On Monday, I finished my dissertation for good. I left it at 9pm and returned the next day for one skim-read before I printed it off. On Monday night, I made myself a hot water bottle, a nettle tea and sat down to read the blog posts I’d been adding to a tab collection over the past two weeks.
The first one I read was this one, over at Pantheos. Drew Jacob speaks about how Paganism may one day be in the world, and then asks for readers to distil the message of Paganism.
One passage particularly caught my eye in his descriptions:
When entering or leaving a forest; when taking in a mountain view; at sunset or sunrise; when you first see the moon. On entering a city, or a sanctuary. Anywhere you cross from one place to the next you may see people show a little sign of respect. Like asking permission before they barge in.
And suddenly, the voice was there in my mind. “I want to do that, in my Life. I want to ask permission from the place to be there.”
I’ve become caught up in my studies, in my conditioning, in my anxieties. I curled up away from my community a few weeks ago and refused to leave the house to attend a Druid gathering – my last chance to meet those people and get that spiritual support for a while. I tore away from that light and focused only on getting to my destination of the moment.
I’ve lost that sense of magic, that every doorway is a chance to give thanks, that each place I visit has a spirit. I vowed to get that back, if only in simple terms of using doorways as a reminder to be mindful again.
Then, the question came.
As you reach the end of this article, my challenge to you is this: putting aside the question of proselytizing, which is not the idea here, what is Paganism’s message?
If you distilled everything you love about Paganism—everything about it that grips you—into a single sentence, what would it be?
And my answer flowed:
For me, Paganism is my history and my future; it is the quiet spaces in each moment, and the facet of this world which lives on with or without us. It is nature and it is the aspects many in the Western world have forgotten. It is the stuff which we do not always see, although it is always there (the tree we no longer notice we walk past every day). It’s commonly said that people who find Paganism “feel like they’re coming home”, so I guess in some cases, paganism is that sanctuary, that home that can be found wherever your geographical location – a home which requires no house.
I’m missing my home, missing the spirit and the grateful attitude I used to approach life with. And I’d like that back.
I am a priestess who has locked herself out and forgotten the spare key under the flowerpot.