Sunday, September 15, 2013

My Beliefs ... As of Today

"Change" by NaBHaN
I am starting a new Tumblr blog, despite creating this blog so I wouldn't. But my idea behind what this blog should be changed. Instead of just being a place to store and type out my thoughts, I have started to consider this blog a platform for discussion.

And like my idea behind what this blog should be changed, so have my personal beliefs. For one, I am distancing myself from calling myself "pagan" and "witch"--two identifiers I have used for several years now. But my perceptions are changing, thus so too are my beliefs in what I am and should be.

These changes are really this sudden. Just a week ago I was proudly calling myself a witch. However, with my newly founded desire to align myself with Gaelic customs, I have learned that the word "witch" has negative connotations within that community to present day. But not magic, just the word. So my page with my identifiers has thusly changed to reflect my personal rejection to be called a witch. Mind you, I am not imposing this connotation onto others who wish to call themselves witches. Not everyone is following a Gaelic lifestyle (or attempting to) and therefore shouldn't be held to that standard.

The murkier decision is my stance on calling myself pagan. As one may see when looking over my post, a bulk of them are about my problems with the pagan community. With all the problem from racism to erasure to just plain ignorance, I have little to no desire to interact intimately with the entire pagan community. However, under the Paganism as the umbrella term, I am finding people with similar values and beliefs. Through other pagan blogs I found a wonderful friend who studies Gaelic Polytheism, and without her influence I may not have started down that path as well. Through discussing paganism online and on pagan-centric blogs, I have learned so much about Christopaganism, Christowitchcraft, Divination, Secular Witchraft, Kemetic practices, etc. Going to the Universal Unitarian Church's pagan circle is how I met a new friend.

Yet there is so much of "paganism" I do not abide by, that the majority of the community does. The Four Elements of Earth, Wind, Fire, and Air aren't the elements I work with above all else, since they are Greek. I don't cast circles or follow the Wheel of the Year. I no longer have a need for a pentacle, as it doesn't fit in anywhere for me spiritually. (I still cannot give up my first pentacle, though, since it has been worn by me for so long. Instead, it is hidden beneath a symbol that is more dear to me now: the Triskele.)

So while I am distancing myself from the pagan community, I still am going to hesitantly interact with it. I am also going to keep this blog's url the same, despite how I like my new Tumblr's url so much more: Spiritual Brain Storms. I have made too many posts and don't want all the links I have so far scattered across the internet to be nullified.

Moving back to current beliefs, I identify as the following: an animistic hard-polytheistic agnostic-theistic worshiping Gaelic Gods who practices folk and sea magic.

That is a mouthful, but let me break it down:

  • Animism: Simply put, I believe that everything has a spirit. From people to rocks.

    I may differ from other animists who in that I think that the power behind the spirit varies and there is no constant. So one quartz may have a very deep spirit while another quartz feels more shallow. I also believe that the state of the spirit for everything is in flux, so that quartz with a deep spirit may dwindle or the quartz with the shallow spirit may strengthen.
  • Hard-Polytheism: Each deity, spirit, or other entity is separate unto itself. I reject the concept that all gods are just reflections of one god, or that gods are archetypes, or that all gods are just different facets of one or a few gods. Odin is different from Lugh who is different from Venus who is different from Athena.
  • Agnostic: This is the concept that I cannot know if claims about spiritual and/or religious are True.

    I put this here because I truly do not believe I can know for certain anything I am claiming. Key word there is “know.” But, I do have Unverified Personal Gnosis (UPG) that makes me believe that my and a few others claims are true. But those claims are constantly confronted with skepticism and doubt.

    In other words, I choose to use “Agnostic” over “Gnosistic” because I value undeniable proof over my perceptions.
  • Theist: Like I said above, this is my belief that at least one god exists. Combined with my hard-polytheistic views, this means I believe multiple gods exist. 

  • "Worshiping Gaelic Gods": This is more new for me. For a while I identified as “Druid”, but I am starting to feel like I lack enough knowledge and wisdom to take on such a title. And while I could identify as a Gaelic Polytheist, I am still new with the reconstruction religions and thus don’t want to lay claim on that. For me, I haven’t adopted enough of the Gaelic lifestyle to call myself a Gaelic Polytheist. I may eventually change it to “Gaelic hard-polytheistic”…but until then, I just want to remark that I worship the Gaelic Gods.
  • Folk and sea magic: Since I am removing "witch" as an identifier for me, I decided to just specify what type of magic I primarily work with. All identifiers I could find required a level of dedication that I do not wish to put forward in my magical crafts.

To expand on some definitions:

  • "Gaelic" refers to a specific Celtic cultures that appear in Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man. I primarily focus on Ireland and to a lesser extent the Isle of Man.
  • To me, something is “magic” when energy combined with will is put forth to create a concise change. I do not think magic needs to be separate from science. I often use the example how my morning coffee is a form of magic, because I am putting energy and will to brewing the cup with the intended desire to awaken my mind. I am utilizing the coffee’s attributes, my skill in preparation, and a little personal direction for that energy to bring out that desired change. 

I posted most of these bullet points on my Tumblr page as well. Since I prefer to not go back and edit blog entries like this, I will most likely be updating that Tumblr page if anything should change. If anything drastic in my beliefs change, I will more than likely make a new blog entry to accompany it.

Please feel free to press me on anything I wrote that doesn't make sense, or that you are just curious about. Otherwise, my question to you Reader:

How do you describe your spiritual beliefs?

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