Over the past four to five years, I’ve watched from the sidelines as the concept of what is or not “Paganism” has been bandied back and forth. On the rare occasion, I’ve dropped my opinion into the fray…much more often in the early part of that time frame — far less often in the past two years. I’ve listened to one side claim this piece of ground in the “debate” and watched as another group rushed forward to grab another sector of the battlefield…and then the sides (sometimes more than two at a time) have circled one another. And the entire time, I’ve remained on the side – not seeing a need to embrace any of the perspectives nor any desire to deny any side either. I have my perspective of what Paganism is, but I really don’t have a perspective of what it isn’t.
On the podcast….here on the blog….even in person…I can describe what Paganism is for me. I can embrace what such an elaborate embrace of the Natural World means to me. What it feels like when I feel the elemental aspects of the world envelope me in their essence. But I cannot, for the life of me, explain what Paganism is not for someone else. I can’t even fathom even the slightest understanding of how to explain that. Nor do I feel any desire to do so. I know what it means to me, how it feels to me, the way it manifests itself into my own Life — but I am not foolish enough to believe that any individual has the exact same feelings and understanding that I do. Nor do I expect myself to be able to see things from their perspective around the campfire of the night. I cannot occupy their position while they are in it. Nor will it be precisely the same if I exchanged locations with them. I cannot be them – I can only be myself. We can share similar feelings and emotions, but in the end – we are completely different entities on similar Paths in Life.
In my opinion, we’re made similar but different for a reason. We all have to walk the Path alone. We can have companionship along the Way. But in the end, our own internal workings are done individually by ourselves. We have to do the work singularly. We can all talk about what is or isn’t “Paganism” — but we can only describe what it is for ourselves, and that’s what makes it right for each of us – individually.