So yesterday I was described as “non-Pagan” not once, but twice in one day!
Now please understand, I am NOT upset by this. If anything I am honored to be mentioned in two different blogs on the same day. But while I do not usually throw the term Pagan out there as a main descriptor, I have never considered myself to NOT be Pagan.
It always kind of thows me to be described as NOT anything. My view spiritually is that not only does no one religion or path possess the whole of truth, but that mankind has not developed enough yet to even be able to understand the whole of truth. So to be described as NOT something kind of weirds me out. Plus, in this case it happens not to be true.
I mean, I have even been initiated in a coven for crying out loud!
I think it would be accurate for some people to say that I don’t fit their definition of Pagan, but so would lots of other Pagans. I did mention in a post recently that this was not a Pagan blog and thus had different concerns when it came to the spirit/fiction debate, but it’s not a Buddhist blog or Gnostic blog either.
I mean, you can decide I am not Pagan because I am a Gnostic Bishop, but so is J.M. Greer and a half dozen other Pagan elders I know. You can say that because I am a Buddhist I am not Pagan, while it is true that I do not take refuge in Gods, I do practices that honor many many Gods and Spirits. At the moment I am writing a chapbook on Planetary Magic with 49 Hymns that focus on the Greek Gods associated with the planets. Chronos didn’t care that I am also a Gnostic Bishop and Tantrika when I made offerings to him this morning.
In a way the current myopic focus on the details of ones belief that is dominating the Pagan conversation at the moment is actually a very un-pagan thing. In classical paganism, religion was much more about what you did (like honoring holidays and offering sacrifice to the gods) than it was about what the details of your personal theology were. If anything this focus on belief as the key factor of who is Pagan and who is not is kind of, well, Christian.
When I was coming up in the 80′s and early 90′s all the teachers I met were all cross-initiated into everything the could get their hands on. There was a hunger to learn all you could. Now it seems people are very focused on being “This and not That”, which saddens me a bit.
As I side note, Jack Faust referred to be as a fellow Chaos Magician whether I like it or not. I have come to accept that title as well. My next post on Virtue and Mystery gods will kind of solidify me back into that fold if there was any doubt.