Saturday, May 29, 2010

Your definition of Faith

The point I want to make with this topic is what YOUR definition of faith is. People can use the word "faith" differently.

The usages include:

-Trusting in the outcome of something.
-Faith being defined as religion, as in "Many people have different faiths".
-Trusting that a certain deity

That's all I can really think of at the moment, but I'm sure you guys have different thoughts and definitions about it. Smiley

So what do you think faith is?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Initiation/Coming-of-Age Rituals: Advice, Experiences?

Recently reading a book by Bill Plotkin called Soulcraft (in which he explores various methods of and reasons for wilderness initiatory experiences for adults) got me thinking about my partner's oldest daughter (currently 11 yrs old) and what kind of coming-of-age ceremony might help introduce her in a meaningful and healthful way into adulthood. Plotkin talks somewhat regretfully of how our culture lacks supportive environments for young people going through appropriate initiatory experiences as they enter puberty/adolescence, and it struck me that I have sometimes heard Pagans make reference to holding such ceremonies for their children. My partner's daughter may still be several years away from such a transition herself, but in the meantime I would like to do some research and perhaps build a good set of tools and practical techniques that could be useful for such a ceremony.

So I was wondering if any Pagan parents here at TC have had any experiences with such rituals or ceremonies, and if they have, would they be willing to share ideas or advice? I have heard, only briefly, about rituals that focus on "first blood" and concepts of womanhood, as well as ceremonies more akin to "vision quests" where young people are expected to utilize their own skills and inner resources to find "their own truth" and/or perhaps ask for a new name. For anyone who has done this sort of thing, what was the experience like for you and for the child, what went right, what didn't, what was unexpected? What other techniques or rituals did you utilize (or have seen or heard about from others)?

Why is the Correllian Nativist Tradition so Unpopular?

I know I'm making a rather general statement here, and I am sure there are many people who do highly respect the Tradition, though I have noticed that quite a few people are opposed to the Tradition or see them as "fluffy". I have sent an application to join the Outer Court of the Correllian Tradition, and personally see nothing wrong with them. I have been looking into the Tradition since I first became a Pagan (a little over a year ago) and would be honoured to call myself a part of the Tradition. From what I've read some people are skeptical of their claims of being founded in the 18th century, as well as the fact that they call themselves Wiccan (they are not British Traditional Wicca, nor did they branch of from BTW). What do you think?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Characteristics of a Religious Mentor?

What do you think would be the best characteristics of a religious mentor...kind? asking good questions? occasionally butt-kicking?

I'm especially interested in hearing from those of you that have had mentors. Were these successful relationships? Why or why not?

Magical/Psychic Powers/Abilities and Meds

I was just browsing The Society Of Inner Light's website and the part about membership, just out of random interest and it had a small stipulation of membership which got me thinking. It says on the site "You should not have any addiction problems or be on a course of medically prescribed drugs that could affect your psychic or mental faculties."

Personally I'm not sure what I make of this, as in all honesty it's never been something to cross my mind until now and basicly it's got me thinking and I was wondering if anyone else has any theories or expierences of medication effecting your abilities or powers or whatever you wish to call it.

To me at least, it doesn't sound unfeasible that say taking anti-depressants could affect your psychic/magical abilities, but I'm willing to accept it could be a load of rubbish!

What do you think makes Someone a Witch?

"Witch" is such a tricky word, isn't it? I find that it, like "pagan" is so widely used with so many variants on the meaning that it almost means nothing to me. So I figured I'd pick TC brains and see what you all think.

So what makes someone a witch, in your opinion? (And I think we can probably skip the "well, if they self-identify as a witch..." part, because that's pretty obvious.) Is it a mindset, or a type of practice, or a method of belief, or some combination of the above, or something else entirely?

Conflicting Afterlifes: Rewards or Punishments?

Now here's an interesting one for you all to chew on like I have been. So supposing you've got your gods, whatever people, who promote honor, integrity etc., like the Norse gods. Then suppose you've got a guy from somewhere else whose gods say it's alright to do whatever you need to do to get rich and powerful. So this guy comes and murders a bunch of Norse folk, steals, deceives etc. Do you think this guy would be punished in the afterlife (I know I know, I'm assuming there IS one here, that's a different discussion, don't mess with my topic), in the Norse Nastrond say, or would he be rewarded by his gods for his "good" deeds?

