Exploring Wathanism: Arab ‘Paganism’

Q/A with an Arab Pagan, Sam.

View Sam’s blog

 I have experienced the Gods many times especially Quzah, Al-Muhrik, Shams and Allat. I invoked Al-Muhrik during a spell and it succeded, almost all my spells work 100%. I don’t remember one that failed.

Q: What are jinn? Are they different from the gods?
A: Sure, Jinn (Jinn itself is plural) are different from the Gods. Jinn are higher than humans and lesser than Gods, they are traditionally spirits of places and thoughts.

Q: What gods do you worship?
A: I worship all the Gods whose help I want, or have a special connection with them. Currently, I worship Allah, Allat, Manat, Al-Uzza, Quzah, Hubal, Yaghouth, Balsam, Al-Muhrik, Hawlat, Wadd, Shams and Hilal.

Q: How do you learn about your gods?
A: Books, poetry, personal experience and discoveries.

Q: How do your beliefs influence the way you look at the world around you?
A: I’m highly religious in a spiritual sense. I look at the world as a magical place with many possibilities and chances. I take many myths to be literally true.

Q: What do you believe happens after death?
A: Either transforming into a spirit, which dwells right here in this world, or reincarnation. Or the ability to choose both. I think paganism focuses less on the afterlife.

Q: Worship aside, how do you show your fealty to your gods?
A: Oh, by living in harmony with their laws, by respecting nature, and by promoting their worship.

Q: What are some unique features about your form of Arab paganism?
A: Animism. I believe all Animism is the purest form of Paganism and Arabs were devout Animists.

Q: How important is the act of prayer in your religion?
A: Very. I pray a lot mostly informally, but prayer is a way to gain blessings and establish a good relationship with the Gods.

Q: Are there any special ceremonies? 
A: There are many, but because I live in an Islamic community and family, I can’t do most of them. But I do basic rituals:

I place the altar and perform purification, do Tawaf (moving in circles around the altar 7 times, like Islamic Hajj which is originally Pagan) while reciting hymns, then give offerings to the Gods, then pray and ask for blessings from them.

Q: Can you clarify some facts that you noticed many people get wrong about Arab paganism? Or about being an Arab pagan?
A: Many people think Wathanism is idol and stone worshipping. It is not. Idols are a way to represent the Gods, but we can do without them. I also find it annoying that people think all Arabs are Muslim.

Q: What is magic?
A: I struggle with defining magic, but it’s more an active part for us than formal prayers where we are passive. Sure, I don’t mean we command the Gods, but it’s more like a contract with the Gods and Jinn where we take on more responsibility.

Q: How do you perform magic?
A: Magic is more open and flexible than any other form of spiritual works. I can do it in any way I choose. Personally, I use symbolic steps as language to clarify my will.

Q: Tell us about a spell you did?
A: After gathering the materials for the spell. I invoked God Al-Muhrik, as I wanted to get rid of something and he is a God of fire and diseases. He was so helpful for this.

I invoked him through hymns. Being a Sufli (Underworld deity) I bowed down to the ground and prayed for his assistance. After that, I did the spell which included materials associated with fire and gave an offering, then I thanked the God and that’s the end.

If you’re interested in doing an interview, contact me at peaksblog@gmail.com.

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