Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Possible Cauldron Board Software Switch

This is a "heads up" notice that the hosts and staff of this board are strongly considering a major switch in forum software for The Cauldron: A Pagan forum.

Monday, January 29, 2007

"Found" Objects and the Divine

Have you ever felt as if an object has "found you" through some kind of-divine twist of fate? I'm not saying the Gods made sure a vase was at some place at some time to ensure that you and only you could find it; more like you happen to be at the right place at the right time to receive something that is useful/helpful to you in a religious or magical way?

Maybe it was a walk in the woods or a visit to an antique shop? Where were you when you came across your find?

How have you used the object since you're found it? Did you feel any kind of cleansing or dedication ritual was necessary for the object?

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Conflicting Religious Truths: How Does This Work?

I'd like to hear your opinions on something. If your religion is one whose principal beliefs encompass EVERYONE, how do you reconcile that with respecting that not everyone shares your beliefs?

To expand and clarify, say (hypothetically- this is just off the top of my head) that your religion stated that everyone will go to heaven when they die if they do good acts and blah blah. And yet you have a friend who is a wonderful person and seems a prime candidate for heaven... but she believes in reincarnation.

So either you are wrong, or she is.

How does this work??

Friday, January 26, 2007

Celebrating Imbolc?

Imbolc is coming up, and I was wondering what everyone who celebrates it is doing to celebrate it...and which date they're using. I'm going to try and get a few others among my pagan friends to do a small inter-faith ritual, and then (regardless of my ability to organize the other one) I'll be doing a private ritual honoring Arianrhod, the Morrigan, and Brighid.

For that matter, can any of the Brighid-followers offer me any tips on honoring her? I've never actually worked with her before, and I have no intention of dedicating to her unless she thwaps me, which she hasn't, but I would like to honor her during Imbolc, as it is traditionally her holiday.

Religious FAQs?

Some of you may know that I am currently in the process of codifying my religious beliefs into a walkable, shareable path. I'm stuck.

Specifically, I'm having difficulty looking at the path from an outsider's point of view- figuring out what is confusing and what a newcomer (or just curious person) would be asking. So, if anyone could help me out- when first learning about a religion, what are the questions you ask? An FAQ, of sorts, I guess. What are the important questions that tell a lot about a religion?

Pagans Who Practice High Magick?

I have studied the practice of High Magick in various forms but never could get past the armchair stage because of the use of "Names of God" and Archangels. I have heard Pagans who do High Magick tell me that it isn't the same as the Christian God, but to me, calling on YHVH is just that. How is this reconciled? Only thing I can figure is that they must see the various forms and names of God as archetypes or something. Even the LBRP, the most basic of rituals is using part of the Lord's Prayer. So what gives?

What Gives You the Right?

For those that practice magic to external ends (eg, to get something you want/ banish X, etc etc), rather than 'just' self transformation, I would like to pose this question... What gives you the right to change the lives of others (even if only to effect yourself... for example by getting yourself a job, you deny it to someone else)? By this I mean, what rational or theory do you use to justify your actions? Do you have a formal theory that gives you 'permission', or is it an issue you have muddled around?

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Solitary vs. Group

A couple of recent threads have got me thinking about why I prefer to be solitary. In the ADF thread, I was asking for people's opinions about ADF, which led Fiamma to graciously invite me to visit her grove. I haven't done it yet, and I'm not sure why.

Whenever I think about it, I feel...not *scared*, exactly...more like trepidatious or apprehensive.

I thought at first that it might have something to do with not wanting to be accused of fluffy-bunniness or something like that. Or worry that the ADF folks are too fluffy for me. But the thread on fluffy bunnies gave me the opportunity to think that through, and that's not it.

So, then I thought maybe it's because I don't label myself in a way that seems to me to fit with what I know about druidism. But, on reflection, and on reading the thread about Celtic Recon + Wicca, I don't think that's it either. I probably would fit pretty well into a druid grove, as far as beliefs go.

I've finally come to the notion that I'm afraid that worshiping with a group of people will be just like going to church was for me. I felt nothing. And what's more, it didn't look to me like anyone else felt anything, either. To me, it looked like everyone was just going through the motions.

