Thursday, February 28, 2008

Recycled Virginity?

Oh man. Recycled virginity. Who'd have thunk it.

Born-again virgins claim to rewrite the past
Through spiritual or surgical routes, women give their first time a do-over

Though the relationship lasted for seven years and produced two beautiful children, a part of Watts always felt guilty. She wished she could step back in time and recapture her lost virginity. Thinking of how 'I could have ruined one of greatest fulfillments of my life,' the first time having sex with a husband, she wanted to 'have that opportunity again. I know my [future] husband deserves a whole person.'

So Watts engaged in a lot of prayer and thought, and now declares herself a virgin once again. “The most important thing was to realize what my values were and what I want in the future and the bigger goals in my life," she says. 'That’s why I can call myself a renewed virgin.'

Substitute for Offerings of Alcoholic Beverages?

It seems typical to offer deities wine, mead, or other alcoholic beverages as an offering. Especially Norse deities, because recently I have felt called by Skadi, but perhaps all pantheons enjoy it equally. Now, my husband is a recovering alcoholic, thus we don't drink and generally don't keep alcohol in the house. Would another offering, whatever substitute, be less accepted than alcohol? It may require a simple answer, but I ask because I do try to keep somewhat to the traditions of the pantheon, and (what is known) of the original system of belief and practice.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Do Pagans Really Believe in Greek Gods?

Do all pagans believe in the greek gods. I have been reading and studying about paganism, specifically wicca, and is really resonates with me. The greek gods are the one aspect that really confuses me. I am looking for an alternative to catholicism, not to replace one god for many gods. I get the whole goddess and god thing and yes it makes so much sense. But do pagan's really believe that Zeus is in the sky throwing lightning bolts- do they really believe that the seasons change based on a mother that misses her daughter? I first thought that these stories were just ideas or symbols to help focus your energy and intentions, which i could work with. BUT after reading "The outer temple of witchcraft", the author makes it very clear that he believes these gods are REAL.

Can someone explain?? Thanks!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Do You Think Pagans are Different in Other Ways than just Religion?

I haven't met other Pagans outside the internet yet and wonder if many Pagans are different in social behaviour and life style than adherents of mainstream religions. I wonder if books and internet are giving me the right picture of Paganism and if I'll have a big surprise when I finally meet some Pagans face to face. (At the moment I'm living a bit at the edge of the world, but of course I can practice solitary without minding what others do and how they are. I'm just interested in knowing.)

I guess this would vary individually, but are there striking social & life style differences between specific groups or types of Pagans and adherents of mainstream religions?

1) Are there more individualistic people or people with unconventional life styles than in mainstream religions?

2) Would you call a big part of it an alternative movement (not only in the religious aspect) or are most people just like other people and only different in regards to religion?

3) Are there recognizeable types of Pagans in day to day life, for example through specific ways of dressing, social behaviour, housing etc.?

4) Do you think that specific kinds of people are drawn to Paganism, like specific characters, social groups, occupations etc.?

To give you an example: With some people it's likely that they are in the ecological movement, if you see how they dress, house, what music they listen to etc. And someone with punk hairstyle is unlikely to be a conservative Catholic, but he/she may not necessarily be an anarchist.

So what about Pagans? I guess the answer will be very complex as Pagans are not a homogen group, but maybe there are specific kinds of Pagans or specific prejudices you would like to correct?

2008 Gardens

Even though I live in the city, I'm blessed to have decent-sized backyard to grow a garden. Even though I won't be able to plant until May *grumble*, I went and bought a ton of seeds today! Grin

Here's what I got:
corn, peas, beans, radish, carrots, spinach, lettuce, zuchinni, green peppers, and slicer tomatoes

dill, borage, chamomile, oregano, basil, sage, lavender, valerian

Pretty flowers:
cosmos, morning glory, viola, sunflower, evening primrose

Herbs I have already planted in the yard or in the house in pots:
lemon balm, chives, rosemary, chocolate mint, peppermint, spearmint

Things that came with the house that will grow whether I look at them or not:
tulips, lilac, wild violet, motherwort, nightshade, mullein, and the evil creeping charlie

I'm planning on growing the basil and sage in pots. Would any other the others be suitable in containers? What is the likelyhood of the annual herbs reseeding themselves?

So what are you planning to grow this year?

Friday, February 22, 2008

What Is Known About Celts For Certain?

Is there any info about the Celts that we know for certain?

All I'm seeing right now is that the only thing that we know of is that they existed at one point.

Which branch of the Celts do people know most about?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Interpretation of Greek Myths

I'm curious to know how members and other practitioners of Hellenic Polytheism understand and interpret the myths. Do you take them as they are, or do you believe they point to higher meaning?

