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Bad Pagan?

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,

I’m a pan(en)theistic Pagan with a quick tongue, black thumb, and no sense of elemental direction. Otherwise, I’m awesome.
Posted By Mnemosyne Mars

I'm a pan(en)theistic Pagan with a quick tongue, black thumb, and no sense of elemental direction. Otherwise, I'm awesome.

2 Responses to “Bad Pagan?”

  1. Sophia Catherine says:

    Damn – I hope my feedback didn't contribute to you deciding not to podcast. I think you'd be fantastic! IMHO, you definitely shouldn't give up on the idea – if you're not ready, maybe come back to the idea later. You'd be an awesome podcaster, based on your writing and ideas.

    In terms of the wheel of the year, I think people need to re-work that in relation to the landscape (and land spirits) around them. I'm lucky enough to live in the country where the Celtic Wheel of the Year was basically invented. People in different countries need different wheels and to emphasize different festivals. Totally doesn't make them bad Pagans/mystics/etc! Although I happen to be someone who really, really needs spiritual/religious frameworks like festivals. I grew up in a 'non-conformist' church of the sort where even Easter and Christmas were only mentioned in passing, and the rest of the Christian festivals were totally ignored. When I discovered churches with a Christian calendar and a type of wheel of the year, I was ecstatic. But not everyone's spirituality works like that!

    BTW, I'm working on setting up my podcast and looking for some more one-off and semi-regular co-hosts… if you want to join in. :)

  2. Mnemosyne Mars says:

    @Sophia Catherine Oh no! Everyone told me something similar – and I was very grateful for the feedback. I wobbled back and forth for two months and finally decided to put it on the back shelf for now. No worries! I agree with your Wheel ideas. Those are my feelings exactly. I would love to help out with your podcast if I can! Let me know when it comes out oo so I can subscribe! xoxo Moz


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