No experiences needed

If any of you are still following my blog, you might have noticed lately that I haven’t been posting much.  I’d like to offer an explanation as to why.

When I first became Pagan, I did rituals to the best of my ability.  I tried to feel energy while casting circles and visualize as I worked spells.  I called to the Goddess and the God and asked for help with various things.  I made charm bags and took purification baths.

None of this was very effective for me.  When I became an ADF Druid, I did the same thing:  performed rituals and other workings to the best of my ability.  I still couldn’t really “feel” the presence of the Kindreds during my rituals, or direct energy, or visualize very well.  It would seem to some that I am not a very spiritual person, then, since I don’t have many “experiences.”

My experiences outside of ritual suggest otherwise.  I often have flashes of insight or just happen to guess things (like who’s calling without looking at the phone, or how many times something happened to someone during the day) correctly.  I have also had real results come of my prayers, offerings, and rituals (like rain 10 minutes after I prayed to Thor after a drought), though I’ve never really “felt” a single presence.

What about all those Pagan bloggers, Facebookers, tweeters, etc. out there who beg to differ that you can’t perform effective ritual without mysticism?  I think they are a very vocal minority that make it seem like everyone has profound and intense mystical experiences, and that you’re “not a real Pagan” or “not Pagan enough” if you don’t have these sorts of experiences.  However, this vocal minority has affected me to such a degree that I now shy away from reading others’ blogs, Facebook posts, and emails for fear of becoming discouraged yet again in my own practice.  I have not been logging into WordPress much lately so I can avoid looking at the first page that comes up after logging in:  the Reader, where I can read the blogs I’m following.  It is these very blogs that have been contributing to my sense of inadequacy.  However, I will continue to blog about my non-mystic version of Paganism in the hopes of raising my own self-esteem (an issue I have struggled with for my entire life).

I mentioned above that my rituals are effective.  “Why?” you ask.  The answer is this:  faith.  I know it sounds very Christian, but sometimes just having faith is the way to get things done.  I perform rituals in faith that I am upholding an ancient bargain with the Kindreds, one of exchanging gifts.  I perform rituals in faith that the Kindreds I call during ritual are actually present, since I can’t really “feel” them.  I perform rituals in faith that they hear my words and receive my offerings, and in turn are pleased by them.

The bottom line is this:  religion is about faith, whether Pagan or Christian, Muslim or Hindu, Jewish or Buddhist.

Blessings always, Victoria



9 thoughts on “No experiences needed

  1. It takes all sorts, Victoria! You should keep doing what you’re doing. And I agree about faith. I argued as much in my piety essay I think. My Druidism is a balance of right practice, experience, and faith. Don’t lose heart, girl!

  2. I liken our journeys often enough to walking a path. The thing is, the paths we walk are quite often not actual paths until after we’ve walked them. I am glad to know you will continue forging your path, and I look forward to seeing your posts in my Reader. You are of course welcome to have a look at my blog (hoping it was not one of the ones you ever dreaded to see in your Reader), and your comments there would be welcome. I’ve never considered myself to be much of a mystical person; but then I’ve never really paid it much thought … if I tend to wax mystical at some point, it would be nice to have someone there to call my attention to it 🙂

    Regarding faith, I’m glad to know you have so much of it … and I think it is an invaluable quality to have in any religious practice. Faith is our bridge to the gods; and without it, no magic or mysticism in the world could take its place.

    • Thank you so much for your comments. Your words help me feel much better about my practice. I actually am not sure if I am currently following you, but I’ll check your blog out! 🙂


  3. It’s a shame that other people have made you feel less spiritual. I think there are so many ways to be spiritual, and that doesn’t have to mean mysticism. You’re right that mystical Pagans are a very vocal lot, and can seem like the majority. But personally, I rather suspect that there aren’t as many of them out there as there seem to be. It’s more that they’re just very loud! You are a wonderful Pagan as you are, and the gods must think you’re fairly awesome. 🙂

    • Thanks Leithin, I appreciate your words! The more of these words I read and hear, the more I will believe in myself!

      Many blessings,

  4. A reblogué ceci sur Valiel's Notes In English and commented:
    If one focuses on fact on not the emotional side of this article (feeling judged, fears of etc), it is excellent. I think you don’t need any special “tuning” to perform a ritual even if it is better. It always disturbs me when I attend to a ritual where the person doesn’t “hear” or “feel”, yet I have witnessed the presence of the God/dess invoked “descend” to the sacred place. Anyhow, worth a read (and short!)

    • That’s fine; I don’t use this blog anymore. It’s no longer my path.


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