I guess I envision a Christian asking the same question to a Hellenist, only to be told, "Well, how do you view your own central story of your savior being born of a virgin, who tradition says conceived when the spirit of God entered her ear?" But it is a valid question. Modern-day Christians are faced with similar questions. Some take it literally, others are quite happy as Christians who believe Jesus was born as any other man and yet had something unique to say to humankind.

I mean, how do Hellenists treat the stories of Zeus' adventures outside his marriage to Hera, or the apple contest between the Goddesses that started the Trojan War? And I ask this with complete respect to this faith and its teachings. I suppose it's sort of a silly question since many ancient Greeks themselves interpreted their sacred stories symbolically, but they just as well posited that some of them happened just as they were told.

Not sure if this has been asked on here. I looked but didn't find anything. Would be interested in seeing what you all have to say.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Symbols, Icons, and Statues, Oh My!

Actually, I am wondering... what are some of the symbols, icons, and statues, that you use in your Craft? Is there anything that you use that is unique in its own sense?

What do they mean to you?

I've just recently ordered a celtic cross with a simulated onyx gem and a black silk chain necklace.

The reason I ordered them is because they match, LOL! No just kidding, the cross symbolizes to me, the Crossroads... and since Hecate is calling me to Her, it couldn't have been more perfect... which I had the necklace on hold for a week and just 2 days ago, I heard Her start to call me... strange, eh?

So that's the only symbol that I'm really thinking of at the moment...

Now, what about you?

When do You Celebrate Full Moon Exactly?

If for example your calendar shows full moon on the 21st, do you celebrate it in the night from the 21st to the 22nd or in the night from the 20th to the 21st?

Or do you look at the exact astronomical date and celebrate the night which is nearer, for example if it's in the morning of the 21st you would take the night from 20th to the 21st.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Offerings and Incense to the Hellenic Gods

I'm someone who has recently developed a strong interest in Hellenic Paganism. I've been doing research on putting together rituals and devotions in order to explore that interest, but I've reached a slight stumbling block when it comes to offerings.

Is there a site or book or something that lists the offerings the Gods like? I've searched online and have found references to Their preferred incenses etc., and I've found through an online Temple to Hermes that He, for example, likes coins and strawberries, or, through Timothy Jay Alexander's books, that Aphrodite likes emeralds, but I'm at a loss at discovering anything else. Maybe someone here can point me in the right direction?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Movement with Meditation?

I know there have been some meditation threads, but I thought maybe this question should be posted as a separated thread.

I am curious about adding movement to a meditation practice, is there a particular type of meditation like this? Maybe Tai Chi or something?

Could I just do my own thing to some music?

Any suggestions?

Druid or Celtic Pagan Forums?

After doing some general Googling I'm coming up with very few other "Pagan" forums that are still active. In particular I'm interested in forums that specialize in Druid or Celtic paganism.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

What kind of funeral/burial would you choose for yourself?

Bouncing off the funeral pyre question, and thoughts of death prompted by the "Valentines from Hearts Stilled" thread that Lyric posted:

What kind of funeral and/or burial do you envision for yourself?

I'd like to be buried in such a way that my rotting corpse would feed a white oak, so that I could live for the next 200 or so years as a great tree, providing food and a home for the birds, soaking in the summer sun, having my leaves whisper in the wind. No marker; maybe a bench, to encourage folks to sit in my shade and maybe doze off, having the most wondrous dreams.

Of course, this assumes nobody chops me down in all that time! I'd have to find a place (in the Hudson valley, due to my love of the region) where that would be least likely to happen.

Let my epitaph be the works I've written.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Books for Children?

I need some help finding good material for children. Because of the way I was raised I decided to raise my children to learn and be accepting of all religions. My 8yr old informed me a few days ago that she didn't believe in Christianity because it didn't make any sense to her (I should note that everyone in our family except for myself is Christian). While I have never talked to her much about my beliefs she is now asking me about what I believe. She and I have spoken a little about the topic. I have many books about Wicca and other pagan practices but they are aimed at older readers. Finding books and information for kids is proving to be a little more difficult then I had thought it would be. Does anyone have any suggestions?

To date I have also not gone into the discussion that mommy is a witch and was wondering if anyone might have suggestions about going into that. There are also concerns about other children (and adults) giving her trouble. We live in a area where the Christian churches have crowds of thousands and the pagan community is few and far between. I have always lived by the rule that if I don't know the company I am in I keep my mouth shut.

I would greatly appreciate recommendations of any materials including but not limited to books and websites. There was a mention to me at one point about a pagan magazine for children but the name was not given. Has anyone every heard of it?

