Our temple members come from a variety of backgrounds and belief systems however, we have a broad enough structure that we hope most all Pagans will be able to find a place here. We approach the concept of the divine with open mindedness and flexibility. We believe that it’s okay to ask questions about the divine and explore all images of this vast concept for we all have our own personal relationship with deity, the gods or that creative life force of the universe. However you perceive the divine, it may fit within the animistic concept that all that exists is made up of the same creative energy. We believe that, as individuals, we may all have our own personal perceptions of and relationships with the divine. Those perceptions and relationships may even change as we learn and grow on our spiritual journey. Whereas one person may perceive a duotheistic version of the divine in which all gods are facets of one God and all goddesses facets of one Goddess but another may perceive that all gods and goddesses are individual beings in their own right. Still another person might perceive that all of these divine beings are simply different faces of the one true God. Who is right? Perhaps the answer lies somewhere in the middle ground. Perhaps that one creative energy of which all things, living and non-living, throughout the universe can take all of these forms based on each individual’s needs. Perhaps the concept of the divine is too big to fit in one sentence, one book or even a thousand books. If there are 7 billion people living on a planet and they all have a concept of the divine that is working for them, then so long as they are not harming anyone, perhaps all of their truths are correct but each is only a glimpse of the entire truth. Look up a poem called The Blind Men And The Elephant by John Godfrey Saxe (1816-1887) sometime if you aren’t familiar with it. It lays out very well this concept, that we all have a piece of the truth and rather than argue about it we should work together to try to understand it.
I would like to start off this article with the note that it was written by myself, Cianaodh and while it may reflect my personal views and opinions on the subject there are others in the temple who hold different views and that too is okay. We don’t learn and grow by everyone believing the same things in the same way. We do so by exposing ourselves to different ideas, concepts and beliefs. But, that being said, here’s mine.
Our relationship with science is such that we recognize the various sciences as a pursuit of the truth. Ours, too, is a pursuit of the truth on a spiritual level. Not in conflict with the pursuit of scientific truth. If some archeological find or other scientific finding which has proven to be true conflicts with our views and beliefs we have no problem with altering our views and beliefs to fit the scientifically proven facts.
On the other hand, while we believe in accepting the positive aspects of science and technology, we do maintain a healthy skepticism towards the supposed ethical neutrality of that science and technology. In other words, we recognize that oftentimes, the findings of research depends a great deal on who is funding the research. So, we also consider it important that scientists and everyone else pay as much attention to their methods as they do to their goals.
Still, while witches, magi, yogis, druids, shamans, and other assorted magickal practitioners have spoken for a long time of energy working and channeling, the nature of creation and manifestation from fields of energy and such, scientific findings in recent decades have been uncovering truths about our universe that prove us right. This is a very complex but fascinating subject. Anyone who is truly interested in learning magick can benefit by learning about it.
Fred Allen Wolf, in his book “The Eagles Quest: A Physicist finds truth at the heart of the shamanic world”, wrote the following:
“It was once said by Sir James Jeans, the British philosopher, ‘The Universe begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine.’ And the more I journeyed into the shamanic world, the more this seemed true to me. It was clear to me that shamans use powers to deal with a universe we in the Western world tend to dismiss as imaginary. But that tendency was gradually vanishing, since the discovery of the hidden world of the atom and subatomic matter made physicists realize that it was impossible to entirely ascribe objective properties to ultimate matter and energy.
‘Shamans enter into parallel worlds. It was now apparent that these other worlds were found in the imaginal realm, not just in the physical realm. Originally I believed that these other worlds were parallel physical realms, just like those predicted by quantum physics. Now I wasn’t sure that this was right. Instead I began to see that the world of mythos was parallel to the physical world in a different sense. Somehow it was a world that eluded the uncertainty principal. It was a world that was determined in a way that my quantum physics training could not fathom. Somehow when shamans dealt with that world, a degree of control- and yes, even destiny- that wasn’t possible in the physical world was manifested. That shamans could tune into that destiny and that prospect, for some reason, frightened me.
