Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Feri questions

I know there are a few Feri students and/or initiates about the board, and have a few questions for ya.

-Does Feri have anything to do with fairy/faery/however you choose to spell 'em? The only thing I've ever read about it is that Victor believed they were a small race of people from way-back-when.

-Are you/were you charged for training/initiation?

-What are some good (and easy to get a hold of) books?

"Single-Deity" Paths

I've posted a lot about my "path" being focused solely on Brighid, and I'm fairly sure there are others here who have a similar single-deity focus.

For those who do, how do you translate that into a workable system of worship? (I know what I do, but I'm interested in what others do.) Do you draw from the culture of the deity for things like moral guidance, holidays, etc.? How do myths involving your deity inform your beliefs and practice?

Do you ever feel like you want to try to make contact to other deities? Do you? How does that impact your relationship with your "primary" deity?

Do you ever feel like you'd like to find "co-religionists" -- others who also focus solely on the same deity? If you were able to find such a group, what would that bring to your path? Would you want to group rituals? What kinds?

I know that's a lot of questions, but if there's anything else you want to comment on about being a single-deity person, please do!

Celtic Land Spirits/the Fair Folk questions

So I was thinking about this recently - I've been trying to concentrate on Land, Sea and Sky a bit more in the past few weeks, and I've read some stuff that mentions, in passing, the celts worshipping spirits of places, or at least respecting them. There are many gods and goddesses based on rivers, I know that much.

And I was wondering about connections between them at the Fair Folk. Are they of the same genus, if not the same species? Are they similar? Or are they completely different creatures - the Fair Folk being strictly otherworldly folk and spirits of the land being closer to deities?

And finally, how does one incorporate either of them into one's worship? Are there any special ways to address the spirits of the land, as opposed to, say, deities? And is the traditional 'leave-milk-out-for-the-Fair-Folk' going to get me too much attention from beings whose attention I would prefer not to have?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Your Best Ritual Ever?

I have attended, written and performed many rituals over the years and while I'm very clear on the difference between a good ritual and a bad one, I'm less clear on the difference between a good ritual and a great one. It seems like you can't tell which it will be until it's happening. And none of the people I talk to afterwords seem to be able to define that difference either. So I'm wondering, what was the most satisfying ritual event you've ever attended, and what made it stand out to you?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Earth = Ymir

It seems that so much of the time, the Earth is assumed to be some sort of goddess (if deified at all) or seen as Mother Earth; usually female, fertile, nurturing, as well as no-nonsense, powerful and very necessary.

I'm struck by the difference in the Poetic Edda:

"Of Ymir's flesh the earth was fashioned, And of his sweat the sea; Crags of his bones, trees of his hair, And of his skull the sky. Then of his brows, the blithe gods made Midgard for sons of men; And of his brain, the bitter-mooded Clouds were all created." Grimnismal 40-41

What does this verse mean to you? Do you reject the "Mother Earth" imagery, or see that as allegorical? Or do you embrace both concepts as different parts of a greater whole?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Afraid of Trying Witchcraft Stuff?

I want to explore my path as a witch (no religion). But sometimes I'm just afraid of trying stuff, afraid something bad might happen when I do something wrong. I take this very serious and do believe that when you interfere with certain things there can be danger involved.

Are you having, or did you had those problems? What did you do about it? Can fear block your abilities to really achieve something?

How to overcome it?

Deities Associated with Cats?

Besides Bast, what deities are associated with cats? Which ones are particularly interested in supporting the care of cats, stray and otherwise?

Does anyone here have any cat-centered deity relationships? How would you describe it?

Anti-Material Possessions?

I know some religions or spiritual structures (I think Buddhism does), claim you should loosen the connection with earthly things, like possessions, to be able to have a spiritual life. Me personally, I'm a material girl. I love my stuff, and I respect mine and other peoples stuff and threat them with care. Is that so bad? I also was thinking that this might be destructive? If nothing is keeping you here on earth, then it would be easy to commit suicide, I guess, which is not so good.

