Changes

I’ve decided that over the coming weeks I’ll be making some big changes to the blog. I have already changed the theme and will probably rethink the title of the blog and completely overhaul the pages too (while maintaining the same web address so links are kept in place). Over the past few years my spiritual focus has expanded beyond just Pantheism to encompass various other philosophical ideas which I think might be better under an umbrella of Naturalistic Contemplative Paganism instead – I have found myself becoming much more Animist in perspective, as well as more interested in Philosophy. As I work through the ADF Druid path, I have learned more about how our ancestors viewed the world and I hope to incorporate more of that into the direction this blog takes in future. Please bear with me while I make these changes and hopefully the blog will be much improved for it.

Thanks,
Matty
(NaturalPantheist)

Naturalistic Paganism

I wanted to do a quick shout out about some big changes going on at the Humanistic Paganism blog. The site is probably the most important blog to follow if you’re interested in spirituality from a naturalistic perspective. if you’re not following it yet, why not go check it out at humanisticpaganism.com. It includes regular posts by a wide variety of authors in the naturalistic pagan community, including yours truly, as well as links to countless resources across the web about naturalistic spirituality. There are some exciting changes happening in 2013 as the site matures and I encourage everyone to go and look at this must-follow blog.

English: Neopagan meditation in Rocca di Cerer...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sabbath Manifesto

shabbat pictureOne of the religions that has always inspired me and has a host of wonderful religious practices is Judaism. One of their primary practices, and probably the reason for the survival of their culture during 2000 years of Christian persecution, is Shabbat, the Sabbath. The Sabbath, beginning at sunset on Friday evening and ending at Sunset on Saturday evening, is the most sacred day of the week for the Jewish people. On this day, the whole family gathers for a special meal, candles are lit, prayers are said and a special meal is eaten. They are forbidden from doing any work on this day as it is a day of rest. It is a time for religious practices, for spending time with friends and family and for celebration.

As a Naturalistic Pantheist, I strongly believe that we can learn from this practice and adopt it to our own needs. In fact, there is already a movement called the “digital sabbath” or “secular sabbath” growing in popularity. With internet addiction becoming a growing problem and our materialist, ever connected, consumer culture wreaking havoc on our social lives and on the environment, perhaps a “Pantheist Sabbath” once a week could do wonders for our relationships, our personal lives and the environment.

But how would it work? The Sabbath Manifesto project has set out 10 guidelines for a modern Sabbath, whether secular or religious. These are –

  • Avoid Technology
  • Connect with Loved Ones
  • Nurture your Health
  • Get Outside
  • Avoid Commerce
  • Light Candles
  • Drink Wine
  • Eat Bread
  • Find Silence
  • Give Back

Using these guidelines, I believe that Naturalistic Pantheists can create their own “Shabbat” celebrations, perhaps weekly or perhaps on full and dark moons? And we can take time out to both give ourselves, and Mother Nature, a rest. What do you think?

Go Vegan?

fruit and veg pictureI’ve been a Vegetarian for 10 months now. As a Pantheist, I believe all life is interconnected, all life is kin and all life deserves respect. Pantheism means to be reverent toward and hold nature sacred. Some may argue that we should eat meat because the animal kingdom includes meat eating – but it does so because some animals do not know any different and have no other options for meeting their dietary needs. For humans this is not the case – we can make a choice! It is possible to live a full and healthy life on either a vegetarian or vegan diet. In fact, its much healthier than eating a meat based diet. Having been a Vegetarian for almost a year, I am considering going Vegan now as I research and learn more about the cruelty inflicted upon animals in the egg and dairy industries. I want to ensure that my life fits in with my values and I do all I can to show respect and reverence to Mother Nature.

Below is a video about Veganism. Have a watch and then consider whether how your life choices are guided by your values.