Friday, December 28, 2007

Nature of "The Divine"?

First a quick definition. When I use the term “the divine” I mean whatever you conceive of as the gods or higher spiritual beings.

I have found on this forum a diversity of opinions on the actual nature of the divine. It has peaked my curiosity and I would like to see more discussion on this issue so let me pose some questions about to you wonderful people.

1. When you think of the divine do you understand the beings to be distinct, independent beings? For example, if you worship/believe in Zeus is Zeus a self-sustained being of tremendous power or otherworldliness? Or is Zeus dependent on human interaction or some other source for existence? If not independent, then what is the divine dependent on and how does that affect our relationships with the divine?

1a. Or the corollary, do you view the divine as some sort of arch-typical being (ala Jungian belief)? Or human construct?

2. How do you communicate or interact with the divine? Is directed personal communication enough? (Prayer, a ritual for the god, talking, thinking to the god, etc.) Is indirect personal communication enough? (Thinking about concerns, worship, etc but not directly for the benefit of the divine.)

3. What do you expect in response from the divine? Do you expect a change in the behaviors, situations, or attributes of the world? (Weal or woe.) Do you expect nothing? Do you expect a purely experiential state? (Religious ecstasy, oneness with the world, etc.)

4. And finally. Is there only one divine or many? If only one, what of other supposed divine beings and experiences? If many, what distinguishes one from another? Is the whole question subjective?

I think these four questions should given a basic framework of how everyone conceives of the divine. And will help me to understand the way other people think when I'm debating with them.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Aromatherapy Advice?

Much to my (very pleasant) surprise, I became the proud owner of a Spa Mist fountain mister, which has the capacity to diffuse essential oils in addition to moistening the terribly dry air in my bedroom and dorm room (which is the reason it was given to me in the first place). But me, being the crazy pagan that I am, got all giddy when I saw that it was suitable for oil diffusion, as I've been reading about aromatherapy here and there on the internet for some time, having an interest in the subject, and I've been using a small terracotta ornament to diffuse a particular blend through my dorm. But being mostly inexperienced with aromatherapy using such a device and knowing the good folks here at TC are rather well versed in a veritable plethora of things, I figured I would poll the masses as to what I should do.

If you had to pick three different oils to recommend to someone on a limited budget for use in a mister, what would you recommend?

I already have a blend of equal parts frankincense and lavender, a blend of tea tree and lavender, to cedarwood, cypress, myrrh, and frankincense, many of which were bought for use in rituals but not exclusively dedicated for such. I'm not certain about the cedarwood, cypress, or tea tree/lavender blend, but from what I can deduce, frankincense, myrrh, and the frankincense/lavendar blend should be safe to use in the mister. I also have a few various blends all made by the same company, the components of which I don't remember, but the peppermint/lemon/lime one I have with me at the moment was hurting my throat just diffusing via a terracotta diffuser, so I suspect it may not have been as essential as they claimed to have been.

I want to add at least three oils to my "library" (as it were) to expand my capabilities. At the very least I want to find lavender, as it's extremely flexible. I'm not sure where to go otherwise, and I was hoping the good folks at TC could give me some advice. I'd mostly be looking for oils with sedative properties, or oils useful for a dorm room. I'm not sure what properties are useful in oils to be used in a mister. I would want to avoid too many oils with a stimulant property, as I find that I am often made high-strung and irritable even by too much exposure to such oils via my little terracotta diffuser. I suspect an antiseptic would be useful, but it seems that a lot of antiseptic oils are stimulants as well. Bergamot seems like a good choice for those dreaded winter months in a bleak dorm, or rosemary for its mental properties, but I'm not certain whether or not they'd be safe for use in my mister. In fact, I'm hesitant about what oils *would* be appropriate for such a device.

Any recommendations? Any advice? Any reputable books to recommend for my pending library/bookstore trip? I'm so worried about picking up a book by a less-than-reliable source without realizing it.

Thanks for your help in advance!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

How Long Have You Been Pagan?