It is right to enjoy life, isn't it? I think my goal (not really a goal, rather a pathway) is being happy in life. Making others happy, is also part of it, because it gives great satisfaction. I feel my feelings, but I can't without other people, so in theory I might be the most important, but in real life, the others are equally important to me, like family and friends, some are less because we don't share the same opinion, or people who have hurt me,... I do care about world peace, but I wouldn't travel the world to solve it. But sometimes I'm unhappy (I just hate school, but I'm doing the best I can), because I feel I need to do this to become it. Now I need to study and work really hard, that sometimes my head feels like it's going to explode, but I'll be a much happier woman when I graduate at college Smiley. Maybe you can compare it, by walking through the dessert to find an oasis, the question just is, was it worth all the suffering? I hope it is. Anyway, I've heard once, that a road without obstacles leads to nowhere.

What's your opinion about this? Do you agree with this minimalistic way of life or not and why? Who or what is central (your goal/pathway) in you life? Do you think you are the most important person, or you are less or equally to others? Do you handle in function of a God, some spiritual rules, or anything to guide you with the decisions?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Jungian Ideas?

I was thinking a bit about Jung today, and even though he was a psychologist, what he said reaches into philosophy and religion. Every now and then someone here may reference something about Shadow People, but otherwise Jungian ideas seem to be a poor fit for many of the belief systems here. Does that sound accurate?

I was wondering what value you find in Jung's ideas of Collective Unconscious, archetypes, etc, if any. Does any of it have meaning for you? Did it at one time, but no longer?

I am mostly asking those who are polytheist, especially hard polytheist, although of course any input is welcome!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Finding Names for Local Spirits?

I was wondering if anyone here had some experience to share or advice to give: working with different spirits is an important part of my path, but there's one group of spirits that I find myself constantly neglecting- my local land spirits. And I know precisely why they've been so neglected, but I can't for the life of me figure out how to rectify it: I don't know their names.

And yes, I've asked. The responses I've gotten have ranged from confusion to bemusement, and the general sense I get is "call us whatever you want." I've tried this, and either I find an "ancient" sounding name that makes me feel silly and doesn't sound right, or I find a modern (or modern-ish) name that makes me feel silly and doesn't sound right. Names are really important to me- having a name is, for me, inherent recognition of importance and significance, and this plug-n-play usename thing just doesn't work for me.

So my questions: have any of you ever encountered this problem? If you have names for local spirits, how did you find them? What do you do when nothing feels right?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Magic for Profit?

Is it ever right to charge money to do magic? Why or why not? Would you charge money to perform magic for another? Would you pay someone to do magic for you?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Wheel of the Year?

What's the eightfold wheel of the year? And what are the holidays/festivals/sabbats/whatever their names are on them? What are the about? Can someone tell me a bit about them?

Do You Consider Yourself a Witch?

Do You Consider Yourself a Witch? (with a witch, for purposes of this question) being defined as someone who practices witchcraft -- either just as magic or as part of a religion like Wicca)

Why or why not?

Things with a purpose... Or not?

So I recently acquired a ring that I have felt, every time I've seen it, an urge of "I Have to get that. Not in the usual sense of "oh that is an awesome game must get, Or Ooo I love that necklace" Or whatever, I keep getting the feel that it might have a spiritual significance, or something. Though when I asked the deity, I thought it was, I got a no so *shrug*. It could just be a cool ring, and that's that. I'm totally ok with that. The reason I'm posting is because it doesn't fit anywhere. It looks weird sitting with my other non-religious jewelry, but doesn't fit anywhere on my Shrine/Altar space. I just dunno what to do with it but wear it, and I'm trying to eliminate all possibilities, so maybe I can just put it with my other jewelry and that be that without that niggling feeling in the back of my head that's saying "nope not quite" (or something along those lines).

