Thinking a lot today about deep Paganism: what it means to live in the world a fundamentally different way, in connection and relationship with and celebration of Life and reality. In wisdom, and generosity and kindness, in joy and pleasure, and in responsibility and respect.
At that level, Paganism isn’t even conducting rituals. It certainly isn’t collecting ritual tools or rocks or books or echo-chambering to “belong” in the Pagan community.
And it doesn’t involve gods of any scale.
This is so much larger than that.
I think that, steeped in the Overculture as I am, I can only see this Way in moments. A-HA kinds of moments, chorus-of-angels moments when suddenly the world seems to open before me and speak. I have found in these moments the portal to a kind of transcendence, as if for an instant I am not just a human living his little time but something timeless, something that can really see the big picture.
As I have said before, I believe there are three core lessons that lead to a wise life: The Big OK, The Big Thank You, and The Big Wow.
The first: acceptance of the world as it is. We can make all effort for a better one, and should, but we must also not deny that it is as it is.
The second, gratitude. From pate to soles, gratitude for the tremendous gift that is this life and its experiences.
Finally: WOW. It’s all so amazing, so fantastic, so beautiful. Down to the tiniest scales and up to the largest, this achingly beautiful Universe leaves me with nothing but: WOW.
That’s Paganism, for me: a deep and profound relationship with the wonder of nature, of reality. It is so much more than formula rituals and dressing in velvet. And it has nothing to do with fantasy.
It’s a world my America-infused brain can barely comprehend.
This view is so ephemeral–so ecstatic–it’s really hard to describe. But this is the root of what I mean when I talk about Atheopaganism. The ritual forms and so forth are the exoteric (external) bits; the internal, esoteric knowledge/perspective/what-have-you is the deep tradition, the core wisdom.
If anything I have to say is of value, it is this.
Image: The Hubble Ultra Deep Field image, a nearly 4-month exposure showing an estimate 10,000 galaxies in a region of apparently dark space.