Flow, liminality, and eudaimonia: Pagan ritual practice as a gateway to a life with meaning

Journal article


Sonnex, C., Roe, C. and Roxburgh, E. C. 2020. Flow, liminality, and eudaimonia: Pagan ritual practice as a gateway to a life with meaning. Journal of Humanistic Psychology.
AuthorsSonnex, C., Roe, C. and Roxburgh, E. C.
Abstract

Paganism is a term applied to a number of nature religions based on traditional indigenous practices.
Paganism is practiced through rituals designed to facilitate a flow state that allows practitioners to
use magic to achieve their aims. Since the introduction of Wicca to mainstream society in the 1950s, many other Pagan traditions have developed. Similarly, the number of people identifying as Pagan has also increased; in 2011 the number of people identifying as Pagan in the UK census reached 80,153. Despite this growth, Paganism is a topic that is under researched in Psychology.

This paper uses Ryff’s theory of Psychological well-being as a frame work through which to explore the ways in which Paganism may be particularly conducive to eudemonic well-being as a result of the flow experiences inherent in its practice. This theory posits six key dimensions of eudaimonia; personal growth, self acceptance, positive relation with others, autonomy, environmental mastery, and purpose in life. The ways in which each of these dimensions is elicited through Paganism is elucidated.

KeywordsMeaning in life; Paranormal; Personal growth; Psychology of religion; Self-aceptance; Transpersonal psychology; Well-being; Religion; Spirituality; Paganism
Year2020
JournalJournal of Humanistic Psychology
PublisherSage
ISSN0022-1678
Publication process dates
Accepted21 Mar 2020
Deposited11 May 2020
Accepted author manuscript
File Access Level
Open
References

