My name is R.M. McGrath. I’m a Pagan mystic.

By “mystic”, I mean that I work towards cultivating an emotionally intimate relationship with the Divine.

By “Pagan”, I mean that I am not of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition and I am open to a multitude of different ways of expressing Divinity (including feminine expressions of the Divine).

I have no sacred texts or scriptures. I do not believe in prophets (though I have been influenced by the writings of many people that came before me).

When I say “Pagan”, I consider myself within the Pagan revival that started in the mid-20th century. However, my practice and beliefs often vary from theirs (which is often based on Wicca or on some concept of ancient pagan reconstructionism).

As  I am neither Wiccan, nor do I believe in looking to pre-Christian polytheism for inspiration, it’s been a bit of a challenge figuring out how to be a Pagan mystic. There’s not much of a tradition for traditional mysticism within modern Paganism.  (Though some might argue that there’s not much of a need for it!)

I have instead looked through the history of religion and studied how the mystics of other religions. I gain inspiration from the “Spanish mystics” of Catholicism such as St. John of the Cross or St. Teresa of Avila. I find inspiration in Sufi poetry and techniques. Most importantly, I look to the bhakti tradition within Hinduism.

I think there is a lot to be gained for modern Pagans to study devotional Hinduism. However, there is also a great deal of  Hindu culture within that as a non-Hindu, I am not interested in carrying over to my practice.

In Hinduism, we can see how a formerly polytheistic culture functions within a modern society. Being outside of Hindu or Indian culture, we can also determine for ourselves what we consider relevant to our modern Western worldview.  (For example, despite the plethora of goddesses within Hinduism, there is a misogyny within Indian culture. That does not mix well with my belief and practice of feminism.)

Though Paganism is often practiced in groups, this blog is specifically for the individual Pagan who seeks a deeper relationship with his or her chosen god or goddess.

I plan on talking both about practices the individual can do on his or her own. Or simply just talking about how other mystical writers have practiced and seeing how we can bring that to our own personal practice.

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