Sunday, January 11, 2009

Is Changing A Pagan Trad Affiliation Like Changing Out Of Paganism?

Thanks to the interesting blogging going on about coming in to Paganism, hanging out within Paganism, then departing from Paganism for some other spirituality or world view, I've been mulling over things like conversion and changing Trad affiliations.

Folks come into Paganism from other spiritual backgrounds all the time. That's how Paganism has grown so much in the past several decades. Folks do depart from Paganism, sometimes in order to return to their previous spiritual background. Pagan folks do change their Trad affiliations, yet retain their Pagan identity. And some folks come in to Paganism, hang out, change Trad Affiliations, depart Paganism, return to Paganism again, hang out, and change Trad affiliations again. Aidan Kelly's biography is a useful example of the process.

What's got me scratching my head here is: Is changing a Trad affiliation within Paganism like coming in to Paganism from a different spiritual background or departing Paganism for a different spirituality or world view--one that's not Pagan?

I don't have any answers here.

But it's pretty clear that changing Trad affiliations happens within Paganism. I'd suggest, in fact, that it happens a lot. Most Pagans that I know maintain affiliations with several Trads--Craft, Reconstuctionist, Druidical, Indigenous, Western Magical, Eastern spiritual, New Age, and such like. It's not unusual, at least in my experience.

Whatever is going on, I gotta say that it's always interesting trying to adapt to our ever-changing world.

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Kitty said...

Well, there are some Pagan trads that can overlap, such as Celtic Wicca and Traditional Wicca. I would say that the only 'different' trads are certain recon ones and certain ceremonial magic school. For example, it's quite unusual (but not unknown!) to be Theodish and in the OTO. But - hey! Such things have been done. It's definitely not like leaving Paganism.

Chas S. Clifton said...

I like the rope analogy that Gus diZerga used in Pagans & Christians: The Personal Spiritual Experience. The strands are separate, and they start and stop, but it is still a recognizable rope.

Anonymous said...

In the case of those who come to paganism from a religion outside the realm of paganism, most enter through a particular avenue, Wicca being the most common. As the person learns more about paganism, and the various traditions, I think you can expect a good number of newcomers to adjust their pagan identity.

The amount of new information, and the vast number of pagan traditions can be pretty overwhelming to anyone. Exploration should probably be expected.

I think what you currently see most often is pagans drawing from several traditions, just due to the availability of information out there. I think that those coming from a religion with narrow beliefs systems are more apt to be eclectic, due to the new-found freedom of religious or spiritual choices.