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Still Confused By The God Thing


Guest morbidia
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im meandering around the site picking up interesting info that has been very helpful,the only problem i have is the belief in a god of any sort

 

i come from a completley non religious background so dont have experience of a christian god(apart from a slight flirtation when i was about 11 years old)

 

my questions are these ,

do i have to believe in some sort of god to be callled a pagan ?

how do i know who it is?

 

at the moment the only thing i believe in is nature and the power of that,i celebrate the turning of the year and the changing of the seasons ,but i dont know where a god fits into all this apart from maybe Mother Nature

 

im interested in what people in the British Isle might have believed in and am also researching Heathenry,but its not in a religious context more of an avid interest in the history behind it all

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do i have to believe in some sort of god to be callled a pagan ?

 

Well, I don't think so. There are quite a few on here that don't. Personally, I am very divided about the whole issue but I do lean much more to athiesm than i do other isms.

 

Its an interesting question that I have asked my self quite a few times, am I a pagan if i don't believe in a deity. and well, i don't suppose i am in the traditional sense of the word (ie believe in a deity) but then I do feel a strong connection with the land, nature and so forth. in fact that's the most important bit for me.

 

how do i know who it is?

 

Now, I can't answer this one, if you have contact a deity/spirit or whatever then that would be your task to find out. but I also find myself asking this very same question when I senses presences in my home. when I have discussed this with forum members they make very good suggestions, and certain things do resonate. What is stranger still is that in my house is me - an atheist, and Dragonhawk (my OH) who does believe in deities - and that does make for some very interesting conversations.

 

fizz

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im meandering around the site picking up interesting info that has been very helpful,the only problem i have is the belief in a god of any sort

 

i come from a completley non religious background so dont have experience of a christian god(apart from a slight flirtation when i was about 11 years old)

 

my questions are these ,

do i have to believe in some sort of god to be callled a pagan ?

I do believe in gods but the answer is no, you don't

how do i know who it is?

In my experience they introduce themselves to you

 

at the moment the only thing i believe in is nature and the power of that,i celebrate the turning of the year and the changing of the seasons ,but i dont know where a god fits into all this apart from maybe Mother Nature

Sounds good to me

im interested in what people in the British Isle might have believed in and am also researching Heathenry,but its not in a religious context more of an avid interest in the history behind it all

Sorry, can't help you there, but there are plenty of threads on it around here

208480[/snapback]

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To me the old gods are telesmatic images for the natural world around you. For example :- I will attempt to explain the horned god as I see it.

The Horned God represents the masculine energy that exists out there in the universe. This energy is a natural compliment to the great goddess energy that exists out there too, in balance, not superior in any way.

One image that the ancients used to represent this maleness was the Great God Pan.

The lower half of Pan represents the animal and the natural aspects of the human condition with no shame.

The torso and head represents the higher human qualities that makes people the intelligent feeling individuals that they can be.

On his face is usually a smile to remind one that life is a gift and to be lived. The horns on his head represent the rays of the moon , stars and the sun and are there as a reminder that Pan is a mediator between humanity and our understanding of our place in this wondrous universe.

So I guess it all comes down to what your understanding of a god or goddess actually really is. To me these old gods are around me everywhere all the time. Hence Pans name meaning "ALL".

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To me the old gods are telesmatic images for the natural world around you.  For example :- I will attempt to explain the horned god as I see it. 

The Horned God represents the masculine energy that exists out there in the universe. This energy is a natural compliment to the great goddess energy that exists out there too, in balance, not superior in any way.

One image that the ancients used to represent this maleness was the Great God Pan. 

The lower half of Pan represents the animal and the natural aspects of the human condition with no shame. 

The torso and head represents the higher human qualities that makes people the intelligent feeling individuals that they can be.

On his face is usually a smile to remind one that life is a gift and to be lived. The horns on his head represent the rays of the moon , stars and the sun and are there as a reminder that Pan is a mediator between humanity and our understanding of our place in this wondrous universe. 

So I guess it all comes down to what your understanding of a god or goddess actually really is.  To me these old gods are around me everywhere all the time. Hence Pans name meaning "ALL".

