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AuroraWillow
January 2nd, 2007, 11:57 AM
So far most of he pantheism I have encountered has placed a heavy emphasis on science. I have heard it hinted that there is another side to the Pantheism spectrum, and there are others who do believe in aspects of mysticism.
Do Pagan ideas of magic fit anywhere within the Pantheist worldview?

Eleisawolf
January 2nd, 2007, 01:12 PM
There are, and I guess I would be one to represent them, though I'm sure my ideas are not the only ones out there.

However, my ideas of magic have more to do with internal forces than external ones. It's really the idea of harnessing the powers of the mind to work changes within onesself, that then can reflect and grow in the world outside.

For example, I believe that the careful, mindful preparation and consumption of food for me and my husband nourishes us more deeply. I believe that setting wards around my home gives me a feeling of security but also creates an alertness that leads to greater levels of safety. I believe that performing ritual and spells grounds me and helps me to focus better, bringing better results into my life--this also affects those around me and can therefore create great change in my world and the people with whom I come in contact every day.

And being open to the universe and all the possibilities within it that we don't understand yet is very important to me as a pantheist.

Knowing that I have worked spells that have had the desired effect (even being skeptical and open to coincidence) and having experienced the presence of spirits and other-beings (even while willing to accept there may be other explanations) helps bring that last bit into focus.

Magic is valuable because it works changes in me, and in others and the universe through me. And the more people working those changes together, the more powerful the change.

That's magic.

Peace_wiz_

Windsmith
January 2nd, 2007, 02:21 PM
Well, Eleisawolf said pert near everything I was gonna - and probably more eloquently than I would've.

I believe that magic is 99% mental, both in execution and effect. If I have a big test coming up, I might prepare a talisman to wear while taking it. I gather up some pencil shavings, maybe some thistle for improved memory and a scrap of soft fabric for calm. While I gather those things and put them into a vial or pouch, I visualize myself going into the testing room, focusing on being tranquil and prepared. I may sing a song or recite a mantra while I do it, but I don't need that - or the talisman, for that matter. What's required is a certain state of mind, and the physical objects are tools to help attain that state of mind. And maybe, while I'm visualizing myself calmly and preparedly taking this test, I think, I'll be fine, as long as there are no questions about power density. And maybe, when I'm done with the talisman, I'll realize that's ridiculous, and I'll spend more time studying power density.

The next day, I walk into the testing room, talisman in pocket. The talisman doesn't bring me a better score. But it puts me in mind of a time when I believed myself to be calm and prepared, and that makes me feel calm and prepared at the moment I need it most.

What's that other 1%? That's the I-don't-know. Yes, my belief system is mostly based on observable reality, but, like Eleisawolf, I'm open to the things I don't know and don't understand, the realities that haven't been discovered yet. It may yet be proven that the energy sent out by our thoughts and actions has effects far beyond what we would consider possible. It may be proven that casting a spell for improved memory can improve my memory. Until that's proven, I have the wonderful and often mysterious workings of my own mind, and that is plenty of magic for me.

Rosana
January 6th, 2007, 04:16 AM
I grow more and more interested in pantheistic path and a few weeks ago I've found out that for me, magick is psychology for romantics. The posts above very well sum up my beliefs in that matter.

cheddarsox
January 6th, 2007, 02:44 PM
folks ideas on this thread are helping me sort out my own. I am agnostic about magic. I don't believe that following some recipe in a book will make the universe scurry to do our bidding, but as everything is connected and there are multitude invisible forces at work...I don't discount that we are affecting things that occur in many ways.

On one hand...isn't it ALL magic? I mean, that everything works as it does? The fact that light travels through space for millions of years and reaches me and affects my mood...that seems magical to me. So I am open to other aspects of magic, and I do work with energy, intentions, visualizations, ritual, like the posters above described. And I have had experiences that feel magical.

