Monday, July 31, 2006

DIY Religion

What do you consider essential to a do-it-yourself religion? Gods? a spirituality? a rules system?

What does your religion have? What doesn't it have that you think is missing but you can't figure out how to fill?

Pronunciation of Pagan Names and Terms?

When you started out, did anyone else here want to bang their head against the walls over how to pronounce things correctly? Every website I look up has the same thing going on, no one knows how to say gods' names that are Celtic ... because none of us are Celtic.

Take Cernunnos. Is that Cer-noon-us? os? He's supposed to be Celtic, but some of these sites say the name is still Latin, because the Celts didn't have a written language {wouldn't they still have spoken his name out loud?}. But even with it being Latin, it's still a hard C. I think.
Cerridwen? Cer-a-win?

No one wants to pronounce a god's name wrong ... seems in bad form. How does one pronounce Ganesha? Gan-esha? Or Sekhmet? I can watch Stargate SG1 all day and they won't pronounce any of the hard Egyptian gods' names.

I think the Greek and Roman gods are so common to us, because of movies and books, that we know how to pronounce them. But toss in Celtic or Egyptian or Hindu and some of us are clueless.

So is there a good source for how to pronounce these names? or even Sabbat names. I think Lughnassad is Loo-nus-ah. But how does one say Lammas if that's too long? Hehe. I know I sound really stupid, but this just isn't a strong point for me. I don't want to say the words wrong. My husband is asking me alot of questions here lately ... I hate not being able to answer them.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Rituals for a Novel?

As some of the people on the board already know I am currently in the process of researching and writing the first draft of an amateur novel set in the Neopagan community.

While my primary point of view character is not Pagan (at least not for the majority of the story), several of my secondary characters are. As my main character observes some rituals and prayers the others do, both as a group and in solitary practice, I have to write about them, of course.

Now I am personally conflicted on how I should approach these rituals. I have read enough books to have a general conception of how wiccanesque and Eclectic Wiccan rituals are structured, so the basic stuff is clear.

However, despite intense research into various hymms and quartercalls and prayers I found very few that actually seemed to fit the imaginary group, or individual characters I have created.

I wonder now how I should approach writing the rituals and whether the fact that I am not Pagan nor one of Their worshippers might offend the deities (Brigid, Apollo and Aset, among others).

What do you think? How I could minimize a non-intended offense?

Thanks for your suggestions!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Solitary Heathenry?

I've defined myself as heathen for the last 3 years or so. During that time I've had a few meetings with other heathens but in general due to location and time etc have mainly done this on a solitary basis.

I'd be interested in peoples opinions here (both within and without Asatru ).

Is it really possible to be a solitary heathen or should my end goal be joining a hearth/kindred?

Flash Chat, Saturday (7/29) at 2PM EDT

Dragonfaerie says "Well, since I said I can't make it to chats during the day during the week, I've volunteered to host a flash chat tomorrow (Saturday) at 2PM EDT in The Grey Mists." Message board membership is need to get into our flash chat -- go to our message board and take the Chat link in the top menu.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Children's Storybooks?

I am looking for Pagan Bedtime Storybooks... is there such a thing? I would like to read to my grandchildren (under 5 years) and would like something more than fairy tales. I would be particularly interested in finding stories about the Sabbats.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Facts Vs Truth

What do you see as the difference between facts and truth - but in a religious sense. But in particular, how would you explain the difference, in the context of your religion/belief system, to someone unfamiliar with your beliefs? Would you use examples and get into matters of faith (which can lead to a quick end of the discussion)? Or rely on logic and philosophy?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Reconstruction vs Modern Reality

How much change is allowed when adapting actual rituals and practices to the modern world will always generate an argument in a group of reconstructionists. Most agree that things that are illegal (human sacrifice) or generally considered wrong (treating women like chattel) have to go, but how far should one go to make one's reconstruction fit the modern world?

For example, what if the historical record shows that the vast majority of the time a ritual wass done via method A. While not illegal or questionable, method A would certainly not be socially acceptable today. Method B was used to a much lesser extent by the ancients (and was probably not the "mainstream" way of doing the ritual), but it would be much more acceptable to modern society. Which method do you think should be used and why?

