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  • Pantheist Witches?

    To those who incorporate Witchcraft into your pantheistic ideology:

    What do your rituals look like?
    Do you use spells? And if so, how do you craft them?
    How do you feel your magic actually works (big picture; where does it come from)?
    Do you use any particular divination tool?
    What Witch lore do you find silly and what lore do you find important/necessary (i.e. broom lore)
    What tools do you use that a religious Witch may not, vice verse?

    Anything else you find particularly useful?

    I'm sure all of this is covered in individual threads, so I'm sorry if you're tired of answering some/all of these questions.
    "The magnificent, marvelous, mad, mad, mad, mad Madam Mim!" ~ Madam Mim, Sword in the Stone




  • #2
    My particular magickal workings are based upon the theurgy of the Neoplatonists, which focuses on inner transformation through communion with the ascending order of the Divine Emanations of wider existence, and ultimately, the Source, or One, from which all things originate. There are elements of sympathetic magick, the principle of "like attracting like", as well as a heavy emphasis on symbols and one's personal interaction with them. My rituals are self-designed, and are really quite simple. Everything is designed to create a calm, peaceful atmosphere, and allow me to focus on psychologically ascending through the Emanations. The tools I use are pretty standard to rituals of all traditions, candles, incense, representations of the particular deities and/or their attributes that I am focusing on for the particular ritual (I believe in deities in a literary, as opposed to a literal, sense. Archetypes, basically.) I don't think there is anything I use that is unconventional. I probably regard the tools and their functions differently than others would, though.

    Magick, to me, is a psychological exercise, a way of attuning myself to my place in existence, expressing my reverence for nature and it's ultimate source and destiny, and finding peace there. It is taking control of my own inner life, creating harmony in my thoughts and feelings. As for the lore, I don't really find any of it silly in and of itself, since it is just an aspect of our history and culture. But, I do find those who believe, in our modern age where we understand so much more about physics and other scientific fields, they can perform supernatural feats ("curse" someone with a poppet, for example) to be a bit silly, though I try to keep an open mind. I freely admit that neither I nor anyone else knows how everything works all the time, so who am I to roundly poo-poo someone elses personal experiences?

    I think I answered all your questions, but I would be happy to elaborate, if you like.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by MrsLynch View Post
      To those who incorporate Witchcraft into your pantheistic ideology:

      What do your rituals look like?
      Do you use spells? And if so, how do you craft them?
      How do you feel your magic actually works (big picture; where does it come from)?
      Do you use any particular divination tool?
      What Witch lore do you find silly and what lore do you find important/necessary (i.e. broom lore)
      What tools do you use that a religious Witch may not, vice verse?

      Anything else you find particularly useful?

      I'm sure all of this is covered in individual threads, so I'm sorry if you're tired of answering some/all of these questions.
      You know, I've just recently realized and accepted that I'm a pantheist. So I'll take a stab at them :P

      I take a very chaotic magician or hermetic approach to witchcraft and always have. So I've tried rituals but I dislike them mostly because they feel cheesy and organized (no pun intended) and they lose their meaning to me when we're just going through the motions. So if anything I do is close to a ritual.. I meditate, try to commune with energy and divinity -- but its never the same way every time.
      Spells. ... Hmm. Yea, I have a HUGE problem with candle and herbal magic. I love it to pieces and I'm glad it works for others, but its NEVER worked for me. I've created and used my inner altar/temple (a space created in my mind), many times and have much more success with that than with the whole.. carve this out in the candle, burn it down, blow this into the wind stuff. Really, I'm very jealous spells work for other people but if my brain never connects with it.. it'll never work, right?

      I am very biased toward the mental part of witchcraft. As mentioned before I have a mental altar and I also have a physical altar. The physical altar is just a space filled with things I love (rocks, feathers, jewelry, stones, herbs, candles) that allow me to calm down and feel at peace. My inner altar is my sanctuary. I meditate and visit it every day (similar to something like astral projection) and its where I do magic, calling elementals and what not. I LOVE sigils/talismans/words/thought/emotion/astral/empathic/psychic/wavelength.. sort of things. Communication. Learning to commune with divinity is my purpose in life. Sometimes I get it right and sometimes I don't.. like tuning in the right or wrong frequency (maybe seriously). That's how I see magic works too. Getting something right in your brain, that almost turns on the right frequency and gets you communing with the universe. I interpret the elements to be part of this divinity/energy/spirit as well -- and therefore, would love to call myself an elementalist but seems these days its crazy to do that ;D

      Divination: I use tarot (because I love art and imagery and what it creates in the mind) and again I love it because the same card can communicate something different to me one day than it did the day before.

