Thursday, April 30, 2009

Powers of Seeds?

BERURIM, ISRAEL - FEBRUARY 13: A Hazera Geneti...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Does anyone know if the seeds of herbs hold any of the traits their parent plants do? I would assume that the whole plant would be stronger but then again, could the seed be considered a more concentrated form?

I don't think I've come across any of this in my reading. If you know of any sources please point me toward them if you wouldn't mind.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

How Do You Feel About Your Deity/ies?

Do you like them? Respect them? Dislike them? Love them?
Do you trust them or mistrust them?
Do you find them impressive? Scary? Cute? Cuddly? Crazed? Annoying? Do you adore them or laugh about them?

Or do you just consider them business partners without any personal feelings for them?

Do have very different feelings for several deities you work with? Or do you love them all the same?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Book Study: Trance-portation

Hello! This thread is an in-depth discussion of a book: Trance-portation by Diana Paxson. In order to keep this thread useful, we have a few specific guidelines.

1) This thread is focused on discussion of the book, and working through its exercises. Please take any side conversations that arise to another thread or to private message/email.

To keep conversation flowing and focused, we also ask that you limit brief messages (like one that just says "I agree") - these can make the thread much harder to read through later than more substantial posts.

2) You're welcome to just read along, or to post some of your experiences and thoughts - either is fine! (Posting a brief intro as part of your first post in the thread specific to your experience with trance work might be helpful, though.)

3) Take care of yourself.
We'll be talking about some appropriate precautions (both those mentioned in the book, and those various people have found useful in their own practices) throughout.

However, please be aware that this is a book discussion group, not an in-person training group. The amount of support we can give if you have difficulties is quite limited. If you have *any* concerns about your well-being, you should stop doing whatever's causing the problem, and seek out specific help.

4) Schedule:
We'll be aiming at a new chapter every 3-4 weeks, but may adjust slightly as we go along, based on how people post about the exercises.

Jenett will post a brief overview of each chapter. This will be followed by discussion - and as people get a chance to try the exercises, discussion of their exercises/experiences. If you want to experience the exercises without reading other people's experiences, we suggest you begin them within the first week of the chapter's discussion.

If you come across this thread after we've started discussion, we strongly encourage you to work through the earlier chapters first - trance-work is an area that builds on previous skills.

5) Organization:
Jenett's volunteered to make sure the conversation keeps moving, but she does not know everything.

Please chime in with other viewpoints, experiences, ideas, and so on (as long as they're related to the book, of course, to keep this thread tidy and useful.) Everyone is asked to remember that the experience of trance is a very personal one: people may have different experiences or approaches. Talking about where they come from and why they work is probably more useful (to everyone) than dismissing them.

Now, let's get started!

As suggested above, if you're interested in actively participating in this book study, or just planning to read this thread as it develops, please post a brief intro.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Mixing Religions?

How do you feel about mixing religions? Do you feel that something is lost when they are mixed or are they more powerful? How do major (or minor) world religions affect your path?

As I begin learning more and more about world religions, I find a lot of similarities and truths in them, but I can't except any of them wholesale. Thoughts?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Word 'Occult'

For many people outside the pagan umbrella the word 'occult' has darker associations to it than the word 'magic'. You know, Harry Potter visits a school of magic, not of 'occult studies'. But why is that? According to Wikipedia the word just refers to 'hidden' or 'secret' knowledge.

How do you use the word in pagan settings? How in non-pagan ones? If you practice magic or other arts considered to be occult do you see yourself as 'occultist'? Do you like/dislike the term?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Explaining what other people do...

:Image:Religious syms.png bitmap traced (and h...Image via Wikipedia

How do you explain to kids how others worship and believe in their religions? Have you had to do this? Was it successful or funny or horrid?

My 5 year old son is going to a magic show with a friend from school and it's in a church (I think it's to raise money for something). He's going with his friend's parents and they are fairly religious. I was getting him ready when it suddenly occurred to me, he's NEVER been in a church. We've been near churches and I had sort of told him about them, but only briefly. Today I had to do a little explanation and also give him some rules of how to act in a church (don't tear around like a ninny, or scream or knock things down). I told him that churches are where some people go to talk to their god, that they only have one god and that these are the same people that celebrate Christmas instead of Yule and have Easter later than us. I think he gets it, but I'm a bit concerned that he'll shock people by knowing nothing about it. Yikes! I don't care for myself, but I'm concerned that if the religious discussions come up (unlikely at a magic show) that he'll be confused or embarrassed.

