Today, I awakened from my daily slumber to a notification on my phone from Instagram. I’d received a direct message. It’s not something I get on Insta very often. But when I do, I enjoy them – especially when they’re people who seem to enjoy the same things I do. The direct message came from a follower (whom I might start calling a fan after this) who said, “I enjoy following you because you don’t seem pretentious about your faith.”
If he only knew, right?! No, I’m kidding. Seriously, I’m not very pretentious about my faith. I have been in the past, for sure. But things have changed for me over the years. I chalk it up to the fact that people tend to mature in the faith the longer they’ve been at this stuff called Witchcraft. And that leads me to the real reasons I’m not so very pretentious about my old Pagan faith.
It’s not my job to tell you how wrong your practice might be. I didn’t write your Tradition’s rituals or pen the scrolls that define your faith. It’s none of my fucking business how deeply connected you feel to the Deities (or Deity) that you’ve brought into your practice. Whether you define your spirituality as a practice (as in, the craft of spellwork, being a Witch) or a religion (as in, the ritual worship of one or more external entities) is not my call to make. I personally define my magical practice as a Craft and my interaction with various Spirits or Deities as my spirituality. But that’s my personal definition, and it is not my place to impress upon you to use the same definitions.
I have fun with my faith. Because my faith is fun for me. I get to dance with spirits and sing with trees. I get to fingerpaint with faeries and dig the dirt with the gnomes.
Yes, there’s a pic on my Instagram that says, “The Devil is my boyfriend!” Because He is! When I say that, I’m actually talking about a pre-Christian being with a whole plethora of names who has nothing to do with the Satan of Churchianity (other than the fact that they tried to trample Him down into some malevolent figure of ultimate evil). What you choose to believe about Him is up to you. I prefer to stick with my inner knowing, which says that He is a being of beauty and strength and love who ultimately desires for humanity to live up to their full potential, to attain to their every dream and live in the natural balance that was Life before we destroyed our planet.
Am I pretentious? Maybe a little. But only insomuch as I can’t stand to be lumped together with ridiculous modern ideas. All of Wicca is not rainbows, butterflies and Unicorn poop.
We’re not all “fluffy bunnies” who don’t recognize what Nature is really all about (i.e., the process of attaining to homeostasis, or wholeness). It’s not even really about “balance,” when you think about it. Balance is all about maintaining a level of equality between light and dark, heavy and light – opposites.
But what if there are no opposites? In other words: everything is the same, all part of the One Big Whole, and it’s not our job to maintain balance, but to strive for homeostasis – wholeness. How we achieve that depends upon our faith, and our faith is only really definable by that which we find within ourselves, isn’t it?
As Doreen Valiente wrote in The Charge of the Goddess, “If that which you seek you find not within yourself, you shall surely never find it without.”
Am I irreverent? Yes. Sassy? For sure! Does it matter? Nope. At the end of the day, not one of those Deities we proclaim to be The Big Deity is going to give a rat’s ass about how collected and conservative we are, or about how much we policed and corrected the rest of the Pagan community. In fact, how in the hell do we know? Who are we to say? At the end of the day, there may not even be a fucking “end of the day!”
Live your life. Trod the Starry Road as best you can. Learn from others. Teach what you can. But don’t let it define your relationships with other people, or determine which ones you can have and which ones you can’t. That’s how you can say, “I’m not pretentious about my faith.”