I cannot count the number of times that I have spent listening to this Pagan or that spew forward points that they insist are the ONLY way to be a Pagan. Or a Witch. Or a Druid. Or this. Or that. Very rarely do I speak up to state something different. After all, I don’t really THAT much attention to what they are saying. I already know that what they are saying doesn’t hold true for what I have done. Besides, starting a row over a difference in something as personal as one’s approach to Spirituality just ain’t my bag. Well, at least it hasn’t been for a good twenty years or so now.
The “One” Way
You’ve probably read more than enough about me railing on the so-called “one” way. That there’s only one way that this or that can be done. You need these magickal ingredients, these very precise hand movements, and these particular symbols drawn on the floor, which must be bare wood only. Your high priestess for the rite must be this exact height and weight. If she is heavier than that, she needs to diet quickly. If she’s too short or too tall…well, you know the measures to take. Just remember, she won’t be able to move very well on the bloody stumps, if you are losing inches.
::shaking my head:: Look, none of this stuff is an exact science. You do what works. You try new things to see if the results are better. If not, don’t use it again and move on to the next thing to try. Yes, I do a lot of things impromptu, particularly in ritual. If it feels right, I’ll keep using it until it doesn’t anymore. As for magick and spellwork…I keep it as simple as I can. Much of the time, my magick and spellwork doesn’t go the way I planned (or at all). Nothing to be ashamed about, particularly because I rarely use either. My typical manifestation of spellwork and magick that does work, is physically doing something that needs to be done with my personal intent laced in behind it. In nearly every case, I’ve found that its typically never the same thing twice.
If you are looking for an example of this, there’s a story that Margot Adler tells in her book “Drawing Down the Moon” about a group of folks that go down to the river to catch fish for their community. When they don’t catch any fish, they come back empty-handed. The group leader tells them that the fish are necessary to feed the group and goes back out with them. On the way to the river, the group leader tells them to think about how a bear catches fish by reaching into the water and scooping the fish towards the bank, where the fish would die and be ready to pick up. They wound up catching a lot of fish using this methodology. I would quote the page number to you, but as typically happens with this book, I have loaned this out somewhere and it has not made it back to me. I cannot count the number of times I have (happily) repurchased it.
Anyways, there is not a single way to get anything completed. That includes, in my opinion, how to do your own Spirituality. Yes, there are people who work in a group because of the cohesive nature of doing the same thing that everyone else is doing. I grok that big time. It has worked on more than a few occasions for me in my own practice. However, I have found that doing things my own way – after I have the basic concept down – gives me a deeper feeling of ownership. And that deeper feeling of ownership helps me go even deeper into how those rote movements provide a more kinetic relationship between myself and my Gods. That doesn’t mean that what I do, or this process will be useful for you. So, there’s a “buyer beware” sticker on it.
Saturday Night is for Fighting
At least that’s what the song says. ::shrug:: As I said in the previous post, you can take my life in decade-ish layers. My thirties were…well, let’s just say I was an unpleasant individual to be around. Literally, I would be in anyone’s face about how things should or shouldn’t be – particularly in Pagan practice. I was arrogant enough to believe that I had the ONLY handle on what was and wasn’t Paganism. And woe be to the individual that did things differently from myself. Which meant just about every Pagan I met. I am glad (and very fortunate) that my Pagan family never steered away from me. I know I was basically handled with nuclear-level oven mitts for quite a few years.
Now, I’m 55…my mid-fifties. Perhaps, I am mellowing in my old age or maybe I’m getting a more mature outlook on life in general. Personally, I just think of it as finally growing up. Fighting and arguing about things just doesn’t spin my boat like it used to. Perhaps, its because I don’t see things as a “win” or “lose” paradigm anymore. That kind of shit, in my opinion, can stay with Donald Trump. For me, everything is not so black-and-white. Someone believes that theirs I the only way to work one’s Paganism. Cool. I get it. Trust me, I understand it. I stood on the tube platform quite a few years ago. Its not my place to knock this individual past the yellow line, past the gap and into the tracks. They will either change their mind as more facts get presented to them or they will find out differently later in life. I just hope that they had the friends and family that I had – who were there for them, despite their closed-minded perspective. Like I said, I was lucky in that regard. I just hope others are that lucky as well.
What is Important
So, what do I think is important? Finding your place in Life. Finding the Gods that you can work with. Moving forward in your Path. Learning everything that you can. Living your Life in a way that is meaningful for you. Seeking – and finding – happiness in everything that you do. Being there for others when they have need. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? I’ve found that it certainly is. And it isn’t. Sometimes at the same time. ::smile:: So, what’s important? Well, only you can answer that. For yourself. Your mileage will vary.