Playing at Paganism – I Want It and I Want It Now

It would appear, in our western modern age, that Paganism is experiencing a revival. It is now ‘hip’ to be heathen, and many who were once unfamiliar with Pagan teachings are jumping on the bandwagon, to make sure they ride this tide of popularity.

While I am glad of the resurgence of the Old Religion and elated that Paganism and Occult practice in general is becoming more ‘accepted’,  there is another worrying trend that seems to go hand-in-hand with all things that come easy; that characteristic mood of nonchalance; a lackadaisical, careless, laid-back Spirit that feeds apathy, laziness and a sense of entitlement.  It is the “I Want It and I Want It Now” syndrome; playing at Paganism like a game at recess and then crying when we lose.

The Way, costs. It is not meant to be easy, it is not meant to be taken lightly. People in the past have died for this very belief, for the Earth Mother, for the Old Ways, the Old Gods. The Pagan’s Path of the past was a dangerous, sometimes deadly road.  Our Elders paid dearly with their lives and livelihood, and our current level of popularity and acceptance rests on the skeletal foundation of these honoured Dead.

What I was taught as a girl and what I am learning now, costs me.  When I was younger, it cost me peer acceptance, friends and childhood ‘normalcy’.  I wasn’t out with chums going to parties or joy-riding. I was studying plant Spirits and trance techniques.  I was being taught to be silent, to meditate, to be happiest when alone with only the Spirits as confidantes.  I was isolated.

Even now, as an adult, I still spend most of my time alone. Many so called ‘friends’ don’t really understand that trait. I need that solitude to keep learning, to keep growing and to increase in wisdom and knowledge.  The Way still costs me.  It always will.

I have had people ask me to teach them, saying they are eager to learn what Witchcraft and Occultism are about. I have spent much time on these enthusiastic ‘players’, until I realized that they really didn’t have the discipline or heart-felt commitment to actively pursue this type of study.

They were of that genre  who think that magic or Spirit communication is something you can pick up in a weekend. These same people never completed one single assignment, yet whined later that their Walk  just seems ‘weak’ or that the Spirits just won’t talk to them.

They pout like rowdy toddlers, upset that their desires have been thwarted. They treated the whole thing as a lark, as a hobby, as something to do between internet posts, text messages and the latest episode of “True Blood”.  Their light-hearted attitude saddens me and eventually, closes off my compassion towards them.

My Walk is my life. I am not a hobbyist. It is my passion. It is my life’s driving force. It is the thorn in my side and the balm to my soul.  I eat It, breathe It, bathe in It and dream It. I consume It and It consumes me.  I was asked recently by a friend how many hours a day I spend on this ‘Spirit’ stuff. I answered, “24″.

There is no ‘on and off’ switch.  For those who are serious, for those whose feet walk the road less travelled, the way is oftentimes challenging, most times lonely and eventually, compulsively obsessive.

I am not saying that Paganism or Occult practice isn’t fun and isn’t something to be enjoyed. In fact, for me, my practice is the one and only constant that brings me true joy. The whole experience isn’t all work. But what I am stating is due to the staggering popularity of this revival, there is an overwhelming lack of discipline, reverence and respect regarding  Witchcraft in particular and Occultism in general.

These are Ancient Powers. These are Celestial, Infernal and Earthly Authorities that surpass our deepest knowledge or awareness.

The way we approach Them must be with the most reverent and grateful of hearts. Anything less shows a lack of maturity on our parts, a childishness that reeks of arrogance and narcissism.

Is it any wonder The Great Ones would ignore that?

I have come to believe that really, deep down, there are few called to this life. There are few with the mentality or the courage to offer their lives in exchange for wisdom and self-knowledge.  The self-sacrifice is a prerequisite.  “To whom much is given, much is required”. {1}  Let it be so, and let the players at Paganism become bored and wander off.  There are other games for them, other sparkly toys for their eternally short memory spans.

Let them stay always at play. Let them forever remain spoiled, reticent children.
And, let them stay, far, far away from me.

References:

{1} Bible: Luke 12.48

“True Blood” – HBO Series produced by Alan Ball

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