American Paganism

I am an Irish American and part of the Celtic Diaspora. My Paganism is Eclectic, but partly a focus on Celtic/Irish/Welsh Deities, Ancestors, Nature Spirits. I have become more aware lately that I am not Irish, I am American. My Father’s family left Ireland for the Americas in the 1700s. Most of the rest of my family and ancestors came from Ireland in the late 1800s as immigrants. I have never been to Ireland. I do have a pretty strong Irish Catholic identity (recovering Catholic), but this is a very American thing. I studied alongside Italian Americans, German Americans, Polish Americans, etc.

So I do feel a strong connection to the various Celtic Spiritual Paganisms, but I am becoming more aware that I was born and raised in America, on land which historically belonged to Native Americans, not Celtic peoples. I do not know much about Native American spiritual traditions. I have been praying to Celtic deities here in America, and I am aware of Nature and Spirit here, but I wonder if I should learn more about Native Spirituality to at least pay my respects to the local Spirits.

Anyway, I wonder if anyone has any ideas on this dichotomy of being an American of European descent living in a country that for thousands of years belonged to Native Peoples. How can we study and use a spirituality that originated in Europe while we live in America? I am maybe seeking ideas on how to develop an authentic and respectful kind of American Paganism, even though my main focus is Celtic in character. Any constructive ideas would be helpful.

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