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so are you saying that you see gods as a form of energy,or have i misunderstood you,if so i can sort of see what you mean,i believe in the energy of nature and thats the only explanation i can come up with :rolleyes:

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do i have to believe in some sort of god to be callled a pagan ?

 

Well, I don't think so.  There are quite a few on here that don't.  Personally, I am very divided about the whole issue but I do lean much more to athiesm than i do other isms.

 

Its an interesting question that I have asked my self quite a few times, am I a pagan if i don't believe in a deity.  and well, i don't suppose i am in the traditional sense of the word (ie believe in a deity) but then I do feel a strong connection with the land, nature and so forth.  in fact that's the most important bit for me. 

 

how do i know who it is?

 

Now, I can't answer this one, if you have contact a deity/spirit or whatever then that would be your task to find out.  but I also find myself asking this very same question when I senses presences in my home.  when I have discussed this with forum members they make very good suggestions, and certain things do resonate. What is stranger still is that in my house is me - an atheist, and Dragonhawk (my OH) who does believe in deities - and that does make for some very interesting conversations.

 

fizz

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thats what i feel a connection to the land and nature,i just cant at the moment see myself connecting with a god,it worries me sometimes that i might be unintentionally ignoring someone or something that is staring me in the face,i dont want to p**S anyone off :rolleyes:

Edited by morbidia
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Yes you could call gods energy, nature is the Pagan God/Goddess to me. The thing is these energies can communicate with those who will listen too!

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Yes you could call gods energy, nature is the Pagan God/Goddess to me.  The thing is these energies can communicate with those who will listen too!

208509[/snapback]

 

thanks that makes perfect sense to me,i think im heading in the right direction,i just need to get out and get on with it,i have done a couple of simple rituals in my garden and i usually dedicate my offerings to Mother Nature

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Mother nature has been given many names by the ancients, take your pick. You will find the Goddesses represent differant aspects of Mother Nature in all her various forms, Spring, winter, fertility, the corn etc etc etc. Before you know it as a human you will plum for one that hits home to you!! thats the important bit really of course.

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208497[/snapback]

thats what i feel a connection to the land and nature,i just cant at the moment see myself connecting with a god,it worries me sometimes that i might be unintentionally ignoring someone or something that is staring me in the face,i dont want to p**S anyone off :rolleyes:

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Now, there's an interesting thing, because if 'they' do exist then I wouldn't want to annoy anybody either. but...here's the thing...amongst the many convo's I've had apparently (according to my dearest OH), there is a deity who is around me, and although I don't revere this deity, they (apparently there's more than one) do seem to be okay about it all. in fact, according to my OH, they are quite amused by it all. I must assume then that 'they' may in fact be quite patient. From what I can gather (from OH) they like the fact that I respect nature/revere nature.

 

From my own POV, I try to remain open minded and respect others beliefs. I did get a nice warm fuzzy feeling when I watched the winter solstice. I definitely sensed a presence of some kind (can't say what/who for sure) but it was welcome nonetheless. For me its those kinds of little experiences that make things precious because I feel connected.

 

fizz.

Edited by fizzyclare1
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PK (hope you don't object to the abbreviation!) I am in a similar state re the male/female aspects of the Lord & Lady. The Father and Mother appear as a manifestation of what we expect (to a certain extent) and what we as a a race have created. Or were they there first? Ah - that sixty million $ question again!

 

Never fret - anyone who has asked to be shown the Lord will testify - He is male and also gentle as well as awesome. The Lady shows herself under different circumstances ( or maybe this is because I am female?) - whatever - they are for me very real. And yet for those who do not believe, there is still that aspect of wonder associated with creation, regardless of whether they elect to clothe that wonder in a persona.

 

There have been a few interesting threads in the Valley about Atheism (I posted a very good and thought-provoking essay link) and no doubt the question will continue to arise. But how fortuitous! If there were no questioners, where on earth would we all be? (Apart from kneeling at a pew... :rolleyes: )

 

And Fizz - I have a similar scenario at home: OH is a rampant Atheist.

