I’m not new to paganism (on the contrary, I have been ‘pagan’ since I can remember) but I’m new to the pagan ‘social’ world and all his labelling. The following text is a brief explanation of how I live religion and I would be curious to hear if there is someone who share the same thoughts or would like to confront some ideas.
1) I could really stay in touch with nature since my birth, so for me that’s a basic requirement. When I ‘pray’, I do it outside, where I can stay undisturbed in a natural environment.
2) I don’t follow any kind of specific pantheon. I recognise stories and gods repeat themselves in time and space with different names and details in art and traditions. We divided them in two sexes, because of our human nature. I see them as an effort to comprehend the universe and his nature plus, specifically, our (I mean of the earth) nature. Besides this, I respect the old traditions and legends from here and I follow them if I can. Because of where I live I’m more involved with the German/Nordic pantheon, so I will name a particular god/goddess when I’m referring to a specific attribute linked to him/her, but I’ll not choose a specific time (e.g. only the medieval tradition or only the Bronze Age etc.,) and I’m not really referring to THIS god or goddess, like a living person but only to the specific tradition linked to him/her.
3) I follow the earthly festivities: equinox+solstices, moon cycles plus the traditional festivities of the place I was born (one in February, one the first days of May, 31 October, first days of December). I accept that probably this festivities are derived from the Neolithic times and more ancient festivities (connected to the hunters and gatherers world) are probably lost (plus they probably changed in the past according to the climate), but I think it’s ok because this dates are still connected to our way of living.
That brings me to…
4) I think a religion should evolve with the people that practice it. Traditions should be remembered and sometimes can remain alive and be respected, with the awareness that they are no longer needed or did change. I believe a religion should serve and follow the way of living of its people and I think it has always been like that in the long time. That brings me to:
5) I’ve always had a spontaneous approach, I believe rites have been so different during the history of mankind that I don’t give so much importance to rigid symbols and rites (I mean, each to their own: I’ve been born in a specific tradition and place on earth and I’ll use specific acts and symbols, other will use other symbols), the basic meaning is what’s important. Personally I use meditation and ‘nature-feeling’ as personal rites (I believe peoples have different ‘gifts’, so everyone will feel, pray, be religious in his own way according to his gifts and nature) and more mainstream locally rites for festivities and praying.
6) Moral: my grandmother has always thought to me that “my freedom begins where yours ends” and I think that’s a good way of behaving, although I think everyone deserves to take what is needed to live good and if one does not, it is his fault. I think be good and kind with others will set positive mood in circle but I believe in self preservation too (could be violent if needed).
Recently I had occasion to study some religious prehistoric European art and it re-sparked my curiosity about all the different acts possible to ‘be religious’ and, as I’m learning recently reading forums, all the different labels that exists to differentiate them. I find this forum very interesting because it contains many different approaches to paganism and I would be very curious to study them!
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