The spring equinox, reckoned as the moment of each solar year after the winter solstice and before the summer solstice when the center of the sun passes directly over Earth’s equator, the instant when the solar terminator—the liminal boundary between night and day that rushes endlessly across the face of our rotating planet—transits through perpendicularity with the equator, marks the occasion of Mid Spring, also called Ostara. This sabbat provides an opportunity to focus on themes of beginnings, breakthroughs, and regeneration in our personal lives and in within the broader Pagan Reformation.
A Paradigm Shift
The Pagan Reformation is, quite literally, a “forming again”—a “reforming”—of a natural expression of humanity spirituality for today and tomorrow. Reform Paganism is new growth on the Great Tree of Paganism, not merely a recombination of familiar notions about religion in general or Paganism in particular but rather a novel contribution to humanity’s great conversation of ages. The seed from which Reform Paganism sprouts, its source of legitimacy, is not some ancient or modern authority but the ever-changing human condition itself and our experience of life in Nature.
Instead of viewing itself through the modern lens of “religion” as a distinct and severable set of thoughts and behaviors, an interchangeable part slotted into a hermetically sealed compartment within a human person reduced to physical properties, Reform Paganism regards itself as a holistic and integrated worldview and lifeway, the renewal of human nature in its entirety—both individual and collective—through the renewal of human spirituality in its essentiality and universality. Reform Paganism shatters the strictures of industrial modernity’s characteristic paradigms of disenchantment.
A Disruptive Innovation
However unassuming in first appearance, this new beginning is a revolution. Reform Paganism achieves a postmodern synthesis of sorts that transcends its predecessors. We have passed into a heretofore-undiscovered vale bursting with the wild fertility of rich, unplowed soil at the breaking of spring. And this revolution aspires no less than to create the Paganism of the next generation and to restore it to a place of prominence and influence in society, for the highest good of all.
The Pagan Reformation and Restoration, together called the Pagan Renewal, are “disruptive innovation” at work in the domain of human spirituality. Accordingly, we may expect this breakthrough project to follow the familiar pattern of stages through which “disruption” advances: introduction of an innovation, linear evolution of the offering, completion of the value proposition, challenge to incumbents, and reimagination of the category. This process, charged with excitement but fraught with difficulty, takes time and dedication. And incumbents can be expected to respond in the ways they typically do. Neither the weather nor other flora have any regard for a seedling’s survival.
An Indefatigable Vanguard
Particularly for the first movers, the courageous early adopters, the pioneering free spirits unafraid to depart from the familiar in the avant-garde and explore the new frontier, guidance, support, and reassurance must often not be tapped from without but mustered from within. But if we persevere in this project of regeneration, our efforts may over time lower the barriers to adoption for others, giving rise to a community capable of providing the guidance, support, and reassurance we seek.
May we take this opportunity of Mid Spring to remember that the initial stages of transformation—beginnings, breakthroughs, and regeneration—are the most trying but that the seeds sown in the present will grow into the bountiful harvests of the future.
With much love and many bright blessings always,
And particularly on this occasion of Mid Spring,
Your kindred spirits at PaganRenewal.org