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im not sure i would class myself as an atheist either,im not saying i dont believe there are gods out there just that i dont feel a connection with anyone :rolleyes:

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208497[/snapback]

thats what i feel a connection to the land and nature,i just cant at the moment see myself connecting with a god,it worries me sometimes that i might be unintentionally ignoring someone or something that is staring me in the face,i dont want to p**S anyone off :P

208508[/snapback]

 

Now, there's an interesting thing, because if 'they' do exist then I wouldn't want to annoy anybody either. but...here's the thing...amongst the many convo's I've had apparently (according to my dearest OH), there is a deity who is around me, and although I don't revere this deity, they (apparently there's more than one) do seem to be okay about it all. in fact, according to my OH, they are quite amused by it all. I must assume then that 'they' may in fact be quite patient. From what I can gather (from OH) they like the fact that I respect nature/revere nature.

 

From my own POV, I try to remain open minded and respect others beliefs. I did get a nice warm fuzzy feeling when I watched the winter solstice. I definitely sensed a presence of some kind (can't say what/who for sure) but it was welcome nonetheless. For me its those kinds of little experiences that make things precious because I feel connected.

 

fizz.

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i have had a few experiences where i have felt something ,but not anything i could identify and be sure about,just as you say "a nice warm fuzzy feeling" and a feeling of being connected i just dont know what or who to :rolleyes:

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my questions are these ,

do i have to believe in some sort of god to be callled a pagan ?

how do i know who it is?

208480[/snapback]

The answer to the first part of your question, is a very big NO and because of that the second part, is totally irrelevant.

Let me say that I (and a few others here, including yourself by the sound of it) are Atheists, we do not accept, believe in, recognise, feel a need for or honor ANY gods / goddesses, divine creatures or what ever the religionist pagan folks may wish to call their pet deities.

As atheists, we are still pagans just the same as those pagans who wish to believe in one or more deities. The only difference being that as atheist pagans we simply honor nature (earth, water, plants, sun, moon etc.) directly, rather than wasting time going through a middle man / agent so to speak.

As an atheist pagan I (and I know most others, though not all) have no need for an altar with all the usual man made trappings like candles, incense, carved figures, runes, etc. Our altar, if one cares to look upon it as such, is the Earth with its cover of grass and decorated with plants, trees, birds and animals. We look around us and see NATURE in all its various aspects, sometimes peaceful sometimes extremely violent.

Every time we take a drink of water or eat food we quietly give thanks to the Earth for providing for our needs. We see the sun and give thanks for its warmth and light & look at the moon and stars and again offer thanks for their comforting light and security.

Like the god / goddess following pagans, we atheist pagans follow the cycles of nature, but again, most atheist pagans simply and quietly offer their thanks to each season in turn, without partaking in loud and at times seemingly garish and unnecessary private and public displays and rituals. In all the years I have followed my pagan journey, I have never once felt a need to take any part in a ritual. I stand aside, do my own thing and respect (though it may not seem that way at times on here, when I have a go at the God botherers :lol: ) other peoples right to hold rituals and honor their deities, if that is what they wish to do. On more than one occasion I have felt duty bound, when pagan friends have been holding their rituals in public places, to speak to non-pagan bystanders and request that they show due respect for what is taking place.

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im not sure i would class myself as an atheist either,im not saying i dont believe there are gods out there just that i dont feel a connection with anyone :lol:

208530[/snapback]

 

aaaah! (lightbulb moment), maybe what you are expressing ie the fuzzy moments, is your experience of deity. perhaps, it does not have to be an 'anyone', who is to say that your experiences have to fit with what you think a god/dess is meant to be (or what some one else says a god/dess is meant to be).

 

I can remember a few convo's with some xians, who said that they 'felt' the presence of god around them, a kind of vague diffuse energy and yet others saw 'him' like a person. It is, perhaps, an experience which will always be in some way unique...gosh I am failing horribly here to say what I want to say...

 

but I think it is important to add that I am probably not one of the best one to advise on this...

 

fizz

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my questions are these ,

do i have to believe in some sort of god to be callled a pagan ?

how do i know who it is?

208480[/snapback]

The answer to the first part of your question, is a very big NO and because of that the second part, is totally irrelevant.

Let me say that I (and a few others here, including yourself by the sound of it) are Atheists, we do not accept, believe in, recognise, feel a need for or honor ANY gods / goddesses, divine creatures or what ever the religionist pagan folks may wish to call their pet deities.

