opinion

Being Pagan in the Modern World – an Opinion Piece

Ok, so today I’m not bringing you information or DIY, this is an opinion piece. May go over well…may go over horribly, but either way, here it goes! I was brought up Catholic. You know the drill, church on Sundays all day, and all the festivals and holidays that go along with Roman Catholicism. I am not an angry former-Catholic, let’s get that out of the way. I still respect religion very much and think it’s great that so many people still find comfort in it. I think the current pope is a bit of a rock star, and I’m glad to see him moving into a modernized version of the Catholic church. All that said, I drifted away from Catholicism at the age of around 12-13. Let’s just say that things happen in a young persons’ life that make you change the way you think.

It was at that time that I became interested in learning about other religions. Like any impressionable 13-year old, Witchcraft was at the top of the list. So I began reading every book I could possibly get my hands on. Wicca, Stregga, Shamanism, Santeria, Voodoo, well you name it I read it. I found great comfort in the eclectic practitioner ways, and that is what I ultimately sought out to become.

Fast forward 27 years. I’ve thought of myself as many things. From Pagan to Athiest, to perhaps even Agnostic. However, I do always find my way back home to eclectic witchcraft. There’s something about nature and the observance of it that is just right for me. So, I consider myself an eclectic practitioner.

Now on to the actual option part of this post. Being Pagan in the modern world. I think we live in a place, where all of a sudden the ‘occult’ is ‘hip’ and ‘in-style’. Everyone is running around with crystals in their water bottles and pentagrams as earrings. Being ‘earthy’ and ‘witchy’ is all of a sudden a fad. Now, don’t get me wrong…this does make it extremely convenient to find decorations and what not for actual Pagan practitioners…which is kind of cool I suppose. But sometimes I do feel a bit jaded that what I consider to be a fairly personal belief system is almost being mocked and abused in the name of money and fashion.  Every young girl is running around with a crystal necklace feeling so holistic and earth-conscious while still eating fast food, drinking their weekends away and littering campgrounds.

This…is…not…being…earth…friendly. This is also not being a hippie, or ‘woke’ or even ‘spiritual’. It’s just not. Obviously, that’s my opinion. The fact that you have a salt lamp next to your bed because you saw them on sale at Home Goods, and saw a post about them on Instagram doesn’t actually make you ‘witchy’.  If you’re not using that salt lamp for its actual benefits (you can google them if you don’t know what that pink rock can do for you), then the only thing you’ve accomplished is becoming a victim of a perfectly created marketing scheme.

Being Pagan, being a practicing Witch, being Spiritual. Is not a fad, it is not fashion, and it is not a consumer good. Burning sage and palo santo just because Pinterest made it sound so very earth-loving,  doesn’t make you ‘cool’. These things have a purpose, and that purpose is not to make your Instagram look better.  I won’t go as far as saying you can’t burn sage because that’s a Native American thing and cultural appropriation, blah blah. No, fuck that noise. You burn sage because you need to get the bad vibes out of your damn house. Because you need to cleanse yourself, your area, etc.  You don’t burn sage because your favorite celeb posted an overly photoshopped picture of herself doing it though.

Anyway, I am happy that I can go to Home Goods and buy a new salt lamp, that too is kind of cool. It’s just a bit fastidious that young people aren’t taking the time to learn a little bit about these ‘fads’. I would not mind if someone would go and buy that amethyst point, not just because it’s beautiful and looks cool in pictures next to an air plant; but because maybe they’re feeling down, and know that amethyst can be a boost to their personal well being, help balance and harmonize the chakras, and even help with insomnia. That would be so much cooler.

Getting off the soap box now.

Love & Light

~Dauphim

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