Has anyone been through this?

Bile and Belenus

Beltane fire festival dancers, 2006Image via Wikipedia

I've been researching the Gaulish god Belenus since recently reading that the festival of Beltaine was named after him. In so doing I've run across a lot of information, some of which conflicts with things that I had read previously. For example, some sources seem to equate the god Bile with Belenus as though they're the same god, with Belenus being the Gaulish equivalent of the deity. Still other sources seem to differentiate between the two gods, with Belenus being treating as a solar deity (associated with Apollo by the Romans) while Bile is associated with the idea of sacred trees and/or The World Tree.

Can anyone recommend any resources that might aid in clarifying this issue? Or if anyone is familiar with this subject and would like to share their thoughts I would very much appreciate it.

I noticed that someone else started a thread about Danu/Anu and I was actually able to get some information about this subject from one of the links there. However, the relationship (if any) between Bile/Belenus is still unclear to me.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Do Muggles Really Exist?

Are there people who are unable to do magic -- not from lack of training or knowledge -- but from natural inability?

In the Harry Potter novels, "Muggles" are the large part of the human species who lack the ability to do magic. Even with training and knowledge, they would be unable to do magic. That's just fiction, of course.

Most of the modern books on magic I've read claim that magic is something anyone can do -- some claim even without any training, knowledge, or practice. But is this true? I can't carry a tune in a bucket. Other people can't see certain colors. Why couldn't there be people who simply cannot do magic? Do you think such people exist? Why or why not?

Badb, Macha, Morrigan, Anand?

Macha Curses the Men of UlsterImage via Wikipedia

n the Lebor Gabála Érenn it refers to Badb, Macha and Anand as the Paps of Anu.

"Badb and Macha and Anand, of whom are the Paps of Anu in Luachar were the three daughters of Ernmas the she-farmer."

Later it says that three daughters of Ernmas were Badb, Macha and Morrigu "whose name was Anand".

"Ernmas had other three daughters, Badb and Macha and Morrigu, whose name was Anand. Her three sons were Glon and Gaim and Coscar"

It goes on after to describe Badb, Macha and Morrigu-

"Badb and Macha, greatness of wealth, Morrigu--
springs of craftiness,
sources of bitter fighting
were the three daughters of Ernmas"

The Morrigan seems sometimes like three separate deities and other times like three aspects of one. This is a little confusing, but what's got me the most is reading that Anand was also the name for Morrigan and even more that She is associated with fertility and prosperity.

I'm going all over the place now . . . It's hard to say what I'm trying to say now that I'm writing it out Undecided

These are my two questions:

1. Is TM three deities or three aspects of one?

2. Anand is associatd with fertility, cattle and prosperity, so then is this also an aspect of the Morrigan leading more to a Goddess who deals with the entire cycle(both life, death and the time between)?

Maybe I mixed references or something went over my head here, but this is really sending my head spinning. Is it similar to Kali who at first seems like a deity of death and destruction but after reading more you find that she's associated with both creation and destruction?

Seperation of Genders?

I recently found myself involved in a set of separate men's and women's retreats. While turnout at the actual events was good, there was a lot of discussion leading up to the event about whether or not separating the genders was ok. Personally I think it's a very valid experience we don't often get in western cultures. Most of my spiritual workings are solitary or "co-ed", but every now and then I think the ladies and gents need some time apart.

I have a very eclectic religious perspective and come from a home where men and women are on a pretty even footing. I don't see either as inferior, and in this case I don't feel separation implies inequality. How do your background or religious beliefs affect how you feel on the subject?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Celtic Celebrations

n every religion it is important to celebrate. Joy is an emotion that is hard to quell once it has been generated, and in so doing, joy spreads through a community quickly and easily with very little effort at all. I think that one thing some pagans are notorious for is the parties: how we celebrate the seasons, various life passages, giving thanks.

