Paganism in Unlikely Places


I started following the Pagan Blog Prompts a few weeks ago, but my life has been so crazy that I haven’t contributed at all. I’ve been so busy that I can barely manage to develop my own ideas! Nevertheless, I always stop by and read the comments. I went on one of my usual read-bys yesterday, and the latest prompt caught my attention. I noticed that my opinion was quite different from that of Pagans who had left comments and links to their blogs; so of course, I felt the need to add my 400+ words to the mix.

The topic of the day was celebrating Pagan ritual in other faiths’ grounds. Some bloggers replied “no way”, while others… well, they were just as outraged. Many proposed that it would be offensive to the gods that inhabited the place, and might even interfere with their ritual’s effectiveness. I, on the other hand, would have to say that it all depends in the relationship between all of those involved.

I used to lead a Pagan Youth club in the gym of a Christian church in the Midwest—there were even some Christian teenagers in attendance. I doubt we offended anyone, especially not the Divine. On the contrary, we had a great time during our interfaith mixers. We used to compare our similarities and differences, and at the end everybody was convinced that Paganism was the best faith ever—just kidding about the last part, but we did spend time celebrating our similarities and working on our differences. We would not participate on each other’s rituals, but would often be open-minded spectators.

But my opinion might be bias, for I’m the Eclectic Witch who discovered Paganism in a library, as told in A Tale of Mythology and Paganism. Also, I have a friend who was geared toward Paganism by a Roman Catholic Priest. My friend was driving her parents crazy. She was so spiritually lost that she found very unsavory ways to express her inner turmoil. One day her parents’ priest approached her and asked her, “Have you heard of Paganism?” My friend did her research and she found her way. She has been Pagan for over a decade.

In short, I believe that location matters as much as one lets it, for one can discover Paganism in unlikely places. Many speak of places that have negative energy, but the human mind, heart, and soul (plus a few good herbs) are powerful enough to get rid of almost anything. Also, where there is love, things tend to prosper; regardless, of what god rules the building. But that’s just my opinion.


Now, I leave you with a modified version of the original prompt: would you celebrate your faith in someone else’s spiritual grounds?



20 comments:

  1. Like your friend, the idea of finding "God" somewhere other than church, was suggested to me by my Baptist pastor about 8 years ago. I felt so much more connected to the Divine while I was out for my morning walks along the river. He was encouraging me to find my connection, wherever that led me.

    That's what I call open-minded/open-hearted teaching!

    Thanks for popping over to my blog!

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  2. It's a beautiful thing isn't it? I've been called undecided and undisciplined because I choose to stay "open-minded/open-hearted". My motto is that although my path is not for everyone, I do want everybody to find that path that makes them as happy as Eclectic Paganism makes me. Isn't that what loving the Divine is all about? Wishing that all that which has been created by the Old Powers to be happy?

    Thanks you too for stopping by and for following. I find your blog very appealing ;)

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  3. I also responded to that prompt on my blog. I was one of the "no wayers". I like how you've explained your take on the issue. It reaffirms to me why I am a Pagan and that the path I walk is the right one for me. Each path, and how we walk them are different, and you have to feel what's right in your heart and only you can do that. Excellent entry!(Even though I disagree on a personal front.:))

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  4. i dont think location really matters...its the heart that is important

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  5. LJ, you've touch on one of those things that make Paganism so great. We believe in living and letting live. The biggest blessing is that we can disagree on this, but still be happy about the other one's spiritual bliss. The Old Ones have created a HUGE world, with enough room for all Their children. Now, if we could all just get along lol.

    Equidae, you and I are in the same boat. We go around with a heart full of spiritual love and we are not afraid of letting blossom in any environment!

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  6. Very interesting...I will have to continue to learn about the Pagan Culture.

    I FAVED you on Technorati, thanks for FAVING me!

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  7. Maybe this will answer what my opinion on the matter is:

    I'm transferring to a Catholic university, and a couple weeks ago I walked a labyrinth on campus. In case you don't know, walking a labyrinth can be a very spiritual experience. And while walking this labyrinth, which I assume was set up by Catholics, and was anyways at a Catholic university, I prayed and did shamanic journeying to my Pagan deities.

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  8. By the way -- it's intriguing that your friend was directed towards Paganism by a Catholic priest! I wish more people were that open minded.

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  9. The short answer to this has to be YES!

