The People You Meet on the Pagan Path
There are always people who leave a mark along our path in our Pagan path. Those people who supported us and who taught us things that, probably, we wouldn’t have learned in any other way. These people are essential and must not be forgotten. After all, no matter how many books we write, how many thesis are made and researches done, there is always space to learn and embrace knowledge that we get through experience and by the teaching of others. That is what I’ll be talking about today.
The solitary path is a path that is often chosen, especially in today’s society in which most Pagan practitioners live in the big metropolis and cities, and where finding a coven is getting harder and harder. These good covens hide themselves more often than you think. And, if covens do ‘go public’, much of the time, they aren’t that big of a thing or there is a high chance that they are not what the practitioners are looking for. Good covens are hard to find. Not only due to their shortage but also because it’s complicated for a solitary to fit their eclectic costumes and already acquired traditions in a group that is as well defined as a coven. It ends up being complicated. Additionally, today’s individualism and our consumer and technological society oft results in isolation from the community around us (in favor of a virtual community) which may lead to a disconnection.
These factors plus the routine and daily busy life of the metropolis leads to shortage of time.
As you can see, there are numerous factors that may stop a solitary practitioner from joining a coven. There is, also, the possibility of the practitioner himself/herself not wanting to join a coven (like my case, for example) .
Don’t judge me wrong, I believe that life in a coven can be amazing and very enriching and, if possible, I recommend the experience if you are so inclined, since all paths teach us something. But, in this article, I’m focusing more on the solitary side of the Pagan practice.
For a solitary, magickal practice requires a routine by which the seeker learns things by himself/herself. We must alone search for authors, read books, research sources, etc. It ends up being our daily lives, so, after a couple of years, it becomes second nature. We know that author X is good and author Y is not that good. We prefer the works of X and not of Z. And so on.
However when we do meet someone who may be able to help us, such as someone with more experience, it’s always great. And, my advice is to take that opportunity. You can share what you know with that person and that person will share her knowledge with you. You can have arguments about a certain theory and, by debating it, reach a common and satisfactory answer. You can read books and discuss opinions on the subject or go to public events and find more people to talk to and learn from or teach.
With the help of others, our path only gets richer. It is still a solitary path and ours in the practical terms, since it is created and followed by us alone, but we always learn a lot interacting with others.
Throughout the years, I’ve met several people (not only online but also in person) who have taught me so much and helped me grow. I’m no longer that girl who thought that Wicca was all fairies and pink and that all other Pagan paths were a simple minority. Today, I have a clear notion of what Paganism is, of Wicca and of several different pagan paths, not only when talking about Neo-Paganism, but also pre-Christian beliefs.
I’m not saying that everyone whom you will meet will teach you something good for you to use in your daily path. But they will teach you something. They might, at least, teach you not to follow their path (if they are one of those crazy nut-heads that go around or a scammer) . Everyone has something to teach you and you must, along your path, learn everything you can from people, whether they are Pagan or not (Yes, even followers of other religions have a lot to teach you, especially when it comes to respecting other people’s beliefs) .
But of course, be careful. Don’t try everything people tell you to try. There are a lot of people who are amazing and who will teach you things that will last for a lifetime but there are also may be people with bad intentions who only want to harm you, scam you or worse. Trust me, I’ve seen people whose only interest in helping others was to gain money or fame or just use that “wanting to help” as a way of scamming them. Always be careful and always be very alert during any conversation. Think for yourself and, if necessary, ask for the opinion of someone older or with more knowledge than you, in whom you trust. .
Life has a lot to teach us and there are so many things to try and learn from. Don’t keep yourself entirely locked away from the world by not socializing, by not meeting other pagans. At first it can be hard to see so many points of views. Some you might even think “What is this?” but that will also teach you to respect others. There is so much you can learn by meeting and by talking to other pagans.
Find some events in your area or, if you are going on vacation to somewhere, search if there are any pagan gathering nearby and plan a visit. Or find an online forum and join up, meet some people and learn new things.
My simple conclusion: Socialize. Talk to people, enter social networks of Paganism, sign into forums and meet people. Learn with them and discover new worlds filled with knowledge. Who knows? You might even find a coven that will be your future family. You never know what plans the Gods have in store for us.
Live life to the fullest; know the world and live your religion.