I mentioned previously that I do not completely divorce my craft from my faith. I do see witchcraft as a separate secular thing unto itself, but for some, like myself, it is linked to one’s spirituality. That being said, I would like to talk a bit about what I believe in broad strokes.
For the most part, I do not consider wholly pagan but it is probably one of the closest terms that could be used to define my faith. I definitely do not consider myself Wiccan or Neo-Wiccan because I do not conform entirely to their beliefs. I was raised Catholic and went through the majority of the Sacraments that I could up to this point in my life. I was baptized as a baby. I went through my First Communion and had my First Confession. Then in college I ended up being confirmed, surprisingly enough. So as far as the Church is concerned I am a Catholic.
Where I differ from Catholicism is that I don’t believe in Original Sin or Sin at all really. I don’t believe you go to Hell for committing suicide. I don’t believe babies go to limbo or purgatory if they are not baptized before they die. I don’t believe God is a jealous god.
So here are some terms that can explain more about what I believe. Again, mostly broad strokes here.
Polytheist – of the medium soft/hard variety. I am not strictly speaking a hard polytheist who sees all deities as completely separate in origin from each other. I see them all coming from a common Divine source, the I AM, which can be called many names. It is all of creation and unconditional love and all that stuff. The various deities of various pantheons are all emanations from that source. But they are all unique deities that may or may not share aspects with other deities from other pantheons.
Panentheist and Pantheist – It’s a fine line between the two for me. At times I see the Divine as completely separate from the universe and creation. Other times I see them as one in the same. Better yet, I believe there is divine in everything. Everyone has divinity within them as does everything within the universe.
Dualism – I see the universe and the Divine as having two sides. On one hand the two sides are complementary (bitheism) like yin and yang energies. This is where Mother and Father come into play along with the elements balancing each other with light and dark, air and earth, water and fire, etc. They are harmonious and complimentary halves to the whole. But I also believe there is evil in the world that isn’t/wasn’t initially a part of this creation. This is where I share beliefs with ditheism of deity forces in rivalry or opposition, good vs. evil. I do not see dark and evil being the same thing though. There can be just as much evil in the light as there is in the dark.
Pagan – I include this because it is an umbrella term that can encompass all of these areas I am mentioning. And it is such an umbrella term.
Animist – I believe even non-human entities like animals, plants, etc. have their own souls or spiritual essences.
Christian – I do believe in Jesus having been the Son of God sent to Earth to show His love for his children. I do see Jesus as the Messiah. So in that respect I can be considered Christian still. And most specifically Catholic as I believe more Catholic precepts than I do other denominations dogma.
“Nature Based” – I have a reverence for the Earth and Nature. I see it as just as divine as what the divine realms would be. It is Mother and her Home.
Afterlife and Reincarnation – I believe in reincarnation. I believe in Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory. But I also believe in other lands of the Afterlife.
Otherworlds/the Three Kingdoms – I believe in more than just the physical world. This physical/material world is part of the Middle World or Kingdom of Mankind as I call it in my path. This Kingdom also contains the metaphysical planes of other living beings that simply do not possess physical form. There are many layers to these planes but they are all a part of this Kingdom. Then there is the Underworld or the Kingdom of the Dead. This is where the dead go and those who guard the dead. It contains Hell and Purgatory as a part of it and other realms of the dead from different traditions of beliefs like the Norse Hel or Greek Hades. And then there is the Upper World or Kingdom of God where the Divine resides.
Morality/Ethics – I believe in the concept of Karma, and even the Threefold Law to an extent. I like the idea of the Wiccan Rede but I don’t necessarily follow it. I believe people can curse if they choose to but should also be willing to accept the consequences if they do so. All magic has a cost of some kind whether it follows the Threefold Law concept or other energetic laws.
Wheel of the Year – To an extent I will acknowledge the Wiccan turn of the year holidays. But I also have started working with my own set of holidays with my roommate relating to our set of beliefs. I like acknowledging and celebrating the cycles of the seasons and the myths that go with it. I also acknowledge Catholic Holy Days and feast days as well when I remember.
Magic – As already mentioned, I do believe in magic and witchcraft. I practice it. I believe a set of principles and laws determine how and why magic happens, but there are also some things that are more difficult to explain that way.
Spirits – I believe in a variety of non-physical incorporeal spirits. I can probably go into this further in a later post.
Prayer – I would have to say I believe in the power of prayer as well. Catholics believe that we can pray to the saints and angels to intercede for us and aid our prayers getting to God. I believe that happens. I also believe God and the other deities hear our prayers just as directly and can aid us in our requests for change. We can partner with them and create magic and change in our lives.
Alternate/Parallel Realities and Universes – I do not believe this is the only universe out there. There are plenty of alternate versions of things. Some of these stem from the same origin point of creation (i.e. alternate realities and universes) and some have completely different origin points (i.e. parallel realities and universes). In other words the Back to the Future movies provide the basis of how alternate realities and universes occur with minor or major deviations in the timeline. Parallel would be comparing the world of a specific fantasy book to our own world where everything is set up differently from our own but they both exist parallel to each other. Again, something I may describe much more later.