Celtic paths, in particular, have some pretty fun traditions (some of them maybe too fun for more modest folk Wink), especially in the spring time, the time of growing, budding, mating, giving birth and general invigoration. New energy, exercise and activity all help to release good-feeling hormones and chemicals in the brain, biologically encouraging joy in the spring, and the warming and return of green to the earth can be a powerful metaphor for people, reminding them that you can't be without joy forever. All things come and go.

As some of you may know, I've been struggling with depression for a long time now. This week, however, was a good week. Maybe even a great week. There is a spark of joy in my heart that was ignited this week, and in the sunshine of the coming spring (already arrived spring?), the company of good friends, and a significant easing of burden and anxiety on my mind with regards to my future life, this joy is growing steadily and strong along with the leaves on the tree outside my window.

How do you show your joy? Is celebration an important part of your path, and do you share your celebration? How do you celebrate?

I tend to be fairly quiet in my celebrations, but that doesn't mean I don't find them important. By being mindful, aware and respectful, I think I try to celebrate my continued existence every day. It is often difficult to celebrate the fact that I am alive when I am deep in depression, but when I come out of one, the sense of joy is perhaps even more affecting and liberating, being born out of that deep sadness and momentary despair.

Celebration, to me, is all about mindfulness. It points out a significant time, makes you stop, and realize just how joyous life can be.

Workable Definition of Evil?

Evil. Is there a good explanation of what it is?

A lot of people have "This is Evil. This Isn't."

but do you have a workable definition for what evil is - in and of itself.

Is such a definition even valuable?

Finally Feeling It?

I finally feel like things are clicking into place. I have a morning meditation that feels good to me, I’m starting to feel direct pulls toward certain things and in general, I feel pretty content in my spirituality. I read pretty much anything I can get my hands on be it books or the internet. I actually feel like I was a bit obsessed for a while. It seemed the more I researched and the more I learned, the more I thirsted. It was as if I was dehydrated and I couldn’t quench my thirst but I was also spinning in circles.

For a long time I wasn’t feeling a connection to deity and I also wasn’t sure if I felt something when I cast a circle, but I went through the motions, tried altering thing and adjusting them, read more, adjusted more, meditated more, reached down deep inside of myself and I think yesterday things finally ‘clicked’. I don’t see anything when I cast a circle, but I’m hearing a very distinct buzzing white noise. In the morning when I heard it, I thought it was something in the house. Last night I heard it again and started thinking ‘maybe’, then today I did a ritual in the woods and I definitely heard it and felt it. I felt like I was in the middle of a soap bubble. The buzzing seemed to be the walls of the bubble. I’m also feeling a tingling in my finger tips.

I think 'feeling it' is something different for everyone, but has anyone else had an 'ahh moment' where they finally felt like things were clicking and that they were finally understanding why they were pulled toward their path? Most of what I'm reading and studying is Wicca (mostly because there is more info available on Wicca than any other Pagan 'religions'). But I don't think that's going to end up being my path. I'm staying open and I figure my path will become more clear the longer I travel.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Do You Cook Anything Special for Sabbats/Esbats?

I've been thinking of this for a while now. Is there anything you cook for each Sabbat and Esbat? Or do you have certain dishes for each one? Do you only make cookies, breads, or muffins for each holiday?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Three druidesses at Stonehenge on the morning ...Image via Wikipedia

I've read tons of over-romanticized fluff on OBODs site. They wrote alot about how druids were either bard, ovates, or druids, and talked about what each of them did in their respective clans. However, I feel like I've read mostly everything on it, and still have very little feeling for what a neo-druid actually is. As far as what I know now, reconstruction celts and neo-druids honor deities or deity figures, mark the holidays, and worship nature. I personally feel that celtic paganism is right for me, since I'm particularly drawn to my irish and scottish heritage. What exactly are the elements that gives a person to refer to themself as a druid? What does a druid do? What specific ancient practices does he or she follow? What do you think? Any books that could answer my question?

Wiccan Authors - Your recommended list?