Mostly I feel such "magic" affects me, but I have had enough experiences of seeming to alter situations around me that I have a good bit of respect for magic. I am careful of it, because I think it is hard for me to identify what I really want, and I want to be careful not to create situations that I don't intend. As I age, I grow in confidence in this area. It's kind of neat, and sometimes a little "spooky".

cheddar

RavenStars
January 7th, 2007, 12:42 AM
I'm curious about this. Can't emotions be the source of the magic you speak of? Love is consistantly said to shape the world around us. Don't wards offer an emotional feeling of safety? Can't candles provide an emotional focus for psycological magic? I'm being muddled, I know. But I think AuroraWillow wasn't asking about the magic that I'm reading here. There is something wonderful about a stormy night and a single candle in the window with the feverent, heartfelt wish that a loved one arrives home safely. Can't this be magic, too?

Windsmith
January 8th, 2007, 04:27 PM
On one hand...isn't it ALL magic? I mean, that everything works as it does? The fact that light travels through space for millions of years and reaches me and affects my mood...that seems magical to me.YES! That's what finally "tipped" me into pantheism, after weeks of uncertainty. I was reading an article by a Christian author, lamenting about how empty the Universe must seem to those who don't believe in a personal creator-god who made it all happen. And I realized, no; the Universe becomes more amazing, more alive, when you believe that it is self-creating and self-sustaining. Because the odds...holy crap, the odds of something like the Big Bang happening, of there being life on this planet...they're infinitesimally slim. And that's the greatest magic of all.

I suppose this is what some pantheists mean by "mystical pantheism." Although I am very interested in science, and love reading/watching/learning about it, it is not my primary avenue of experiencing the Universe. That, for me, is art and meditation. I experience What Is through observation and express it through metaphor. Through "magic," I change myself. Having changed myself, I change how I behave towards other humans, animals, plants...who can say how far those ripples spread.

Birdy
January 10th, 2007, 08:21 PM
for me, magick is psychology for romantics.

I like this. This is exactly how I feel and how it works for me put very succinctly.

_Banbha_
January 10th, 2007, 08:43 PM
YES! That's what finally "tipped" me into pantheism, after weeks of uncertainty. I was reading an article by a Christian author, lamenting about how empty the Universe must seem to those who don't believe in a personal creator-god who made it all happen. And I realized, no; the Universe becomes more amazing, more alive, when you believe that it is self-creating and self-sustaining. Because the odds...holy crap, the odds of something like the Big Bang happening, of there being life on this planet...they're infinitesimally slim. And that's the greatest magic of all.

I suppose this is what some pantheists mean by "mystical pantheism." Although I am very interested in science, and love reading/watching/learning about it, it is not my primary avenue of experiencing the Universe. That, for me, is art and meditation. I experience What Is through observation and express it through metaphor. Through "magic," I change myself. Having changed myself, I change how I behave towards other humans, animals, plants...who can say how far those ripples spread.

Beautifully said. You've sumed up many of my feelings on the subject. Feeling a deep connection to all things natural holds a tremendous magic and mystery for me. I require no esoteric explanations, as the reality itself is infinatelly more miraculous.

Windsmith
January 11th, 2007, 04:04 PM
So far most of he pantheism I have encountered has placed a heavy emphasis on science. I have heard it hinted that there is another side to the Pantheism spectrum, and there are others who do believe in aspects of mysticism.
Do Pagan ideas of magic fit anywhere within the Pantheist worldview?One other thing I want to mention is that when you hear people (especially pantheists) talking about "mysticism," they may not be talking about the same concept of mysticism that you'd think of in a purely Pagan context. I found it summed up pretty well at The Plane of Paxdora (http://www.paxdoraunlimited.com):
Some pantheists...will choose to take a scientific approach, favoring empirical study and discovery as a way of relating to Nature, while others will choose a more 'mystical' path, preferring direct experience through action, art, meditation, and other methods.He's nice about it. Personally, I dislike the way a lot of people - especially those who adopt the label "Scientific Pantheist" - talk about "Mystical Pantheists." In my experience, it's used to dismiss or even disparage those who choose a different path to relation with the Universe than a detailed knowledge of quantum physics.

