I love meeting new people, especially individuals from other spiritual backgrounds who are as hungry for knowledge as I am. I was sitting—on the floor—by the mythology section at a Barnes & Noble last Thursday. I was browsing through a beautifully illustrated book on dragon magic, when a lady walked up to me.
She gave me one of those doubtful looks that immediately tells you that a person is about to ask a question; she didn’t ask anything. She stood there for a few minutes, went to the next section of the bookstore and then returned and stared at me again.
“Oh, I’m sorry. I must be on your way. I’ll move.” I wasn’t on her way. I just wanted to break the ice.
“Not at all, I just…” She paused for a few seconds and focused on a world mythology book. “Can I ask you a question?”
I knew you could do it girlie! I thought. “You bet. Shoot.”
“I'm back in school after 17 years, and I’m taking a religion course. I took it because I thought it was going to be about something I was familiar with, but things have changed since my old college days. We are discussing Nature religions and I have to write a paper on it, but…” She let out a barely audible sigh.
“What do you know about Nature religions?” I interrupted.
“After discussing the topic in class and reading my textbook, I’ve realized I don’t know jack.” She laughed and I was glad she was relaxing a bit.
“Hm… I guess you can write about anything then. Have you thought about discussing the foundation of Nature religions, and how you understand them after reading up on the subject?” I was proud of me; you see, my mind was going a mile a minute. I was already drafting her paper in my head, but I actually formulated a question to make her think about her choices.
She frowned. “That’s the worst part. I tried doing that; explaining the basics of Nature religions from the perspective of someone with a very different spiritual upbringing. But every time I open a book I find something different.”
I believed her; there is just so much information out there. “You know what? I found a quote on The Power of Myth, a book I just started reading, and I think it fully explains what’s at the heart of Nature religions. It says that
‘Nature religions are not attempts to control nature but to help you put yourself in accord with it.’
So I would say that the one thing most—if not all Nature religions—have in common, is the fact that its followers are mindful of Mother Earth and everything that lives in it.”
“Oh man, I didn’t realize; so what Nature religion do you follow?” She looked hopeful.
I smiled. “I’m an Eclectic Pagan who likes to laugh, love and learn, so I follow my heart.”
She sat next to me on the floor. “I want to know more about it.”
And that my Wicked Darlings started a discussion that went on for nearly 3 hours. We exchanged numbers at the end. We are supposed to meet next Wednesday, when she’ll tell me all about her life as a Mormon.
What would you say, if someone asked you to describe your belief system or spiritual path in one sentence?