Thinking About – The Blessings of Being a Pagan
This past year of Lockdown has made me fall in love even more with my Pagan Druid path. It’s also made me even more aware of the gifts of being part of the worldwide Pagan community. A spiritual path is wonderful when life is good and things are going how we want them to go, but it’s possibly of even more value when the wheels fall off and we find ourselves in times of stress and troubles.
When the first Lockdown arrived my daily practice of greeting the Sun and asking for the blessing of the four elements had become erratic, but since then it’s become a regular and important part of my daily routine again. All of the skills I learned during my years working through the OBOD courses, and the Hermetic Magic training before that, have really proved their worth. I’m not saying it’s been easy. There have been numerous times I’ve felt incredibly low. I miss my family. I miss being able to travel and see friends. I’ve shed tears that have seemingly arrived out of nowhere. This feckin’ virus sucks. But I know in my heart I would be feeling so much worse if I didn’t have the inner sense of being part of the wider picture. A living being part of the natural world, a world of physical beauty and magical energy.
It’s even influenced how I see my relationship with the virus itself. If Nature is sacred then so is the virus. It’s a Being, out there, trying to reproduce and survive. Unfortunately, the way it does that means people get sick and some die. It’s truly frightening, but I can’t see the virus as evil, or even as an enemy, but I do value my own survival more, so I held out my arm for the vaccine and thank the Gods for science.
It’s always been important to be aware of the small gifts in life but I have to say they’ve become even more important since Lockdown.
What do I truly need to be content?
What brings me joy is life’s meaning and purpose rather than things, how busy I am, or how many likes a Facebook or Instagram post gets. I hope that continues. Before Lockdown my life was a whirlwind of activity. Seeing that all disappear and then stay disappeared, has given me a very unexpected, but welcome, moment of reflection. I’m not in any rush to get that busy, in that same way, again. I think that as we begin to come out of our homes, blink at the Sun, look at each other and say, “What the hell happened?” we might as a society also ask those questions. What do we want the world to be like after the pandemic? What wasn’t serving us? How can we do better?
It is a moment of reflection that has been forced upon humanity.
I truly hope we don’t waste the opportunity.
We shall see.
And as things begin to return to some kind of normality so too will the world of the wider Pagan community. It will be interesting to see how many of the camps, open rituals, and conferences so many of us had been used to, re-emerge. Will some remain as virtual gatherings? Will some of those organisers, who have had maybe two years away from the stresses of creating camps and conferences, just prefer life without that stress? Will new people be inspired to fill the vacuum? If so, will they be of the younger generation of Pagans, or will it still be the old guard, doing their thing?
It will be a fascinating time that’s for sure.
But I truly thank the Old Ones, the Guides and Guardians of the Grove, the Ancestors of blood and spirit, my kin of the Natural World who inspire and make me smile. From my friends to the gulls outside my window and the dog on my sofa. I’m not at all sure how I would handle these odd times without you. For the Path of the Druid and Pagan under my feet, I am forever grateful.