Searching for a Title

A comment was added yesterday to my entry Why I am Wiccan. The person more or less asked if one finds a spiritual practice satisfying, is the title really important? My first thought was “No, it’s not.” I thought this because religion is deeply personal. It is something between you and your god(s).

But, as I started to write this entry, I began to think that maybe titles were important, to a certain extent. If you don’t follow a religion, it makes no sense to say that you do. I am not Presbyterian, Asatru, Celtic Reconstructionist, or Jew so I don’t give those titles to myself. To do so would be very confusing to others, both followers of those paths and non-followers. By declaring that your belong to a religion, by taking on the title of Wicca or Presbyterian or Asatru, you are saying something about yourself. You are saying that you belong to that community, that you believe in certain things and don’t believe in others.

But there are times when what you believe in is a little unclear. Maybe you don’t feel like you actually follow the teachings of a certain sect, yet you still believe in the general ideas. Finding a title then can be difficult. But, maybe it is still important. If you know you believe in the Christian God, why not claim to be Christian. You needn’t say you are Presbyterian or any other sect. But by taking the title of Christian you make a connection between yourself and the faith. The same is true of Wicca. You might feel drawn to it, to the honouring of nature, to pagan deities, to the mores and ethics. But if you don’t feel you are Wiccan, you can take on the broader title of Pagan. Again, this will help to make a connection between yourself and your faith.

And that is the reason why I think that titles can be important, even if you only use the title with yourself. They help to clarify, to yourself, what you believe and where you think your path is taking you. There are bound to be times in life where the path is so misty that we may not know, and so then we may go title-less, but eventually we will find our away again, with a little help, and find ourself on a path towards Paganism, Christianity, or any one of the wonderful faiths that this world has to offer.


3 Responses

  1. Lani says:

    I will have to agree with your point, on the titles. In the actual practice, titles are not important. But just as a defining part of the beliefs…yes, you need something to call it, I think.
    Then I think of titles…that kind of blurr the lines…one title runs into the other. But titles can at least give that person a sense of what they believe is valid.
    Like most pagans will say that they have believed in the ways of pagans…but never knew what to call it. And finally finding a name for it is more comforting…and not quite so alone. Did that makes sense? I tend to ramble.

  2. JaeL says:

    You make some very good points. As an atheist (that has been my title for the last 13 years) who is exploring again the spiritual realm, I admit that my reluctance to be labeled as anything remotely religious is a personal and self-imposed limitation. The basic tenets of Wicca as I understand them appeal to me. I think that when I figure out where I

  3. Silverlotus says:

    Lani, I think you make perfect sense. I think that we get a feeling of community by taking on a title which we will share with others.

    And JaeL, I also agree with you. It is very wise to wait until one is sure before one decides to take up a title and declare themselves a member of a faith. It is a huge, life changing step.