Custom-made Religious/Symbolic Jewelry

Has anyone had any custom-made religious or symbolic jewelry made to order? I'm interested in finding a jeweler to make a specific symbol as a pendant. But I'm a little leery of just finding someone on the internet and sending them money. Any recommendations?

Monday, July 24, 2006

Oils in Magic and Religion

I use oils in both my magical and religious practices. Some I make myself (right down to growing the herbs, grinding the resins), and some I buy commercially. My favourite commercial source right now is BPAL and TAL (blackphoenixalchemylab and twilightalchemylab) and while the BPAL oils are primarily meant to be worn and enjoyed, I use them for other purposes as well.

So, what I'd like to talk about is this: do you use oils at all? Do you make your own, or purchase them, and if the latter, what sources do you especially like? Do you use them to annoint candles, annoint yourself or icons in ritual, make candles with them, use them to dedicate/consecrate/purify items? Use them instead of or as incense? What role, if any, do oils play in your religious and/or magical practices?

Tarot: Why Different Decks?

Is there a reason for having different decks for reading other than they look nice? Do they feel different? Have different meanings?

Comfort Foods

'm sitting here in my shorts munching two slices of chunky peanut buttered bread. I have crumbs all over me and I think I have peanut butter on my knuckles. Ah, happiness.

Peanut butter's a staple comfort food for me. What's yours?

First Meeting with Coven Leader?

I have been a solitairy for a little over a year and finally felt like it was time to reach out for some guidance. I found a group nearby that is a very neat Tradition. It's native to my state and seems like a good fit.

After some initial emails, I answered a very awesome questionnaire and I am about to meet this high priestess this week. At a public place. She seems very starightforward and down to earth but I am still a bit nervous. I feel like she knows alot about what I want although I am not sure beyond the basics she's already outlined what she is looking for.

Should I treat it like a job interview?

Should I have tons of questins?

What should I expect?

Any advice from people who have done this before?

Saturday, July 22, 2006

What is the 'GREAT WORK' and how does it relate to Wicca?

I was hoping some of you could help me understand the "Great Work" and, more specifically, how that belief carries over into a Wiccan or neo-Pagan context.

I know that the term has been used since the days of the alchemists and allegedly refered to the "Philosopher's Stone" but it seems like it is also used in quite differing ways in other esoteric/occult philosophies.

One way I have heard it described, at least as believed by Aleister Crowley, is that it basically is if enough people use magick (especially sex magick), a new god is born and a new aeon is ushered in, probably in a tumultous way ("force and fire")... This does not seem to jive well with the Wiccan Rede ("harm none") so I was wondering what the deal was with this as I am pretty sure the Great Work is referenced in some traditions' Wiccan rites, such as initiation. I've read a lot to suggest that Crowley had his hands in part of the creation of Wicca, but to what degree seems to still be under debate. This Odinism website even goes so far as to bash Wicca because of this view on the Great Work. However, at the same time, I feel that Wicca has progressed and continues to do so, even long after Aleister Crowley has passed, so therefore I don't think it would be fair to say that this is the universal belief of the Great Work for all Wiccans today.

I have read on some Cabalistic websites this sort of idea but presented in different wording and without the ominous tone. Something like uniting the two sides of the Tree of Life so that God can see a reflection of his true self, good and bad, etc. etc...

So as someone looking into Wicca as a potential path for myself, I ask you this: What does the Great Work mean to you today, if anything? Is it more innocous than the above doomsday scenario or do you think that this is accurate?

Home Altar and Shrine Ideas Needed

We are fortunate, in our small rowhouse, to have a dedicated ritual room... at least until we decide to have a baby. Then that room will have to be the kid's room, and our ritual stuff will get shuffled elsewhere. Though that won't happen for a while.

I'd like to not confine our religious stuff just to one room, though. So I was looking for ideas on home altars and shrines that are worked into other living spaces, especially outdoors. We have an incredibly tiny front and back yard, but I would really love to put the outside of our home in harmony with the inside. And fortunately, we have no homeowners associations here (wouldn't have bought in an area with one!) so I can pretty much do whatever I want with our property.

