Monday, August 31, 2009

Human Values

We talk sometimes about values. What we value, who we value, etc.

But looking honestly at your own life - what do you value in other people? Not as relationship prospects necessarily - but what to you makes someone worth emulating? Worth idol worship? Is it money? beauty? Intelligence? Who ranks higher to you - George Clooney or Stephen Hawking, and why?

What truly matters? And why?

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Creating or Discovering New Gods and Goddesses?

I haven't read much on the subject but lately I've become very curious.

Do you believe we create the gods or discover them?

Are there gods out there still waiting to be discovered?

How valid are newly discovered/created gods?

What are the drawbacks to worshiping a more recently discovered/newly created god?

Do newly created/more recently discovered gods have a lesser status than established deities?

And any other input you have on the topic would be greatly appreciated.

Friday, August 28, 2009


How does your path view lying, or deception in general (eg omissions, innuendoes, intentional ambiguities, etc)? Is it a strictly moral matter, or does it have spiritual (or even magical) repercussions? Does it make a difference what kind of lie it is, or with what intention you tell the lie, or what the lie's about, or any other circumstances? Does it make a difference if, at the time, you think it's the truth - or does the lie itself have an impact regardless?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Embarrassing Ritual Moments

So has anyone ever had any embarrassing and/or not-so-great ritual moments, or had a ritual where something just went horribly wrong (you set something on fire, got sick at an inopportune time, etc.)

I haven't been practicing long enough for anything too unusual to have happened to me, but this year I had an allergic reaction to my hair cream just before Beltane, and so I had to take medications that ended up making me feel really drowsy. I did the ritual hyped up on my meds and don't really remember much of it, other than that I was so tired I could barely concentrate. And then there was that time in the sweat lodge when it was my first time as ceremony leader and I put waaay too much water on the rocks and some of my fellow attendees barely made it through the ceremony...

I'm sure someone out there has a much more embarrassing ritual moment than that!

To Curse or Not to Curse

The primary purpose of this thread is to start a discussion. I am interested in opinions on whether or not curses are acceptable and under what circumstances? Is experience with curses important to a practitioner of magic, or are they forbidden? Do you find them useful for understanding the way magic works? Are they a legitimate action to be taken to achieve one's goals?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Anyone with big festival experience (50+ people)?

A group of meetup organizers, myself included, are planning on a big regional festival of at least 50 people for either Summer Solstice or Lughnassadh in the San Francisco Bay Area that is tentatively going to take place over three days. One thing we're going to do for this one is not just include ritual, discussion, meditation, and workshops but are going to make the main event be a series of games, sports, arts, crafts, and bardic competitions. Tentatively the plan is for the first day to be introduction, arrival, and opening ritual, second day will be when we hold the events, third day is closing ritual and cleanup.

If anyone has any suggestions on running a big event, publicity, organization, any red tape to be aware of, as well as any suggestions for games, sports, and other events post 'em if you got 'em please.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Take the Belief-O-Matic Quiz and Post/Discuss Your Results

It's been a long time since we did the Belief-O-Matic on The Cauldron, so it is probably time to do it again. Take the Belief-O-Matic at

and report you results in this thread. Remember to pick the answer that BEST fits your beliefs for each question -- even if there is no answer that perfectly fits. Remember that answers with OR in them treat all alternatives equally. Also remember to rank the importance of each question to your beliefs (High, Medium, or Low). The results are always interesting, although not always perfectly accurate.

The result will be a list with the faith group represents the faith that Belief-O-Matic thinks most closely matches your beliefs. However, even a score of 100% does not mean that your views are all shared by that faith, or vice versa. !00% really just seems to mean that it is the faith group that most closely matches your answers. Belief-O-Matic then lists another 26 faiths in order of how much they have in common with your professed beliefs. The higher a faith appears on this list, the more closely it aligns with your thinking.

Paste your result list into this thread. Feel free to comment on it too.

Psychic Powers?

Psychic ReadingsImage by A.Currell via Flickr

I have some trouble believing in them but I will try and approach this subject with an open mind. I would like to know some things and would appreciate your views on the subject.

1) how is it possible to predict the future if we all have free will?

2) what's the point of choice if it's all predetermined.

3) considering the other two questions, how does tarot work?

random questions i don't know if I should post them with this thread but I don't want to spam and over post.

3) I read somewhere (can't remember where) that some people have powers that others don't that they are born with and I was wondering if I have this. When I was a kid I always knew where I was. let me explain I sort of saw a map in mind to where I was to where I had been. I can't tell the cardinal directions or remember street names, but I very rarely get lost if I have been somewhere before. Also when I went to France in high school I was able to find my way without having there before. I don't know if this is what that person was talking about but I was wondering about that, does anybody else have that ability?

