Faith: What It Means To Me As A Pagan
Article ID: 13037
Age Group: Adult
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Author: Merlin Rockwater
Posted: April 12th. 2009
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Faith as defined at wikipedia.com: Faith is a belief in the trustworthiness of an idea. Formal usage of the word "faith" is usually reserved for concepts of religion, as in theology, where it almost universally refers to a trusting belief in a transcendent reality, or else in a Supreme Being (or Beings) and said being's role in the order of transcendent, spiritual things.
Informal usage of the word "faith" can be quite broad, and may be used in place of either as "trust, " "belief, " or "hope". For example, the word "faith" can refer to a religion itself or to religion in general. As with "trust, " faith involves a concept of future events or outcomes.
As a Pagan I have trust in the belief of my ideas, most of which come from my inner self or through reading and research (if it has a good gut feeling or sounds logical to me, then I see how it fits into the overall picture of my personal faith) . I consider the path that I walk to be Eclectic Wicca. So I guess one could say that Eclectic Wicca is my religion or theology.
I think of God in a *panentheistic way (God exists in and throughout the universe and exists in everything that is and was) . God can be seen as an extremely infinite energy, which can resonate in humans individually in as many ways as there are humans. God is neither male nor female, but both exist in spirit within God. In this belief, it is not for me to judge who is right and who is wrong.
Which brings me to the following conclusions:
I believe in good and bad
I believe in right and wrong
I believe in cause and effect
I believe that God’s energy is accessible to all humans in their own way
I believe that God wants us to know as much as we are able to absorb
I believe that every one of God’s creations has a soul or energy, including plants, animals and everything from the Earth
I believe in lineal reincarnation of human and animal souls
Good and bad exist in each and every human being. We were given the ability to make choices and decisions that affect our surrounding environment and us by our creator. It is up to us as individuals as to how we use this ability. This also gives us our own sense of what is right and what is wrong. Not everyone is going to have the exact same feelings in this category. This is where cause and effect come into play.
For every action, there is a reaction. A good deed will warrant a good reward. A bad deed will warrant a bad reward. This is a very general way of looking at things and good and bad can be replaced with right and wrong, positive and negative, so on and so forth.
We were all born with a spark of God’s energy called a soul. If we look within ourselves on a daily basis, we will eventually know how to access that given energy in whatever way seems fit for each individual. Whether that way is through meditation, prayer or ritual, it is up to the individual as to which method works best. If we are not gaining anything from what we are doing and the way that we are doing it, then we need to reflect on our inner selves and find the solution.
We have very little time to spend on this marvelous planet we call Earth. In that time I feel it is our responsibility to gain as much knowledge that we can absorb. I consider it a mental challenge to find out about anything that I do not understand. If I come to a brick wall that I cannot breach mentally, then it is time to go onto something else. Perhaps revisiting that brick wall at a later time when more information has been gained. The mind is another valuable gift from God that should be used often.
As humans, we are not the only beings blessed with the energy from God. Animals, in their own way, through instinct and survival have this energy also. I believe that they play a role in how we act and react in this lifetime and all others. Maybe they are here to help us in ways that our fellow humans are unable to. The same is true for plants; all plants have an instinct for survival, through propagation and survival of the fittest. Great energy can be derived from plants and animals; all we have to do is ask.
Then finally, there is lineal reincarnation (human to human, animal to animal, plant to plant) . Our souls are on a mission, every hour, every day. Once that mission is found and completed, it is time for another one. I believe that this goes on and on until we find what God has meant for us to find. The same is true for our animal and plant friends. They have just as much a role on this Earth as we do. Maybe when we reach the end of our ultimate path, that is when we meet our maker.
Merry meet, merry part,
*Panentheism [from Greek: (pân) "all" and (en) "in"; and (Theós) "God"; "all-in-God"] is a belief system which posits that God exists and interpenetrates every part of nature, and timelessly extends beyond as well. Panentheism is distinguished from pantheism, which holds that God is synonymous with the material universe. 
In panentheism, God is not exactly viewed as the creator or demiurge but the eternal animating force behind the universe, with the universe as nothing more than the manifest part of God. The cosmos exists within God, who in turn "pervades" or is "in" the cosmos. While pantheism asserts that God and the universe are coextensive, panentheism claims that God is greater than the universe and that the universe is contained within God.  Panentheism holds that God is the "supreme affect and effect" of the universe. (source: wikipedia.com)
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