As atheists, we are still pagans just the same as those pagans who wish to believe in one or more deities. The only difference being that as atheist pagans we simply honor nature (earth, water, plants, sun, moon etc.) directly, rather than wasting time going through a middle man / agent so to speak.

As an atheist pagan I (and I know most others, though not all) have no need for an altar with all the usual man made trappings like candles, incense, carved figures, runes, etc. Our altar, if one cares to look upon it as such, is the Earth with its cover of grass and decorated with plants, trees, birds and animals. We look around us and see NATURE in all its various aspects, sometimes peaceful sometimes extremely violent.

Every time we take a drink of water or eat food we quietly give thanks to the Earth for providing for our needs. We see the sun and give thanks for its warmth and light & look at the moon and stars and again offer thanks for their comforting light and security.

Like the god / goddess following pagans, we atheist pagans follow the cycles of nature, but again, most atheist pagans simply and quietly offer their thanks to each season in turn, without partaking in loud and at times seemingly garish and unnecessary private and public displays and rituals. In all the years I have followed my pagan journey, I have never once felt a need to take any part in a ritual. I stand aside, do my own thing and respect (though it may not seem that way at times on here, when I have a go at the God botherers :lol: ) other peoples right to hold rituals and honor their deities, if that is what they wish to do. On more than one occasion I have felt duty bound, when pagan friends have been holding their rituals in public places, to speak to non-pagan bystanders and request that they show due respect for what is taking place.

208555[/snapback]

 

this i totally relate to,sooo maybe i should call myself an atheist after all,also when i perform what i call a ritual it is really going out and saying thanks to the earth for providing for me and mine

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im not sure i would class myself as an atheist either,im not saying i dont believe there are gods out there just that i dont feel a connection with anyone :lol:

208530[/snapback]

 

aaaah! (lightbulb moment), maybe what you are expressing ie the fuzzy moments, is your experience of deity. perhaps, it does not have to be an 'anyone', who is to say that your experiences have to fit with what you think a god/dess is meant to be (or what some one else says a god/dess is meant to be).

 

I can remember a few convo's with some xians, who said that they 'felt' the presence of god around them, a kind of vague diffuse energy and yet others saw 'him' like a person. It is, perhaps, an experience which will always be in some way unique...gosh I am failing horribly here to say what I want to say...

 

but I think it is important to add that I am probably not one of the best one to advise on this...

 

fizz

208559[/snapback]

 

you didnt fail to get acroos what you were trying to say ,it made sense to me,i am not sure if my fuzzy moments are just me feeling exhilerated by nature itself,i have just read Pashers reply and it really struck a chord with me

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Ah, but Pasher that is because you are one of the few sweethearts left! :wub:

208557[/snapback]

:unsure: :lol: never thought of myself as one of those, always looked on myself more as a :o_whip: :o_thwak: :o_argue: :D old :o_devil:

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Hi there, I read your initial question about whether you have to believe in a God to count yourself as a Pagan? My own personal opinion is that no you don't. The belief in Nature or Mother Nature is what is important and how you look at her in all her guises.

Mostly I look at Mother Nature as divine energy from which all living things come and from which we are therefore created. She is the personification of all energies throughout the universe, both light and dark, male and female, of all polarities and she is the balance. I look at the other pagan deities, both the male gods and female Goddesses that we call upon as different aspects of nature throughout the universe.

In the Egyptian pantheon for example the great mother Goddess Isis, represents the energy from the universe that makes light and the wind. The great father God Osiris represents the energy of the universe who makes things manifest in our world and all others. The God Thoth, represents wisdom and knowledge, also the arts and hieroglyphs. He is the Lord of Holy Words and magicians. Whilst his consort the Goddess Ma’at represents the energies of justice, divine order and balance.

When we call upon a specific deity it is because we are calling on those specific aspects of Mother Nature that the deity personifies.

i.e. you could ask Osiris to help you with creative visulisation whilst meditating in the hope that it will be easier for you to bring around the manifestation of those things in your life.

