This will likely surprise none of my remaining readers, but this will be the last post on Wildseed Within. As with previous blogs, I’ve greatly appreciated the space WW has provided for exploring my spirituality and for connecting with others who are exploring similar spiritual landscapes. But I’ve developed answers for many of the spiritual questions I grappled with in my 30s, and continuing to work those values, views, and practices out in public no longer seems very interesting or desirable. First, as Modern Minoan Pagan author Laura Perry notes in a recent post, it’s nearly impossible to translate spiritual experience into a blog post:
There’s a thing in religion called mystery. It’s often written with a capital M: Mystery. It’s what happens inside you, how you are changed by interaction with the divine. And no words can contain the Mystery. It’s an experience, not a solid object that can be weighed and measured.
Moreover, I feel that some deeply formative, beautiful spiritual experiences about which I’ve written lost a bit of their sparkle in the telling.
I treasure the online friendships I’ve made in the Pagan blogosphere, but at present I feel a strong call to sink my roots into local, face-to-face communities and to focus my limited time and energy in a few significant areas. Recent activist gardening work, growing as a mental health clinician, engaging with my UU church community, and taking care to finish raising my kids and nurture my marriage in a mindful and earth-centered way come first to mind. A middle-aged approach to take perhaps, but if aging means knowing my limits, such that the experiences remaining to me are deeper, then I’m all in.
I imagine that I’ll keep writing about something, because I always do, but I can’t authentically keep writing about Paganism, because I no longer think I am Pagan. If I’ve learned anything from facilitating public ritual for “Pagans” at my local UU church, it’s that Paganism isn’t a religion. Instead it’s a collection of interest groups with (sometimes) related views, values, and practices. (OT: Not unlike the Democratic Party.) To be honest, I’ve struggled to create circles that both (a) appeal to Wiccans, shamanic practitioners, drummers, New Agers, Goddess worshipers, neo-animists such as myself, and other Pagan-curious folks who show up; and (b) induce the altered states in which magic happens. If at some point in the future I decide to engage with Pagan-flavored spiritual community again, I’ll be looking to engage with communities based in a shared practice, not in Pagan identity.
Please accept my deepest thanks for your time and attention, which are the holiest gifts any of us have to give, and let me know if you’d like to stay in touch.