So, I think I'm afraid that I'll be with a group of people like that. Sort of that I don't trust them to be sincere.

Why is that scary to me? I have no idea.

But I think that's why I prefer to be alone. I don't talk to anyone about my beliefs (other than you guys, and I'm not sure I want to.)

I was wondering what others felt about this. Many people say they value the community. What, exactly, is it that you value, and why?

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

You Can't Be Pagan Because...

In honor of our militant spammer over on the main board who came back and bitched that we couldn't be pagan because we criticize others, I decided it was time to find out all the reasons why our members have been told they just CAN'T be Pagan.

So first off the bat, no being Pagan if you criticize others. What's your favorite?


I know that people worship many names of God. I don't understand why some people throughout history choose to worship many Gods. I hope to be enlightened by those of you who do. I cannot wrap my mind around it.

We marvel at the rhythms and order and chaos in the universe. We feel the power of God in the stones, and plants, and light, and each other. We can study biology, geology, and psychology.

We can appreciate these things separately and wonder at their own complexities. But it is the whole that is infinitely astounding. Have people broken up the forces of existence, classified them, and given them separate names?

Do some Gods possess certain attributes but not others? Wouldn’t that be called a spirit or maybe a piece of God? Can the different Gods be the voices of the same God? Why would you only want to worship part?

Maybe a certain God possesses attributes that appeal to us because He or She is similar to us. But we are only human. So a God like us is only as much as we are. Or maybe a certain God holds messages that we find appealing or wise or powerful. But don’t you feel there is more?

The wholeness of existence is what I marvel at. If you follow certain Gods but not others, how can you seek to know the whole? Do the many Gods act as guides? Do they lead you to the whole?

I can appreciate a flower. I can be absolutely amazed by it. But it is in knowing that it is only a piece that I am awestruck. It’s when all of the Gods and spirits and magic and energy and matter are together that God exists.

That is what the word God means to me. In writing this, I think I have answered a lot of my own questions, but I’ll post it anyway.

Magic vs. Magick

What the heck is Magick? Really? I can't find it in any dictionary and it dosen't make sense to me. Is this just a coined word by Silver Ravenwolf or do people actually use it???

I mean, Magic is Magic right? Why the heck do you need to add an extra k in there? Does it make the word special? Not really.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Has the Fluffy Bunny Inquisition Gone Too Far?

think it was 2001 when I first read about fluffy bunnies. It was from a website that clearly defined what some people in the Pagan community felt was a dumbing down of Wicca, Paganism, and Witchcraft. It chided Llewellyn publications for their lack of research, creating history out of whole cloth, New Age concepts introduced into Paganism, ecclecticism, certain fictional movies, teenagers, and attacked certain authors with such vigor that it seemed to be a personal vindetta for some of these critics.

I thought that many of the points made were very well put and held a lot of water. I still do.

It got to the point, however, when EVERYONE started calling SOMEONE a fluffy bunny, and the attacks became vicious, slanderous, spiteful... It is very likely that if you were a Pagan anytime between 2001-2006 you have been called a fluffy or have called someone fluffy. I've come to feel that it was a necessary stage of the Pagan community's development... to weed out the flakes, if you will. I still feel that it is necessary to be critical of paths that are made up, changed, or eccleticized.

But is everyone who is accused really deserving of such hatefulness?

I've met REAL fluffies. I've known a college student who lied about her status as a witch (Queen of THE Witches Council) and informed me in the same breath that she had an intimate relationship with her "Whitelighter" (y'know, like Piper from Charmed). I've read an online book of "dark magick" that I just couldn't get my head around because I was being told to visualized BLACK light (and not the kind that makes things glow). I've listened to (and rolled my eyes at) someone who was nothing more than a gothy-punk chick with a pentacle call a HPs of her own (well thought out) tradition and coven a fluffy bunny. I've watched paths spring up and die. I've scoffed at the idea of the ancient Irish potato goddess, 9 million women and cats being burned at the stake, and griped about books that are complete crap.

