Tuesday, June 30, 2009

That tricky word "Kemeticism"

I have heard a lot of controversy surrounding this word.

I have heard that it is used specifically by groups who believe that white people should not explore this tradition.

I have also heard that that it is used by people who have left HoN to distinguish themselves from Kemetic orthodoxy.

It seems like there is a lot of baggage connected with the word. To me, the word simply makes sense. If one is Catholic, then one practices Catholicism. So doesn't it naturally follow that if one is Kemetic, one practices Kemeticism?

Despite the fact that the use of the word seems to be just plain proper English, I am find myself concerned about the connotations. I tend to describe myself as a "Kemetic Pagan", or tell people that I am on a "Kemetic Path", rather than use the word "Kemeticism". I'd prefer not to cause drama by inadvertently implying something I did not intend. At the same time, I'm wondering if I'm making too much effort, walking on eggshells to do this when I should just be calling my path what it is.

What do you all think? Is the word "Kemeticism" too hot to handle?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Moving Meditation, Exercise, etc?

I am one of those people who cannot meditate without having something to think about. I can't turn my brain off; it will get distracted by even the slightest change in environment. I recently spent several months working in a very remote area that was also exceedingly quiet--during the day, I could rest assured knowing there was not another human being within a 5-mile radius, most of the time even more. I would try to meditate sometimes, when it wasn't too hot and the wind was still, and it was the quietest place you could possibly conceive of--yet I'd still get distracted, if not by my own thoughts (and I was extremely un-stressed then), then by the extremely faint sound of a rare car on the highway 7 miles away, or a slight change in air pressure. Needless to say, since I normally live in a large city, tuning out all senses is pretty difficult and I have a hard time meditating. Yoga classes are kind of a wash for me; I stare at the floor and think about the floorboards too much during the meditations.

Anyway, I do exercise a lot. Some of it requires a fair amount of concentration (bike commuting, f'ex) but when I'm at the gym, I can get into a good rhythm on the treadmill or cross-trainer, put on some music, close my eyes, and completely zone out--and after a while I get a hit of endorphins, so happy times, it's a bit of an ecstatic state, but I don't know what to do with it. I think it has something to do with the rhythmic motion, though, as the other times I've reached the same state have either been when I'm dancing or singing.

So I guess I'm asking, does anyone do any kind of meditation while moving or immediately afterward? What do you focus on? Suggestions for resources? Similar experiences? Any thoughts are welcome.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Pentacle = Wicca? (Or, The Wearing Of Symbols)

Another pentagram from Agrippa's book. This on...Image via Wikipedia

I tend to think of the pentacle as a symbol with a rich history and many meanings. I don't exactly go around dripping with occult jewelry, but I do own a few pieces which are pentacular in nature. I personally associate it with witchcraft and magick and certain old philosophical systems.

But the pentagram-in-circle is also claimed by Wiccans as a somewhat "official" religious symbol. I'm neither Wiccan nor particularly Wiccish, but if wearing a pentacle have sometimes been assumed to be.

I'm curious as to how others in the Pagan community (however one chooses to define that vague term) tend to see it. If you see someone wearing a pentacle, do you assume "Wiccan"? If you're an unWiccish sort, do you ever wear one?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

How Do You Regain Your Faith?

This is a problem I have always struggled with and have yet to find a solution. Does anyone have any suggestions on what I can do to become a more spiritual and grounded person? Thanks in advance.

God-Bothered? Completely Overwhelmed Beginner... Dedication?

{{Information Louvre |artist=Unknown |descript...Image via Wikipedia

I've had a very interesting life when it comes to religion. It seems to chase me. As in, I was raised secularly, and was an atheist...until I had an incredibly powerful experience that led me to believe in some sort of Higher Power. That's how everything seems to work for me...I try to go about living my life how I want to, when suddenly something new will pop into my face. Such as dreaming of angels when I didn't really believe in them, to the point where I started getting hassled by them even when I was awake.

And now I'm getting hassled by a god. I didn't even really believe gods and goddesses existed...but yet again it seems someone's just out to prove me wrong.

The thing is, it's been hard for me dealing with this. Very hard. And the other day something about a "dedication" was mentioned, but not explained. I feel so lost and overwhelmed. My friends told me I'm "god-bothered", and I'm beginning to realize it's futile to try and keep ignoring things. But I don't know what all this dedication would entail, and the last thing I want to do is anger a god.

Is there anyone else here who kinda got pushed or hassled into paganism? Any tips? Thank you guys!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Why Can't You Perform a Spell on a Sabbat?