Suggestions? I can try to post some photos later, after my other half gets home from work and finds his digital camera.

Friday, July 21, 2006


I have been wondering alot recently about what a soulmate is, and I was wondering if it is possible to find mine? I feel that there is the perfect partner for me, but I cannot find them. I want to be able to find that one person who makes every day feel wonderful, who makes me want to live with them forever.

Loving and Living with a Non-Pagan?

I live with a man 10 years older than me. I being a very spiritual, deep in her pagan ways kind of lady. Him being an atheist/evaluationist and set in his ways. I am having a hard time being out of my broom closet with him. In fear that he will?? I feel I can't be ME in that respect around him. Sometimes it's ok for me but I'm still in the closet a little and can't seem to let my self out. I have always been with another Pagan and having a hard time with this one. I 'm looking for a little insight to my problem. Not looking to change him OR me but not knowing how to bring me out all the way to him. I know I should not fear it. He is a good man and the love of my life but I just don't seem to be able to step out all the way. Insight from others would be nice.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

The Rule of Three?

Does the rule of three mean three times as bad/good, or does it come back to you like a wave?

Is War Ever Justified?

Given the current state of the world, and the war in the Middle East, the question that comes to mind is "Is war ever justified?" does your religion or path or belief set have anything to say about war? if so what and why?

This is of interest as I believe that some traditions, faiths actually have a "god of war" whereas others are based on pacifism.

On Creation, Is One God All You Need?

I believe that this existence is governed by several Gods. But, the question comes up- what are the benefits in believing that the universe was created by a multiple of Gods as opposed to one?

My own answer- One divine consciousness would make a rather tranquil and harmonious existence, but this is not how the universe works. Nature is chaotic, abrasive, and “harmony” is almost nonexistent.

Why is this? Well, the Christian would say that this existence is abrasive to us because God allows suffering to happen to give man the free will to choose God over Satan. This would be where I part ways, for I don't believe that this existence is chaotic because of man. Humanity is another species (the highest though) of fauna on this planet. The Christian view puts man above the rest of nature.

I believe that nature’s chaotic state is due to the adverse relationship between God and God, and not God and man. Consider Asatru, and Greco-Roman pantheons, (I’m a Roman Recon) all, or most of the Gods clash, and this represents nature’s disharmonious state.

If anyone has any other idea, please chime in, and feel free to tear my idea apart if you disagree.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Music and Worship/Spirituality

My early religious background was Catholic. I think I was about 13 when I realised that the only reason I still went to church was because I enjoyed singing hymns.

Music has always evoked a strong response from me, and there are some times when a particular piece of music can create an almost euphoric feeling in me.

For example...I went to a pagan weekend camp once when I was about 16. There was a guy there with a harmonium (Sort of a mini-piano with a bellows attatchment) and when he played it, I slipped into the chakra without meaning to. I'd just shut my eyes, and went through them. I have never experianced a pathworking of more clarity or intensity than that time.

So... is this just me? Do any of you get the same response from music?...What particular music works best for you?...and do you use this in your rituals?

Hard or Soft Polytheism and Strange Questions

Hard polytheism specifies a variety of polytheism which considers the various Gods and Goddesses to be distinct beings with separate personalities.

Soft polytheism is a variety of polytheism whose adherents believe in many Gods and Goddesses but consider them in some way as manifestations of a larger universal force rather than as distinct entities.

I have been in some discussions with other pagans about hard and soft polytheism. Some questions came up that I had no answer for, like, As a "Hard" polytheist do you regect science and believe Zeus is in the clouds tossing thunderbolts?

What do you think?

Personal Pantheons

The term "personal pantheon" has come to my understanding to mean the selected deities one works with, as opposed to a culture-based pantheon (i.e. The Norse, Celtic, Egyptian, etc.) The deities one works with and has a relationship more than an acquaintance, I suppose.

My question, though, is how big is your "personal pantheon"? Does it include a small number of deities like 3 or 4, or a larger number close to ten, or even bigger than that?

