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.
I have struggled with the idea of God for a long time too. FInally I just kind of understood. I think this is how we really learn, spiritually - by searching and waiting for an answer. I feel much the same as you about the gods - I don't see them as above all else, just different. All of our energies are needed to support the whole (universe.) I simply call myself witch. I do what I suspect witches have done throughout time - work with many energies (nature energies, gods, ancestors, etc.) towards change - this is what i call the Work or some call it spellwork or magic. Rituals for me are just a simple way to honor and acknowledge those who choose to work with me. Again this includes gods spirits and ancestors. I do not see one energy as greater or more "divine" than any other - this includes humans, and I know that these entities need humans as much as humans need them, so when they work with us and help us with our Work it is the way in which they honor and acknowledge us.
It sounds like you have come to the same conclusion. If you're like me, you're practices will now be greatly simplified and yet much more powerful and fulfilling. It's nice to meet likeminded people!!!
First off, I love this post. I can totally relate to this post and these feelings. I have been in the "craft" for like 15 years and I have felt like I am slowing but surely falling away from the main stream everything...because (to me) it's all just energy and how you use it or not use it, or how your interact with it or not. So, I use Witch or Pagan, because I don't really want to explain anything and that's just easier. As for gods/goddesses, I use them like I do a pen or pencil, for a reference but I know it doesn't *really* matter because it's just a focusing tool and some tools work better than others is all.
Love your post, your ideas and really look forward to more of them!!!
Congratulations on finding your word...Nature is God/God is Nature...Pantheism is a good word...
I came across the term pantheism several years ago, and I had somewhat the same revelation as you. It's nice to know a term to use for yourself, especially if you're ever stuck trying to explain your beliefs.
What is really funny here is YOU ARE IN MY HEAD AGAIN!!!! WITCH!!!! LOL LMAO ROFL
Also I have been studying Pantheism for years now just never told anyone so for you to write this again I say GET OUT OF MY HEAD!!!! LOL LMAO ROFL
Wayyyyy too connected SISTER!!!
Thank you for writing this.
I love you!!!
I grew up in a super churchy household, first in the Church of Christ and then as a Baptist. I always so out of place in the Baptist and later the Nazarene churches because I had so many questions & all the adults had a surprising lack of answers. I studied Paganism and Buddhism (which I sort to angressive for!) and nothing quite fit.
In my teens I read 'Stranger in a Strange Land' and felt like for the first time someone else got it. Whatever you'd like to call that higher power, for me, if you can't hear in a child's laugh or see it in a sunset, you've missed the point.
You are so not alone in your feelings! And for those who demand you explain yourself: you are the magic that is you and if that ain't good enough for 'em, forget about 'em!
PS: my word verification was 'wampirr' haha!!
What a fascinating post, for me anyway. I found myself agreeing, then thinking Uhmm Hmm. I love reading articles that make me stop and think about why I agree or disagree. In fact I don't disagree with anything here but you certainly made me think about a lot of things.
I have my own experiences that have molded my views and my views absolutely mirror yours on the sacredness of the universe and all it holds.
I wrote a blog post on my views of the Divine. http://themagicneverends.blogspot.com/2011/06/my-gods.html
Perhaps you could give me your opinions. I would be very interested to hear them.
You know you won't get any argument from me, here. I fully relate to all of this. <3
Excellent post. I'm able to relate quite a bit to what you've written here.
Hi! I've read your blog for awhile now but just found this post while looking for websites about pantheist witchcraft. Just wanted to say that I'm in a similar boat as you. I generally feel out of place amongst other pagans because I don't do the Wheel of the Year thing, nor do I believe in omnipotent deities. I'm satisfied with my own beliefs but do wish there were resources out there to sort of inspire and share each other's thoughts about this stuff.
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