Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time, folks lived in small villages and clans which were scattered about the land. During these times folks came to rely on each other. The trading of skills was a commonplace occurrence.
Common respect for each other was as natural as the sun rising and setting.
The search for spirituality was done as individuals and on occasion, in group settings. The village "witch" or cunning woman was especially important to the village. Her knowledge of herbal healing and her connection to the spirits was an honorable pursuit. At this time in our history, these folks were known as pagans.
Deity was known by many different names and represented many different aspects of life. The values and forms of worship were as varied as the sands on a beach. Freedom of religion was a true representation of life and not the hypocritical standards that we endure in today's society. Pagans around the world embraced Deity as it affected their particular lives and situations. There was no "one standard fits all", for pagans were individuals, and such a constrictive standard simply would not suffice to meet the needs of such folks.
This is not to say that there were no acts of aggression and such. The need for hunting grounds, material needs, and human nature, made such events an integral part of our existence. But then this treatise is about religion and spiritual aspects and not about all of the elements that effect society in general.
The belief in Devas, Faeries, Undines, Spirits and what have you were as common as one taking a breath.
The connection to Mother Earth was a deeply held and natural belief.
For from her, humankind received their sustenance. She was revered in daily life and not taken for granted. Our respect and lover for Her knew no bounds.
And then came along so called "organized religions".
In my personal opinion, religion is a man made concept designed for the sole purpose of controlling others. Over the ages many folks were forced into religious beliefs through such methods as fear, repression, peer pressure and other such means. Ones individuality was forsaken in support of such religious tenets as set forth by the leaders of such religions. Everyone was expected to fall in line and to believe in a set dogma.
Those who retained their pagan beliefs were repressed, shamed, outcast by the new "mores" of society and in many cases, exterminated.
And now we come to today's society.
Mother Earth is crying out in pain and misery. Society embarks on a daily mission to destroy her and her beauty. Common respect for each other has all but evaporated. Our world has turned into a dangerous madhouse where violence is so prevalent that we don't even twitch an eye at the numerous and daily atrocities that take place each day in
the name of religion, politics or lack of meaningful human character. Religious/Spiritual freedom is a sham, a lie that is told to hide the hypocrisy of our time.
The oldest forms of spirituality are treated with disdain. The "newest beliefs" called religion are trying to convince everyone that their way is the only way.
What happened to individuality and the true freedom to choose ones own path? In my personal opinion the only right religion/spiritual path is the one that works for the individual.
And yet everyone is expected to be a part of this religion or that. A faceless soul who is discouraged from thinking for themselves or from seeking out the truths that applies to each person.
Those who seek out the old ways of spirituality are subjected to ridicule, falsehoods and outright condemnation by today's organized religions.
A great deal of time, better used else wise is spent in trying to convince the masses of organized religion that we are in fact seekers of a valid path. These actions play right into the hands of such folks because it validates their condemnation of those who would call themselves pagan.
If one is to be a pagan and in essence, an individual, and then such acceptance by others is in all reality, unnecessary. Being a pagan requires one to walk on ones own two feet and to seek out those beliefs that enforce ones sense of self. No one else in the entire world has the right to tell someone else what they should believe.
Nor does anyone have the inherent right to tell someone else that the path they have chosen is wrong. And yet this occurs on a daily basis. What does this say about our society today?
And pagans are not so altruistic either. In many cases we try to emulate our pagan ancestors in belief and customs. But is this really possible?
We live in a world that is vastly different from our ancestors. Our needs and societal values are entirely different. If we wish to truly live a pagan lifestyle that is authentic, then we need to adapt ancient spiritual beliefs to the society that we live in today. The past is gone; we need to focus on the requirements of
today. This is not to say that the power of Deity is in any way diminished. If anything we need that connection far more today then our ancestors did, simply because of the potential that we now have
of destroying everything we know as life. Our ancestors did not have to endure the artificial concepts that we accept as life today. One of the primary tenets of being a pagan in my opinion should be to
become real again. In essence to re-connect with Mother Earth and all She represents.
Another thing that I have noticed is that all around the world, folks claim to be masters of this mystic art or that.
Such a facade adds to the ammunition of those insecure folks who would deride paganism as simply a passing fad or even worse as an undesirable charade by fringe elements. Regardless of how many years
or how many experiences one may have within the confines of paganism, we are all students of life. In my opinion there are no masters per se. Only Deity is entitled to such a lofty description.
Such claims are generally just fodder for ones unbridled ego. By harnessing our ego we give ourselves a chance to grow spiritually.
For ego is the stumbling block that so many of us encounter but are unable to step past. We talk about the Great Mysteries, well, again in my personal opinion, the ability to see past ones ego is one of these sought after mysteries.
And so in closing and in view of the ultra sensitive and insecure society that we live in today, I proffer the following disclaimer.
The views presented here are my own and not substantiated by anything other then my personal views and experiences. Nor is there any attempt to defame any specific individual and/or religious/spiritual beliefs. But rather a general view of the world as I personally see it today…