When I was an adolescent, I took a conscious vow of temperance. I would no longer judge others, unless asked. I would remove myself from the affairs of others, unless asked. I would offer no opinion, unless asked. And I did. I have lapses, sometimes, but on the whole, I have managed to hold onto this vow. It has enriched my life in ways I would not have been able to predict when I first started out. Perhaps I will touch more upon this when I reach the 'T's.

Today I wanted to address something else; the importance of education in Paganism. There are so many ways to educate oneself and others. By reading, by listening, by watching, by trying out things and seeing what sticks. What's important, to me, is to never stop learning. I needed to write about my vow because what I really wanted to write here was: "What's important is that you never stop learning'. 

I have no say over what you do or don't do. If you want to stick with what you know, do it. If you want to study, do it. It is your life and your practice and I have no say in it what so ever. But I would like to share something I have discovered: that the more you learn, the more you challenge yourself, the easier you accept the 'Ah-ha!' moments that make Paganism so worth following. When we understand the history behind our practice, when we understand why we are taught which colors go with which elements, when we understand our view of Deity, we allow ourselves to open up to our own thoughts and experiences. It gives us the ability to assemble our own practice while letting go of some doctrine we no longer feel connected to.

As I move towards Hellenismos, I once more step into a territory about which my knowledge is limited. It's a little daunting but in a good way. It's a new frontier and I look forward to being educated, by the greats of antiquity, by others who have walked the path longer than I have, by myself and by my Gods. Once more, I get to experience the rush of knowledge. Even now, while my practice is still at its infancy, I have found connections to my life and my previous practice I would never have valued the way I do, now I learn more about my path. 

So I am going to try and work around my vow and offer some advice. If you aren't feeling happy with your practice right now: educate yourself on your path and your needs. If you doubt something you've been taught: research where it comes from and see if you can still stand behind it. Reach out and find teachers. Find friends. Talk to everyone and be open. I'm not telling you to break your Tradition. I'm imploring you to think for yourself. Because Paganism offers a kind of freedom so rare in other religions, and it would be a shame to waste it out of fear, tradition or sloth.