I’ve been interested in paganism for about a year now, and have been doing a lot of reading and searching. I would like to start chronicling my research and spiritual journeying here on this blog.
I picked up this book – Paganism: An Introduction to Earth-Centered Religions by Joyce and River Higginbotham – and have been greatly enjoying it. After most chapters there is a section of thought-provoking questions that (for once) I actually want to answer. I’m going to start listing the important questions and my answer to them here.
Chapter 1 – What Is Paganism?
1. In what ways is Paganism influencing movies, music, commercials, consumer products, businesses, and other religions?
I’ve picked up a few things, but, if they are positive they are often subtle. Most cultural references to Paganism are portrayed in a negative way: crazy hippie people who act like they’re always on dope, creepy witch lady, serial killers in crime shows surrounded by pentagrams and talking about rituals, evil and ugly witches in fairy tales. I think 90% of cultural portrayal is inaccurate to what Paganism is.
What was the first Pagan reference or idea you encountered in the general culture?
Fairy tales like Snow White
2. What was your impression of Paganism before you began studying it?
Weird. Possibly creepy. Seems irrational. What about devil worship?
What do your friends and family think of your new interest?
Not many people know. My mom freaked out, as IFB parents are wont to do, and decided it was the Devil’s work. My ex told me it was cool and then told me it was creepy and asked me to stop looking into it. My current partner is in support of it and somewhat curious as well.
3. Why are you studying Paganism at this time, and what do you most want to gain from this book?
I want to live a peaceful, joyful life – balance and harmony are big. Paganism seems to promote those things that are important to me. I think Paganism has it “right” by not claiming to be right in the same way other religions do. I hope to find out more about Paganism through this book, as well to find out more about myself during the learning journey.
4. Who was the first Pagan you ever met?
Possibly a former massage therapist, not sure.
5. What experience have you had with Paganism so far that has been the most fun, the most rewarding, or made the deepest impression on you?
The deep, intellectual-yet-simple nature of Paganism has made a big impression on me. It’s not complicated, but there’s so much to think about and experience, so much to learn!