Monday, February 4, 2013
For those of you who don't know, last weekend was Imbolc (for a little explanation on what Imbolc is, check out my post about it here or wander the internet looking for answers). My celebrations were modest-- I lit some candles on my altar and said a prayer. In that prayer I asked for guidance. I've been in a strange place the last few months regarding my own spiritual path, and I've found myself wishing for more structure and a more solidified identity as a pagan. PAGAN. I've been using that word for years to describe myself, and yet by using it I'm really not describing myself at all. Pagan, after all, is really an umbrella term for a group of religious/spiritual groups that may or may not have a whole lot in common with one another. I've been searching for my own group, a religious identity that matches my values and passion for knowledge, a group that can quench the thirst I have for spiritual balance and a group that provides community and solidarity. I am no longer satisfied with a generic pagan. I want more than that.
At the same time, I've been very hesitant to commit to any one path. Maybe I have commitment issues. I just don't want to anchor myself to a group, hoping for community and spiritual fulfillment, only to be let down. I'm also wary of associating myself with a group thinking that they're legitimate, only to learn later that they're some front group for neo-nazis or something like that-- as a person of color, I want to know not only that I'm not being led to slaughter but also that I'm not somehow leading others to it. Some branches of paganism also has a reputation within the religious community of saying they're tolerant/inclusive, while simultaneously excluding or ostracizing PoCs, and I incredibly frustrating and hypocritical. Some pagans are quick to finger-point at Christians for being intolerant and bigoted refusing to look at their own bigotry and intolerance. Ndeya don't play that. I'm not willing to be a part of a group that refuses to be critical of their own actions, and I'm also not a huge fan of religious shaming.
How do I wade through the bullshit and find my own place in the religious community?
Well, I'm throwing myself right into it. It's time for new beginnings-- spring is coming, rebirth, growth, they are already happening below the surface. I'll be sure to keep you posted.