The Falcon and The Falconer: Practicing without Deity

Something that my readers have probably worked out by now is that I don’t really have much to my name as a pagan-heathen. I’ve no altar, no actual path or regular practice and no deity/deities that I actively worship or am devoted to. While it would be remiss of me to claim that those are things that one MUST have in order to be a pagan-heathen, I cannot deny that having such things likely aids a person in the pursuit of their path and practice.

As far as my path and practice are concerned, there are several reasons why I don’t have those above things, and the several others that one could group with them. Chief among those reasons is that currently I am living with my family. While this is not exactly an unusual situation, whether you look at me as a pagan or as a young adult, it presents some interesting quandaries. Do I practice as best I can, patch-working a hodgepodge collection of little things that I can call my own; or do I ‘come out’ to my family in the hope that by doing so I will be able to pursue a practice more aligned with what I would like?

There is however, a very simple reason why I am pursuing option one.

My faith, is really the only thing that I can call mine. Just mine. Without having to share it with my family and make it a part of their lives.

People who have grown up as only children or as siblings but with their own rooms may not truly appreciate just how few things are just yours when two brothers have shared a bedroom since the younger was born. How in each others faces a family is when the house they live in is as small as mine is. Nothing is truly yours and everything is everyones.

It would be easy to mistake this description for bellyaching, which in one regard it is but not the sort that means I resent it. Its more a statement of fact, and affirmation to myself and others in my situation where their practice is a secret, that reminds me/us that just because it is a secret to those closest to us does not mean that we are any less proud of it. That however, is getting very very off point.

Obviously one does not require much of anything, really, to worship a deity. To offer up faith to a particular deity is really all one needs to do to actually worship a deity. However this does not necessarily mean that the deity is or will respond to you. It is when you DO get a response, when you and that deity develop a rapport that you really begin to practice with a deity. I cannot imagine what this must be like, but I can only say that I hope that it alleviates the feeling of being lost that someone like myself feels when practicing without a deity.


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