....or lack of it. We grow, we change, we transform. Doesn't mean there is anything wrong with what we might have felt last week, month, year. Just that, well, things change.
What does it mean when this happens with our spiritual nature? Sometimes it can cause major issues in our lives. Just ask any former Christian who now believes something else. Or nothing. Or whatever. Families have fallen apart over this stuff. Friendships have ended.
During my own life journey I have found that Pagans can be a very judgmental bunch amongst ourselves. For all of the "love and light" that goes on people sure do get their panties in a twitch over your alter not being set up according to Wicca 101 practice. I find it exhausting. At some juncture, I came to this pivotal point where I considered myself less traditionally magical than others and had no interest in becoming more like them. I, instead, just wanted to be myself. It was at that point I simply began calling myself a witch, rather than saying "I am Wiccan" or whatever. This was some time ago and now, even the word "witch" seems to me to conjure up some specific notion to people that isn't necessarily who I am AT ALL. I don't do spellwork. I do some ritual but it is limited as well. I am not an elaborate sort of practitioner and I could not even tell you the last time I went through each and every "appropriate" step of casting a circle.
I just don't care. I am not saying that I don't believe. That is completely different than not caring. I am saying that I don't care and I don't think the Universe does either. I don't think It is keeping track. In the same way I don't think there is one God sitting up there on his lofty cloud keeping track I just don't think anything else is, whether that be God/Goddess, the numerous Entities people pray to and involve in ritual, The Nog (LOL).
I DO believe the Earth and the Universe are alive. I believe the Earth is an extension of that Universe and the we are all part of the Whole. But, that Whole is too big to fathom, too massive, too powerful, too beyond what comprehension we could even dream to have. I believe that being part of that extension as the Earth is, so is everything roaming on it, under it, above it; everything growing, breathing, breeding, changing, constantly morphing in some manner to make up that Whole. But we can never see the Whole. We can never touch it outside ourselves and we certainly can't study it or know it in the way that people claim to have a "personal relationship" with God. It is mysterious and awesome yes, but does it have conscious thought and will and does it care that I lied in third grade or that my best friend is screwing her husband's co-worker (I don't have a best friend by the way) or that the neighbors are living in sin? HELL NO! At least I don't think so.
So, gosh, what AM I? Who AM I? What do I believe in anyway? I had submitted to the question of "what is Paganism to you" some years ago. I came across my response while cleaning out my office area and still agree with it and would probably even add to it to the extent that I have above. I realized when discussing it that others (Pagans) are mostly in agreement with a good portion of it, however, it is not enough for them. I have touched on this before in the Podcast. Case in Point:
Episode 16 ~ Spiritual Creatures
If you want to skip the rest these thoughts begin at approximately 21 minutes in.
Since I feel I am tied to this Earth and that it is living and since I am not a believer in specific Gods and Goddesses in the way that many Pagans are I feel I have obligations. Not that others don't - that isn't what I'm saying. My obligations are simply different. Because although at times I name my spiritual images and when I do pray I use those names ~ ie ~ I pray to Artemis for the wild things and when I dreamed or visioned of myself long ago as a witch it was clear to me that this portion of the Universe calling to me, calling me Gillian, was what/who I considered to be Artemis at that time. That does not mean that I feel as if Artemis is THE Goddess I worship. I worship the Earth, Life, the Universe, the Unknown something out there that we are all part of and if there is a portion of it I call Artemis at some instance when it seems right, so be it. But, to me, there is that very real possibility that the here and now is what there is and that once that is done the unquestionably magical part is that I, as part of the Earth, will go into that Earth and simply be swallowed by it, consumed and reduced again, to it. And in being reduced I will become a million little particles and those particles will turn to dust and go a million different places and that is reincarnation folks.
So, my personal obligations given that these are my beliefs are to live here, amidst that which I believe to be sacred and to experience it and be a part of it. So to me this means that I shall not spend my time with elaborate details and spellcrafting when I can go to a barn and groom my horse. When I can smell the Earth on him and press my ear to his side and listen to his heart. That is my worship. I can't overconcern myself with correspondence charts and alter locations when I can feel the rain hit my face as I run and sweat, feel my heart beat faster and my muscles ache as I crest the top of the hill, breath in cold fog and know that I am a part of it All. That is my celebration, my praise, my proof. My faith.
Someone suggested to me the other day that I was one step away from Atheist. He said it in a manner which led me to believe that it was his opinion that I was one step away from what was right. I am not so sure if I would go that far. Maybe I should qualify myself as a Patheist. LOL. Has that label been taken yet? I kinda like the sound of it.