Tangentiality is my nature & procrastination my forté. Thus, in lieu of working on that post, I am opting to make mention of a most clarifying article I discovered via Aedicula Antinoi: A Small Shrine of Antinous. The piece is The Three (or more?) “Centers” of Paganism & can be found over at The Allergic Pagan. Basically, this article synthesized years of thought for me -- I have always grappled with these ideas, but could never put my finger on them quite this concisely.
Here's a visual breakdown of the "Three Centers of Paganism," but I highly, strongly, no, must insist that you read his explanation of these centers & what they represent.
|Three Centers of Paganism by The Allergic Pagan.|
I have always had a really difficult time articulating exactly what makes all the diverse & disparate Pagan groups/belief systems so very different from one another. Sometimes I feel like we're not even using the same definitions for common words. Probably because we are not. Yet we share this umbrella. What to do? In my community, I have witnessed plenty of misunderstandings related to precisely these concepts -- everyone using the "Pagan" label yet occupying dissimilar locations within these spheres. If nothing else, having a common point of reference might help us communicate better.
On a personal note, I was taken quite by surprise when the author zeroed in on my particular location within those circles:
"Some more literalist forms of animism, which might be called “spirit-centered”, might overlap with both earth-centered and deity-centered Paganism." (emphasis mine)Oh! I do! Really, I do! All of this helped me better understand why I often feel like an anomaly. It also clarified much of why I could never completely embrace (most) Wiccan belief systems. When I finished reading, I felt like my head was finally screwed on straight... & perhaps I am not alone...
"Literalist animism." (Hooray! New nomenclature!) Whoah, really? That's me! So I'm not the only one?