The question was recently raised by a friend of mine as to whether members of the Pagan Community have an obligation to present a kind of unified image to the World at large. Furthermore, do we have a right to insist that others adhere to this hypothetical image as well, thereby creating one centralized definition of what it means to be Pagan, Witch, Follower of Witch Craft, or Practitioner of Magick?
The latest version of Webster?s Collegiate Dictionary defines Pagan as ?one of a people or community observing a polytheistic religion.? Or a Pagan might be ?one who has little or no religion and who delights in sensual pleasures and material goods: an irreligious or hedonistic person.? In the end this attempt to codify what Pagan means ends up being just empty words. We need to look much further than the dictionary if we are to gain any insight into what being part of the Pagan community means and what obligation it does or does not entail.
Pagans are, as a whole, are an eclectic group. Getting a majority to come to a consensus on anything at times seems to be an insurmountable task. It is that diversity that presents so many opportunities for us to learn and to grow. Each opportunity is another flower in the Garden of Life, to be admired and experienced. If we try to force everyone to conform to some idealized image, it would rob us all of the chance to embrace new ideas and learn new lessons.
There does, however, seem to be one generalization that holds sway for many of us; Pagans need to know for ourselves. We have an overwhelming need to experience the Divine on a deeply personal level. Not just intellectually, but also tangibly. We come to see the Divine in everything at once. Furthermore, we are not content to let someone else describe to us what the desires of the Divine are. Our Spiritual contact is intimate, immediate and individualistic.
The path that a person walks is unique unto themselves. Who are we to say that one path is more right than another. Instead of trying to rigidly structure what it is to be a Pagan, Witch, etc. we should embrace our individualism, revel in our differences and delight in our diversity. Our willingness to accept others regardless of their beliefs is one of our greatest strengths; let?s not hide it in an effort to appease the world at large.
This site has received 11889090 hits since Aug 4, 2000
The entire content of all public pages in The Pagan Library (graphics, text and HTML) are free information, released under the terms of the GPL. All copyrighted items mentioned are the property of their respective owners, and no form of ownership or endorsement is implied.
Last modified: June 12 2016 13:08:53