1. Introduction: Paganism/Polytheism & Your Path – Your story of how you came to your paganistic/polytheistic faith and what your current path is.
I inadvertently answered most of this with my first post…
But, I guess I didn’t go into depth about why I am now a Gaelic Polytheist instead of what I was prior: a Eclectic Pagan with a Celtic Focus, or a Celtic Eclectic Pagan.
Firstly, I slowly have begun to understand why the word “eclectic” is a dirty word in some religious circles. To quote the CR FAQ: “Though some self-identified Neopagans are respectful of the cultures they are inspired by, there are, sadly, many other Neopagans who exhibit the worst examples of cultural appropriation and disrespectful eclecticism.” After seeing how some Neopagans who consider themselves eclectic decide that means a “take whatever I want and do whatever I want” approach to spirituality… I kinda wanted to shy away from that. Not that there aren’t eclectic neopagans out there who are respectful (I know one in fact! They exist, I promise you!), but I was hyper worried about it with myself.
Secondly, learning that “Celtic” was an ambiguous word for various European cultures, I began to decide to focus accurately on Gaelic cultures. Simultaneously, I learned that the Gaelic culture still exists today–it isn’t dead! The religion hasn’t been around for quite some time, but the culture persists into modern day.
Thirdly, reading materials by Gaol Naofa, I learned that I agreed with the Gaelic Polytheist Lifeway being a primary focus over just a religion that wasn’t integrated throughout my life. The more I learned about pre-Christian Gaelic polytheism, the more I decided that I could not just be religiously Gaelic Polytheist without incorporating the cultural attitudes too. Things like taking Honor as a virtue, upholding hospitality, and supporting those in my community. (That latter half is going to be inspiration for a whole ‘nother post later…)
Lastly… “Pagan” has a lot of problematic ties to it. I have yet to be part of a self-identified pagan community that did not allow or endorse problems. The best of the communities, so far, has been that of the Tumblr Pagan community, but that’s taking a very “loose” definition of community. I’ll probably go more into my ideas about what paganism is and why I don’t identify with it in the 30 Days of Definitions posts.
To the accumulation of all those different realizations made it so that I realized I want to live a Gaelic Polytheist life. This also lead me to applying for membership in Gaol Naofa, which I was accepted into.
I still have a lot to learn, a lot to adopt to, and a lot to discover. But I’m excited to to be on this path.