Paganism and Pantheism:

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Paganism and Pantheism:“Pagans are pantheists.

Pantheism (Greek pan=Everything, theos=God) means regarding the universe and nature as divine, or equating the universe with God.

There is a close link between pantheism and modern paganism. Many pagans proclaim themselves to be pantheists. “I embrace Pantheism, acknowledging that the Divine is everywhere and in everything” says Selena Fox in I am a Pagan. “My worship takes the form of Divine communion with Nature.”

“The world is holy,” writes Margot Adler in Drawing down the Moon. “Nature is holy. The body is holy. Sexuality is holy. The mind is holy. The imagination is holy. You are holy….Thou art Goddess. Thou art God. Divinity is immanent in all Nature. It is as much within you as without.”

On its Web page, the pagan Church of All Worlds says it “embraces the theology of pantheism, as we experience what has been called `God,’ as an immanent quality inherently manifest in every living Being, from a single cell to an entire planet–and likely the universe itself.”

Finally, could there be a more beautiful expression of pantheism than Wiccan Doreen Valiente’s Charge of the Goddess:

I who am the beauty of the green earth,
and the white moon among the stars,
and the mystery of the waters,
call unto thy soul:
Arise, and come unto me.
For I am the soul of nature, who gives life to the universe.
From Me all things proceed,
and unto Me all things must return;
and before My face, beloved of gods and of men,
let thine innermost divine self be
enfolded in the rapture of the infinite.
Let My worship be within the heart that rejoices;
for behold, all acts of love and pleasure are My rituals.

Pantheists are not always pagans.

But pantheism and paganism have not always been so closely linked. The word pagan was already in use in the later Roman empire, to mean a non- Christian believer in the traditional pantheon of Rome.

The name pantheism was not used before the early eighteenth century – but the belief that nature and the universe are divine can be dated back to the Greek philosopher Heraklitus of Ephesus. “The cosmos is, and was, and always will be ever living fire,” he wrote. Heraklitus was no pagan: he had nothing but contempt for the worship of “statues” and for the Bacchic Mysteries of Dionysos.

The strongest school of pantheists were the Stoics, founded in the fourth century BC. They included Epictetus, Seneca and the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius. Though many of them called their cosmic divinity Zeus, they thought of it as the totality of the material universe. They were not polytheists.

Modern pantheism has had many distinguished representatives, ranging from Spinoza through the Lakeland poets to Albert Einstein and Gene Roddenberry. These well-known pantheists, however, were not pagans either.

Paganism and pantheist “theology.”

So if ancient pagans were not pantheists, and ancient and many modern pantheists were not pagans, why do so many modern pagans say they are pantheists?

First of all, the times are a’changing. The rise of pantheistic religions is one of the key religious trends in the West. Not just pure pantheism, but a whole range of religions that see divinity out there in front of our noses, in nature and the night sky: Taoism, Zen Buddhism, paganism, deep ecology, Native American religions, or forms of Christianity verging on pantheism such as Creation Spirituality.

This pantheistic wave is fed by the destruction of nature and the earth proceeding all around us – the more we risk losing it, the more of us realize how deeply we value it. Many of us too are fed up with life-hating religions from ancient times that tell us that this earth is no more than a staging post on the road to heaven, and this body is just a cage for our eternal souls.

Love of nature, and feelings of a pervasive divinity in nature and in ourselves, are possibly the strongest reasons why many people are attracted to paganism in the first place. I would guess that for most people the need for a religion that affirms life, the body, sex, nature and the universe is more powerful than the need to have a variety of gods to worship. Pantheism is instinctive: it is every child’s reaction of wonder to the world around it. Polytheism comes later, if at all, and it is learned….”

Practice of scientific pantheism* by Paul Harrison.
Featured, Dec. 12, 1996.
This article was first published in Pagan Dawn, Summer 1997.

http://www.pantheism.net/paul/pagan.htm

Moro

Art title: ‘Deep Songs’ by artist: elreviae @ http://elreviae.deviantart.com/art/Deep-Songs-308926669

 

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Sage’s Meditational Practice; A Shortcut that Helps

Vandella Tribune Column

I’ve been meditating on and off since my childhood years, learning and developing ways to connect with the spiritual realm. I’ll write about my experiences and achievements in another article, for now I’ll give a quick way to achieve a clear mind in the matter of minutes. This is a two stage process that becomes a one stage from then on.

These two stage can take a few hours depending on the mental baggage the person possesses.