What is drawing down the moon and drawing down the sun?

Green pentagram (one point up); SVG.Image via Wikipedia

So I've been reading the Witches Bible by the Farrars and they talk about Drawing down the moon and the sun. What are these rituals about? They don't go into too much detail and I was hoping you all, could further explain it to me. From what I've read it's and excuse me if I get it wrong, drawing down the God and Goddess into the body of a human directly? What is the purpose of the doing this? Can you converse with them? Do they let you once they are inside someone? Is that the point of the ritual? Personally, I feel this is WAY to advanced for me but I would just like some clarification on the matter. And to vent that the invoking pentacle is wrong in the book, it's supposed to point up not down to invoke it. At least that's what all of my research suggests.

Why they keep putting wrong info into the books is still a mystery to me. Personally, I know that if you do a banishing pentagram nothing will happen but sometimes I feel it's a little risky to be sending newbies out there with half a deck of cards, ya know.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Kemeticism and Sacrifice

I'm curious whether or not animal sacrifice was common in Egypt as a religious practice. In ancient Greece it was definitely a common aspect of public religion to sacrifice an animal to a deity and for the community to eat the meat and burn the bones and fat to the deity. I've seen some references to animal sacrifice in ancient Egypt, but I haven't been able to find out whether it was a common aspect of ancient Egyptian religion.

I know they honoured their gods in temples in ancient Egypt, and gift offerings and prayers were given to deities, and the priests maintained the cult image similar to how the Hindus still do for their gods, but I haven't seen animal sacrifice emphasized as a major part of ancient Egyptian worship. If someone could explain to me the role of animal sacrifice in ancient Egyptian religion, or paoint me in the right direction, I would appreciate it.

Marilyn is Now an Assistant Message Board Coordinator

Marilyn (ABSENTMINDED) has moved from Staff to Senior Staff and now joins Shadow as an Assistant Message Board Coordinator. I'll like to than her for accepting this new job and all the additional volunteer work that goes with it.

TC's senior message board Staff now include:

Message Board Coordinator: Star
Assistant Message Board Coordinators: Shadow, Marilyn

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Interfaith Friendships

What are your experiences with interfaith friendships? Have you had very many? Do you have meaningful discussions, or do you try to avoid the topic of religion/spirituality? Do you ever do anything of a spiritual nature together together, and if so, whose tradition do you follow?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

"Apollonian" vs. "Dionysian"

Apollonian and Dionysian are the first sort of terms I heard of for this concept, but perhaps there are others. Basically it is the pull between logic/reason and passion/wildness. I studied this theme a lot in a literature course last semester, and I'm reading Steven Pressfield's Last of the Amazons now, which is *very* centered around this too. The more religious nature of the Pressfield's story has me thinking about it more in terms of spirituality.

I like to think I balance the Apollonian and Dionysian sides of myself in my life and religion. But in reality I find myself overwhelmingly Apollonian, to my dismay. In Last of the Amazons (I'm about halfway through), I really sympathize with the Amazons as they face the loss of their way of life to the democratic perspective of Athens. It's kind of the same thing with the Native Americans and the settlers (kind of). I identify with the Dionysian so much, but in actuality it frightens me. I fear the loss of control that comes along with that side of life, so I shirk from it. It's quite hard for me to actually let loose and let my hair down. I'm hyper self-conscious a lot of the time.

What side do you more lean towards, in your everyday life and then in your religion? Is it ever a struggle? Do you think this is an important or useful concept?

Crystal Properties

Assuming youhave a completely new crystal; how would you identify what its good for?

Are there any "clues" you would look for in determining what a stone is useful for, even if you are uncertain of its exact type?

What has magick done for you?

This design for an amulet comes from the Black...Image via Wikipedia

I'm not a pagan or a magician, though I do feel a strong pull towards the art. I've been researching lightly for the last year or so. I've procured many grimoires and well written treaties expounding the art, and I'm leaning heavily towards ceremonial magick with a slight pagan vibe. I intend to start with basic ceremonies very shortly while I continue to research and better understand the direction I would like to proceed.

Now, my question to you experienced navigators of the path on which I will soon embark is this:

- How has magick impacted your life?
• Have you achieved practical material results with magick?
• In what ways has magick helped shape the evolution of your spiritual life?

