Thursday, October 30, 2008

Faith Healing

So, we're talking in chat about a horrible little show on the SciFi channel tonight on exorcisms, and the talk turned to faith healing.

Which got me thinking...

Has anyone ever been legitimately healed by faith healing? And how different is televangelist faith healing from pagan claims of using energy to heal people? Are pagans who heal somehow more trustworthy to the community?

I don't know what I think about stereotypical faith healing, but if I believe that I can raise energy to heal someone, or that my High Priestess can give me Reiki to help my sore knee, then is that really any different?

Instinct -- Is It Energy or the Subconscious?

When we meet someone, why do we instinctually dislike them? How do know when something isn't right? Why are uneducated guesses sometimes really, really accurate?

I've heard instinct described as when the subconscious mind makes logical connection between different events and communicates it to the conscious mind, before the conscious mind can put the pieces together itself. I've certainly experience that: while driving I often know when someone will cut me off well before that person cuts me off. I thought about it and realized there are certain subtle signals given by drivers that they are about to do that: a small veering toward their intended lane, movement of a head in a shoulder check. Now I can consciously figure out when someone will cut me off -- no instinct required.

But then there are the times when I can't explain why I "know" something: I visited a friend who I've had a spiritual bond with for a decade. We sat down on her balcony for a coffee, and I had a vision of violence occuring, which to be is indicative of an out excessive amount of an unhealthy negative emotion (self-loathing, hatred, power-control issues). I knew it came from somewhere behind me, so I checked out the buildings behind me when we headed back in, and focussed on the left side of a green duplex. Inside, I told her about my vision, and she replied, "I bet I know which house it is. It's the left side of the green duplex." I asked if she had seen anything there, and she replied nothing out of the ordinary, she just heard things in the wind.

We walked past the house and checked out what might be different about it -- maybe a curtain hanging crooked, or some junk outside. Any sign of disarray or excessive order that implies any control issues or lack thereof. There was nothing to distinguish it from the right side, or any of the other duplexes. I don't know why we had the same instinct about the place. About a month later (after many other visits) I went to visit her and realized the duplex felt different. Before I said anything she said "they moved two days ago. It's been quiet ever since." It was a bizaare incident. I think it's instinct based on sensing energy.

Anyway, now that I've wind-bagged enough -- what do you think?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Gods and Hierarchy

Does your pantheon have a hierarchy? Are some Gods considered 'lesser' Gods than others? Is there one God that is the head of all of the Gods? Or are your Gods all equals?

Why do you think that there is/isn't a hierarchy in your pantheon? Do you think the hierarchy is/isn't there due to the work of the Gods themselves, or due to the way humans perceive the Gods?

And of a slightly different tone: do you treat any of your Gods with more respect (or show more reverence to) than the others? If so, is this due to hierarchy, or purely because they are your patron?

Moon phases in your magic(k)al practice?

Are you doing specific kinds of magic(k) at specific moon phases?

How serious do you take moon phases? Would you wait for the right moment to do a certain spell, work etc.?

What's most important about the moon in your magic(k)al practice? Waxing/waning or the amount of fullness? Do zodiacal signs of the moon matter for you at all?
For example:

* If you work with the full moon, does it matter to you if it's waxing to the full or waning from the full at the moment?
* If you work more with the waxing/waning aspect, does it matter to you if the waxing moon has just been a new moon or if it is a few hours away from being full?

With what kind of calendar do you work? Do you just look at the day or does it matter to you at all in which hour exactly the moon will be full, new etc.? How do you define full or new for your work? In what time frame is the moon full or new to you?

Are there any moon phases or constellations where you don't perform magic(k) at all?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Day of the Dead Ideas?

This year has been pretty full on in more ways than one. Ive had a number of loved ones pass away, and am helping to care for my uncle who is terminally ill.. It was also five years, this may, since my aunt died. All this has made me want to pay tribute by celebrating the day of the dead, but i dont really know how.

I thought i would set up a discreet shrine with photos and marigolds in my bedroom, and i have started some day of the dead skull paintings.. My family is catholic so it wont be suspicious for us to have a nice sit down dinner on all souls day, and i wanted to make some sugar skulls but they look pretty tricky.

Does anyone else have any ideas or want to share how they celebrate this time of year?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Candle Substitution

The candle books say that you can substitute any candle color with white candles if you do not have that color on hand. What is your opinion on that? Also, you can substitute orange candle for black if you do not like black candles. What do you think?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pagan Poetry?

I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for books on poetry or pagan poetry?

I'm going to be filling in a hard-bound book of shadows, my first hard -bound. My other has been a 3-ring binder I've dubbed The Great Big Book of Everything.

I'm asking this because I'd like to put a poem or two on the first page. On the inside of the cover I have a sticker by Nene Thomas. It's a fairy sitting on a crescent moon.

If anyone would like to share poems that's great too. I would also love to find a poem about the moon.

Any help is welcome!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

What to Expect at a Samhain Ritual?

