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  • Types of Pantheism

    What are the different types of Pantheism? Could one call oneself a pantheist pagan or Pagan Pantheist? For me, lately i've been trying to do a better job of listening to myself and being honest about what i truly believe. For one thing, i've always thought that the various myths throughout history did not actually take place, but simply originated from humans trying to make sense of the world. If i'm completely honest with myself, i see the various deities as archetypes or representatives of aspects of nature/the universe, putting a human face on the forces of the universe. I relate to that great Cosmic energy that animates the world as female or Goddess. I also see all beings as being interconnected, and lean towards animism. Also, besides obviously not really knowing what happens after death, i tend to lean more towards the possibility of a sort of dissolving into the Universe (or Divine) or a recycling of sorts of our souls or energy.

  • #2
    Mythology is more or less as you stated, the human mind trying to make sense of what it experiences. It isn't a question of whether or not these events happened but how far they go to explain the various phenomena that was witnessed by the people who invented them.

    As for Pantheism, my version of Pantheism at least, I don't apply strict definitions or interpretations. The notion that God is everything essentially explains what I believe in a spiritual sense but I avoid doctrine, organisation or structure to my belief. One of the greatest attractions of Pantheism for me is that it is a very personal quest for knowledge. I am not led by a priest, taught by a bible or constrained by a set of commandments. Independence and freedom are central to my religion with regards to how it is practiced. However, it is also important to stop and talk to others, not just Pantheists but practitioners of other beliefs, to test out your ideas.

    Personally I would not worry too much about trying to fit your beliefs into an existing system but rather develop a system that fits your beliefs. That said, the ideas that you have expressed do have what some would recognise as Pantheistic overtones.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by MoonBreath View Post
      Could one call oneself a pantheist pagan or Pagan Pantheist?
      You can call yourself whatever you want And yes, I've heard people use both of those terms. As far as I'm aware, they usually suggest that the person finds a lot of inspiration in pagan practices and imagery. E.g. doing rituals, characterising various forces of nature as gods or goddesses.

      The great thing about pantheism is, as TygerTyger said, it's a very personal path. There are a bunch of us calling ourselves pantheists here on MW, but I suspect that our beliefs and perceptions about the world will all differ in a number of small ways. And I think that's exactly as it should be.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by MoonBreath View Post
        What are the different types of Pantheism? Could one call oneself a pantheist pagan or Pagan Pantheist? For me, lately i've been trying to do a better job of listening to myself and being honest about what i truly believe. For one thing, i've always thought that the various myths throughout history did not actually take place, but simply originated from humans trying to make sense of the world. If i'm completely honest with myself, i see the various deities as archetypes or representatives of aspects of nature/the universe, putting a human face on the forces of the universe. I relate to that great Cosmic energy that animates the world as female or Goddess. I also see all beings as being interconnected, and lean towards animism. Also, besides obviously not really knowing what happens after death, i tend to lean more towards the possibility of a sort of dissolving into the Universe (or Divine) or a recycling of sorts of our souls or energy.
        I consider myself a Checkerist. Our path has definite pagan, pantheist, as well as deist tendencies. Animism is an obvious trait, as well as reincarnation, as is the notion of reuniting with the divine. Checkerism is not a naturalistic path. We believe in a divine Creator, who plays a part in the revolving of our universe, as well as local deities.
        Xentor, your friendly-neighbourhood Checkerist
        Contact me | The Dialogues on Checkerism

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        • #5
          Thank you to everyone who responded to this thread! all of your responses were extremely helpful and very much appreciated! Many of my beliefs and worldviews so to speak have leaned towards pantheism, i just hadn't fully taken the time to sit down and be honest with myself. Pagan Pantheist or Pantheist Pagan fills correct in my soul (wow, that sounds kind of corny! lol! ) and right for me

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          • #6
            Originally posted by MoonBreath View Post
            Pagan Pantheist or Pantheist Pagan fills correct in my soul (wow, that sounds kind of corny! lol! ) and right for me
            Corny or not, it's a wonderful feeling and I'm happy for you!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by spiral View Post
              The great thing about pantheism is, as TygerTyger said, it's a very personal path. There are a bunch of us calling ourselves pantheists here on MW, but I suspect that our beliefs and perceptions about the world will all differ in a number of small ways. And I think that's exactly as it should be.
              I agree. In fact for myself that is one of the strengths of Pantheism. Without a strict dogma to maintain we can have the courage to be different in how we are pantheistic without having to fear censure.

