At Mid Autumn, when day and night pass through a moment of balance amidst the ongoing harvest season, we have an opportunity to celebrate sacrifice, reconciliation, and balance. This year, in particular, we call our attention to the balance that Reform Paganism strikes through the sacrifice of certainty and the reconciliation of ostensibly contradictory opposites through a hieros gamos (“sacred marriage”) that rejects “either–or” in favor of “both–and”.
Reform Paganism emphasizes both Wild and Hearth in a Paganism in which each of the “centers” (Nature, Self, fellowship, divinity, and individual expression) figures essentially, together not as competitors but as complements. Reform Paganism consists in both one branch of the Great Tree of Paganism and many distinct traditions, a unity in the plurality of disparate theological and metaphysical outlooks that engage each other amicably and self-critically in service of a common vision of Pagan Renewal. Reform Paganism celebrates both popular devotion and philosophical inquiry, moving beyond a simplistically modernist opposition of science and faith, reason and intuition. Reform Paganism both grounds itself through immersion in direct, inscrutable experience of everyday outward reality and transcends the same through the inward “divine ascent” by which divinity within reaches to touch divinity without. Reform Paganism proposes both the unceasing striving of a lifelong spiritual journey, pilgrimage, and quest and a detached contentment with oneself in Nature as it is. Reform Paganism is both a being and a becoming or birthing.
This sacred marriage is ever pregnant with creative destruction, fertilized through pragmatic paradox, the offspring of which is philosophical–religious disruption—even of Reform Paganism itself. The difficult balance we strike, like the fleeting moment of the equinox we now observe, is not stationary; rather, like the Earth and all other heavenly bodies, Reform Paganism is never stable or final but always moving with the universal flow of Nature and of humanity within it.
Change is life, and life is ever sacrificed to life, particularly in the harvest. Therefore, let us take this opportunity of Mid Autumn to sacrifice again the hubristic certainty of whatever worldview and lifeway we have known in order that the seeds we have sown of uncertainty and ambiguity might enable us to harvest new life.