Considering there are quite a few teens floating around TC, I was wondering what age most of you started exploring religions/paths outside the mainstream and how you got started.

How did this affect your family situation?

Were any of you raised with a pagan religion?

Have there been many advantages/disadvantages to starting young?

And do you think your age has affected your ability to follow your path - i.e. do you think you would have handled certain things differently at a different age?

Should You Learn the Language of Your Religion?

do you think that you should learn the language of your religion? By this I mean, if you are a Hellenic Reconstructionist, should you learn Ancient Greek? Or even modern Greek?

I know, most people would disagree, however I was just thinking: have you seen the problems that the Christians have had with reading translations? Well, wouldn't it make sense to read the Bible in the original language it was written in? This works for the Jews, so why not the Pagans?

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Happy Holidays!

While Christmas isn't a holiday in most Pagan religions, it is a holiday that many, if not most, Pagans celebrate in some way with family and friends. So the hosts and staff of The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum hope you will have a very happy holiday -- and to our Christian members and friends, have a very Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Charity as Religious Practice?

Is charity considered a requirement in your religion? Does the type of charity matter?

How Do You Study?

How do you other teens go about studying paganism? Do you read every book you can get your hands on, or do you read books about specific things? Are any of you lucky enough to be able to take classes somewhere or have pagan friends to study with? Especially for people who's parents either don't know or don't approve, how do you practice and actually *be* pagan?

I'm asking because I'm feeling stuck. Since I'm not really part of an actual *religion* (Wicca's the closest, minus the deities and a few other things), so I don't really know how to continue researching. My parents know, but aren't really that supportive, so I can't get any help there, and I'm the only one I know who's pagan. How do you guys deal with it?

Friday, December 21, 2007

Magic and Disturbing the Balance of Nature

I have the utmost respect for nature in it's physical sense and spiritual sense and the balance that goes hand in hand. Therefore I hold tight to the belief that if the nature of things is interfered with nature will find a way to set the balance right. There is a balance to be maintained and although the individual disturbing it might achieve the results they so desired it will come at a price. Which brings me to my question ...

What are individuals practising magic using it for in todays world if the ideal scenario is not to disturb the balance of nature?

Monday, December 17, 2007

Cancer Surgery for LyricFox

As many long time members already know, Donna (aka Lyricfox) was diagnosed with oral cancer in her tongue at the end of October. You may have noticed that we have not been nearly as active as usual here on the message board over the last six weeks. That's because we have been scrambling to get her treated ever since. This is made harder as we are one of the 40 million plus people in the US who have no medical insurance (as it would "only" cost about three-quarters of our monthly income).

LyricFox will be going in for surgery to remove the cancerous part of her tongue (and some lymph nodes in her neck just to be safe) on December 20th -- the earliest date in December that her doctors could get an operating room. She will be in the hospital 3 to 4 days and then will need several weeks to recover. At this point, they are not sure how much of her tongue they will have to remove so they can't predict how much trouble she will have eating and talking.

As I mentioned above, our presence on The Cauldron's message board has already been greatly reduced. It is about to become even less -- it will be almost nonexistent for two or three weeks starting on the 18th or 19th of December. We will try to make updates to Donna's Cancer Diary at

when we have something to report.

Star has been given the authority to make any absolutely needed Host-level decisions while Lyric and I are occupied with medical issues. I expect everyone to give Star and the rest of the staff their co-operation. If decisions are made affecting you that you just cannot live with, you can appeal them to Lyric and/or myself when we are back.

If you would like to help, there are a couple of things you can do:

1) Prayers and Healing Thoughts/Magick -- LyricFox welcomes all prayers, healing thoughts, healing magick, etc. regardless of your religion or path.

2) Post messages and start interesting threads on The Cauldron's message board to help keep it active and interesting while the boards' active Co-Hosts are away dealing with medical issues. We'd really like to come back to an active, thriving board.

Thanks in advance for your understanding and prayers.

Randall and LyricFox
Co-Hosts, The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum

What Does Religion Give You?

