Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Trials of an eclectic pagan

I am back in America now after living abroad for 5 years and having a son. During my time in Asia, my spiritual side has ebbed and flowed. I have had new ideas and insights brought to me and I have changed. Now that I am back in America and trying to reconnect with my past and teaching my son the old ways, I am having problems.

One problem is that all these books out for pagan kids are extremely slanted towards wiccans. They only talk about the wiccan idea of god and goddess (to dualistic for me) and only their holidays, and are too magic oriented and dictate how to set up an altar their way.

While I appreciate having any pagan kids education books at all, I am rather annoyed. I know that as an eclectic pagan, there will be no book that has my exact path, but it would be nice if there was one that gave a less wiccan worldview. Where are the books for Druid kids, or Thelema kids, or Hellenistic kids or the Asatru kids? Also, are there modern Taoist, Chinese folk religion and Shinto books for kids? Mix these together with the Wiccan ones and you got me.

I do believe in and use magic, but it is not a major part of my religious life. Not all pagans are witches and wizards and whatnot. Not all pagans believe in the Wiccan wheel of the year. I don't believe in it. I celebrate Yule as the birth of the sun god, and of the god. I celebrate Midsummer as the sun god and fertility gods in their prime. I celebrate the Lunar New Year, not Imbolc (they are around the same time,) I celebrate Buddhas birthday. I celebrate Easter (as in the celebration of Spring and rebirth, not the Christian one) and Halloween. I also celebrate the Harvest (though we use the Korean name "Chuseok," as my son is from Korea, and it happens around the same time as the Wiccan harvest festival.)

I am polytheistic, believing in many gods and goddesses, bodhisatvas, fae, spirits, angels and daemons. Though that is not unusual in wicca as well. But, I don't like how they say that all pagans believe their way.

I also don't agree with their altars. Look at historical altars and they don't have athames and pentacles on them. Some may have chalaces and candles. But all this, "you must have a knife with a black handle and another knife with a white handle...blah, blah, blah." It might work for them, but don't tell me that we "have to" do it their way. Wicca is a new religion, based on old religions, so I know that many things they do are actually new ideas, and if it works for them, then it works, but it doesn't suit me. When I think of an altar, I feel it should be more organic,and I know many other pagans feel the same. We put things on there that we feel are important, divine or magical. It shouldn't be structured, but flow free from you.

I guess I can get off my fat tuckus and make my own books for my son and future kids. I bet there are other people that feel like me, but we just have to make due while the eclectics become numerous enough to make a statement like the Wiccans did.

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