Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Fae in human life

I've seen quite a few posters lately talk about their unfortunate interactions with the fae. It seems that many people have experience with them. I grew up out in the country and for the past 12 years have lived in a large city -- and I've never had any such experiences. It makes me curious as to why.

Are the fae geographically restricted? Are there none rampaging around Michigan?
Are the people meeting up with them suffering from over-active imaginations?
Am I just so dense I don't notice the one tap-dancing on my head as I type this?

Any other theories as to why the fae are so prevalent in some areas but not others?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Do you believe in coincidence?

Do you believe in coincidence?

Personally, I don't. I believe coincidences are a way for other beings to tell us to wake up or for our own self to tell us to wake up.

Either way, I don't think a coincidence should be ignored.

Protective Properties of Iron?

The recent thread about my daughter's night time "watcher" has prompted a couple of questions about iron. I'm hoping someone will be willing to share their knowledge.

Why is iron considered protective against certain entities?

What kinds of entities does it protect against?

How is it used most effectively -- worn/carried on the person, hung on the wall, etc.?

Does the shape of the iron object matter? If so, what shapes are preferred, what shapes should be avoided?

How pure must the iron be? Does steel (iron + carbon, IIRC) have the same protective properties?

Does it matter whether/how the iron is worked -- e.g., cast vs. wrought iron?

If used as a protective charm, does it require cleansing and/or charging? If so, are there preferred methods?

Are there reasons NOT to use iron as protective charm? Any "side effects", do to speak?

Any other interesting or important tidbits?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Are Your Deities Local Residents?

How local are your god/desses? Do they stay within a geographical boundary?

I'm just wondering if they find proof of life on Mars--or not--with the rovers, are there different god/desses on different planets? Are there some universal god/desses?

I'm nowhere near Hawai'i, but Pele shows up in my life even here in Texas. However, I think she is earth-centered. I don't think I would find her on Mars. Don't know, of course, just a gut feeling, but then again I wouldn't be surprised to find her on Olympus Mons, either.

Just wondering about different pantheons and how they exist in a universal vs. global context.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Blue Moon

What does the upcoming blue moon mean to you? Do you believe that it holds any more meaning than a full moon?

I cannot find much information on pagan ritual or observance, other than for weather omens and calendar markings.

It appears to be a contemporary observance.

It feels very important to me, so I am going to observe it with a bonfire, a poem of thanks and a wish.

I am still not at the point where I feel comfortable with spells or anything complex. I do feel that I now have some connection, but I am still most comfortable expressing gratitude, letting elements of my alter come to me, and wish candle spells for very important things.

Is anyone else planning anything special for the blue moon?

Three Goddesses -- Maybe

This summer I have had 3 separate possible encounters with possible deities under three separate circumstances. I have do not know if they are deities or which ones if they might be (I have inklings but am mostly unsure) and hope that perhaps the descriptions will kick out some recognition here so I can look into them further.

One - Occurred while doing dream work. I wasn't asleep so my mind popped her out but it surprised me and continued on into actual dream. I was on a log at a beach and a rather giant old woman appeared beside me. She was twice my size at first and I grew smaller by the second. She was a crone and had on peasant clothing, a stave and a bonnet. Her hair peeked out of her bonnet and was white.

I scurried around her and asked if she was a goddess and she laughed heartily. Then she said, "You are one of mine." And she picked me up and swallowed me whole. I went through her innards and held my breath and then she pooped me out whole. She never stopped laughing and then the entire woods behind us started laughing too. Something from the brush said that I smelled like poop as I went to the water to wash off and I said, "Of course I smell like poop. She pooped me out!" But I left with the distinct impression that I was welcome, like I was back home and happy.

Two: This happened during a type of OBE. I felt like I was lifted to a place in the sky very very far away and there I saw an enormous creature that either became smaller or I became bigger because it shrunk to be a part of another creature and that shrunk into a mass of like creatures and then into the crevice of one link in one finger of a woman the size of a galaxy I guess. Bigger maybe.

She was welcoming and kept saying, "I am life. I am everything." And she was brilliant, like with minerals. I first thought it was glitter but it may have been stars. And she was have intercourse at the time and she indicated that with a sweep of her hand as she kept repeating her two simple sentences. She wanted me to see this and that was clear to me. I thought I'd worried about the astral dress code for nothing and she heard me think it and I felt whimsy from her.

For the next several days it felt like she was in my head a bit and showing me things in the world around me. It was so pervasive in my thoughts that I said,"She showed me ..." this or that to others and often during the following days felt as if I was to observe things in nature around me very carefully because I was being taught.

Three: After having a migraine that gave me nausea and kept me awake (very rare for me), I took some ibuprofen or aspirin, don't remember which and went to bed asking that I not be bothered because the pain would prohibit me from learning or behaving in any proper fashion. (Not at all rare for me to talk to whoever might listen.)

