Maybe this should have been under ‘I’… oh well.
Paganism is an identity. I would say that I identify as a Pagan- if I were to tell you that I’m a Pagan you could probably very easily paint a fairly accurate picture about the things that I hold dear and the processes that go on in my mind. I’m not saying that we can all be stereotyped into one group, but you can get a good general picture.
I am proud to identify as a Pagan, it’s something that I like to tell people about. I came to Paganism when I was going through the first big upheaval in my life; I was eleven, moving onto secondary school and having to face the fact that I wasn’t the cleverest or quietest anymore. I had to find a new home, and that home was Paganism.
I’ve always had Pagan beliefs, but finding the definition of ‘Pagan’ in a dictionary when I was eleven finally allowed me to put a name to them. It also gave me an identity that felt more flexible than the one I’d had. Being a Pagan allowed me to grow.
It took a few years for me to settle into Wicca; the identity that that gave me was different to just being a Pagan, it was less respected and more laughed at- telling people you do spells will never get anything other than a raised eyebrow- but it didn’t sit quite right with me.
Eventually I realised that my love settled at the feet of the old Celtic Gods and so began to refer to myself as a Celtic Pagan.
Identifying as a Pagan means that you’re an outsider (not a bad thing), you’re in touch with nature, you’re independent, you see beyond the physical world. It means that you don’t allow yourself to become trapped in the death-cycle of work and money. Your feet are firmly rooted into the Earth herself.