Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Born Pagan, Over and Over

I was born a Pagan. Not just ethnically, because I come from long lines of Pagan on both sides, but also physiologically. I am a firm believer in the theory that how your brain is wired determines what makes sense to you as a religion. This obviously combined with culture and region. Since we are all wired differently with different ideas, thoughts, likes, dislikes, interests, etc. then surely we can not be expected to have only one idea of what religion or god is. I believe we create our own reality and if your reality is that there is one god and you will go to heaven when you die, then that is real...for you. What kind of person would I be to tell someone that following their heart is wrong?

I say I was born Pagan because numerous times a day I find myself compelled to be outside. To sit and watch the breeze in the trees or the sun shining through the leave. To walk bare foot or lay on the ground. To be grateful for the elements and living things around me that sustain me. The trees that clean my air, the air that I breathe, the ground my food grows from, the rain that falls to water it. These are SO important to me and, personally, it wouldn't hurt if they were important to more people. Not that I want everyone to be Pagan-I do not-I like diversity, I like that there are other cultures and religions to learn from and about. But I think everyone should be more aware of the world around them, caring for their environment, and appreciative of what the earth gives us. Just on a physical level-not even getting into the spiritual. It never hurts to have more gratitude.

Today, as I usually do once a week, I took my children to the cemetery we live next to. It one of the largest I have seen with rolling hills and giant oak trees. It's comforting to me there as I have gotten to know the land and it's spirits. Each time I go I experience something new-a new spirit, a new headstone, a new patch of weeds I can use. I take a large, brightly colored bag a friend brought me back from Loas that carries a jug of water, offerings for the 5 child spiritsI visit (candy and crackers, sometimes small toys) spoons to dig dirt, and small zip-pocks and paper to label and keep the dirts separate and properly recorded.

We visited the honeysuckle bush and bindweed patch, collected what I needed then headed through the ravine. We rested beneath one of the oldest oaks I've seen and as I looked up I was just overcome with awe. It was like my uncle was standing over me and I was a child...

The earth is my mother, her clay and stones ground me with knowledge,
The rivers are my sister, she shows me the way home,
The sky is my father, he shines light and pours rain on us all,
The mountains are my brother, he leads me up and away to mystery...

I love visiting new places, new terrain, new spirits and I mourn when I must leave them-each and every time. How quickly I can love land, water and unseen spirits. This love teaches me that if I am able to love an object so quickly and deeply then I should extend that same love to a brother or sister. We are no different than the earth. We are made of the same elements, just arranged in another form.

I don't have a choice in feeling the spirit of the land and spirits around me now in other realms. I have no more choice in being Pagan than I do being short or green eyed. I am how I was made to be. So are you. So are the people on the other side of the world. Strive not to change that but to embrace it. Only then will your true ashe' come forth. Strive not to modify but magnify.

When  we stop fighting the waves, they can carry us to shore...