The Green Eclectic

Whether you’re new to this blog or just looking for a memory jog, here’s a bit of information on what sort of Pagan I am, and what sort of Pagan I’m not.  Paganism is a pretty diverse thing, so let me be clear: this is not to promote my flavor of Paganism over any other, nor is it to denigrate other views of Paganism.  It’s just to let you know where I’m coming from here at the Green Eclectic.

I’m a solitary eclectic pagan.  That means that I generally observe my faith in a private way, and that I pull from a diversity of thought in my beliefs.  It means that while I may sometimes celebrate a holiday by including my partner or other friends in my life, or that I might from time to time attend a public ritual, I generally practice my faith alone.  I’ve found that this is what works best for me, for a few reasons:

  • I’m generally a solitary person anyway
  • There aren’t any other (out) Pagans in my area
  • My particular view of Paganism doesn’t seem to be very mainstream

Let’s pick those three bullet points apart a bit.

I’m a pretty social person, and I have a lot of friends, but I am an only child and thus am very comfortable spending time by myself.  I have fun with other people, and I deal with a lot of other people all day long in my line of work, but being with other people wears me out.  Being alone helps me recharge.  So I guess you could say that I’m a socially competent introvert.  I’ve considered the idea of joining some sort of Pagan group, but it’s just not me.

As I’ve mentioned in About the Green Eclectic, I live in a very small, very rural  area.  There might be other Pagans here, but if so, they’re keeping a low profile the same way I am, and probably for a lot of the same reasons.  I consequently have to travel a fair distance to find other Pagans, so I tend not to meet up with other Pagans too often.

I’m mixed on where my particular views of Paganism might fall on the spectrum.  If you believe what you read on the Internet (and gosh, why would you have any reason to doubt the Internet?) most of the Pagans out there are Wiccan, believe in a male/female duality of God/Goddess, believe deeply in magick, love to dress outside the mainstream, and have a fancy or fantastical craft name.  Well, none of that is me.  While I appreciate the right for others to believe and practice whatever and however they want — so long as they’re not hurting anyone — some of that stuff actively makes me cringe. I don’t think I’m alone in this: I think it’s why many Pagans stay in the closet (out of fear of association), and why it would probably be better if all the closeted Pagans came out (to show the world that Pagans are a lot more ‘normal’ than people think… not that normal means much).

There have been times in my life when I’ve questioned why I even call myself a Pagan.  I’m not into the fantastical names and the rhyming prayers, I don’t believe in magic(k) or a pantheon of gods… but my Pagan friends just pat me on the head and assure me that the label fits in a number of other ways.

In what ways does the label fit?  Here’s where things get a bit dense and I start defining a bunch of stuff!

I’m a panentheist, for starters.  I see the Divine in everything and everyone, and feel that the Divine extends beyond the physical.  Because of that belief, I feel there’s a lot of merit in deep ecology, an ecological philosophy that recognizes the interconnectedness of everything and the inherent worth of other beings beyond their mere utility to humans.  I suppose you could also say that I’m a bit of an animist — while I don’t have conversations with trees and rocks, I’ve been known to thank them for helping give me a foothold as I descend a mountain, or to remark out loud to them about how beautiful they are.

I’m also a religious monist, meaning that I think there’s this one Divine energy, and that everybody who believes in some higher power believes in the same higher power, as seen through different lenses and religious constructs.  So that pantheon of gods and goddesses I mentioned earlier that so many Pagans believe in?  That pantheon represent multiple facets of the Divine, given faces and names and personalities to analyze those aspects of the Divine in a way that allows people to more easily relate to it.  It’s just a different way of looking at things.  Christians also have their own lens for looking at the Divine, as do all world religions.  We have more in common than we think, and it’s a shame we can’t focus on the similarities instead of the differences.  Might make it easier for all of us to get along.

That’s the (not so) short summary.  I’ll explore it more as I go along here at the Green Eclectic… thanks for reading.


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