Hello Dazzle! Thanks for coming and hanging out with me today, I’m glad that you are here. There have been several people now that have asked me what my religious beliefs are, so I have decided that I will try to give a basic over view of my personal beliefs. I fall underneath the umbrella of Wicca, but it is important to understand that the theological views within Wicca are diverse. Wicca is not an organized religion, but one that is generally practiced as individuals or small groups. Thus, it is quite common for those beneath the Wiccan umbrella to have quite differing beliefs. Everything within this post is solely my personal view and is in no way a summary or effort to describe the Wiccan faith as a whole.
There are two deities of relevance: The Triple Goddess (female deity) of the moon and The Horned God (male deity) of the sun. For me, these Divine figures are symbols and are not intended to represent actual beings, but rather are archetypes used to help express and understand the nature of the Divine. Reality, the universe and the cosmos are fundamentally a part of the Divine; the universe itself having created all things as it expands. It has existed since the beginning of time and is an all encompassing creator; for there is nothing that it makes that is not also a part of itself. Thus, we too are fundamentally a part of the Divine. This belief falls within the realm of Pantheism.
Celebrations honor the cycles of the Moon, known as Esbats which are associated with the Triple Goddess (female deity). The cycles of the Sun are also honored. These are seasonally based festivals known as Sabbats and are associated with the Horned God (male deity). Both the sun and moon are honored as important symbols for the constant cyclic change that occurs within the universe. The Esbats are times for quiet contemplation while the Sabbats are celebrations akin to other religious holidays.
An unattributed statement known as the Wiccan Rede is a popular expression of Wiccan morality and one that I personally live by. This moral guidance requires that we do our best to cause no harm to others and to do our best to make reparations when we have caused harm. This is not to say that I believe we are responsible for the boundaries of other people. It is the individual responsibility of each person to maintain personal insight and to communicate to those around them what their needs and expectations are. Failure to do so is the fault of the person failing to communicate, not the fault of any person who might thus unknowingly cause harm. Reparations are largely focused upon the concrete. The non-concrete harms put the focus on how best to prevent the re-occurrence.
Wicca involves the ritual practice of magic. It is also the most contentious part of my personal belief system. Magic is found where a person stands with awe in one hand and wonder in the other. Whenever we look at the mysteries of our universe and fail to explain how it is that this has come to be, we are speaking of magic. It is all that is in the universe that we cannot comprehend and demands that we humble ourselves at the vastness of it. Magic holds infinity, paradoxes and even the fundamental interconnectedness of the universe as suggested by quantum physics. Magic is the incomprehensible. All the things that we know through our observations of the world and yet cannot begin to explain how it is that they exist in the fashion that they do.
I am an Atheist, meaning I do not believe that there is a sentient divine figure that has any creative power or authority over our lives. This means that I also fall under the Pagan umbrella. It is important to note that not all Wiccans are Pagans. However, most are. There are those Wiccans who are also believers in the Christian, Judaism, or Islamic gods. As such believers, they would not be classified as being Pagans. The term “Pagan” is also one that has been rather difficult to fully define even by those that research the Pagan faiths. In general, Paganism is defined as being the faiths that are nature based and do not believe in any of the major world religions such as Christianity, Judaism, or Islam.
So what do I mean by the Divine if I don’t believe in a sentient god? Everything that is in existence is but an aspect of a single thing. All of it is an energy that flows through various states of being. While aspects die and cease to be, that energy is never destroyed but rather transformed into yet another state of being. This is the Life Stream, the eternal and unending flow of existence from whence all creation is derived and all destruction returns. This is the Unity to which all things belong. This wholeness, in its entirety, is the Divine. The unknowable, inconceivable force that eternally drives that flow of energy is the Divine. Again, this is Pantheism.
Just to be clear, I also believe in science. I don’t feel that spirituality and science are mutually exclusive ideas, but rather that they are different ways to explore our world. I am also a student of philosophy for the same reason, because this is yet another way to explore and try to understand our world. While science is a very powerful and important tool for understanding our world, it has limits and it isn’t the only tool that we have available to us. There is a proper time and place for each of these tools much in the same way that there is a proper time and place for the use of a hammer vs a screw driver, but one wouldn’t argue that either tool was more important than the other.
As a person that has lived primarily in Christian communities, I also take part in numerous American holidays that are strongly associated with the Christian faith. This is because these are the holidays that my family and friends are celebrating which I have been asked to take part in. Celebrating with those we love is a fundamentally important aspect of community and because of this, many of us with non-Christian faiths often participate in Christian holidays through out the year. That being said, these are times of general celebration rather then religious worship for me.
I am a Pagan and Wiccan, who is an Atheist that believes in Pantheism. I am also a scientist, a spiritualist and a philosopher. Because when most of us really look at our core beliefs we will find that they are layered and complex things rather then something that will easily fall beneath a single heading. Nothing in life is that simple. People most certainly are not. Hopefully, for those of you who’ve asked, that answers your question. Feel free to ask any questions you have in the comments, just be respectful.
Well, that’s about it for my rambling today. Thanks for coming and spending some time with me. If you like what you read, click on that like button. It really does help! Until we talk again, you take care of yourselves!