      I'm not sure that answered everything :P If I missed the mark, lemme know ;P

      Edit: I just read the poster's response before me. Ah ha! Seems I'm not too far in my thought process from their's :P Guess we're on to something? :P
      Last edited by Adalai; November 3rd, 2011, 11:10 PM.
      I am... Witchy Woman Incognito
      “Although only breath, words which I command are immortal.” - Sappho


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      • #4
        Adalai, have you ever heard of theurgy or the Neoplatonists? Wikipedia has a surprisingly accurate and detailed article on theurgy, and a quick google search can give you the basic information. I have always found it to be quite compatible with a pantheistic worldview.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Katsbrain View Post
          Adalai, have you ever heard of theurgy or the Neoplatonists? Wikipedia has a surprisingly accurate and detailed article on theurgy, and a quick google search can give you the basic information. I have always found it to be quite compatible with a pantheistic worldview.
          I have! I have! I really enjoyed what I understood as well, I just didn't know where to go from there. Suggestions are much appreciated
          I am... Witchy Woman Incognito
          “Although only breath, words which I command are immortal.” - Sappho


          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Katsbrain View Post
            Adalai, have you ever heard of theurgy or the Neoplatonists? Wikipedia has a surprisingly accurate and detailed article on theurgy, and a quick google search can give you the basic information. I have always found it to be quite compatible with a pantheistic worldview.
            Is this something you two have in common that I missed? *sheepish grin* I just can't keep up!
            "The magnificent, marvelous, mad, mad, mad, mad Madam Mim!" ~ Madam Mim, Sword in the Stone



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            • #7
              Aside from the surviving fragments of writings from the Neoplatonists themselves, particularly Iamblichus, who first introduced the concept of magick to their philosophy, I have found the Hymns of Orpheus (which are available with some pretty decent footnotes in the Mystic Wicks Library) to be beautiful expressions of reverence and communion with the higher emanations of Divinity, and they give some interesting insight into how the Greeks viewed the nature of the gods of their pantheon. Theurgy is really a very simple concept itself (communion with existence in all it's forms for the purposes of positive self-transformation), but studying it can get tricky because it has been molded and applied to so many religious traditions throughout history.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by MrsLynch View Post
                Is this something you two have in common that I missed? *sheepish grin* I just can't keep up!
                LOL, I didn't mean to veer off from the point of your original post. When Adalai mentioned that my descriptions of my own views were similar to hers, I was curious to see if she was familiar at all with theurgical concepts.

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                • #9
                  What do your rituals look like?
                  They are sometimes elaborate, they are sometimes simple. I found I have a taste for both especial and mundane practice. An elaborate ritual is something I would probably perform on a sabbat; but even then I don't always do so. I love simple practice very much as well--something as simple as putting up an offering of rice on the altar, lighting incense and saying a mantra, suits me quite well.

                  Do you use spells? And if so, how do you craft them?
                  Ehhhn, I dislike the word "spell". Feels awkward to me. I call it energy or intent manipulation. Working energy. Moving intent. I normally see a need, fill a need when it comes to manipulating energy. I dislike willy-nilly; I love to plan things out, think about them, read about them, do what I can before making a metaphysical move. If I need words, I'll spend time writing a poem or searching for a quote / poem / song which best suits my purpose. If I need materials, I use natural things whenever possible. I use a lot of rocks, for instance, and water as well. I like to research how a thing has been used over time in different circumstances.

                  Then again, I enjoy spontaneous movement. If I have an impulse, I follow through with it.

                  How do you feel your magic actually works (big picture; where does it come from)?
                  Energy is all around us. Pull it from anywhere--any element, any person, any place, any name, any thing. I pull from myself, from the earth, from the natural substance I use in whatever working I'm performing.

