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Walking Your Own Pagan Path

By Nimue Brown

Many Pagans self identify as eclectic, or ’own-path’. Not everyone is drawn to the defined paths. Ancestors of blood, and land may make it tricky to go after specific ancestors of tradition. Do we want to follow a pantheon with no connection to where we live? Can we follow the traditions of a land when we’re not ethnically part of that tradition? Finding your path can be fraught with difficulty. There are ethical issues and issues of appropriation. There are issues of what makes sense to you. Not everyone engages with the idea of reconstructing from the past. Not everyone drawn to reconstructing wants to work in the same way and if you go for something more obscure, you may be on your own.

The desire to be free from authority is another reason for choosing an ‘own path’ approach. If you don’t sign up to a tradition, no one can tell you what to think or do and you give no one the right to question how you do things. On the downside, people to learn from and share with can be at a bit of a premium. Shared eclectic ritual can all too easily be a muddle of nothing in particular.

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