Articles/Essays From Pagans
June 16th. 2013 ...
How To Stay Spiritual Amidst This Chaos?
Hearing The Music And Dancing The Dance
A Tale of the Wood
June 9th. 2013 ...
The Nature of Sacrifice
The Magick of Buildings
Start your own Pagan Church in Canada - A Detailed Guide
June 2nd. 2013 ...
Maiden, Mother, Who?! (A Discussion of the Triple Goddess)
Gods Who Live In My House
Why the 'Redneck Pagan'?
Among the Greenwod - An Interview with Raven Grimassi
May 26th. 2013 ...
So You Think You've Found a Teacher...
Learning To Live Your Own Life
Raising Personal Magickal Energy for Spellwork
Casting The Wiccan Circle
May 19th. 2013 ...
The Role of Identity in Magic
Talking Trash? It's a Dirty Subject but Waste Happens.
My Wiccan Journey
13 Keys: The Victory of Netzach
May 12th. 2013 ...
Pagan Studies I: How Should We Define Modern Paganism?
The Third Path
Nothing Special... Part Two
May 5th. 2013 ...
The Value of Multicultural Awareness
Put Your Back Into It (Our Lady of the Sacred Honey Badger)
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Red Lipped Bat Fish
April 28th. 2013 ...
Lessons from the Lessers: Iris
April 21st. 2013 ...
Taken By The Goddess: The Crescent Moon Tattoo
The Gods/Being Godbothered
To Be A Witch
The Archetypes are Gods: Re-godding the Archetypes
April 14th. 2013 ...
On The Inclusion of Children
'Wand Fun' With Grandson
Lessons from a Baby
Lessons of Freedom: On Divinity and Healing
April 7th. 2013 ...
Out of the Broom Closet... Sorta
A Journey Through the Witches Tarot
History and Science Behind Numerology
March 31st. 2013 ...
What is the Magickal Self?
Ethics and Numerology
March 24th. 2013 ...
Keystones of the Sacred Land
March 17th. 2013 ...
Why Some Pagans and Witches Still Hide
Witch Heritage 101: What Happens When Witch Haters Joke about anti-Witch Films
I'm Not a Broom. So What's with the Closet?
March 10th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Things I Did as a New Pagan: Part 3
Hunting for the Real Witch in Film
The Collective Shadow
Lies - The Opposite of Truth
March 3rd. 2013 ...
Grounding and Releasing Negative Energy
A Patchwork of Magick
February 24th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I Made as a New Pagan (Part Two)
February 17th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I made as a New Pagan... Part One
Gardening with Crystal Energies
A Call from the Ancestors
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Black Water Snakes
February 10th. 2013 ...
We Are the Weirdos, Mister: A Completely Uncool Story of Origin
February 3rd. 2013 ...
"I'll Grind Your Bones to Make my Bread": Pagans and Animal Husbandry
The Role of Contemporary Culture in Magic
A Pagan Response to Endangered Earth
The Great Mother's Gift, Heinlein, and the Nature of Squirrels
13 Keys: The Glory of Hod
January 27th. 2013 ...
Why We Do Need Wicca
The Cosmos In the Coffee Shop
On Travel Spirituality and Magick
January 20th. 2013 ...
Beloved Backs and How to Save Them
Building or Burning Bridges?
Plants, Magic and Intuition
Plagiarism - How It Harms Our Community
January 13th. 2013 ...
Ramblings of a Pagan Guy: Stupid Clichés
The Magick and Power of Words
Aging Is Not Easy
The Riddle of Who We Are?
January 6th. 2013 ...
Wicca v Witchcraft
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Growing From the Inside
Article ID: 15189
Age Group: Adult
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Posted: September 23rd. 2012
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If you self-identify as Pagan, I am positive your library either is in the process of or does have many books that detail about how to build an altar and the proper tools recommended to assist in making you feel a vital part of our faith. But is materialism and the designation of a “sacred space” really all there is to us? A religion that espouses “Nature as Sacred” neatly pigeonholes that same sacred space to a corner in the room?
Paganism is a living, breathing and organic modern faith with ancient roots. Don’t misunderstand me – I am not saying that Paganism is unbroken or untouched for the past 50, 000 years since the sinking of Atlantis. What I am saying is that modern Paganism has teachings, which are drawn from our past, the times when our ancestors lived and walked the land. Most likely this land was never vacated for many generations. People remained in the places they lived for many hundreds (or even thousands) of years, pushed only when empires came and exiled them by force or else natural disasters took place. Simple research in itself will reveal that many ancient cults and faiths grew out of Domestic Cults. In other words, religion was an organic process that began at home.
