Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Resources for Writing Prayers

I'm looking for resources to help with writing prayers.

Part of the Brighid-focused path I'm working on includes prayers for various times of day and events. I've been able to find a couple of things that I like or that I can adapt for my use. But I need more resources. While I'm a decent technical writer, I've never been good at creative writing.

I already have both of Serith's books on pagan prayer (which I like but didn't find useful for this specific purpose), so I need other ideas. Also, I have a preference for rhyming prayers, although they don't ALL have to rhyme.

I'd appreciate any ideas and suggestions.

Hex Signs anyone?

these traditional sigils caught my interest. I wonder if there are some of you working with them?

Is there something more to consider and take care of, while crafting them that goes beyond clockwise/counterclockwise drawing and painting? (Using traditional patterns and colors.)

Do you craft your own, according to the symbols and color meanings? Or even working in new stuff?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Adorations, Anyone?

I don't know how many of you know about these adorations that are going around. Basically, they're like Catholic litanies or the Hindu practice of namastotra. You can find a big list of them here: http://krasskova.weebly.com/1/post/2012/01/this-adoration-thing-a-list.html (which includes the one by Sannion to Dionysus that started it all).

Any thoughts? Personally, I like the idea and feel like they're a good way to make use of the prayer beads I made recently. I particularly like the Adorations to Eros, even though I don't worship the Greek gods.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Healing Magic & Altars

Healing is something I have always been interested in and have never been any good at. These days I just say a prayer to Brighid, but I'd like to expand my horizons, as it were. I've decided I want to make an altar specifically for doing healing magic.

Do you have a dedicated space for healing work, or do you do that work at an all-purpose altar?
What kind of supplies do you use regularly in healing work?
If you're doing long-term magic for a specific person/ailment, how do you maintain the work?
Do you do ever ask deities to bless your workings?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Liturgy: What role does it play in your practices?

What role does liturgy play in your practices?

Do you write your own rituals? Use stuff from books and websites? A combination of both?

How important is it for you to have a written liturgy? Do you prefer to do rituals unscripted and off-the-cuff?

Do you like having standardized portions of liturgy? For example, do you always use the same invocations or method of setting up your sacred space?

I'll throw in my own thoughts and feelings a bit later in the thread. This topic has percolated out of me based on a discussion I had with other folks in my Tradition last week.

Saturday, January 21, 2012


Just wondering how people are planning to celebrate Imbolc......and looking for ideas to "borrow".

For the first time, my family is inviting a couple of friends to join us on the Saturday before Imbolc. We'll bake soda bread and short-bread cookies, make crosses and brats, and then have a nice dinner of poundies and omelettes. If anyone wants me to, I'll talk about the Irish traditions and their connections to Brighid.

Privately, I'll put my brats out and also observe the "holiday from turning" from sundown on January 31 to sundown on February 1 and try to do some reading and meditating.

What are you doing (if you celebrate Imbolc)?

Quitting Meditation Advice, Please

For the life of me, I just can't get into a meditative state again!. I should clarify that by saying I have only reached a meditative state once in my life and it was the beginning of my UPG. That's it though!

Since then I have tried everything I can think of to get myself into a meditative state, but it's just not happening. So I have decided that I am going to have to just stop trying altogether. Instead of meditating, I will just sit quietly and enjoy some quiet time, without forcing the issue. It's all I can do, at this point, without getting entirely too frustrated!

The issue at hand, to a degree, is that part of the Vedic tradition is meditation on a daily basis. While I am not completely dedicating myself totally to the Vedic tradition, I would still like to follow many of its tenets. Meditation was one of them and now I feel as though I am a quitter, but if I can't do it, I can't do it. See what I mean?

My questions to you are:

Did you ever have a hard time meditating?

Did it take you a long time to get the swing of it?

What do you do to get into a meditative state?

Should I quit meditating altogether or keep trying?

If I should keep trying, what should I do?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Let's Define Pantheism!

Okay, so, I recently wrote an article on the bardic tradition of satire and the modern Pagan use of "deep play" in ritual as spiritual responses to the lack of transcendent/supernatural authority in the theological worldview of pantheism, drawing parallels between the incompetent king and the absent creator/god-figure.

I thought it was a pretty intriguing idea, even though I'm not actually a pantheist myself but a somewhat soft animistic polytheist type. But in typical fashion, many of the comments I'm getting on the article are overlooking the actual topic of the piece and instead focusing on whether or not they agree with my use of the word "pantheism." (Which kind of makes me want to go ::headdesk:: and "THIS IS WHY WE CAN'T HAVE NICE THINGS." and so forth.)