Adler, M. (1986). Drawing down the moon: Witches, druids, goddess-worshippers and other pagans in America today (revised and expanded ed.). Boston, MA: Beacon Press.
Beagan, B. L., & Hattie, B. (2015). Religion, spirituality, and LGBTQ identity integration. Journal of LGBT Issues in Counseling, 9(2), 92-117.
Berger, H. A. (1999). A community of witches: Contemporary neo-paganism and witchcraft in the United States. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press.
Butler, J. (2004). Neo-pagan ritual practice as visual culture and creative expression of identity'. In M. NicCraith, & U. Kockel (Eds) Communicating cultures: European studies in culture and policy. (pp. 108-128).Munster: Lit Verlag.
Clifton, C.S., & Harvey, G. (Eds) (2004). The Paganism reader. New York: Routledge.
Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1975). Beyond boredom and anxiety. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Cunningham, S. (2003). Wicca: A guide for the solitary practitioner. St Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications.
Dierendonck, D. V., & Mohan, K. (2006). Some thoughts on spirituality and eudaimonic well-being. Mental Health, Religion and Culture, 9(3), 227-238.
Ezzy, D. (2014). Sex, death and witchcraft: A contemporary pagan festival. London: Bloomsbury Publishing.
Farrar, S. (1995). What witches do. London: Robert Hale Ltd Gerlach, L. P. (2001). The structure of social movements: Environmental activism and its opponents. In J. Arquilla & D. Rondfeldt (Eds) Networks and netwars: The future of terror, crime, and militancy, 289-310. Santa Monica, RAND
Hume, L. (1998). Creating sacred space: Outer expressions of inner worlds in modern Wicca. Journal of Contemporary Religion, 13(3), 309-319.
Ivtzan, I., Chan, C. P., Gardner, H. E., & Prashar, K. (2013). Linking religion and spirituality with psychological well-being: Examining self-actualisation, meaning in life, and personal growth initiative. Journal of Religion and Health, 52(3), 915-929.
Jones, P. (1996). Pagan Theologies. In G. Harvey & C. Hardman (Eds) Paganism Today: Wiccans, Druids, the Goddess, and Ancient Earth Traditions for the Twenty-First Century. London and San Francisco: Thorsons, 32-46.
Jones, P. (1998). The European native tradition. In J. Pearson, R.H. Roberts, & G. Samuel (Eds) Nature religion today: Paganism in the modern world. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 77-88.
Khumalo, I. P., Wissing, M. P., & Schutte, L. (2014). Presence of meaning and search for meaning as mediators between spirituality and psychological well-being in a South African sample. Journal of Psychology in Africa, 24(1), 61 72.
Luhrmann, T. (1989). Persuasions of the witch's craft: Ritual magic in modern culture. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press
Magliocco, S. (1996). Ritual is my chosen art form: The creation of ritual as folk art among contemporary
pagans. In J.R. Lewis (Ed) Magical religion and modern witchcraft. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press 93-120.
Magliocco, S. (2004). Witching culture: Folklore and Paganism in America. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Office for National statistics (2001). Census 2001. Retrieved March 16th 2011 from http://www.statistics.gov.uk/census2001/census2001.asp
Office for National statistics (2012). 2011Census. Retrieved February 21st 2012 from https://www.ons.gov.uk/census/2011census
Orion, L. (1995). Never again the burning times: Paganism revived. Long Grove, IL: Waveland press.
Pargament, K. I., Wong, S., & Exline, J. J. (2016). Wholeness and holiness: The spiritual dimension of eudaimonics. In J. Vittersø (Ed.) Handbook of eudaimonic well-being (pp. 379 394). Springer, Cham.
Pike, S. M. (2001). Earthly bodies, magical selves: Contemporary pagans and the search for community. Univ. of California Press.
Reber, A. (1985). The penguin dictionary of psychology. Harmonsdworth: Penguin
Reid, S. (1996). As I do will, so mote it be: Magic as metaphor in Neo-Pagan witchcraft. Magical Religion and Modern Witchcraft, Albany, NY: State University of New York Press 141-67.
Rountree, K. (2006). Performing the divine: Neo-pagan pilgrimages and embodiment at sacred sites. Body and Society, 12(4), 95-115.
Ruickbie, L. (2011). Witchcraft out of the shadows: A complete history. London: Robert Hale Limited.
Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2001). On happiness and human potentials: A review of research on hedonic and eudaimonic well-being. Annual Review of Psychology, 52(1), 141-166.
Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M., (2008a). Hedonia, eudaimonia, and well being, an introduction. Journal of Happiness Studies, 9 (1), 1-11
Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2008b). Self-determination theory: A macrotheory of human motivation, development, and health. Canadian Psychology/Psychologie Canadienne, 49(3), 182.
Ryan, R. M., Huta, V., & Deci, E. L. (2008). Living well: A self-determination theory perspective on eudaimonia. Journal of Happiness Studies, 9(1), 139-170.
Ryff, C. D. (1989). Happiness is everything, or is it? Explorations on the meaning of psychological well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57(6), 1069.
Ryff, C. D., & Singer, B. H. (2008). Know thyself and become what you are: A eudaimonic approach to psychological well being. Journal of Happiness Studies, 9(1), 13-39.
Seymour, E. (2005). Pagan approaches to healing. Multicultural Aspects of Counseling Series, 22, 233.
Shadrack, J., Sonnex, C., & Roe, C. A. (2019). Ritual Occultation and the Space between worlds: Exploring the discursive nature of the ‘flow’ state in Black metal and Pagan performative practice. In C. McLaughlin (Ed) Trans-states: The art of crossing over. Somerset: Fulgur Press.
Sonnex, C. (2017). Extending the non-contact healing paradigm to explore distant mental interaction effects of pagan healing spells. Unpublished doctoral thesis, the University of Northampton
Springer, K. W., Hauser, R. M., & Freese, J. (2006). Bad news indeed for Ryff’s six-factor model of well-being. Social Science Research, 35(4), 1120-1131.
Starhawk. (1989). The spiral dance: A rebirth of the ancient religion of the great goddess (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: HarperSanFrancisco.
Steger, M. F. (2013). Experiencing meaning in life: Optimal functioning at the nexus of well-being, psychopathology, and spirituality. In P.T.P. Wong (Ed) The human quest for meaning (pp. 211-230). New York, NY: Routledge.
Steger, M. F., & Frazier, P. (2005). Meaning in life: One link in the chain from religiousness to well-being. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 52(4), 574-582.
Vallerand, R. J., Pelletier, L. G., & Koestner, R. (2008). Reflections on self-determination theory. Canadian Psychology/Psychologie Canadienne, 49(3), 257 -262.
Waterman, A. S. (1990). Personal expressiveness: Philosophical and psychological foundations. The Journal of Mind and Behavior, 11 (1), 47-73.
Waterman, A. S. (1993). Two conceptions of happiness: Contrasts of personal expressiveness (eudaimonia) and hedonic enjoyment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 64(4), 678.
Willin, M. (2007). Paranormal phenomena in British witchcraft and wiccan culture with special reference to spellcraft. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 71(2), 65- 79.
York, M. (1995). The emerging network: A sociology of the New age and Neo Pagan movements. London: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers Inc.

