How Do Pagans Approach Social & Political Issues?
Here in the U.S., the silly season of Presidential elections has spurred a lot of interest from the Pagan community. The Separation of Church and State is even more important than ever before here in America and Pagans are trying to make their voices heard.
Paganism/Witchcraft/Pagan Metaphysics is one of the fastest growing religions in America today. As well as around the world. Many people are becoming disillusioned with the unethical actions, politics and overpowering control that fundamentalist religions are expressing and pushing in our world today. And many are looking for peaceful alternatives. “Membership in Wiccan, Deity, Druid and Pagan sects has been skyrocketing — up from an unregistered blip in 1990 to more than 350,000 as of 2001” according to an article in the Washington Post.
As the level of strict religious views rises in our political discourse, I have received a huge amount of eMail from researchers, pagan activists and those looking to understand our path, asking for information that outlines the opinions of Pagans from a faith/belief perspective on today’s many issues. While I cannot speak for the opinions of all Pagans, I can discuss the basic principles outlined in the teachings of Pagan Metaphysical theology.
The following is a general description of how our Metaphysical Theology views some of today’s hot topics.
It is important to note that Pagan Metaphysics strives for peace and harmony within the Divine Universe and within the individual being. Through mutual respect and acceptance we can discover and acquire peace for all and create a world that is harmonious for everyone. But this approach does not take away the choices of individuals to direct their own lives with free will and the acceptance of the consequences of those choices.
Lesbian, Gay, BiSexual, Transgender, A-Sexual
Here we start with the concepts of animal (humans are part of the animal kingdom) and nature. Metaphysics teaches us that we (as humans) are part of and connected to the seen and unseen forces in the natural Universe. Every species in the animal kingdom has some expression of homosexuality within its existence. Humans, being one of those animal species, are no different. From a position of faith, LGBTA is not condemned or considered to be a ‘sin’. It is viewed as a choice of spirit to set lessons upon one’s physical path in life to learn from and to gain insight through experience. It’s no different from any other social choice that a spirit may choose, such as being an only child, or being born in a certain country. Each of these choices will set different lessons on one’s path based on upbringing and culture. The bottom line is: LGBTA is openly accepted. (this includes genderless, gender neutral, and transsexual).
Same Sex Marriage
Based on the acceptance of LGBTA, Metaphysical beliefs support any relationship that is based on love and mutual respect. It should not matter who you love, as love is the greatest force in nature. The bottom line is: Same Sex Marriage is supported.
Abortion / Miscarriage
This one can get complicated, because there are several Metaphysical concepts in motion here. Starting with the process of reincarnation. As a spirit begins to define the outline of their life (what we call the Spiritual Blueprint), it makes agreements with other spirits to interact with them in order to resolve shared karmic debt and credit. In other words, you choose who your mother will be long before you are conceived. That choice defines a general set of spiritual lessons to be learned that will be influenced by a variety of events associated with that choice. For instance, an individual can create a different set of lessons by choosing to incarnate as an American vs. an African. A different set of circumstances will be presented to an only child vs. a child in a large family, or as a male vs. a female and so on.
When the soul attaches itself to the physical fetus is up for interpretation. Some Metaphysical approaches have the soul attaching at the time of conception, while others suggest that the soul attaches to the mother but does not move into the ‘body of the child’ until much later. Some writings explain the soul enters the physical body during labor, others define a specific time of union, such as once the physical body has fully formed in the womb. Additionally a soul may choose the experiences associated with being a child conceived from rape, in a test tub, or through artificial insemination. The ‘creation’ of life from the spiritual perspective is based on the choice of the souls involved on a spiritual level. Each of these choices will also have varying lessons that will be faced based on the circumstances surrounding the event of conception.
Additionally, while in spirit we are fully aware of energy and its probable manifestation. For instance, a soul can see ahead in time and view that a woman in physical form will go through, the circumstances that will cause her to choose abortion vs going through a pregnancy. For karmic reasons a spirit may choose to connect to that mother to be, knowing full well an abortion will take place. It may choose to do this as a method of repaying or resolving karmic debt with the soul of the mother, or as an overall lesson the spiritual being needs or wants to resolve.
