Five Years as a PaganPosted by Byron Pendason on June 10, 2023 CE, in Heathenry, Updates
Wes hāl!1 I’ve been a pagan for five years now, and I’d like to just reminisce a little. This post will be pretty far from my usual type of post, so feel free to ignore this post if you wish.
I left Christianity in June of 2018. I went straight to Paganism, because it seemed logical due to the pagans I knew irl, all of them family except for my then girlfriend (who’s now my wife 🥰). So to Paganism I went, knowing that it was an umbrella term for a wide variety of religious traditions and not knowing where exactly I was going to land. It was exciting, but also a little bit scary if I’m being honest.
Shortly after making this decision, I decided to write out what my current beliefs were. I still read it sometimes, and I have to cringe. It was a fine starting point, I suppose, but it seemed to be all over the place. It was a list of bullet points that outlined what I believed. Here it is, in its entirety.
- The physical universe, and everything in it, is divine. She is our Mother, the Goddess of the pagan religions.
- The Spirit of God is beyond the physical universe. He is our Father. He is the (masculine) God of the world’s religions.
- Every living thing is a child of the Father and the Mother, and contains a soul, a divine essence that contains its personality.
- Upon death, the soul has a time of rest in our universe and/or in the spirit realm (Heaven, Summerland, etc.). These are the angels, demons, jinn, minor gods and goddesses, and the other spiritual beings of the world religions. Some are good, and others are evil, depending upon how they were during their life.
- After a time of rest, the soul will usually be reborn into another physical body to continue its evolution.
- A soul’s karma, the balance of its good deeds and bad deeds, will determine where it is reborn. The better its karma, the better conditions it will be born into.
- Love is the highest law. Actions done out of love for others will raise one’s karma. The greater the action benefits others, the more it raises one’s karma. Conversely, actions that harm others (physically, mentally, and/or spiritually) lowers one’s karma. The more it harms others, the more it lowers one’s karma.
- Those souls with a very high karma may choose to cease their wanderings and be merged into the Father.
- The Father and disembodied souls (collectively termed the spirits) limit their interaction with the world mainly to communication with embodied souls who are sensitive to them.
- Plants and animals are naturally sensitive to the spirits.
- Most humans are deaf to the spirits due to the distractions of life. It is only when one calms the mind, through prayer and/or meditation, that one is sensitive to the spirits.
- Those humans with a high karma are naturally more sensitive to the spirits than those with lower karma.
- The spirits sometimes choose some who are naturally sensitive to them to communicate with us. These are the prophets of the world’s religions, and the mediums of the spiritists.
- Everything in the physical world, whether animate or inanimate, has a composite of energies within and around it. The spirits can influence these energies to interact with the physical universe. This forms the basis of the various divination techniques.
Keep in mind, this was before I had discovered reconstructionist methodology, or even before I had discovered Fyrnsidu (Anglo-Saxon Heathenry). It’s a typical list of beliefs that you might find from a typical modern eclectic neo-pagan.
I’ve come a long way since then. By August of that year, I had found Anglo-Saxon Heathenry. I’ve been a Fyrnsidere since. But that’s another story, for another time.
Wes hāl and Beo gesund are Old English greetings and farewells that literally mean Be well/whole/healthy. The first seemed to be more common among the Anglian dialects and the second more common among the Saxon dialects. I prefer to use both though, the first as a greeting and the second as a farewell. ↩ ↩2