Saturday, November 22, 2008

Magic and Power/Self-Empowerment?

How do you view the aspect of power in magic generally?

Does practicing magic give you a feeling of being powerful? If so, what kind of power would that be?

Do you think some people are drawn to magic for some kind of power? What do you think about this?

How do you see the relationship between power in magic and power in everyday life (work, family, etc.)/society?

Do you think magic can be a way for people who feel powerless or repressed in their everyday lives/society to empower themselves in a positive way?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Will there be a Cauldron Technopagan Winter Solstice 2008?

Last year, a gaggle of us who pass the longest night of the year by staying awake from dusk till dawn kept in touch via the Cauldron, posting our experiences, thoughts, etc., and generally helping to keep each other awake! (And even folks who didn't do the all-nighter popped in from time to time).

With the winter solstice only a month away (for those of us in the N hemisphere), it's time to ask: Who's up for it this year? (Count me in)

And does anybody have any thoughts on any new twists?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Geasa (Taboos)

Spelling aside, I'm wondering if there's anyone else here at TC who considers him/herself to be under a geis (taboo).

I've mentioned on other threads that Brighid has communicated to me that I'm not to reach out to other deities or to engage in magic. It didn't occur to me until yesterday, when I was mentally flailing about trying to describe how I know I'm not supposed to do those things (in response to a post from Aine), that these two "orders" or whatever seem to be pretty similar to some of the geasa described in the lore.

If there is anyone else out there in this situation, how did your deity communicate it to you? Do you know why you were given this geis? Were you agreeable, or did you try to argue? Have you found it difficult to comply? What would happen if you broke the taboo? How long did your geis last?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Astral Threads

Occur to me this morning, when talking to a TC member, I have been using these and not labeling them as such ... in my mind.

Most of what I have read or others speak of, lean more to use while journey’s, other words/dimensions and so on.
Some on mundane uses.. or staying within this world/dimension...? Viewing real time and space on the mundane. *some RVing stuff out there too*

I'm wondering just how often we use these and for what purpose. What do others see them as looking like? How do you see them? When using them what do you apply them to? Do you send workings/spells through them? do you see them as a channel to move info/energy/images through? a tunnel with a door *or not* that swings both ways? *send receive*

What is your belief, thought, or scholarly studies lead your understandings of Astral Threads, and are there other types of these threads that I have no name for? Or are they all categorized under Astral Threads even when used on the mundane level, and as we look through to the future with our forms of divination?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Combining Religious Holidays -- Right or Wrong?

Right now I have in mind Christmas and Yule/Winter Solstice. What do you think about combining these?

I have known people to combine these holidays before for the sake of family. For example; one person is Christian and the other Wiccan and they want to strike a nice balance between the two. Or the family is one which celebrates Wiccan holidays, and yet the children are so drawn in by the idea of Christmas (because it's everywhere! Cheesy) that they decide to combine the two.

What is your opinion on this? Is it right/wrong?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Favorite Herbs?

What's your favorite herbs to work with and why?

Mine would probably be Sage because of the way I feel when I use it in food and in smudge sticks/incense (although I have bought the ground sage and put it in a glass container with salt and burned it... doesn't smell as great as the sticks/incense). I feel like all the negativity in my life at that moment is leaving and that I'm being restored to a proper state of mind in which I can focus again.

I also like to use Parsley, Basil, and Rosemary in cooking just not sure of how I would use them in magic just yet... I do need to brush up on my herbalism since it's been a while since I remembered their uses.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Book of Shadows, Grimoire, Spell Books, Oh My!

Didn't quite know where to post this nor did I know how to label it until a minute ago.

I'm still tossing some options up in the air for magical books and wanted to get some opinions/perspectives on how, if this does, relate to you and why it does or doesn't...

1 - Do you use books to write down magical things? What do you call it?
2 - What types of materials do you use?
3 - Do you organize it? Why? Why not?
4 - What information do you include in it?
5 - How did you begin it?
6 - What is some advice you would give on someone beginning their first?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Easy Holiday Recipes Here

So as it gets closer to American Thanksgiving and other winter holidays, I thought it would be nice to share easy recipes that you use for the endless parties, entertaining, and family get-togethers at this time of year. While we all have our elaborate favorites, we also have those last minute invitations where we scramble to put something together while we try to shower, feed the dogs, clean the house, dress the kids, etc. Share your go-to time savers with the rest of us.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Sacred Space

I've been thinking about the concept of sacred space--whether members of different religions worship in sacred space or not, and what exactly constitutes as sacred space.

I'm sure for many Christians when they walk into Church they feel as though they have entered into sacred space. Likewise, Hindu's no doubt feel that their temple is sacred space. However, on the flip side, Jehovah's Witnesses don't necessarily regard their Kingdom Hall as sacred space; it's more of a meeting place.

Some Pagans (perhaps predominantly Wiccans) create their own sacred space.

How do you feel about sacred space? Do you think it exists? Is it a set place, or do you create it yourself? Do you think it 'means more' to the God(s) if you worship in sacred space, or doesn't it matter?

Druids and Curses?

I was talking to a friend at school who is also pagan. I asked her this question that I'm getting ready to ask here...

