The other evening at my local meet up event, we had a book share out. When it was my turn, I stammered and stuttered about the general idea of the book I had chosen, practically reading the subtitle verbatim as an endorsement. Ever had one of those moments?
The book I had chosen to share was Drawing Down the Moon, by Margot Adler. I had just received it in the mail earlier that week. I had never owned a copy, but as a starry eyed teenager, it was the first book on Paganism that I had read that made me think, “Aha! There’s a name for what I believe.” So I guess when I got it in my hands, it triggered that sixteen year old girl inside of me that sat cross legged on the floor of the local public library having her first spiritual epiphany. It has been many, many years since I read this book, but I remember it as a really thorough sampling of the diversity of Paganism in America.
After group, I went home and thought about it. Why did this book, even though I remembered very few details about it, have such a great emotional impact on me? Then it came to me. This was a very real look, from a very human perspective, at the diversity of the Pagan religion. As a teenager and young adult, I looked at Wicca and a number of other belief systems, none of them felt quite right for me. I eventually understood that “Pagan” was a much broader umbrella under which I could comfortably stand. Eventually, over time I began to break down and explore the ideas in which I believed. This led to many discussions with William about what ideas we had and how to embrace them. We began to give it a name. Pagan Humanism. (I like to think of this as a working title.)
Later that night, something struck me. My first introduction to the idea of Paganism was broad, varied and presented in real life scenarios. I truly think it opened me up to a bigger idea. The idea that there are so many truths, that through living, you have to find out which ones are right for you. I would have loved to have shared this with the group, but at that moment, I was so emotionally engaged, I could not express my thoughts. This is a wonderful forum to work within. I can now take my time and say what I mean. And now I plan to go and reread my copy of Drawing Down the Moon. And if you’d like to read it too, we have provided a link.