Explores the challenges of living and practicing Paganism in a Christian-dominated culture.
Alphabet Soup for Pagans
I'm writing in response to Tess Dawson's excellent post about honoring the differences among the numerous Pagan paths. There are many tributaries of this mighty river: Druidry, Wicca, Heathen, Asatru, Kemeticism, Thelema...the list could go on and on. Even within each of those tributaries, there are several streams that feed into it. Just within Wicca, there are Gardnerians, Dianics, Reclaiming, and more.
I agree very much with Dawson: our paths are not the same path. I believe that the right path is the path that sings in your heart; like Nature, I believe diversity is strength. I don't need to make every path the same in order to respect it.
However, we are linked in some way. Why else are we represented on this very website? Many have tried to find that spring from which our various streams have emerged, but apparently they have failed. We are not all Earth-based. We are not all polytheists. We are not all reconstructing an ancient religion, nor are we creating a new one. Perhaps one day, as our paths have been trod by more generations, someone will find that common source. But really, it's not important.
What is important is that today, right now, all of us are subjected to some degree of persecution in many places. Here in the Southern US (the states of the former Confederacy), non-Christians of all stripes face job and housing discrimination, loss of custody of our children, and even violence for our beliefs. Our oppressors don't care what our internal squabbles are. They will yank a child out of an Asatru household as quickly as they will from a Wiccan one.
We must stand together despite our differences. Since using the label "Pagan" seems to be ineffective (if not counter-productive), let's agree on another label. Let's create a banner that we can all be happy under.
My first suggestion, which I hope will be discussed and refined further, is PWDRT:
Obviously we can't name every specific non-Christian religion, or we might as well use the whole alphabet! So perhaps these might be larger labels that encompass many smaller paths. The important thing is that every label must be acceptable to the people it applies to.
I hope to get more feedback to make this label work for everyone. In the spirit of creating alliances among diverse peoples, Blessed Be!
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