    But the longer answer needs to be a bit more circumspect. I don't think of paganism as one faith and, certainly, if you are a polytheist then you shouldn't have a problem acknowledging other people's gods. Nor should a place associated with a particular faith exclude me practising my faith. But my ideal 'temple' is the natural environment rather than a building and some building have been conditioned for worship in such a way that they might be exclusive. Most churches are OK and I've happily sat worshipfully in front of a statue of the Virgin Mary on one occasion and in front of the icon of a saint on another. But some I find opressive and I'm not sure how I'd fare in a mosque.

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  10. Kirsten, (btw you have a beautiful name), thanks for stopping by and or following. I hope we can all learn from each other, while spreading Pagan Culture.

    Sarita, your labyrinth experience sounds super interesting. I hope you write more about it on your blog, I'll keep an eye on it, as usual. I thought my friend story was adorable, specially because she is actually a Pagan Priestess today. All thanks to the little push from a leader of another faith. I'm sure she would have found her way eventually--I believe in faith--but I can't fail to notice that he helped.

    Heronmist, your opinion is always very refreshing, not to mention full of great information. I'm glad you mentioned the polytheism factor. I'm amazed to find people who call themselves polytheist, but are quick to dismiss or frown upon other people's beliefs. If one is a true polytheist--and yours truly is--then mingling with the gods of other walks of life shouldn't be a bid deal.

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  11. I don't know about celebrating but, I pray anywhere, anytime. I carry my faith and God with me so, it really doesn't matter where I do it.

    So, I guess my answer would be yes also.

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  12. I have celebrated in diffrent places diffrent churches and have experiance diffrent religions I think I would be open to any sort of celebration I know I have not experiece everything and I'm sure I prob could not but I like to think that we celebrate the same spirit just in different ways and call him/her by different names.

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  13. I love that your friend found Paganism through a Priest, because that's truly what they're job is. You can't help somebody find what they're looking for if it's not there to begin with.

    Thanks for sharing.
    Skye

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  14. Melissa, I think mostly everybody agree with you (including me). I've noticed that most people have issues when it comes to formal ritual. To me everything is the same, the gods created everything, so shouldn't every place be sacred?

    Klynch, I was talking to my sister-in-law's sister a few days ago, about how at the very core most people believe in the same thing: an All Powerful Creator. She told me that the only creator was the Christian God and "everybody" knows that. I told her, in a tiny village in the middle of no where there is a person revering the Sun. They never heard about Jesus or my Hekate or any other god, so if you told them such thing they would probably laugh and say "Everybody knows the sun is the only God" So like you say, "the same spirit just in different ways and call him/her by different names."

    Skye, I do too. I never met her priest, but I wouldn't mind giving him a friendly hug and telling him that I admire his conviction and his understanding of the Divine.

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  15. Anonymous8/25/2009

    Well for those of us standing in North America. Even as benifactors of concuring expansionist imperialism. We are not on our land even at this moment. The many tribes of the Native Americans or as they say in Canada First Peoples were here first. So Christain or pagan you are in anothers house of worship already.

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  16. Very insightful and I believe that this should allow for more tolerance, but as we both know that is not the case. I love the depth of your comment, in a few words you’d reminded whoever read this to be humble and stop talking about what place is more appropriate for reverence, or to whom it might belong. The Prime Owner of all of the land there is, is everywhere, so even if one might it this and other that, at the end of the day we are celebrating our faith in a common house.

    Thanks so much for your input, hope to see you here again ;)

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  17. I agree that you should be able to worship in any avenue. I do not believe that any divine power would be upset for you following through with your beliefs. I think it is great when you can find places for people of other faiths to come together in understanding and exceptance.

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  18. Awwww, "understanding and acceptance" if only we could find some more of that ;) Like you say, I don't know why some focus so much in our differences when or similarities are a lot more powerful and much more beautiful. But that's the way of the world and all we can do is continue to point out the good things, in hope that more people will notice.

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  19. Connie Mitan12/28/2011

    Interesting view on this subject. I'm not really surprised, though, at the array of opinions on that topic. you can control the energy around you, so it makes sense to think that any location would work, as long as your intent is solid.

    Thanks again for joining us at Pagan Blog Prompts!
    ~Sunfire

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  20. Location, location, location--I always wanted to say that, or type it, I guess ;-)

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