And so I ask of you, what do you want out of your religious path? Where is your spirituality leading you and what do you look to gain from it?

Wiccan Wreath Added to Public Holiday Display

A Wiccan Wreath donated by Circle Sanctuary was added to a holiday display on city property in Green Bay after people complained about the "Christian only" display.

Read the news article

What do you think about religious displays on public property?

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Purpose of Life?

Just wanted to throw one of my musings out there... What do you think is the purpose of life? Is there a purpose? I am particularly referring to human life here.

So, in a nutshell: what do you think we are here for?

What Age is Best for People to Begin Exploring Paganism?

Some children discover paganism when extremly young and their parents tell them its wrong. I know of this because of conversations with people at my school. So to resolve so I decided to ask The Cauldron and see what came up.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Cauldron's TENTH Anniversary Today (13 Dec 2007)

Ten years ago (on 13 Dec 1997) -- after three frustrating days when only Elspeth, Ann (Empireone), and myself could post -- The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum opened its doors to the general public on the Delphi online service. This was before it was known as Delphiforums and back when user forums, then known as "Custom Forums" had a presence on both the paid Delphi Online Service (in wonderful a pure text/command line like environment) and on their new free Web forum version. The forum was an instant success with 60 or 70 messages posted that December and hitting 1000 messages within six months or so.

The Cauldron was started as a Yule gift from me to Elspeth -- you had to pay Delphi for forums back then (six months in advance). It was staffed by Elspeth, Ann, and myself with an able assist from our friends from the dying GEnie Online Service. We started a web site for the forum in the web space I got with my Delphi account in January of 1998, although we did not get domain name for a couple of years.

Our forum has done well in the ten years that followed, although we have had to move around a lot. From Delphi to a mailing list. Then back to Delphiforums (Delphi's new name). When Delphi's poor service and pricing got to be too much to much in early 2004, Bob offered us server space and we moved to our own site. First with Beehive's Delphiforums-like software (two incarnations), then (very reluctantly) to SMF early this year when it became apparent that Beehive software just could not meet the needs of this forum.

It has been an interesting ten years. Lyricfox and I met through TC and married over three and a half years ago. We all made many new friends via TC. It's also been a lot of work. Work which has been shared with our staff members -- without them, this forum would not be here today. However, the reason it is still here isn't the Hosts or the staff, it's our members: the wonderful people reading this message. Without you, this forum would be a barren wasteland.

It's been a great ten years. Here's hoping the future will be as good -- or even better!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Songs that Remind You of the Gods?

This is a topic that I know has been discussed on our old Beehive board. I thought that since there are so many new members that showed up since the move it would be interesting to restart it.

So are there any songs that remind you of your gods?

I'll start by posting some of mine:

Bleed it Out -- Linkin Park

My Immortal and in some ways Like You by Evanescence.

The Sharpest Lives -- My Chemical Romance

Minority -- Green Day
Smile -- Lily Allen

--You Give Love A Bad Name -- Bon Jovi

--Building a Mystery -- Sarah McLachlan
--Dead in the Water -- Hawthorne Heights

--Never Again -- Kelly Clarkson
--Bitch -- Meridith Brooks

Dead in the Water -- Hawthorne Heights. In fact, most of their If Only You Were Lonely... album reminds me of her for some reason.

Magic, Occult and Religious Symbols?

I'm a bit overwhelmed by all the symbols in avatars etc. I can't decode and don't even know the names of them.

Would be glad about any help, explanations, links, book recommendations etc. Maybe this thread could also be a place for all other newbies who have questions about symbols.

Ahem, what is that 7-pointed star? A septagram? And what does it commonly stand for?

Monday, December 10, 2007

Merging Several Religions Into One?

Is it possible to take bits and pieces from each religion that feels right to u and merge them together to from a different religion? Like i find myself believing a lot of the Wiccan ways while im still a bit drawn to some Christian teachings. Also there are a couple other religions that I find feel right to me. Can I have some advice please?

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Hellenic Polytheist Survey

Oinokhoe, author of Kharis: Hellenic Polytheism Explored, is asking Hellenic Polytheists to take a survey...