But this crystal toting, granola eating, ecclectic, Neo-Wiccan (thanks and you're welcome) with a side of Crowley, Shamanism, and Chaos experimentation is getting fed up with it. Jumping on a bandwagon of fluffy hating seems to me no better than someone becoming a witch because they think it's "kewl".

Thoughts? Criticisms?

Review: The Oxford Dictionary of Classical Myth & Religion

Most youngsters, in ages past, grew up with a knowledge of classical myths, especially (primarily) of ancient Greece and Roman. For them, this book would be a nice addition to their library. Unfortunately, in today's society (especially in the U.S.), the majority of youngsters get their only exposure to myths through cartoons, movies, and TV programs. There they are presented out of context and with no attempt to tie things together. For these youngsters, this book is a vital addition to their library.

Obviously, as a dictionary, it is not intended to be "read" but to be "referred to." Therefore, I made no attempt to do other than to sample a large number of its offerings. There are plenty of cross-references, which allow for easy expansion of the original inquiry.

Review: The Witch Book

For some reason, the first few books I have "read" for review this year have all been reference works, only one of which wasn't a dictionary or encyclopedia style. Two of the first three (including this one) were by well-known authors and so I was familiar with their background and writing style.

The entries in this book are easily cross-referenced through the use of bold-face. They are clearly written and concise. The author has taken the time, in the introduction, to let the reader know why the word "witchcraft" is spelled with both an upper case and a lower case "w" depending on its context.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Wiccan Intentional Community?

I have had an idea, and I wanted to get some feedback on it.

Here it is:
I am creating what is called an intentional community. It is still in the development phase, but I am trying to see if anyone would think it is a good idea or had any suggestions.
So, I want to find at least 50 acres of land, and I want to build a community/village. It would be completely Wiccan. We will be as self-sufficient as possible, and live in haromony with the earth.

The reasons I have decided to create this community are;

One: I am completly unfulfilled with society in general. I am tired of the gross consumerism, the commercialism, and this general isolation we keep ourselves in, in our own homes. I want to live in a close knit community where people care about each other and live in peace.

Two: Being unable to find this eslewhere, I have decided to create it myself.

I have just a basic outline so far, but I am trying to fill in the gaps. So, let me know what you think.

Embarrassed about Religion?

A few days ago an incident occured that startled me and I'd like to know if anyone else has had a similar experience or thoughts on the matter.

I was at Wal-mart picking up some altar cloth fabric for an Imbolc altar redecoration and I found a couple beautiful pieces that I wanted to get. I went up to the cloth cutting station. There was another woman there, a cheeful, polite, middle aged woman, and she was getting some fabric cut as well. She started talking to me, very nicely, and was obviously a chat-to-strangers sort of a woman. She asked me what I was making. I froze for a second and then said, "curtains." She smiled broadly and said, "I thought that was what you were making. It's beautiful fabric!" I said, "I know, when I saw it I knew I had to have it." And we chatted on.

Why did I say curtains? I don't know the woman, would never meet her again, didn't care what she thought of me, but instead of saying, "I'm getting some fabric to decorate my altar; I'm pagan," I said, "curtains," a blatant lie (I was getting half-yard cuts of wildly different fabrics). I'm not ashamed of my religious beliefs. Sometimes I am scared of peoples' reactions, since they haven't always been pleasant. I don't offer information, ever, but if someone asks an honest question, I give an honest answer. Why "curtains"? It's been bothering me ever since.

I have to wonder, if I had told the truth, would the woman have continued chatting with me about her sewing, her kids, and more? Or would the conversation uncomfortably stuttered to an end? If I'm not ashamed of my religion and she seemed nice (not likely to be verbally abusive or even rude about it) why did I say it?

Have others here hidden their religion or had an experience like that? What do you think? I doubt I'm alone in this and I'd like to know what others think.


Why do some people insist on referring to non-pagans as "muggles"? It was kinda silly the first once ir twice I heard it, but I think it's condescending.

Non-pagans are simply people that practice another religion (or don't practice a religion)

I know I wouldn't want to be called a muggle.

Why Astrally Project?

As the thread title says...I've seen astral projection discussed on the Cauldron a number of times, but for those of you who do it - why? What's the point? What do you get out of it?

