This is going to be controversial, so buckle up.
To define “authenticity” in paganism, I mean (now bear with me here) “contextual cognitive resonance” in our practices, rituals, and traditions. That means that our rituals, our practices, our stories, are grounded in and informed by the here and now. That when your Paganism is seamlessly embedded with the rest of your life, then your Paganism is authentic.
Conversely, I mean that the more you have to screw your eyes shut and pretend, or envision yourself at Stonehenge, or ignore “Mundania”, to practice your Paganism, the more inauthentic it is, and the more difficult it will be to hand your traditions down to your children.
When you turn your back on the Mississippi River to face west to call “Water”, this is inauthentic.
When you are only Pagan on coven night, or at gatherings, this is inauthentic. (Good on you if your taking your kids along, though.)
If we want a religion that our children will be proud to carry on, we must strive for more authenticity, at our holidays, at bedtime, for our rites of passage, in our values, our liturgy, our stories. We must create a deeper and richer Pagan culture. Uncle Gerald didn’t anticipate ANY of this, and it’s high time we started sinking our religious roots, right here, right now.
5 thoughts on “Authentic Paganisms, Part 1”
huzzah! you are right. though I don't see this as controversial… it just seems like the way it should be.
Just as professing to be a good christian seems inauthentic when I see the person steal or cheat after they talk about the wonderful sermon they just heard..
It applies to any religion/spirituality/lifestyle yes? Live it, don't preach it.
“When you turn your back on the Mississippi River to face west to call “Water”, this is inauthentic.” – YES!!! This makes me bounce up and down with yes. My spirituality is embedded in my every breath, my faith is in my every task. Chop wood and carry water. Yes.
I do agree with you on this. I think there are several reasons for the miss understandings though.
Alot of practitioners now don't take into account that alot of Ritual Structure was based off the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, so there was a blending of Western Esoteric Tradition with Pagan Folk Traditions.
I agree with you whole heartedly (if im accurately grasping the heart of what your saying)
Ive always said to others and believe it more and more that Paganism is the Natural Spirituality of Humans. (As an example) If I gave lets say a family of three 100 acres of land. All their needs are taken care of , no bills,plenty of food, water and so forth. And told them to just live off the land. I would think it quite likely that a spirituality would arise which they practice based solely on the qualities of that land and the spirits (and so forth) that dwell their in.
Can't wait for Authentic Paganisms, Part 2!