Posted in Everyday Life, Goth, Hippie, Living Simply, Paganism, Wicca

Oh Dear Gods, Resolutions! Egads!

lens_cornelis_-_tanz_der_ma%cc%88nadenSo yesterday, out of the ashes of another boozy holiday, a different me rose like a phoenix. It isn’t necessarily a “better” me, just one that is perhaps more focused on what’s important. As I indicated yesterday, I changed my social media accounts. I went full on witchy. What had happened on my mundane accounts was a devolvement into awful political discourse. It has become increasingly crystal clear that the round and round arguing only served to aggravate everyone involved, and was without purpose. I’m not going to stick my head in the sand, but I’m no longer going to be the person who constantly harps on it. Honestly, I would much rather hang with other Pagans and witches, discussing spirituality and magick.

In the past, I’ve stayed away from New Year’s resolutions. They so often fall by the wayside. This year, I’m not waiting for New Year’s. I have a few things in mind. First, I want to be kinder to myself. Mind, body, and soul. That involves a dedication to meditation, to reading more books, to eating better, and ceasing to beat myself up over what I don’t like about my life. Accepting the things I can’t change, and working to better those that I can.

Secondly, extending more kindness to others. Becoming a Wiccan all those years ago went a long way to improving that, but there is always room to be a better person. More time with my grandchildren, and more quality time with my wife. More kindness extended to strangers, and to my friends. I know for a fact that that kind of thing comes back to you three and four fold.

I want to continue to simplify my life. This year, I made great strides in that area. I largely ditched shampoo, shifted from chemical laden soap products to simple bar soap, detoxed our cleaning supplies, went to water-only face washing, using only carrier oil and essential oils for moisturizing, and deodorant. We decluttered, and continue to do so. I’ve stopped comparing my life to the lives of others. If we are happy, that’s what’s important.

I know we could do more. Even though we recycle religiously, we could bring home less plastic from the store. We could eat less meat, and probably buy fewer unnecessary items than we do. Change is difficult, and changing behavior of 40+ years isn’t as simple as I thought it might be.

Lastly, I am going to allow myself to move between mindsets without all sorts of self analysis. I’m not sure how it’s happened, but I’m equal part barefoot hippie, goth, Wiccan, chaos magician, devotee of Hestia, chaste Goddess of the Hearth, devotee of Dionysus, God of religious and sensual ecstasy and madness (a particularly fun devotion!), and countless other deities and aspects of their personalities. For better or worse, the sum of all parts make us whole. Understanding why is, at least in my instance, best left to the deities.

So that’s it. Most of my “resolutions” are things I’m already working on. A few are new, and some are just a further embracement of current practices.

Thanks for reading! I love that people find what I ramble on about here fairly interesting, and am truly grateful for your feedback and comments. It makes my heart sing.

Blessings to you all.

 

Posted in Paganism, Wicca

Wicca; The Existence of Deities

neo-paganismIn the past, I’ve written quite a bit about having a strong belief in deity, and the existence of deity. I’ve been thinking about that quite a bit lately, and have examined my belief system in a more in-depth way.

I thought a lot about my what my perception of God was when I was an active participant in my birth religion. I basically defaulted to a belief in God, as my religion made a big deal of it. I never thought of God as a judgmental being, rather someone who one might turn to in times of trouble. Eventually, I fell away from my birth religion, and largely from a belief in God. If he was someone to turn to in times of trouble, he was truant an awful lot of the time.

So I lived godlessly for over 15 years. Eventually, I felt the need for some kind of spirituality in my life, and I found Wicca. I was a good student, read lots of books, blogs, message groups, and set up “shop” as instructed. Somewhere around my 8th year into Paganism/Wicca, I began looking at other paths. Chaos magick and Luciferianism were two paths that appealed to me the most. Interestingly, both paths viewed deity largely as archetypes, and/or the belief that the practitioner was a god, although some adherents did believe in the literal existence of gods. Yet I always returned to Wicca.

For the most part, I’ve willed myself to believe in the actual existence of deity. I have never felt the presence of, or had any kind of encounter with, deity. Honestly, I’m kind of back where I was in my birth religion days, where I basically accepted the existence of deity because I am supposed to. Obviously, this flies in the face of posts where I tout the absolute need for belief in deity. I get the irony. There are many times when I feel that my picture should be next to the word irony in the dictionary.

I’ve been reading a lot about Humanistic Paganism lately. When I question the existence of deity, Humanism or atheism always jumps to mind. I then while away a lot of hours watching Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens videos.

However, I find the atheistic beliefs too stark. Even though I may question the physical existence of deity, I do have supernatural beliefs. I have the belief that magick works. Perhaps not in every instance, but often enough. I believe in the magickal properties of stones, crystals, herbs, essential oils.

So where does that leave me? That’s the $64,000 question. The answer I’ve come up with is this. It brings me right back to Wicca.

There is no requirement in Wicca that you have an absolute belief in the physical existence of deity. I’ve read quite a few accounts of Wiccans who view deity as archetypical. I like Wicca for a number of reasons that many witches don’t like Wicca. I like the “harm none” concept. I understand it is very difficult to have zero actions that don’t harm another person. If you do a spell to get a job that you are up for, and you get it, didn’t that harm the other people that were also being considered for the job? My perception of the “harm none” guideline is that you don’t set out to cause serious physical and mental harm to another person or animal. I wouldn’t do it in a non-magickal way, so why would I do it magickally? I also really enjoy the fellowship with other Wiccans, even if is just through means such as this.

I also want to keep the door open for belief in deity. Just as the judge in “Miracle on 34th Street” ruled that the “court would keep an open mind as to the existence of Santa Claus,” I believe that’s where I stand in the deity belief spectrum. Never say never.

What do you think? Do you have an absolute belief in deity, or do you have moments of doubt? What are your opinions on viewing deity as archetypes? I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions!

Thanks for reading, and Blessed Be!

*Artwork found here.