A Pagan Woman


True morality consists not in following the beaten track but in finding out the true path for ourselves and fearlessly following it.

Mahatma Gandhi

DSC00676The word, “morality” comes from Latin, moralitas, meaning “manner, character, proper behaviour” 

DSC00675One would be forgiven for thinking that morality was invented therefore by the Romans…in my view a most immoral culture and empire!

DSC00674Following on from the collapse of the Roman Empire, morality became the foremost banner of the Abrahamic religions, as they prescribed the life to be adhered to for those in Europe and later North and South America, as well as large parts of Africa.

DSC00673Failing to adhere could mean being cast out from society, which was governed in strict terms by the church, in almost every instance.

DSC00671And this has remained de rigeur until recently…in fact, my own lifetime.

DSC00668In fact, social acceptability and indeed family acceptance was predicated upon one’s adherence to religion…or apparent adherence!

DSC00667This blog was preceded and inspired by a conversation I had a few days ago with a family member, a sibling.

DSC00669We both recalled how dominant religion was in our childhood, education and subsequent life outside of Ireland.

My Mother declared towards the end of her life, that she felt fortunate to have reached a time in history when she could ask questions about the institutions that governed much of her life and embrace the possibility of a much bigger picture.

DSC00514 We shared many interesting conversations on many aspects of life…she felt the “lid was off the box!”

DSC00512I have recently declared myself to be a pagan woman, in that I do not believe in any form of killing, for any reason, nor do I believe in a “creator” as in any sky god, including Zeus and I seek the Divine in all life. Mother Earth is both my home and “church,” feeding my deepest spiritual needs.

(Paganism is not dogmatic. Pagans pursue their own vision of the Divine as a direct and personal experience. ~Pagan Federation)

DSC00665 As I revealed this to my brother, we both realised that this would have been impossible to declare for any of our previous family over the course of the last 1500 years .

So, here I am, the first woman in my family for 1500 years to happily and openly declare my spiritual path outside of any established, monotheistic  church or religion and reconnecting with ancient family …that’s quite profound, don’t you think?

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  1. You said something so clear and true that we, the ones who enjoy this privilege take for granted! I was raised as an atheist but always knew Mother Earth was calling me. I have presented myself as Pagan and a Witch and also find incredible that only a few decades ago this would have put me behind bars or in a mental institution…thanks for sharing the beauty of your home and soul, I love the picture and the words at the beginning of your blog: “In times of destruction, create something”…love and hugs from Canada…

  2. How freeing for you Colette to be able to say openly and with joy how you see yourself and where you stand….who you are! I wish you joy, peace and blessings as you continue on your journey x

  3. I am a pagan woman and coming from a family where church was important the release of telling people this is who i am and what i look too is very wonderful, brother is a minister still not talking very much but hopfully he will come round.Thank you colette x

  4. How wonderful…….Mother Earth is truly divine. From one Pagan woman to another. Blessings Colette. Xx

  5. Yay welcome home Colette! Ive been Pagan all my life, i didnt know it earlier on in my life, i just knew i was different from most people, including my friends and family. Met my future husband when i was 18yrs, he was a hunter and even tho i didnt like killing animals, going out into nature with him was like coming home to me (he is Pagan at heart). After reading Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Avalon series in the 80s, i came out of the closet as it were lol. i have six Pagan tattoos including a small moon on my forehead (inspired by the Avalon series) im proud to be Pagan!!!!

  6. (I hope this is not a duplicate, so …) One of the things I admire about some of the Irish blogs (this one, one on holy wells in Cork, etc) is the idea of peaceful coexistence between pagan (which only means “foreign” in Latin anyway) and traditional Western religious ideas. The more I read of the early Irish, the more sense some of their practices make (thinking of the humane Brehon laws, which are described in some historical novels). And the idea of honouring land features and the sovereignty of the land seem to be sorely needed in our modern world! in fact, sometimes it seems that disregarding the sovereignty of individual human beings is at root of many social problems in my country, the US. Thanks as always for your lovely blog, Colette, or should I say “go raibh maith agat”? (trying to learn a bit of Gaelic as well)

  7. I identify with so many of these comments. I finally know I’m pagan but I also find it difficult to ‘come out’ about it because most of the people I know wouldn’t have a clue where I was coming from! Neither of my parents were very religious although if you’d asked them they would have said they were Christian. My sister is a ‘committed Christian”. I am also studying Druidry and trying to find out more about my Ancestors (not the recent ones – the ones that live in the Land). I think your bee is very happy 🙂

  8. I identify with so many of these comments. I also can declare myself pagan at last but have great difficulty telling anyone that. I am also studying Druidry. I love your beautiful bee 🙂

  9. Profound and life changing. Like coming home to yourself. Wonderful for you to feel able to say it and pronounce it to the world. Blessed be Colette x

  10. A very inspiring blog. Admittedly I found myself googling to find out more about Paganism to learn more. ( isnt that what it is all about exploring and learning). I identify with being a Pantheist and find it very difficult to explain to people my beliefs so usually dont… unless I have door knockers of Christian beliefs trying to convert me. I generally keep my beliefs to myself and continue to be in awe of Mother Nature. Thank you again for inspiring, encouraging and teaching. Jill

  11. Welcome to the “club”!! I’d always assumed you knew you were a pagan 🙂 It took me until my 60’s to realize I was !

  12. Why did I get your name wrong? Sorry. Too early in the morning and not enough cups of tea!!

  13. Well done Claudette. I think that whether we want to label ourselves or not, the important thing is to be true to the promptings of our own hearts, and to experience “The Divine” for ourselves and not just blindly follow what others tell us to do.
    I love your summary of how your mother felt at the end of her life. Thank you for sharing.

  14. I think we all feel like we will be judged if we tell. I have been a pagan for a couple of years now , but I cannot bring myself to tell many people as I worry what they may say. I have thought all along that you were a pagan lady with the wonderful way you live and the passionate way you talk to us about Mother Earth. Blessings to you xxx

  15. God does not belong to any organized religion either, so you are in very good company Colette!!! How dare human kind create rules for our relationship to God and pretend that we need to jump through their hoops to find or return to God. We have never left God, we are one with God and always have been. God is all Life. All life is Divine and to be honored and cherished. God is just a word, possibly slandered to many times by mean spirited control freaks who devised these man made religions. Divine Spirit, Creator of all, Goddess, Love Spirit, by whatever name we call our eternal loving beautiful gentle powerful spiritual Source is ever with us and never limited to the indecent confines of man made demagoguery. I am always so inspired and astounded at the beauty captured by your photos of Bealtaine garden. It brings such joy to see them. Congratulations on your freedom to finally have a voice to express what you live and believe without fear.

  16. Well done for saying your truth. Many people I know are *probably* pagan but either don’t want to say (because other may mis-judge them), or that they simply don’t like labels. I would therefor declare myself a pagan too (and am learning Druidry for good measure)!

Your comments are welcome!