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Young and Pagan
an article by Ash

For many people today, the stereotypical image of a pagan is usually a crone, living in a cottage in the countryside, with a voluptuous dress and a walking stick, picking wild herbs in a her garden. As aesthetically characterising and pleasing as this is, sadly, for the most part, it isn’t so. Although there is no near consensus of a good pagan age, a lot of people tend to be ageist in their ideas. Young people clearly aren’t serious because they are young, full of ideas and not wise enough to take things seriously. So this is an article, by an 18 year old male pagan who has been practicing for the best part of 5 years to try and clear the air.

I find it deeply offensive when people condescend my commitment to my religion; I love the Earth, the great benign mother spinning in the dark. I love to get up early in spring and walk through the countryside lanes near my home, through the fields and woodland. I love summer days, sat under trees reading Glennie Kindred’s latest books on earth magick and drinking fresh squeezed lemonade. I love autumn evenings taking photographs of leafs caught in the wind, a maelstrom of colours, green, red, yellow, orange, brown. I love winters melancholy, the starkness of the trees, the icy sickle moon casting its effulgent light on a static world, but the warmth of the hearth to break through the dark.

I love Nature. From a young age I took walks up robin’s wood hill with my granddad, bird watching by day, badger watching by night. The enchanted feeling of the wood as the sun cast its rays through the foliage. And this love and adoration of nature grew with each year of my young life until I was old enough to research more and finally found a religion which involved worship of nature as its focus.

I don’t feel young. I feel connected to the Earth, something so old and powerful, no words could ever describe. I feel something deep inside so strong and natural giving me strength and courage in my tasks; I know that the great Horned God is with me always, a part of me and a part of nature. I feel sensitivity and compassion so deep; I know the Goddess is also with me guiding me and keeping me level headed.

I may not follow a set path, or be in a coven or have a high priest or priestess, but to me what I feel inside is beyond that. I have my best friends who share my spiritual path, who are the heart of me. We have no leading role model to lead rituals; we are all equally a part of them. We don’t have a flashy jewelled pentagram to shout out to the world “we are pagans”, we have simple pentacles which say “it’s not the symbol that is important; it’s what it stands for and incorporating that into your everyday life”.

Paganism in all its paths is becoming more recognised and followed these days, by young and old, male and female, gay and straight alike. This should be a happy time in which we are finally moving away from 2000 years of lies and opprobrium. We are gradually moving away from the darkest age and the native spirit of the land is rousing from where it lies slain.

The commercialisation of paganism and witchcraft, which annoys some people, is just the modern vampires (corporation’s) of today cashing in on what they can. But some good will come out of it. The teen witches have to start somewhere, and eventually will mature enough to move beyond this and develop a closer bond with nature. Not all young pagans are misguided, a lot of us out there are very serious and paganism plays an extensive role in our lives.
My life is dominated by paganism; I’ve just finished my A-levels and am having a year out before taking English language and literature at university. My aim is to work in a job that is outside and with nature. When I write for school or my own personal prose, it’s usually about my earthy endeavours. I know that this is who I am. Nature and love of the Earth is a part of me which will always be with me as long as there is an Earth and wild animals.
So I ask all those who judge by age or have developed their own misconceptions, to try not to be so ignorant when judging others and to get to know people before you make assumptions.

Young & Pagan - © Copyright Ash 2005


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