I am excavating some personal issues of late. Birthdays do that, sometimes. Something grabbed my attention the other night, though. I was looking at the blog of Caitlen Kiernan, a horror fiction and comic book writer. She was writing about paganism:
Spooky's looking at local Pagan gatherings associated with the Solstice. Part of me wants to become involved with a nearby coven or circle — I've never liked the solitary practitioner thing — and part of me knows it would just be asking for trouble. All this foolish nattering about "dispelling negative energy." Whatever happened to paganism as a road to balance? Never mind that the word "energy" should be forever stricken from the pagan lexicon, for the perpetual abuse and complete lack of definition it endures. One reason I came to Providence was to find like-minded pagans, hopefully Wiccans, but I fear they'll all think I'm some spooky left-pather, a bête noire to be avoided lest my "negative energies" taint their rituals "of light and purification." Pfft. Sometimes, it seems to me so many American Wiccans are devolving into happy-crappy, pseudo-Xtianity, afraid of their own shadows, struggling to recreate the religion that drove them to paganism to start with. But I rant. Don't fear the darkness, kiddos. It's one half of the equation. Without it, there can be no balance. And balance, I believe, is the key, here.
Now, I'm an atheist, but I sympathize a great deal with the sentiment that I read there. I have joked with people that I was goth before goth was goth. I'm a social introvert. I present a pretty tame face to the world, but my morbidity is legend. It's tough to find company, sometimes. Who wants to hang around with the pensive, terminally ironic, gloomy bastard?
I understand why people cherish images and philosophies that enshrine the optimistic drives, but I'm pretty sure some people just aren't tuned in that direction. Most of us manage to contribute anyways. I think we should form a "spooky people" minority identity block.
Anyways, while chasing ideas around in my head, I came across a reference to Cybele. Who seems like exactly the kind of goddess I would worship: "fertile Earth, a goddess of caverns and mountains, walls and fortresses, nature, wild animals (especially lions and bees)." Lately I've been running across religions that I wish I had grown up in, like the form of Thai Buddhism that sets up casinos at funerals to keep the ghosts of the dead company.