It's been bothering me, I can't reach a conclusion. I'm a Wodan's man (which can feel like more of a curse sometimes), so I spend a lot of time thinking about Paganism and trying to give it a logical explanation. Of course, the mythology provides us with an understandable explanation, but it's not literal, so I try to come up with explanations about what gods are, the nature of the universe etc. that are acceptable.


I have a question for those of you who prefer to have a figure of your deity to worship on your altar. A lot of the deities have statues readily available, such as Apollon, Hermes, Hathor, etc. There are ones who don't, however, and I am curious... are there any folks out there with the problem that I am having of WANTING to have a figure on the altar, but not being able to find anything at all appropriate?

What does one do? Especially since I'm fairly broke and couldn't afford to commission someone to craft one for me, and am rubbish at sculpting? I'd like something physical, 3-D I could touch.

Are there ramifications to getting a sculpture of say, a random female figure, and dedicating it as the goddess I want to have on my altar? I certainly think that getting a figurine of say, Sequanna to worship AS Sirona would be impolite to both the goddesses.

Thoughts? Help? Mints?

How Do You Worship?

I don't worship on a regular basis, although I pray all the time. The rituals that I do perform are fairly lax. I only do what feels comfortable to me, although this may change in the next few months. (I've been feeling the need for a big to-do from the gods lately.) I worship at various times, not always in conjunction with a festival or a feast day, and I never have an altar set up. There are candles, there are offerings, and there is a lot of laughter to be had when I finally do get down to it and have a big ole ritual that everyone [who understands] is invited to. Spells are cast, jokes are told, hymns are sung, and if I had a sistra, I'd probably jingle it now and again.

So, that's how I worship Sekhmet and the various other deities in the Egyptian pantheon that demand my attention. It's probably not "formal" in comparison to other Kemetic Recons' version of ritual, but it's what I can afford (monetarily and mentally) at the moment.

What do you do to acknowledge your deities?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Where can I Download some Good Pagan Music for Free?

I am looking for Pagan chants, ritual and meditation music etc, which I can download off the net for free. I'm specifically looking for Nordic and Heathen chants and music, though any suggestions would be appreciated!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Different Forms of Witchcraft?

Hello, I'm in search of my spiritual pathway. So I though witchcraft could be something for me. But then I've been told, there are a lot of different sorts of witchcraft. If you're familiar with one or multiple, can you please give me a quick summary of the name, origin, the way it works, et cetera.

As I am looking for something that fits me, I might say I don't really believe in deities like gods and stuff, but I do think there is more then this. I believe in life after death, astral projection, spells maybe...I think the spirit is capable of a lot. But I think deities are more like a human invention. It feels really unnatural to me. But if you do want to share something about gods, feel free to share it. I'll read it definitely, but I think it's pretty hard to convince me.


After a very frustrating struggle, I think I have finally found the goddess who has been tapping me on my shoulder. I believe it's Sirona.

I was curious-- do any of you follow her? I have done a lot of searching for info on her on the internet, and have found bits and bobs, but does anyone have any personal gnosis? Or any bits of info that might be less known than what one can find on the 'net?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Learning to Be Religious?

How do you teach yourself to be religious when it doesn't come naturally? I don't mean faith- I've always had faith- but the actual ritual and pomp and whatever that is the physical expression of that faith? How do you tell the difference between a practice legitimately not working for you, and just not getting into it because you're not used to it?

This is something that's been weighing on my mind a lot lately. I think a lot of my trouble is simply a lack of exposure- I have never, in real life, seen anyone regularly display or practice their faith. I was raised in an a-religious household, surrounded by a-religious family, and now that I'm trying to actually give the gods their due, I am utterly lost. I keep trying, and I keep tweaking, and I can never seem to move past the feeling of "well, that's a half-step in the right direction..."

So, anyone else experience this? Have you gotten through it? How?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Worshiping Gods as Family Patrons

For those of you whose family members also worship Gods, do you have a family or household Patron? Perhaps He or She is a deity not necessarily connected with any particular individual but honored by all members? The idea suddenly popped into my head and I've been wondering if Gods are worshiped in such a way anymore, and if so, how families go about worshiping them.

