Some modern Witches and pagans also seem to hold a similar view, which confuses me since as a matter of training we are supposed to all be taught to sense, feel and move energy and to work with energy at many levels. Belief is at best, a very first step. My view of Witches goes deeper than those who see us as merely superstitious or who think the Craft is some sort of pseudo-psychological exercise mixed with folk dancing. Our magical legacy is ancient and rich in spiritual truths that extend far beyond superstition.
The earliest worship of the world was directed toward the vital forces that governed our lives; the Earth, the Seas, the weather, the Moon and the Sun. Modern science has concluded that (to the best of our current understanding) energy cannot be created or destroyed; it only changes form. This being the case, the energy that was formed into all things by our creator (Witches call Her by many names) is divine and interconnected. It is understood in most ancient religions that in the beginning, all was formless void and the first God (either male or female, depending… although, the further you go back; it’s most frequently female) shaped the universe out of themselves (using various methods; in various ways) and thus, all came into being. From this teaching, come the lessons of divine immanence (the notion that God is in everything), nature as sacred, the Goddess and God within, the existence of nature spirits and many other important spiritual truths.
Before the resurgence of interest in paganism in the 19th century, the prevailing view of Witches and pagans was the alleged-Satanism angle (which is still prominent today amongst rigid fundamentalists opposed to paganism), but nowadays whenever reference has been made regarding ancient pagans and their spiritual relationship to nature, the slant has usually been that “primitive” people prayed to rocks and trees and that any form of pagan worship is rooted in pure ignorance of reality. This derogatory viewpoint has been perpetuated in both academic and religious settings. We all know that pagans of any sort have not had it easy over the course of history but leaving all that aside, the notion of early pagan ignorance is widely accepted even amongst some modern pagans themselves. Rather than ignorance, I contend that their reason for doing so was to connect to the type of divine forces contained within the object in question. My evidence for this assertion is that in ancient religions there are usually gods and goddesses “of” various natural objects and phenomena.
Many of these gods are the purest expressions of the energy that condenses down on the physical plane to become the objects in question (trees, water, the moon, etc.) and we can connect to them by connecting to the physical objects over which they have dominion. For example, to connect with Gaea, it is wise to get in touch with the physical earth. Now, I’m not saying that all Gods are related to physical forms since there are deities connected to love and war, motherhood and fatherhood, art, communication, and so on. I’m just saying that to connect with a higher power it is very helpful to align yourself as best as you can to the energy through which they manifest in our level of existence.
While there are varying opinions on the nature of deities, in my tradition it is taught that the first God (Goddess, actually) is the creator of all things and that her children are the other Gods of this world. So, in order, I would say that there is the Great Mother at the heart of all things, then out of her energy she created her children (the Gods) as pure, distinct, divine expressions of energy at differing frequencies and from there, the physical universe was created as the most solid and mundane manifestation of those energies, the different frequencies condensing and forming all the myriad types of matter in the cosmos. That sounds rather dry, but it’s actually kind of awe-inspiring and exciting to ponder; that everything in existence is infused with divinity and life and that the Gods are literally right here with us, that we are connected to all of them because we are made of their same energy.
How this relates to the topic at hand is that if we are to reach out to the energy and power of any physical object, we should first understand that the energy we seek is divine. Since we are using magic, we know that we work with energy but, it is very important to keep in the forefront of our consciousness that this energy is the same energy of divinity; that it is god force that we are channeling. Yes, the sun for example is a giant ball of gasses and nuclear fusion, but it is much more than just this, that is only the physical manifestation of it which, as already noted, is the final result of a great deal of work of the part of the Gods in the spiritual realm.
Once the realization that there is no difference between mundane and divine other than vibrational frequency really sinks in, we learn that everything is divine and this knowledge not only validates and explains how our ancestors and predecessors viewed religion and the world around them, but also makes our own Witchcraft practice much richer and our magic easier to perform and much more successful.