I want to go more into the the practical parts of being a pagan, rather than just the lore and knowledge of the gods and their adventures.
I was listening to a podcast by Oaks and Oaths a couple of days ago, in this podcast he mentioned that having knowing all the lore and things about the gods is one thing, but putting this knowledge into practice in your day to day life is another thing entirely.
Have to admit I do agree with this.
With that in mind I want to answer a couple of questions some people new to paganism regularly ask.
First I want to throw some numbers out there
In the 2001 a faith census held in the UK, reported that around 2,000 people in the UK identified as either Norse pagan, Asatru, heathen or Norse reconstructionist.
This is just one of the pagan paths, there are many more paths that do not follow the Norse God's..
The thing is over the last few years it is estimated that around 18,000 - 24, 000 have either turned to paganism as their faith, or have came out as Pagans.
This is an estimate
Last year 2020 saw a huge spike in people returning to the old ways, wanting to know more about their ancestors and reconnect with nature.
Whether it was the pandemic or being in lockdown, I don't know but something clicked inside of a lot of people, making them want and in some cases need to step away from the daily grind and return to nature.
In the pagan communities I haunt, we have had an influx of new members join us. Most of our new members say that they have converted to paganism recently from another faith or even from atheism.
That being said one of the most common questions asked is
"How do I connect with the gods, my ancestors and nature?"
Luckily I love the outdoors and being in the wilds, I could talk about this for hours but, I'm not going to, not today anyway.
Ok, let's cut out the crap and get straight to the point.
We as humans are meant to be hunter gatherers, it is in our evolutionary biology and hard coded into our DNA, we are supposed to be out there in the wilds, in nature foraging, not sat Infront of the TV watching Reality TV while munching on crisps or that take away that was just delivered while drinking soda.
We are not built to be sat Infront of a computer 12 hours a day, whether it is work or playing games or stuck in a cubicle with artificial light for 8 or more hours a day, hating our jobs and wondering how many hours it will be until we can pop our next dose of anti depressants.
We are built to be out in the rain and wind and sun
Nature is a great healer and we all, each and everyone of us, pagan or not need to spend at least a few hours a week at the very least out there, surrounded by nature, if for nothing else, for the sake of our mental health.
Leaving all our social media accounts and the internet behind and getting out there with only the essential things we need.
Nothing more, nothing less and no distractions.
I should say that wanting to reconnect with nature is all well and good and everything, but to really connect to nature we must learn how to live with nature and within nature.
I'm not a reconstructionist pagan, but I do believe that one of the best ways to reconnect with nature is to get into the mindset of our ancestors, realising that nature is a living, breathing being, not just a bunch of trees, bushes and a few wild animals
We are part of nature and nature is a part of you and me.
To connect with nature is to connect with our selves.
Nature and the spirits of the land will be only too happy to accept you but there are conditions attached.
Respect for nature and everything that is in it is an absolute, a must. You need to understand the nature lives by a different set of rules, once you understand these rules and can live within them.
Only then will we start to connect.
Until next time.