Stage 1: Prepping the Grounds

  1. Find a place where you won’t be disturbed for at least 2 hours, a place that you feel safe and sound.
  2. Set up some form of background noise, whether it be music, sounds of nature (if outside you’re already set), or traffic for those who prefer city life. You want something that pushes you body with energy but relaxes the senses, you don’t want to fall asleep… at least…

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The tricky question of magic; A rational approach…

 

 

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“…The tricky question of magic

Magic is not focal or central to paganism. Pagans can be pagans without using or believing in magic.

The association of paganism and magic is to some extent a historical accident. And from the point of view of the scientific pantheist, this association is unfortunate.

One tenet of scientific pantheism is to keep an open mind. Fifty years ago mainstream medicine would never have accepted that the mind can influence the course of disease. Today the placebo effect is well proven and quite strong. We know that the state of the mind can affect the state of the immune system and the course and prognosis of many illnesses.

So scientific pantheism would be obliged to keep an open mind about magic. Our minds can influence our own bodies, our actions, our determination, our focus and concentration. We may also become more persuasive, more able to influence others to do as we would like. If we “psych” ourselves up sufficiently, we are often capable of feats that seemed almost impossible.

But can our minds control matter, other than our own bodies, directly? Can they influence other minds out of our physical reach, just by thinking? If these things were possible, it would mean that the human mind were separate from matter, and able to move through time and space independently of the body. To accept this would involve a radical rethink of the scientific pantheist outlook, of science as a whole, and of most people’s normal ways of looking at the world.

As Carl Sagan remarked: “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” Before the reality of magic is regarded as fact, before we radically revise science and philosophy, there would have to be the most rigorous and repeated tests showing a clear effect, far beyond what could be expected by chance. Until such evidence is available, the empirical pantheist would do well to withhold believe in magic.

It may well be that, even when magic appears to be successful, other explanations are much more likely. For example, humans regularly overestimate the odds against many types of coincidence in a world with 5,700 million inhabitants, and may attribute coincidence to the workings of providence or of magic. We may forget the times when things didn’t work out the way we wanted, more readily than we forget the times when they did….”

http://www.pantheism.net/paul/pagan.htm

Moro

Art title: ‘ Cosmic muse’ by artist: ~ Daily Inspirationby RazielMB @ http://razielmb.deviantart.com/art/Cosmic-muse-Daily-Inspiration-436931139

Notes from the artist: “Daily Inspiration Shadowness

My art is dedicated to my Muse, my wife! Tomorrow is her birthday. ❤
Ich liebe dich meine Göttin!!!  ❤ “

Muspelheim and Niflheim-the lands of fire and ice…

 

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“Thaw and Frost. Muspel and Nifl. Their names are derived from Muspelheim and Niflheim-the lands of fire and ice respectively in Norse mythology.

Two guardian spirits, brothers, watch over the cycle of water in our world. Where Nifl walks the water condenses, turns solid and becomes ice and snow. Muspel follows closely after, his path melting the ice to turn back into water, evaporating it, causing steam and clouds to drift skyward in his wake.

The presence of both tigers ensures the eternal presence of liquid water in our world, our most valuable source of life. In order to sustain this delicate yet important balance they share a mutual reliance on the other.

Despite this however they are highly competitive and fiercely territorial. Certain parts of our world are predominately the terrority of Nifl, while others are governed by the presence of Muspel. Fights over dominance are reflected in the state of our world’s climate, ever shifting and as unpredictable as the spirits’ tempers.

In the end, neither truly wins, nor loses. And as the world cycles through night and day their battle continues to rage beneath the surface of our water.”

Moro

 

Title: Off-White: Thaw and Frost by Artist: Vyrilien @http://delun.deviantart.com/art/Off-White-Thaw-and-Frost-253469930

from “Contest Entry ‘Off-white’

Onna Bugeisha, the Japanese Female Warrior

 

 

 

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Onna Bugeisha with a Katana and the traditional weapon used by them, the Naginata.

“An onna-bugeisha (女武芸者?) was a type of female warrior belonging to the Japanese upper class. Many wives, widows, daughters, and rebels answered the call of duty by engaging in battle, commonly alongside samurai men. They were members of the bushi (samurai) class in feudal Japan and were trained in the use of weapons to protect their household, family, and honour in times of war. They also represented a divergence from the traditional “housewife” role of the Japanese woman. They are sometimes referred to as female samurai, although this is an oversimplification. Significant icons such as Empress Jingu, Tomoe Gozen, Nakano Takeko, and Hōjō Masako are famous examples of onna bugeisha.”

 

-Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onna-bugeisha

 

Moro

 

Photo from http://www.go2menonly.com/33/post/2014/01/empress-jingu-and-the-mighty-onna-bugeisha.html