Why I Am a Pagan

Clonegal Castle. Image by Christine Kraemer.My reasons for being a Pagan have changed over the course of the years. In the beginning, was attracted to Paganism because I felt divinity in the earth and in my body. I was attending an earth-centered Christian church at the time, and the people there were the first ones to tell me I was Pagan—not in an attempt to make me go away, but as a celebration: “How wonderful you’re here helping us!” I have had a sense that both that community, and the Christian spirits I had tried to worship, gently and respectfully handed me over to the primal and sometimes terrifying gods I honor now.

For some years after that, my Paganism was largely about self-development, so that I could better be of service to others. Pagan traditions gave me both the tools to find joy and ecstasy and a theological understanding that pleasure was my birthright. Without having found joy in myself, all my attempts at helping others were poisoned.

Now, I am Pagan because no other way makes sense. The living world speaks to me in every moment. My Paganism teaches me how to listen to that world, and also how to respond.

This post is a contribution to Patheos’ Blogger Challenge, asking writers to explain their religious choices in 200 words or less.

Other responses from the Pagan Channel: Steven T. AbellYvonne AburrowJohn BeckettAine LlewellynAngus McMahanJason MankeyJen McConnel, Kathy NanceSarah TwichellSam WebsterGus diZerega.

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About Christine Kraemer

Christine holds a PhD in Religious and Theological Studies from Boston University. She has published widely on literature, popular culture, and Paganism and is the author of Seeking the Mystery: An Introduction to Pagan Theologies (Patheos Press, 2012) as well as Eros and Touch from a Pagan Perspective (Routledge, 2013). Christine is also an instructor at Cherry Hill Seminary, where she served for two years as chair of the Theology and Religious History department.

  • http://lizw.livejournal.com Liz W

    Interesting – I’ve had similar sense of being “handed over” .

  • Coney

    Awesome, I understand and feel the same.