My wife and I have made profound changes in our lives through green Paganism and simple, ecological living, which have resulted in unforeseen, yet very positive opportunities for peace, joy, laughter, and success. In fact, these opportunities have been so powerful, that I was stirred to share them with others, and not keep all these amazing discoveries to ourselves. We 'unplugged from the matrix' that is the cause of so much distraction and busyness in our lives and created a magickal Pagan homestead. I will share some of these discoveries of how, as a Pagan, you can simplify your life, while living more in sync with your purpose, nature and open up an incredible world of opportunity and possibility.
In 2013 I plan to write more than I have in 2012, which was certainly more than in 2011. There is a growing interest in what one does on a "Pagan homestead", and what makes it magickal or Pagan. Today, however, I want to steer away from that to something I think many are very guilty of, even if you don't want to admit it. I'm definitely guilty of it, and this is my public proclamation to be better, to understand my worth and limits.
There is an often overlooked component to Paganism, it’s propagation, and the fostering of a tolerant environment in which it can, in its many forms, be fostered and actively encouraged to grow and flourish. That part isn’t the expected tolerance from others, it’s not the guaranteed, yet often unrealized, equality and freedom for those who have ‘alternative’ spiritual paths. It’s something closer to home.
You determine the direction Paganism takes. You have far more power and control over this than you realize, and it’s a shame because until you realize that you have that power, and that this power must be used correctly and carefully, Paganism will never be accepted in the mainstream as a “given”. There aren’t enough “Big-Nosed Pagans” to take Paganism to where it really wants to be, and that is on equal footing with larger spiritual paths. To be sure, most Pagans don’t want the circumstances that got those others there, and there is plenty of trepidation over this entire issue because with prominence comes responsibility. We’ve all seen how crazy the “fringe” elements of large religions appears, and it’s no different with “Paganism”.
The well-known Pagans are doing what they can to have Paganism taken seriously by the rest of spiritual community. Folks like Selena Fox, Starhawk, T. Thorn Coyle, and Ivo Dominguez Jr. are all doing their part, I’d argue more than their fair share, to being the example of Pagans from all walks doing great works which benefit more than just the Pagan community. It’s that externalization which ends up benefiting our community the most, as contradictory as it sounds. I think there are many more people with their kind of vision that need to step up and be part of that greater example.
I also think that the rest of us have to stop being so greedy, spending the capital gained from their efforts. It’s time for you (and I) to step up our game. Professionalism isn’t just something due to your efforts with your chosen career, if you truly do love and worship your gods, don’t they deserve the same kind of respect? I would guess that those of us with a serious commitment to our gods show them that kind respect during ritual, but what about our everyday interactions with others, particularly people who have an unfavorable view of our spirituality? I know there are plenty of people who quickly reply “if they don’t like my choices, screw ‘em, I don’t care”. If you really mean that, then you’re acting in a way that reinforces their assumptions.
Instead, it’s time for ALL Pagans to grow up, in a sense, and begin setting a better example. I’m not suggesting that you must have an emotional investment in specifically changing someone’s misconceptions of your spiritual path, or to convert them” as such because that really goes against many of our traditional doctrines about proselytizing. What I am suggesting is that through a sense of professionalism in Paganism, we can bolster the efforts by those in our community who work ‘on the front lines’. It isn’t always about how much money you give to a group or cause, because ultimately, there also have to be people DOING the interfaith work, HOSTING the large gatherings, and ORGANIZING the ‘steering committees’.
I blog about my path, but I’m sure there is more I can actively do to foster this professionalism in Paganism that I’m talking about, instead of always relying on those I mentioned and their peers. What are you going to do?
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