Another example would be if someone has treated you very unfairly or harmed someone in a bad way rather than retaliating yourself you could ask the Goddess Ma'at to help you put things right and for justice on your part. (Be aware if you do this you will be judged too so only ever do so if you're sure you are innocent of any wrongdoing!)

Hope you find this useful in some way. Its just another way of viewing energy.

Brightest Blessings,

Juliette Lantern_Light

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Hi there, I read your initial question about whether you have to believe in a God to count yourself as a Pagan? My own personal opinion is that no you don't. The belief in Nature or Mother Nature is what is important and how you look at her in all her guises.

Mostly I look at Mother Nature as divine energy from which all living things come and from which we are therefore created. She is the personification of all energies throughout the universe, both light and dark, male and female, of all polarities and she is the balance. I look at the other pagan deities, both the male gods and female Goddesses that we call upon as different aspects of nature throughout the universe.

In the Egyptian pantheon for example the great mother Goddess Isis, represents the energy from the universe that makes light and the wind. The great father God  Osiris represents the energy of the universe who makes things manifest in our world and all others. The God Thoth, represents wisdom and knowledge, also the arts and hieroglyphs. He is the Lord of Holy Words and magicians. Whilst his consort the Goddess Ma’at represents the energies of justice, divine order and balance.

When we call upon a specific deity it is because we are calling on those specific aspects of Mother Nature that the deity personifies.

i.e. you could ask Osiris to help you with creative visulisation whilst meditating in the hope that it will be easier for you to bring around the manifestation of those things in your life.

Another example would be if someone has treated you very unfairly or harmed someone in a bad way rather than retaliating yourself you could ask the Goddess Ma'at to help you put things right and for justice on your part. (Be aware if you do this you will be judged too so only ever do so if you're sure you are innocent of any wrongdoing!)

Hope you find this useful in some way. Its just another way of viewing energy.

Brightest Blessings,

Juliette Lantern_Light

208579[/snapback]

thanks for your replyi also see where you are coming from,this has shown me that there are really many ways of believing in and following your beliefs with or without a god /dess,thanks again :lol:

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do i have to believe in some sort of god to be callled a pagan ?

 

No. You dont. Im a pagan and an athiest. You dont have to believe in a god. If a god speaks to you then I suppose you might wanna believe in it then. Personally, I see gods as manifestations of will and want.

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Personally, I see gods as manifestations of will and want.

208582[/snapback]

 

Whose "will and want" is still up for discussion though... it's not always the human's... :lol: :D

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do i have to believe in some sort of god to be callled a pagan ?

 

No. You dont. Im a pagan and an athiest. You dont have to believe in a god. If a god speaks to you then I suppose you might wanna believe in it then. Personally, I see gods as manifestations of will and want.

208582[/snapback]

how do you mean will and want :lol:

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I may be being a bit naughty here, but I think Pantheistkieth might be better placed to reply to this!

 

Here's his response from the "Black magic" thread anyway:

 

"The harm none in my opinion is for neophites to protect them. "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law" is not the entire thing. People forget the next bit, "Love is the law, Love under Will" Which changes the whole interpretation of this. "

 

O.K. - it might not be in context, but Ithink there is a link here...

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Indeed Tas, I quite agree. I have no use for moral ideology, be they kabbalistic or otherwise- let alone anything contrived by Alleister Crowley's new age prefabrications of ancient mysticism...not to mention the lack of any real cultural identity. From what I have seen here on UKP, there seems more a general desire to rediscover one's own more personal connections- in more local forms of ancestral deity or land wight. Namely rediscover one's indigenous roots from the bog standard upwards. I think this is what makes the difference between truly understanding nature and expecting things to come hermetically sealed with all the contents properly marked on a fancy label. To say those who do not believe in deities are not pagan, obviously has no experience with animism let alone hedgewitchery. While atheism is not a religion, any magical or shamanic practices involved are unquestionably spiritual- which I'm sure is sufficient enough to describe these as pagan. As for dynamic equilibrium in the continuum, there is more to matter and energy than just positive and negative charge, and strange forces are not to be confused with any divine absolute. This is not just a law of physics but something you learn very quickly in the wilderness. Nature does not aspire to be so predictable, thus I much prefer to rely on its more cunning designs; namely instinct. :)

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