Balancing on Strange Surfaces

The Pagan Path



This is an interesting little widget I found some time ago..
If you look at it carefully you will see that it's spin changes
or at least appears to, the more you watch it

Watch it for a moment and see , if you see what I mean ...

Rings

Kind of hypnotic isn't it ?

And I'm sure your thinking by now
OK it's a cute little animation ... but what's the point ?
dot
We of the Pagan Paths must balance our lives on strange surfaces
The ebb and flow of learning and growth,
make for constant changes in our lives

The influences from within and without
demand constant reassessment of the self
and our beliefs unlike any other religion on Earth

For many faiths, there is a book,
a guideline that tells one what to think,
what to believe, what to feel and how to act

We on the Pagan path don't get that ...
there is no one book .. no central doctrine to use
nor would we want one if someone tried to limit it in that fashion

The question I get asked very often .. is why not ?
Here are my answers to that



To begin with, we have not been organized
since the time when all mankind was "Pagan" ,
if you take the definition of Pagan being, not Judeo-Christian ..

Now the Pagan paths did not die out, with the coming of other faiths,
they just went underground and we as a group have
"come out of the broom closet " yet again

And this time we are staying :)


The question becomes then,
why don't we organize and become a more centralized faith?

The why not, is an Easy one
History is the reason why



History is a useful tool,
if one takes it with a grain of salt, for it's accuracy

As History is always written by the Victors

Even a short look, at the history of so called " organized " religion
shows you, that nearly all religions become the dogma
written for them, and the people no longer ask questions

Once they no longer ask questions, they tend to stagnate
and start doing things by rote .. never asking why they do so

In fact, in most faiths, it's not allowed to question,
as questions are taken to mean you don't have any faith !

Now this is not to say that all Men/Women of Good faith, who
have written down the Law for most religions, were a mess
of self serving hypocrites. But, BIG but, a great many of them
were just that, sorry to say and the trend continues in some cases

So where does that leave your average Pagan ?

( If there is such a thing as an Average  Pagan.. :)
as that's something of a contradiction in terms )

It leaves them doing a balancing act over their own actions,
with mostly themselves as arbitrator of what's right

Which is the point where many other Faiths
have issues with us ,in that they tend to believe
that some agency outside the self
should be the arbitrator


The Pagan Path and Personal Responsibility

Ours is a Path where we are the ones who are expected
to study, learn and grow on the Path, on our own

AND

We take no ones word for anything,
no matter who says it, or what book it's in
unless it happens to make sense

The individual is the final arbitrator of what we believe
And is responsible for ALL that we do, right or wrong

Which is no different than for any other Faith,
we simply acknowledge what is a fact, for all religions

That everybody weighs the right or wrong
of what they are told through their own perceptions

If three people see a brown horse
they all don't see the "SAME" brown horse
even if they all agree, it IS a horse

But we do not even allow any one person or thing,
to tell us what to name the horse :)



We have teachers yes, but in a very loose, informal fashion
in most cases. There are traditional Pagans, who have a much more structured hierarchy and practices.
But regardless, if one is a member of a traditional Path or an Eclectic one, we all have teachers,
in fact most often.. Many of them.. and Most of us become teachers in turn..
the type and number of " students" varies greatly

It is not a requirement however

If we feel called upon to become a teacher  ... we teach
and are responsible for our students behavior


*Warning small rant coming *

But please do understand
We do not seek out others to teach

This is called proselytizing or sermonizing
Which we do not believe in..

I know that's not related to the point here,
but I feel like I can't say this one often enough,
as it is one thing we are accused of all the time
for which we are most assuredly, not guilty ..
which is seeking out converts to the faith

Which is a little unfair to say the least,
as Most every other religion in the world,
preaches their brand of the faith, and seeks converts
in some cases very strongly... and with extreme force
We do not believe in this practice

However :) Onward


We do believe in things like ...

" When the student is ready the teacher arrives "
..or this one..
" Those meant to walk the path ... will find Us "

Each person is responsible for their own growth
and Service to the Gods, we have no priesthood per sec
Although we have many priests .. I am one such

But I am a Priest with a congregation of one... Me
Even as the leader of my Coven...
I still only have ONE member of that congregation .. Me..



Covens and Other Groups

The most simple explanation of a Coven is a group of people
who work together to perform Rites, Ritual and often Magick

They are like an extended family in their own way,
as there are deep bonds forged between people
who work together in this manner

The High Priest or Priestess is simply leader of the Rites
or focus for the powers direction, in the case of Magick
and very often the Elder and or, Teacher

These groups are anywhere from 3 to 13 people in size or more.

But no matter what the number is, it is not enough for organized anything.

And they are autonomous, from every other Coven
They are responsible only for and to, their own members

However, like any Family we have our fights



The Witch Wars

There are some who have not given up the habit
of demanding that all believe, as they believe

Which is what we are taught in most other Faiths
That if you are X faith, or in our case, X Path
there is only ONE way to pursue that

The bulk of Us, started out as some other religion
Mostly Judeo-Christian, here in the States at any rate,
so we were all exposed to that mind set

When the Pagan Way became active and out in public
in this country, there were and in some cases still are,
many Wars of theology ..

And to be honest I don't foresee this ever stopping,
as we are a VERY eclectic bunch and very independent.
But it is showing signs of chilling out a little

( Maybe because so many of us are getting gray headed
and perhaps a little more wise.. hehehehehe )

The core concepts however,
Most of which I have already mentioned
 almost all of us share, with some variations,
even if we don't agree on anything else

The most primary being, that we are independent
and are expected to work out our relationship with the Divine
Ourselves ... Which, as I said before, is not a new idea

We are just a lot more outspoken about it



So to be a Pagan in the current day world
is a world full of personal responsibility
for ones own actions and service to the Gods

It is a world were the concepts can change,
everyday as one learns new things and gains further insight

A place to stand that has no foundation of dogma
and each action or thought must be weighed on it's own merits

A stand that is constantly under siege from a good deal of your fellows
both without and within .. your faith is tested almost daily

The Pagan Way is a dance,
between the Ecstasy of the Power of the Divine
and the firing of the intellect when acquiring new thought

Ever growing, Ever changing, Always shifting and Becoming
There is No beginning and there is No end .. just a spiral dance

Just like my little Widget that started this whole conversation

rings

Blessings on your Coming...
Blessings on your Going......
Blessings on All your house


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