Pantheism And Traditional Witchcraft

Pantheism is a religious or metaphysical belief, or primary position, that God (the prime energy of the Universe) is everything and everything is God. Pantheism is a popular term and a spiritual position that focuses on nature rather than an abstract concept of a superior god being. Such belief has existed since time immemorial and is presently within the scope of beliefs found in a number of pagan, non-monotheistic religions, both old and new. It is also the belief of some intellectuals, including Spinoza, Albert Einstein, Stephan Hawking, Carl Sagan, David Suzuki, and Henry David Thoreau, among many others; of course these well-known pantheists were not necessarily pagans. Pantheism is also to be found among those that consider themselves part of the Traditional Craft (Traditional Witchcraft) of the British Isles.

To be more specific, most Traditionalist subscribe to the naturalistic spirituality of Naturalistic Pantheism. This is a belief that God/dess (the prime energy of the Universe) is Nature and Nature is Every Thing and Every Thing is God/dess.

We believe in "higher planes," souls, spirits, and other supernatural phenomena. We believe that spirituality has everything to do with the "supernatural." Although we dislike the term "supernatural" as we view all of nature as "natural."

We believe the Universe, Nature and divinity are synonymous. Divinity is immanent in Nature, and divinity is inherently manifest in every living and spiritual being and thing. Therefore, we feel the pervasive divinity in Nature and within ourselves. We believe the realm of Nature includes the physical world (Earth) as well as the spiritual world (heaven).

Thus, although we speak of god and goddess, or of the gods and goddesses, and even refer to them with the ancient names by which they were and are known, we view them as personifications of the divine. They bring the abstract concept of pantheism in a manner that can be understood. Thus, the Horned God who was important to our ancestral past is the personification of the male aspect of Nature, as so is the Goddess of the Moon the personification of the female regenerative aspect of Nature.

These concepts are held by many as basic to our worldview. However, they are not universally held by all. Traditionalists have always been a diverse lot and there are certainly some that are polytheists and henotheists.

Comments 25 comments

Prophecy Teacher profile image

Prophecy Teacher 8 years ago from Dallas Texas

Interesting hub and very well explained. I'm curious...

Do Pantheists believe in good and evil or is the "spiritual force" amoral.

Do Pantheists believe this "spiritual force" has any "personalness" to it - or is it completely non-personal?


Adrian_Eglinton profile image

Adrian_Eglinton 8 years ago from Boynton Beach Author

I can only tell you how I view Pantheism in Traditional Witchcraft. Others may disagree. I believe Nature is innately and absolutely neutral. So Nature can be neither good nor bad. You used the term "evil." To us, that is a touchy word as we think it is commonly misunderstood. We don't believe anything is evil. We believe people do evil but are not innately evil. Certainly, Nature cannot be evil. As to the next question, if by "spiritual force" you mean a god figure or Nature, as it is innately neutral it is completely non-personal. Although many lend personality to various figures they call god or goddess, that is not what we do. However, we are very much involved with individual spirits. These spirits can be deceased friends and relatives from this and past lives. Spirits can also be entities that never lived a lifetime on Earth. The spirits are very personal and we would consider them as much a "spiritual force" as anything else.


Prophecy Teacher profile image

Prophecy Teacher 8 years ago from Dallas Texas

If people do evil in your view - how do we decide what is evil and what is not? And concerning the spirits that never lived a lifetime on earth - what are they in your view - and how do you experience them? Are you saying Pantheists have relationships with them?

Do these spirits communicate and if so how?

Thanks for your answers. I don't believe in Panthesism as I am a Christian - but  I'm really interested in understanding this more. I am noticing that many former Atheists have concluded it is not rational Philisophically to be Atheist - and as a result are moving to the next logical Philisophical step - and that is toward a Non-Personal God form of Pantheism. Perhaps your Pantheism is different from theirs. In theirs - there are no spirits. I do not know how they account for evil and good - however they may define that.

 


Adrian_Eglinton profile image

Adrian_Eglinton 8 years ago from Boynton Beach Author

I wrote a response to your questions, and then I realized it was rather long. Therefore, I have re-written my response into a question and answer Hub. It is located here:

http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Answers-To


Sandy 8 years ago

Actually Prophecy Teacher there are many Christian/Jewish Pantheists. Many people on hearing about Pantheism reply "Yeah, that's how I've always felt", although I think maybe that some of them are Panentheists - seeing everything as God/nature/spirit and yet God beyond nature as the Great Architect.