The faith of our ancestors was not a faith forced on them from the outside. Like the analogy of the baby chick that will die if you force the egg to be broken rather than allowing the creature to break free and grow on its own, religion began on the inside. It began around the hearth, the community fire. It began with stories and songs. It began with women telling women the secrets of child rearing, dealing with the men, and working together as a community. Religion began with men working in the fields and watching boys become men, the latter attempting to find their place in the world. Religion grew and changed, spreading from place to place as people traveled and shared their personal experiences. Ideas were exchanged. Gradually, the Domestic Cults that venerated the spirits around them, highly respected their Elders, and venerated their ancestors who came before them were at some point established as Mystery Rites that either became part of a city-states’ Temple or else a religious movement.
But whatever state-sponsored religions might have come and gone with empires, the families at home retained some remnant of their faith. Religion continued on, because families and faith were inseparable. One thing remains clear: there is a real Mystery at the center of your home.
Our religion is in danger of becoming materialized, if it has not already been. Too many people obsess with details about tools, altars, and “getting rituals right.” They fixate over grimoires and books, hardly reading through any and mostly wanting visitors to be shocked or impressed that they have such a collection of occult paraphernalia! Precious stones such as amethysts, malachite, and others are valued above the very rocks beneath our feet. Is this what our faith has come down too…expensive trinkets that become worthless when we leave our bodies?
Paganism is not about spaces, tools, altars or books. Paganism is about directly experiencing the Divine in however it comes to you. Whether it is in the form of a Deity in your explorations, the chill of a cool breeze at sunset, meditations at the seashore during a moon, or even caring for your family and enjoying a nice meal together, our faith is not contained by what we have or don’t have. It is everywhere. It is about building a legacy with those you consider kin with you: your family and closest friends. It is about connections – whether with your lover during sex or sitting down watching the latest episode of your favorite show! Paganism should not be a contest of “whose wand is bigger than whose?” The minute that you forget this, you have lost a grip on what this faith means to you.
So do yourself a favor and put away your altars and tools for a while. Instead, have a get-together with those you love and care about. Have a community potluck meal, barbecue or outing somewhere on a day that everyone can make it. It doesn’t have to be expensive. It can just be fun.
Many, but not all, Pagan groups don’t cater to parents with kids, and that can be shameful. Why not skip a ritual for a Holy Day, instead inviting Pagan parents to bring their kids over? Encourage your Pagan group to come up with activities that center around the children. Many of us can be misanthropic towards people and kids, and although morbid jokes are funny to some, too much extremism on that point of view locks our spirits and can be a disservice on our Path to Gnosis (Knowledge) . Open yourself up, challenge your boundaries, and help those in your Community who need support rather than make them the butt of your jokes.
It is clear our ancestors had much to teach us in the here and now about spirituality. We cannot forget the Hearth Fire – the Sacred Center that symbolizes the vitality of what makes us part of one another. We need to learn how to compromise for the betterment of others and realize that we have compartmentalized our faith into a corner. By doing this, we compartmentalize a part of ourselves as well. We teach our minds and spirits to relegate religion to a Day, a Time, and Place. We do not flow with Nature, instead becoming a dam that blocks the natural rhythms that live in our house. Again, simple research into domestic house spirits can give you an idea of how important a home and a community were to one another.
If we look to our past, we can be given the keys for the present and unlock the doorway to our future. In these uncertain times, it can be easy to disconnect from everyone and everything. Connect, and allow your faith to grow from the inside. I believe you will discover Living Fire of your ancestors within you.
Eirene kai Hugieia!
(Peace and Health!)
Rev. Luis A. Valadez
Co-Pastor, Pagan Place Temple
Hierophant, Temple of Hekate: Ordo Sacra Strix
Mikalson, Jon D. “Religion in Hellenistic Athens.”
Bodel, John and Olyan, Saul. “Household and Family Religion in Antiquity.”
Worsfold, T. Cato. “History of the Vestal Virgins of Rome.”
Parma, Gede. “Taking Paganism Beyond the Circle.”
O’Gaea, Ashleen. “Family Wicca: Practical Paganism for Parents and Children.”
Patsouris, Laura. “Weaving Memory: A Guide to Honoring the Ancestors.”
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