Because we have free will and choice, which is a primary belief in Metaphysical concepts, an individual person can alter choices while in physical form. For instance, a mother to be may initially intended to become a mother, but other circumstances could impact that decision and she changes the plans of her spiritual blueprint. This impacts the agreements made between her and the soul that has attached to the fetus. If the pregnancy is terminated there will be a karmic debt owed to the soul of the baby from the soul of the mother.
Additionally, if a woman becomes pregnant and during her pregnancy alters her life course through free will and choice, the soul attached to the fetus may ‘cancel the contract’ as well. If the new course will bring life lessons that the soul of the child does not want to experience, that soul may end the pregnancy through miscarriage. The union of mother and child begins long before birth and in Metaphysical concepts it will begin long before conception as well.
Another option maybe exercised as well. If a Mother becomes pregnant and makes life changing choices during the pregnancy, the soul of the fetus may decide these life changes will alter the plans their soul has made for the physical incarnation. But another related soul (a soul within the mother and infant’s spiritual association) may ask to step in and take the place of the original fetus’ soul. When this occurs the Mother could experience what seems like a miscarriage, that includes menstrual bleeding and scare the mom into an emergency room visit. This is the original soul detaching from the fetus and/or the mother, and the new soul attaching to the physical fetus and/or Mom. The trauma the Mom may go through in this kind of situation is sort of like an early cancellation fee for breaking the contract with the initial spirit.
From these perspectives Abortion is not seen as a sin or viewed as murder. And miscarriage is not always viewed as an unforeseen tragedy. Bottom line is: It’s a personal choice between a woman’s soul and the soul of the fetus she carries. Karma covers the consequences from the choices by both parties. Yes this sounds like a contractual legal agreement, because on a spiritual level, that is exactly what it is. And as with all contracts, they can be implemented as planned, or cancelled at any time with consequences.
Creation vs. Evolution
Metaphysical theology aligns itself closely with physics. Where physics is the study of the natural seen world, metaphysics is the study of first principles or the natural unknown or unseen world. You can’t have one without the other. From this perspective Metaphysics relies on science to answer the question to a point. Even modern astrophysics cannot answer the question of first principles when it comes to the creation of the Universe. It can define and provide scientific proof of the physical evolution of the Universe. But ask where did that rock come from that exploded during the Big Bang and at some point there is an unknown answer. Metaphysics looks for that starting point, the ultimate beginning.
This is where Metaphysical thought comes into play. Metaphysical theology defines the Divine as pure energy and it’s from this energy that the material or physical components of the Universe evolved. Even this answer has its limitations because one can always ask, well where did that energy come from? In Pagan Metaphysics there is always the search for 1st principles through the lens of science. We don’t ignore it, we embrace it. But at some point, there is a leap of faith that ‘something’ created ‘something else’ and the concept of evolution began through the multi-verse of existence.
The bottom line is: We believe in the Divine creation of the Big Bang and the subsequent evolution there after.
Teaching Creation vs. Evolution
Metaphysics believes that all faiths have a right to exist, are valid and are more alike than they are different. However, which spiritual path one follows is based on individual choice and free will. It cannot be pushed or installed in one’s brain by others.
Metaphysics is closely aligned with physics. Science is not a dirty word in our religion, but rather it’s part of our religion. Meta means beyond, and metaphysics is the study of life beyond physics. Which means we build our understanding of the world through physics and look beyond what physics can explain into the first principles of our existence. But at some point, faith does play into the mix. What I take on faith may not fit your paradigm and that’s ok. As long as you, nor I, try to force our faith onto others who do not share our views.
Respect for all religions also means respect for all whether they follow a religion or not. Mutual respect means not imposing my spiritual views upon you through laws of government. Because of this belief in equality, Metaphysics supports the concept of Separation of Church and State.
The bottom line is: Creation should not be taught in public schools to protect the rights of one faith at the expense of others who do not follow that belief. Science is not a belief, it is a proven mechanism that can and does answer the questions of existence through the observation of physics.
In Metaphysical theology, everything in life revolves around a wheel. Some call it the Wheel of Life, a Medicine Wheel, or Magikal Circle. This approach is often seen in nature as well through natural cycles.
