Cultivating Sacred Joy

One of the many words used to describe Pagan religious practice is “celebratory.” We are a religion that seeks and honors joy, beauty, and pleasure. Rather than approaching our time in this world as a passage through a realm of shadow, we approach it as a learning experience. We go through the same life challenges as any other people – grief, disappointment, frustration, and failure. We are also fully aware of the larger cultural and global challenges facing us regionally, nationally, and as a species. However, moments of uncertainty, fear, and pain are held within a spiritual tapestry that centers the sacredness of our lived experience. 

A core practice of Pagan faith is the celebration and welcoming of the season turning toward us. Our holiday calendar is based on the agricultural year: we celebrate spring and the return of light and growth, summer and the bounty of fresh fruit and vegetables, autumn and its harvest glories, and winter and its blessing of contemplation and rest amidst the cold and darkness. Seeing the blessings of the natural world causes a ripple effect. We begin to recognize the beauty in life on an individual level. 

If I could gift any one aspect of Pagan belief to the rest of the world, it would be this ability to see, honor, and celebrate the good things in life. As a minority religion in a parent culture that is frequently hostile to us, we know that the cultivation of joy within spiritual practice offers resiliency. Continue reading

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