Do you think having a smaller pantheon is better in the sense of being closer to each deity and less complication with the conflicting wishes of the gods? Or perhaps having a larger pantheon is better because you have more selection of who to ask from? (I don't like the sound of that sentence because I don't think the deities are something you can select so easily, but I can't think of anything better to say at the moment)

Also, should a "personal pantheon" include only deities from one culture or can it be cross-cultural? I understand that mixing warring nations deities together is unwise. I mean in cultures where they've had either benevolent or friendly contact, or perhaps none at all.

Alternative Divination Methods

I wanted to start a discussion on what divination methods people here use that fall outside the most popular (like Tarot, Runes, etc.)? I personally use dice and bibliomancy with ancient books. I would like to learn more about bird signs when I have the time, but finding information is difficult.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Pentacles and Offending People?

I just recently started wearing a pentacle necklace. I've noticed that when i wear it out, quite a few people become cold toward me. I don't wear it outside my shirt at work yet, mostly because I have a fear of reprisals here (it's a private firm, not public) but if it is out at a store, I find it much more likely that the cashier will be rude, no matter my sunny disposition.

Have others found this to be the case on a large scale just from wearing jewelry with your religious symbols?

Cleansing a House Before I Move In?

I am doing a house exchange with a friend of mine and I would like to cleanse his flat of all his energies. Please can you advise me how to go about doing this? Someone said I should use salt, or should I use a Sage brush & Tibeten singing bowl. Many thanks and hope you can help.

Why So Many Sol Hexagrams?

I've been doing some work with Golden Dawn material, along with other CM (Ceremonial Magic) pieces of late, particularly with planetary hexagrams. (As might be used in a greater ritual of the hexagram). While most of the planets have have one hexagram for invoking, and one for banishing, Sol has six for invoking, and six for banishing. Each of these corresponds to one of the other planets (eg, Sol from angle of Saturn, etc).

Does anyone know why this is?

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Classical Pagan Magic

Would anyone have suggestions on good books or website with information on Pre-Christian Greek and Roman Magic? It is pretty much skipped over in many of the books I have. My knowledge on magic is limited to a few Italian folk spells.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Variations on the Traditional Circle?

I just finished reading through the small spaces for ritual thread and noticed the mentions of issues with casting circles. The thought that immediately jumped into my mind is "Why cast a big circle when a round personal shield does pretty much the same thing?" Protection, that is.

Specifics for a religious path aside, the general idea of a circle is to protect the working from outside influences not invited in (IIRC). A personal shield does pretty much the same thing, except it generally only shields the person. I've always viewed my own shield as a blue round bubble rather than a skin-tight force field, so it's been a natural enough thing to extend it as I need/wish. F'ex, if something odd is going on outside, I can extend the shield to include my bed or even my room if I'm so inclined (which isn't often, as it does take continual focus, or it simply shrinks back to normal size).

So, if people are having issues with casting circles, perhaps chaging the form of the circle (3D bubble) rather than the shape (oblong) would work. My shield goes through furniture without any issues - this could easily vary from person to person, as well as personal preference, but I thought I'd throw it out there. If/When I find a ritual I like and wish to perform, this is likely what I'd do, as my own altar space is maybe 3.5' across. So I'm curious, is there any reason why this wouldn't work? Also, does anyone else have a variation on the traditional circle?

Friday, July 14, 2006


Does your faith or philosophy include a concept of enlightenment?

What entails enlightenment? Is it the same as a lifetime of collected experience? Is spontaneous enlightenment possible? what would that look like?

The Ritual Blooper Reel

OK, so admit it. You're not perfect. None of us are. Sometime, at some point during a ritual, you've made a mistake. A funny one. A hilarious one. Everyone got a good laugh out of it and probably teased you for another year or two over it.

Defining Mythology

A couple of weeks ago, I was in at Barnes and Noble looking for a copy of Greek Religion by Walter Burkert, having been advised to look in said section for it. I did not find it there, but I did find a bunch of books about the Harry Potter universe. Like, enough copies of at least one book that this isn't someone picking it up elsewhere, deciding they don't want it, and randomly dropping it wherever.

