Sunday, May 6, 2012

On Finding One's Personal Path as a Semi-Pagan

My attention has just been called to something rather intriguing that is going on in the pagan sector of the blogosphere called The Pagan Insights Project. Like a few popular projects that come and go in the blogging world, it's a prompt-based project that gives those of us who sometimes struggle with writer's block some idea on what to blog about. However, this one actually offers you several prompts to choose from that cover multiple types of media and other options. Even though I will probably still almost always choose introspective style writing, I do like the idea of having different options. If your blog is in any way pagan related, you might want to consider it as well.

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The prompt I'm homing in on myself is the one that reads:
In Your Own Words - your thoughts and feelings – maybe a full blog post on a topic of your choice related to your path (or Paganism in general) or just a few sentences on where you are right now. What are you studying? What are you thinking? Who are you, and where are you going on your Pagan path? What’s right and what’s wrong in Paganism at the moment?
Those who know I have an interest in paganism and even tend to identify as a pagan when asked about my religious beliefs always start right in on asking me about which path I've chosen. The thing is I am not sure I have chosen a path per se, but that's less to do with my not having actually decided on one yet and more to do with me not being much of a path-chooser at heart.

I ran into this a lot when I was a kid still and thought of myself as -- I suppose -- a Christian because I didn't  know there were other options beyond those I was taught -- "does believe in God" (Christian) and "doesn't believe in God" (atheist). However, being a believer and wanting to live my life in a way that paid respect to whatever you wanted to call the power I believed in didn't seem to be enough for other people. They were always like: "Yeah, I know you believe in God, but what are you? Are you a Baptist? A Catholic? A Protestant? You have to be something and you have to follow the rules or else you don't really believe in God."

I guess I didn't see why "pick one" had to be a part of my relationship with the powers that be. Now that I've realized what I believe is so much closer to paganism or pantheism than Christianity, I still don't. However, I nevertheless apparently still struggle with the mindset that was implanted in me ever so long ago -- that not choosing a particular path somehow makes me less spiritual or a "bad pagan" somehow, even if logically speaking I know that's not true.

I suppose that if anything I'm on a solitary pagan path that I'm defining all by myself as I go along. I'm studying lots of things still, but right now I'm focusing mainly on astrology (and other forms of divination), as I'm standing at one of those crossroad-type periods in my life when I'm trying my best to figure out how to proceed into the future. Divination has been helping me a lot with that. However, I've also been noticing that my interest in herbology and the power of botanicals -- in regards to alternative medicine, spellcraft, et cetera -- is really growing lately as well. I'd definitely like to explore that more in the future and see where it takes me.

As far as what I'm thinking, karma is a huge issue for me these days as well and, really, I ought to be blogging those thoughts out a bit to help me clarify them for myself and anyone reading who might be interested. I'm working on becoming more prolific.

I am not sure I feel there is anything wrong with paganism today, to be honest. The only time I have a problem is when other pagans -- and to be fair, they are really few and far between -- try to tell me what this ought to mean to me and how I need to proceed in order to do it properly. I'm learning that when it comes to both religion and to life, that there is no "properly". The proper way is exactly the way that works for you and I find that for me it's a journey I'm still taking, not a destination I will ever arrive at once and for all.

My northern lunar node is in Scorpio, so it's my lot in life to constantly change, evolve, and hatch from cocoons -- one after the other -- for the rest of my life. We're like sharks. If we stop moving, we die... so move and evolve forever I shall. Sounds perfect to me!