Open-mindedness and Paganism

I like to think that the Pagan community is more open-minded, loving and welcoming than just about any other community on earth.

If I had my way in describing who we are and what we’re about, it would be “a group of friendly people who want everyone to be able to be exactly who they are, and practice exactly as they wish, as long as they don’t infringe on anyone else’s rights.”

I’d like to think we’re especially welcoming to people of all sexualities, and of all races. I’d like to think that we support same-sex marriage, and freedom of speech, and equal rights for all people. And that we’re true advocates of democracy.

I’d like to think that we really do believe that all people are equal, and of equal value.

Above all, I’d like to think that Paganism is about honouring our world, and recognising that we’re just a small, rather stupid part of something incredibly complex and wonderful. And that what we can see with our open eyes is only a tiny part of what exists in this beautiful Universe.

I guess, saying everything above that I’ve just said, I’m coming across as one of those whacked-out Hippies!

Our magical world

But the world really is magical. I’m not talking Harry Potter-style, EXPECTO PATRONUM! type magic – although that would be pretty cool if it did exist.

I’m talking about the magic that we feel in some of the simplest, most natural acts humans can participate in:

Swimming naked in the sea, and feeling the cold water all around our body.

Feeling the spring grass between our toes.

The intense shock and taste and texture of fresh, ripe mango.

The intense closeness with another person when we make love.

Circle magic

The magic of being in Circle is another level of experience.

Raising and directing energy with our minds, our voices and our bodies can be an exhiliarating experience – a working of trust and honesty and openness between members of a group that nothing else can replicate.

Seeing the results of our work within Circle is liberating, intoxicating – and sometimes scary! The “be careful what you wish for” rule is a wise one to follow! At first you’re skeptical – how can this stuff possibly work? But working with a powerful group soon dismisses the skepticism.

When we join a Circle, or become a member of a Coven, we are asked to do so “with open mind and open heart”. The only way to work closely together with others is in honesty and truth.

I believe this is why the only successful, long-term Pagans are those who have come to accept who they are, their flaws and strengths, warts and all. And when you see yourself as you truly are, it makes it easier to accept others in all their shades, shapes and colours.

Instead of pre-defining roles for others to play that fit with society’s well-defined goals of monogamy, patriarchy and consumerism, we see others simply as – people. All with weaknesses. All with strengths. All with beauty and frailty.

And with our open mind comes a love for others, and an acceptance, that is a gift within itself. Because sometimes the best friends come in the most unexpected packages. And sometimes love appears where you don’t expect to find it.

Happy Beltane, everyone 🙂

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