“We are our deeds” – Heathen saying.
I’ve been silent of late, I know. Mental illness has taken its regular sacrifice of my energy and resources, and thankfully, for now at least, buggered off again from whence it came.
The enforced time away from engaging on the blogosphere and social-meedya world has given me time to think, which has been nice. And time to walk outside and potter in the garden, which has been nicer.
It has led me to remember that internet Paganism is not Paganism. Thinking about Druidry is not Druidry. Writing about Witchcraft is not Witchcraft.
We are our deeds.
Imagine loving heavy metal music (not hard, I really do). Imagine being someone who listens to it every day, who reads Metal Hammer every issue, who goes to concerts every chance they get and watches live dvds or videos every week. Now imagine looking at your favourite band and thinking “I could do that”.
Would all that reading and watching and thinking make you a rock star?
Nope. First you probably need to pick up a guitar and learn a few chords.
It’s the same with Druidry, for me at least. It’s so enticing and so easy to immerse yourself in Druid and Pagan ideas as a mental exercise, found within the pages of books, the posts of blogs, the videos of other Pagans talking about their paths. Thinking, reading, watching, writing. None of those make me a Druid.
First, I probably need to go and sit under a tree.
I had the great pleasure of going to Leaping Hare over the weekend, a Pagan event organised by the local East Anglia branch of the Pagan Federation. There were some amazing speakers, including both of my Druid College tutors Joanna van der Hoeven and Robin Herne, but above all the sense I was left with from the day was of being in a room full of people who were not necessarily Pagan writers and thinkers, but were everyday, ordinary, Pagan do-ers. People who walked the walk, who were Pagan.
Which takes me to the practice of the title. How do I become more Pagan each day? By practicing Paganism each day.
It’s not flashy or sexy, it’s not about wearing a robe and calling myself some sort of Grand Arch Pendragon Druid of Albion, it’s about practicing. The same as our heavy metal friend earlier, struggling away on basic chords. It’s about doing those basic things – meditation, devotion, action. And then getting up tomorrow and doing them again. And again. Until they become simply part of how you live, who you are.
There’s a reason we talk about being a “practicing” Pagan (or Druid, or Witch or what have you). Because it is practice. And in any practice, you make mistakes, have good days and bad days, improve, fall back, feel overjoyed, feel like giving up. But you keep practicing. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. Keep trying to find ways to make Paganism not just a nice idea to think about, but something practical to do, to live, to work.
We are our deeds.
It’s time to practice.