I have a bit of a religious problem.
I like being around my Fiance way too much. When we were long distance, and I spent so long with my heart yearning in another direction, it was so easy to find space in my mind and schedule to sit quietly in front of my altar and commune with the gods.
That’s gotten a lot harder to do ever since he moved in two years ago. Whenever I’m home, I’m spending every minute with him, and I never remember to step back and go visit my altar.
With Walpurgisnacht just having passed, I found myself pondering the Lady Freyja even without going to her altar, and I thought about losing myself in happiness (or sorrow, as it hasn’t all been joy and roses since then, what with his being unemployed for almost a year and my having a terrible job and losing my hair and all) and love.
I sort of accidentally found what I was looking for the whole time. I feel more present in my life than I ever have before, because while I’m at home, I am so happy to be there and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. Other than wishing for my hair to hurry up and get past the incredibly awkward phase it’s in right now, I don’t have anything I really wish were different.
Sometimes I feel bad for feeling so happy and forgetting to go visit Freyja at her altar. But her altar is still in our bedroom, and I still give her a kiss or wave quite frequently even if I don’t go sit for an in depth visit.
I’m not sure that I’m going to make any deep realizations in this post, I just wanted to do a little musing on what it means to be religious, I guess. I used to put a lot of time and energy into being a Pagan. I would read message boards and blogs on the internet all the time, I would meditate and pray and dance ecstatically and take long walks in the woods all the time. I thought through my identity and it was constantly transformative.
But is that what it means to be religious? I still most definitely consider myself a pagan and a follower of Freyja, even if it doesn’t occupy my thoughts with as much regularity as it did before.
On the other hand, I’m living my life as fully as I can, experiencing the emotions I’m experiencing as deeply as I can, exploring my psychology and keeping aware of changes in my self-identity. I still listen for the plants and try to learn about local species– just today I found out that those crazy trees around with the tubular purple flowers that smell just like bubblegum and those crazy weeds that grow so fast are in fact the same plant–a Paulownia. And the reason they’re weeds is that they are an invasive species that can grow up to 20′ a year. But other people think that because of that, they might be a solution for deforestation–a new forest of Paulownia could be reforested so much faster than other, slower growing trees, to help with the atmosphere and topsoil runoff.
So, what does it mean to be a religious? Does it just mean you consider yourself to? What amount of energy do you have to put into it before you are religious?