Wiccans gather for a handfasting ceremony at A...Image via Wikipedia

Just looking for input on who you all feel are the best authors of Wiccan books out there. Who do you feel presents the most straightforward, accurate depictions of what Wicca should be like and how it should be practiced? Which authors leave out most of the "fluff" and get straight to how the religion should be properly practiced? I understand Silver RavenWolf is not one of these authors for various reasons. How about Buckland? Cunningham? Starhawk? Those are the top few I can think of offhand, other than Gardner of course.

Seems like everywhere I look, everyone has a different idea about Wicca. It's almost a turnoff seeing people get so caught up in how it is celebrated that they result in online flame-wars and the whole "if you don't do it THIS way, you're not a Wiccan." I suppose that drama comes with any religion, but I do see it more with Wicca for some reason. Any thoughts?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Celtic Beliefs: What Virtues Are At The Heart Of Your Path?

A photo of the Gundestrup cauldronImage via Wikipedia

We've talked about virtues, like Truth, Honor, Courage, Wisdom etc., in relation to the Nine Virtues of Asatru, and some similar virtues that some Celtic polytheists like to adopt in their own practice.

But what virtues are at the heart of your path? Are these virtues derived from a Celtic worldview (ie derived from mythology or lore?). or are these simply part of the moral compass you have always had? Have you ever actively tried to adopt a virtue? How?

Where do you fall on this Theist-Atheist scale?

Criticism of atheismImage via Wikipedia

Select the closest answer and feel free to explain it in a reply.

* Strong theist. 100 per cent probability that deity/deities exist. In the words of C.G. Jung, 'I do not believe, I know.'

* De facto theist. Very high probability but short of 100 per cent. 'I cannot know for certain, but I strongly believe in deity/deities and live my life on the assumption that deities exist.'

* Technically agnostic but leaning towards theism. Higher than 50 per cent but not very high. 'I am very uncertain, but I am inclined to believe in deities.'

* Completely impartial agnostic. Exactly 50 per cent. 'The existence and non-existence of deities are exactly equiprobable.'

* Technically agnostic but leaning towards atheism. Lower than 50 per cent but not very low. 'I do not know whether deities exist but I'm inclined to be skeptical.'

* De facto atheist. Very low probability, but short of zero. 'I cannot know for certain but I think deities are very improbable, and I live my life on the assumption that none exist.'

* Strong atheist. 'I know there are no Gods, with the same conviction as Jung "knows" there is one.'

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Cookbook Thread

As many of our long-term members know, one of TC's most memorable flounces turned into a discussion about cookbooks halfway down the fourth page of the thread. Since we have so many new and lost members since December of 2005 (and since no thread like it exists on the current incarnation of TC), I thought it was about time for another cookbook discussion on TC.

How many cookbooks do you own? Which ones are your favorites and why? How many (on average) recipes do you use from those books? Let's say somebody doesn't know the first thing about cooking. What books would you recommend to them? Which books would you recommend everyone to have regardless of how experienced they are?

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Minor Gods/Goddesses?

Have any of you had experiences with so called 'minor' Gods or Goddesses? By 'minor', I mean ones that don't have many myths involving them, ones that didn't have a huge place in their respective religions/mythologies, etc.

I've been having experiences with a so-called 'minor' God for a while now - Thanatos. I've always had an interest in Him, and it's waned on and off throughout the years, but it's seemed to be stronger lately. I've done as much research as I can, and not much has turned up.

I've always been interested in mythology, especially Greek and Roman. I took Latin back in public school because of this interest.

Thanatos has popped up in various ways in my life, most recently in a dream a few days ago that got me asking about this here. The dream was very obvious - I was dreaming that I was doing a pathworking (something I have not yet been able to accomplish due to the lack of quiet places in my house) and that I received a sign from Thanatos. I don't remember what the sign was.

About a year ago I was interested in the video game Persona 3, which features Thanatos as a character. I stumbled across a stuffed animal of Thanatos as he appears in that game on Ebay, and on impulse I decided to buy it. I brought the stuffed animal with me on a plane trip I took, and for the last leg of the trip we were on a very loud plane that took many sharp turns and encountered a lot of turbulence. I remember grabbing the stuffed animal from my bag and thinking that it would protect me... now that I look back on that, it seems to have a lot more significance than I thought it did at the time.