I was not thrilled. My initial thought was, "That's not mythology!" But it must be by someone's definition, or it wouldn't have been there. I'm having trouble seeing it, though.

So I thought this would be a good place to explore the subject. What does "mythology" mean to you?

Thursday, July 13, 2006

What Does "Dedicated/Devoted" Mean?

What does it mean when someone says s/he is "dedicated" or "devoted" to a particular god/dess?

I have so often read about or heard people talk about that, but they often also talk about being dedicated/devoted to more than one god/dess.

I don't mean to be flip at all, but I don't understand. How do you know, and how can you be dedicated/devoted to more than one?

Wicca and Tantra?

...not that I know all that much about either!

But from my limited reading about Tantra, I gather that the universe is continually being created by energies generated by the sexual union of God and Goddess (Shiva and Shakti). Isn't this quite similar to Wiccan ideas surrounding the Great Rite?

Does anyone know whether Gardner and the other founding figures of Wicca were influenced by Tantra? I can see another parallel in the way (some?) Hindus see all Goddesses as manifestations of one Goddess.

I'm also interested in the wider question of the influence of eastern religions in general on the founders of Wicca.

Being neither Wiccan nor Tantric, I approach this as an interested observer, so I apologise in advance if I've made any mistaken assumptions. But I hoped it could spark off some interesting debate.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Symbols and Your Religion

What symbols are significant in your religion/path? I'm not familiar with which symbols match which religions, but I want to know more. For example, the pentagram is significant to me, and it's commonly associated with Wicca. I'm sortof an ecclectic/Wiccan (not initiated into any tradition). So, what symbols are important to you (whether you're Pagan, Christian or otherwise)? And why?

Songs That Remind You of a Deity

Maybe I am weird, but when I hear certain songs on the radio, the song will make me think of a God or Goddess.
I thought it would be fun to compile a list of such songs... unless I am the only freak this happens to.

I'll go first:

Jupiter - Thunderstuck by AC DC
Pan - Let's Get It On by Marvin Gaye

Article: Chinese Good Luck Symbols: Chinese Dragons

Chinese dragons are believed to be the most powerful and important symbol in feng shui and Chinese folklore. It is the symbol of protection and success. It is regarded as the Supreme Being among all creatures temples and shrines have been built to honor them. There are nine dragons, the earth dragon, the wind dragon, sea dragon, water dragon, sky dragon, fire dragon, golden dragon, mountain dragon and heavenly dragon.

Family Article: What To Do When Your Child Acts Up

Every parent has been there. Your usually angelic (or at least moderately well behaved) child is suddenly intractable, full of rage, or even engaged in a full-blown temper tantrum. Worse, your usual discipline measures don't even make a dent in the attitude or anger. What to do?

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Which Virtues Are Yours?

This list is from a comparative psychology book that claims these 24 virtues, in six groups, are more or less universal to world religions/cultures. (Since they come from a shrink book, they're a little shrinky in terminology - your faith might use a more ethics-oriented word. That's cool.) So which virtues appear in your religious or ethical belief system? I'm basically going to use the "frequency" that these appear to decide which virtues to discuss first.

Note that this thread isn't for arguing about what virtues mean - after I know which ones people feel are most universal, we'll start those threads!

If you think this list leaves off any virtues important to your religion or ethical beliefs, please add them!


Wisdom and Knowledge Group:
1. Curiosity
2. Love of Learning
3. Judgment
4. Ingenuity
5. Social Intelligence
6. Perspective

Courage Group:
7. Valor
8. Perseverance
9. Integrity

Humanity and Love Group:
10. Kindness
11. Loving

Justice Group
12. Citizenship
13. Fairness
14. Leadership

Temperance Group
15. Self-Control
16. Prudence
17. Humility

Transcendence Group
18. Appreciation of Beauty
19. Gratitude
20. Hope
21. Spirituality
22. Forgiveness
23. Humor
24. Zest

Creation Group (added by us)
A. Creation of Life (& affiliated) (procreation, adoption, care of animals, gardening, ecological action)
B. Creation of Beauty/Art
C. Creation of Knowledge

Family Article: Communicate Effectively With Your Spouse

Communication, especially with those closest to you, might seem extremely easy. After all, we use words, gestures, expressions and body language to get our points across. And when we do that, the other person should automatically receive the message we are sending them and respond. Right?

