“My happiness thrives at the periphery. I long for you to see me, but… never mind!"
It’s my column/magazine for progressive concepts, and introducing western paganism of the western culture to Chinese community.
(It used to be broader, including subcultures, fashion, books and media that are peripheral, but for now paganism takes up a big enough chunk of my resources.)
Why translate neo-paganism to Chinese?
Neo-paganism is without a doubt western, European and American, and it seems meaningless trying to introduce them to Chinese.
However, growing up in Taiwan, I have had a hard time building my path to seek out neo-paganism. Everything started with the hunch that I feel close to nature and wondered if there are more devotion or interaction I could have with faeries or higher powers of the nature.
I didn’t even know what to google. I didn’t know the terms pagan, wicca, goddess religion or what they meant. I didn’t know if faeries could be a spiritual faith. It was a winding, ambiguous journey that led to nowhere for 3 years.
But as I learn about neo-paganism, I become sure there must be many of my people looking for nature-based spirituality too. Also, the pagan ideologies teaches a lot of what we are looking for in the 21st century, from personal development to environmentalism to business industries.
I want to pull it out of fantasy novels and video game imagery, and tell my people in Chinese, this is real! There are real practice! These are practical ways of life!
Elements of nature, spirits and fey, goddess, revival of myths, magic of intention, practical instead of metaphysical understanding of natural beauty, awareness and activism……
Tons of aspects of myth, folklore and magic are misplaced in superfluous understanding. Maybe so in the western world too, but unlike the west, there are rarely any information that explains them in Chinese. At least not enough that we can stand up proud.
I was extremely touched by Pan’s Labyrinth where Guillermo del Toro proves everything powerful and practical about myth and folktales. I was deeply moved by Reclaming Witchcamp where there are beautiful beliefs and practical activism instead of new-age fluff that everyone connects spirituality with.
And somehow I am just so intrigued by Celtic feys and I want them to be understood properly — be understood in a land across the globe from their origins.
So I’m writing, learning and translating of what I know about earth-based spirituality, paganism, and faerie faith.
Doesn’t pagan traditions exist in Chinese/Asia already?
Of course, there are Asian counterparts of paganism in each country and aboriginal people. Western paganism already draws from them. I don’t know as much about them, and although I want to learn too, my desire focus on the Celtic traditions (and American traditions of course, being where I am physically) and introduce that.
Besides, compared to aboriginal faiths, neo-paganism is scarce in modern Asian societies and any keyword like magic, ritual and circle is synonymous to scam or evil cult. I am not able to discuss neo-paganism with an Asian friend without feeling embarrassed.
Therefore, I will also introduce in English neo-paganism practices existing in Taiwan, and perhaps HK and China. Whatever I can find on the internet!
Dear dear Rosa joked “Oh I want to go to your witchcamp in Taiwan!" What an unthinkable but wonderful-once-spoken idea!