I have often wondered the “why” of me being a Pagan. Certainly, there are a lot of reasons, but the biggest one – the one that keeps rebounding back in my face – was that Paganism was accessible. And its not just “was” – it still is, and as far as I can see into the future (which admittedly ain’t that damn far), it always will be. There’s nobody standing between you and the Gods. No Priest. No Lay Person. Just you and Them.
For me, this is a post that reflects a constantly running conversation that I have with myself. My own Paganism is like a stone that I can hold in my hand. I turn it over and over. I see the tiny crevices in its shape. I noticed the softer edges where I have handled it more often, feeling smooth in my hand – familiar. Then there are other aspects of the stone where the edges are a little sharper. Parts of my Paganism that I am not nearly as familiar with. The parts that are not the everyday parts of my life. Aspects that I don’t turn to often or set aside as a “last option”. All of that has an unfamiliar feel to it.
For a lot of folks, some of this makes no sense to them. Their personal Spirituality is something that is completely familiar to them. They know every curve of it like that of their most intimate lover. The idea that there is some aspect of their Spirituality that would be set off to the side is foreign. I grok that. But that’s a different approach to a personal Spirituality than what I follow. There are pieces that I don’t touch that often, such as spell work. I’ve never been big on spells or utilizing magick as a weapon, even when the case mandates that such an action would be appropriate. For me, those magickal workings are tools that are set to the side to be used only when I have no other means available to me. And I am fairly resourceful in finding alternative methods that don’t fall into magick.
My Spirituality is focused on connections. Where does your food come from? How does it get to the grocery store? What are all the steps? All of that helps me understand and appreciate all the steps it took to get to the point of being the food stuffs inhabit my refrigerator and my pantry shelves. When I have had folks come to me for advice or just needing to talk about an issue they cannot wrap their mind around, I always come back to the concept of connections. Why does this make you feel that way? Who is involved in all of that besides yourself? If you took pieces of the issue away, would it change the way you deal with it? For me, the entire issue of connections is the basic building blocks of my daily life. I currently live in a neighborhood in a mostly rural part of Texas, just to the south of the Dallas/Fort Worth metromess. Previously, I was living much further north of the Dallas/Fort Worth metromess, up near the Texas/Oklahoma border. The Spirits of Place down here near the hill country of Texas are very different than those up near the plains of the border. I have had to adjust and build new connections here, all of which have a very different feel and sense. Use magick to connect with the Spirits? Not for me. I just use my everyday senses. Except that some would call what I do to be magick. And considering the slippery definition of what exactly magick is, I cannot find a way to completely disagree. I certainly wouldn’t call it magick, but I can see where others might.
One of the first places I ever did this kind of sensing was when I was much younger – in my early teens. My family lived in Germany and on the weekends we would partake in the exercise excursions called “volksmarching”. I enjoyed this particular fun exercise. You could walk 10k, 20k and 30k routes to earn a medal that pronounced your participation. I have quite a deep collection of these. I have no idea what to do with them or how to display them though. 🙂 Several of the walks were in the region of the infamous Black Forest. Let me tell you, this is an old land. With old Gods. And old Spirits of the Land. They can be reached with not a lot of effort, but They tend to ignore humans – or at least they did back in the 1970s. I cannot vouch for now. Times change. But in reaching out, I could feel the “oldness” (if that is a word) of Them. It was quite an experience for me at that age. I never really knew what I was doing or even what the Gods were. At least not until much, much later in life. But that feeling of connection was amazing. And those connections have been with me throughout my life.
All of this boils back into my reluctance to accept the idea or concept of being a Priest. The problem I have is not with the supposed duties related to such a title, but with the title itself. This is the biggest piece of Christian baggage that I carry around in my Spirituality. You say Priest, I look around for a Catholic Priest. That’s where the connotation is. And my mind tells me that is not what I need to be. I’m not some kind of holy man. Nor am I some guy looking for fame. Currently, I am reading “Anthem: Rush in the 70s”. In the book, drummer Neil Peart makes the notation that he always wanted to be successful as a musician, but that he really could care less about the aspect of fame. That particular sentiment rings a deep bell for me. I want to be a successful Pagan. I could give two smelly shits about being some Big Name Pagan. My desire is to be helpful to others. I realize that this falls into the realm of being a Priest…and have noted before that I need to eventually climb past this bit of baggage. When that happens, I am never really sure. I just want to be a successful Pagan, a successful Druid – none of which has anything to do making a name for myself. I feel I have already done that….just by being me.
Yeah, I realize this is a bit rambling in tone….and it rehashes some territory I have crossed over in the past here on the blog. However, this is what is at the forefront of my mind these days. I guess there is a couple of things I need to add here at the end of this blog post. if you need to talk, I’m available. Yes, its an Email world for me – I don’t have reliable high-speed internet where I currently live. But if the need comes to do video, I can relocate myself to a place for a short period of time to be available. What I am saying is this – you need someone to talk to, I’m here. firstname.lastname@example.org is my Email address. if you live in the DFW area or somewhere near to it, I’d be happy to meet somewhere neutral and public with you if you needed that face-to-face. Pardon the mask. Pardon the need for social distancing. If you want to text, I can do that too. Just email me and let me know that you want to go that route. The point is that I am always available to talk. My preference is to do so around a fire with a canopy of stars above. But you can’t always get what you want…
Lastly, I am not an authority on ANYTHING, except my own Spirituality. Just realize that I may not have any helpful answers for you. But I will listen. I will offer advice. I do not expect you to follow a word I say. That’s for you to accomplish on your own. I am a safe place. Conversations are between you and I – and no one else. Unless you want to add other voices to the conversation.
Yes, what I am noting here is that I am adding to my role in Life. My Path places me here. I may not be able to utter the “P” word in relation to who I am, I can say this – I am here.