Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Up All Night: A Technopagan Winter Solstice 2010

Hey, what is this thread? Tonight—beginning at sunset on Tuesday, December 21, 2010—is the longest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. To celebrate the winter solstice (a.k.a. Yule, Midwinter, and probably other things, depending on your tradition), a bunch of us plan to stay up all night and post here in this thread off and on throughout, sharing our experiences or random thoughts...sharing photos or artwork throughout the evening...or just encouraging each other to stay awake!

So if you’re trying to stay up till dawn, or just want to pop in to converse with those of us who are, this is the place! (Or if you're lucky enough to be in the Southern Hemisphere, enjoying the warmth and sun of summer solstice, tell us what we're missing!)

In that spirit, I'm resurrecting a modest rhyme I composed specifically for our winter solstice efforts. I've recycled it here as a sort of dedication to kick things off:


by Altair

Light dwindles, life despairs
A bitter chill is in the air
The sun departs, and with it goes
A fruitful season free of woes
As winter’s icy grip takes hold
The sleeping landscape to enfold
Many hours of dark must pass
Before the sun returns at last
To make its long-awaited climb
With promise of a flowering time

Until that hour, let dark prevail
Greet longest night with strong wassail
Sing and dance, feast and drink
Or solemnly reflect and think
From strange and hidden wells partake
With one rule only: Stay awake!
From dusk till dawn, hear our refrain:
Let the solstice revels reign

[In the last line, swap in the word “vigil” for “revels” if the feeling is more contemplative than festive]

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Cauldron's Thirteenth Anniversary Today (13 Dec 2010)

Today is the thirteenth anniversary of the day The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum opened for posting!

Thirteen years ago -- after three frustrating days when only Elspeth, Ann (Empireone), and myself could post -- The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum opened its doors to the general public on the Delphi online service. This was before it was known as Delphiforums and back when user forums, then known as "Custom Forums" had a presence on both the paid Delphi Online Service (in wonderful a pure text/command line like environment) and on their new free Web forum version. The forum was an instant success with 60 or 70 messages posted that December and hitting 1000 messages within six months or so. That's 1000 messages total, not 1000 messages a month.

The Cauldron was started as a Yule gift from me to Elspeth -- you had to pay Delphi for forums back then (six months in advance). It was staffed by Elspeth, Ann, and myself with an able assist from our friends from the dying GEnie Online Service. We started a web site for the forum in the web space I got with my Delphi account in January of 1998, although we did not get domain name for a couple of years.

Our forum has done well in the years that followed, although TC has had to move around a lot. From Delphi to a mailing list. Then back to Delphiforums (Delphi's new name). When Delphi's poor service and pricing got to be too much to much in early 2004, Bob offered us server space and we moved to our own site. First with Beehive's Delphiforums-like software (two incarnations), then (very reluctantly) to SMF early in 2007 when it became apparent that Beehive software just could not meet the needs of this forum. Bob's server gave up the ghost in 2008 and we had to move to our own Linode VPS. The first time in our existence that have had to pay a monthly bill for the message board. Fortunately, our members have stepping up and are donating every month to make continuing this board possible. As the SMF software is have problems, we may be moving to another forum software in 2011 -- at least these time we should be able to take the current messages with us.

It has been a very interesting 13 years. Sometimes it has been interesting in the "may you live in interesting times" sense of "interesting," but mostly it has been interesting in the good sense of the word. Lyricfox and I met through TC and married over five and a half years ago. We all made many new friends via TC. It's also been a lot of work. Work which has been shared with our staff members -- without them, this forum would not be here today. This is especially true this last few years as the hosts have been dealing with cancer and have not been nearly as active on the board as we had been in the past. However, the reason The Cauldron's message board is still here isn't the Hosts or the staff, it's our members: the wonderful people reading this message (and now funding the monthly server costs). Without you, this forum would be a ghostly place haunted by memories of discussions past.

It's been a great thirteen years. In "Internet time" we are as ancient as the dinosaurs, but we are still here, still doing our thing, and still enjoying ourselves doing it. We have great plans for The Cauldron's 13th year and we hope you will join us and help make them happen. With any luck, these plans will work out better than our plans for this last year did. Oh well, you win some and you lose some, but just being around 13 years is a big win. Thanks for being along for the ride!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Consequences, and when things go wrong or not as planned

Has anyone suffered consequences by mixing traditional techniques? Has anyone not quite worded a spell right and had it turn on them?Have you or someone you know messed with or mixed magic that should not have? I know there are somethings that might have certain side effects. Since eclectics and chaotes experiment the most, I figured I would post this here. The purpose of this thread is to discuss consequences and negative reactions to magic not done properly or just wierd consequences to well put together spells.

