Type: Review
Pages: 2 | Words: 408
Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Sense of Meaning. The documentary “American Mystic” focuses on three individuals practicing unconventional religions and shows how their beliefs influenced their daily lives. First, we meet Kublai who is training to become a medium and his goal is to find a greater purpose in his life which will allow him to leave the negative surroundings. Then we meet Chuck who is a Native American and he is trying to reconnect with his ancestral religion to change his old, destructive ways. Finally, there is Morpheus who is a fairy witch with the purpose of pleasing the gods in order to gain inner peace and fulfill her purpose in life of teaching others about her paganism.

Community and Space. All three religions have certain aspects which are critical to their practice. These include rituals, community, symbolism, and sacred space. The essential element that helps the religions grow is the sense of building and belonging to a community. All three characters found satisfaction and comfort in the fact that there were others who not only supported and guided them, but felt the same way they did by reconnecting with the same deities. For example, Kublai felt especially relieved when he found “his group.” Furthermore, having a sacred space goes alongside the notion of community as each group needed privacy and a place to call their sanctuary. The three religions were uncommon in other people’s eyes and therefore, it was imperative for the followers to get away from criticizing eyes and be able to fully practice their religions.

Rituals and symbolism. Every religion has its own symbolism and rituals which make its identity. This was especially true with the practices of the three individuals in this film because they needed to present certain symbolism to others around them in hopes of developing a name and common symbols associated with their beliefs. Rituals, such as group meditation and speaking out loud, played a critical role in Kublai’s religion. For Chuck, the sun dance rituals and piercing ceremonies were an important part of growing up and getting closer to the earth and God. As for Morpheus, she used many symbols such as fruits, sacrifices, long hair, fairy statues and ribbons to signify her practices. All three religions included singing, chants and prayers. Furthermore, the rituals in all three religions signified a struggle to get away from daily comforts and to live in simpler and more spiritual ways to be able to reconnect with the spiritual deities.

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