On Religious Roundabouts

Before I recap what’s happened over the weekend, I wanted to share Teo Bishop’s most recent write-up on The Wild Hunt:

This year at Samhain I’m coming to terms with the realization that Paganism, itself, does not serve me in the way that I thought it did. Stranger even, I’m feeling pulled back to the Episcopal Church, to the God of Christianity, and to Jesus.

I admit, it was bit of a shocker at first. I mean, it’s not everyday that you hear a well-known [and gorgeous] Pagan return to the religion of our oppressors. But, is a return to Jesus and Christianity necessarily a return to oppression? Not for Teo, I would think.

Finding God in Jesus through pagan practice is not entirely unthinkable or uncommon. We live in a world full of gods–as we polytheists believe–and I’d like to think none of them are jealous. Sometimes, one god will point you to another. After all, finding solace and purpose in Jesus the Saviour doesn’t mean you’ll become a biblical literalist or a mean-spirited bigot bent on pushing your beliefs on others. Those are stereotypes–fierce stereotypes that are all so unfortunately true for a lot of Christians–but they’re not all there is to Christianity or Jesus.

So no, it’s not impossible to have Jesus in your life and be Pagan–or for that matter, be Christian and be open to the diversity of divinity (because, truth is, there are so many ways to define what it means to be Christian). Jesus and paganism aren’t opposites, first of all. We know that many of the ancients didn’t think so, so it’s not unprecedented. (The Church disagreed, of course, and that got them into trouble, but still.) If anything, my being Pagan has only deepened my understanding and appreciation of the biblical Jesus, same as Teo. If that connection brings one further into walking the path of Christ, so be it.

I’ve never really understood the sentiment behind excluding Jesus (or his Dad) from paganism. Opening your world to many gods includes the god-man Jesus, too. Unlike the oaths we took at our confirmation rites (if you were raised Catholic like I was), paganism doesn’t demand that you recant any god or way of worship, really. It merely asks that you live your life according to your own terms, the terms of the tribe you choose, the gods you hold dear, etc.

Honestly, I don’t think the Gods care about “religions” as we understand them. The Gods can’t be bothered about what we think about their nature, either. These are our concerns, not theirs. They care only about the beauty you create. They love that, and that’s why they come to us.

4 T

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