Ok, my mind still keeps coming up with new questions for me, this is good. We all need to stop now and again and recharge our batteries so to speak, check we are going in the right direction for the life we want. All to often in the past I think I've been guilty of not paying enough attention but just trying to fit in with what society expected and following the path of least resistance. May be it's spring and the thoughts of renewal but I've notice that many in the pagan blogging world are also stopping to refocus and figure out what is important to them in their life now. You might like to check out these posts on The Deepest Well by Aine and At the Well of Mimir by Skye, which are both thought provoking. There are a couple more people I follow in the pagan blogging world who have stated they are changing the direction of their blogs to reflect how they are now feeling. I wonder if as pagans we are more able to stop and then redirect ourselves if we think we are going in the wrong direction? After all many of us have all ready taken the decision to leave the flock and not just follow unquestioningly.
I once read (and I'm sorry I can't remember where) that paganism was religion with homework, it's something we have to work at and find the answers for ourselves. We don't have a book to follow and for many there is no central figure telling us that we should be doing things certain ways. Yet having said that, many of us still feel that there are certain 'rules' that as pagans we are inclined to follow. Things like the wheel of the year and rituals, etc are repeated in most books. Aine makes some very good points about this in her post (see the link above). Most of the different pagan religions around today try to follow and are reconstructions of the religions we believed our ancestors practiced. Being inspired by the religions of our ancestors is one thing but trying to faithfully recreate that religion is very difficult and I'm starting to wonder if that is the right thing to do. To start with we just don't know for sure how they celebrated their religion, we can gather clues from what written sources there are but they are few and far between. Theirs was a religion that was pass down through the generations by the spoken word. What information we have of any religion is often written long after events describe, by people who may have taken a bias view of those events or even changed them to suit their own agendas, from such a difference in time we can not even be sure that we are interpreting correctly these sources.
Anyone who's read any of my posts will see how important showing respect to my ancestors is to me, drawing inspiration from what we know or think we know is good, but I want a life that's authentic to me now. We do know from archaeological research that our ancestors over time changed how they lived, worshiped, and their rituals over such things of how they buried their dead. These changes came about due to new discoveries, the movement and the mingling of people and fresh ideas, as well as changes in environment and the climate of the times they lived in.. The human race seems programed to always move forward, for thousands of years that movement was slow, now it could be argued that we are moving forward far to fast and we need to slow down. We have gone so fast I think we have become disconnected with the earth as a whole, we somehow now see ourselves as separate rather than have any connection. Many humans it would seem, now think we can control nature and we have become superior over it, instead of part of it. Science is the only thing that matters, faith is seen as for the ignorant, but do they really need to be separated? Many peoples lives have been helped by science but if we lose all connections with the earth what is the value in the life?
I want to be inspired by my ancestors, to reconnect with the values I think we are in danger of losing. Re new my connection to the earth and it's natural magic, rediscover the old gods and their meaning in my life. I must do all this though as the person I am now. Just like my ancestors I need to re-adjust my practice and rituals to reflect the world around me.