These excerpts (below) are from "The Ethics of Paganism: the Value and Power of Sacred Relationship" by Emma Restall Orr, found in Pagan Visions for a Sustainable Future. ISBN 0-7387-0824-0
Reading them made me wonder if perhaps my path is more instinctively Druid. I like what it says, and somehow have been leaning this way without any official instruction.
I've been thinking lately, (having just put way too much stress on myself for straight A's in college) that the only reason that I want training in a standardized Pagan path, is that I want the acknowledgement of attaining a level, or a degree, a secret handshake, or something that I can show to others that says "He knows what he's talking about."
I'm coming to realize, that the path is greater (and better) than the accolades. I may be shifting from a destination focus to a journey focus. I'm not sure how I feel about that.
The excerpts are below (italics are mine), comments are welcome.
"Fully perceiving a landscape, the spirits that populate that place, those we see as trees, plants, and grasses, insects and animals, birds, winds, water courses, rocks and mud, human beings, and so much more, and those perhaps we can't see, as air spirits, ancestors, the Pagan wholly engages with that place. He also has a more acute perception of how places differ, not only physically, but energetically; by more poignantly feeling the particular and distinct beauty, the pwer and the fragility of a place, the Pagan honours, stepping more gently, respctfully, making no unnecessary impact. He is not likely to drop litter, to break branches or knock the heads of the flowers, nor to create noise or light pollution needlessly--not because of some legislation or social law, but simply because it would be disrespectful to those affected, seen and unseen." (28)
The gods are powers of nature, wind, earth, sea, and thunder, energies about which we build understanding. We don't submit, cowering in fear; we stand in our own strength and laugh, sharing the energy of who we are, with profound respect (without which the natural world easily kills) but also with joy, confidence, and dignity, connecting and cooperating.
The stronger our relationships with the gods become, and the stronger our ability to live in harmony with the flow of nature, the more confidence we gain, the more strength to share and laugh and stand in our stillness. In consequence, too, not only do we feel more able to express our own truth in freedom, but our vision of the web of spirit grows clearer, allowing us a broad perspective that we might see the effects of our actions, shimmering across the web. (31)
Sacred relationship, then, is the key. How we achieve that depth of connection is a part of the path we walk within the tradition, a part of our quest for motivation, inspiration, and peace, reaching for more effective and profound communication and understanding. (35)
Thank you, Emma, for writing this. I have something new on which to meditate.