I'm simply interested in hearing stories of how this art has influenced and shaped the lives of others, and I'm very excited about taking my first baby steps in my own journey. I appreciate and eagerly await your responses!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

New Article System Added

While The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum uses TinyPortal and it has an article system that members can use, Tinyportal's article system is so confusing and complex that I'm about the only person who ever uses it. This sort of defeats the purpose of having an article system.

In the interest of getting more of our members to submit articles for our web site, I've added the SMF Article mod to the board software. (see the Article button in the blue menu bar on this forum). This system is much easier to use. Typing and submitting an article for the Article section is now not much different than posting a message. The editor is a slight variant of the standard message editor and uses standard SMF BBCode (not html). So if you can post a message on the board, you can post an article in the Article system.

Articles from basic and regular members will not appear until approved (to prevent spammers from posting spam). Articles posted by Companion and Full members will be autoapproved when posted.

Please remember that the article system is for standalone articles like you would find in a magazine -- if you want discussion, you need to post a regular message on the message board. Also remember that all articles you submit MUST BE YOUR OWN WORK. Do Not submit material you find elsewhere on the web as an article -- with or without permission from the copyright holder. (Note: Staff members and Article Editors may be authorized by the Hosts to post articles written by others.)

More article categories will be added as needed. If you do not see an appropriate Category for your article, post it to the "Uncategorized" Category.

All articles submitted are subject to editing by Cauldron Staff and/or appointed Article Editors. If you do not want your article edited or changed in any way, please DO NOT submit it. Submitting an article subjects the article to our standard rules on submissions in Cauldron Community Rules and Policies:


By posting content to The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum's message board or other community areas (or by submitting material directly by email or other means for the Cauldron's web site or newsletter), you are irrevocably authorizing the royalty-free use of that content (or edited material taken from that content) in The Cauldron's web sites, community areas, newsletters, mailing lists, announcement areas, blogs, ebooks, and other online venues.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Three Form Deities That Predate Christianity?

I was wondering if there are any examples of three form deities that predate Christianity.

Am I right in thinking that three form goddesses such as the Morrigan and sometimes Brigid existed before the Christianization of the Celtic peoples?

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Making a Wand vs Buying a Wand

finds from the grave of a pagan priestess on Ö...Image via Wikipedia

Just wondering for those of you out there who have a wand, did you make it yourself of did you buy it? I have seen some really nice wands out there for sale but when i've picked them up I wasn't really 'feelin it' if you know what I mean, sort of like our energies didn't gel.

I have been thinking about making my own wand, I am very drawn to Willow, always have been. Now, to obtain a suitable piece of willow I understand first I must seek the trees permission and always thank the tree for letting me take the wood, but do I have to take a piece from the ground which has already fallen or is it ok for me to take it from one of the trees branches?

Once I have got the wood for my wand do I have to do anything in particular with it to make it a wand or can I use it as it is?

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Questions about Deities, Rituals, and Adherence (Wiccan)

When reading the book I got on Wicca, it told me a lot, but left more questions than were answered (Ah life, how you love to taunt people's thirst for knowledge). So I have a few questions. Please bear in mind that I was raised a Christian Catholic, so my knowledge about that religion and how it is structured will greatly impact how I understand. Also, I have a few disorders (Aspergers causing the most troubles), so if I don't understand right away, try wording it differently

I don't quite understand how the God and Goddess concept works. I get that they are considered in a yin and yang way and how one can have a personal relationship with them, but the book didn't explain their relationship with humans in general nor what their power exactly entails

When I think of a deity belonging to a monotheistic religion (for all intents and purposes, I am grouping Wicca in with that, despite it being a duotheistic (spelling?) religion when one only considers the God and Goddess, since two deities is a far cry from the many deities polytheistic religions and old cultures have), I think of an all powerful, all knowing being who can change the very fabric of reality with a single thought. Is this the same with the God and Goddess of Wicca, or are their powers more limited?

Are they known to get involved in human affairs often, or more or less just provide spiritual strength when asked? If they are all knowing, how does that exactly work with Free Will? (Christianity never exactly explained that, giving it one of the many strikes that eventually drove me away. After all, if you know all, then you also know the future, which means all actions are predetermined, in which case, why would a Hell even exist if we can't control what we do?) How do they view evil? If they are all good and have set views on what is evil and what is good, then why would they allow evil?

As for rituals, does one have to follow them to the letter, or is variance (and I mean more drastic variance, not, "Oh, that is allowed to be two inches shorter/oh, you can do that alone/in a group," style variance) allowed? If variance is allowed, how much is allowed? (E.G. is a circle needed for ones where, when talking about the ritual letter for letter, it says to prepare one? things like that) Also, how does one exactly FIND spells?

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