I have decided to release a second edition of Kharis: Hellenic Polytheism Explored within the next several months - it will have a few additions and edits (I'll be able to give more specifics later on), as well as an ISBN and Amazon listing, and as part of this project I thought it would be interesting to do another survey of the Hellenic polytheist community. True, it has only been a few years, but I think a lot has changed in that time, and I'd like to see if that's true statistically.

I would really appreciate it if everyone could take a few minutes and fill out this survey to the best of your ability. It has about 60 questions, most are just simple multiple-choice type questions, so it shouldn't take too long. There is room at the end for more extensive comments. All responses are confidential - I don't ask for names, and you only need to give me your email if you want to be notified about the second edition, and even then your email isn't connected to your responses. Please pass this link on to any other Hellenic lists/forums/etc. you are on, I want to get as many answers as possible. The survey is for those who consider their main religious path to be Hellenic paganism of some sort (including dual- or multi-trad folks), so it's pretty inclusive.

Here is the link:

Thank you all for your help!

Your New Year's Day?

This may be an odd question to a lot of people. But a lot of different religions and belief systems consider new years to be on a different date. For example some of my wiccan friends celebrate Samhain as New year's eve. To them night of Oct 31st is new years eve. I on the other hand consider the spring equinox (the beginning of spring) to be new years. So what date do you consider to be new years?

Also I would like to know what the significance of the solstices are to you. Start of a season, mid-season, whatever it is.

Other No-No Authors?

I just got a Magick book for my birthday. It's "The Complete Book of Spells, Ceremonies, and Magic" by Migene Gonzalez-Wippler, and I was wondering if she too is just fluff?

And for every newbie too, who else should we avoid pertaining to books/online resources/stores?

Any good books etc, etc, etc? About any subject of Paganism?

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Homegrown Solstice Traditions

What? No abundance of winter solstice threads? Were we all dutifully waiting for December only to find ourselves too busy to post? We have to remedy this!

I'd like to hear how others incorporate their newer (to most families, at least) Pagan traditions with older Christian-oriented family traditions. In our house we've noticed the most meaningful family traditions had nothing much to do with Christianity to begin with. So mincemeat pastries continue to be served in this household without abatement and the customs of my parents' respective families have been combined in ours (his: mincemeat pies with dinner, hers: cinnamon buns for breakfast, and ours: mincemeat buns for dinner and breakfast). Every year now we hold a solstice vigil party at which we serve a big crockpot full of hot mulled wine which becomes integral in a sumbel-like drinking rite around midnight. Hats are filled with treats for our Santa figure (haven't worked that out yet) and left under the altar, to be found in the morning filled with all our gifts. (We don't happen to do a tree in our household, although a potted rosemary cone makes an annual appearance.)

In an old is new again twist, we don't give many gifts, but the one we give to my parents' household from each year out is a goose ala Scrooge. This year it's just the one goose because finances are tight, but the plan is to grow the tradition by giving a Christmas goose to all the various households we exchange gifts with plus a pair of geese (or substitute) to the needy either directly to a family hitting a rough patch or through Heifer Project.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


What is happiness?

Is it something to be achieved as a goal which can then last, or, conversely, is it something to be experienced, fleeting? Is it even truly attainable as a goal?

And finally, is happiness a choice?

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Self Realization?

Self realization or self honesty, I find, is very important when it comes to spirituality, but how does it affect your mundane life?

I use myself as an example: I have fairly good self realization, I know I am a good person and that I do good things, but I also know that I do have a spiteful and somewhat mean side. I usually keep it to myself, but it doesn't mean it is there. I acknowledge it and accept it and I also control it. I believe without self-realization that we can not progress as people or as spiritual beings. (Progression is very important to me.) It seems to me though that some people on a mundane level really don't like this. They want things to remain the same or perhaps people who truly understand themselves scare them.

I just wanted to see other opinion on this. Thanks.

Template by - Abdul Munir | Daya Earth Blogger Template