Why can't you perform a spell on a Sabbat? Litha is coming up and some sites suggest it is a good time to do this or that kinda magic but others say you are not allowed to perform magic on a Sabbat. But every book I've ever read has some form of magic performed. Not really a spell but for instance Ann Moura for Ostara she has you plant a seed and wish on it for a purpose and it's supposed to grow and manifest your wish...kinda a spell but not?? So is that a spell? Can you do magical workings on a Sabbat but just not formalized spell work? or neither?

Best Solstice Wishes

SALISBURY, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 21:  People w...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

It'll soon be summer solstice here in the Northern Hemisphere, and for those of you who, like me, observe it, I'm sending my best wishes now, since I'll be outdoors all day on June 21 without access to a computer. Same to any of you Southern Hemisphere folks observing the winter solstice.

And speaking of being outdoors all day, keep your fingers crossed for me that, here in the northeastern U.S., in this exceedingly wet June, the 21st will be rain-free!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Does Your Faith Affect How You Grieve?

A painting of God watching as an angel and a d...Image via Wikipedia

As those of you who saw my post over on the Prayer and Energy Requests board, a classmate of mine went missing in the Housatonic River on Tuesday. We've been trying to hold out hope, but it rained today and will most likely continue to rain through the weekend, which means they can't get search teams out into the river to look for him. Most of us have started to accept the fact that he... I can't bring myself to even type it, but I think you know what I'm getting at.

This caused me to start thinking about the grieving process. Everybody handles death differently, but does your faith cause you grieve in a certain way? Meaning, do you accept the person's death easier because you know they'll be going to a better place? If you don't believe in an afterlife, do you find it harder to accept that they're gone? Do you pray for their soul or not? Or do you not associate religion with it at all and handle it in a completely unique way?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Current TCN Closing -- New NING TCN Opening

Beware of Ning friend requestsImage by Wesley Fryer via Flickr

The current version of TCN: The Cauldron Network is being replaced by a new TCN. The old version on Kickapps has been somewhat popular, but it has turned out to have a couple of major disadvantages:

1) I selected it as a place to store member pictures, not as a social network. It's a great place to store pictures, but it is not much as a social Network.

2) It has become a spam magnet over the last couple of months with random Spammers creating profiles to link spam their web sites. I have been deleting an average of three spam accounts a day there -- and have probably missed some.

The new TCN is set up on Ning and is much more like what you are expected if you were expecting a social network. The members who tried the beta love it. It is a closed network. When you sign up, you will have to give your TC membername and a staff member will have to approve your membership before you can do anything but look around. This will stop the spammers in their tracks.

You can reach the new TCN at http://ecauldron.ning.com/ -- it will replace the link to TCN on the menu bar in the next day or so. The old TCN will remain available (at a new link to be posted here) for a week or two so members can grab anything off of it they wish to. It is closed to new members as of now, but the new TCN is open now at:


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sex & Pagan Faiths

Luxury & decadence: Life on the roman gold coa...Image by Pim Fijneman via Flickr

I was just wondering how certain sexual issues sit with the different pagan religions and faiths. Growing up around Christians and Catholics, I know their takes on almost every issue(who doesn't?), but I'm curious to know how sex and gender fit into other practices.

If you want to answer what the "general pagan community" feels like or more specifically to your own faith, I'm interested to hear your responses. And please take this seriously. I'm not a creep, a pervert or a joker, but I am curious about these things, because I'm new to the pagan community and I really don't know.

How does your religion view:

I. Casual Sex.

II. Gender Roles.

III. Homosexuality.


I look forward to hearing from everyone.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Robert Cochrane Letters

Has anyone heard of _The Robert Cochrane Letters_? I read a prayer from the book and thought it was really beautiful. I'd like ya'lls opinion before I shell out the bucks Smiley

Here's the website link: http://www.cyberwitch.com/bowers/

Monday, June 15, 2009

Wicca and Witchcraft are NOT the same thing...

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

I'm just cruising around on the web reading various things, and I keep seeing the terms "Wicca" and "witchcraft" being used interchangeably. IT DRIVES ME NUTS. And "Witchcraft" being referred to as a religion, even so far as to call Wicca a DENOMINATION of the RELIGION of witchcraft. Are you freaking kidding me??? Personally, the two are very separate paths. Witchcraft is not a religion, its a magickal art that may or may not include religion depending on the practitioner. Wicca, is a religion, and may or may not include a magickal practice. Again, depending on the practitioner. *sigh* I just want to take a 2x4 to some of these people who start websites dedicated to this topic and feed people bad information.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Human Nature?

