Turning the Wheel: Faith and Aging in Contemporary American Paganisms

Ritualizing life's events honors and affirms these changes. Witches freely create rituals to satisfy this urge. We create rites of passage for such milestones as a woman's menarche, boys' entry to adulthood, marriages, births, deaths.

Many Witches believe in literal reincarnation. Regardless of whether one holds that belief, all of us will die and return to the earth. Holli Emore eloquently expresses what many Pagans feel:

The older I get, the more comfortable I am with not knowing, with not having answers. My faith has very little to do with knowledge, and much more to do with living day to day. As to facing my mortality, Paganism freed me from worrying about what comes next. I'm content to return to the earth, or have some of my life force manifest in another way, if that's how it turns out, but either way, I love how the earth goes on, age after age. [emphasis in original]

Finally, on a planetary level we now confront life-threatening climate change. Why bother fighting certain doom? Wendy Griffin's answer is:

Everything that lives has to die—eventually, even Gaia, even our sun. But that doesn't mean there won't be beauty and magic, immense creativity, love, and seemingly miraculous discoveries in the meantime. Living sustainably lengthens the time available for these things we value so. And who knows what new life, new forms will flare into being? It brings me joy to think I might somehow be adding to the beauty, to the love, to the magic


For what is remembered lives.

11/16/2016 5:00:00 AM
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