Why I am Pagan
Warning: this article contains themes which may offend some readers, particularly Christians. If you are an atheist, I'm 100% sure that you will not enjoy this article one bit.
I'm a Pagan. The kind that dabbles in witchcraft, celebrates Sabbats and Esbats, uses herbs in magical workings, and talks to my spirit guides. I don't wear any strange garb, I don't have a wand, you won't find my house full of pentagrams, and I don't bow down and worship Lucifer - in fact, I don't worship any particular deity at all. I dress in normal clothing, I don't wear crystal jewellery, and I don't live in the middle of the woods. I live a largely-Christian community of several thousand people, I have two "regular" jobs, my husband is, at this point, apathetic towards religion, however coming from a devoutly Catholic family, he leans towards the Christian belief system.
I always knew, and I mean *always* knew, from the age of around eight or nine, that I was drawn towards Paganism. My family were completely silent on the topic of religion; I went to a State school, and I had no riligious or spiritual undertones to my upbringing. All my friends were either agnostic or atheist. My parents had decided that it would be up to me to shape my own beliefs on the subject, and not once was I ever told that God didn't exist, despite what they might have believed. They never said a single word to me about God at all, and for that reason I was always under the impression that they had no interest or belief in the idea of a creator. I have recently found out that they do have spiritual beliefs, but they don't necessarily fit into a denomination or motivate them to join a church or anything like that.
So, why am I Pagan? Because I believe in the interconnectedness of all things in the Universe, and therefore the ability to consciously manifest energy and outcomes. I also appreciate the freedom that the Pagan belief system has, and its reverence towards the natural world and the Universe, and everything in it. I see the Divine in everything, not as something separate to us that we must strive for. Paganism accepts the human condition, accepts human faults, places the burden of personal responsibility squarely on the shoulders of the inividual (I do good things and bad things because I know that both the light and the dark co-exist within me, and I have the power to direct and manifest those two poles, not because I have surrendered to a higher entity that I can blame for my actions). Paganism does not strive to make someone feel guilty for the natural aspects of being human, does not promote punishment for our faults or "sins". Paganism promotes introspection and conscious effort towards self-improvement by recognising our own shortcomings and working to better them. Paganism celebrates everything beautiful in the world, the natural cycles that surround us in plain sight, the love and connection we have with all things.
If you have read this, and are thinking to yourself, "this bitch is crazy", let me leave you with one final thought...
What is the difference between witchcraft and prayer? Between lighting a candle for a spell and lighting a candle for a prayer in church? Between burning incense for a spell and having a priest burn incense in a church? The differences are trivial, because at the end of the day, all the beliefs and practices originated in the same place.
This is why I am Pagan.
xx The Country Witch
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