So, last month on YouTube, MIRTHandREVERENCE did a video answering a subscriber’s question about how her practices and perspectives have changed over the 40+ years she’s been on her path. I really like this question, and decided I wanted to share my own experiences concerning the differences between how I was raised, and what I practice now.
I think that the biggest difference is the use of deity. In my parent’s home, we had the God and Goddess of the Pagan’s wheel of the year. We also had Buddha, Sanshin, and Quan Yin. My father had a shrine, my mother had an altar, and there were small statues set out in reverence to these deities throughout the house.
I never really felt comfortable worshiping deities, and once I had left my parents home soon after I turned sixteen, I stopped. That isn’t to say that I stopped my faith, only that my faith changed. I did not personify my faith, but rather reach beyond the faces and “deities” to the elements and the energy of creation, evolution, and balance itself. This is where my focus lies in my devotionals, petitions, and invocations.
Along that same line is the difference in how much worship and prayer is involved as a whole. I spend less time on my knees in front of a shrine or altar, and more time within nature, bonding and appreciating it all. I also do a good deal of my worship standing or active within nature.
Group gatherings. Meh.
Growing up, my parents attended many group gatherings with like-minded folks. They had circles and they had munches. They sought out a pagan parenting mentor (who you know as Z) to assist them in guiding my sister and I along a similar path.
Other than with my sister? I don’t worship with others. I have no interest in sitting in a coffee shop talking about deity and ritual. I don’t need others energies and intentions and motivations screwing with my spellcraft. Just… not for me, I guess. I suppose you could say that I just don’t “play well with others” in that way.
There is much that has remained the same in the separation of those fifteen-ish years, but above are the most notable differences that have developed over time to transition my faith from that of my parents into something that works for me alone.