Historical Accuracy & the Modern Practicing Pagan

Historical Accuracy ~ There is a deluge of internet blogs on this topic, and I’ve read many of them in open-awed wonder at the closed-minded, in-the-box, impossible silliness of all the rhetoric.  Historical Accuracy, really?  You want “Historical Accuracy” in your practice?  You want to do things 100% the way they were originally done centuries ago?  As one charming witch put it, “…Well then, how’s your Human Sacrifice coming along, and when was the last time you led livestock to a bog?”

And let’s get one thing straight before we go any further ~  “Historical Accuracy”, trying to replicate the precise practices of ancient people who no longer exist towards an ancient deity with no fully documented information is not the same thing as respect for modern indigenous people and their active spiritual practices.  (In other words, I won’t be holding a Lakota Sioux ceremony in my backyard anytime soon.)

But when I’m told I need “permission” to set up an altar to Kuan Yin in my home, it gets my blood riled.  Ask permission?  From whom?  The Chinese government?…they’re communist. If you want to nitpick at “rules” for your spirituality, look at it this way– I’m not breaking any laws.  Under our American Constitution I’m expressing my “Freedom of Religion”.  I doubt that my home is going to be deluged with spiritual police carting away my Kuan Yin statue like some sort of illegal contraband.

Too many people have way too much time on their hands which they’ve spent in some sort of fruitless pursuit of a “Perfect Spiritual Practice”.  It’s time for the Historical Accuracy Bandwagon to park itself.

I’m including in this blog post a video by Molly Roberts on this exact topic.  She puts it way more eloquently than I can ~

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What do you do?

What do you do?  I’m asked this question all the time, in respect to my spiritual path, in respect to religious practices and routine, in respect to practicing witchcraft.  People think in conventional terms of what they are familiar with– you have to attend a church service once a week, you have to follow this rule, you have to obey that rule, you have to undergo certain ceremonies (rites of passage) at particular set intervals, you have to follow a leader, etc.  Paganism, and especially witchcraft, is not like that, it’s not like that at all.  I keep trying to tell people, to explain to them, but I don’t think they understand.

Truth is, I don’t do a damn thing unless the urge hits me.  I might go for days, or weeks, or months without lifting one magickal finger to cast one crummy spell.  Then– Pow!– something comes up, something comes up that actually needs to be taken care of, there is a reason, there is a rhyme behind it.  Something comes up in life that needs my attention, so I take care of it with a spell, with a candle, with herbs, with a poppet, with other magickal twists and turns, whatever needs doing.

And that’s what I do.  There’s no law in my book that says I have to run around interneting people Happy this, or Blessed that– if I choose not to observe ‘traditional’ pagan holidays, that’s my choice, that’s my decision.  The sky isn’t going to fall, and  my magickal little soul will be just fine.

And that’s what I do…just exactly what I want to do.

This is the spirit of the witch…it wreaks of freedom.

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