There are times when I feel very disconnected from my religious communities: from the Pagan community (if it can even be called that) and certainly from the Heathen community. I’ve always been the sort of person to go off and do my own thing, but eventually, I’ve discovered, I’ll want to connect with other people and talk about religion, and I’ll do that and for a time I’ll be content with that.

But then, inevitably, I’ll start feeling like I don’t belong in some spaces. I don’t feel comfortable in heavily Wiccanate Pagan spaces because I don’t identify with that tradition, I don’t feel comfortable in Heathen spaces because so much of what I do doesn’t look like what they do, even though we honor the same deities, and I don’t feel comfortable in devotional polytheist spaces because I feel like that term has been co-opted by the sort of folks who really don’t give a shit about people but who simultaneously complain when people don’t give them the time of day, and as someone who honours “people” deities, I like to think they’d like me to give a shit about people.

In any case, what this means is that I pretty much go back to doing my own thing.

I think what needs to happen is that I need to recognize that I do my own thing, and that is okay, and that engaging with other people doesn’t mean I have to have beliefs that match up with theirs. It sounds like such a simple thing to do, and yet, in my experience, it doesn’t often go that way.

6 thoughts on “Disconnected

  1. I am a lot like you, in that nowhere ‘fits’ quite right. I do have a small group of dear friends scattered all over the globe who have enough commonalities that we can ‘talk shop’ without having to translate too much 🙂 I might not agree with everything they believe, but there is mutual respect there anyway. Lack of a group helps I think, in that you have to WORK with your Gods and Spirits, not just chat with other people and have a circlejerk of ‘aren’t we so cool’ that seems to be the mainstay of any group I have investigated.

  2. Oh yes. I can definitely relate to what you are saying in this post.
    While I don’t think that the gods would prefer that I cycle between ‘being in a community’ and ‘being a solitary practitioner’, that’s the way that things often look for me these days.
    It’s good to know that I’m not the only one for whom this is true.

  3. I can relate strongly to this post, I still call myself a devotional polytheist but my practice is already too “unique” compared to the deities and cultures others work with but in terms of general communities I haven’t found a place for myself, in part because of what you described.

    I stop looking for communities in any area, it’s useless and makes me feel more lonely, I only wished there were small groups or few people to talk to about stuff so the road could be less lonely.

    I also don’t understand the idea the Powers don’t care about people, if They don’t religion would look more strange, like looking for a relationship with someone who doesn’t even look at you or cares, sure people are not the center of the universe and some Powers probably have many other things in mind but we are a part of the universe and They can see at least that.
    Compassion has always been a central value of mine that the Powers I know encourage, together with justice, can’t imagine They not caring.

  4. *Nods* I live in a large metro area with many pagans, but use bus, which means I can’t be too picky. Everyone is always like let’s start a druid grove in the 3rd ring suburbs! I have trouble motivating myself to do solitary practice, being an extrovert. Have been studying heathenry, but the community scares me. If I described myself as heathen, I’d probably put a bunch of adjectives in front of it to ward off the wrong people. There are a lot of Heathens in ADF due to those reasons!
    Pay no attention to the hard-ass polytheists. Their opinion, their practice, some of it’s interesting, and I ignore the rest.

  5. I really love my ritual group. None of us share a religion, but we are building a shared set of practices, for when we just… need people to do a thing with, y’know?

  6. I don’t define myself in a given denomination despite the fact that I feel better with Nordic Gods, just because it is a kind of path to some conformism, to push people to the conformism and the appearance is one the diseases of our Western societies. If I don’t give a name to what I do, at least I haven’t to fit into a definition. That’s not because I don’t name precisely what I do that I don’t do it, and the Gods still pay attention to me, though I don’t follow an “official” way to worship them.

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