A Serious Step Lightly Taken

There has been a strong push lately for me to write more about spirituality and faith, many pushes, in fact, from multiple directions. I find myself here, staring at a mostly blank screen and wondering where to even begin. Let me then begin lightly with the most basic information about my own spirituality.

If it isn’t painfully obvious already, my “official” religion is paganism. Those not on the inside or familiar with it should be first aware that paganism is not a single religion or set of beliefs. At best it’s an umbrella term generally used to describe faiths other than Christianity, Judaism, and Islam (and sometimes Eastern religions as well). Pagans are incredibly diverse in their attitudes and beliefs and frankly, as a group, we probably have more differences than similarities among our beliefs. If you’re interested in learning more, there is a link on my blog page to the Cauldron where you can find a Pagan Primer that discusses this a little more in depth.

My particular path within paganism is at best described as eclectic. I do not follow an established tradition such as Wicca or Asatru. They simply don’t work for me; I admit it, I have an issue with authority… human authority at least. I have a great deal of difficulty with the concept that I should shape my beliefs according to what another human being claims they should be (and yes, that does include Mohammad, Jesus, Buddha, the pope, Gerald Gardner, Alex Sanders, etc). While I can accept that humans may spiritually lead and teach, I feel that no human can speak for the gods or claim to know what the gods think. My beliefs have been shaped by a broad spectrum of religious teachings, by my own experiences, and by the deities that have claimed me as their own.

Before anyone begins to fret and wring their hands about what I’ve said, keep in mind that this is my conceptualization of my own path. Just because I have said something does not make it so for all. Spirituality is so highly individualistic that no two people walk exactly the same path, even though they may share a single faith. Our experiences shape our relationships to our faith, our gods, and our beliefs so that each of us stand on a slightly different path from the rest. More importantly, all paths are valid as long as the person on a particular path has sincere belief in their path.

So there it is, a serious step lightly taken (with gratitude to Robert Frost for such a wonderful phrase). 🙂

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