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Thread: Pantheists:Describe your practice

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    Member Spiral Arms's Avatar
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    Pantheists:Describe your practice

    I'm curious about what daily practices/rituals/etc. fellow pantheists and/or non-theistic folks have.

    Do you meditate? pray? do magick? practice shamanism etc?

    Do you celebrate the solstice?

    I'm interested to see where this goes.

  2. #2
    Member Spiral Arms's Avatar
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    Re: Pantheists:Describe your practice

    Anyone? Anyone?

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    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: Pantheists:Describe your practice

    My pantheism is more of the philosophical bent. My practices look exactly like those a polytheist.

    I pray to deities, I meditate, I have rituals to celebrate various holidays, I do spell work, I practice medicinal and magical herbalist...
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

    Pagan Devotionals, because the wind and the rain is our Bible

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    Member neráida's Avatar
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    Re: Pantheists:Describe your practice

    Pantheism is just my opinion on the nature of god. It really has very little to do with my craft, practically speaking.

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    Supporter Jembru's Avatar
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    Re: Pantheists:Describe your practice

    I've only recently come to consider myself a pantheist, after wondering if I might even be atheist for a while, but like Thal above, my practices haven't changed all that much from when I was a polytheist. I still speak to individual spirits and deities as though they are separate sentient beings, because while I might not believe they are individual sentient beings, my experience of them has shown that they appear as such if they're approached as such.

    I also consider myself a shamanist these days on account of most of my work being 'inner work', including my spellcasting style. Describing this will be a useful exercise for myself too, saying as this is all a recent change. So, here it is then..

    My main deity is 'Brigantia' originally a Goddess from Brythonic mythology, I see her as the largely genderless spirit of the island I live on; Great Britain. This is further broken down into more local deities. Most vital of all for me, as I've mentioned a lot lately, are the gods of the Pow Burn. Now mostly submerged, the Pow Burn was once large enough for ships to sail up, and its source is roughly under my flat. It surfaces briefly at a beautiful Victorian park 10 minutes from my home, so this park has become a spiritual hotspot for me. I pray by the exposed Pow Burn and there is a small secluded area on what would have been the river bank when the river was at its largest. This area is off the main path, and has a collection of large weathered stones. JP took me to it, because he used to visit it often as a child. I knew at once that this was the right place, and JP suggested we 'swear it in' by declaring my intention to the gods. I did, and then we kissed. As we did so it started to rain, and everything felt so calm and still. On our way back out of the park, JP pointed out that the rain had stopped as soon as we left the area with the stones, and that was the only rain shower that entire day. That felt pretty special.

    Although I'm going to be helping to look after parts of the park (mainly the herb garden and butterfly garden, although I may also be helping with an archaeological dig when it gets going), I only intend to visit the stones physically on festivals, or significant times. I start all my inner journeys from a visualisation of the stones, in the area as I imagine it would have been. Knowing it in reality really helps to see it clearly in my mind.

    My spellwork all uses what I call 'the inner flame' meditation, which is a combination of a few different techniques, but works on the imagery that there is a single non-sentient 'god energy', that flows through everything, myself included. I see this energy within me as a flame, and visualise it blending with the energy that is outside of me. I also make use of local plants, in particular the 9 woods, but also herbs and wildflowers make it into my work. Sometimes I collect parts of these plants to use, but I also often simply speak to them via visualisation. I started cataloguing the local flora and uses many years ago, and have picked up where this left off, so getting to know them is a work in progress. Spellwork is often followed (or sometimes preceded) by a ritual I call 'the mother's milk' which I adapted to use water, as it reflects my idea of 'the land as goddess', and the spiritual importance of the river, more than using actual cow's milk, as the original called for. There are a few other prayers that I use, but the mother's milk is the most ritualised of them, as it uses props (well, a cup of water) and visualisation. I also sometimes use the ritual alone, especially during quiet time at work. I don't cast a circle, set the wards or use an altar any more, but I still sometimes use my chalice and pentacle.

    I also anoint my forehead with water from the Pow Burn before any spell or ritual, unless I don't have any to hand, when regular water will do. It's still technically from the local area after all.

    My inner work currently focuses on knowing myself and healing my mind. I don't think it's work that can ever be completed in a single lifetime, but it feels important for me. I will consider journeying on behalf of others eventually, but not until I feel pretty secure in myself first. I do active visualisation in two separate inner worlds, one which I've visited for 15 years, and another that's only a few months old, however I also place a large amount of emphasis on my dreams. My dreams are usually vivid, often lucid, somewhat related in theme and character and I have varying degrees of control in dreams. It seemed like too significant a part of me to ignore. My worlds and dreams all come with a large family of imaginary friends, or spirit guides if you prefer! Oh and I acknowledge the fae too. I consider them to be smaller gods.. the god of a single tree, or blade of grass, for example, rather than a whole river or island.

    That's all I can think of right now.
    夕方に急なにわか雨は「夕立」と呼ばれるなら、なぜ朝ににわか雨は「朝立ち」と呼ばれないの? ^^If a sudden rain shower in the evening is referred to as an 'evening stand', then why isn't a shower in the morning called 'morning stand'?

  6. #6

    Re: Pantheists:Describe your practice

    Quote Originally Posted by Jembru
    I also anoint my forehead with water from the Pow Burn before any spell or ritual, unless I don't have any to hand, when regular water will do. It's still technically from the local area after all.
    I love this kind of rituals! Must do them more often I guess.