Wrong. The problem comes not with the message being sent, but with the interpretation of that message. Therefore, we have to make sure that when we do communicate with our spouses, that we send clear, non-conflicting signals and speech to get our message across.

Family Article: Ten Ways to Save Money on Groceries

Saving money on groceries is something most all of us swear we're going to do, then shake our heads in frustration when we watch our grocery bill climb week after week. A lot of this is due to the fact that we have the idea that saving money on groceries is just too difficult or that it will just magically happen.

The truth is that it is actually very easy to save money on groceries. All it usually takes is a little planning and attention. To get you started, here are 10 ways to save money on groceries.

Neo-Wicca Article: Your Wicca Daily Devotions

"Daily devotions" are things you do on a daily basis to strengthen the ability to control your inner Magick energy. A devotional routine helps to raise the energy daily, at various times. Think of daily devotionals as short rituals of energy. They strengthen your connection, and also bring positive energies into your life. Above all else you want to pick a routine that is right for you - and follow it every single day!

Neo-Wicca Article: Create Your Wicca Witchcraft Altar

The first step to create your wicca altar is to thoroughly clean the room that will contain your altar. It is best to mix sea salt into water. If you can't find any sea salt to use (any new age shop should have some), just use cleaning supplies you would normally use. Scrub down the walls, ceiling and floor (if you don't have a rug). Make sure to pick up the clutter, and organize the room as best you can. The less clutter and mess, the easier it will be to control the energy that collects.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Amphibian Mythology?

I'm searching for mythology and folklore involving amphibians and reptiles. I started teaching at a Montessori school and got a call the other day about a spur-of-the-moment lesson plan involving local animals. I have to come up with stories involving frogs, newts, salamanders, and reptiles for tomorrow's lesson! The kids are doing a mud-walk tomorrow to look for tadpoles.

I'm trying to get thigns from different cultures so we can slip in a geography lesson as well, So far I have some info on:

Egypt- Heket
Mexico- Centeotl- goddess of childbirth, fertiliry
Aztecs- Tlaltecuhti- earth goddess mother
Austrailan Aboriginies- believed frogs brought rain

I need more coffee. I know I have to be missing some really obvious ones, but I just can't think of them! There's the princess kissing a frog, turning him into a prince.... Any more you can think of?

Pagan Community -- Or the Lack Thereof

I would like to see what others thought about this article I read on WitchVox this morning. Here is the link:

It is about Pagan community or lack there of. I disagee with alot of the article, but I will wait until some people respond before I rant.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Purpose of Your Religion?

What would you say the "purpose" is of your religion? Does it have one? Is that purpose the same for everyone of that religion, or does it vary from person to person?

For examples .. does religion make you happy? Give you a focus? Keep the gods from nagging too much? etc.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Under God?

All you witches in the US, do you have an issue with the pledge? You know, "I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all".

I mean, what's the deal with "under God"? Doesn't that imply the Christian God, and is therefore unconsitutional?

Friday, July 07, 2006

Is Wicca All that Ancient?

Is Wicca all that ancient? As far as I know, it was actually started in the 1970s, maybe earlier, but Wicca itself is not an ancient religion. Also, when did it become an officially-recognized religion?

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Kemetic Rituals?

Hello, I was wondering about some basic Reconstuctionalist Kemetic rituals. I've been reading about Egypt and Egypt's Gods/Goddesses ever since I was in Elementary School, but I've never done any real rituals. I was hoping someone may be able to help me learn at least some of the more basic rituals, especially if they're to Anpu. Any and all responses will be very much appreciated.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Sites of Religious Significance?

Does your faith path have a physical site of religious significance? If so, is it protected as such by the *powers that be* or by individuals? If not, is it because it has been plowed under, paved over, built on or otherwise destroyed?

