The Heroic Life
Do Pagans Wear Religious Blinders?
If neo-druids do guided visualizations around seven chakras (that traditionally have no place in anything Celtic), could they work a little bit with the Seven Virtues?
I struggled that night in the church. I felt called to attend their Sunday service in the morning, but I didn't want to participate in a Christian service. I went and sat in their sanctuary by moonlight, talked to my god Lugh, and then, not without irony, spoke to their god too.
The pastor was extremely friendly, and not in a creepy way. He Googled me and knew I wasn't Christian. This was never an issue. He spoke to me as a peer, a friend, and fellow clergy on a legitimate and respectable religious path. I entered their service leery of a conversion attempt or of language I would find objectionable. While it was nothing like an offering ceremony, it was joyful and filled me with hope and respect.
Many of the people I met that morning actively embodied the best part of Christ's teaching. None of them embodied bigotry or intolerance.
More than that, their ceremony crackled with real power.
When I left the church I was full of bua (strength, victory, virtue, spiritual power), just as if I had cast a boat full of offerings in the river to Boann or spent an hour in communion with Lugh. I rode sunwise victory circles around their church and blessed them, taking to the road full of confidence and energy.
My point is not just to accept Christians, it's that Christians have something to teach us. We don't need to accept their savior, but we should remember that ideas about original sin, salvation, and Hell play no role in the day-to-day spirituality of many Christians.
(For some they do; I met that kind of Christian too.)
For a religion that is so open to diversity, eclecticism, and cultural exchange, Pagans are sometimes very narrow in what they accept as meaningful. The Maiden is in; the Virgin is out. Horus, yes; Mohammed, no. The cult of Mithras, with its communal feast and its pope, interesting; the Catholic Church, with its Communion and its pope, disgusting.
Do Pagans wear religious blinders?
And how can they be removed?
Drew Jacob is a rogue priest, a philosopher and a writer. He follows the Heroic Path: the idea that the highest goal is to live gloriously, to distinguish yourself through your deeds, to be clever and brave and become known for it - to use the moments of your life to leave a lasting and worthy impression on the world.
In the pursuit of that ideal he is walking across two continents from the United States to Brazil. His goal: to meet the gods.