    A lot of my practice is about prayer and words. I write a lot and quite often I realise that the things I write (those I'm not likely publishing on the internet) have caught something that has spiritual meaning for me. It was never planned to become a practice and even now it's more like scribbling down poems and little snippets that might stick with me as a part of my personal mythologies. I intend to make this a more structured practice, perhaps even working on my own creation myths as we have that inspiring thread on the S.A.F.E. Zone!

    Prayer is something I do even without noticing. I just talk, whine and sort of chant "please please please" (or sometimes even a little "thank you") even though I don't belief in a sentient being pulling our strings up in the heavens. But the - forgive me for the hazy words - energy and the act of surrender can be quite healing. Giving up the control over things that simply cannot be controlled. I guess this is also the place where the gods come in. Sometimes I need to put a face on the divine. (C'mon, I can't pour all my whining over the poor mortal souls. Some divine patience needed there!)

    I don't have a regular meditation practice, though I try to stay aware every now and then and also listen to some guided imagery meditations before going to sleep (some prayers or self-reflection might be included here). Going to nature, to wide open places and just walking until my legs get sore is a spiritual practice to me. Whenever I get to a body of water I dip my fingers and/or feet in it as an act of greeting. The same goes with snow and stones. It's a bit cheesy perhaps, but for me it's about getting connected, acknowledging that I'm made of water and dust and a silly little human brain that wants to float up to the stars instead of staying grounded on the earth. (Well, there's no problem including stars to pantheism as well! One of the guided meditations I do before sleep is just about that!)

    I do observe the solstices to some extent but quite often I don't really celebrate. It's more about contemplation for me. And many of the Wiccan-based (?) sabbats I don't observe at all, I prefer smaller and more local things like the first appearance of birch leaves in the spring, the first snow and so on. Something that is tangible for me. I guess a lot of my practices are formed in a similar manner: they're small and simple, yet they "speak" to me.

    I'm still going through the process of constructing my practices, they're still changing (and probably they'll remain that way).
    baah.

  7. #7
    Member Spiral Arms's Avatar
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    Re: Pantheists:Describe your practice

    Walking in nature is a big part of my practice as well. I live on the New England coast so I like to walk by the beach, and watch the tidal changes, the cranes and herons and occasional osprey. I also enjoy our piece of property in vermont as it's raw, untouched woods for the most part, and it's been a part of my life since I was 3. We call it the "old friend" and I feel like it knows and loves my family and I because we've taken care of it for so long. I hope to go up in a few weeks and cut a sapling for my staff that I want to carve as my summer crafty project.

    I lucid dream too-thought I have trouble directing my dreams onto getting insights lately-not sure what the block is there. I have this disembodied voice that always talks to me in beautiful sunsets or other sun imagery for some reason, and sometimes gives me guidance. I also have a Buddhist temple that I sometimes can find in my dreams, and on a few occasions my Nichiren Shu sensei shows up there, and we talk about stuff in my life and she chants for me. One time I was meditating in the zendo of that temple and realized the 2 "monks" meditating there with me were Bodhidharma and Huineng, the Zen patriarchs! Across from this dream temple is a great Chinese restaurant on top of a big rock, with golden foo dogs by the doors!

    I practice a lot of intention related things that are I suppose *cringe* a tad fluffy woo woo, like setting out intentions at 11:11. I am interested in sigils and chaos magick though I view them more as psychological reality hacks then as actual magick/witchcraft. I also use the I Ching for guidance as I find it uncannily accurate in the insights it gives me. I'm also interested in learning more about dreamwork and perhaps journeying techniques.

  8. #8
    Member Spiral Arms's Avatar
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    Re: Pantheists:Describe your practice

    There is a Japanese concept I love called "shinrin yoku" or "forest bathing" that involves simply immersing yourself in the woods-forest therapy, if you like.

    I have done this since I was a child. I could spend hours walking through the forest.

    Interestingly, shinrin yoku is actively promoted by Japan's version of the Forest Service, and is considered a way to improve health and reduce stress and may actually improve your immune system.

    I also have been reading the bioregional animism blog (Thalassa that's similar to what you practice, right?) and am finding that resonates with me, as like I said I sometimes consider the land a being, not like a human being, but a living being with which I can interact, even if it can't "talk" to me in a a traditional sense. I will admit though I am very hesitant of anything like "shamanism" because I hate cultural appropriation and white people stealing native practices and using them without the understanding that you don't just call yourself a shaman or medicine man/woman-that's not how native cultures do that.

  9. #9
    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: Pantheists:Describe your practice

    Quote Originally Posted by Spiral Arms View Post
    I also have been reading the bioregional animism blog (Thalassa that's similar to what you practice, right?) and am finding that resonates with me, as like I said I sometimes consider the land a being, not like a human being, but a living being with which I can interact, even if it can't "talk" to me in a a traditional sense. I will admit though I am very hesitant of anything like "shamanism" because I hate cultural appropriation and white people stealing native practices and using them without the understanding that you don't just call yourself a shaman or medicine man/woman-that's not how native cultures do that.

    I wouldn't consider myself an animist per se, but there's a lot of overlap between what I do and what they do. If I had to pick a word to describe my view here, I'm sort of fond of hylozoism.

    And interestingly, I've an unfinished blog post that mentions shinrin yoku, and also friluftsliv....English needs a word that combined these two ideas. Something that adds to the idea of ecosophy the idea that you actually have to go outside and be in nature.
    Last edited by thalassa; 22 Jun 2015 at 09:12.
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

    Pagan Devotionals, because the wind and the rain is our Bible

  10. #10
    Member Spiral Arms's Avatar
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    Re: Pantheists:Describe your practice

    Thalassa, I'm curious how deity fits in your practice, since I've seen you say before that you don't have literal belief in deities?

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