This article was originally written in June of 2010. I thought I would share it here on Witching Hour Society.
This time of year is always very difficult for me. As a new pagan, I feel I should be out enjoying all of the nature around me, taking in the warmth of the sun and trees in their glorious bloom and the smells of the season. I find myself envious of those who have gardens to tend to and feel I'm missing out on some of the festivities of the season and what it means to be pagan. "I'm pagan, shouldn't I be out and enjoying all that is around me? Shouldn't I be growing vegetables and herbs?" These are some of the questions that fill my head.
For me spending the day or an hour or two out in the sun and hot temperatures would be like medieval torture. I would be physically sick, broke out in a rash on my arms and hands from my sun sensitivities or my back would be in so much pain from trying to dig through the clay dirt to start a garden. Would that help my spirituality and make me feel closer to nature and the Goddess? Absolutely not!
I recently read a blog post from a new pagan, she was agonizing over her fear of bugs and spiders and her reaction to them when she finds them in her habitat since she has a belief in animism. And if it's OK to be a carnivore or should she be a vegetarian. I think when anyone changes their religious beliefs or leaves mainstream religion behind, they tend to rush to fill the void they feel since leaving behind the past and walking a new path. There's an excitement as well and a fear that we may not be living up to what is expected of us. But who is expecting all of this? Those old thoughts and ideas that have been hard wired into our brains re-emerges and guilt sets in.
I grew up in a family who were Christians, some would say we were not good Christians cause we didn't go to church every Sunday or sometimes only went on religious holidays such as Christmas and Easter. What is enough when practicing a new religion? Why are there so many fears of not being good enough?
Right now, I don't even have altar in my home because quite frankly, I don't have the room for it. But would I be a better pagan if I had an altar that I never used? There's also the concern of being seen from many in the pagan community as "too fluffy".
So what can I do to feel connected to nature and to the Goddess? I can listen for her guidance and help. I can take the time to learn more about my spirituality and the Celtic tradition that is calling me. I can be kind to people and support the pagan community and speak out against those who try to demonize us. I can take a quiet moment here at my desk and ask the Goddess for her healing powers to heal the waters and beaches of the Gulf, which I did on Saturday. I don't need an altar to do this or even need to cast a circle to perform this. I just need to feel connected and remember what I do believe in and what makes me a pagan.
I think for many of us who are on a new journey we sweat the small stuff too much and don't concentrate on the important things. We forget to leave the dogma of our past behind us. Something as simple as stepping outside on a cool day or evening and connecting to nature or taking evening walks and communing with nature or the moon. These all might be baby steps, but it's still steps in the right direction. I intend to remind myself of this when I have so many questions and doubts floating around in my head.
Original Publication Date: 2010