A little over a week ago, I went to a Buddhist temple for one of their Temple Life tours. The tour was great, and subject for another post. As part of the tour registration, I was required to put down my religion.
That made me think … how do I define my religion? Depending on the context, I might say that I’m a Norse Pagan, a Welsh Polytheist, or a Druid … or some variation of those.
Neither ADF nor OBOD require that I have any particular belief set. OBOD tends to work with the Welsh mythology and ADF encompases a wide range of Hearth Cultures with some tendency towards Celtic Hearths, but what I choose to believe is totally up to me.
As part of my Pagan Theology course at Cherry Hill Seminary, I did a survey of Facebook pagans. You can find the results of my survey here. Both OBOD and ADF druids answered, as well as a smattering of other folks. For the same paper, I also interviewed ADF’s Archdruid Jean “Drum” Pagano and Pagan blogger, artist and ritual facilitator Shauna Aura Knight.
Talking with those esteemed folks, as well as reading through the results of the survey has helped me to define my definition of my beliefs. I am a pagan polytheist – I believe in multiple gods, gods who are willing to intercede to our benefit, and the importance of relationship with our gods, each other, the plants, animals and all of nature. The gods are important in my own theology.
I’ve also come to the understanding that what my theology is doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. It makes it easier to have certain discussions when I’m talking with others who share components of my theology, but we can also have great discussions and build relationships when we completely disagree on theology.
It’s the relationships that matter, not the beliefs behind them.