So, anyways - does anyone have a minor God or Goddess that is important to them? How do you go about forming a relationship with Them when there is such little information available?

Teen Place Board Now Teen Pagans SIG

The Cauldron's Teen Place board has been renamed the Teen Pagans SIG and moved to the Special Interest Groups category of our message board. The Teen Pagan SIG's board is the place to discuss teen concerns (school, love, life, parents, religion etc.) on The Cauldron with your fellow teens and teen-friendly adults.

New Special Interest Group: Home and Garden SIG

The Cauldron has a new Special Interest Group: the Home and Garden SIG. This SIG is the place to discuss your garden, your home, home projects and repairs, your lawn, etc. This SIG was formerly a board in the Full Members only section of The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum's message board. As a SIG, it is now open to all members.

New Special Interest Group: Gaming SIG

The Cauldron has a new Special Interest Group: the Gaming SIG. This SIG is for members who enjoy playing games: board games, card games, role-playing games, computer games, online games, etc. If you can play it, it can be discussed here. This SIG was formerly a board in the Full Members only section of The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum's message board. As a SIG, it is now open to all members.

New Special Interest Group: Divination SIG

The Cauldron has a new Special Interest Group: the Divination SIG. This SIG is for members interested in the Divinatory Arts: Astrology, Tarot, Numerology, Scrying, Runes, Geomancy and other forms of divination. This SIG was formerly a board in the Full Members only section of The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum's message board. As a SIG, it is now open to all members.

New Special Interest Group: Cooking SIG

The Cauldron has a new Special Interest Group: the Cooking SIG. Like to Eat? Like to Cook? The Cooking SIG is the place to discuss cooking (and eating). This SIG was formerly a board in the Full Members only section of The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum's message board. As a SIG, it is now open to all members.

New Special Interest Group: Pagan Parents

The Cauldron has a new Special Interest Group: Pagan Parents. This SIG is a place for Pagan parents and soon to be Pagan parents to discuss child-rearing issues and bringing up child in a Pagan religion.. This SIG is open to all members of The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum's message board.

New Special Interest Group: College Pagans

The Cauldron has a new Special Interest Group: College Pagans. This SIG is focused the special issues and needs of Pagans attending college -- everything from acceptance of Pagans on campus, forming Pagan groups at college, to the mundane issues of college life and learning. If you are Pagan and attending college -- whether you are 18 or 81 -- this special interest group is aimed at you. This SIG is open to all members of The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum's message board.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Chavi Memorial Chronic Illness SIG Now Open

In honor of Chavi, The Cauldron has opened the Chavi Memorial Chronic Illness SIG -- a message board for where those Pagans suffering from severe illnesses, chronic illnesses, chronic pain and other long term medical problems (or who are caretakers, friends, or family of a person so suffering -- Pagan or not) can post about their problems in a supportive environment. The Prayer and Energy Requests board is still the place to post prayer and energy requests, the new forum is for more long term discussion and support.

We've moved Lyric's Cancer Update thread to the new SIG. If you have a serious/chronic illness that you have been discussing in another thread, we can move the thread to the new SIG for you -- or you can start a new thread there. Everyone is welcome to read the board and participate in discussions in a supportive manner.

What Would You Like To See Happening in the Reformed Celtic Polytheism SIG?

Hey ya'll, ever since I agreed to lead the Reformed Celtic Polytheism SIG I feel like I haven't been around that much. Real life, depression and the last semester of my college career can, I guess, take up a lot of time and energy.

I'm happy there are new topics popping up here and there occasionally; I think there are some great discussions happening.

That said, I need ya'lls opinion. I'd like to start making this SIG a more active place again, but frankly, I'm a little uncertain as to how to do that. So I turn to you guys.

What would ya'll like to see here in the SIG to make things more active/interesting to you? Are you interested in trying to return to the core planning and decision making of RCR? Are you interested in weekly topics (such as Juni started)? What kind of suggestions, projects, ideas, anything, if any, do ya'll have for trying to boost this SIG up a little?

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