Any experience or ideas would be appreciated.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Homosexuality within a Wiccan Ritual Context

Let me begin by saying that I don’t currently identify as Wiccan. However, I do frequently celebrate the sabbats with a local neo-Wiccan coven with which several of my friends are affiliated. I recently had a discussion with two of these friends about whether homosexuality could be celebrated within the context of a Wiccan ritual. Both friends (one of them is the HPS of the group) felt that a ritual celebrating homosexuality as an expression of the gift of sexuality could be conducted within the context of their understanding of Wicca. It was suggested that I might write such a ritual for one of their open circles, focusing for example on a myth like that of Hyacinthus and Apollo.

At this point I’m interested in pursuing this idea; however, I also have a few concerns. Primarily I’m unsure of how to go about writing a ritual that would fit within the ritual framework that this coven typically uses. They adhere to the belief that all gods are aspects of one God and all goddesses are aspects of one Goddess. During their open circles they invoke the Lord and the Lady without using specific deity names, due to the names being part of the material that their coven holds oath bound. So there’s a clear focus on gender polarity in what they do, including the symbolic Great Rite, etc.

Has anyone here at TC had any experience writing this kind of ritual, whether within a specifically Wiccan context or as part of another tradition? If so I would appreciate any suggestions.

I would also appreciate any thoughts about how a ritual of this nature does or does not fit into a Wiccan cosmology. My goal is to get a variety of opinions about this, both pro and con, so that I can discuss the matter further with the members of this coven.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Have you been owned?

I've heard several Cauldronites say that they "belong" to their Gods.

Is this true for you?

If so, what does that mean, in terms of how you interact with your God(s)?

It seems like some folks accept that kind of relationship and others would run screaming in the other direction.
I'm sure there are some people who have tried to run screaming in the other direction and ended up getting "owned" anyway. Tongue

Insights? Personal experiences? Chocolate sprinkles? I'm up for anything tonight.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

What language do you prefer for rituals?

Hello, I was wondering, how this is for others and how I should do it:

What is your native language? mine is Dutch
What other languages do you know? I know English and a little bit French
What language do you prefer for your rituals, books,...

I would like a language that other persons don't understand (or at least no one around).

I don't want my mom or other persons reading my texts in my room. Hearing me speak it.
Most people here speak all Dutch, English and French. I don't want other people who don't (want) to understand it, bothering me with the content of my rituals. I think it is to hard to learn a complete new language and use it, never the less some people might understand it.

Maybe it is an option to make up an own language, but it is pretty hard to do so.
When I might have a daughter one day, I might pass my book of shadows to her, if she wants...I don't know what to do. Using Dutch is otherwise having respect for my roots...*sigh* I'm stuck

Monday, May 03, 2010

How far from the actual holiday is too long?

Since Beltane was today/yesterday, I really wanted to do something to celebrate, but I absolutely do not have time because of upcoming AP tests. So that got me thinking about how close a celebration has to be to the actual holiday for it to 'count'. If I stop and meditate on it, the actual days of the holidays have a specific feel to them. Even though that feel is strongest on the actual day, it doesn't vanish completely the day after, so I suppose you could celebrate as long as that feel is present at all. Or is a week later just as good? After all, I suppose when these festivals originated, people couldn't be that precise about the day. What do you think is the cutoff before it's just too far away from the actual holiday to count? Before the moon changes phase, or maybe even just as long as you celebrate within the season?

Combining Cultures/Dual Paths

I know there are many people who take the label of "eclectic pagan" readily, but there are those who take much consideration into what practices they incorporate into their beliefs. For some a dual path is fulfilling. I may be one of those people. I find it very interesting that some people think that the Irish people and the Native American people had a lot in common. It may be something I look into one day, but my religion is set up to be specifically Irish. For those already in a dual or eclectic path or those who would consider it, some questions for you to answer (please!),

1. Would one culture take prevalence over the other?
2. How would you practice your beliefs, gather information, etc without breaking "cultural integrity"?
3. Would you consider taking two complete opposite faiths rather than two similiar ones?
4. Those who consider themselves eclectic, why did you chose this rather than a reconstructionist path?
5. Those who consider themselves reconstructionist, would you ever consider doing an eclectic practice or combining more than one culture?

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