There is a small group of pagans that meet in my area. I recently attended their Full Moon Ritual and signed up to also attend the Samhain ritual. The full moon ritual was very Wiccan-ish and I suppose the Samhain ritual will be as well.

My reasons for going are similar to my reasons for being here on TC, to connect and interact with other pagans. I took my teenager who is currently on a path of Druidity exploration, who thoroughly enjoyed it and is looking forward to Samhain.

So my question is, not being Wiccan, what should I expect at the Samhain ritual?

The only clues I was given were that costumes are encouraged (as long as kept PG rated) and there would be a small bonfire and dancing. I always thought that a Wiccan Samhain ritual was more of a solemn event and this seems counter to that notion so any advise/wisdom would be appreciated.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Thelema Books

I am interested in learning more about Thelema. I have studied Wicca and Paganism in the past, which led to an invitation to attend a Gnostic Mass, and now I want to find out more about Thelema and the O.T.O. I have looked at some of A. Crowley's works, but they seem a little intimidating to me, at least at first... So, I was wondering what book would be good to start off with? Or what order would you read them in?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Spells and Rhyme

Do you feel that spells should rhyme?

I was wondering how others feel about rhyme and spells. I can see how rhyme would give a spell fluidity and life, but I personally rarely use rhyme.

I was reading (and thoroughly enjoying) a nice little book the other day, but I didn't care for the author's spells. They were just too cute sounding to me and I couldn't figure out why. Then I realized it was her rhyme style, which struck me more along the lines of old nursery rhymes. But I suppose nursery rhymes may have been more magically oriented in the first place.

So, I was wondering how rhyme figures into magical work. Exactly how important is rhyme?

Any thoughts?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


I have come across clairvoyance and clairaudience, but what exactly is clairsentience?

Where Have All The Gods Gone?

It seems like back in the olden days, the gods were always hanging around. Whether it was cavorting with mortals, making miracles, or just a good old-fashioned smiting, the older myths are full of the clear and obvious presence of the Divine. Nowadays, the deities seem more subtle, to say the least.

What do you think there is such a big difference between the ancient stories and most modern religions? Is it because the things people used to attribute to Divinity have been explained by science? Is it because the Divine has withdrawn from the earth? Is it because most people just don't know how to listen any more? Is is all of these; is it something else? What do you think?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Philosophical Meaning of "Harm None"....and is It Right?

There is obviously some debate over whether the harm none is a necessary or correct principle of magic, and the different interpretations of the definition. What does everyone think about what it really means? Does it mean that no matter what you do, none of the repercussions can harm anyone? What about spells that return negativity (I hesitate to use the word evil due to the often contradictory opinions on the word) to its source. Wouldn't that harm said source? I know Wiccans adhere to "an it harm none" (as do I, as best I know how), but to what individual degrees or interpretations? And what about everyone else?

What about whether its even a principle that makes sense? Many people think that this is a stupid (or incorrect) principle... that magic contains both positve and negative aspects, and should be performed utilizing both. I can see the logic in this as well, as everything else (as I understand things) contains both good and evil. Yin and Yang type thing. I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts on the matter.

My personal thoughts: I try to make sure that nothing I do harms anything else. Even with banishing type spells, I don't want harm to come to whatever I may be banishing, I just want it/them to go away. I DO know that my personal feelings on this matter have to do with me being somewhat empathic, and I can't stand for anything to be in pain. The exception is in protecting my family. AN EXAMPLE: Walking down a street I might have to beat off an attacking dog with a large tree branch, hurting it in the process in order to protect my children, but I would do it, even as my heart hurt at the sounds of pain coming from the dog.

Friday, October 10, 2008

New Server Up and Running

The new server for our message board is up and running. When you visit our message board and see a large print message about being on the new server on the board's "HOME" page, you will know that your ISP's DNS records have updated and you are seeing the new server.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

OLd Message Board Server Down

Bob's Server died again Tuesday afternoon, just before the new server was ready. For now, please use the backup message board. We are hoping Bob's server can be brought back up one more time and stay up long enough to get a final copy of the message board database to move to the new server. Otherwise we will lose about 4 days of messages when we move.

One way or another, we should be on the new Linode VPS server in a few days -- with any luck, that will be the end of our server problems.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Which Came First Your Religion, or Your Magic?

Did you practice magic before you found/developed your religious path? Or did you already have your religious leanings before you began to delve into magic?

In your own personal view of things, is the one in direct correlation with the other? Or do you view them as completely separate things? Why?

Outdoor Rituals?

With Samhain approaching, I'm feeling very compelled to have my ritual outdoors. Something I've never done before, but have always wanted to do. I have a really nice chimnea and thought about building a huge fire there and making that the center of my circle. Other than that, I'm not sure what I need. Is it customary to still have candles at the corners? Should I construct an actual circle with stones? What about the incense? Things that are easy to do inside, but in the dark, and with the wind, and no real altar might be difficult, you know?

I always get this (albeit stereotypical maybe) image in my head of happy witches just dancing around a big fire, and that's kind of what I'm going for. Simple, but I still want to be respectful and "proper".

Any suggestions?

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