Interview with a Monotheistic Pagan
Most people when they hear “pagan” immediately assume that a) the person believes in/worships many Gods, or b) is a “devil worshiper”. This, however, is not necessarily true. Also pagans tend to be characterized as people who wear “Goth” clothing or make up, sometimes both, or lots of pentacle or pentagram jewelry. This is also not necessarily true. This interview is intended to shed some light on one corner a belief system that, for many, is shrouded in darkness, mystery, and lots of persecution and misinformation. This is however, only one person's belief and therefore does not apply to everyone. It is their belief and reality, their truth, so it may not be the same as what you may have read about or heard of before. Pagan is a very general term and encompasses a great many different beliefs that can be extremely diverse.
Question: You see yourself as a “monotheistic pagan”, what is that?
Answer: That's just the closest category that my beliefs seem to fit into. I don't follow any of the “recognized” religions out there and while I do believe in, and will occasionally talk to, the Gods/Goddesses of many other religions or belief systems the only one I really work with is the Source, who I call Dio. I also practice magic (or magick, depending on who you talk to the spelling will change) of various types, which in itself would tend to classify me as pagan or a witch depending on who you ask. I consider myself both so it doesn't really matter to me what term others use.
Question: What is the basis of your beliefs?
Answer: The core of my beliefs is the Law of Belief. The Law of Belief is that everyone's belief is their truth, their reality; and it is not my business nor my place to tell anyone their belief is real, unreal, right, wrong, or anything else. I do not know what they have seen or experienced and so I cannot say that they are right or wrong. It is theirs just as mine is mine. Everyone has different lives and experiences and sees things in different ways. That doesn't mean that anyone is right or wrong, just different. Nor do I have any desire or intention to change anyone's beliefs. Along with that I don't believe anyone has the right to tell me that what I believe is wrong or unreal as well, but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen.
Have you ever had someone be disrespectful, disbelieving, or down right rude toward your beliefs or toward you because of your beliefs?
Question: Have you had many experiences of people...having issues with your beliefs?
Answer: Most certainly, which is why I rarely talk to people about it and wished to be anonymous for this interview. In school I was teased or bullied because of it, among other things. As an adult I have been verbally attacked for something so simple as agreeing with someone's post that something was possible and that they did a good job of presenting it, that has actually happened numerous times. I have also had other “pagans” deride information based on my experiences on various topics because it didn't fit with their beliefs. People of all religions, belief systems, and backgrounds have been everything from politely disagreeing to down right rude and disrespectful of my beliefs and myself. I have even had people tell me I was crazy for believing what I do. However, when you look at the ones those people hold in highest regard in their belief systems, they would have been considered lunatics or worse in this day and age. So, while it saddens me that people can be so narrow minded, I really don't care what they say. Nothing they say or do will change my beliefs. It's almost scary how many people have tried to though.
Question: You said you practice magic of various types, what does that mean?
Answer: Magic is limited only by your belief. There are some things I refuse to do, such as spells that would interfere with another's free will; I'm not saying that I can't do it, just that I won't. Nor do I do ones that harm others unless it is in self defense. If another is attacking me, I have no qualms about returning it to them. Also if I have some form of intruder in my home I can and will use force to protect my family and send them back to where they belong. I will give them a warning first, but if they are dumb enough to continue they will have to deal with the consequences and I am not nice about it either; but I also wouldn't be nice to a physical intruder. Every act (especially magical) has consequences, and that includes not acting as well, so one should careful with what they choose to do.
I work with raw will (Power) and the elements (both Dark and Light, but mainly Light) mostly. As such I would be classified as a Lightwielder. As I mentioned before, I don't work with any Gods/Goddesses except the Source. It just never felt right for me to do so. Why ask something of them that I am perfectly capable of doing myself? That would just be rude as far as I am concerned. By the same token, that is why I talk to the Source rather than “lesser” Gods/Goddesses; it just makes sense to go to the Source rather than a less powerful being if it is something I can't do for myself. One wouldn't put a two inch bandage on six inch wound and expect it to work. For me it just makes sense and feels right, for others it doesn't.