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Bad Teacher, Good Information?

Do you think it's possible to learn religion from an unethical person? If the basis of their credentials is a lie, does that make everything they say tainted, or can they still be trusted on other bits?

I'm not saying that a religious teacher needs to be perfectly holy, but how unethical can a person be before they become unable to teach, no matter how good their information is?

Friday, January 19, 2007

Calling Yourself Wiccan

When I am among other Pagans, I call myself an Eclectic Witch, Neo-Pagan Witch, or I can go into a long spiel about what I study, what I do, who I worship and mention somewhere in there that most of what my faith and practice is based on Wicca, even down to the [what someone called] oogy parts of sex, nakedness and death. The main differences between me and a Real Wiccan (tm) of the BTW variety is that I am not an initiate and I am not currently part of a coven. Doesn't mean I don't want to be. I just don't live in the right part of the country for it.

However, when it comes to talking to non-Pagan, non-occult people about what my religion is, I say Wicca and leave it at that. I try to be as truthful as possible, but when it comes to things like this, it just takes less time to explain to muggles.

Also, I worry about the possibility of it ever being mentioned in court that I'm a Witch, or if I ever decide to run for public office (hey you never know). Wicca at least has some sort of documentation to prove that it's a religion in a legal "don't harass me" precedent sense. I know that freedom of religion means all religions, but it really helps to have something there to back me up.

Does this seem disingenuous? Thoughts and opinions.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

But... We've Always Done It That Way!

Reposted from the ADF thread, to make it easier to see...

A general comment, that may actually be of use here:

The one generalization I can draw from this is that volunteer organizations seem to hit a "comfortable" level of doing things and stay there forever, or until there is a massive membership revolt. Things are done the way they've always been done because it's familiar or comfortable that way... or that's the way it was done when the leadership joined, etc.

I wonder how often our religious groups fall into that "we do it the same way we've always done it" mindset? Note that I'm not talking about using an established liturgy over and over, or something else with a very good justification. Just things that, when questioned, can only be answered with "we've always done it that way".

I can't think of any examples from my coven, but the church I grew up in (and that my parents still attend) was a shining example of "we've always done it that way". They never properly advertise anything they do down there, because they seem convinced that it's still 1960 and all attendees live in the neighborhood and will see a cardboard advert down by the "Welcome to the Neighborhood" sign.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Defining "Patron"

I feel the term "Patron", in reference to a patron deity, is over-used... or maybe just not wholly descriptive of the sorts of relationships we have with the Gods.

If we want to use "Patron" to mean a relationship where one gets "thwapped" by a God, then I think we're excluding a larger category. In this sense, a Patron is a God that has chosen us for service. What about the Gods we choose to serve?

Or, in other words, can the term "Patron" include non-thwapped working relationships between people and Gods? Should it? Should we stop using the term "Patron" and find something else?

I'm not usually one to argue semantics, but we've had a lot of conversations recently talking about being, or not being, thwapped and what "thwap" means... so it's probably time we talked about this as well.

Article: Christianity Stole Easter from Pagan Religions!

The perception that Easter is lifted from a Norse or Celtic celebration dealing with Oester is a very common one, and owes its life to the "name the same" game that people often play ... if the words sound the same, they must be the same. Moreover, in this situation, the word "Easter" in English does indeed come from the word "Oester," which makes it even more confusing.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Pagan Parenting?

Especially for those on eclectic paths; how much of your faith do you teach, or plan on teaching your children?

Do you teach your children a name by which you call deity, or do you stick with neutral terms regarding deity in hopes that they will end up with *thwap* stories of their own? How do you in light of this teach belief, without falling into the knee jerk "brainwashing" zone.

I say knee jerk because I am teaching my kids the foundations for basic paganism, with a hefty dose of American Witchcraft thrown in. I've gotten mixed reviews on this, some of the more (don't have a good descriptive word...) PAGAN pagans have actually hailed criticism saying that I'm doing to my kids what was done to me. These are the same pagans who see 'no' as a bad word.

