Religion from the perspective of a Witch
Have you ever wondered why humans are so scared to face life and the spiritual lessons that are in waiting for each of us? I ask this because since the dawning of humankind we have created religions. Religion in all reality is a subterfuge and a distraction from the individual pursuit of spirituality. A state of spirituality is a journey of the individual. It does not require the presence of the many such as is found within a religion. This applies whether a religion is one of the so called organized religions, pagan, or one of the myriad other religions created by humans. A religion comes into existence by the hand of a human, generally a man or group of men. A concept of Deity and the mysteries of life are created and then transformed into a specific dogma or set of beliefs. The only problem with this approach is that it is predicated upon the narrow precepts of one or even a few select humans. This is fine, if such beliefs were confined to the originators of such beliefs. For each individual is entitled to the beliefs that define their personal existence in regards to Deity and the mysteries that comprise this existence of life. But when such personal opinions are then extended to the masses, the concept of individualism becomes mired in the tentacles of censorship which goes by the label of dogma. When this occurs, the concept of individuality is lost. Another concern with such an approach is that those opinions that form the basis for religions are based upon select human perspectives and are not the direct offering of Deity. Of course there will be those humans who will insist that their perception of Deity was the driving force that has inspired the particular religion that they themselves subscribe to. However with literally thousands of divergent concepts of deity that has been proffered since the beginning of humankind, who is actually right and just as importantly, who is wrong? Is there such delineation when it comes to spirituality and/or religion? Does one person have to be right in order for all others to be wrong? As individuals, each seeking their own definition and thus understanding of deity, this self imposed quandary goes away. For as individuals, the belief in deity and the search for a comprehensive understanding of the mysteries of life become a personal pursuit and as such, do not require the approval of any other human being on earth. Paganism was at one time a path that actually encouraged individual seeking and thus a personal sense of understanding. And in many ways it still is to this very day. However the specter of religion and the pressure of peer acceptance as defined by the few have stretched its tentacles into paganism as well. This modern attempt at conversion is commonly referred to as neo paganism. In essence, there is an attempt by some of these modern converts to turn paganism, which once defined individual spirituality, into a religion which follows the same parameters as the so called organized religions. Why is this being attempted when it is blatantly obvious that organized religions and paganism are diametrically opposed in their approach to the concepts of deity and the mysteries of life? The most obvious reason for this forced perception of dogma is the entrance of the many who formerly subscribed to an established religious pattern of acceptance in regards to their spiritual journey. However there may be a deeper reason for such an imposition of foreign values when discussing the parameters of paganism. For instance why does humankind even need the anonymity of a concept known as religion where one can comfortably become a faceless member of a pre-conceived set of beliefs (dogma)? And as already noted, said set of beliefs, which in every man-made religion on earth is defined by a select few. Could it be because there is a segment of society who is apathetic about their spiritual beliefs? Could such folks be personally insecure of what they may encounter if they were to actually seek out their own answers to spirituality? Does this observation offend you? If so, perhaps there is a gem of truth here that you may want to explore within your Inner self. When a select person or group of persons places the concept of deity and the mysteries of life into a imposition such as religious dogma, there is in effect a barricade to any real spiritual growth. The individual loses the gift of self identity because they are pressured into a specific set of beliefs (dogma) which limits any further exploration of the many possibilities that are inherent in un-fettered spirituality. Many man-made religions have mechanisms in place that are designed to ensure that their members do not stray outside of the accepted parameters of belief has dictated by the few. Where is the freedom of the individual in such a setting? And where within the tenets of paganism do such man-made impositions apply? These same man-made religions also have mechanisms in place to cast out those who dare to seek out the truths of life as they apply to their personal seeking and yet are outside of the accepted dogma of the particular religion that one is subscribing to. In my personal opinion such an approach has absolutely nothing to do with any real concept of paganism. And so the push to “convert” paganism into the parameters of organized religion is somewhat troubling and may border on hypocrisy. There is a common saying that “trying to get pagans to come together is like herding cats”. I personally hope that such an analogy retains some iota of truth as paganism wends its way into the consciousness of modern practitioners. Once those who follow the path of paganism lose the inherent right to live as individuals and once members of paganism lose the drive to seek out Inner truths which are not restrained by the masses that blindly follow the lead of the few, then it is no longer a true spiritual path. Rather it becomes nothing more than an extension of the mind numbing control of religion. And those who describe themselves as pagans, in all reality become nothing more than faceless minions of yet another man-made religion.