Review in response to this - Min 2:55 https://goo.gl/GrhI6h
Is paganism really made up on the spot, invented off-the-cuff? That's not what it means to me. My understanding of paganism is thousands of years old with traditions and inherited information not only passed down through history and through my ancestors, but that expands my own experiences in nature and in life. I taker her point about challenging the idea that a religion is less than another if it's not written in books and detailed out in transcript, but neither is it wishy-wash, willy-nilly flights of fancy. I think I agree with her but I don't want to have to, if you know what I mean.
It reminds me of the Declaration of War Against Exploiters of Lakota Spirituality the the Shamanistic Cheroke-Lakota tribe back in 1993, http://goo.gl/r3QqoB I'm only now beginning to feel their pain as someone takes you cultural inheritance and re-labels it as their own. It feels hijacked.
The paganism I know is ancient, with practices and traditions so robust and so relevant they have survived through thousands of years, through persecution, through the amalgamation of Christianity and through the hostile ostracism of puritan movements in more modern times. It is strong, powerful and has longevity. Not some frivolous invention of the imagination born from whim and wishful thinking, to me.
Don't misunderstand me, it's not the first time I've heard Paganism be referred to in this way, there are other videos and books that I've tried to wrap my head around, that say, it's whatever you make it, it's whatever you want it to be. Well not really, if that's what you want, then go make up your own religion and preach that instead. Yes, anyone can be a pagan, there's nothing exclusive about it and in my head a Witch is someone who does Witchcraft, and the two are not mutually exclusive, you don't have to be both to be one or the other. I'm all for spreading the love and I'm not about to tell anyone they can't come to the party, but surely there's more to it than just dreaming up you own rules and slapping a sticker on it so you can hold your hand up and call yourself a Pagan.
As a raised heathen pagan I have no deities to revere or goddesses to thank. No one to make offerings to or seek guidance from and the more I hear people talking about doing rituals this way or that way, the do's and don'ts of spell casting, thanking/offering/invoking spirits and gods etc the more it makes my own rituals and beliefs feel a little stunted. As though in some way i'm not doing things right, not going about it all in quite the right way. An example of this is the Alter. I've seen tons of videos about how to make an alter and what you're supposed to do with them (I'm trying to get over the mass-confusion of the terms Alter and Shrine too, to me an Alter is for doing workings, carrying out activity, like a workbench, a Shrine is a place you leave offerings, is dedicated to one or more deities or higher power and visit for prayer/contemplation). I've contemplated setting up an alter, even craved one to 'complete' my witchcraft practices... but it can't be done. At least not at this point. I have a practical space (a kitchen unit surface) where things are made and done, there's a space in my garden where things get left in the moonlight and offered to the Bees and so forth. But there's no Alter, I just don't have a deity to build one for. It almost makes me sad, but then I remember every leaf, every tree, every cloud and stream is a deity, that the entire world of nature is an Alter, a stage upon which I also stand, simply being part of nature.
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