This post is the fourth of five installments in Baldr Frostflame’s “Reform Pagan Practice 101” series, giving his high-level overview of Reform Pagan practice.
Reform Pagans understand that the human spirit is linked to—and more likely than not arises from nowhere and nothing but—the human body. The conditions and circumstances of our bodies affect the conditions and circumstances of our spirits; therefore, in order for us to prosper in spirit, we believe that we ought to do what we can to prosper also in body.
At the same time, Reform Pagans appreciate that human beings’ biophysical conditions, like our intellectual, emotional, volitional, and spiritual conditions, are changing radically with the progress of science and technology. “Humanity” is clearly not an eternal constant, as what it means today differs vastly from what it meant a thousand or ten thousand years ago. Rather, Nature is an eternal constant, and the accelerating advancement of science and technology also appears throughout human history to have been—and still to be—a constant.
The bridge between Nature and technology, between the natural and the artificial, is humanity, and the form and substance of this bridge is dynamic, meaning that it changes over time. As Reform Pagans, we not only promote the reconciliation and reunion of humanity with Nature but also look forward to the continuing convergence of humanity and technology. These three rays—Nature, humanity, and technology—are approaching unity, and our participation therein is an essential element of Reform Pagan Practice.
Attunement with Nature
The first aspect of this element of our practice is attunement with Nature, which some Reform Pagans also describe as “grounding and centering” in Nature. Attunement unfolds in five degrees: observation of Nature, immersion of our bodies in Nature, absorption of Nature into our bodies, cultivation of Nature by the activities of our bodies, and application of what we learn from Nature to the rest of our lives.
Once we are attuned to Nature, we learn to appreciate its universal sacramentality: Everything in Nature, including our own bodies, bears sacred potential, so we treat all of Nature and our activities within it as sacramental, which means that we treat these things as a means by which we can receive the divine.
Part of appreciating the universal sacramentality of Nature and of our bodies in Nature involves self-regulation to promote our own biophysical health and wellbeing and transcendence of our own biophysical limitations (to the extent possible). So Reform Pagans regard, for example, adhering to a regimen of good nutrition as an essential element of our spiritual practice.
Attunement with Technology
Meanwhile, Reform Pagans also understand that science and technology can be sacred, for they can enable us to improve our biophysical conditions and, thereby, facilitate our spiritual development. Reform Pagans take particular interest in the technologies of “transhumanism”, which promise to expand the human experience and spiritual potential in ways we cannot even imagine at present. Reform Pagans embrace such technological advancements as a second aspect of this element of our practice.