Sometimes being a Pagan is simply not fun.
In my path of Druidry, I have to consider the ramifications of every action that I take, in order to maintain honourable relationship with the world around me. I gave up eating meat nearly twenty years ago. I have since given up dairy altogether. I recycle everything I can, even though that can be time-consuming and tedious. I’m spending thousands of pounds on solar panels for my home instead of putting it into a personal savings account. Every day I make choices based on my spiritual and ethical practice, most of which are “not fun”.
We as humans have been altogether far too selfish. Our endless consuming of resources, without thought for future generations, demonstrates this. We as humans have the capacity for forethought, and yet we still destroy the planet, our future and the future of our ancestors yet to come. The world population has doubled in the last 50 years, yet people are still having children, or visiting fertility clinics when there are millions of children already born who need good homes. We believe in an economy that only works when it keeps growing, when we keep spending to keep this mythical beast alive, feeding it with our hard-earned cash. We invest in nuclear and chemical weapons, sometimes unknowingly, through the banks we put our money in. We take, take and take, and virtually give nothing back.
It’s easy to dismiss those people who take a stand for what they believe in, who care for the environment, for whom their religion would not allow them to do otherwise. Call them overly dramatic, call them attention seekers, call them hippies, fluffy bunny new-agers, or just plain crazy. De-humanize them, for it is easier to control them and dismiss their arguments then. Their feelings don’t matter – they’re all just fluff and air. We need to get on with having our fun, for crying out loud, and not listen to these whingers.
I have been called all these things. I defy them all, and stand proud in my convictions. I make my choices based on generations of humans and non-humans yet to come, not out of selfish greed. I will take a stand against destruction of bluebell woods. I will protest fracking. I will sign any petition Greenpeace throw my way. I will feed the badgers in my backyard and pray for their counterparts in the culling areas, and I will continue to write to MPs to ask them to stop. I will eat as organically and as locally as I can.
This may mean that I have to give up a hobby with a certain company rather than see the destruction of a single plant, or give up a weekend away with my husband to go to a rally. My internet time of looking at cute kittens will be limited. My evenings will be spent ensuring the welfare of my animal cousins. My food may not be as easy to get, or as accessible (being seasonal and all), but dammit – I don’t care. This is my life, and this is how I am going to live it.
My Paganism is not limited to circles glowing in the candlelight, the swirls of incense drifting about my upraised arms as I pray to my Goddess. My religion is in my every action in life. It is not mystical in the least – it is real, it is practical and it is me. Whether I am in my ceremonial robes or my pyjamas, my work is important, my connection to the world and my relationship with everything in it equally valid whether I’m waving a wand or not. I may stand at the clifftop and shout my thanks to the ancestors across the sea, or I may sit in the conservatory and stroke my kitty in the growing twilight. Either act is an act of devotion, of dedication to the present moment, to this world, this time and this place.
I cannot leave my Paganism, my Druidry behind. It is me. It is my life. Others may try to dismiss it, but with love and compassion for all things, I hear their words, and I smile, letting them know that I’ve heard them, and then get on with what needs to be done to spread peace, harmony and love in this world.
I stand proud in the starlight, gazing out at the Milky Way and knowing where my place is within that great spiral dance.