I have always felt that Pantheism evolved from Animism, from all things have a spirit, to all things are spirit, and I'm sure that there were Pantheists even before the word was invented.

Many fail to see how we can have any relationship with the Gods if we do not believe them to be actual beings. Delving deep within the well of knowing is were I meet my God/Goddess archetypes which is a profound experience. Although I know that within or without are in actuality the same when I say this, I believe their names to be words of power, for throughout time the intense emotion sent out in their name has been made manifest on a certain plane. The Christians have done the same by using the word Devil to create fear and so I guess there's a big blob of fear hanging out there too.

Luckily not being bought up in a religion, I was never indoctrinated with the good/evil thing and have never come across anything evil while travelling; mind you I guess if I went in a negative frame of mind I may magnetise it to me. My reply to those friends who warn me that there are evil things out there, is that if I don't acknowledge them they do not exist to me, therefore they do not exist at all. Sorry I've started deviating from the subject.

Some modern type Pantheists call the supernatural super nature.


Sebastian Allen profile image

Sebastian Allen 8 years ago from West Palm Beach, FL

This Hub and your Hub, Answers to Questions About Pantheism And Traditional Witchcraft, http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Answers-To , closely reflect my own point of view. These Hubs are very well written, as is your lovely website. I really appreciate the way you explain Traditional Witchcraft.


Chef Jeff profile image

Chef Jeff 8 years ago from Universe, Milky Way, Outer Arm, Sol, Earth, Western Hemisphere, North America, Illinois, Chicago.

I thank you for enlightening me about the contents of your hub. It's something we don't see a lot of elsewhere, and even though I hold to different ideas about God and such matters, I enjoyed reading you hub. Thanks!


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 8 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

What a great Hub, and so much on my wavelength that I simply had to read it as a Pagan/Wiccan myself. Well done!


Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 8 years ago from West Virginia

Cool, I like this hub!


Kristin 8 years ago

Ofcourse any being that is close with the God/Goddess and with nature that experiences and is at one with spirits, animals and nature would relate to Adrian who is a great teacher. Enlightenment, psychic ability, visions and communication with our Great Gods and Goddessess who confirm our power and give us strength.

Anam Cara Zues


Prophecy Teacher profile image

Prophecy Teacher 8 years ago from Dallas Texas

Hello Sandy. In my mind there can not be a Jewish pantheism. It is self contradictory. In the same way there can not be a Christian Muslim.

 

Concerning evil - I did not mean it in the sense of Satan, but in the sense of death, pain and morals. I'm not confident Christians invented the "Devil" to impose fear -  but I am confident people suffer pain. What - in a Pantheistic world - does that? Why pain? Why death? And are you sure of the answer you are going to give me?

 


Adrian_Eglinton profile image

Adrian_Eglinton 8 years ago from Boynton Beach Author

In answer to you, Prophecy Teacher, I have written another Hub explaining a historic slight-of-mind concerning European history, a particular use of fear by the Christians as a deliberate instrument of propaganda that began around the year 1100 C.E. I hope some people may find it of interest.

It is located at:

http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Fear-And-C...


Iwari 7 years ago

Thumbs-up


Jeff 7 years ago

Thanks for an interesting hub Adrian.

But can't you be a pantheist and a polytheist at the same time?

You are you and I am me; we are separate, but part of the same Whole.

I see the same with the Gods. Each separate God is not all powerful, but more powerful than me, and we are all part of that same Whole.


Alisha 7 years ago

GREAT HUB, I very much enjoy getting your emails/articles! I also read the hubs you linked in these above comments. I actually had just discovered Pantheism and was wondering if I could tie my beliefs (always felt this way and was overjoyed to find Pantheism) into witchcraft. So, if you don't mind me asking, would a Pantheist go about conducting rituals without calling on particular deities? I believe in The Elementals as well as The Spirits (of all things), just not the human-esce personifications of god/dess. Can you help me tie things together?

