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It Gets Easier. Trust Me on This One.
This morning I packed a basket with Goddesses and Wiccan tools and headed out to the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Swannanoa Valley. I was invited to talk to the young people's RE (religious education) class--they are doing the section on Neighboring Faiths. I sometimes do the sermon at this sweet church and always enjoy the time I spend there.
I began by asking them all how well they'd scored in the Great Pumpkin Candy Berserker Night celebration. Most of the kids know me so it was pretty comfortable for them to talk--since I'm not technically a stranger. I then read part of the Charge of the Goddess and we launched into an hour's worth of discussion on the Wheel of the Year, European tribes, tools of the trade and the nature of the Divines. We finished with casting a circle.
It was fun and the kids were attentive and curious. The little red-head who was sitting beside me had even been to Newgrange and whispered to me that it was "awesome."
In the coming weeks, I will do an interfaith panel at one local college and speak to a Women in Religion class at another. Earlier this week, I was interviewed by four Honors college students who are taking a class in the "demonic." They were also smart and curious.
And, of course, there was an Ancestor Vigil on Monday and a Samhain ritual on Friday night. (In the interest of complete honesty, yesterday I did an energy clearing and blessing of a house and picked up a donated dorm-sized fridge for Mother Grove Goddess Temple--which means I can have cream for my coffee when I'm working in the office.)
October--like most months in my subsistence-farmer/writer/Witch world--is a full month. For many of you,too, I suspect--I am not the only person who is juggling clergy duties with a rich life. But I am here to tell you that it gets easier. Truly.
As you get older and dig into these vibrant spiritual traditions that dangle from the vaguely "Pagan/Heathen" umbrella, I am here to tell you it gets easier. And it gets better. Decades of practice give you a handle on how to deal with honest seekers, scary bullies, dizzily pompous Self-Proclaimed BNPs.
It gets easier as you find your footing. You may find your practice itself getting simpler...and deeper. You may even stop asking all those angst-and fear-ridden philosophical questions that seem to make up so much of online Pagan discourse. You may find that you don't care so much what other people believe or don't believe, but you care more that they are kind and sensible and helpful when help is needed.
You can hit the month that contains Samhain without a lot of sturm und drang, and may even find yourself enjoying speaking to different kinds of people about the spiritual path you love and follow.
It gets easier...unless what you love about this path is the sense of drama you can evoke and your ability to stir the proverbial pot. If your every mood must be reflected in your online outrage, and your ability to ground and focus is not highly developed, you may not find it getting either easier or deeper. You may begin to feel that you don't quite have a handle on this "Pagan" thing--it all seems too complex, too ephemeral, more Air and Fire and not nearly enough Earth.
That would be a pity, to my way of thinking. Because it can be rich and rewarding, this Pagan life. Rolling through the cycles of the Wheel of the Year is very comforting as you acknowledge a time to sow, to tend, to harvest and to rest. And all those fire festivals in between...there really is nothing quite so thrilling as drumming and dancing around a bonfire, as Pagan folk have known for a long, long time.
Trust me on that one, too.
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