Pagan Relationship

Paganism is all about relationship, and is central to my Druid path. Everything is interconnected – we simply could not exist were it not for the countless forms of other life on this planet. All life, in scientific circles, came from single-celled organisms that evolved into life as we know it; we all, everything on this planet, have a common ancestor.

Yet we are constantly bombarded by the dualistic thinking that has so plagued our species for many, many years. We often feel separated from nature, from the world, from other human beings, from our ancestors. It is often reinforced through marketing, various theologies and psychology, in most cases to ensure that there is repeat business, power and normalisation.

How many of us have come across the “food chain” concept when we were at school? Humans at the top, able to consume and control all beneath us. Whoever came up with this concept has not slept a night out in Canada, where the bears or cougars can get you, or swam in an ocean that has sharks, or paddled a river with crocodiles, or suffered from a debilitating or deadly virus. We are, most definitely, not the top of any chain whatsoever. We all become food for something, in time, whether it is before or after our physical death.

We are, however, all connected, and it is through personal relationships with place that the Pagan creates their worldview, learning from the land upon which they live, the ancestors and the gods. There is no such thing as a “thing” – we cannot look at anything (pardon the pun) in such regards. When we use the term “thing” we can often objectify it, not giving it the inherent right to existence that animism honours. Many native traditions use the term “brother”, “sister”, “grandmother” or “grandfather” when speaking of a life form that is non-human, whether it be non-human animal, the moon, the sea, a tree, the sky. In that way, relationship is acknowledged and inherent respect is created. A community is created, an ecosystem in every sense of the word. We are all descended from a few ancestors. We are all family. We have the stuff of stars in our blood and in our bodies, minerals found in distant galaxies.

As Pagans, we have to remember this in everything that we do. We have to ensure that we are not falling into the traps of dualism, marketing, secular culture. We have to see the beauty and awe in everything, and live a life that is filled with awareness of what lives and what dies, what threads connect us to the world. These threads will then shimmer with profound awen, where soul touches soul and relationship, true relationship, sacred relationship, is created.




6 thoughts on “Pagan Relationship

  1. These are powerful words and ones though we know, it is made so easy for us to forget if we are not vigilant in the way to respond to and with the world around us and all with whom we share it. It was startling, in a good way, to read a critique/condemnation(?) of ‘secular culture’ by a Pagan and a Druid using those words that certain Christians toss about so glibly but don’t analyse carefully. Christians, at least those I knew and studied with in parishes and seminary, said that one can’t be a Christian outside of community — I suppose in order to keep them coming to and support financially the church (not being cynical or anything); however, this is only thought of in terms of human community, and further narrowed by adding it being a faith community of like believers. The community we must engage with is all of creation and every creature . . . the gods and the ancestors and the spirits of the land. And of course our starcestors in the unfathomable depths and breadth of space.

    • I was always amused when teaching (Biology) in a convent school to be able to point out that the “Community” of nuns was actually a population. Biologically speaking a group of the same species is a population, a community includes all the species present. (The convent community therefore had to include all the spiders, flies, ants etc that lived there!)

      Hopefully, also, any good science teacher wouldn’t have stopped at food chains but would have gone on to connect them together into food webs, where recycling of nutrients is the key. There’s no “top” in a web, just cycles.

      Sorry to be so pedantic but every bit of biology I know supports the principles of druidry. (There’s even the debate over what constitutes life; are viruses alive etc, what about prion proteins?) Biology is all about relationships too!

      That aside, I agree totally with the blog – everything is connected to everything else; edges and separation are all a matter of scale and where you’re viewing from.

      • Oh yes indeed! It does depend on the teacher, and what they are teaching. Primary school we had the food chain, and that was it. Secondary school we had ecology and biology, which explored that further. I really like the idea of community being everything in that area – I did not know that! x

  2. Your post on Pagan Relationship really resonated with me deeply Joanna. Some years ago I was actually shown the threads that connect us with each and everything that exists. I saw them as if they were fibre optics, lazer like beams of green light. I also saw how we walk through them as we move through our lives, often totally unaware they are there and how close they are to us. All we have to do is reach out and touch them.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s