Being part of the Divine Natural Universe, the Earth moves through cyclical periods. Climate change is one of these cycles. While humans have definitely contributed to the pollution and degeneration of Earth’s atmosphere, it may not be the initial cause of Global warming or cooling. But it is a contributing factor that must be addressed if humankind is going to sustain planetary resources that will in turn sustain humankind.
While we view the concepts of Climate change as part of natural cycles which can be supported by scientific research (this has happened before), we do believe there is an impact on climate by humans. To ignore that connection is dangerous. But instead of arguing over which factor started the change, we believe the change does exist and is occurring. Does it really matter which started it? From an academic stand point maybe, but there’s no question that it is happening and that human utilization of resources does have an effect on that change.
The bottom line is: We believe the scientific communities warnings about the human impact on the climate. But we also believe that climate change is a natural force that is cyclical and has been shown in ice core history from the Antarctic. Regardless of how it started, it does exist and does need to be addressed by all governments around the world with seriousness and commitment.
Crime & Punishment
Metaphysical theology believes there are Universal Laws that govern the Divine Universe. Karma is one of these laws, also known as the Law of Accountability. There is no escaping this law for an individual spirit, whether it’s paid for in the physical incarnation, in spirit, or in a later incarnation. On a spiritual level the karmic debt will be faced.
As incarnated beings we make choices to establish laws of governance. A person who does not adhere to these laws takes on both spiritual karma and the consequence of the physical world. There is a great deal of choice and free will involved with these events. From the choice to commit a crime, to the choices made by a judge, attorneys or jury in the prosecution of the criminal. For instance, Texas and Virginia are known for their use of the death penalty in murder cases. If a person decided to commit murder in Texas or Virginia vs. Iowa, a different set of consequences will be in play based on the law of the land.
The bottom line is: Free will and choice dictate the consequences of ones actions which will be played out through the implementation of the physical laws of the land.
Contrary to what some perceive, the Pagan Metaphysical path isn’t all white light and love. If I stand before you and you hit me, shame on you. If you hit me a second time, shame on me. A person can choose to stand up for themselves and protect their physical being, but within reason and with an equal reaction. Slap me and I may slap you back with no qualms or regrets or karma.
That concept carries forward from the mundane slap to the extreme violent attacks of terrorism. The recurring theme in all these issues is the Law of Accountability. Yes you have free will and choice, but your actions, no matter what they are, have consequences in both the spiritual and physical worlds. Sometimes those consequences come from the free will and choices of others to return the gesture in equal expression. A slap for a slap, a bombing for a bombing.
But as with the slap, the initial action may not be all there is to the event. Karma extends to all the actions involved around a situation. You may have slapped me because I grabbed your arm when you tried to walk away from a verbal confrontation. We believe there is energy in all things, words and actions. From the creation of energy comes the creation of the consequences (the karma). If a government chooses to impose its will or take advantage of others, resulting in an uprising and conflict, then karma is at play on both sides.
The bottom line is: If you try to impose your views on others, don’t be surprised if one day they come back to impose their will upon you. This is true for individuals, companies, societies and governments. Those actions of return may come in this lifetime, or they could come decades or centuries later. This does not justify terrorist acts, but it does not excuse the actions of others that may have long ago ignited the flame of hate.
Politics & Life
While Pagan Metaphysical approaches strive for harmony in all things, we also accept the struggles and violence of the natural world. In order for a Lion to live and exist, it must kill, something else will suffer. Chaos and Creation are part of our existence, from the ‘big bang’ many worlds were created.
We see the world in this natural view of balance in all things. And this perspective of balance permeates all things in and round our existence of life and how we live it. We don’t simply give lip service to the concept of ‘what you put out, you get back’; we see it and accept it as part of the existence of all things.
You cannot condemn one group of people for being immoral here at home because they don’t fit your religious views and then wonder why some other group in a far off land is trying to kill you. There is a cause and effect in all things we do, as individuals, corporations and countries. The result of one action may come back to you through the gun or weapons of another.
If you want to be treated with respect, first you must respect others. If you want to be treated with kindness and compassion, you must first show compassion towards others. If you want to live in a world of peace and tranquility, then you must first show peace and tranquility to all others. You can’t have it both ways. Not in life, nor in politics.
© 2012 Springwolf, D.D., Ph.D. Springwolf Reflections / Spring’s Haven, LLC. All Rights Reserved.