Happy International Pagan Coming Out Day!
But… it’s also a Monday, and the beginning of the month (so your rent or mortgage is probably due) and… well, you know. Maybe it’s hard to get excited; maybe you’d rather just keep your head down and hang in there until Tuesday – or at least until 5 o’clock when you can pour yourself a cold glass of mead. Maybe you need a little attitude nudge. This Ankh sure did.
So in honor of this special day, and my fellow pagan curmudgeons everywhere, I offer a little inspirational excerpt from Barbara Ardinger’s Pagan Every Day:
Yes we’re pagans. We meet a god or a goddess and, like Dorothy in the cyclone, we’re lifted out of our humdrum, black-and-white lives, twirled around, and set down in a Technicolor paradise where we have glamorous adventures and discover the true meaning of life, the universe, and everything. We’re special.
Don’t you believe it.
As pagans in the twenty-first century, we may see the world in a horizontal paradigm, whereas the standard-brand religions see it vertically, but we still live in the same world as everybody else. Like everybody else, we have house payments, car payments, and credit-card payments. We work at jobs we maybe don’t like so much, we help our kids with their homework, we deal with cranky computers and nosy neighbors.
As our Zen friends say, “Chop wood, carry water. Meet the Buddha. Chop wood, carry water.” Just like everyone else, we pagans live ordinary lives.
But think about it – the ordinary can be extraordinary! Because we understand that the sacred – call it Goddess, God, Spirit, or Creator – manifests through us, in us, and as us, our ordinary lives are as luminous as the life-giving breath of the Goddess. When we remember who we really are and where we really live, we know with a heart-thumping certainty that the ordinary is as sacred as anything any sage ever set apart as holy or divine.
Each day we live upon the earth can be a blessing. Every day, we can do something to help our mother planet. We can give something we were about to throw away to someone who doesn’t have one and might want it. We can keep in mind the irrefutable fact that we are all descended from the same “mitochondrial Eve.” This means we’re related. Regardless of skin color there are no “races.” The only race is the human race. That’s us. Every day, we can be mindful of our kin, the four-footed, feathered, finny. leafy, and crystalline children of Gaia.
Every day is new. We can mull over a fresh idea or a new way of looking at something (a god’s biography, a familiar pagan festival) we think we know all about. We can get in touch with people who share our philosophy. We can seek the spiritual and find it where we’re not even looking.
Every day, when we are kind to just one person, when we express our gratitude for just one small thing in our lives, we are adding to the collective consciousness of the planet. We can celebrate every ordinary day by being aware that, as Dame Julian of Norwich said, “All will be well, and all will be well, and all manner of things will be well.”
Just a few other places to find some enthusiasm: