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.
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?
Catherine is the author of the adult paranormal romance series The Redcliffe Novels and also The Darkness of Love, She has short stories published in YA anthologies, freelance articles on various industry websites, and contributes to her personal blog, and her author blog .