Instinct?

/ posted in: Religion

Words of Wisdom for Today:

If you have just applied a thick layer of BagBalm to your lips, do not go out and kiss your horse.

I went and visited a new pagany store that opened in a small town near here. I’m ashamed to say that I made a point to get to this store as soon as possible because I’m sure it will be closing soon. Not many businesses stay open long term in that town – let alone a “mystical” store. So I went and bought a few things that I don’t need just to show willing.

Looking at all the stuff in the store got me thinking about the second question in Circle Within. To paraphrase it is “Do you follow your own instincts in your religious path or do you follow instructions you’ve read?”

I’m a follow my own instincts kind of person. It is because I’m a skeptic. Coming to Paganism out of questioning my previous faith to death, I was hyperaware of things that didn’t make sense to me. Most traditional spell work fell into this category. All my scientific training makes it hard to me to accept spells at face value. Even if they did work directly (instead of focusing the caster’s intention, etc) the color of candle in the directions always bothers me. I just can’t buy that the color of dye used in the wax is going to alter the outcome. See, skeptic.

I started out reading books and blogs and trying to figure out what the “rules” where in paganism. Then I realized that some rules clashed with other rules. Some of them didn’t make sense at all to me. I was relieved when I first read of someone changing the “rules” to better fit their situation. The things that I first encountered as absolutes I soon realized may be suggestions or just the way it worked best for that author. That’s one of the things I like about paganism. It can be very personalized.

I typed that last sentence as “It can be very personalized as long as the basics are observed.” Then it occured to me – what basics? What if anything is inviolate in modern paganism? Is that just setting up more rules? I’m going to have to think about that.