I did not know it at the time but I became Pagan because it was not Christianity. I could also read about it in English and many of its ideas made sense to me. My rabid anger at Christianity was not explainable. I had not been directly harmed by a church member. My anger toward the religion flared the moment in my high school years when I was approached by the evangelical soon to be brother-in-law of a close friend. Again, he did not do anything outside of a social norm. I was simply fundamentally appalled by the ideas he presented. It was three or four decades before I came to know my reason for being so against Christian thought. My understanding of reality does not include the degrading, spirit-killing, self-loathing concept of original sin. There is no place in my reality where I will condemn you for being born. That said, neo-Paganism is not without its major flaws.
When I speak with new Pagans, I offer two pieces of advice. Keep your mouth shut and your pants on.
Keeping your mouth shut is a rule I developed because the barest touch of the other worlds lends one to believe one has discovered a new thing. That one is suddenly wise and knows what one is doing, etc. This is false. You simply do not rise past that falsehood while flapping your gums. In that state, the speaker is an arrogant douche bag. Even people that have no idea what the other worlds are like know this. The only person that does not is the speaker.
Keeping your pants on comes from the lack of dogma and rules in the neo-Pagan community. One can fuck, have sex with or make love to anyone one wants to. As long as it is consensual, so the myth goes, no one will judge you for it. The fact is that they will sit in judgement but they can’t on religious grounds. They will judge you because they want the person you are doing, they hate the person you are doing, they want you and you don’t want them etc. While that is an issue, humans being humans is not really the point of the rule.
Some human beings can have sex with many partners and be just fine. A beauty of Paganism is that they are not judged for this. Most humans raised in my culture cannot do that. The myriad of lovers eats away. They have less self-worth. They begin to lose the person integrity of their own being. Since the neo-Pagan culture has no prohibition against promiscuity, they see no harm in their actions. They do not see how much harm they are doing to themselves.
Here people lower themselves into their religious paradigm instead of rising above it. This is not spirituality; it is self-destruction.
The path here is constant self-surveillance. Sure the sex feels good but do you have to be drunk before, during or after to do it? Do you get a little bit depressed afterwards? Has it gone so far that you are always depressed even during the act? Has it gone so far that you don’t know what your standards are for choosing a partner? If you are promiscuous and do the self-assessment honestly and you find no issues, fall to! Be confident enough to know that you are the exception to the rule in our culture. Do not drag others in that are not exceptional as well.
This just isn’t about sex. I follow Hermes. Hermes is a thief. If I were a man of avarice, I may use that as an excuse to steal things I wanted. I would forget the hymn that uses the word “fraud divine”. I would lower myself into my religion instead of rising up. What exactly is fraud divine?
Hecate is darkness in many of Her forms. If we simply act out and become dispensers of darkness, we lower ourselves into our religion. We must look to the purpose of that darkness to raise ourselves.
When we raise ourselves, we engage in behaviors that are true to our souls not to society. This is freedom like no other. Exalt your true nature.
There is no part of my reality where I will condemn anyone that engages in activities described above. I may stop interacting with a person but that is not the same as condemnation. It is preserving my sovereignty in my reality. This keeps me safe and sane.
My point here is that religion is a schema for a chosen viewpoint of reality the point of which is to develop your own sense of what is real in your universe. Rightfully pursued, it is an avenue to true freedom. When wrongly pursued, it leads to a life more akin to reality television than true spirit.