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Pearlbrook

What do you get from your paganism?

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Pearlbrook

Not sure if this belongs here or in general Paganism but...

What do you get out of your paganism? Do you have some foundational beliefs or principles that guide and are guided by your journey? Perhaps some core concerns or values? How has being a pagan affected you (or how do you think it will affect you), and vice versa?

For me, the years have taught me kindness. I always tried to be kind, but in a sort of passive way. I used to describe myself as a misanthropic philanthropist. Now, it is important to me to do things with the best of intentions, to assume likewise of other people - or at least assume that they are not being deliberately rude until proven otherwise - to apologise when I get things wrong, and to try and make someone's day a bit brighter as often as possible. I believe that this has come mainly from my pantheism. If we are all a part of one cohesive thing (the universe) then we all deserve respect, alongside the animal and natural worlds. 

The flip side of that belief is that the universe will be a more welcoming place if we attempt to look after it. I don't anthropomorphise my view of the universe into an image of Gaia or anything, but I do believe that it is the biggest higher power that I know of, and we are part of that. In my book that demands respect and responsibility: if we don't take care of it, who will? So Paganism has brought me to be more aware of my impact on the world and encouraged me to recycle, choose cruelty free products and take a whole range of other steps to reduce my footprint.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the subject!

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Moonsmith

Yay Pealbrook.  Starter's Orders is the perfect place for a question like this.  It is the only thread that we allow outsiders [Guests] to see.  As well as being of general interest it is a showcase for the Valley.  I quite often point outsiders here.

What do I get from my Paganism?

An explanation for the existence of the universe that suits my way of thinking and which is founded on thoughts, ideas and principles that accord with my philosophies.  A bloody good fit.

My Paganism carries no commandments, no sin, no guilt, no faith and no self [or other] judgement.   Right action, by my own tenets, is my contribution to my beliefs not the result of them.

As I've said elsewhere, learning, trying to understand how the universe works is the most important function that I can perform.  In doing this it is important that DNA is nurtured so that the learning continues, hence my three legs of rectitude.      Oh - those are on a different thread.

Sorry to repeat them for those who only read them two days ago.

  • Act legally
  • Act socially and
  • Act with kindness.

Thanks for the post.

 

Edited by Moonsmith
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Pearlbrook
20 hours ago, Moonsmith said:

Yay Pealbrook.  Starter's Orders is the perfect place for a question like this.  It is the only thread that we allow outsiders [Guests] to see.  As well as being of general interest it is a showcase for the Valley.  I quite often point outsiders here.

What do I get from my Paganism?

An explanation for the existence of the universe that suits my way of thinking and which is founded on thoughts, ideas and principles that accord with my philosophies.  A bloody good fit.

My Paganism carries no commandments, no sin, no guilt, no faith and no self [or other] judgement.   Right action, by my own tenets, is my contribution to my beliefs not the result of them.

As I've said elsewhere, learning, trying to understand how the universe works is the most important function that I can perform.  In doing this it is important that DNA is nurtured so that the learning continues, hence my three legs of rectitude.      Oh - those are on a different thread.

Sorry to repeat them for those who only read them two days ago.

  • Act legally
  • Act socially and
  • Act with kindness.

Thanks for the post.

 

Thanks, Moonsmith! If you don't mind me asking:  thinking back to when you first considered yourself a Pagan, how did you come to really formulate these ideas into a cohesive reality? Was there a process? And you say that the most important function for you is to understand the nature of the universe - can I ask what makes this the principle role for you? I definitely connect with that idea on an emotional level, and would love to hear your thoughts on it.

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Moonsmith
6 hours ago, Pearlbrook said:

I definitely connect with that idea on an emotional level, and would love to hear your thoughts on it.

Yes but let's see a few other responses first.

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Pearlbrook

Of course! 🙂 

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Ellinas

What do I get out of it...?

Principally, freedom.  Freedom to think, to experience, to go my own way and to stick up two fingers and the doctrinal "we know better than you and you must agree with us" types.  Been a part of that.  Never underestimate the value of freedom.

Also, a sense of mystery.  I don't mean in some sort of "ooh - I'm so occult and strange..." way.  Rather, it gives the latitude for me to explore my own mind, psyche, whatever you want to call it, whether logically, emotionally or meditatively, and to seek to synthesise these.

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DavidMcCann

For me the religion springs from my ethics and not vice versa. Respecting the gods is like respecting the environment and other humans.

I suppose the practice of making charitable donations as offerings is a spin-off. Tomorrow is the festival of Artemis, so the London Wildlife Trust benefits. Would I have thought of giving if I weren't a polytheist? I'd like to think so, but perhaps not.

And there are practical benefits to me from hand-on gods like Asklepios.

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Brigi

Hey, 

I know it is an old topic, but one I would gladly read further, if we’d have more comments here. So I share what paganism gives me.

I grew up very close to nature in a small town surrounded by hills and woods and we spent enormous amounts of time outdoors, in the summer we even cooked outside on open fire every single weekend. I also had a strange and strong emotional connection with ’magical stories’ and folklore as a child, which I couldn’t manage to grow out at all, but rather created a base to the way I see the world.

People tend to grow up and leave their birth place, I moved to different big cities and big city life exhausts me big time both emotionally and physically. My paganism takes the weight of life off from my shoulder, cleanse me from the stress of the artificial and processed life the city can offer and provides a site to bond with my truest inner self while making a connection with nature - like a soul-to-soul with the spark of life within the earth. When I take care of my herbs or cooking for a feast or preparing for celebration it feels like pouring balm on my soul. I feel content, happy and excited. 

Paganism provides traditions, inheritable ones which I can share with my family and can celebrate together, strengthening our relationship and deepening our love for each other. Also gives some quiet meditation, opportunities to self-reflect, make peace with myself and achieve internal equilibrium, which I believe is incredibly important for safe magical practice. 

Paganism is not a kind of religion for me, I do not worship any deities. I tried many times many different gods but all rituals felt very empty and honestly, a bit like ’let’s play’. I am truly amazed by people can believe in a god, sometimes I could envy them for their love. For me, the fact that the soil with the help of the other elements and effects of celestial bodies and physical laws can and does produce life is the source of all magic. As a healthcare professional my approach is also very scientific, but the science behind it gives the ground to truly trust it. I learn to know it. And no one said paganism must be belief. It can be based on knowledge, see the term WISE-wo/man {and lots of sentiment}. I listen to my body and soul and I modify my rituals every time to accommodate to the urge and inspiration I feel while performing it. 

Therefore my paganism is the way of my life, not just ’on weekends’, but it is my very existence, intervening with all and every decisions I make from my carrier choice to what to eat or when to sleep. 

Paganism is freedom. Well, sort of. As my paganism deeply roots in the respect to all organics, and REAL nutrients are like number 1 priority for me when it comes to nourishing my family we have no microwave oven in the house haha.

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