my opinion. I pray to my Gods every day. I spend time in meditation with my Gods – not just when crisis occurs, but anytime I can. Yes, I do go to my Gods when I have a question of how to proceed, but I also go to my Gods in thanks and in reverence.
So, what to do, eh? Well, remember this — The Gods aren’t just with us whenever we walk through a wooded forest on a weekend. Your Paganism doesn’t begin and end at the edge of town. Sure, you might not feel as connected, but you are connected. You just have to dig down a little deeper in your reserves to find it. You may even have to get inventive about group ritual. Contact your grove or coven or the folks you normally do ritual with – see if they are up for a ritual on Zoom. Its a video conferencing tool. Several groups have used it. In fact, the folks at the OBOD Gulf Coast Gathering used it to hold their Alban Eiler ritual that had been cancelled when all of this hit. Unfortunately for me…I am currently in a location where streaming anything is not readily possible…otherwise I would have joined in. But the point is to get inventive. Find ways around the obstacles. Innovate, people. As humans, its what we are really good at. Trust me, I’ve built a thirty-four year career in Information Technology on being innovative. And I ain’t that smart or creative. 🙂
Are you taking your Paganism for granted? Does it feel like your stuck in a rut because you can’t get outside? Do you miss the fellowship of other Pagans, simply because you can’t get outdoors? Trust me…you’re not alone in those thoughts. Others are there too…collaborate with them, come up with inventive ways to get around this type of thing. And every once in a while….open the windows. Its getting a touch stuffy in here…. 😉
As promised above, here’s the link to Cat’s video. Watch it, listen to her…I think you’ll get a lot out of it. I certainly did. In fact, I recommend all of the videos she has up there…as well as her blog “The Cat Box“. Just click on the blog name to go there. 🙂
–T /|\ aka, Tom#2