Permalink -

https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/8v0x9/flow-liminality-and-eudaimonia-pagan-ritual-practice-as-a-gateway-to-a-life-with-meaning

Download files

Accepted author manuscript

  • 0
    total views
  • 0
    total downloads
  • 0
    views this month
  • 0
    downloads this month

Export as

Related outputs

Testing the pagan prescription: using a randomised controlled trial to investigate pagan spell casting as a form of noncontact healing
Sonnex, C., Roe, C. A. and Roxburgh, E. C. 2020. Testing the pagan prescription: using a randomised controlled trial to investigate pagan spell casting as a form of noncontact healing. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.
Therianthropy: well-being, schizotypy and autism in individuals who self- identify as non-human
Clegg, H., Collings, R. and Roxburgh, E. 2019. Therianthropy: well-being, schizotypy and autism in individuals who self- identify as non-human. Society & Animals. 27 (4), pp. 403-426.
'Most people think you're a fruit loop': clients' experiences of seeking support for anomalous experiences
Roxburgh, E. and Evenden, R.E. 'Most people think you're a fruit loop': clients' experiences of seeking support for anomalous experiences. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research. 16 (3), pp. 211-221.
Clinical parapsychology: counselling experiences of clients who report anomalous experiences and the training needs of therapists
Roxburgh, E. and Evenden, R. 2016. Clinical parapsychology: counselling experiences of clients who report anomalous experiences and the training needs of therapists.
"They daren't tell people": therapists' experiences of working with clients who report anomalous experiences
Roxburgh, E. 2016. "They daren't tell people": therapists' experiences of working with clients who report anomalous experiences.
Latest research on anomalous experience
Roxburgh, E. 2016. Latest research on anomalous experience.
'They daren’t tell people': therapists' experiences of working with clients who report anomalous experiences
Roxburgh, E. and Evenden, R. E. 2016. 'They daren’t tell people': therapists' experiences of working with clients who report anomalous experiences. European Journal of Psychotherapy and Counselling. 18 (2), pp. 123-141.
'It's about having exposure to this': investigating the training needs of therapists in relation to the issue of anomalous experiences
Roxburgh, E. and Evenden, R. E. 2016. 'It's about having exposure to this': investigating the training needs of therapists in relation to the issue of anomalous experiences. 4 (5), pp. 540-549.
Magical flow: comparing the flow experience to the ASC of pagan magical ritual work
Sonnex, C., Roe, C. A. and Roxburgh, E. 2015. Magical flow: comparing the flow experience to the ASC of pagan magical ritual work.
Noncontact healing: what does the research tell us?
Sonnex, C., Roe, C. A. and Roxburgh, E. 2015. Noncontact healing: what does the research tell us?
Combining qualitative and quantitative approaches to investigate anomalous experiences
Roxburgh, E. and Evenden, R. 2015. Combining qualitative and quantitative approaches to investigate anomalous experiences.
A transpersonal exploration of epilepsy and its numinous, cosmic states
King, L., Roe, C. A. and Roxburgh, E. 2015. A transpersonal exploration of epilepsy and its numinous, cosmic states.
Testing the pagan prescription: using a randomised controlled trial to investigate pagan spell casting as a form of distant healing
Roxburgh, E. and Evenden, R. 2015. Testing the pagan prescription: using a randomised controlled trial to investigate pagan spell casting as a form of distant healing.
"Most people think you're a fruit loop": an exploratory study of clients' experiences of seeking support for anomalous experiences
Roxburgh, E. and Evenden, R. 2015. "Most people think you're a fruit loop": an exploratory study of clients' experiences of seeking support for anomalous experiences.
Investigating pagan healing spells
Sonnex, C., Roe, C. A. and Roxburgh, E. 2015. Investigating pagan healing spells.
The dreamy state: an autoethnography of spritual meaning in epilepsy
King, L., Roxburgh, E. and Roe, C. A. 2015. The dreamy state: an autoethnography of spritual meaning in epilepsy.
"Most people think you're a fruit loop": an exploratory study of clients' experiences of seeking support for anomalous experiences
Roxburgh, E. and Evenden, R. 2015. "Most people think you're a fruit loop": an exploratory study of clients' experiences of seeking support for anomalous experiences.
"Most people think you're a fruit loop": an exploratory study of clients' experiences of seeking support for anomalous experiences
Roxburgh, E. and Evenden, R. 2015. "Most people think you're a fruit loop": an exploratory study of clients' experiences of seeking support for anomalous experiences.
"Most people think you're a fruit loop": an exploratory study of clients' experiences of seeking support for anomalous experiences
Roxburgh, E. and Evenden, R. 2015. "Most people think you're a fruit loop": an exploratory study of clients' experiences of seeking support for anomalous experiences.
