I haven’t had too many formal mentors in paganism. I’ve attended a workshop here and there, I’ve been involved with more structured classes with a few members of the community, but I’m one of those people that’s more comfortable with books and friends, informal questioning, and lots and lots of applying my education.
So in combination with the gratitude from last week, and my theme of guidance this week, I want to list and thank those who have given me the guidance I’ve needed as a growing pagan.
- My Parents: They may or may not be aware of my personal religion, but their strong faith and willingness to live it is an inspiration and building block for my own. They are my foundation for my ethical framework, my love of book learning, and my practicality.
- The Catholic Church: Taught me the beauty in music, the joy in service, and a sense of sacred time and place. Mine is a complicated relationship with the Church, but I can’t deny that growing up Catholic did do me some good.
- The Internet: I ❤ you internet. You brought me to my initial introduction to paganism, some of the people who have most challenged me, the best and worst information. I honestly wouldn’t be who I am today without you. I’m better for you.
- My internet cabal from GaiaOnline. I hate and love you so much. If you want to know where I really grew into my learning loving self? It was during college and the Morality and Religion forums. Nowdays, I run with a newer Cabal, where I’m the nice one and it is still fun.
- Various Hellenic peoples whom I inadvertently stalk: I’m sorry, I don’t mean too, we just seem to gravitate to the same places.
Books that have made a difference to me:
- Triumph of the Moon: For showing that a new religion isn’t devoid of scholarly attention
- Kharis: Hellenic Polytheism Explored: for showing the vastness of modern Hellenic paganism
- Greek Religion: For grounding myself in history
- Works by Thorn Coyle and Yasmine Galenorn that have taken me beyond history.
And these are only a smattering, and doesn’t even begin to include divine guidance, which is probably a topic for another day. Take a moment and look for the guiding influences, divine or not, in your practice. And thank and honor them.