Reading a few Merkan blogs lately has renewed my fascination with their state of religious being (or not). Their argument for and against organised religion reminds me that England has become very laid back about your God/Goddess and you can worship at the altar of Small Pixies as long as you don't interfere with Sunday lunch! Labels don't matter much any more - you be be who you want to be as long as you leave the gun at home!
I feel the same. You have a free mind - you can think/do/say what you like especially if you are at peace with who you are.
So, my personal woo, my belief system - it frightens the shit out of some people. When you mention Paganism (especially to the two sweet little Mormons at me door) they imagine spells, magick, nekkid dancing and sex with horny devils. Are they wrong?
Yes, and a definite no!
I don't like labels, let alone false ones, but Paganism is so misunderstood - so can I put you straight?
Right from our cave days men went out and bonked the meat on the head and the women (generally) looked after the brood. Women had the knowledge of herbs and healing and were revered as the mothers of all life.
Life was hard and revolved around the seasons building into a belief system based on what they could see around them - sun, stars, weather etc.
The Sabbats mark eight festivals through the year, four that mark each solstice and four that celebrate the land.
For instance Litha (21st June) is summer solstice, the middle of the year when night and day are equal and Imbolg (pronounced 'imolk') on the 2nd of Feb celebrates the coming of new life after winter - a sort of 'thank fuck we survived' kind of thing!
Paganism celebrates the male and female in all of us, interpreted as a God and Goddess, and the Calender of Being also represents the death and renewed life in the land each year.
When Christianity came into being it was male based replacing the sabbats to fit with the teachings in the bible.
No one is right, no one is wrong - the bible fitted its time and was a good manual for living peacefully (what happened there then?) but like all ancient documents it was open for interpretation.
Propaganda attacked the roots of Paganism - the male side of paganism is often depicted as a stag and he became a 'horned devil' . The female side (Hecate) is depicted at the end of the year before winter as an old woman, a hag, and it was easy to use this image as typical of a witch (wise woman).
Some terms explained...
Spells = wishes= prayers
Magick = a meditation to focus on your prayer
Ritual = symbolic focus to meditation
Witch = a wise woman with knowledge of herbs and healing
Pentacle - a five side star representing 'never ending light and good'
So, in essence, Paganism is as natural as it gets. Based in love and light and getting on with your fellow humans. We like eating, dancing, getting together and a bit of drinking!
Paganism is not stuck in the past or glued to some ancient manual - it is fluid and it is NOT a religion - it is a way of living.
Hope that explains a bit - any other questions can be fought over in The Inner Sanctum below!