The Heroic Life
Incinerated by the Dragon of Karma
But why would it?
The core of spirituality is transformation. This can be stated as simply as the injunction above Apollo's oracle: Know thyself. Or it can be given a very elaborate form, like yoga and sacrifice and meditation and ritual. But it's this essential pursuit of transformation that marks a spiritual path. Anything that distracts from this purpose dilutes spirituality.
In many groups, the distraction has become the centerpiece. When you focus on interpreting archaeology or figuring out the meaning of fragmentary sources, you're necessarily shoving attention away from day to day spiritual practice. Apotheosis or enlightenment is mostly an inner quest, a timeless event. It doesn't care what epoch or culture it's in. (Notably, an obsession with proving you don't need the past is an equal distraction.)
In some religions an emphasis on tradition and history can seamlessly integrate with that inner quest. These are religions that have continuity. "Follow the Footsteps" only works when you have an unbroken lineage of teachers passing down what earlier masters learned. Otherwise it's just relics.
The question to ask is not whether Celtic religion (and other lost traditions) can be resurrected in some new-but-faithful form. The question that increasingly demands my attention is, what's the value?
Why spend a life rebuilding lost chariots, when you could already be riding horses?
These questions are part of why the Heroic Life, not Celtic polytheism, is my religion. I know the answers the Heroic Life gives. Respect the gods but don't count on their help. It's polite to honor the local (or ancestral) gods in the manner of the local (ancestral) culture. But this is secondary to the personal quest. Set out in the world to do the things of legend. This is what legend is for. To do is better than to remember.
But how does Paganism answer these questions? The dragon of karma has eaten the world where druids (etc.) made their home. A new world is birthed before us. Is Paganism's focus on dead cultures an anchor holding it down?
Drew Jacob is the Rogue Priest, a philosopher and adventurer. Travel is his spiritual practice. To find purpose in life, one needs only to wander. The journey will show the rest.
To pursue that ideal Drew has undertaken his own journey. He wanders across two continents, hoping one day to meet the gods. It is his own attempt at adventure.