I am Pagan. That means many things to many people. For me it means viewing the Earth and all beings as living, sentient entities (yes, even trees and animals. Actually, even sub-atomic particles.) It means that I believe in and participate in co-creating a culture of honor, reverence, and acceptance for all beings on all paths, while holding my own path as my personally-preferred method of connection with an energy that feels magical and holy to me. It also means that I do not hold myself or the Divine within the confines of any single religion, nor do I hold any deity as more important or valid than another in the grand scope, while reserving the right to participate in any single practice or not as I see fit. It means that I hold sacred the idea that the Divine is visible and invisible, embodied and ephemeral, a multi-faceted Mystery evidenced by the progression of life through the cycles of the Earth and Her creatures and all of our creations, even the problematic ones. It means that I participate spiritually in those cycles- the ones marked by the seasons and moon and the tides of my blood and the wheels of the mind. It means that I investigate the intersections of science, scientific method, spirituality, and spiritual practices. It means that I see and can hold multiple different possible views and explanations for the phenomena of life without trying to reconcile or compare them with one another. It means I connect with history, archaeology, folklore, psychology, alchemy, divination, and metaphysics all as valid inroads to personal gnosis. It means I hold personal gnosis as the most personally-relevant method for observing and conducting my spiritual practices, because I am a Church of One. It means that when I gather with those of like and diverging minds, I equally allow for their individual truths to be sacred and valid. It means that when someone blesses or prays for me in their own way, I thank them and accept the positive energy in a way that feels authentic to me, just as if anyone offered me a friendly greeting or compliment. It means that if someone else treats me in a way that does not correspond with my beliefs and ethics, I nonetheless respond with accountability to my own beliefs and ethics, not theirs. It means that I require no intermediary to facilitate my experience of divinity, but that I see divinity as inherent and non-negotiable within each being. It means that I make offerings, perform rituals, create art and food and celebrations all in the name of what is divine. It means that if I call you "Goddess," I mean that, literally. It means that I know myself to be Goddess as well, humbly but with personal authority.
Today is Pagan Coming Out Day. What does it mean to you?