I’m an eclectic neopagan (if you don’t know what that is, look here and here for some idea) with a loosely animistic and pantheistic slant. While I have no particular interest in ritual, my beliefs are strongly centred around life and nature and the interconnectedness of everything.
I tend to visualize the Powers That Be as Bast, the cat-goddess of Egypt, and her lion mirror Sekhmet, or as the Moon who is both Diana of the wilds and the White Goddess of inspiration, or as Freya the multi-faceted Mistress of Cats, lady of fertility who also takes half of the slain heroes.
I consider writing, cuddling or playing with my cats, putting extra food out for the local wildlife, volunteering with SNKI, donating a few dollars to the local food bank, a walk in the local conservation area, laughing with my friends, and any form of intimate time with my loved ones to all be spiritual kinds of acts.
I believe that suffering is suffering, whether it’s a human or an animal or a tree, and that while suffering often teaches us important things, the world throws more than enough of it around, and it should be avoided wherever possible.
I believe strongly in personal freedom, but I believe equally strongly in personal responsibility – in other words, do what you need or want to do, but think about the consequences to yourself and others, and take responsibility for it.
I think one of the root causes of all the imbalances in the current world is a tendency to think of people and animals not as living things with feelings and needs, but as objects or numbers or accounts – whether that is treating them in a factory farm as walking meat that hasn’t been processed yet, or allowing people to live in appalling poverty even in nations that are considered wealthy, or rape or theft or war to simply take what one wants with no concern for who it belongs to or the impact it will have. (For the record, I have no problem with eating meat as such – but I do object to the way commercial meat and eggs are produced, right along with animal testing and sport/trophy hunting.
I have no problem at all with anyone else’s belief systems, what works for you is what’s right for you, except when someone attempts to impose their own beliefs on me, supports laws based on their beliefs that apply to those who don’t share them, or devalues my beliefs in the name of theirs being the “One True Way”.