              Existence is on a scale that is beyond our imagining, and each of us experiences it slightly different to another person, therefore it is right that our interpretations should be slightly different too.

              I see this as a real strength because it means that no one pantheist can claim a monopoly on 'the truth' and no body of pantheists can assert any form of control over our beliefs.

              The universe is our church and existence is what we worship.

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              • #8
                Spiral: Thank you!

                TygerTyger: I couldn't agree more! "The universe is our church and existence is what we worship."--wow, that's beautifully put! :uhhuhuh:

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by MoonBreath View Post
                  TygerTyger: I couldn't agree more! "The universe is our church and existence is what we worship."--wow, that's beautifully put! :uhhuhuh:
                  I agree. Congrats on finding your path/niche, btw

                  Originally posted by TygerTyger View Post
                  As for Pantheism, my version of Pantheism at least, I don't apply strict definitions or interpretations. The notion that God is everything essentially explains what I believe in a spiritual sense but I avoid doctrine, organisation or structure to my belief. One of the greatest attractions of Pantheism for me is that it is a very personal quest for knowledge. I am not led by a priest, taught by a bible or constrained by a set of commandments. Independence and freedom are central to my religion with regards to how it is practiced. .
                  I think one thing that draws me to the pantheist forum, apart from the people, is this idea of immediacy or direct link ie that there is no need for an intermediary/priest or book etc in between you and the 'object' of worship etc This is something I like about shamanism (as I experience it) as well and also the directness of relationships with entities without a third party such as a priest etc, as it were, telling you how to run the relationships or even about the (personalities of the) entities themselves etc

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                  • #10
                    thanks Green Aventurine! i agree with you on how preferable it is not to feel like you must rely on someone like a priest . Your experiences are much more meaningful when you experience them on your own and through your own lenses
                    Last edited by MoonBreath; September 7th, 2009, 09:08 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by MoonBreath View Post
                      If i'm completely honest with myself, i see the various deities as archetypes or representatives of aspects of nature/the universe, putting a human face on the forces of the universe. I relate to that great Cosmic energy that animates the world as female or Goddess. I also see all beings as being interconnected, and lean towards animism. Also, besides obviously not really knowing what happens after death, i tend to lean more towards the possibility of a sort of dissolving into the Universe (or Divine) or a recycling of sorts of our souls or energy.
                      i wonder, you relate to the great cosmic energy that animates the world as female or goddess. do you see that goddess as a separate force (trancscendent) but within everything, or as a force that is simply within everything? the difference being, the first is panentheism while the second is pantheism.

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                      • #12
                        MoonBreath, these are weighty questions that we've all wrestled with. Be sure to check out our FAQ; feel free to wake up some of the sleeping threads if you'd like, too!
                        If you're lucky you'll find something that reflects you,
                        helps you feel your life protects you,
                        cradles you and connects you to everything.
                        Dar Williams, "The Hudson"

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                        • #13
                          *oonagh*: ...you know what, i thought hard about your question and re-examined once again what i believe , and came to the conclusion that i'am more panentheistic. I thought about this driving home today and realized that anyway i looked at it, i still believe what i always have as a pagan. I feel foolish now i really do like pantheism though, and i think many of the poetry that reflects pantheism like that written by Walt Whitman is beautiful

                          Windsmith: thanks for the advice! i do enjoy reading the threads from this corner of mysticwicks!

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                          • #14
                            There's nothing wrong with testing your beliefs, in spiritual terms I think that it is very healthy. Like many things in life it is very easy to become comfortable with where you are and slip into rut before you know it. Sounds nice until you need your beliefs and find that they've become superficial.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by MoonBreath View Post
                              *oonagh*: ...you know what, i thought hard about your question and re-examined once again what i believe , and came to the conclusion that i'am more panentheistic. I thought about this driving home today and realized that anyway i looked at it, i still believe what i always have as a pagan. I feel foolish now
                              Don't worry about it! I'm not always sure where I sit on the dividing line and the two have a lot in common, in my opinion.

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