Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Worst Spell Poetry

You can give us all a laugh with cheesy love spells out of your teenage BOS? Any abysmal spell drafts in your paper bucket?

Or you've written some bad examples just for fun?

Maybe you want to nominate any spells from the net, books, serials or movies which weren't according to your lyrical taste?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Exploring Past Lives

I would like some pointers on researching the exploring past lives subject, weblinks would be helpful since I'm not too sure I can shell out for a book at the moment. Thanks for any help.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Designing or adapting spells by yourself

Any general advice what to watch out for? Are there specific phrases to avoid? Or specific contents necessary to include?

Do you self-design spells? (Which kind of or which kind not?)
How do you usually go about it? Are there specific steps you take? Things you prepare or consider first?
Do you work on them over a longer time period? Do you experiment and improve?
Have you ever spontaneously designed a spell?

Do you feel more secure with self designed spells or with ones from a book/teacher/other source?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Published Material from Oathbound Traditions?

What do you think about non-oathbound material published by people from an oathbound path?

* Do you think the given information is incomplete in a significant way, because oathbound stuff is omitted, changed or generalized? So is the material less authentic than material published from a not-oathbound path?

* Do you use such material, for example books by Gardnerians containing non-oathbound stuff (like Deborah Lipp Elements of Ritual?

What do you think about oathbound material published?

* Do you think it is authentic and useful?

* Would you use it or parts of it? Why/why not?

If you're from an oathbound path how does your tradition handle this question or how do you think it should?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Books on "Celtic Spirituality"

Over the last however many years, I've read pretty much all of the academic books on the market about Celtic/Irish mythology, archeology, art, etc. I think I have about as good a grasp on what we know about ancient Celtic religious practice as most lay people have, and, frankly, I'm bored with the histories. I'm tired of reading dry descriptions of archeological artifacts and stuff like that. It's important and provides a critical foundation, but enough is enough.

However, I still feel that I need to keep moving forward and developing my own spirituality or it will stagnate. I think that spirituality is a work in constant progress that is always evolving.

So, with complete understanding that nobody knows how the ancient Celts practiced their religion, I've bought a couple of the more recent books that purport to help the reader to understand "Celtic sprituality", whatever that is.

I'm starting with The Mist-Filled Path: Celtic Wisdom for Exiles, Wanderers, and Seekers, by Frank MacEowen, and Fire in the Head: Shamanism and the Celtic Spirit, by Tom Cowan. I'm hoping that these books might help me move my thinking forward in much the same way that deep discussion here at TC does -- by stimulating critical and creative thinking about my own beliefs, ideas, and spirituality.

I'm wondering if anyone else has read these or any other similar books, and if you have any thoughts about them.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Awen Symbol?

Since we're about modern practice as much as ancient, I thought we could talk about a modern symbol: the neo-druidic symbol for awen. Awen is a Welsh word/concept for truth and poetic inspiration.

* Do you use the above symbol in your practice?
* What does it symbolize for you?
* If you do not use it, is there a specific reason why not?
* More generally, how do you feel about modern symbols?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Desk Shrines/Altars

We've had threads before dealing with altars in small spaces, portable altars, altars at college, etc., but just now I'm specifically curious about what people have going on at work. I know I've heard of people having small unobtrusive altars or shrines set up in their workspace. Do you have something like that? If so, how is it set up?

I have a little sun-shrine: a Sun tarot card that Hubby picked up for me at Comicon, a printout of more or less the same graphic I use as my avatar here (but minus the flames in the center), a couple of health-cause-related lapel pins, and a copy of this are pinned to my cubicle wall, and an LED pillar candle sits below them.

At one point I also had made an attempt to put up elemental representations on the four walls of my cube--fire is kind of obvious, I think, and then I had an enamel butterfly pin for air and a sticker with the Japanese kanji for "water" that I used for... er, water. I can't remember what I used for earth. I think I did that more for the hell of it than for any particular religious/magical purpose, though, since I haven't done much elemental work for quite a while, and as I've rearranged things most of those representations have gotten shoved into one big group of "personal decorations" (family photos, cartoons, etc.) on one wall. So I guess they don't so much count...

Libation Trivia: Who has to clean that up?

