Pagan at Heart

At peace with myself and the world… or at least headed that way

Archive for the month “September, 2013”

The three why’s of ritual, by NaturalPantheist

Humanistic Paganism

I wanted to look at the subject of Ritual. Is there any point to it? Can it bring value to our lives as Naturalistic Pantheists? Ritual is a major part of most religions, but the question is why?

I would like to suggest that there are three reasons why ritual is important, whether or not we believe in anything supernatural about it – it reminds us to stop and be aware of the world around us, it has an effect on us internally and it helps us to connect to something bigger than ourselves.

1) Awareness

How many of us think about all the plants and animals around us when we walk down the street? How many of us eat a meal without thinking about the fact that something had to die so that we could eat and live? Many of the spiritual practices of the worlds religions have at…

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Reblog: The Gods in Druidry

Down the Forest Path

This is a reblog from my work for SageWoman’s channel at Witches and Pagans:

nutsWho are the gods in Druidry?  There is no one answer to this question, as deity, like religion, is such a personal thing in Paganism.  There is no single authority telling us who our god is, or what She is saying.  There are books, teachers, Orders, Groves etc that can offer paths of a tradition that may lead to a relationship with the gods, but again they won’t tell you exactly who they are – we’re given a map and a compass but we have to find our own way.

There are so many classifications of deity in Druidry.  Ancestral gods, those who have been revered by a particular tribe or people for a substantial length of time may still dwell alongside those who have formed a relationship with them in their…

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Reclaiming the Divine

While meditating yesterday, I was drawn to focus on the image of a woman – the Goddess. She was smiling; I sensed that she was extending her hands to me she might teach me. As I took her hand, I saw the image of a man – the God – standing in the shadows. He too had a warm smile on his face, but he did not make any movement toward me. He nodded at me and seemed to tell me that he was content to wait until I was ready to seek him out. And then the vision was gone.

My background is dominated by patriarchal religious fundamentalism of the Baptist flavor. Men are venerated over women in the Bible, which is a reflection of the people who wrote it. This way of life – patriarchy – was taught to me at church, at the school I attended from K-4 through 12th grade, and at the Baptist college I attended. The god of the Bible is male, and boy does he have a temper! He was to be feared and obeyed, lest he choose to strike you down.  His son, Jesus, was a much nicer fellow, whom I always viewed as the kind-hearted ambassador who kept his father from smashing us like bugs. In short, my previous experiences with male divinity and masculinity have not been positive. As a result, I struggle with approaching the male side of the divine right now. It will take time for me to learn how to reclaim the divine masculine.

Conversely, the female side of divinity is completely new to me. The notion that women may have divine status as well is incredibly empowering and has already had a huge impact on me. Instead of being stuck as the gender which led Adam astray (and, as a result, cast the whole world into sin), we may see ourselves as the beautiful, good beings that we are. The Goddess has always appears as a mother-figure to me. She offers warmth, love, nourishment, and protection like a good mother does for her children. This aspect of the divine is what I need to heal my hurts and help me as I change and grow into who I am meant to be. I find great joy in discovering the divine feminine.

I am a huge fan of balance. I find it is very important in my own life; I’ve seen the damage caused by imbalance in my life and the lives of others. At some point in the future, I will embrace a more balanced approach to the divine – embracing both the female and male aspects equally – but I’m not ready for that yet. And the divines know that and understand, as my vision so kindly reminded me. The God is waiting for me, patiently, knowing that I will one day find and reclaim him in my life.

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