As indicated in my previous post about What is ‘pagan’ I am reproducing here the essay “I am Pagan” by Norman G Geldenhuys as a very good, all round ‘definition’ of what being pagan means. However note that pagans are diverse. They may align with some, or all, of what is written here. Being pagan is very individual but carries the common thread of respect for the Earth and all who live on Her.
I am Pagan
I walk this Earth, sampling with thanks and pleasure the gifts She offers. I weep at the ravage as Her bountiful resources are raped and plundered. I shun the ways of the young and restless, who seek gratification in financial means only, and I abhor, as nature abhors a vacuum, the mindless collections of the materialistic. For my ways are simple, and my needs are few. My pleasures cannot be bought for any price, only those on the path may attain them. The breathtaking beauty of a sunset, and the glorious splendour of a full moon, bind me, and make me one with the cosmic greatness of the universe. I know, as do my kin, that at these mystic times, I am infused, nay, blessed with the greatness and wonder of the Lady, She who walks the heavens, She who is the Mother of all.
I celebrate the changing seasons, and accept that in all endings there is a beginning, and in all beginnings an ending. I know that the process of death starts at the moment of birth, and that beyond death is constant rebirth. I embrace all that follow my path as brother and sister, and shun not those on other paths. For in our diversity, is it not so, that when things come to pass, all who worship, no matter the path they followed, seek to embrace the same Greatness and Glory? Neither do I seek to condemn, or convert those on alternate routes, to travel on mine. For mine is the way, found after a lifetime of search, of many schools, and much deliberation and prayer, which wears my frame well, which allows me to say, with gratitude, during worship, “I am home, I belong”!
I do not differentiate on the basis of colour, sex or creed, but respond harshly to ignorance and dogma. Intolerance of the sexual or religious preferences of others is avoided at all costs. All life is revered, and I contain the dust of the Cosmos, indeed, the stuff of the Stars is as much a part of me as it is all creatures on the planet, all creatures large and small. I work therefore, in my own small way, to redress where possible, the imbalance and havoc wrought by man in his race for riches. I acknowledge that the soil in my garden is a few million years old, and that I am its custodian. As such, I work to ensure that the legacy I leave my children’s children will benefit mankind, and not result in an ecological nightmare. I plant, with great love, trees for the future children of our Mother, trees that will only achieve full maturity in ten normal lifetimes.
I work with unseen elements, and utilise what I need from them, bending their forces to my will. I seek never to do harm to any with my working, and do not perform unsolicited work under any conditions. I will help any soul who seeks me out, irrespective of his religious inclination, and accept naught but thanks for duties performed. During worship, or periods of meditation, I commune with the Mother, giving thanks for Her bounty, or asking for Her blessing on my endeavours. Work is performed at these times for the benefit of the planet, others, or myself. You, who may follow another path will call this prayer, I simply call it Magick.
When you find breathtaking beauty in nature, and are moved to weep with joy at its splendour, when you are filled with the wonder of the new life, born into your hands, small, wet and helpless, and know that a Creator of infinite power was involved in the process, when you feel one with the greatness of the Cosmos, feeling the raw power of the elements, untamed, boiling in your soul, when you are one with yourself, the Universe, and your Creator, you are well on the way to fulfilment. Your path may differ in concept from mine, your system of belief may be of another discipline. It matters not what we call it, for the succour and communion it feeds our souls is all important. You may even have a name for your path, which you carry with pride. For myself, I am simply a Pagan.
Do not weep for me, for I am not lost. Do not pray for the redemption of my eternal soul, it is in good hands, and well cared for. Do not envision my eternal damnation in an everlasting Hell of your own making. Above all, if you must pray, do not pray for me, for although I welcome your attention, and concern, I would, if I may, divert your erstwhile prayers for myself into a more fruitful channel. Let us join, in our diversity, to form a common purpose, let us walk together in common prayer for the abolition of prejudice, the elimination of child abuse, the removal of the stigma of bigotry and intolerance, the return of the planet to our future generations with a feeling, that when we pass to the other side, that in some small way, you and I have, despite our differences, stood up and been counted, and have left for the future generations a legacy they will be proud to perpetuate.
© Norman G Geldenhuys – 1975
Peace and blessing to you all.