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Providing a definition for Elemental Paganism will be rather difficult, as it is merely a name I chose that best describes my path. It differs from the Elementalist path in that it is almost completely unstructured. Perhaps the best way to convey what it is, is to identify that which it isn't.
Elemental Paganism shares very little with Wicca. In fact, they are at opposite ends of the spectrum. Wicca was created circa 1954 by Gerald Gardner. While Gardner claimed that Wicca was merely a continuation of the beliefs and practices of a small coven of witches he found, it has been all but proven that this is untrue. However, Wicca is based on the suspected beliefs of ancient european peoples. I say "suspected" because we will never know positively, as the Catholic Church was very thorough in it's destruction of all records.
My path is loosely based upon the Elements. The Elements have always existed, and will continue to exist long after we are gone. Wiccans have Cernunnos, Brid, etc. I have Earth, Air, Fire, and Water.
Rituals for me are unstructured, spontaneous events. There is no elaborate choreography, nor are there really any ritual tools. If I need a wand, there are plenty of sticks to be found. If I need an herb, I harvest it from my garden. Crystals and stones can be found almost anywhere. The only tool that I have for constant use is a staff made from a tree branch. It is natural, with no embellishments other than 4 runes carved into the wood at the top. These are the runes for Travel, Earth, Peace, and Prosperity.
I celebrate the equinoxes and the solstices. Other holidays are celebrated as I see fit. I usually celebrate Samhain, though not always. Full moons are a time for introspection and communion with nature. Usually, I sit in my garden and stare at the moon for a while, seeing not a goddess or a god, but a symbol of the forces of nature. Thunderstorms and snow storms are a special time for celebrating the power of nature. I can always be found outside during a thunderstorm.
Elemental Paganism can mean several different things. While I do revere the Elements and all that they represent, I actually chose the term for another of it's definitions.
Elemental: the base, the core of a thing. Fundamental or Essential.
I see the world in a way that is closer to how our primative ancestors saw it than how it is seen by many people today. I see nature at it's most fundamental. I can watch animals and insects for hours. I frequently talk to trees, which has caused my neighbors to believe me to be quite mad. I become like a wild animal in the Forest; able to move about almost silently. It is very hard to explain, as all instinctual feelings are. Imagine seeing your first thunderstorm. Can you remember the feeling of awe you had for the power in that storm? I can. I feel the same awe every time. Can you remember the feeling you had the first time you planted a seed and then later saw the hint of a sprout emerging from the soil? I have that feeling still. Have you ever stood on top of a mountain and just watched the movements of the clouds? Have you ever sat beside a mountain stream and watched the way the water flows over the rocks? These, to me, are part of being an Elemental Pagan; being in tune with the planet and being captivated by all of the intricate happenings that many ignore in their haste.
There is, of course, much more that could be said about my path. However, I feel that it is best to experience it for ones' self rather than to read about it. There is one last topic to briefly discuss, and that is magic. Call it magic, call it witchcraft, call it the craft of the wise, or any other name you choose. It is real, and yes, I do practice magic to a degree. Were you to be present during one of my infrequent workings, you would not hear any inane "Olde English", as by the time people were using "Thee"s and "Ye"s, witchcraft/magic was already ancient and enshrouded in secrecy. If I were to use the language closest to the correct time period, my spellwork would be uttered in Middle English, Aramaic, or any of the other ancient languages. Instead, I use the language which comes naturally to me because I feel that doing otherwise would detract from the power of my magic. I do not follow the "Threefold Law", for I do not feel that nature deals with things in threes. Likewise, I cannot even read the Rede (that's pretty confusing!) without having giggle fits over the wording. Also, as I have said, I am not Wiccan and it IS the "Wiccan Rede." I subscribe to the belief that anything you send out will come back to you...in whatever multiple nature sees fit. I don't believe in "And if it harm none, do as you will." Everything has an opposite reaction. Anything that is done on this planet will harm someone. Instead, I follow a few basic rules; a code of conduct if you will. Many of these rules were alleged to have been burned into stone and carried down from a mountain by a guy wearing a robe and Birkenstocks.
Those are my rules of conduct. Unfortunately, I tend to break #5 altogether too frequently.
- Murder is bad
- Stealing is bad
- Lying is bad
- Plundering the planet is bad
- Being a jerk is bad
This was the end of my description of Elemental Paganism...However, I posted a bit more about it on our message board, and felt that it belonged here also. Therefore, you have a couple of choices now; you can venture on to the 2nd page about Elemental Paganism, you can say "Screw it" and go straight to the message board, or you can visit a happy "Christian" website. I'll leave that decision up to you.
Walk in Beauty,
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