In this post, I aim to explore why I think I am a Pagan. This post will not define Paganism or Neo-Paganism more generally. These terms are very broad, and it is beyond my ability to express what is or is not a Pagan or Neo-Pagan experience.
1. I am Pagan because I believe that the natural world is ensouled. I can't define the soul or its capacity or limitations, but I experience it all around me.
2. I believe that the Abrahamic religions do not have a corner on truth and that their most valuable messages evolved from far more ancient insights which continue to be available to all human beings whose minds and hearts are open.
3. I believe that all thea/ological discourse about the sacred is just folks talking about something they'll never understand. I can tell you what I think God/ess is all day and night. I can be as clever and convincing as hell, but it still doesn't amount to a hill of beans. The Ineffable will be what it will be regardless of my cheek. We aren't going to expand or limit Divinity whatever we say, think, or believe. However, when we limit our conceptualization of the Sacred to that which most closely resembles the powerful, the conventional, and the abusive in our society, then we limit who we are and what we might become, and that's a shame.
4. So-- I believe that we should be mindful and creative with our theo/alogical language and musings to encourage ourselves to grow toward our potential. I believe that when we speak of "God/dess" we are reflecting our best hopes for ourselves into the Cosmos. When we dream of divinity, we can either sanctify all the meanness and injustice humanity has already mastered or we can sing out our human potential for brilliance, warmth, diversity, and love.
5. Language may only be a construct, but what a construct! What we build with our language is our choice. I am Pagan because I am playful with spiritual language. We need to remember that God is not male. Nor is God white or European or human for that matter. God is not even "God". That word too is merely a construct, a symbol, a signifier. Learning to imagine the Divine in many forms, genders, cultures, species, relationships, and concepts reminds me that the Sacred is not one objective thing or person but is manifest in all life and in all times. It helps me remember that I can find divinity in unexpected people and unexpected places. It helps me look for the Sacred everywhere and in everybody.
That's about it, I guess. My Paganism doesn't define whether I believe in God or Goddess or a singular or plural deity. It doesn't tell me how I should worship or with whom. Paganism is not what I believe. It is what I do. It is a strategy and a discipline. It is not an answer to my questions about life and death or the nature of the Divine. It is a pattern of thought and intent that encourages me to continue asking unanswerable questions. It encourages me to play and think and wonder and to try as hard as ever I can to understand not the Cosmic Mystery, but maybe just the little bit that resides in me and which is mine to share.