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Friday, August 24, 2012

Pagan Spirituality

The word “Spirituality” often crops up in discussion amongst Pagans. It’s an interesting concept, Pagan spirituality can almost seem like a contradiction in terms to the individual outside the Pagan realm; references to Magic and occult ceremonies, an assertion that the divine feminine loves all beings and that eternity is not judged by this life alone. In fact Pagans tend to resist the whole concept of a “Day of Judgment” Referring instead to laws of cause and effect; the three fold law or versions of Karma. The rewards or punishments of actions will be received either in this life or in another incarnation. That, in itself, presents a rather different concept. To the Pagan community, there is no permanent Hell. When you have sufficiently made recompense for your actions you may move on. This is best illustrated by the following story;
“Once there was a Priest whose duty was to prepare Goats for sacrifice. One day as he was commencing his duties the Goat he was preparing began to laugh, a very human laugh. Startled, the Priest asked ‘Why are you laughing?’ The Goat replied ‘For five hundred years I have been born as a goat to be sacrificed, born and reborn for the same fate but this time, when I am sacrificed I will be reborn as a man’ The Priest congratulated the Goat and said he was happy it would be so. Just then he saw a tear in the Goat’s eyes. ‘Why the tears?’ Asked the priest. ‘Because’ replied the Goat ‘five hundred years ago I was a Priest who sacrificed Goats’
The question that is then asked, and it is a fair question from the religion point of view, is that if there is no immediate judgment and everything will balance out in the by and by, what is the incentive for being spiritual?
Another apparent contradiction to Pagan Spirituality also raises itself. Pagans often speak of using Magic to manifest desire; Pagans frequently find themselves defending gay marriage and group arrangements. There is Sex Magic, The Great Rite and men and women jointly performing rituals naked, or “Sky Clad” as it is often called. This manifestation of Earthly desire and the glorifying of the body appear to the outside as the very opposite of spirituality. These questions bring us to the very foundation of what makes the Pagan, the Magical People, different.
Religions see a duality of Body and Spirit, Religions see them as separate entities and insist that the Body with all its earthly desire must be controlled and subordinated. The Pagan sees no such duality. To the Magical People there is no duality in that sense. We are one person and honoring our body and the body of another is a spiritual practice. The phrase often heard in Witches Coven and Druid Grove alike is;
“We are not bodies having a spiritual experience. We are spirits having an earthly experience.”
Once this concept is fully grasped then the questions of birth, death and re-birth are easily answered. The fulfilling of the Mortal experience is the aim along with a realization that such an experience must be done carefully, thoughtfully and with attention to the ripples it may cause. “Do as you will but harm none” is still the best counsel though the application is not as easy as it may sound. Pagan Spirituality is not about controlling or abandoning the desires of the body, Pagan Spirituality is about recognizing the whole person. Completely existing in this incarnation and living life to the full.
Have a wonderful and Magical life my Brothers and Sisters. All that this World has to offer is yours. Do not be distracted by the poverty of mind or the poverty of circumstance that many find themselves in. The Magic and the Blessings of the Gods are yours in abundance, you just have to learn how to claim your birthright.
Your birthright and your joy and the honoring of all that you are lie in the Love of the Earth and the Love that the Goddess has for you.  This is Pagan Spirituality.

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