Personal Paganism: first thoughts

worshipnatureThe Dedicant Path textbooks call this requirement “personal religion” but I have issues with the “r” word and prefer to talk about my Druid practice in terms of spirituality or philosophy, which sort of sets me apart from what ADF are all about.

ADF is based around the concept of “hearth cultures”, various Indo-European forms of Paganism that are all practiced within ADF as a whole. Dedicants are encouraged to choose one hearth culture to explore during their DP work, but this does not mean that you’re locked in to that one culture forever.

For my DP, I began with looking into a Gaulish/Celtic hearth culture, and shifted to a Norse one following an experience I had whilst meditating by a fjord in Norway. While I have loved exploring the Norse hearth, and find it beautiful and fascinating, I am starting to be drawn back towards a more Celtic, Druidic practice these days. I don’t know if I’ll stick with the Norse hearth after finishing the DP, switch to a Celtic focus, or find a way of combining the two. I’ll certainly always have my little Thor statue on my home shrine!

My personal Pagan practice is generally pretty unstructured, apart from formal rituals for the High Days. I greet the sun each morning with a simple greeting:

“Hail to Sunna, bright lady of the morning. Hail to the powers of land, sea and sky. May this day unfold in peace.”

And before sleeping, I greet the moon in similar terms:

“Hail to Mani, silver watcher of the evening. Hail to the powers of land, sea and sky. May this night unfold in peace.”

Most days I do some form of meditation, whether that’s five minutes seated by my home shrine or else walking meditation down by the river on my lunch breaks.

Other than that, there is very little I do that is formally “Pagan” but I feel that I practice my Paganism through day-to-day things like recycling, feeding the birds, composting, reading about science and nature, watching nature documentaries, cooking, walking, cycling etc.

My Paganism is definitely nature-centred rather than religion or deity centric, which makes sense for an agnostic Pantheist type like myself! For me, Paganism isn’t about worshipping ancient gods or performing arcane rituals, it’s about loving the Earth and living a good life.

It’s a simple set of practices, but it’s enough for me at the moment.

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