Monday, November 15, 2010

What does it mean to be Pagan?

Does being Pagan mean you have to think a certain way, pray a certain way, dress a certain way, or talk a certain way? When you’re pagan you do tend to have similar thoughts, behaviors, and habits as other pagans but there isn’t any set of specific rules that you must abide by outside of the Rede. Being pagan is a state of mind, a way you look at the world, and the place you take in that world. It is how and what you believe and believe in.

I am pagan. It’s what I am, who I am; who and what I choose to be. To me what is pagan may not be the same as what is pagan to someone else. To me being pagan means having a connection to the Mother, to the Father, to the Earth, to the Sun and Stars in the heavens. To me being pagan means I think about what I take from the Earth and make sure that I give back. To me being pagan means that I have respect for other people’s ideas and beliefs. I believe in doing the right thing and not just because I believe in the three-fold rule, but because it’s the RIGHT thing to do. To me being pagan means harming none. To me being pagan… is the way I should be.

To me the Mother is three phases of the same being. She is the Maiden, newborn and naïve - the heart of new beginnings. She is the Mother, fertile teacher guiding those she has created - the heart of compassion. She is the Crone, wise and experienced – the heart of endings and preparedness for the cycle to begin again. We see the Mother represented every night in the sky above. Maiden=Waxing moon. Mother=Full moon. Crone=Waning moon.

To me the Lord of the Hunt best represents the Father. He is the provider, the protector, and the sage. We see the Father represented every day in the sky above. He is the Sun warming us and providing the Earth with the tools needed to sustain us.

I do not mean to imply that either of these celestial bodies is actually our Mother and Father, but they are the representations of them in our every day lives. Whether or not we acknowledge them as such is up to us.

There are many different things involved in what it means to be pagan. No one answer is correct and the journey to find out what being pagan means to you is the only thing that any of us should be concerned with. Find out what it means to you to be pagan. Ignore those that demand you be a certain way or dress and act a certain way.

There is only one place that I can think of where there are specific guidelines on how you should conduct yourself as pagan and that is within the sacred circle. How you act and what you do within the circle are important. Your mindset is important. But how you dress or don’t dress will not deter from your purpose. I do believe that certain tools and parts of the ceremony are important to your work, but I do not believe that everything must be rigid and not open to change.

Educating yourself or finding a teacher is the best way for you to determine how you practice. I choose to educate myself through books and people. I am thankful for what I learn and whom I learn from so that I can find my own way.

Pounds lost: 7.5 (381.5)
Daily insight: No one is perfect, but there’s nothing wrong with trying to be.
Ounces of water consumed: 60
Steps in the right direction: 15

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