If you have a site that is endangered, have you joined the fight for it's defense? Would you join if it were endangered?

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

How to Keep Your Coven from Being Destroyed

We've all seen Covens fall apart, or larger umbrella organizations torn by internal strife. Sometimes, this is simply part of the natural cycle of creation and dissolution, an outworn group dissolving to make room for new growth. But at other times, a group with much promise can be damaged or destroyed while seemingly still young and healthy. And not only are groups destroyed, but vibrant and dedicated Elders can find themselves disillusioned, wounded perhaps beyond healing. They go into self-imposed isolation, and their potential gifts to the Craft are lost forever.


Monday, July 03, 2006

Question about Gods

One thing that turned me off about wicca when I was first learning was the worship of ancient pantheons. I don't mean to offend anyone here as I realize its a perfectly valid path, but to me the idea of worshipping and invoking the Greek and Roman Gods, who I read about in high school English class, seemed, well, silly. But the more I thought about it the more attractive "connecting" with various lesser-deities (by lesser I mean not uber all knowing created the universe deities) became. The problem was I couldn't connect with any of the ancient Gods because none of them seemed right here and now in my own life. People talk about having been "thwapped" by various deities and told to follow them moreso than others. But the question I am proposing is, what if I have been thwapped, but it was not by a deity of any recognizeable pantheon? What if I, well, made him up?

I know at first glance that sounds silly. But let me explain myself better. Since I was about 14 or so, I have had two characters that I love to write stories about. Their names are Dorian and Alansae. I have no idea where these characters came from, they just sort of appeared to me one day and I couldn't get them out of my head. I felt an instant rapport with these characters, almost as though they were long time friends, even though I had no idea why. And even when I wrote stories about them I would always become frustrated because no matter how I tried to give them recognizeable character flaws, they would always easily overcome these flaws. They were larger than life, somewhat unrealistic -- almost like they weren't human.

Well recently I've been studying witchcraft a lot and reading up on the myths of the wheel of the year. And I've been reading about the Sun God and the Moon Goddess, and I think hey, they sound a lot like Dorian and Alansae. The more I investigated, the more they just seemed to "fit" into the wheel of the year myth -- Alansae being held captive by the "Dark lord of winter" (who's name was always Jerhan in my stories), Dorian the sun God having to overcome adversity to set her free and to overthrow Jerhan ... it just seemed right somehow. And I wondered if perhaps they were energy forms of some sort and their appearing in my head all of the time was them hitting me over the head saying "HEY! DEITIES HERE!"

Anyway I was just wondering if I could get some input here -- are gods that literally came to me from absolutely out of nowhere any less valid as those who come from recognizeable ancient pantheons?

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Souvenirs From Your Ex-Religions

This is a question for people who were involved with a religion, monotheistic or otherwise: is there anything you miss about where you used to belong?

For me, it's the music. There are a lot of Christian hymns, chants, and anthems that are simply beautiful.

And also: do your gods allow you to use parts of your old religion in worshipping them? Are they offended that you would recycle or use someone else's stuff, or do they like the general reverent attitude behind what you're doing?

I don't have any experience with this part, as I only left the church last month. But I'd love to hear everyone else's stories.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Creating Artificial Gods?

In some paths/ traditions, etc. of magic, it is believed that Godforms can be artificially made - with enough power/ belief/ chocolate muffins, etc. This is a topic we've tackled before on occasion, but usually from the viewpoint of 'do you think it can be done?' I think we have also discussed *how* it can be done.

I'd like to talk about something different. Hypothetically, please assume that it *is* somehow possible to artificially create an entity that is similar to deities that pre exist (for the sake of argument, please also assume that deities exist too), in terms of power or nature. Similar, but not the same.

Do you think it is appropriate to do this? Is it appropriate under some circumstances, but not others? Is it appropriate to do it for any reason?

If you think it is appropriate, what would *you* construct one for (ie: what is the purpose of making one?) ?

What limitations do you think an artificial deity would have? What short falls? By contrast, what positives would there be to working with an artificial deity rather than a 'natural' deity?

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