Comments from the mailing list
Our belief system should span the solemn to the sensuously celebratory and
the boisterously joyous! We all seem to share a deep reverence for the
earth and we feel that rather than waiting for some distant heavenly reward
we should fully experience the paradise that is right here before us!
(1) a religion has to communicate in the symbolic language of its members.
(2) the symbols need to express the people’s conception of their relation
to the Cosmos. Our view of the Cosmos is that it is impersonal. The
universe is a place, not a person. To mythologize is to personalize the
impersonal. Can this be done in our time without invoking the
No matter how fun it might be to include ceremonies from established
religions, I personally would rather have something simple, totally
non-denominational, and wholly believable.
Let me set up a scenario here;say that we Sci-pans of southern California
that besides our usual rites(what ever those will end up being)that we
rent a campground in Joshua state park for the weekend in the spring and
decide to make a re-enactment of Persephone’s voyage to the underworld.There
would be some major players that would have to have rehearsed the parts of
Persephone,Demurer,Hades and various extras.But all would participate in the
search for Persephone by climbing around the rocks calling her name as
Demeter does and people attending this campout would be responsible for sewing
their own costume in keeping with the style and materials of the time.This would
end up being an interesting symbolic experience, as the idea of calling
Persephone’s name is symbolic with demanding the return of the spring.The season of
This is not at all supernatural or superstitious it is SYMBOLIC
enactment of the natural order we are a part of .And its fun,we can put
ourselves in the mindset of our ancestors and see the world from their
eyes. It has charm and after we can maybe have a feast, sticking close to the kind of
would have had.When evening fell we could have a great drumming circle and
folks could dance and talk late into the night before retiring to there tents. Now
don’t tell me I don’t have something there,because you know deep down in your
hearts it sounds great!
We should keep in mind that the solstices, equinoxes and moon phases
influence all terrestrial life greatly. In fact, when we find people on
other worlds they will certainly have analogues. I therefore suggest that
we schedule rituals and ceremonies accordingly.
Another principle to incorporate is “We came from the stars, and to
them we shall return.”
I should also like to introduce the concept of the Seven Sacred
Directions, a useful representation of principles:
Sky: The masculine, source of energy and pattern
Earth: The feminine, place of growth and nourishment
North: The “place between,” of transformation and transition,
between death and birth- deep night and winter
East: Place of renewal, beginnings, rebirth- spring, dawn
South: Place of maturity, fruition, fullest development- noon,
West: Place of decline and endings- sunset, autumn
Within: for we all stand at the center of our own circle in
One needn’t be any kind of -theist to appreciate these, for they are
rooted in tangible existence. Also, as the breaking of bread and sharing of
cup can be found in many ancient cultures, bespeaking a deep significance
for our species, some version of this should be used. I suggest a crystal
chalice filled with spring water, and a wooden bowl with star-shaped cakes.
The crystal and water stand for pure and evident essences, of the silicates
and hydrates that we all share. The wooden bowl stands for the life of our
world, from which we cannot be separated, and the cakes for the star-stuff
of which we are made, contained within this vessel of our Earth.
Just some notions that occurred to me in the shower.
May the Force be With You,
I imagine that our first meetings will be in each others homes
but, later if we have a center for different chapters. I feel it would be a
good idea to have lectures and workshops given by various members, because we
are a diverse group many of whom came to Scientific Pantheism from different
venues. If I were for instance to give a lecture on early divinatory practices and
their relation ship to science, I wouldn’t expect to be labeled a pagan any more
than one would label Joseph Campbell a pagan because the his field of interest
and study was mythological themes and their psychological and sociological
impact in various cultures. I in turn would like to hear lectures given by people who
are science,philosophy,and environmentally inclined.
The thing is these different interests don’t have to clash.we should be
enriching each other from our own storehouses of knowledge and we should be open to
broadening our scope of Pantheistically related topics No body should be
trying to push a personal agenda in these workshops ,they should simply be
subjects that educate further and give food for thought relating to
Ritual also enables group cohesiveness and definition. However I have
no desire to call on past religions or deities as inspiration. Something
simple yet tied in to the natural world and/or cosmos, from a seed to a
star. Circles and touch are very unifying.