-Alisha=]


Adrian_Eglinton profile image

Adrian_Eglinton 7 years ago from Boynton Beach Author

Jeff, (I know- very long wait, and I am very sorry) Thanks for the comment. Yes, not only CAN a pantheist be a polytheist at the same time; but it IS the standard way most people in the Traditional Craft view deity.

Of course some are pure pantheists, some are pure polytheist, some are even atheist or agnostic (well, at least a few). But most have a twin belief system of pantheism as a core "world view" and polytheism as a practical application in daily practice.

I believe the Neo-Platonists view of polytheism is rather much how Trad Crafters (or at least I) see their polytheistic beliefs. Ancient writers such as Salustius (or Sallust), Roman Emperor Julian Augustus, Porphyry, and Celsus present Neo-Platonism.

Alisha, Thanks for the comment. As I said to Jeff, yes, not only can you can link pantheism into Traditionalist Witchcraft, it is the common view of those of this spirituality. Those that hold such beliefs call upon specific gods they recognize in ritual. I discuss this at length in the Course material.

What is done in practice is not a simple matter because some to this, others do that, etc. You should do as you feel most comfortable. I, personally, keep the rituals to the gods completely separate from spellcraft. I think that is what the vast majority do, or those I know about.

The spirits are addressed in spellcraft, not the gods. Spirits are the ones that will answer your requests. Well, I guess gods could as well, but it is the spirits that protect you and work with you on a daily basis and in spellwork.

However, do not misunderstand-- many do mention gods in spellworkings, especially the pagan British gods, i.e.: the God of the Wooded Wild and the Goddess Diana, or some just say “the god and goddess,” or whatever they feel to be correct. There is no one way.

The Elementals (we usually call Directionals) are usually not addressed in Traditional magic, unless it is a very important spell that may concern the Elementals and the practitioner is very experienced and has total confidence. The Elementals are known as being difficult to handle, for seekers it is best to leave them be and not invite them.

I wish all of you, Iwari, Jeff and Alisha, and those that have commented earlier my very best.


Mom of KSKW 6 years ago

I've considered myself a Pantheist for over a decade, since I saw a biography of John Muir in which was claimed that he labelled himself as such. Prior to that I searched for my belief system in Judaism, paganism, & Buddhism. One of the beauties of Pantheism is acceptance of other beliefs & the other, ability to define yourself within such a broad system. However, the true definition of Pantheism as published on the Universal Pantheist Society webpage is this: "Any doctrine, philosophy, or religious practice that holds universe [cosmos], taken or concieved as the totality of forces and/or matter, is synonymous with the theological principle of God." To me, as well as many others, this means that there is no human personality attributable to God. That the natural is supernatural; to see proof of God, watch a sunset or experience gravity. I do not believe in the Bible, but see it as a way humans tried to understand the workings of the Universe. Nice try, but now we know so much more. Like about dinosaurs for example. And evolution.


Adrian_Eglinton profile image

Adrian_Eglinton 6 years ago from Boynton Beach Author

Nice try, eh? This Hub is about "Pantheism And Traditional Witchcraft," it is not about pure pantheism. Traditional Witchcraft in Britain has always reflected a dichotomy, a worldview that sees pantheism and a polytheism working in tandem. I am not making this up, you can easily check elsewhere from authoritative sources (which are usually not Wiccan or Neo-Pagan). So, now you really really do know so much more.


lilyvictoria 6 years ago

well done Adrian ...Thumbs up


Angela Daily 5 years ago

I've already read this one, but it was good to read it again. It's nice to read about a rational and traditional approach to witchcraft. Especially when you have read everything you can get your hands on. I can't wait until the next book!


Marion Hermannsen 5 years ago

Great article - what I like most about Pantheism and Paganism is that there are so many opinions and beliefs out there that co-exist and are each valid to the believer. What a refreshing attitude compared to Abrahamic religions whose proclaimed aim is to indoctrinate and convert.


Pab D 2 years ago


Robert RD Brooks 2 years ago

Adrian: I enjoyed reading your article on Pantheism & I share a similar belief - Thumbs up! - Robert RD Brooks whitewarlock101@gmail.com


Morgayne 13 months ago

Very well written as usual, certainly a clear thumbs up!


ellie 7 months ago

very well written as always...your always quite fair and non-judgmental in your explanations no matter what the subject matter..thanks Adrian

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