I donít like labels. I dislike using them to describe what I believe and how I live and yet they are in some measure necessary. Part of the reason I dislike them is because I do not want to be associated with any form of religion. I do not particularly agree with organised religion and though I donít begrudge anyone else who finds it works for them, on my own journey I have realised that I hate being told what to believe and how to practice that belief. Iím the sort of person that questions things and when I am told that the conclusions I have drawn (and that feelright to me) are wrong because of some preordained system of faith it automatically sets me off.
I like to think of myself as spiritual, rather than religious. This is one of the reasons I like being Pagan, a term I use because it is broad enough to encompass me and my ways without pigeonholing me into a set belief system. In fact I class myself as a Pagan Witch, neither of which rely on the other and yet they work beautifully well together for me in my lifestyle. ĎWitchí is a term that is often misunderstood and fraught with negative stereotypes, though I do not shy away from it. It is not a religion, it is in very simple terms like a prayer system whereby the practitioner consciously draws on the universal energy all around us to encourage things to happen, through chants, spells and prayer workings. I have met witches of all different religions, it is not a practice particular to paganism or any other belief system.
As a Pagan I try to live as naturally and with as much forethought towards the natural world as I can given my circumstances. As a witch I create and develop ways to celebrate this, making incenses and candles, chants and blessings out of whatever I can lay my hands on. I try to be aware of the changes around me, the turning of the seasonal wheel and the power in each point on it. The duality I view in the world is incredibly important to me, the need for male and female, light and dark, good and evil, it is a rich tapestry very intricately balanced and very beautiful. I do believe in Deities though it is a little more complicated than thoughts of God or such that are often perceived. As such I wonít bore you all to death with attempting to explain how I view it, though I will do so happily if you want to know. For now I will put it like this. I see Deity as being both God and Goddess, two facets of the same whole and within them there is everything, they are everything, a part of everything and are the essence of everything. Therefore everything in the world that we perceive on any level is part of the Divine spark/the Universal energy.
Perhaps I am going off on a tangent here. I am not trying to preach or change peopleís beliefs, merely give a very generalised description of what I believe before I start talking about things that may seem a little odd without the introduction. Above all else, as a Pagan, I hold respect for life and death and everything in between including other peopleís views and their own spiritual beliefs or lack thereof. No single way is right for everyone. We all have to find our own ways through life in order to learn and grow, this I truly believe, but we are surrounded by billions of other people who help us in some way as we go, forcing us to learn lifeís lessons and further ourselves whether we want it or not.