Exploring the meaning in meaningful coincidences: an interpretative phenomenological analysis of synchronicity in therapy
Roxburgh, E., Ridgway, S. and Roe, C. A. 2015. Exploring the meaning in meaningful coincidences: an interpretative phenomenological analysis of synchronicity in therapy. European Journal of Psychotherapy and Counselling. 17 (2), pp. 144-161.
Two meta-analyses of noncontact healing studies
Roe, C. A., Sonnex, C. and Roxburgh, E. 2015. Two meta-analyses of noncontact healing studies. Explore. 11 (1), pp. 11-23.
Synchronicity in the therapeutic setting: a survey of practitioners
Roxburgh, E., Ridgway, S. and Roe, C. A. 2015. Synchronicity in the therapeutic setting: a survey of practitioners. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research. 16 (1), pp. 44-53.
Pagan spellcasting: discovering the homogenous among the heterogenous
Sonnex, C., Roe, C. A. and Roxburgh, E. 2014. Pagan spellcasting: discovering the homogenous among the heterogenous.
Reframing voices and visions using a spiritual model: an interpretive phenomenological analysis of anomalous experiences in mediumship
Roxburgh, E. and Roe, C. A. 2014. Reframing voices and visions using a spiritual model: an interpretive phenomenological analysis of anomalous experiences in mediumship.
Phantom limbs in the therian community
Clegg, H. and Roxburgh, E. 2014. Phantom limbs in the therian community.
Making magic(k): esential aspects of successful neo-pagan spell work
Sonnex, C., Roe, C. A. and Roxburgh, E. 2014. Making magic(k): esential aspects of successful neo-pagan spell work.
Exploring the meaning in meaningful coincidences
Roxburgh, E. and Ridgeway, S. 2014. Exploring the meaning in meaningful coincidences.
Counselling for anomalous experiences
Roxburgh, E. and Evenden, R. 2014. Counselling for anomalous experiences.
A transpersonal understanding of experience of spirituality in individuals with epilepsy
Roe, C. A. and Roxburgh, E. 2014. A transpersonal understanding of experience of spirituality in individuals with epilepsy.
What can we learn from an exploration of the phenomenology of spiritualist mental mediumship?
Roe, C. A. and Roxburgh, E. 2014. What can we learn from an exploration of the phenomenology of spiritualist mental mediumship?
Synchronicity in the clinical setting
Roxburgh, E. and Ridgway, S. 2014. Synchronicity in the clinical setting.
Paganism in practice: finding the homogeneous within the hetereogeneous
Sonnex, C., Roe, C. A. and Roxburgh, E. 2014. Paganism in practice: finding the homogeneous within the hetereogeneous.
Monkeys' paws, poppets, sheep and goats; or the necessary components of successful spells
Sonnex, C., Roe, C. A. and Roxburgh, E. 2014. Monkeys' paws, poppets, sheep and goats; or the necessary components of successful spells.
Clinical parapsychology in the UK: counselling for anomalous experiences
Roxburgh, E. and Evenden, R. 2014. Clinical parapsychology in the UK: counselling for anomalous experiences.
A mixed methods approach to mediumship research
Roxburgh, E. and Roe, C. A. 2014. A mixed methods approach to mediumship research. in: Rock, A. J. (ed.) The Survival Hypothesis: Essays on Mediumship McFarland & Co.
Non-parapsychological explanations of ostensible mediumship
Roxburgh, E. and Roe, C. A. 2014. Non-parapsychological explanations of ostensible mediumship. in: Rock, A. J. (ed.) The Survival Hypothesis: Essays on Mediumship McFarland & Co. pp. 65-78
An interpretative phenomenological analysis of identity in the therian community
Grivell, T., Clegg, H. and Roxburgh, E. 2014. An interpretative phenomenological analysis of identity in the therian community. Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research. 14 (2), pp. 113-135.
Reframing voices and visions using a spiritual model. An interpretative phenomenological analysis of anomalous experiences in mediumship.
Roxburgh, E. and Roe, C. A. 2014. Reframing voices and visions using a spiritual model. An interpretative phenomenological analysis of anomalous experiences in mediumship. Mental Health, Religion and Culture. 17 (6), pp. 641-653.
The effects of pagan healing practices on health and wellbeing
Sonnex, C., Roe, C. A. and Roxburgh, E. 2013. The effects of pagan healing practices on health and wellbeing.
An overview of cold reading strategies
Roxburgh, E. and Roe, C. A. 2013. An overview of cold reading strategies. in: Moreman, C. M. (ed.) The Spiritualist Movement: Speaking with the Dead in America and Around the World: Volume 2: Evidence and Beliefs California Praeger. pp. 177-203
"Say from whence you owe this strange intelligence": investigating explanatory systems of spiritualist mental mediumship using interpretative phenomenological analysis
Roxburgh, E. and Roe, C. A. 2013. "Say from whence you owe this strange intelligence": investigating explanatory systems of spiritualist mental mediumship using interpretative phenomenological analysis. International Journal of Transpersonal Studies. 32 (1), pp. 27-42.
A survey of dissociation, boundary-thinness, and psychological wellbeing in spiritualist mental mediumship
Roxburgh, E. and Roe, C. A. 2011. A survey of dissociation, boundary-thinness, and psychological wellbeing in spiritualist mental mediumship. Journal of Parapsychology. 75 (2), pp. 279-299.