I doubt that many people who fall under the header "Mystical Pantheist" use it to describe themselves. Most of us would prefer a term like "Experiential" or "Expressive" or, to borrow Cheddar's wonderful term, "Ardent." We view pantheism as a religion, rather than a philosophy. For some of us, that includes magic - used in the ways discussed here - but it probably doesn't include mysticism in the classical sense.

Birdy
January 11th, 2007, 07:35 PM
One other thing I want to mention is that when you hear people (especially pantheists) talking about "mysticism," they may not be talking about the same concept of mysticism that you'd think of in a purely Pagan context. I found it summed up pretty well at The Plane of Paxdora (http://www.paxdoraunlimited.com):He's nice about it. Personally, I dislike the way a lot of people - especially those who adopt the label "Scientific Pantheist" - talk about "Mystical Pantheists." In my experience, it's used to dismiss or even disparage those who choose a different path to relation with the Universe than a detailed knowledge of quantum physics.

I doubt that many people who fall under the header "Mystical Pantheist" use it to describe themselves. Most of us would prefer a term like "Experiential" or "Expressive" or, to borrow Cheddar's wonderful term, "Ardent." We view pantheism as a religion, rather than a philosophy. For some of us, that includes magic - used in the ways discussed here - but it probably doesn't include mysticism in the classical sense.

Would I be interpreting you correctly in saying that classical mysticism is about connecting with the spiritual sphere outside the mundane, whereas pantheists do not make a distinction, or rather do not believe in separate arcane and mundane spheres, as the pantheist concept of divinity is immanent rather than transcendent?

Xentor
January 11th, 2007, 07:50 PM
Here's one pantheist who believes magic is immanent in all. I happen to be an energy worker. As everything's supposed to be made of energy / matter, I can influence everything. That influence isn't limited to mental influence, though I personally went through some big personal changes, willingly and on purpose.

At the same time, I use a scientific method to look at my environment and at the influence I yield, and some parts can be explained scientifically, and some others cannot. Though I strive to explain as much as possible scientifically, some things keep evading that method. Do I value them less because of that? No way. Those parts that evade science are lodged firmly into my belief. If everything were to be explained beyond a shadow of a doubt, what good would it do to believe at all?

Windsmith
January 12th, 2007, 12:33 PM
Would I be interpreting you correctly in saying that classical mysticism is about connecting with the spiritual sphere outside the mundane, whereas pantheists do not make a distinction, or rather do not believe in separate arcane and mundane spheres, as the pantheist concept of divinity is immanent rather than transcendent?Yup, Birdy, that's a correct interpretation. So I should've been more clear that I was talking about the scientific or naturalistic pantheists, and not the dualists, who do believe in - and, I imagine, try to connect with - a spiritual sphere outside the mundane.

ravenscape
January 19th, 2007, 07:22 PM
YES! That's what finally "tipped" me into pantheism, after weeks of uncertainty. I was reading an article by a Christian author, lamenting about how empty the Universe must seem to those who don't believe in a personal creator-god who made it all happen. And I realized, no; the Universe becomes more amazing, more alive, when you believe that it is self-creating and self-sustaining. Because the odds...holy crap, the odds of something like the Big Bang happening, of there being life on this planet...they're infinitesimally slim. And that's the greatest magic of all.

I suppose this is what some pantheists mean by "mystical pantheism." Although I am very interested in science, and love reading/watching/learning about it, it is not my primary avenue of experiencing the Universe. That, for me, is art and meditation. I experience What Is through observation and express it through metaphor. Through "magic," I change myself. Having changed myself, I change how I behave towards other humans, animals, plants...who can say how far those ripples spread.


Bingo! I'd write a response, but Windsmith expressed my opinions better than I would have.

The one thing I would add is that we as human beings aren't physically equipped to experience or sense the fullness of the universe, or appreciate the infinite connections that we can posit exist as part of space and time. Our short lifespan, compared to the speed at which information travels in interstellar distances mean that we won't exist, or will exist in a vastly different way, when something that we do *here* has effect *there*.