Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Nothing so plain about my Paganism

It becomes increasingly clear to me that there is nothing clear (or plain) at all about my Paganism.  I am, according to my own definition, a pagan person.  I'm just really, desperately, depressingly tired of explaining what my definition is. 

I had been operating under the belief that in order to communicate most clearly and honestly, I needed to be open about my paganism.  I thought it would be dishonest to remain "in the broom closet."  I am now entertaining the idea that by using the term Pagan (or pagan), I merely muddy the waters of communication making it far more difficult for me to assert my views in a productive way. 

I believe what I believe.  Based on my understanding of the history and theory of earth-centered and mystical spiritual traditions, I have called my beliefs pagan, and I continue to believe they are.  Unfortunately, I have found that very few people, whether Abrahamic, Pagan, or non-theist, seem to resonate with my personal experience or definition of the term.  It seems it would be better to simply communicate my beliefs and the context of those beliefs without attaching a label to them.  In this way, I need no longer argue with those who actually believe very similar things as I do, but have bad associations with the term "Pagan".  In this way too, I may communicate my spirituality without having to endlessly negotiate terms with or differentiate myself from folks who share my label, but who believe wildly dissimilar things and practice in a radically different manner than I do.  It does me very little good to keep saying, "But I'm not that kind of Pagan."  First off, it is such a waste of time.  Secondly, it sets me up as an antagonist of people who would normally be my natural spiritual allies.

So that leaves me with a blog title that doesn't quite fit.  I need to change it.  Any ideas?