Question: I think I understand what you mean by your beliefs limiting your magic, but could you explain it a little more?
Answer: What you believe is your reality, therefore if you believe that there are no such things as angels or demons then there aren't for you. And I emphasize the For You. Just because you don't believe it exists, doesn't mean that it truly doesn't. It just means it doesn't in Your reality. Ghost are a good example of this. Most people don't believe they exist until they actually experience it for themselves. Until they experience it, it doesn't exist in their reality even though it does in other people's realities. That's why I have to shake my head at people, especially other pagans (witches, wiccans, whatever), who say that things like telepathy or telekinesis (or any of the kinesis') aren't possible or doesn't exist; or that there is no way that a person saying that they had been a god/goddess/angel/whatever couldn't possibly be true and the person is just making it up. It saddens me that they tell others this and discount those peoples' experiences and possibly make them think they are crazy. Just because they can't do it because they believe it doesn't exist doesn't mean that it is impossible for someone else who believes they can do it. The more you believe is possible the more power (or raw will) you have available to do such things with. Because of that a complete newbie to magic who is open to everything can be more powerful than someone who has been practicing magic for decades but is close minded. That newbie will not only have a higher power “cap” to work with but also more possible abilities to develop. If someone believes that they can't affect anything in the physical plane and that there is no such thing as the astral (or etheric) plane then they have pretty much killed their chances of success at any kind of magic. And prayer is magic as well.
How open minded would you say you are?
Question: How does not believing in that they can affect the physical, and believing the astral doesn't exist, kill a person's chance of making magic work?
Answer: Everything in the physical has an energetic form in the astral and it is by affecting the astral that we affect the physical. That said, not everything in the astral has a physical form. Ghosts again would be an example of this, higher beings such as Gods and Goddesses and angels and demons are as well. When you see something from the corner of your eye and turn to look and nothing is there you are seeing the astral. Most people just dismiss it as a figment of their imagination. When one doesn't believe the astral exists and that they can't affect the physical they have cut off their ability to do magic. That is why people use magic, to affect the physical and make their lives better in some way. It would be like...trying to cook something when you have shut off all forms of heat. The belief that you can't or it doesn't exist is the turning off of the heat. So no matter how perfectly you follow the recipe and prepare everything it just won't cook without that heat source. Belief is one of the driving forces of all magic. Beyond that, you need to focus your will (your energy/power) on the desired outcome and then release that energy. It is that release of focused energy and the belief that it will work that completes the spell, or prayer or whatever you want to call it. Belief is the biggest though. Belief is what makes miracles,and magic, happen; I'm sure nearly everyone has heard of such happenings even if they haven't believe the story was true.
Question: I noticed that you emphasized Light and Dark before, why is that?
Answer: Because this Realm is one of Balance. Light and Dark are the two main forces here. You can't have Light without Darkness. Light is essentially Love and Life and everything “good”. Dark is the opposite; Death, hate, destruction, and everything “bad”. Just as there is a Light Source, there is also a Dark Source, or Anti-Source. It is something I have seen in every religion I've heard of, but the Dark seems to be continually down played, which is to it's favor. When something bad happens most people start asking the “why did God (or whoever) let this happen” questions. They start doubting the Light and that gives more power to the Dark. I've never really understood why people think everything that happens is because that's what the “good” side decided but never consider that there is an opposing force that will mess with their lives just to make them quit believing. That there is something out there that will destroy their lives because it lives for destruction, not because is really cares about who or what they are. It has been obvious to me for as long as I can remember that this Balance between Light and Dark exists, all I had to do was look at the world around me. Doing that, I also realized that there are those that fight for each side. It's not a battle like they are trying to destroy each other though. The Light fights the Dark by shining twice as bright to balance it or push it back into balance, not by “destroying” the Dark. Destroying things is part of the Dark, so the Light trying to destroy it would end up just feeding it and making it more powerful. And If there is no Darkness there would be no Light as well because there would be nothing to determine that distinction. Like how do you know what peace is if you don't know what war is, one can't exist without the other because what defines it would cease to exist.
