One noticable difference I have found between Paganism and many more mainstream religions has to do with questioning. I can’t speak for every religion, but I know that the religion I was raised in discouraged questioning. We were expected to accept what we were told by our ministers and what was read within the holy books. Certainly, asking why… or but what if… was frowned upon.
I’ve never been very good at blind obedience, whether to social rules or religous. I was drawn to Paganism in part because the parts of it that I saw not only allowed questioning, they actively encouraged it.
I am sitting here now reflecting on the qord question, a quest for knowledge and information. It’s right there in the word. And I had never considered that before. We talk of going on spirit quests. Perhaps questioning what we see, questioning our truth, questioning the truth of others to see if it actually does apply to us, perhaps this is all part of spiritual questing, spiritual questioning.
I’ve spent a lot of time i recent months exploring what my truth looks like, what my truth is, and perhaps more importantly, what my truth is not. In my quest to discover who I am, it has just as much been a quest to discover who I am not.
The thing is, I had spent my entire life being who and what I thought others around me wanted me to be. Who I was, my likes and dislikes, interests and hobbies, were very much determined not by me but by those around me. When I was stripped of all of that in 2012, part of rebuilding myself meant taking these things out and looking at them with fresh eyes.
Do I like this particular TV show? (I believe I may be the only person in the Western world who not only hasn’t seen a single episode of Game of Thrones, but also has no desire to see them.) Do I like that particular food? I thought I liked cauliflower, but when I started really thinking about it, realised that I don’t. What am I willing to tolerate? What am I not willing to tolerate?
My questing as a Pagan has been equally has illuminating. What do I believe? What fits for me? What doesn’t fit? How do I want to interact with Deity? Do I want to try to be part of a more organised group, or am I happy to remain solitary in my practice?
The Gods, I hope, are a lot more patient with my queries than I would be. Only I would say to a light being, “Would you let me see your true form?”
It did. It was very bright. Think looking into the whitest hot part of the sun bright.
Questing and questioning has aso meant accepting who I am, and where I am, and what I can and cannot do.
While I am pretty good at hearing what Spirit has to say to me, for example, I can’t see a thing. Even when I talk about visualising something, I don’t see anything in my mind’s eye. Big blank screen with occasional flashes of light and muted colour. Except when I ask a light being to show me it’s true form…
Even without “seeing” though, I can describe to myself and others the eperiences I have.
By discovering myself, I have been learning to stop comparing myself to another person’s idea of how things should be.
I have reached a point where I can honestly say – “This is my truth, right now.” May not mean that it will be my truth tomorrow, or next week. Or even an hour from now. But right now, in this moment of time…
And it definitely isn’t to say that my questioning and questing is ended. Who knows, maybe I’ll even start liking cauliflower again.