So I thought I'd turn to the ever-awesome TC for some feedback. How do you all define pantheism?

When I was earning my degree in comparative religious studies and doing field work interviewing people in various religious communities, I used the term "pantheism" in a pretty straight forward way: the belief that God/Spirit is identical to the Universe, that there is no supernatural deity or transcendent reality but that the physical world itself is sacred. Naturally, this theological perspective entailed certain other beliefs, like for instance that there is no afterlife in which a transcendent "self" survives the physical death of the body.

I'd never heard that this was a controversial definition, though obviously there are going to be nuances in belief among individuals. I was really surprised when someone accused me of making "blanket statements" when I used the word pantheism in this way. The same way I would have been surprised if someone made that accusation about me defining polytheism as "belief in many gods." I thought that's just what the word meant!

It seems from the comments I'm getting that people are either eliding polytheism and pantheism, and/or treating pantheism as just another synonym for "nature reverence." Is that how most of you use it? Does anyone else use the word "pantheism" in the way I defined it above? Is this actually a controversial subject, or just another example of Pagan-PC-labeling gone mad? (Can we Pagans please have a conversation about something other than labels someday-maybe-plzkthnx?)

Learning a Celtic Language

Who here is learning or speak a Celtic language? Do you think as a Celtic Pagan you should at least learn to speak some of a Celtic Language. I am in the process of learning Welsh, I find the language very beautiful, but also challenging.

Faith and Silence

I've been talking with people a lot lately about my practice and how I go about it. However, someone recently mentioned that they keep quiet about whom they serve for good reason: in effect, in knowing the entity that you serve, they are more likely to be able to work bad magic with the aid of said patron. This really has gotten me thinking a lot lately about silence and faith.

Do you think it is wise to keep your faith/practices quiet?
Do you think it is wise to keep the names of your patron(s) quiet?
Why or why not?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Futhark and Ogham?

Does anyone know of any good resources out there that draw connections between the Oghams and Futhark Runes?

To be more specific, something that looks at meanings and significances of the individual runes and "fews" and sees how their meanings compare or correlate. Basically I am looking to see what associations can be made to add another layer to the understanding of either set of characters, or if not applicable to an entire set of characters, than to individuals within the set.

It would be nice if the resources would be quasi-reputable, but I am not expecting to find anything like "proof that they are fundamentally the same thing," or that oghams are a "cipher" for the runes. I have come across those ideas. They sound interesting, but unlikely based on what I have seen do far. Nothing I have found on the internet so far gives me anything at all helpful.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Religious Practice: How to maintain?

I've been studying paganism for nearly a year now and actively "believing" (for lack of a better word) for nearly as long. My current living situation makes it difficult and impractical to practice in any significant way but for quite some time I made do with small, simple things to help maintain a feeling of connectivity and, again for lack of a better word, reality of my beliefs. However, lately I've found it becoming difficult to keep it a real part of my life. More and more often I go for several days without giving thought to my deities.

I realize this is a fairly nebulous topic, but I would like some advice on how to make my beliefs and deities more a part of my daily life and to make it more present in my mind considering the fact that I'm currently unable to practice in a traditional sense (altars, candles, etc.). Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

[url=http://www.ecauldron.com/forum/showthread.php?2333-How-to-maintain]How to maintain?[/url]

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Just how common is "being cursed"?

Almost every author from every magickal book I've picked up, from Scott Cunningham to Silver Ravenwolf, has mentioned something along the lines of "dark magick" being something you very rarely come across, but that it is possible and though highly frowned upon, quite dangerous. And of course, I'm sure we all know plenty of protective spells, talismans, teas, crystals, potions, prayers, etc etc etc to keep all curses and negativity at bay.

With that said, of course I acknowledge negativity in the Universe, which can manifest anywhere from one's own personal thoughts, the "evil-eye", and yes, even negative thoughts from others. (I believe the term is called "astral attack"?)

But as far as "dark magick" is concerned...is it something that I need to be heavily defensive upon and on the alert for, like some Vigilant Witch of Divine Order? Or is it just simply something that needs to be acknowledge and dealt with according if I somehow un-miraculously find myself as the target of a "curse"? And are witches that actively participate, study, and use black magick as common as perceived? Surely not...but do share your thoughts.

