Lapsed Pagan

So I’ve spent the last five weeks (one more to go, with a possible extension happening that… I’m not entirely sure I want but, money-wise, would be damn silly to turn down) working a full-time contract. Which has meant that Offerings have been falling off rather more than usual: Typically, I would manage to do Boiling Water for my Deities and other People… every 3 days or so. Which is not as frequently as I’ve decided I’m supposed to do it, but is considerably better than my current standard of “once every two weeks or so”.

Not good.

The rain is currently bucketing down outside, and I find myself wanting to ruminate a little about lapsed practices and Playing Well With Others.

See, once upon a time, I was a practicing Christian. At this point, granted, the belief system literally does nothing for me but, for lack of a better word, I do miss the infrastructure. I miss having the option of Just Showing Up and singing along with songs I already know while having my cosmology and axiology neatly confirmed and reiterated for me by 300 like-minded believers (or at least attendees), and a ritualist who’s put a lot of work into making the whole event both slightly entertaining and at least moderately thought-provoking.

I miss having to carve out the time to do Practice — whether that’s Ritual or morning yoga or whatever — because, this basically being DIY Religion, I don’t actually have much in the way of a pre-set calendar.

Okay, that’s kind of garbage, right there, but bear with me.

I’m not Wiccan. I use the year-wheel, because it’s basically the Western Pagan Calendar, and a wide variety of neo-pagans use those dates, regardless of what they’re called.

But I seriously suck at things like Doing Stuff for the full and dark moons. I spend 2-3 years, in my early 20s[1] trying to be Hard Core while also being a solitary, spell-casting, Dianic-esque kitchen-witch. This included wearing specific pieces of jewelry on Full Moon and Dark Moon; altering (altar-ing, hahaha) my diet on particular days; using my compost as an offering-altar; and syncing up my larger-scale food-prep habits (think: making yoghurt, making bread) with the phases of the moon.

Needless to say, I sucked at this and it was all pretty damn short-lived. (Except for the compost thing. That actually stuck around – probably because it can be done 100% on the fly).

And this has basically been the case ever-since. I approach my solitary practice with BUCKETS of good intentions and regularly find reasons to let it fall apart.

So here I am, ten years later, feeling kind of torn.

Part of me wants to beat myself over the head and just Get In The Habit agian of making the offerings daily and generally being “more mindful”.

The other part of me wants to acknowledge that I think about my deities and live my cosmology all the freaking time, that I’m mindful enough whether or not I’m doing the Pagan version of Zen Meditation every day, and that approaching Offerings from a mindset of guilt (which, to a point, is how I end up doing it if it’s been a little while) is probably not the best way to go about it. Wouldn’t they rather taste joy?

I don’t want to be a task master to myself about things that I want to approach with freedom and contentment (as opposed to, say, a lingering sense of “I don’t wanna, but I gotta” reminiscent of brussels sprouts or general housework), but I also don’t want to be giving myself excuses for slacking off[2].

My current plan, and it’s not much a plan (and one that’s rather dependent on my having buckets of time lying around, which may or may not yet be the case) is to up both my writing out-put and my Pagan thinkiness at the same time by writing in this blog more often.

It won’t yet be my “main focus” blog – November is Nanowrimo and the plan for that is to write my first draft of Cultivating Entitlement through daily blog-posts over on Syrens. But the plan is to blog here 2-3 times per week with a mixture of [Foodie Philosophy & Seasonal Recipes] and [Pagan Topics including Significant Dates and Personal Experiences].

Wish me luck on that one. 🙂

– Meliad the Birch Maiden

[1] Who hasn’t?

[2] Oh, but I hate that it really does feel like “slacking off”.


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