Today is International Pagan Coming Out Day.
I was thinking about writing something really thoughtful for it — after all, while I’m mostly out in my day-to-day, offline life, I haven’t posted anything in particular about my paganism on this blog — but failed to make time, and now the day is here. Rather than abandon it, here is a somewhat unpolished, bare bones version of the post I was thinking I would write.
What is a Pagan?
There’s a joke in the Pagan community that if you get five Pagans in a room and ask them this question, you’ll get at least six answers. Some folks will say Druids are Pagans, but Heathens aren’t. Some folks consider anybody who isn’t a member of the big three Abrahamic religions to be Pagan, but it seems weird to me to classify Buddhists as Pagan.
A couple weeks ago, I suggested on Thorn Coyle’s blog that a “Pagan” could be defined as someone who fits a plurality of the following:
- believes in immanent divinity
- practices magic (ceremonial or otherwise)
- is a polytheist of some stripe
- doesn’t subscribe to salvation theology
- is engaged in some sort of self-development (Knowledge and Conversation, self-possession, etc)
- studies some sort of occult system (e.g. Qabalah).
I’d like to add “spiritual” before “self-development” in the next to last point, but otherwise I think it works okay as a start. I imagine there are plenty more things that could be added to the list!
Yes, I’m Pagan
For the curious, all but the last one of the list above apply to me. I believe in immanent divinity, practice magic, work with and honor several gods, and am working on self-possession, studying with Thorn Coyle. I also don’t subscribe to salvation theology — I have never really believed that humans need saving, even when I was a dedicated member of a United Methodist congregation.
Why Come Out?
Consistency, for one. I’m out most places (including at work), why not here?
But mostly because if even one reader of my blog who didn’t know my religion but likes my writing pauses and reconsiders a negative reaction they might normally have toward Pagans, it’s more than worth my time.
I’m not going to turn Ego! Ego! Ego! into a religion blog or anything. For one thing, this blog’s entire purpose is to be an outlet for my random-ass musings on whatever the hell I feel like writing about, and my interests are way too wide-ranging for it to turn into a one-subject thing for long.
Anyway. I’m happy to answer questions if anybody has ’em.