Like most of you who read this blog I identify as a Pagan. I am not a fan of organised religion, I find the concept of disorganised religion far more entertaining...
I embrace a belief system from which I can take what I want to fit around my own beliefs and yet still be accepted by other members of the Pagan community - even if I do not believe exactly what they do. I certainly don't want to be spoon fed doctrines decided by other men claiming to be able to interpret the words of their God(s) and, heaven forbid, putting their own spin on the divine. I want to be able to make up my own mind as to where the divine and wondrous may be found.
My path, unlike my wife's (practising witch Deguwitchrose), is not so much about being able to influence the world around me - though it does involve a belief in those powers - but with me it is about celebrating the cycle of life. It is embracing that things are born, they grow, they live and they die - and that by this process we are all connected to a living world with a beating heart, that we have something in common with all living things and at the end of our existence we return to the earth from which we came as all things do. We have a duty to care for our fellow humans and other living things because they are part of the world we share with them. This does not mean I feel we should have a “holier than thou” attitude or feel that we need to live our life denying ourselves pleasure and/or fulfilment to please some spiritual “Big Brother”. This is an anathema to me as we have been given life to live, not to spend it in fear of what God might say if we enjoy ourselves in various harmless but fun ways that he/she might disapprove of.
My path is built on respecting the world and those around you and living the one life you have to the fullest. To do otherwise is a waste of all that life energy.
I feel my Paganism is reflected in pretty much all of my life – my love of nature and animals, in nurturing and protecting my family so that they can grow on their own chosen paths and in
how I treat people I come in to contact with – as other living creatures deserving of respect.
Paganism provides me with both celebration and solace. I celebrate as a Pagan in family rituals at various festival/sabbat feasts that bind us tighter together and I take solace from my path when we return a beloved pet to the earth knowing that they too are part of the cycle of existence. Remembering someone who lived a remarkable life and made the world around them a better place for having been in it is something I think we should all aspire to.
For me Paganism is not about holding out for a better life in the next world but making this world a better place to exist in through living a life of love, respect and honour.
Image of the author printed with permission