OK, so the other night Hubby and I were watching Troy. And, you know, whole other discussion there, but what I want to ask about is: About the second or third time the characters poured a libation to the Gods before drinking, Hubby says, "Who has to clean that up?"

...And I realize I have no idea. I know if I stood around in my house pouring wine on the floor, the floor would get pretty gross pretty quickly. Do we have any idea how they dealt with that, a-way back when? Were the floors just plain more absorbant (dirt, porous stone, etc.) or covered in disposable absorbent stuff (I'm thinking rushes/straw here) or something that would make it less of a problem than it is now with our carpet and linoleum and whatever? Were libations not poured on the floor indoors? Did they just not care if the floors got gross? Something else I'm completely missing?

I know this is a detail that makes no real difference and probably hasn't got much to do with anything, so it's not something that I'm really that worried about finding the answer to. It's just got me a little curious, and I thought I'd see if anyone here had an answer.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

YHVH, INRI & Pagans Doing Rituals?

There are plenty of Ceremonial Magick rituals, where the lines include YHVH or INRI. While the tetragrammaton YHVH may be in the ritual, meaning "Jehova", it can also mean "Father (Y, Yod), Mother (H, Hé/Heh), Son (V, Vau), Daugther (H, Hé/Heh final). INRI can denote Christ - although not necessarily to just Jesus, but an archetype of 'dying and resurrecting God' - but there are also longer tables of correspondences linking elements, planets and what have you to the different letters in INRI.

Do you think Pagans should use rituals including these very Christian-looking elements? Can they be taken from "their original context", or are they somehow off-limits for Pagan ritual magick use?

Why or why not?

Academic Books vs Non-Academic Books?

This thread hit me just now, thinking about the Familiars fiasco about Academic vs Non-academic sources. Is there a time and a place for a Non-Academic source? What should be classed as a non-academic source? (well besides things like Wikipedia)

Myself personally I think academic sources are either direct sources (such as myths, legends, things like that) and indirect sources (writings by scholars on the primary sources). These are useful when discussing general relgious terms and the like.

Then Non-academic sources is either UPG, or perhaps some one writing a book on the source though their profession isn't directly related to it. I think these are useful for when talking about practices, and in the case of UPG, when talking about personal practices. I don't believe they are mutually exclusive either, I think both are needed to have a well founded base.

So what are y'alls thoughts on the matter?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Planning for the Future of The Cauldron's Message Board

Since The Cauldron moved off of DelphiForums in April 2004, we have been hosted for free on one of Bob's servers. This has been great as hosting for a large message board is not cheap. Large, active message boards do poorly on affordable shared hosting because while they may not use much disk space or bandwidth they use a lot of CPU time -- the least available resource on a shared server. Free hosting for the message board has meant our expenses have been low, a couple of hundred dollars most years for hosting the main web site (http://www.ecauldron.com/).

Bob's servers are getting old and cranky and he is now half a country away from them (which makes it hard to maintain them and fix problems). As you have probably noticed, the board has probably seen more down time since Bob moved early this summer than it did in the entire previous year. That's an obvious symptom of the problem -- and it is likely to grow much worse with time.

We therefore need to decide what we want to do with The Cauldron's message board -- because we want to decide and implement things before Bob's server calls it quits. I say "we" because most of these options are more expensive by far than our current costs and since the Host's cash supply is non-existent due to all our medical costs (see the Cancer Surgery for LyricFox thread), funding for whatever we decide to do is going to have to come almost entirely from donations from members. I'm going to give a lot of options -- even some that are unlikely to work well (unless we are very lucky). They will be arranged from least expensive to most expensive. Unfortunately, that is also very close to the order from least likely to work well to most likely to work well.

Friday, September 12, 2008

What Do You Want From Your God(s)?

There are many characteristics that are attributed to the Gods. Often a God or a Goddess is said to be a God of Love, of War, of Poetry, of Healing. The list is endless.

The novel that I am currently reading, Avalon by Anya Seton, is set in England in approx. 900 CE and it has gotten me thinking about what it is that people actually want from a God. For instance, one character who is a Norseman and has lived in (mostly) Christian southern England has become frustrated with the worship of a God in a religion that is, to quote, "fit only for silly women and puling monks." He goes on to say that he now worships "Thor- The Thunderer." Evidently it is a God of stregth and power that he wishes to worship, and this is shown by his transformation from a manservant, to a warrior.

