Our community is expanding! In recent years, more and more people have been turning away from more traditionally accepted religions and becoming re-rooted in our ancient, spiritual faith. As well as atheism being at an all-time high, organised religion across the globe is speedily declining. There is evidence to suggest that the reason for a powerful surge of young people joining pagan belief systems is down to a multitude of reasons that all point to one desire – the desire to feel free.
Under the umbrella term ‘Pagan’ lies an array of belief systems rooted in the practice of magic and respect for the natural world. Some of these beliefs include Druidry, Heathenry, Hellenism, Wicca and witchcraft. It is important to note as well, that not all witches identify as pagan, and not all pagans identify as witches – which feeds into the idea of a lucid freedom of navigating your own spiritual path within a nurturing belief system being attractive to people.
This world has seen history repeat itself time after time, with religious leaders using their faith to control masses of communities. So many times, this has involved using shame and discrimination to steer their worshippers to their ideal way of life. Paganism is rooted deeply in a worship of a much more natural persuasion – with many faiths turning to the moon, planets and the stars (astrology), the turning of the yearly seasons (the wheel of the year’) and the land upon which pagan has been given life, as a place to focus their spiritual energy and worship.
It is unsurprising that in the current spiritual climate of the planet, people are moving away from associating themselves with belief system that, although are so often rooted in the idea of good-will and kindness, ultimately promote that their worshippers feel shame for their freedom. It seems that the idea of self-exploration is perhaps much more guided and manipulated within mainstream religions than within the pagan faith.
It has been reported by Darren Roberts, a member of the queer community, that his shift to paganism from Catholicism was due to, “Not feeling that I could be part of both the queer community and the catholic community simultaneously. Queerness was something I was born with, it’s a part of my body, by blood, my brain. Catholicism was something I was born into that made me feel like I was constantly making excuses or feeling guilt for who I am. When I found I was able to connect to spirituality, nature and myself in a more open and healthy way – the world made more sense.” This statement suggests that the lack of judgemental guidance within paganism allows for members of our community to enhance their connectivity to themselves, their relationship and the planet that surrounds them.
The innate need to connect our spirits back with nature is a driving force behind the new popularity of paganism. The information age has seen us drag our thumbs across our screens for hours a day, with 24hr connectivity to others all over the planet. The idea that ‘contacts’ is ‘contact’ stabilised through the excessive use of technology is damaging to the way that we connect to the positive energies that the world has to offer. Witchcraft is an opportunity for those practising the faith to connect with their own intuition, whether they are working on spells or a branch of divination, the faith demands that a person connect with the energies of the space around them and their own intuitive connections to the world. Let this article be a reminder to modern pagans that we are rooted in acceptance, freedom and spiritual connectivity. And to those exploring the ideas of pagan life, don’t hesitate to begin your journey with us here, in the witches cauldron.