Paganism and Witchcraft are the terms attached to my spiritual path, even if I very much doubt that I am a “typical” Pagan or Witch. There’s a lot that I see in modern Paganism that doesn’t necessarily represent me that accurately, some of it silly and some of it being more substantial, some of it style and some of it deeper belief, or matters of experience and conviction. But that’s ok in a religious path of diversity and tolerance – after all, no one is trying to change me, or assert their One and Only Truth, and Paganism is the spiritual home that I was both called to a long time ago, and re-found after much searching. A home where I was in many ways accepted and appreciated for the first time, in the basic and spontaneous way you’d hope from a spiritual home.
You hear a lot of things in Paganism as reasons for being on this path: saving the Earth, reverencing the Divine Feminine, recovering ancient wisdom and traditions, healing the false body-mind-spirit split, honouring the sacredness of sexuality and the body, healing and wholeness, the search for meaning. There is also quite a bit of referencing of “the mysteries”, higher or altered states of consciousness, communing with the gods, and psychological individuation.
I warm to some of the things pointed to more than others, but I’d like to think about what Paganism and Witchcraft mean to me when it really comes home, what it comes down to, for the person that I am.
What it comes down to for me is the capacity to become a better person. What really affects me at the end of the day is what effect does it have on my loved ones, on the people I meet and interact with, have relationships with, and the kind of world that ultimately contributes to. But I like to think small, because small is kinda the biggest (and often the most important) part of our lives. You can’t get much smaller than yourself, and what kind of person you are, and how you become better, how you transform the stuff that just ain’t right. Now that makes you feel small, and that is being real. How do you work with the stuff of failure, to make the good?
This is what Paganism and Witchcraft needs to comes down to for me.
The Alchemist – Cornelis Bega – public domain image