This is not a blog post about the definition of Paganism, nor the explanation of the many flavors that are within the community of Pagans.
This post is about the relationship I have with labels, and why, no matter how far I try to step away from the boundaries of anything that resembles a set religious practice, I am pulled right back, not only by some of the people whom I found via having called myself Pagan, but also some of the aspects that brought me closer to who I feel I am at my core.
I practice Witchcraft.
It does not matter if you would call some of the aspects New Age, and some old school. I watch the behavior of the birds to collect information, such as an upcoming unexpected weather change, or learn about the storm in someone else’s live. I light a candle for friends, add ingredients into my food with the purpose of change, and I am aware of the sometimes quick, and sometimes longer lasting presence of those who have passed beyond the veil.
There is ethically collected snakeskin in my Witchy room, next to one of three altars in front of which I chant.
Yet, I sometimes hesitate to call myself Pagan, simply because it is beginning to have the aspects of organisation and with that the burdens and less favorable aspects of religion.
Those are in my few, but are not limited to:
- a telling by some that “this is the only right way to do things”. We are not a book religion, therefore there are no right or wrong way to do something, just YOUR way, as long as it works
- creating a haven for potential abuse of power – may it be child abuse, or the misinterpretation of old texts to be used to force some sexual favors, ect.
- the name calling, when someone does things a different way – such as calling people “fluffy bunny”
- the drama – gossip, witch-wars all because of the need for dramatic power grab and attention getting.
Because of this and many hours of quiet contemplating I have come to best conclusion for myself – practice as a solitary eclectic Pagan Witch – within my family, not without – open to assist others with healing, or spells or even some basic knowledge, but basically practicing alone and for myself and those in my care. Calling myself only spiritual would be not true, because it is too vague to me. I know what I am, but I also know that I can no longer be a part of any community.
My first reaction had been to not only move away from communities but also from the label, and after more contemplation that proved wrong. Sometimes strong emotions bring forth rash decisions, that was one of them.
With communities I mean organized covens, not blog hops, or coffee groups, or online groups – as long as they do not belong to a tradition. I will not put a candle in the same spot, because a coven teaching says it should. I will only put it there, if thought, logic, learning and intuition brought me to the same conclusion. Not any other reason.
So this blog, while called now “Inspiration” will contain lots of magick, and spell work, and stuff that works for me as a practicing Witch, but it will not contain interviews with so called leaders in a religion that is originally non-organized, a practice rather then a worship. I will also write about aspects of spirituality that might not be what would be Pagan – such as Zen, if I feel like it.
I am eclectic at my practice, and this blog will show exactly that.
Enough time for transition – time to move on to bigger and better things.
And just to add at the end – Witchcraft is not a religion. Paganism is. I practice both, but one does not need the other, nor does it mean when one takes on one of these labels that they are practicing both. I just happened to practice both – now I wish you all a Happy and Blessed Full Moon!