Consequently this shows that he wishes to worship a God which he relates to. In one respect, he has chosen his God in image of himself. Is this something that many of us are guilty of, do you think?

What is it that you want from your God(s)? Is there any particular quality that, for you, is important for a God to have?

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Geography/location in Magic

I have long been fascinated by the way different places affect different people - not only because of something specific (ie the culture, architecture, weather, economy) but rather because of the place's specific energy. I wonder if anyone has any good information in any form - links, books, whatever - about such things. I mean, I know there's lots of stuff about compass directions and ley lines, but those aren't precisely what I'm thinking about. Different places just have different, unique energies - almost personalities. Also, any thoughts/comments any of you have on the topic would be great.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Consequences of Following your Path?

As an uncommitted newbie I'm curious to hear about what the more experienced members have to tell about spiritual and 'real-life' consequences of choosing their paths or making specific commitments. Also I'd like to hear from those who are at the beginning of a path or commitment, what they think the consequences will be and how that affects their choice.

* Have you ever faced any difficulties or pain for following your path?
* When you choose your path/ choose to make your commitment, what did you think about the consequences and how did it affect your choice
* Have you ever been afraid of the consequences for choosing a specific path or making a specific commitment?

Thanks for sharing your experiences and thoughts.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

How to Learn Working with Energy?

When I read about Wicca and spiritualism in general, I often come across the notion of "energy", and how you're supposed to be able to work with it an feel it. You sometimes read thins like "walk around the room, feeling where the energy is strongest". Well, I don't feel a damn thing. I fear I may be utterly untalented in this field.

How do I go about improving my non-existent abilities with energy work? Are there books I should read, or web sites, or perhaps even some simple exercises I could do? Or should I just go back to being a mundane computer programmer where I do have talent?

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Wicca Books with a Little More Depth?

During the last four years that I've had this interest in Wicca, I've read a few beginner books about it. Not nearly as many as I would have wanted to read, however. I began with reading Cunningham's "Guide for the solitary practitioner", and "Living Wicca". I've also read Buckland's "Complete book of Witchcraft", as well as a minor smattering of other books on related subjects such as Tarot, divination, magic and the like.

Those books were all mostly good. They were very interesting. But there was very little depth. Being a scientifically oriented person (I'm a programmer by profession), I need something more... convincing. I mean no offense to anyone, but I'm not going to believe that there are actual deities (God and Goddess) just because Cunningham tells me so. I'm not saying there aren't, I believe that there could very well be, but I want to read something with a little more depth about the subject. I want to read a theoretical discussion on the nature of these deities - are they actual sentient beings, or just symbols of natural archetypes? I guess you could argue that "this can't be proven either way, it's a matter of faith". Fine. But then I need way more information before I decide where to put my faith. Cunningham and Buckland provides very little in this direction.

Also, this thing about magic is very confusing to me, given my "scientific" nature. But things I've read about quantum physics lately, and how little of it science understands, who knows what could be possible? I'm sure there are books that deal with this issue from a neutral point of view as well.

So, given what I've said above, can anyone recommend some books or other resources that might help me along?

Fictional Characters in Religion and Magic?

There seems to be some connection between religion and storytelling. Many of histories greatest stories tell about deities and their (mis)adventures. Is it so strange then that characters from stories could become religious figures? If the experience feels real does it matter that the entity with whom you interact (supposedly) isn't? How do you feel about the idea of a whole religion based on such a fiction? Have you ever worked with a fictional character? If so, who and how?

The Ethics of Offerings

Do you make offerings?

Who do you make them to? (Deities/Spirits/Creatures/Ancestors/Locations Etc.)

Are there specific rules about how you make offerings (timing/location/presentation) or what you offer?

Are your offerings only pleasing to the recipient, or are they also appealing to you?

Would you offer something that did not appeal to you if asked?

Do you ever make offerings of meat?

Would you ever (or do you) engage in animal sacrifice?

Do you see a difference between offering purchased meat and animal sacrifice?

Can an offering be considered ethically "wrong" if the offerant believes it is what their Gods want?

Template by - Abdul Munir | Daya Earth Blogger Template