What is Human Nature? I see many claims made about it, both positive and negative (e.g. resentment, rationality, capacity for love, etc.), but rarely a clear explanation of why or how something is universally a component of the homo sapien makeup. Part of this is probably that I parse 'xyz is just human nature' as 'all homo sapiens share quality xyz (to some degree).

My question is what makes something 'human nature'? What sort of things are included and why? Does saying that something is human nature mean that all humans exhibit it? Are those that don't in some way abnormal? (I'm sure you get the drift.)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The "when and why" of magick?

The Realms of Magick in SE9Image by John.P. via Flickr

In wandering through this section, I noticed a recent post in which someone who was looking for a magickal "fix" for a problem got upset when responders also suggested some non-magickal ways of dealing with it.

This got me thinking that, as we grow in our own practice, we also begin to gradually evolve our own ways of deciding when to use magickal means to get something done, when to use mundane means, and when to use both.

I've seen similar issues pop up on many other sites and in many other contexts. Sometimes it's just a "Why won't you just give me what I asked for!!??" tantrum. But it also occurs because notions of what magic is for, and how it works, differ greatly from questioner to responder. And this is something newcomers generally have to struggle with on their own. While it seems like most beginners' resources (good or bad) make at least some mention of the moral issue of using magick on a particular problem, few of them address the pragmatic issues of when and where magick is likely to be an effective approach to that problem.

I'm sure this subject gets touched upon constantly over at the advanced discussion board, in the back-and-forth of regular conversation. But I'm wondering if this board might also be a good place for a little specific discussion-and-sharing of how we find our way around these kinds of questions. Such as:

Do you have a "practical philosophy" of when to use magick, or to recommend that someone else use magick, versus focusing on taking action in the mundane world?

Do you see magick as being separate from mundane action, or as being inextricably intertwined with our everyday actions and decisions?

Do you see a danger in depending on magick to address any particular type of issue, to the exclusion of mundane action (say, for a problem involving health, personal safety, or relationships)?

How do you figure out where your own most effective and useful sphere of magickal practice lies? Do you feel that this varies from person to person?

And so forth.

Monday, June 08, 2009

What Would You Ask Your God/dess?

If you had the opportunity to stand before your God/dess and ask one question, what would you ask?

How do you find time for Spirituality?

The Passage of TimeImage by ToniVC via Flickr

I am active duty military, married and have a 2 year old. We're up at 5am, and are winding down around 8pm. Its very difficult to find time for what I would LIKE to do in a daily practice. So far, I'm good if I get to do my mediation, book reading, journaling and nightly ritual maybe 3x a week. Those of you with crazy schedules, how do you fit your spirituality into your daily routine?

Dealing with Resentment

I've been thinking about resentment lately, and realized that I have a fairly good running tally of everything I resent about most people I know. I don't let it go...I remember it as evidence of behavior patterns. It doesn't make me happy. I have recently started looking toward my faith as a way to deal with this resentment and nudge me towards forgiveness.

How does your your faith help you deal with your own resentments? Is the model of a specific deity helpful to you? An aspect of the life philosophy of your faith? The ever present other?

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Newt Gingrich: Americans "Are Surrounded By Paganism"

ROFL...I saw a couple of pieces on this yesterday, but nothing I really wanted to post. Steve Benen from The Washington Monthly and Michael Stickings over on The Reaction have put it in perspective. I think the last time the pagans got noteworthy political mention was from Falwell right after 9/11.


Newt Gingrich, pagan hypocrite

Playing music during candle magick?

I read that it is bad to play any music while a charged candle is burning, because it takes away from the energy of the spell. However, I find that playing music while the candle is burning brings a wonderful energy to the room and, if anything, would help the spell.

Your thoughts and opinions?

Ways to get rid of negative energies without using blessings?

Because I do not believe in deities, I do not care to bless my tools before performing magick. However, I do fear that bad energies may work their way into my spells and make the spells go wrong.

Is there any rituals or things I could do, such as burning a certain herb, that could banish negative energies, without having anything to do with blessings from deities?

Monday, June 01, 2009

Your Balance of Elements

EpworthImage via Wikipedia

I've recently had some spirit journeys suggesting that I should connect more with the element water. Fire seems to be dominant in my psyche, so I'm looking for ways to balance them out.

Does anyone else feel that specific elements are dominant and others are neglected/repressed?
Does anyone work to connect more to an element you have neglected?
Has anyone found a way to a balance of elements?
Or do you think one should rather be focused on one element than have a balance?

Any practical suggestions to connect to elements you neglect?

Do You Know?

What does it mean to say that you know something? How do you know? What can you know?

(Let's start minimalist and see where we get. I can always add examples and other questions if needed.)

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