As the summer draws to a thankful end, and Keats’ “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” approaches on the Western horizon, it seems a fitting time to look back as the year moves ahead.
While Wrycrow is a new venture for me, my previous blog, Endless Erring, racked up some 200-plus posts. Some of these are definitely not what I would choose to write today, but there’s a few amongst them that I am still quite proud of.
So, while I know it’s bad form to blow one’s own trumpet too much, I would like to showcase my five favourite posts from my three years of blogging at Endless Erring:
This post was a response to a call for articles on the Humanistic Paganism website, where it was originally published. Rather than write about the philosophy of Naturalism, or how it relates to Pagan theology and praxis, I thought I’d examine what Naturalism really means to me on an emotional level:
Naturalism means that I have a right to be here, to take up space, to live and grow and thrive, just as the squirrels in my garden do, or the silver birch at the end of the street, or the river winding its way through town; or the other 7 billion people of all ethnicities, religions, sexualities, genders and nations… at its core, what Naturalism means to me is simple. I have a right to exist. And so do you.
In some Pagan traditions, biological sex or socially mediated gender roles play a part in the mythology and ritualism of the tradition – think of the God/Goddess polarity, or the gendering of the “Earth Mother” and “Sun Father” for instance. But where does that leave those of us who don’t feel strongly inclined to any particular gender?
Nature isn’t confined to a gender binary: there are asexual trees, self-replicating slime moulds, parthenogenetic aphids, fish that switch from male to female and back several times in their lives…As Druids, as Pagans, when we honour nature, I feel we should honour it as it is, not as an anthropomorphised facsimile of mid-twentieth century western ideas of gender and sexuality.
Should Paganism be a fee-paying religion? Does membership of a Pagan organisation make someone more of a Pagan than non-members?
Because, as far as I am concerned, Paganism isn’t really about courses, organisations, churches, Orders, certificates, degrees or books. It’s about your own personal relationship with the land, the sea and the sky, and with the Sacred, whatever you conceive that to be. And that, thankfully, is free.
Druidry, both ancient and modern, has a strongly political and activist dimension. The ancient Druids were advisers to kings, and while we can’t be that today, we can still lobby our elected officials and work to affect change in the world. Iolo Morganwg’s “Druid’s Prayer” calls us to love of Justice, a clarion call for Druids to be active in the world today.
This is not a worldview that says let’s all go and meditate on a mountaintop and disconnect from society. This is a worldview that asks for engagement with the world around us. In modern society, this social engagement is called politics.
How can you be Pagan without believing in the Gods? This post is a reworking of my contribution to the anthology Godless Paganism: Voices of Non-Theistic Pagans, and outlines my own Naturalistic and mythic approach to questions of deity and belief.
I find truth in science, reason and evidence. The scientific method is the single best tool we have for finding out what is real and how things work…Yet I find meaning in Paganism, in spending time in nature, in doing ritual, in connecting with something sacred and greater than myself.
I hope that this post may bring some of that earlier writing to new eyes, and act as a nice warm-up for some of the hopefully more interesting posts I’m currently working on for the next few weeks.