What is “Real Paganism” Anyway?

I recently read a blog post from a  pagan who was very keen to assert her practice of “real paganism.” Now, she professes that most people who identify as pagan don’t do it properly. By that she means they don’t get out in nature, they don’t truly appreciate or try to help Mother Earth, and all they do is buy into the consumerism from a capitalist society. At least, that is what I inferred from her article.

I must admit I found myself feeling rather irritated about her judgments. I come from the background of consumerist pagans. I like to surround myself with crystals, incense, singing bowls and other trinkets, because I use them in my spiritual practice. Does that mean I am not a real pagan? Absolutely not! I make time to sit out in nature, even if only in my back garden. I walk barefoot in the grass, on the beach, in the mud on some occasions.

Cloud Sky Tree SpookyMrsGreen

But I cannot get into a mine and carve out my very own piece of Quartz crystal, for example. I do not have the tools, the materials, or even the knowledge to create a singing bowl (unless I utilize a kitchen pot). And I do not know how to make incense or candles. I tried to make candles once. It did not go well. Besides, I would rather support small, independent businesses and allow those people to earn a living doing something they feel is fulfilling, while providing me with the items that I desire.

Being pagan is something that you feel inside, just like it is to identify as religious or non-religious according to your personal beliefs. I do believe that we all embark on a path of self-discovery and learning when we “come out” as pagan. Some of us identify as witches, warlocks, fairies, mermaids, shamans and any number of other mystical beings. It is our personal choice to purchase items that enhance our spiritual practise as we desire. After all, I believe that being pagan is about choosing to live in harmony with nature as much as possible, while feeling free to live life the way we want. What do you think?


I bought these tools – and I use them in meditation and practise

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5 Responses to What is “Real Paganism” Anyway?

  1. scskillman says:

    Hi Catherine. I thought this an interesting dilemma. Personally I think it’s a queston of balancing the two areas. I can understand your love of all the physical objects like crystals and singing bowls etc. But I also agree it’s important to get out in nature and engage with the natural environment. I’m sure you do that as much as you can. Particularly I have heard that “blue and green” walks are vital to someone on a spiritual path – especially being close to large bodies of water. I agree with that totally. Also engaging with trees… whenever I see a grand Cedar of Lebanon I feel deeply moved. I have a strong sense of their living presence, and their benevolence and wisdom.

    • Exactly! I think it is about responding to our intuitive needs. I know when I need a walk in the forest or to visit the beach, and I take time to do that. But in between those, I need to balance study and practice alongside mundane life. My shop bought items serve as a reminder and a motivator to practise meditation, journeying, or whatever feels necessary at a given time.

  2. jebjork says:

    saying something is done the ‘right or wrong’ way (as the article you read seemed to indicate) always sets off alarm bells with me. I like to make up my own mind about things and how I choose to live and at least try to not put my choices on to others. However, someone reading my blog or comments I make on others might say that is a way of putting my opinions to others. A catch-22!

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