Day 19 of #100Daychallenge
Tonight, I attended the Galway Pagan Moot. As it happened, I was the only pagan-identified person there, to begin with. We had a very small number tonight and four of them were visiting guests. Two of them didn’t know much about paganism and had questions. It’s been ages since I chatted to someone who knew very little about paganism but wanted to know more. Most of my friends have opinions about pagan practices and traditions. This man had questions about paganism as a religion. That stumped me for a while. He wanted to know what our Beliefs were. My “it depends” answers must have been very frustrating. He asked me questions I hadn’t been asked for years.
When I meet someone who comes from a very Christian idea of what a religion is, it can be very difficult to give them satisfying answers about pagan practice and faith. Like any cultural group, we have values, but they’re nuanced based on the group and the mindset of the individuals involved. In my opinion, there is no such thing as Paganism that can be equated with a religion in conventional terms. I use pagan as an adjective a lot of the time. Pagan practice, pagan events, and even with Pagan people (pagans) I use it to mean people who identify with paganism for the most part.
I’m not going to define paganism here (although I might at a later date), but it was great to talk to someone who forced me to think about my position and to be able to explain it. It is good to be asked awkward questions and then given the time to answer them. It is good to be asked awkward questions when I’m willing to think about the answers. I learned a lot tonight about my paganism, and about my spiritual philosophy, because someone asked me, and I had to think.