Monday, November 10, 2008

Practicing Paganism as an Atheist?

So I'm in a transitional period right now and I've been reconsidering my 'spirituality'. I have been for several years an Atheist and that is unlikely to change. This has left me somewhat empty however. Christianity, through prayer, offered a means of self awareness and reflection which has been lacking. I've therefore been considering taking up the ritualistic and ethical aspects of Hellenismos.

Ritual offers a vehicle for trance (a heightened state of focus) and the Greek Gods represent fundamental archetypes (I don't mean any disrespect to those who worship them as Gods) which combine to form a complete human being. The last while I've been acting out the motions of prayers to them and my psychological state has improved because of it. Its given me a chance to reflect on aspects of my life as if I were speaking to something that represents perfection in that area. So before playing guitar I 'pray' to Apollo beforehand, prior to study I 'pray' to Athena and so forth; as well as at the end and beginning of the day.

This is also giving me the chance to study and practice part of what made Greece such an innovative and important society. Their virtue, love of life and introspective spirit are something that I would love to evolve towards. I feel like I'm connecting to people who were in many ways superior to ourselves and in so doing maybe getting closer to the virtues they possessed.

Are there other Atheists who have found themselves drawn to Pagan practice for similar reasons?

Have any previously non-religious members find they developed belief because of the practice?

If you are reading this as a Pagan, or specifically a follower of the Hellenistic tradition, how do you feel about an Atheist adopting some of your practice?

Also, does this represent a fundamental character flaw on my part? Wouldn't someone who knows himself have no need for this?

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