I slept peacefully for a few hours but woke in great pain. I tried to go to my circle garden in my head as there I have found peace and energy that seems to heal. But there were trees I had not planted yet there and the rock in the center would not hold me as it kept changing. I stood aside and a young woman appeared there and was working at the rock that had become a stone table for her. She had a chalice and was putting things into it and making motions over it. She did not speak.

She had on a dress, an apron and a kind of half bonnet. Her hair was light brownish and she was fair. When she was done with her chalice she hastend to me and gave it to me by pushing it to my lips. I drank it fully and she seemed satisfied. I sat down on the retaining wall I have yet to build and asked her who she was. She did not answer.

I asked her if she was Hekate and said she didn't look like any image of Hekate that I'd ever seen. Then she morphed into an image of Hekate I have seen on a vase painting. She had two long torches that were unlit and she used them like weapons in her movements which were amusing to me and to her by her expression. She had some good moves. I wiped my forehead and during that wipe she disappeared as did the trees. The stone had returned to a stone and I was sitting in the dirt then back in my bed. I rolled over and slept then. Exhausted.

I woke a few hours later without headache and with a kind of clean slated mindset that I have used to prepare for work. It was quite the revitalizing draft she gave me. I wish I knew who she was or sure. I got an image of a word when I woke that day: "initiation" and it has stuck in my mind and brings about more questions of course.

There have been more strange things that have happened in or around that circle spot too, but too much to go into in full. But one thing might be related is that I buried a candle I'd lit for Hekate there, but after waking that day I went out to examine the spot and it looked like some animal had been digging where I buried the candle under a rock. So moved the rock, dug it up and lit a new one to Hekate inside. Just felt like the right thing to do. But I am still unsure. It was a new moon, and knowing that should firm things up for me, but I am still wonky about it due to the way she appeared at first and her oft reported working form afar. This was not afar. This was friendly and close. All of them were really, friendly that is, even if something strange was going on. They even laughed at my joking.

So this was long. Sorry about that. Anybody have any ideas about any of these entities?

Using Qi Gong, Yoga or other exercises in ritual?

I've kept my Pagan practice separate to my Qi Gong and martial arts practice, but since a friend asked me to provide a little Qi Gong exercise in a ritual I've started to question that separation.

While I understand that both practices can exist as separate 'systems' I also see some merit in including Qi Gong in ritual as a means of achieving a special form of concentration.

Many people do the tree mediation in the opening sequence for grounding which is already a Qi Gong exercise or at least very similar to the Qi Gong exercise called 'standing like a tree'.

For the request from the mentioned friend I chose 'leading the inner fire' (first exercise from the wudang series) which seemed to work well in that particular ritual. I chose that one because it is very simple and helps to focus your own energy very efficiently and also has a slight centering effect.

I wonder if other people have integrated body & mediation exercises in ritual?

Which ones did you choose for which purposes and in which part of the ritual did you use them?

Raising kids Pagan: Are my Fears Normal?

I want to raise my kids pagan, open-minded, accepting, and caring.

The exact opposite of my upbringing.

I have worked hard on not threatening them with spankings, because I would never do that to my kids after what happened to me, and I never followed up on them anyways.
I also don't want my kids to be made fun of for voicing the beliefs I hope to instill, since my town is overwhelmingly Catholic. I also don't want my kids to swing the other way and become uppity brutes who fester ill will toward kids who don't believe the way we do. I was guilty of this as a kid.

Has anyone else worried about this? How did you overcome the fear of not knowing how it all works out in the future?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Actual Meaning Vs. Intuitive Thought in Tarot

So, I'm pretty new to the tarot, and I'm not super psychic or anything, but nearly every time I do a reading with my deck what I feel like the cards should mean pretty much never match what they actually mean. I mean, they aren't polar opposites or anything, my feelings are usually related to the original meaning, but it's always slightly different. Does this happen often to anyone else? How often do you use your own inferences rather than a typical guidebook meaning?

Creation myths and gender polarity

I've recently thought a lot about various circles / wheels / cosmological compasses and the stories they tell about the cosmos and creation.

As most of you know some pagan traditions work with a circle of four elements & directions, which are often put into boxes of male (air & fire) and female (water & earth) attributes.

Some people work with a (neo)wiccan wheel of the year telling the reproductive story of a god and a goddess.

I've recently encountered a newly constructed 'medicine wheel' for European 'shamanic practices' which starts off at the point of 'primordial essence' and then divides the universe into 'primordial god' and 'primordial goddess' as 'primordial polarity' and then tells a creation story of how the elements, the ancestors, the plants, the animals, the humans etc. came into being from the interaction of these two primordial deities...

