Because a gorgeous English Lady asked me about being a pagan, thought I would delve right into it actually. So, I guess you could say it's my religion although sometimes it feels more like a philosophy as well.
I guess the first thing is that I follow a Goddess and a God. It has to do with idea of balance. If you look at nature, there is balance in almost everything. Night, day, black, white, short, tall...you get the idea right? Ok, so when I first started out down this road, I only dealt with the Goddess. She's actually a trinity (well especially mine Selene Goddess of the Moon) with aspects of Maiden, Mother, and Crone. The cycle of life. So what does this have to do anything? Ok, glad ya asked because what I practice is pretty much a mixture of Wicca (a nature based Goddess religion), and "higher magik" (which are rituals done without the use of candles and incense etc.). I still throw in some Buddistic philosophy as well. While this may sound like I have thrown together a bunch of random beliefs, it's taken me a long time to define what I do and how I practice it.
The important stuff here is this:
There is an energy that every person posesses. (and a personal essence as well) What about when you just knew that something bad had happened to someone, or picked up the phone before it rang? Coincidence maybe, but perhaps you were tapping into that part of our brains that science doesn't really know what it's doing. We only use a small percent (and this is what really got me started going here), so why isn't it possible to use that brain activity (hm...energy since it's all just little synapses workin ya know?) to do something? Using will to cause an effect is considered a definition of magik (please note the spelling it is not a mistake).
Wicca is based around nature. Respect for everything, since everything is nature even us. It has to do with the powers that resound in objects such as trees, stones, and a higher power known as The Goddess, and of course The God (sometimes called the Green Man). There is no heaven and hell if you are good or bad. The only reprocutions you have are brought about by yourself. Do as thou wilt is the whole of the Law, and the Law is love. (one way of saying it) Do as thou wilt as long as it harm none. (the way I learned it) It has to do with karma...remember energy right? Karma is both positive and negative. It is said that what ever you put out in the universe be it positive or negative returns to you three fold. (Karmatic Law) Karma. So, can you see why if you were to do a some "curse ritual", or "ritual for revenge on ones enemies"...it's just a bad idea? Something three times as bad will rebound back on YOU.
I think what I can really say here is that Wicca is about the personal power locked inside of all of us. When I'm feeling truly weak, I turn my face to the sky at night and talk to Selene. There have been times when I have simply stated "Help me, please. I put it in your hands.", and while that sounds very Christian, believe me it has helped. Have I done "spells"? Yes. Have they worked? Yes, but it's not like Bewitched. You don't just snap your fingers and the spell automatically activates and poof you got what you asked for. It takes time. Takes time with everything anyways so why should the universe work any differently? We are talking about nature here and energy and things just work in their own time. And here's the real kicker....you have to be absolutely specific as to what you want the outcome to be and you have to believe that it will be. If you're vague, the universe has a way of being a bit of a jokester and will give you something similar to what you were asking for...but not quite on the button.
Trust me, this would be easier if I had all of you in the same room to explain things but before forget, there are these things to know in my opinion.
We all do have a personal energy to call on when we need it, something to tap into and it comes from us naturally (ergo from nature). If you start feeling something bad is going on, you have the power within you to banish it just by exclaiming that it is not welcome and to leave.
That power is within you.
There are things beyond our perception out there, so for those that call me crazy, why would this not be a viable option? I know that I have called out to a friend of mine by thinking about her and she has heard me. It's about being "in tune" with the energies around us in the universe.
My religious belief tell me to respect nature, to thank the trees for shade and apples, to thank my roses for their beautiful flowers, and even thank the bugs crawling around for making my garden grow better. It's about life (not a death on a cross and no offense to Christians). It's about the cycles that we all go through of coming from nothing, growing from a seed and egg, and eventually returning to Mother Earth where everything came from.
I just chose the path that also states that I have the power to cause things to happen. It may not make it rain tomorrow, but I have been sorely in need of money and done a ritual and two days later there was money I needed (and I didn't have a job or welfare thank you very much). Our minds are too powerful not to be able to do things outside "the box".
This was a really hard post for me because it's actually easy and complex at the same time in my head. Any questions I will gladly answer. For now...just know that I always end thing with Peace because it's my own little way of sending peace to you all.