                  Do you use any particular divination tool?
                  I do. I read Tarot. I have three decks in use -- a classic Rider-Waite, the Renaissance Tarot, and Animals Divine Tarot.

                  What Witch lore do you find silly and what lore do you find important/necessary (i.e. broom lore)
                  I love broom lore, personally. I have a beautiful broom hanging by my door. It was made by a true artisan and so far it has served me excellently. As far as what I find "silly"--I find a lot of things silly. A whole lot. I like to laugh a great deal, and I think that if you can't laugh at yourself you should just curl back up and return to the womb; therefore, I get a big kick out of some of the things I've heard other pagans say.

                  Aside from that, honestly, I think it's important to learn all that you can. Even more important though is to make those special distinctions which draw the line between scholarly material and absolute tosh.

                  What tools do you use that a religious Witch may not, vice verse?
                  I think this is an unfair question. Every single pagan practitioner is different. There is not one "set" path, not one holy truth. So...let's rephrase it to...

                  What materials do you prefer to use in your practice?
                  I prefer to use rocks. I love stones. They are deep listeners, the masters of camoflage, and they make up some of the most receptive tools I've ever used. One thing I don't really like using is an athame, because it feels...I don't know, empty. Hollow. I have a cheapy little athame that I got when I first started out, but I dislike using it. It feels as if I were a pet and someone was rubbing my fur the wrong way. Anyway. I love incense, candles, sachets, and altar offerings. I like to titillate my senses by using visual, olfactory, auditory, and tangible aids. By making it real to my senses, I am building up my psyche to perform.

                  Anything else you find particularly useful?
                  Living in the country helps. Also entheogens.
                  ---

                  [you have been visited by a heliotrope]



                  [hi]

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Heliotrope View Post
                    ...What tools do you use that a religious Witch may not, vice verse?
                    I think this is an unfair question. Every single pagan practitioner is different. There is not one "set" path, not one holy truth. So...let's rephrase it to...

                    What materials do you prefer to use in your practice?...
                    Heliotrope, you're right, that is a better question. Though, I wanted to make the distinction between a, lets say, Wiccan Witch and the Pantheist Witch whose beliefs don't necessarily come from a set religion. I of course didn't mean to be unfair or offensive.
                    "The magnificent, marvelous, mad, mad, mad, mad Madam Mim!" ~ Madam Mim, Sword in the Stone



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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Heliotrope View Post
                      Anything else you find particularly useful?
                      Living in the country helps. Also entheogens.
                      Enthoeogens, like, 'shrooms and LSD? I admit I had to look up what an entheogen was to begin with, so forgive my confusion. I'm a tich, um, naive when it comes to these things.
                      "The magnificent, marvelous, mad, mad, mad, mad Madam Mim!" ~ Madam Mim, Sword in the Stone



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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by MrsLynch View Post
                        Enthoeogens, like, 'shrooms and LSD? I admit I had to look up what an entheogen was to begin with, so forgive my confusion. I'm a tich, um, naive when it comes to these things.
                        That'd be it, but I've never had the pleasure of trying LSD. I'm a bit wary of it. No, my preferred method of choice is plain old cannabis. It's harmless, tastes yummy, and I have always had my best Tarot readings under the influence. It's not for everyone, but I rather like it.
                        ---

                        [you have been visited by a heliotrope]



                        [hi]

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Heliotrope View Post
                          That'd be it, but I've never had the pleasure of trying LSD. I'm a bit wary of it. No, my preferred method of choice is plain old cannabis. It's harmless, tastes yummy, and I have always had my best Tarot readings under the influence. It's not for everyone, but I rather like it.
                          Huh, okay. Something I'll have to ponder. Thanks for offering that information!
                          "The magnificent, marvelous, mad, mad, mad, mad Madam Mim!" ~ Madam Mim, Sword in the Stone



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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by MrsLynch View Post
                            Huh, okay. Something I'll have to ponder. Thanks for offering that information!
                            As I said, it's not for everyone, and I certainly don't condone underage usage. It's a personal preference, and it is a moderated substance in my household. My disclaimer is that using these kinds of enhancements for ritual and what-have-you requires practice, discipline, and a safe place. I'd be happy to offer my experiences and answer any questions.
                            ---

                            [you have been visited by a heliotrope]



                            [hi]

                            Comment

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