I don't really see this as being the case because I don't put consequence on not believing as I believe, nor do I push information that they haven't asked for. I just am not introducing the beliefs of other faiths before they have a solid background in the beliefs of our household culture. I'm not going to expose my kids to any depth of Christianity, or Hinduism, until they have more concrete experience in the spiritual side of our family's beliefs.

The discussions I've had with my son regarding Yule brought about a whole nother set of questions for me. Which if any aspects of my faith do I see someone else having the psychological keys to make effective in their own life. While I understand the technicalities of Tonantzin and local deity, right now, that portion would lead to a lack of clarity. Which parts of my faith are going to be confusing to someone with literally no experience of faith, and not much life experience to separate the possible from the unlikely with.

Telling a four year old that Samhain is a celebration of those who have passed on; is actually a very confusing statement to a four year old, who doesn't have the life experience to be confidant that dead people aren't going to start climbing out of graves and knocking on the door expecting a party.

When your six year old asks you what Christmas is, and why their friends go to a place called church, then it's sort of odd to be trying to sum up a belief that you disagree with, without being disrespectful, and to draw the connections between what we do and what other people do, and then explain why we do things sometimes the same, often differently- in a way that wont alienate him from other friends who seasonally talk a lot about their churches and Sunday school activities.

This group of people believe in this guy Jesus. Most of their celebrations have something to do with him. Ours don't. But you still have to teach a kid that they can't go around telling others who believe differently than their family does that they are wrong. Which is difficult with a 6yo.

To say too much and get too detailed on theory compromises their security in consensual reality. (too much magic talk too soon, or as a substitute for logic and observation) To say too little relegates belief in more than the seen to the playroom, and dress up games. Makes it childish and something to be left behind for adulthood.

I'm trying to teach the sophistication of critical thinking, while leaving room for the innocence and trust of faith.

While I would like to pass on a lot of the charms and superstitions that later I found fed into my belief system, I also feel I have to address the sensibilities of science that have been just as important to me, and have become more important as the years go by.

I guess when it comes down to it, while I know often inane little rhymes are very effective in teaching children, introducing the rose bush to my children as Mrs Rose, and her hips, makes me cringe in a big way.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Birth Religion Carry Overs?

I've been thinking about this since the Christmas tree discussions, but really havn't had a good way to phrase it.

What practices to you carry over to your current pagan religion from your birth religion, or the founder's birth religion or your significant others religion?


Traditional Wicca (Farrar, public versions of BTW, etc) use wine (or ale) plus bread at the end. An apparent carry over from Gardner's Church of England Christianity.

If you create a ritual meal where the foods served and the order served in directly connect with the holidays story line that's a carry over of the Passover Sedar.

Technology and Your Faith?

Just wondering how you guys feel about growing technologies, cellphones, computers and how it affects or possibly conflicts with any of your beliefs. Personally I dislike the dependency we've developed over computers, etc. and this being on an internet site has its educational benefits. any input?

Friday, January 12, 2007

Lucid Dreaming For Kids

My 6 year old has suffered from nightmares since she was about 2 and a half. Some of them are really frightening. Last week she dreamed that she slid down a slide and at the bottom was a steel trap that caught her. I've tried everything I can think of. Talking to her about any insecurities or trouble, playing soft music, whispering about butterflies and flowers until she falls asleep, dream catchers... lots of different stuff.

I used to have nightmares when I was little too. Every night until I was 12 or 13. When I eventually figured out that I could control what was happening in my dreams things started to change.

I've tried to explain lucid dreaming to her and suggest how she can do it but she doesn't understand how to make it happen. I'm wondering if she is just too young or if I haven't found the right words to explain what she needs to do.

Any help?

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Depth of Religion in a Society?

At what point does a religion cease to be an 'add on' to daily existence, and become the central core of that existence?

At one end of the scale I would suggest, is where the majority of the developed world stand, those to whom their beliefs, although important, are not their total reason for being. Their faith (in whatever) is incidental to their existence.

The other end of the scale is possibly a group like the Australian Aboriginals, to whom the concept of religion is foreign because their religion is what they are, to the extent that they do not see any need to classify it as something different to their everyday life.