‘It was becoming apparent to me that the real power of shamanic physics was the ability to alter matter by altering the world of the mind. This meant that shamans must have the ability to enter the mind world and they must be able to find their way back.’
So, what if by the act of visualizing or imaging something one could cause a physical change in the matter and energy around ones self? It turns out, this is indeed the case. Science refers to this as the observer effect. It has been proven to take place at the sub-atomic level, where the lines between matter and energy are often blurred.
Take into consideration Einstein’s well known E=MC2? It stands for energy = mass times the speed of light squared. Basically, energy and matter are the same thing, just in two different forms. Energy is light, heat, waves, (whether radio, micro, x-rays, or other forms of radiation.) Physicists speak of energy in terms of waves, with different frequencies, or vibrations. According to Einstein’s theory, matter is nothing more than energy, or “waves”, in a different form. Scientific experiments have verified this principle. On the subatomic level, those tiny little particles that make up an atom which we all learned about early on in our educations, the electrons, the protons, and the neutrons, aren’t so solid after all, but instead they too are tiny energy packets. These energy packets “wave”, or vibrate, and they have either a positive or negative charge. Physicists call these wave/particles quantum waves of probability.
The observer effect occurs when scientists try to observe these quantum waves in a lab. Whenever one tries to observe one of these energy packets’ position, it appears as a particle. In other words, it appears solid, as a pin point. But when one tries to observe it in motion, it will appear as a wave, no longer as a solid. Not only that but it can even appear to be in two places at once. It is literally as if the energy packet is both a particle and a wave and that it will show itself to be one or the other, depending on what you are looking for. Perhaps there is something more to this concept that people tend to find whatever it is they are looking for?
Anyway, this is very weird (or perhaps wyrd?) and when scientists first discovered this phenomenon they had a hard time believing their own eyes. How can something possibly be both a particle and a wave at the same time? How could it appear as one or the other, depending on what you’re trying to see? Also how can something possibly be in more than one place at a time? After several repeated experiments by multiple scientists all coming to the same conclusion there could be only one answer. Their expectations caused that which was being observed to change it’s appearance, or form by simply observing it. We do not see the world as it is, we see the world as we are. 😉
Another fascinating subject I recommend looking into from the world of science is the work of Rupert Sheldrake and his theory of Morphic Fields and Morphic Resonance.
Beliefs of Temple Of the Standing Stones.
These beliefs/traditions apply to all members of Temple Of the Standing Stones (TOSS) and to all students currently undergoing our teachings.
Please also see our OUR VISION. for further enlightenment on our point of view.
Our vision is twofold: to help restore spiritual balance on earth honoring both the Masculine and Feminine Divine; and to assist all those seeking in their personal and spiritual development.
Each member is his/her own authority, sovereign over his/her own life. S/he is not asked to bow before anyone. However, s/he is bound to conduct her/himself in accordance with these traditions in matters that affect the temple or reflect upon it.
All members will be treated with respect regardless of race, class, age, size, ability, sexual orientation, nationality, personal beliefs, background, or any other attribute. Above all else, we honor The Divine in every person.
Each member has the right to remain anonymous at the public level. A member’s identity should never be revealed to anyone outside the order, although s/he may choose to reveal his/her affiliation her/himself. Personal details revealed between members should not be shared with anyone else without permission.
“Harm none” is a central teaching of our path. Energy should not be sent out in times of anger, fear, or emotional upheaval. While each member has the right to set spiritual boundaries to protect themselves or another, s/he is constrained from raising energy to cause harm (except in the legal definition of “self-defense,” when his/her life is in immediate danger.)
“Community giving” is a central principle of the temple, and members are encouraged to work alone or with each other in providing services to their spiritual and/or local communities.
We acknowledge the diverse backgrounds of our members and seek to avoid controversy. When any member speaks out publicly for a cause, they should do so as an individual rather than as a member of our temple, unless s/he has express permission from the High Priest or High Priestess. Similarly, we seek to avoid controversial discussions within the temple, except when internal circumstances make such discussions absolutely necessary.