Any stories, experiences and musings related to the topic are appreciated. Thanks!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Bad luck/curses: personal query and thoughts in general

Well, I'm somewhat new to these forums, (this is my first thread so I apologize if it's bad) but not to Pagan religions and I need some advice and would also like to stimulate a conversation on the topic of "bad karma". My partner and I have been having just about the worst last three years of our lives. I'd type it all up if anyone is curious, but so much has gone wrong that it's best to summarize and just say anything that could go wrong, has gone wrong- basically since we've been together and in all areas of our life except our love life.

But at any rate, do you guys believe in being cursed, jinxed, or just plain horrible, awful bad luck?

I've tried to do some purification, protection and good luck sorts of rituals: protection magic is something I've always been familiar with and utilize often but this time I have had no success it seems. My luck seems to be finally getting better but my life is still a mess for many reasons out of my control and in the last year it has been my partner who's gotten the bad juju. For him, his health seems to be failing for no reason and so many things have gone wrong that shouldn't occur in a healthy 25 year old.

I was just wondering what other people think about bad luck or curses or karma or whatever you dub it. One of my core beliefs is in energy, and the effects of positive or negative energy and I do try very hard to keep my actions and intentions pure and ethical in my life. I believe I certainly haven't done anything to deserve all this and was curious whether you all had advice or input. Any rituals or spells or certain stones and herbs which you find helpful for dealing with this kind of situation would be greatly appreciated but are not necessary.

Differences between Roman and Greek deities

The Romans and Greeks used different names for a group of superficially similar deities. Do you guys think of them interchangeably, or (in your opinions) are there genuine differences between the two? Either from perception/UPG or research.

[For my own part, I know that Aphrodite was allowed to have a lot more fun than Venus. Venus the mother of Aeneas (founder of Rome) and thus grandmother of the Roman Emperors had to be a more stately figure. Anyone else have similar information?

And I feel strangely strongly regarding a recent (possible) deity encounter that it was Diana, and not Artemis. The other name doesn't seem right. Could be subjective though?]

Creative Yule

I'm currently knitting away for the holidays. Gotta finish a lace wrap I'm making for my mom, and a couple pairs of socks (one for my mother-in-law and one for my dad). Oh, and a blanket for my great-nephew. And probably a small handful of knit ornaments. I might also put together a few recipe jars...I'm thinking orange/vanilla scones and some sort of butter cookie. The only thing I'm buying outright is a matcha tea set for my son, who's fascinated with Japanese culture. If I had time to figure out how to make a chasen, I probably would. Wink

So what hand-crafted goodies are you planning this year?

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Drawing Down compared with Channeling?

I started this thread to compare the similarities and differences between Drawing Down and channeling. I understand that there are key differences in how they are done. Also, the energy of a Deity is a lot different than the energy of an entity. Both have their risks. Any comments, thoughts, theories and opinions are appreciated.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Spooky Reading

I was opened up as a channel 9 months ago. I worked well with channeling for a while but for me it would have side effects. Afterwards I would have to reground, center. I experienced a strange new side effect recently and was wondering if anyone else has experienced it. I was reading some interesting passages from a book to my husband when energy started charging my voice. I noticed that and took a break to check on my throat chakra. It was opened more than usual but that didn't bother me. Then as I started reading again my husband stopped me, with a confused look on his face and said," Do you realize that you were just speaking with two voices at the same time? One was yours, the others was a male voice." I paused again and checked my energy and it was as if I had just finished channeling. Any information on this would be appreciated, thanks.

The Ouija Board: Good, Bad, Evil, Innocuous?

I've noticed a lot of mixed emotions on Ouija Boards. So, what's your opinion? Good, bad, evil, innocuous?

Mixed Ways?

Lately I have been having individuals in my clan challenging my belief system. I do not mind if they want to ask questions or say that they disagree with me. The problem is that these certain individuals say that I should not be eclectic Wiccan and follow a native path at the same time. I told them that I have developed my own path and it works for me. They say that if I mix these two ways that I will end up spiritually injuring myself. I then told them that they could worship how they wanted and I can how I see fit. Now they are trying to get me barred from Native ceremonies even though I do not use my Wiccan energy while at these gatherings. I talked to the leaders of the ceremony and they said that as long as I only used native traditions while there then I am still welcome. Even though it has caused no permanent damage, it has still had an impact on how my clan views me.Is there anyway I can do further damage control or should I just let things be?

Thank you for reading. Along with advice I would appreciate tellings of your personal experience with issues like this one.

La Madama?

I've looked around on the web for more info about La Madama, but I can't really locate much. Can anyone tell me more or point me to some more info about Her?

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