"Do you think that the Druids used curses as well as cures? Do you think their view of nature was 100% positive or do you think they balanced it with the negative... I don't really think they viewed 'light and dark' since Nature is a combination of the two... What's your opinion"

Her reply was that she felt the same way that I did... That the Druids must have believed that there was a balance and that in worshiping a Deity one must take responsibility for self before asking the Deity to act on their behalf... I do feel that the Morrigan and many others would not put up with childish behavior and hand answers on silver platters... I remember thinking of Her and I had this feeling, "You may be my servant, but don't think it will come easy and don't think I will give you every request... You must help yourself before I will help you." And it truly made so much sense and I really do feel that's how it works.

So, what's your views... Do you think the Druids did curses as well as cures? Do you think they recognized both the positive and negative aspects of Deity and Nature? If so, why? If not, why?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Why You Chose or Were Drawn to Celtic Reconstructionism

Just thought this would be a neat little way to get to know other members who follow a Celtic Reconstruction path...

If you reply, state:

* Why you chose or were drawn to the path you are on.
* How you came about studying it.
* How you know that this is the path for you in the present.
* Where you hope your path will take you, and your goals.

These are just basic questions, feel free to go off on a tangent.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Practicing Paganism as an Atheist?

So I'm in a transitional period right now and I've been reconsidering my 'spirituality'. I have been for several years an Atheist and that is unlikely to change. This has left me somewhat empty however. Christianity, through prayer, offered a means of self awareness and reflection which has been lacking. I've therefore been considering taking up the ritualistic and ethical aspects of Hellenismos.

Ritual offers a vehicle for trance (a heightened state of focus) and the Greek Gods represent fundamental archetypes (I don't mean any disrespect to those who worship them as Gods) which combine to form a complete human being. The last while I've been acting out the motions of prayers to them and my psychological state has improved because of it. Its given me a chance to reflect on aspects of my life as if I were speaking to something that represents perfection in that area. So before playing guitar I 'pray' to Apollo beforehand, prior to study I 'pray' to Athena and so forth; as well as at the end and beginning of the day.

This is also giving me the chance to study and practice part of what made Greece such an innovative and important society. Their virtue, love of life and introspective spirit are something that I would love to evolve towards. I feel like I'm connecting to people who were in many ways superior to ourselves and in so doing maybe getting closer to the virtues they possessed.

Are there other Atheists who have found themselves drawn to Pagan practice for similar reasons?

Have any previously non-religious members find they developed belief because of the practice?

If you are reading this as a Pagan, or specifically a follower of the Hellenistic tradition, how do you feel about an Atheist adopting some of your practice?

Also, does this represent a fundamental character flaw on my part? Wouldn't someone who knows himself have no need for this?

Advice on Druidry?

For some reason I've had the urge to look into ADF within the past week or so.

I am looking at ADF's website and trying to figure out what sites are more valid than others...

Is there any advice to give to someone who is looking into Druidry? For example, recommended book lists, recommended authors, what books aren't so good, etc...

Also, for those of you who are ADF's or follow a Druidic path, what drew you to this path?

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Modern Hellenic Beliefs Regarding Afterlife

This is spun off from my own thread about the original term for Hell... Mel reminded me of the divisions of Hades' realm: Namely The Elysian Fields (being the place where the most blessed got to go), Asphodel Fields (or meadows) (for most everyone, a sort of wandering about), and Tartarus (where the wrost of the worst were basically punished for ever). Now, following the Greek Gods, and whatever recon or otherwise practices you may have, what do you believe regarding the afterlife?

Do you believe in the above? To what extent? If not, what, if anything do you believe?

Why Altars?

It seems to be a common thing among Pagans to have an altar. Why is this?

I didn't have an altar for quite some time, and then suddenly one appeared without me realizing it. I noticed that the candles I used for ritual were always in the same spot, and if ever I had anything I wished to include in a ritual it was always put on the shelf next to my candles. Plus, it was before this spot that I stood to say a prayer (simply because the candle I would light was sat there). Therefore I would say that I have a rather practical altar. It hasn't been blessed or anything; I wouldn't necessarily regard it as 'sacred space'.

Do you have an altar? If so, what do you use it for? Do you view it as sacred?

Sin, Punishment and Redemption in your Religion?

Got this idea from the original hell-thread:

Is there any kind of sin, punishment and redemption in your religion or beliefs?

* Do you believe people can sin or violate the sacred? What would you call a sin or violation of the sacred?

* Do you believe in punishment by your God/s, Goddess/es, spirits, entities or powers for wrong doings?

* How are those punishments enacted in your opinion? Do they affect your present life or after life?

* Can the wrongdoer be redeemed? If, when does the punishment end?

* Is there any way to avoid punishment in the first place?

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Your Gods and Where You Live

I know that there has been a thread at some point discussing whether or not deities are tied to place, but I want to ask a more direct question:

If you moved across the country, to a different country, or even to a completely different continent, do you think you would still strongly feel the presence of your God(s)/Goddess(es)?

Why/ why not?

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Turned Around Witchcraft?

Are there any old traditions or customs that you use now that were once anti-craft and if so how did you change them around?

Hex signs were once used to ward off witches and witch bottles were meant to repel harmful spells. Times have changed. Now hex signs are supposed to be good luck for witches by warding off negative energy and I know of many who use witch bottles for just about everything from protection to love spells.

I was just curious as to how others use or feel about using certain customs in their work that were once used to ward off or protect against witches and witchcraft.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

What If Your Religious Beliefs Are Wrong?

It's one of those questions that always gets asked by people trying to convert - what if you're wrong.

This isn't an attempt to convert, just a thought-game. Take a good long look at your religious beliefs - and ask.

What if you're wrong? What would change? What wouldn't change? Can you accept the doubt, or is doubt the enemy?

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