Actually the journey began before this… you can tell because there’s a post before this one.
Confession: I didn’t write that previous post on the date it was posted*. I decided to post-date it so that it would be on the “right” day (or night, in this case.) It feels a little silly, but the whole reason I started this blog was to help keep track of all this stuff. So posting about the eclipse a month after the fact felt a bit off task. It’s not the eclipse’s fault I didn’t come up with this blog idea until this week.
In truth, the journey began in November of 2018. That’s when I first decided that I was going to embrace paganism. Well, maybe not embrace, but definitely poke around a bit.
The previous few months had been very difficult. A good friend had passed away after a far too short a battle with brain cancer and not only did I mourn his loss, but it triggered a lot of fear and anxiety because of my own battle with cancer.
I was feeling a little lost, more than a little sad, and a little envious of those who have systems in place for dealing with such things. My system has always been “suppress that shit and get on with things. And if you can’t suppress it, then get depressed or something.” It wasn’t a good system.
I knew I needed something— something meaningful, spiritual even. As an unrepentant atheist, with no desire to change that aspect of my being, I didn’t see a lot of options.
I though maybe a Universal Unitarian church might provide what I was looking for. but my long-cultivated distaste for organized religion remains a roadblock on the church-going front, as does a my generally asocial-introvert behavior which prefers that I not mingle with strangers if I can at all avoid it.
What I ended up finding was a very nice on-line community of atheist Pagans and it all sort of clicked into place. I suppose it never occurred to me that you could be a non-believer and a pagan at the same time. You’d think I could have figured out that if atheists attended UU churches, they probably attend other churches as well. God isn’t the only useful thing you’ll find in churches, synagogues and temples. Atheists crave community, tradition and connection the same as theists.
I’d always been fascinated by mythologies, gods and goddesses, pagans, heathens and magic, complicated pantheons, rituals, spells, herbal concoctions, and tarot cards. Once upon a time, I might have believed they were real, or hoped they could be real. Older, wiser, more skeptical me, doesn’t believe for a moment that gods are real, spells work or tarot cards tell the future, though.
What I do believe is that deities put a personal and familiar face on big, complicated subjects. I believe spells, ritual and prayer give people a sense of control over the uncontrollable, and that puts them in better position to evince change. And I believe that with a little intuition, common sense and wisdom you can interpret tarot cards in ways that are truly meaningful and insightful. None of these things need be supernatural to make a difference. They work because they make us work and think. Sometimes in ways we don’t even realize.
So here I am, writing this blog to help me figure things out. My path is un-blazed as of yet. It’s a work in progress, but it already feels more true than anything else I’ve ever found along the way.
* I didn’t cheat completely though, I wrote a journal entry that would be the basis of Full Blood Wolf Moon on the night in question.