Life Changes After Changing Religion?

I don't know if this has been asked or not, but this is for the Pagans/wiccans who were once Christians (or even still believe in Jesus). What kind of changes did you notice in your life once you changed to this religion? i.e. improvements or setbacks? I know this is a very deep question, but general answers will work. In the Christian religion we give testimonials on our faith, I guess that is sort of what I am looking for. I also know that paganism is not a set religion and can vary from person to person, so please share your experiences.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Magic -- Why?

This isn't a thread on the sorts of operative magic that are normally discussed here. Rather, I'm hoping to discuss WHY people seem to find a belief in magic a necessity in the modern era.

Any of us who has been to a chain bookstore in the last couple of years and looked at the shelves that are devoted to books concerned with the "occult" cannot help but have noticed the large number of books that were obviously targeted at "ordinary" readers, especially books offering spells to fix all sorts of problems in people's lives, from relationship problems to job difficulties. (I am attempting here to draw a distinction between books written specifically about magical religions like Wicca on the one hand, and more general books that simply read like a cookbook full of spell recipes which do not have any specific spiritual or religious connotation, but simply focus on showing people how to work a spell, and it is this latter group to which I am referring.)

Given that the the conventional wisdom says that all of this is naught but the rankest form of superstition in this modern Age of Science, one has to wonder why there continues to be a general interest in this sort of thing amongst the general public. (I infer the existence of a generalized interest in magic by the fact that publishers are obviously selling enough of these types of books to keep printing them, which would NOT be happening if they weren't being bought by SOMEONE.)

In an abstract of a paper which he delivered at a conference in 2002, Ronald Hutton noted that much of the focus of historical pagan religious activity was directed toward propitiating a nature that often seemed menacing or hostile and which was totally incapable of being influenced by merely mortal efforts.

Is it possible that the function of magic within the human worldview/psyche is to provide us with the perception that we are able to influence events that would otherwise be totally outside our control?

Review: Witches

Okay, I have to be totally honest here. I am NOT a fan of Hans Holzer. He has published w-a-y too many books with w-a-y too many errors over the years. He has also shown, in my opinion, a massively inflated sense of his own importance. He claims initiation into a number of Pagan and Craft traditions, but shows little regard for checking out what he is told.

What About The ADF?

Several people have mentioned being members of Ár nDraíocht Féin. I'm interested in hearing what you think of it, positive and negative.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Working the Medicine Shield?

I've been working on a whole new ritual structure, that is unfamiliar for the most part, and has required more study time to put together than pretty much all of the Wicca/Feri/Hindu/Tantra/ random stuff I've ever gone into. COMBINED.

While of course there are connections, there are also some just brain beating contradictions that are taking time to assimilate.

The Medicine Wheel/Shields is something that is turning out to be quite the undertaking. I'm working with primarily Plains tribes, because the tribes in the East Coast systems that I'm intested in integrated hundreds of years ago, not leaving much in the ways of spirituality behind. (Wampanog, Pokanoket)

While I spent my childhood on the east coast, I've spent the last 15 years give or take some loose change on the west side of the country. The recent (2yrs almost) move to Texas seems to have cemented the "here I am" in all of this. So plains tribes it seems to be. With some integration of the East Coast tribes.

In the Hopi systems, They work with quarters the same way Wicca does, but compared to the 'classic' pagan ritual structure, they are just flat out wonky in some ways.

South for example, is still fire/summer/ but it is red, green and black, and also has an earth aspect, the green comes in looking at the germinating aspects as being life, and thus part of fire as well as earth.

The other thing that's getting me is that they don't have a solid demarcation of four directions and four elements. North can sometimes be earth, sometimes water. Dependant. Cross quarters also have a whole set of aspects that are breaking my brain trying to put together.

Sometimes it seems to cross top to bottom, with north facing top, but sometimes the opposites seem to be next to each other rather than across from each other. The sticker in this being that when working with shadow and reflection selves, the qualities that are directly across from your home space, are the shadow and reflection. The places that need work.

Each direction then has a receptive, and an assertive set of qualities; and then each of these qualities is split again into constructive and destructive qualities with crossover for dual qualities that can both help and harm in different situations.

