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Ragnar

Confused!

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Ragnar

Hello everyone, 

i should start by saying that I have considered myself Pagan for some years, albeit a secret one as I don’t feel able to tell anybody. Like everyone else under the pagan umbrella, nature is sacred to me. The part I struggle with is I have never been one to believe in spells or actual gods- I suppose if anything the natural world is the nearest thing I would consider divine. I feel strongly connected with the seasons with the green man being only a representation of the natural world rather than a physical entity. 

I think I still qualify as a pagan! 

The confusion for me is despite my disbelief in specific gods/goddesses I feel a need to be involved in a ceremony or ritual but can’t quite buy into the various paths rituals. 

The obvious focal point would be a private ritual involving the green man but I don’t want to concentrate on the male aspect of nature but also the female - then I end back where I started with talk of the gods/goddess which I struggle to buy into!! Ahhhhh!

if anyone can help me to reconcile this I’d be very grateful. 

 

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Freydis

First thing - plenty of atheist pagans around - including some on this site.  There is absolutely no obligation to believe in gods.  There are also plenty of pagans who believe that nature sacred and consider the natural world divine, so you totally qualify as a pagan.  Paganism is what you make of it anyway - no rules except the ones you set yourself. 

If you feel drawn to ritual I'd experiemtn with your own and what feels right to you.  If you feel drawn to the green man then that's where I'd start.  I wouldn't worry too much about the female aspect to begin with - I suspect that inspiration will come if you relax and let it flow (if that makes sense).  

 

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Ellinas

A desire for ritual is something in the way of an emotional need.  Rituals can be secular, or spiritual, and need not involve deity in either instance.

Sounds to me like some way of marking the seasons might suit you.

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Stonehugger

I call myself pagan mainly because I try to focus on my affinity with other forms of nature, particularly (in my case) stone and wood. Water is important to me but I think that's mainly about the effect it has on wood and stone. I don't call myself atheist but I haven't yet found deities to be a useful model (for me) of how the world works. I've tried rituals on my own and they help my concentration. I've tried them in groups but I end up focusing on the group more than on the purpose of the activity. We've had some fun though 🙂

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Ragnar

I’ve been doing a lot of reading about this since posting. I had never heard of atheist paganism until the last few days. 

I reckon it’s my own path then! And I’m going to take the suggestion of coming up with my own ritual, definitely around the wheel of the year using the green man as a representation of nature not an actual being; thank you to you all for helping me bring a little order to a chaotic thought process. 

 

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Finn Mac Morn

Hi Ragnar

Atheist pagan here.... I too use the green man as a representation of nature rather than an actual being. 

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Jon

I feel a terry pratchett misquote coming on, gods are like tables, just because they are all over the place, it doesnt mean you need to go around believing in them, it only encourages them.

if you dont want to or dont view them as being something for you, look to what works for you, 

 

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Veggie dancer

Hi 😊 I was also a bit confused when I first started looking into paganism. After an initial 'wahoo it's people like me who worship nature' moment I hit all this stuff about gods and goddesses which really wasn't what life is all about for me. 

I count myself pantheist meaning that I believe that nature is 'god' (in the loosest sense of the world) I think nature is magnificent and wonderful and magical and it just fills me with awe.

I have the idea that gods and goddesses are archetypal representations of parts of ourselves as humans or aspects of nature or our experience of the world. 

Like you I like the image of the green man, the face bursting out from leaves, as a representation of life bursting fourth in nature, that will/force/law of nature that 'wants' to exist to create to strive to live to see. 

You definitely still count as pagan. If you want to. There are a lot of different sorts of pagans.

The experience of the seasons are really important to me too, I wonder if I would feel differently living somewhere with different cycles, probably. But here if we pay attention to the world around us the seasons are a big part of the spirit of our environment.

Edited by Veggie dancer
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Boscone
On 9/24/2018 at 2:02 PM, Ragnar said:

Hello everyone, 

i should start by saying that I have considered myself Pagan for some years, albeit a secret one as I don’t feel able to tell anybody. Like everyone else under the pagan umbrella, nature is sacred to me. The part I struggle with is I have never been one to believe in spells or actual gods- I suppose if anything the natural world is the nearest thing I would consider divine. I feel strongly connected with the seasons with the green man being only a representation of the natural world rather than a physical entity. 

I think I still qualify as a pagan! 

The confusion for me is despite my disbelief in specific gods/goddesses I feel a need to be involved in a ceremony or ritual but can’t quite buy into the various paths rituals. 

The obvious focal point would be a private ritual involving the green man but I don’t want to concentrate on the male aspect of nature but also the female - then I end back where I started with talk of the gods/goddess which I struggle to buy into!! Ahhhhh!

if anyone can help me to reconcile this I’d be very grateful. 

 

I think we’re in a similar boat, and for this I’m glad I’ve found this forum.

Ill start with a quote that helped me and I think will help you. Margaret Adler in Drawing Down the Moon says, and I’m paraphrasing, “being pagan is about what you do, not what you believe.”

As noted above, there are atheist pagans. I’m one of them, I guess, although it’s a term I stumbled upon just days ago here. I was not comfortable believing in gods, I just wanted to find likeminded people. I don’t really want a name, and as such I don’t necessarily I’d identify as ‘pagan’ but perhaps one day I will.

Adler talks about this also, saying many struggle to shake the idea that religions have to have a ‘dogma’ and a set of beliefs to follow. A set of rules. In paganism there are no rules, but many paths it seems. The beautiful thing is they all accept each other as true and simply adhering to their own paths.

Myself? I dabble in ritual. I don’t really think of them as spells, and I’m not fond of words or theatrics. I think of them as simple exercises to be in nature peacefully and clarify my thoughts. If I want or desire something, and I feel I really have a need for it, I may create a ritual to help manifest it but I don’t think this is ‘magic’ in the sense outsiders would. It’s simply a method of concentrating on and manifesting my goals. 

I use tarot frequently for the same reason. 

Id recommend looking into meditation if you don’t already and perhaps researching other beliefs, maybe here on this forum. Your practise may finish at the point you’re at now or you may go deeper. Im still at the beginning. Im enjoying reading various ideas on spirituality and being with nature. That’s enough for me for now 🙂

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Ember Autumn Rose

Think everybody pretty much covered anything I could contribute 😄 welcome.

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