I have been out of commission over the last few days due to my hand, and I have been using that time to do a lot of thinking.
I have been struggling to find a niche for what I am. I am a Witch, yes, but I was having a hard time finding a term to describe how I see God. I am not a religious person, and never really have been. I am not Wiccan. I am not Christian. Nor am I Hindu, or a Buddhist or anything else of that nature. I have posted before about seeing God or the Goddess as multifaceted manifestations of the self, but that is not really true either.
I called myself "Spiritual" but that is not accurate either. I have had so freaking many conversations with people of all kinds of religions and felt only a partial kinship with ANY of them. I was at a loss as to how to describe myself so even I could understand it, but I knew there has to be a word out there for it. I even tossed around the notion of using agnostic, but that is not right either.
I do not believe in "God" or "Goddess" in the typical way. I do not think there are a zillion different deities that govern a zillion different things, or one wrathful God that preaches about love while he killed millions of people for not blindly following him, and in whose name more death and war and horrible crimes have been committed. I do not have any resonance with the Wheel of the Year or a lot of other Wiccan or Pagan things. Nature, the Cosmos, the UNIVERSE is what resonates in me. Everything is connected. Everything is energy. I do not believe in a Creator God/ess. EVERYTHING is "God." I am Divine. That rock outside, that blade of grass, that speck of dirt, all those are Divine. Everything is perfectly awesome and connected just as it is. Everything is energy to me, which is why thought can manifest itself into tangible things. Jesus was no more Divine than my next door neighbor in potential, Jesus was just more dedicated and enlightened than my next door neighbor. In my way of thinking anyway. Every night I pray, but I pray to the Universe. Miracles are just thought and will manifested. Massive amounts of energy directed to a central cause. Some people can wield that energy better than others.
I started searching for the term, finding a few that kind of meant what I felt, but not close enough for me to say "That's IT!"
Finally I found the word, which was right under my nose the whole time, but not one that I had enough knowledge about to make the connection.
The word was "Pantheism."
According to Wikipedia, "Pantheism" :
is the view that the Universe (Nature) and God (or divinity) are identical. Pantheists thus do not believe in a personal,anthropomorphic or creator god. The word derives from the Ancient Greek: πᾶν (pan) meaning "all" and θεός (theos) meaning "God". As such, Pantheism denotes the idea that "God" is best seen as a process of relating to the Universe. Although there are divergences within Pantheism, the central ideas found in almost all versions are the Cosmos as an all-encompassing unity and the sacredness of Nature.
That right there pretty much sums up how I feel and look at things in a nutshell folks.
Everything is connected. Everything is God.
All these bells and whistles, spells and rituals, churches and worship, mean virtually nothing to me. NOTHING. The Universe is my sanctuary. I fully understand that those bells and whistles are just as real and important to others, and do not denounce their belief in them. That is what is so great about it.To each is own...and because of the nature of the Universe, all those things can be as real as one perceives them. I was just looking to find where *I* fit in, because where I was at was not it. People have told me I must not believe in anything since I do not worship a God or even a Goddess. I always told them " It is not that I believe in nothing, it is that I believe in EVERYTHING!" I believe we are capable of anything we set our minds to because we are part of the Universe, we are part of that collective energy, and energy is the motivation behind every single thing that happens in the Universe. I have such faith, so much that it hurts sometimes, but had no way to describe it in a term people could understand.
I made a comment on a fellow blogger's post that said I was tired of explaining my faith to others, defending my faith to others. I was tired of trying to educate people into understanding what "religion" I am so they can wrap their minds around it. I just wanted to practice my brand of faith in peace. I am of NO religion. I just AM. I am part of the Universe, and the Universe is a part of me.
I normally do not even like using the word God in the religious sense because I am of no religion and it does not really apply to me in the sense that most people view the word God or Goddess. I am not going to Hell. I am not going to Heaven, or anywhere else. When my time is up, I am going to die and be cremated and scattered somewhere of my choosing, and I will STILL be part of the Universe. My personal energy might start all over again somewhere else, or it might not. I do not know, and I do not care. All I know is that everything is sacred to me. Whatever I choose to do with my life, or my body, or my mind, is possible because I am a part of something that makes it all possible. No one can make choices about my life but me. No God can tell me I can nor can not have children, or how many, or that I must cover my head when I go out in public, or that I can only wear dresses, or can't eat meat on Fridays, or anything else, unless that is what *I* choose to do. It allows me to live my life by my own creed. It allows me to learn from my mistakes, to grow and to change, and to keep my own council. I am harder on myself than anyone or any thing could ever be. I hold myself in check and walk that line because it is the right thing for ME to do. No one else is capable or allowed to make my life's decisions but me. Circumstances and my feelings on a subject will of course influence it, but no one is qualified to live my life for me.
This does not mean that I am not human and do not have likes and dislikes and emotions that dictate how I feel and what makes me ME.
I find it amusing that the "symbol" for Pantheism is the spiral, and I have long been fascinated and drawn to the spiral for years, as personal friends can attest.
I am still working it out in my mind, letting things fall into place, but I finally feel that I have found my "word" that best describes what I am in a way that others can understand it. I am still a Witch, but you can be anything and still be a Witch.
I know this is all a bit disjointed, and there will most likely be more posts about this, in a more cohesive manner, but for tonight, I am jubilant and relieved that I have found something that speaks to me, that explains to some degree of how I look at things. To know that I am not alone in my way of thinking. It makes so much more sense to me now as to why I was taking bits and pieces from different faiths and fashioning them into my own. I just thought I was eclectic, but because all those different faiths are parts of the whole, it made sense that different things appealed to me. The labels and sectioning off are things that humans did, and at one time, everything was One. To me, everything still IS One.
Everyone should follow the path that feels right to them. There is no particular path or brand of faith or type of religion that is any better or worse than the other. What matters is that it works for you, that is uplifts you and fills you in the way faith should. I do not have to like another persons path, but I have to respect it. That has been one of the hardest lessons to learn, and I am STILL learning...but now, now that I feel I know where I am in my own faith, I can be more tolerant and respective of others. It was hard for me to be happy for a person in their niche when I was searching for my own. Granted, there are still going to be times when I learn something and will say "WTF??" but as I said, I am only human, and my feelings are my own and valid, even if they differ from yours, just as yours are valid as well.
I hope this made some kind of sense to my readers, but even if it did not, it finally makes sense to me. My mind and spirit are quiet and at peace, after years of uncertainty and trying to find my way, to find my place.
I walk the spiral path, I always have, and I always will.