Lughnasadh? Uh, No Sir.
So I began the pagan-flavored portion of my spiritual journey via my obsessive studies and casual reconstruction-ism of the Celtic folk-religion. Years later, however, I now find myself totally forgetting what part of the Wheel we’re on and how we got there and when these holidays exactly are and other pathetically lazy obliviousness. I missed Lughnasadh. I even forgot what it represented as a pagan celebration. I realize that this makes me a frightfully bad Celt—I accepted that a long time ago—but does it also make me a bad pagan?
I’m one of those people that seems to be partially exempt from the generally accepted human psychological need for structure in the form of ritualistic connection with social groups and the divine. Now, I am the farthest thing from a social butterfly…more like an introverted moth. The closest thing I have ever had to a social schedule (where I see people ritualistically) is school, work, and the high Christian holidays with my family. My spiritual attunements are also not by the clock, or even the movement of the planetary spheres, but rather spontaneous and based on personal need or inspiration. As a pantheistic pagan, I believe the divine is everywhere; and as a chronically messy and scatter-brained person, I don’t seem to need or want to worship on a schedule.
Big Wheel Keeps On Turnin’
I find the Wheel very practical and romantic, but it isn’t often realistic (especially when you live in sunny California—I mean, our winter temperatures here are, like, 50 degrees). The northern European-based pagan holidays refer to agriculture schedules and communal gatherings that don’t necessarily apply to all regions and lifestyles. This often makes them disjointed and (ironically) totally out of tune with nature. We can always find something in common with a more general concept of these holiday time-markers, but my spiritual needs and concerns get lost in most of them.
I have flaws that add to this difficulty, of course. But I’m not a flakey person, nor is laziness to blame. I just don’t cling to routine and ritual in order to find stability and security in my life. But even weeding those out, I still have issues with scheduled worship—which, to me, comes dangerously close to organized religion. I have a lot in common with atheists in this sense. I don’t feel the need to relate to the divine in this way.
I would love to go to a group ritual. I would especially love to go to annual festival and make it a habit every year. But the idea of daily, weekly, monthly obligations to “do the stuff” (as Velma Nightshade famously said) doesn’t appeal to my nature. I get the occasional itch to be a good little witch and do everything a good little witch should, but like with most of my passions, it wanes, and I go back to being intuitively spiritual.
This Year, It Will Be Different
This past year, I have stopped fighting my spiritual instincts and this part of my personality. I decided that it was okay to go with my inner flow. It still makes me dreadfully out-of-step with the rest of the pagan community, and unforgivably inexperienced in the witchy arts, but it suits me. I am, however, going to make a few compromise for the sake of my education and experience. The compromise will be to mix the intuitive with the structural. Commune and worship as I please, but observe certain disciplines regularly. I haven’t decided what those disciplines will be yet, but they’ll most likely involve reading, scrying, tarot work, and art.
PBN Podcast Canceled
On a low note, I have decided not to join the podkin. I love podcasts, but I don’t think I could handle creating and, well, ritualistically organizing a podcast on any kind of a regular schedule. I am going to be very busy this next year, and I don’t like to start things I can’t finish.
I also got some eye-opening feedback on my ideas for my own pod-show. Although the comments were varied and I got a lot of encouragement, they also had one major thing in common that changed all my plans: they all said that my topics and segment structure wasn’t unique to the genre. Of all the subjects I could talk about, the only one unique to my own practice (that wouldn’t just be a reiteration of what others have already commented and expanded on) is my obsession with names (anthroponymy). But since I don’t think I can build a whole show based on anthroponomastic studies and ideas alone, it’s a no-go.
Love & Cookies,