So since my first post will happen to fall on Samhain, I’ve decided to do a little combo of what Samhain means to me and a little about myself and what this blog will entail.
So, about this blog. This blog is a little of everything. It’s basically about whatever inspires me at the time. It’s about identity, my identities and how they make me who I am.
As you might have guessed, I am pagan by spirituality, so I think this first post will be a little bit about my spirituality, as it’s a big part of my life. So, I don’t adhere to any one particular pagan path, although Wicca certainly has an influence. But I consider myself an eclectic pagan with omniest leanings. This is a new term to me, but it certainly describes my path and how I live spiritually. It basically means that one doesn’t follow one single path or religion, but instead finds truth in everything. That’s who I am. Because I’ve been on a pretty interesting spiritual journey that has led me to where I am and has guided me to where I am going.
To begin with, I started out Catholic, but I was raised in a secular household so religion was never really a focus around me growing up. I’ve been to a few church ceremonies, a few baptisms here and there, and my grandmother and great parents were more religious so if anything, I picked up on belief from them.
As I got older, belief and religion became a little more important to me and I began to explore and question what exactly I believe. That’s important, it’s important to question things. Questions are the beginning of wisdom– Worf. I explored Catholicism, took some things from it, but on a whole, I found I didn’t really have a true belief in what the church was teaching. I wasn’t completely sold on the whole ‘one god’ and ‘Jesus as divine’ idea. Sure, Jesus is cool, I respect him, but I never really saw him as a god. I saw him more as a teacher, someone similar to the Buddha, who has attained a higher level, and perhaps a knowledge of the spiritual world that few have been able to reach, but still just a man.
So I’ve always had an interest in Archaeology and in high school, I had a slight obsession with Jerusalem and biblical archaeology. This led me to learn about Judaism. When I got into college, that interest grew and when I started going to San Francisco State, I was introduced to the college Hillel group and that led me to begin practicing reform Judaism. I was really into it, I stuck with it for about four years. I was even looking into the process of converting formally. I found a lot of common interests in Judaism, I enjoyed the ritualistic aspect of it. But even then, I still felt like the whole ‘one god’ thing didn’t quite resonate with me, and it was still a little too organized for me. I felt like I was moving away from organized religion because I believed that religion wasn’t a one size fits all sort of thing and I was searching for something that didn’t force me to alter my own beliefs in order to fit into the mold.
I stumbled upon a YouTube video about four years ago now, about paganism. It was kind of an intro thing but it really hit home for me. Everything she was saying was so me! I seriously felt as though I had truly found myself! With paganism, I found myself because this was truly a spirituality that emphasized the individual path. In other words, it was customizable! It was far, far from organized and it was just what I was looking for.
So here I am, four years later, and truthfully, I still feel like a beginner. It’s mostly because I don’t know any other pagans except for those I’ve met online, so my practice has been pretty solitary. As far as diety, I’ve never felt called to worship any particular gods or goddesses until very recently. This is because that while I never believed in the ‘one-god’ thing, I’ve also never believed it was necessary to worship pantheons because I’ve always taken my prayers directly to the Universe itself. That is what I believe the true God is, the Universe. But I also believe that all other gods are aspects of this one essence.
Lately, however, I have begun to explore different pantheons. I find that my own ancestors have been speaking to me and I have been on a path to find my one true pantheon which will help me bring my prayers to the Universe better. My ancestors include the Aztecs, the Anasazi, the Celts, and the Romans, but my pantheon, as it begins to take shape, isn’t confined to these traditions. I’ve been exploring deities from Greek, Norse, Egyptian, and other traditions as well. I’ve also begun to incorporate aspects of Indigenous and Eastern traditions as well.
So, that’s where I am right now, spiritually. I’m always exploring my path and always evolving, and that’s what I love about being pagan. It’s a spirituality which acknowledges a constant growth and emphasizes the individual and the idea that spirituality is a personal thing, no two individuals will really ever be alike spiritually, and we all find our own truths.
Okay so Samhain, since this blog went on way too long, I’ll keep it sort and make a larger thing on it next week. But the sabbats and the seasons are a very important part of my path. Unfortunately, I live in Southern California, and we don’t exactly have a four seasons climate here, so it can be hard for me to usher in the seasons the way I feel they need to be addressed, but I try my best. But basically, the sabbats are how I honor each season, once at the beginning of change, and twice in the middle of the season. So at Samhain, we are in the middle of Autumn. We are at a time when the leaves have fallen, the animals have been butchered in preparation for the long cold winter, and the hunted animals have moved on. The crops are bare and nothing is growing (Except here in California, but we’ll ignore that for now. It’s the thought that counts.)
So this is Samhain, a time to reflect on death itself as an end to this life. But this ending is not permanent. My Aztec ancestors believed that in endings there are also beginnings, that light needs dark, so we embrace the darkness to come and know that it has to come in order for new life and light to come. So we reflect on what came before at this time and we know that the barrier between this reality and the spiritual world may be a little thinner at this time.
So that is what Samhain means to me, a time to honor death itself and to remember those who came before. It’s a great time to reflect on your ancestors.
Until next time!