Question: What did you mean when you were talking about someone saying that they had been an angel or Goddess/God and being told that such was impossible? It se
Answer: I was. The most recent incident was on a “pagan” website. I saw a post that the person's “friend” said they were, or had been in a past life, a Goddess and the person wanted to know if it was possible. One of the moderator/knowledgeables replied that it was no because gods were spirits (etheric beings) not physical beings and we are just human and humans can't be gods, so there was no way that person's friend could possibly be telling the truth; they were either lying, role playing, or crazy. That response from someone that had supposedly been practicing in the magical realm for decades and was knowledgeable just blew me away. The biggest flaw I saw with that answer was the “gods are spirits and therefore can't be human” part. I wanted to ask the moderator “what are our souls then? What do we become when we die if not spirits?” but I didn't because on that particular site “arguing” with a moderator would get you kicked off. Besides that flaw, there are hundreds if not thousands of myths and legends (in the moderator's own stated belief system) that have cases of those exact things happening. Zeus is famous, or infamous, for taking human form and blending in with humans. As are many other well known and obscure gods and goddesses. There are also myths and legends of humans becoming gods. Hercules is one of them. All of this is something that the moderator would have (or should have) known about and been working with for years and yet said it wasn't possible. That moderator derided another's belief and experiences because they didn't fit with their beliefs even though their “religion” contained historical beliefs about just such things happening. It is actions like that which cause magic, and even imagination and inspiration, to be slowly destroyed. That it is coming from people who use magic, people who are supposed to be known for their open mindedness and tolerance as a part of their way of life, saddens me even more. We can't evolve mentally, emotionally, or spiritually if we continue to deride and disbelieve each other and ourselves. So many people see and experience things that they pretend don't exist or aren't there because they don't want to be labeled as crazy or delusional; or they take or are given drugs to keep it from happening. Such abilities are a natural part of our makeup and yet the more “civilized” we become the more we are taught to not trust or believe in those abilities and in doing so lose an important part of ourselves.
Have you ever experienced something that others would say is impossible or unreal?
Question: What are your thoughts on myths and legends and things or beings that most people say don't exist?
Answer: I believe it's all real. Every myth and legend has a grain of truth in it somewhere. There couldn't be so many of them, that are so similar, from peoples who had supposedly never met unless there was that grain of truth. Just because they are no longer here in this physical world doesn't mean that they weren't at some time and were just either not preserved or remains have not been found yet, or that they aren't somewhere else that our ancestors knew about and we have just lost that knowledge over time. Many may just be stories to guide us, but every story needs a basis in fact to carry a message. It is the fact in stories that resonates throughout our lives and gets passed on through generations. Experiences become teaching stories and if those stories last long enough they become legends and then myths. And sometimes those experiences reoccur in cycles, sometimes generations apart, that keep those beliefs alive.
I and some of my friends have experienced and remembered things that others would say are impossible or don't exist. Some so terrifying that we wished the people saying it wasn't real and didn't exist were right, but those experiences have confirmed for me that the “impossible” is possible and the “unreal” is real. And that some of those beings take great delight in ruining your life and making even your family doubt your sanity. As I have mentioned before, I won't say something doesn't exist or is imaginary or impossible just because I haven't seen it or experienced it myself. I know that there are things I don't know that others do. I would also like to just say to everyone out there reading this that has experienced the...odd, unusual, and impossible; you are not alone and just because you see, hear, know, or experience things that others don't, it doesn't mean you are crazy. Accepting your abilities and learning to use and control them will turn them into strengths. It may not be easy but it is worth it.
Thank you for the interview and I hope it helps others find answers they are searching for, or to find a direction at least.