My head is exploding. I've come to that *stuck* point where I'm going crimeny, if I could just push on through one more book, one more page of diagramming, focus just a little longer then it would all fall into place, but CRIMENY!

Anybody done anything with the medicine wheel/shields? Any help is appreciated.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Hey! Someone Pay Attention to Me!

There are a couple of recent threads talking about "thwaps," which set me wondering, what about a "thwap" from the other direction (that is, a person trying to make themselves known to a deity)? Can it work that way? How would it work, for example do you think a "pay attention to me" ritual be effective, or ignored, or even insulting?

My thought was that someone crying for divine help in an extreme situation could be pretty close to a reverse thwap; there's a purpose there, and a lot of emotion. But I don't personally have any experience with this, so I'm curious to hear what people think.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

The Less Popular Deities

A lot of the people I see on the Cauldron worship the, uh, bigshots of their pantheon. Deities like Set, Apphrodite, Apollo, and so on.

Does anyone follow other deities, ones which we don't usually hear about like Iris, Bes, etc.?

Why don't these deities seem to thwap people as much as their more popular kin? Is it a matter of interest? Power? Something else?

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Cauldron Member Handbook (January 2007 Edition) Available

After almost 18 months and 2975 downloads, a new, updated, and expanded edition of the Cauldron Member Handbook is available for download. This pdf file collects information on The Cauldron (e.g. message board rules, faqs, info on how to use our messsage board, and more) and makes in available for offline reading (or printing) in a form that can be viewed and printed using free software available for most major operating systems.

The January 2007 edition of the Cauldron Member Handbook is just under 150 pages. The download is a zip file that is just under 600K. Be sure to download your copy!

Coming out of the Broomcloset: The Negative Experiences

I've skimmed through many Pagan forums and articles, and one of the major issues that most people seem to face is negative reactions to their coming out of the broom closet. Almost everyone seems to have a story to tell about being discriminated against at work or even at the family Christmas party.

The only person who has ever had a negative reation to my religious choices is my grandmother. Everyone else has been really cool about it and even taken an interest.

I was just wondering if anyone had experienced an overwhelming amount of negativity when it came to speaking about their religious beliefs, or if most people were relatively lucky like I am.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Children's Altars?

Ok, the thread on Personal Touches to Honour Deity in the other forum started me thinking about altars for children but I figured it'd be better over here rather than cluttering up that thread.

For a long time I had a nodding acquaintance with Brigid, but since my son was born She has been a bigger part of things, at least where he is concerned. So, in addition to the charm bag I made when he came out of the nICU, there is also what you'd best describe as an altar to Brigid in his room.

So, now I'm wondering what, if anything, anyone else has...

Funniest Moment?

What was your funniest moment working with/speaking with your Deities? (If you don't mind sharing)

Morrigan was the inspiration for this thread. LOL. Earlier tonight I was in the midst of prayer/meditation. I have been giving serious thought to trying "trance dancing" (other than astral) of late. She asked me "Why DON'T you dance?" My reply was "I'm afraid I'll look silly." That did it. Her response was "And you think you DON'T look silly with headphones on going like this?" (at which point, She started mimicking me bobbing my head and moving my arms around in circles in front of me.) She had a very valid point, but it made me crack up and it took me a minute or so to stop laughing.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Ease of Learning?

Peter (I think) said in another thread that people *should* be able to pick up just one book and get the basics of the religion.

Is that true? Do you think your religion could be turned into a book format, if it isn't already? if it is, what book? Would reading that book without ANY other context lead to the same understanding, or is context essential?

Do the Gods Know? Do They Care?

A question came up elsewhere about the relative importance of belief and practice and it got me wondering. I can't imagine bothering with practice unless there was an underlying belief on which to base it, but that's about the importance to the practitioner. Does it matter to the god/s what you believe about them, whether you have faith? Can they tell or are your thoughts as hidden from them as they are from other people?

Do the gods know or care what you believe?

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year

2007 arrived overnight. The hosts and staff of The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum wish all our members, friends, and site visitors a very Happy New Year.

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