Its silver and Has two wings coming form different directions that meet in the middle then the right turns up and left turns down.

I also have a few (other) questions:
have you ever felt the need to buy something for spiritual/Religious purposes, but not know the reason,or its use? In the same vein has it ever turned out to just have been you thinking that it was, but turned out to just be a ring/candle/etc with no other use, and was just you wanting it to be?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Do thoughts have power?

I'm sure this has been discussed before, but my search didn't turn anything up... someone here mentioned that beliefs/ideas only have power if they lead to action. I wanted to discuss that thought a little more because there are so many different ways to look at that.

For instance, some here believe that words have power - not just the power to influence others, but the power to cause effects in their own right. Do thoughts/ideas/beliefs have power in their own right, or only in the actions they inspire?

Is speaking words aloud "doing something" more than thinking those words in your head is? What about casting spells?

I personally do think that thoughts themselves are energetically charged, and therefore do have an effect, even without physical action -- and also that thoughts inspire outward, mundane actions toward outcomes.

I'm interested to hear others thoughts about this topic.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Atheism and Witchcraft

If you consider yourself an atheist - or nontheist - and practice or believe in witchcraft, can I pick your brain a bit? Or if you have some other reason to have thoughts to offer, please share!

Is your atheism simply a nonbelief in the literal existence of deity/ies, but you believe in spirits or Spirit? Do you believe in the supernatural? What is your understanding of how magic works?

I'm really interested in hearing perspectives on this... I think my personal idea of witchcraft would fit pretty well in an atheist framework, but I've never had reason to explore it.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Prayer Beads for a Specific Deity

We've had several threads on prayer beads -- how people use them, ideas for creating them, etc.

My question at the moment is: Has anyone made prayer beads that they have associated with a specific god/dess? If so, how did you approach the beads?

I've been thinking about doing a set of prayer beads for several years. But my path is specifically focused on Brighid.

I can think of a couple of ways to design prayer beads for a broader Celtic Recon-type practice. That would incorporate beads to associate with the realms of Land, Sea, and Sky, for example, or beads to represent various Celtic values.

But I'm drawing a blank on how to use beads as a way to tap into Brighid's energy specifically. I'm toying with the idea of somehow representing healing, smithcraft, and poetry/learning. But that doesn't really get me very far. I'd really like to hear how others have designed similar bead sets.

Do you use prayer beads to keep track of the number of repetitions of a prayer, like people use rosary beads? Do you use prayer beads with different kinds of beads to represent different "topics" of meditations -- that would be something like associating a blue bead with healing and a different color bead for healing, etc.? Do you use beads as a simple tool for keeping your hands busy with something tactile, which you focus your brain on something else? Or what?

I'm open to any ideas you'd like to share.

Singing Charms

So normally I'm not a big fan of taking inspiration for my practices from fiction, but I was listening to the Redwall series the other day and there was a part where a character covers up talking to a couple of prisoners by saying he was singing charms.

While the character wasn't serious about it, the idea has kind of stuck in my head and I wondered if anyone here used songs in their magic, specifically in their low magic like home wards and protection and good fortune type spells. The idea really intrigues me. Does anyone know if singing charms were used historically and where?

Even though I'm not much of a song writer, I really want to try this. I've been very interested in Hedge and Kitchen Witchery lately and I feel like this would be a sort of magic that would fall somewhere in that category of magic.

If you have any and wouldn't mind sharing I would really appreciate it.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Modesty, Headcovering, and Paganism

I recently ran across a couple mentions of modesty and head covering as pagan practices (for instance: I'm kind of intrigued by this.

Coming from a rather conservative Christian family, modesty in dress was ingrained in me from early on, so much so that even though I've shed almost all other religiously rooted values, I still feel the need to dress modestly. I've also been very drawn to head covering for a while even though I've yet to actually incorporate it into my practice/daily life.

So what are your thoughts on the subject?

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