Praxis is a word that I coined some time back as a way of expressing a Pagan or Heathen’s entire spiritual practice. I chose it for little other reason that it being a word that means practice, but sounds cooler than just saying practice. Seriously. The reason why I chose it however, was because of how complicated it became trying to write about Pagans and Heathens and having to use practice to mean a great many things. As a result I found praxis and its plural form praxes and started using them as more of a proper noun for a Pagan or Heathen’s entire spiritual path-practice-observance-faith etc. In one respect I did that just so that I would be able to writer better and more accurately about Pagans and Heathens, however I also have a hope that one day (probably far in the future) the term will serve as a common place way for all Pagans and Heathens to talk about their praxis. It is also not just intended to be a term solely for the use of Pagans and Heathens to talk to other Pagans and Heathens more easily; it is also intended to help us talk with others who are not Pagans or Heathens.
It is certainly only because I have been using the term so much that I feel prepared to write the articles that follow this. Using the term so much has forced me to really consider those things that are core or common across all Pagans and Heathens. In some respects it has required that I biopsy the community, admittedly in an amateurish way, in order to accurately analyse what is and is not one thing or another. Without a doubt, because of this, I don’t actually expect the use of praxis, praxes and Praxis to become widespread. Apart from the sheer egotism of that belief, it also goes against the grain of what the majority of Pagans and Heathens would appear to feel on the matter. The idea of a sense of definition coming to how to describe the elements or qualities of a Pagan or Heathen is something I feel would not be well received for fear of unintentionally disqualifying people or otherwise negating the pedestal of ‘that’s the idea, it’s a personal path’. Nevertheless, I’m going to write it anyways.
For the sake of accurately representing my idea: On its own ‘praxis’ refers to the collection of elements a person has as a Pagan or Heathen. The plural is praxes and can really only be used when referring to more than one person, because a person’s praxis is always their praxis no matter how much is in it. What is comprised of in a person’s praxis are nine elements that cover the major aspects of Pagans and Heathens, ranging from their theistic ideas to why they are a Pagan or Heathen to the labels that they use to describe themselves. An important thing to take note of is that even though I am taking these elements and examining them, briefly, their aspects bleed over into one another and so while they can be looked at individually, they are undoubtedly intimately interconnected.