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