Mesopotamian Paganism

I'm very attracted to Sumerian polytheism right now, and I was wondering if anyone else is influenced by any of the Mesopotamian (Sumerian, Akkadian, Babylonian, and Assyrian) civilizations. I had always found Inanna-Ishtar an appealing deity, but ever since I took a course on Mesopotamian religion in university last year, I've found the subject as a whole really fascinating. I just wondered if anyone out there follows a Mesopotamian pantheon or religious tradition.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Book Of Shadows / Grimoire - Handwritten or Typed?

I'm thinking about making a more formal book of shadows. I have a small spiral bound journal that I've been using, with only 5 sections, that I'm hand writing information in that I really like and that resonates for me. And I've been printing out pictures from the internet and taping them throughout the little book, so it's kind of like a scrapbook! But, this cannot hold much, and the pages are fixed, and I don't like that I can't add pages in between ones I've already written. Fearing that when trying to space things out within a section, I'll run out of room and I run into the next topic in that section.

So, I've been watching YouTube videos on making a three-ring binder BOS so I can move pages around and add and remove them easily. I've been planning out how I want to decorate the outside and inside covers, the sections and how to make tabs for each section, and information I want to put inside, etc. I've got a detailed plan to make this beautiful BOS! (And my thoughts are years from now, when I feel my book may be mostly finished and I'm happy with where everything is placed, I'll make a bound BOS with permanent pages and then pass this book down to my children and grandchildren.. even if they don't follow Wicca, they'll have a piece of me and know about what I believed.)

But I'm torn between handwriting and typing it out. What do you think about this subject?

I really want a decorative book that has pictures, borders, colors, etc.. and fancy font. I want it beautiful and legible. I have fantastic ideas for creating pages on my computer and printing them out. This is a type of art/craft I enjoy!

But, I've heard how special it is to hand write the pages of your BOS. Infusing with your own energy... being made with direct contact of your hand and pen to paper. And this is the traditional way. But I have horrible hand writing. And I'm an even more awful drawer!

But then I think about printing the pages from the computer, and as I create each page and print it out, aren't I still infusing it with my own energy because I'm putting all my thoughts and feelings into creating a beautiful page .. pages that I envision is a piece of art?

I've pretty much made up my mind that I'll be creating the pages on the computer, printing them out, placing into page protectors, and putting them in the book.... but I thought this would be a great topic to discuss given the computer age we are in....

To hand write your BOS or use the computer, that is the question! Now, what are your thoughts???

Friday, January 06, 2012

Charging for the Craft?

I'm curious as to what one describes as charging people for The Craft. Most witches and pagans that I have met have come to look down upon anyone casting a spell or doing anything magickal for a fee, but I also know that many of us live near metaphysical and occult stores that will also sell psychic reading and other services for a fee.

In the case of charging people for the Craft, would you count psychic, tarot readers, mediums, and that sort as falling into this category, and how do you personally feel towards it?

I just remember going to a "New Earth" festive a couple months back, and the room was filled to the brim with all sorts of psychic healers, mediums, fortunes tellers, and the works. I was honestly a little put back by it. After all, as witches and pagans, we should be able to do all of that for ourselves. I feel like those people are preying on the people going into festivals or stores like that and not really understanding that they have the power themselves to do what they're doing...either that or maybe their customers simply can't be bothered to learn what it takes to know in order to become more psychically aware.

In my personal opinion, I think it's a shame to want to use something as pure and sacred as our Craft for monetary gain.

More Curiousness Now About Astrology?

So I'm going into the 9th month of my Seeker/Initiation ceremony (a year and a day of study) and here recently I've been paying more attention to the stars, constellations, horoscopes, and planetary alignments. It's not that I disbelieve horoscopes that are found in virtually every newspaper and email-based website, it's just that I would feel more comfortable gaining knowledge with how the solar system moves, and how to act in those situations, you know if, say, Mars decides to get in the way of Jupiter's energy.

I have a handful of knowledge about the personality and views of the planets' respective deities, but I guess what I'm trying to ask now is if there is a chart or a way to map out the cosmos in the way they do in all of those horoscope articles?

Any books, articles, or suggestions on syncing with the flow of the galaxy?

Credible Crystals?

How can you tell if a stone or crystal that you bought from your local metaphysical shop is genuine? I understand that most rocks you buy will guy through some sort of processing to be aesthetic to the consumer eye, but I literally saw a "Made in China" sticker stuck to a beautiful rose quartz-wand cut stone. It's been making me feel anxious and doubtful of the green calcite I wear around my neck. How can one tell if the stones are real, is there a book (you know, that one by Scott Cunningham?) That could give me an idea to the authenticity of my stones, or is there just something I'm being foolish and naive about?

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