Also anyone who has raised or is raising pagan children and has experience they would like to share would be great. While I am trying not to sway her one way or the other I do want to provide accurate, age appropriate information to answer her questions. She will do as we have all done and in time find her own path.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Being tapped/called by a Goddess/deity

Okay, well first off I was wondering what you people think of this. Do you think it is a "true" thing? Is it safe to follow them? How do you know if it is a well-meaning Being, and not just some force or harmful deity that is trying to trick you?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Charcoal Incense Disks?

I usually burn incense in the form of sticks that I buy from various places. I haven't had much luck with the little cones, because they just fizzle and stop burning halfway through.. which is a shame, because they make less of a mess than the sticks!

In any case, I've had "make some incense" on my to-do list for ages, so today I whipped out the mortar and pestle, brought out the charcoal...

...and now everything smells like smoke!

I'm using those quick-light disks that sparkle and spit when you light them, and I placed one in a bowl of sand to contain the heat. I waited before adding the incense(finely powdered cinnamon and rosemary, yum!) and I don't think I added too much. The powder isn't burning with a flame, but it does blacken very quickly, smoke a lot and smell awful. Luckily(or not?) it stops smelling after barely a minute.

My internet search seems to suggest that a certain amount of burnt smell is normal here, just as most stick incense will smell a lot like the base stick. But, I'm worried I'm doing something wrong. If this is normal, then I can't see myself enjoying it much in the future, but if it's not supposed to be this way... then I don't want to give up before I figure it out. My theory at the moment is that it's just too hot and is burning the incense before it can smolder. Should I be waiting before I add the powder, or could it be that I'm just using the wrong ingredients?

I appreciate any advice, even if it's "Get a bucket and douse it!"

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Cauldron, RetroRoleplaying, and Self-Appointed Pagan Community Spokespeople

I received the following message from someone who did not identify themselves via our problem report email system:


I have noticed your new roleplaying web site, You should be ashamed of yourself. The public associates roleplaying games with satanism and being out of touch with reality. Paganism gets enough bad press without the owner of a major pagan message board being connected with d&d. We don't need more bad press and more people who believe pagans are out of touch with reality. Shut the site down now before it harms the pagan community.
I've tired of this crap. I don't give a damn that some in the Pagan community think Pagans should not have anything to do with roleplaying games because some people associate rpgs with Satanism, demon summoning, people who can't tell fiction from reality or whatever. I don't care if my association with roleplaying games gives some fundie loudmouth yet another reason to think that all Pagans should be burned. Said fundie loudmouth would think that no matter what I do or don't do, so why should I let it limit my choices?

I've been involved in roleplaying games in one form or another since I started college in 1975. That's almost as long as I've been Pagan. I have recently begun to work on a web site on the older rpgs that I enjoyed. I'm not going to shut it down because some Pagans reading this message board don't like the idea of someone who runs a "major" Pagan web site also running an rpg web site. And yes, it has to be someone reading this board because the only way to easily connect the two web sites is my signature here on TC.

Heck, I've already been warlocked by a total stranger (along with all past, present, and members of this board) -- see ALL Cauldron Members Warlocked?! on our old DelphiForums board -- because TC is a discussion and debate board and not an "accept whatever is said as true" board, so why the heck would anyone reading this board think I care that they don't like what I'm doing on something like this?

To whoever wrote this: Just go away. is here to stay. I'm enjoying working on it. In fact, if I was forced by some type of law to choose between closing and The Cauldron, I'd be closing The Cauldron. Deal with it. Go play personal interest/personal lifestyle nazi someplace else.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

If Your Religion Ruled the World...

Well, maybe not quite ruled the world. But I realized that I have no idea what the world be like if Pagan religions had socio-numerical superiority. So, let's say your religion was dominant -- 1+ billion followers, ala Christianity or Islam.

What would the world be like?

Would you have institutions like the Vatican? Would you resurrect some customs, like Pharaohs for Kemetics? What about physical infrastructure, would Recons have ancient-style temples? If you're eclectic, do you have your own in mind? What about laws, etc. -- I realize 'theocracy' is often a dirty word here, but would your religion lobby for certain political and legal positions?

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Experiences with Reiki?

I was curious about people's experiences with Reiki. I have the opportunity to get attuned by a friend of mine and I was curious if working with Reiki is much different than other forms of energy work. I've got a decent amount of experience with energy work in the Pagan context, so I'm not sure if getting the Reiki attunement is worthwhile or not.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Courting the Gods

In another thread, Rose said "And the key is, *they called* me. I did not and never will go look for trouble among the Gods, and believe me there is plenty there to be had if you go poking around where you are not wanted and don't belong."

Rose's comment got me wondering, is it inappropriate to try to contact/interact with a deity if they have not already contacted you? What if no one ever does? Does one just accept that they are to be god-less?

Template by - Abdul Munir | Daya Earth Blogger Template