This topic was designed to get people talking about Paganism around the world – the Southern hemisphere and its different seasons, the native religions of different countries but instead we ended up talking about closer to home – our experiences of London vs. our experiences of the rural.
So where is the best place to be Pagan?
Some of the reasons we came up with for the meaning behind practising witchcraft and Paganism in the country:
- Peace and quiet – an aid to reflection and feeling at unity with nature, the removal of distraction and sense barriers such as noise and pollution.
- More space and opportunity to work outdoors
- Historical spaces – forests, hills etc. with a history of magic, the power built up by the repeated use of a space for magic.
- And what it means to be Pagan in the city:
- More effort goes into outdoor workings – planning, travelling, an escape from the mundane into a different environment (but then maybe this shouldn’t be?)
- Appreciation of nature is heightened when its features are less obvious – the increased beauty of a green space nestling among buildings.
- Urban magic – transport nodal points as the ‘new’ crossroads and liminal spaces, traffic as a city spirit, city-dweller traditions and rituals, moving magic into modernity.
- Our own Ellie wrote an article about being an urban witch in the esoteric journal Abraxas – look it up!
We did talk about world Paganism though, and how it can remain unified in such diversity. People adapt their practices to their local deities, the sabbats they mark to their own real life seasonal shifts. The calendar is not the chief of accuracy!
The conclusion we came to is that Paganism is above all, pluralistic. It allows for different paths and accepts that these all co-exist. It must allow for adaptation to circumstances. It is by definition by the organic spirituality that sprung up from the world with no single source and developed into the religions of the world, and if it has no single source, it becomes the product of whatever sources influence its followers – your Paganism is borne of your influences, wherever you may be.