I have come across many people in my life who are part-time Pagans. Like a Christian who only considers God when in church on Sunday, I cannot relate at all to this form of religion or spirituality. For me, my religion is utter dedication, a full-time affair that seeps into every decision I make. I am not überPagan, I know. I make mistakes. I do fail. I am always questioning, however, looking for ways to improve my life for future generations, for the ancestors yet to come and in honour of the ancestors of blood, tradition and place.
This is going to be a critical blog. If it upsets people, I apologise for upsetting you.
The part-time Pagan doesn’t consider the food that they eat. They’ll happily munch away on fast food while piling on the pounds, regardless of the effect that it is having on the planet and on their health. They do not say a prayer or words, or even think before they shove it into their mouth.
The part-time Pagan doesn’t meditate. On anything. At any time. They live a reactionary life, filled with excuses for not meditating. They allow their emotions to rule their actions, their behaviour often less than appealing. They often act out of fear and insecurity.
The part-time Pagan performs ritual at the seasonal celebrations, and may gather at pagan moots or events, but for them it pretty much ends there. They fill their free time with crap television shows and computer games.
The part-time Pagan does not consider the ethical implications of the life that they lead. They buy the cheapest factory sweat-shop clothing, enscribed with the emblem of their faith, and proudly wear it to display their religion. Oblivious to the fact that the religion they are promoting is simply capitalism and selfishness, corporate bodies and entities, they support dubious industry with the money that they spend. Crystals raped from the earth, animal skins hunted for sport, cigarettes and alcohol. They do not look into the banks that they use, the companies that they work for.
The part-time Pagan does not take care of their body. They do not exercise or eat well.
The part-time Pagan does not consider the ancestors, most importantly the ancestors of the future. They care not a jot for the generations to come, not wanting to sacrifice any of their comfort in the present moment. They are afraid of changing their habits, even for the benefit of all, for it would require willpower and sacrifice.
The part-time Pagan may have rooms full of ritual gear and regalia, but has yet to actually commune on any level with the world at large. They often seek the “easiest” path – to deity, to power, to wealth and fame. They hate hard work.
Small changes can turn the part-time Pagan into the full-time Pagan. It requires a willingness to step out of the comfort zone, of perhaps giving up some of the things you “love” – meat, television, cigarettes, time on social media. Becoming more present in the here and now, giving your full attention to another and respecting them is another step forwards. Stop buying cheaply produced things that will fall apart. Grow vegetables. Meditate. Look at how you relate to the world, and where you can improve upon those relationships.
This is but a start. Sometimes I just want to scream, to shake people by the shoulders and cry out: “This is not Paganism!” I do know that my Paganism will differ from others, however, it is my belief that all Paganism is rooted in a love for the land. Changing any of the above would be a step towards strengthening that relationship and that love.
May we all walk our paths fully awake and aware to the gods, the ancestors, the land and to the cycles of life and death all around us.