Thursday, September 9, 2010

Growing in confidence

I try hard not to repeat myself from my mundane blog since there are people who read both but sometimes they overlap, like when something on my mundane blog has spiritual overtones to it.  But I do try to keep them separate as much as possible.

I'm falling in love with my birds.  I'm not sure what they are, but I think they're finches.  They are swarming my bird feeder, hanging on the clothes line and grapevine.  Scurrying up and down the garage roof, playing in the tall grasses on the back hill.  Hannibal sat on the top of the hill watching them last night.  Not stalking, not tail-twitching anticipation.  Just sitting up watching them.  They ignored him.  Same with Professor although there was a pretty loud bird in the thicket giving him what for as he tangled his leash in the branches.  I love watching them.  I added a smaller bird feeder that I had in the garage and put some water in the bird bath.  They seemed to like that, too.

On the way to town today I saw a fox slipping into the bushes after crossing the road.  I think of Zach when I see foxes.  He used to be so fascinated by them that my online name for him when he was younger (I didn't use his real name for safety reasons) was Fox.  People thought I had really named him that and thought it was so neat.  I hated to disabuse them of the notion and at times wish I had named him Fox.  So I love to see them out in Nature.

I'm going to start a journal of all my daily encounters with Nature.  I'm not sure there will be any rhyme or reason to it but it will be nice to have a record of all that I have seen over the years.

I got a book from the library today about Pagans and their various stories.  I had heard about it somewhere so I put it on hold.  As soon as I opened it up, I saw that I had read it before.  It was during a time when I was still on the fence regarding leaving Christianity for Paganism.  As I recall the book put me on the side of Christianity running madly from Paganism.  Not that it was a necessarily negative book, but with the various people telling their stories, there was a lot of No True Scotsmen stuff going on. You know, my Paganism is obviously the proper, true path.  The others are just playing at it.  Or the others are making it up as they go along.  I had had my fill of that in Christianity.  I really get as mad at the liberals as I do the fundies when it comes to that.  Each side claims the other isn't really Christian because they're not doing it right.

So I ran screaming away from Paganism.

Now, however, I'm not about to run from anyone's opinions.  I have my own; I've discovered the path I should be on so I don't feel threatened because someone thinks my brand of Druidry isn't as pure or without taint as theirs.  Fact is, I'm pretty darned confident of my path and don't need anyone's validation.  I look at Paganism as something that needs to grow and evolve to meet the needs of the people. Not something that has to be practiced in its original form or it's not real Druidry or Wicca or whatever.  I don't think anyone can know for sure how they practiced in ancient times anyway. Or if their rituals evolved with the needs of the people.

I had my fill of a static religion.  I need something that will breathe and grow with time and age.  No more religious corsets for me.

I'm trusting my feelings finally and they're leading me in a much better direction than when I trusted in a book written and re-written years ago with rules that were interpreted by people who didn't even know me.  If I don't trust me, who will?

So what if I don't get outside every day and take long walks or meditate in the moonlight.  I'm a work in progress, growing closer to Nature.  It doesn't happen overnight.  As I've said before, I tend to burn bright and hot and then burn out.  Gradually is working for me.  It doesn't make me less of a Druid or a Pagan if I don't get out there and commune with Nature daily.  What matters is that Nature is never far from my thoughts.  I don't live my life wondering if I'm pleasing the God/Goddesses at all.  I don't worry if I'm measuring up to their expectations of me.  I think about how Nature affects me, the world, the universe and how I can connect and interact with her.  I think of ways to care and protect her.  I think of ways to sustain and replenish her.  When I do those things, I believe I am closer to prayer with the Deities than I ever was praying the formulaic prayers of my former religion.

And I find that the written prayers I do have, take on a more personal meaning for me.  That, to me, is the way my faith is put into motion.

I also find that I think less about myself when I'm connecting with Nature.  And more about community and unity.

I'm eager to re-read the book with my new-found confidence and assurance.  I'm already disagreeing with some of the authors but I don't feel defensive or offensive about their opinions.

I love being Pagan.

1 comment:

  1. :) I'm so happy for you. I think a nature journal sounds lovely, btw. Birds are such special creatures. For the last two nights I've heard an owl hoot hooting once the sun sets. Pretty spectacular.

    Isn't it great when you start to trust yourself? So freeing. So wonderful.