There are also a couple of ancient creation myths starting off with a god and a goddess...

At this point I wonder if there are any creation myths where the gender polarity isn't the first thing coming out of the primordial soup. Are there any ancient or recent creation stories not starting off with some kind of primordial male and female?

When I look at how science theorizes about the beginning of the universe and the beginning of life the development of sexes seem to be a pretty late step of evolution. Not that I'm an expert, but as much as I know primordial lifeforms where sexless protozoa...and even today there are some lifeforms which don't reproduce sexually.

Maybe the strong notion of primordial male & female is due to the fact that every human child is produced in a sexual way (unless we start to clone people).

But attributing female and male polarities to everything (sun/moon, elements, etc.) seems some kind of overgeneralisation in a human-centric worldview to me.

Does anybody know any non-gender-polaristic creation stories (ancient or recent ones)?

Do you still find gender-polaristic creation stories valid because of most people's 'mun & dad-experience' or would you rather use a creation story for your pagan tradition which isn't gender-polaric?

I was also thinking it would be interesting to write a creation story which adresses different kinds of polarities than sexes/gender and tells the story about men and women in a less binary way, including GLBT+ aspects and also doesn't put gender as the primary boxes everything is sorted into...but at the moment I'm at a loss and looking for ideas and suggestions.

Any thoughts on this?

Friday, August 24, 2012

What the cards tell you (for lack of a better title)

Let's say that you do a reading about what will happen in a certain situation, and the answer is not very good, sorrow, people falling down form towers etc. Now, you manage to avoid this situation. What happens next? I guess the real question is, what can you actually find out through a tarot reading? I'm a fan of the theory that a tarot reading can show you something that can happen at a certain time, but things change, and so you can change the outcome if you change your actions, nothing is static. But, can a situation foretold in a reading still come back and bite you in the ass in the future?

Cauldron Donation Drive -- The 2012 Edition

It's time for The Cauldron's Annual donation drive. (We are on time this year, instead of starting three weeks late as we somehow managed to do last year) When we moved to a VPS a few years ago our hosting costs jumped from about $200 a year to just over $800 a year (plus a few dollars more for domain fees and the like). Thanks to a number of members of The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum who made either annual or monthly donations, we have managed to pay the server bill every month when it is due on the 1st of the month. It's time to refill the till for our next year of hosting -- the alternative is TC disappearing from the Internet.

Extra Goal: Linode is now offering a backup feature which automatically makes daily, weekly, and monthly backups for $15 a month. If we could raise at least $1000 (instead of $800 and change) we could add this feature. Extra month raised over and above the minimum needed, as always, is used to add new features or otherwise support TC.

We'd really like to thank everyone who gave money for the server bills over the last year. Those who donated have made it possible for The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum to remain on the Internet from September 2011 to now. However, the account is pretty bare and it's now time to raise money for the next server year. We need your donations to keep The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum's message board up. There are two ways you can donate.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

How long did it take for you to move to your chosen Pagan path?

For you to move to your chosen pagan path? When did you know that you had let go of whatever religion you had prior to your current one?

I know that spirituality is a personal and continuous journey, what I wanted to know long did it take for you to admit (at least to yourself) that you were pagan (substitute what you would like)?

I've been reading, thinking and doing a lot of mediating for two years now. But when someone asks me what I believe in, I don't say anything or if they really press, I say God. I've come to realize I am afraid. My friends are all Christians and some of them are very close-minded. I guess I'm afraid to admit that I don't believe what they believe.

Is this a common feeling to have?

Pendulums -- Suspended Rather Than Held?

Has anyone tried using a pendulum suspended from a hook or stand, rather than held in your hand, for either divination or dowsing? If so, what technique(s) did/do you use? What kind of results have you gotten?

I'm interested in trying this method to rule out my own subconscious movements. When holding the pendulum, I usually get excellent results. But I can't quite trust them, ya know?

Any thoughts?

What's your Least Favorite Pagan Holiday -- And Why?

As a counterpart to our long-running What's your favorite holiday? thread, what is your least favorite Pagan holiday? The (fairly important) holiday in your religion that you just can't get into celebrating like you believe you should? Why is this holiday a problem for you?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Virginity and Religion

I've heard the "virgin until marriage" and "virgin for religious reasons" many times. I know the Christian faith really pushes it, I can remember a youth group lecture or two. Which other religions have a similar concept? Are the various pagan paths the only religions that actually accept sexuality for what it is and don't use teachings of fear, guilt and shame to mask it?

Any other thoughts?

What makes you feel Connected?

What makes you feel connected to: deities, nature, spirits, lwa, fae, your Higher Self, the Universe, Ancestors, etc? I'm trying not to leave anyone out, but alas there's a lot that could be in that list.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Ageism in Paganism

Recently we've discussed racism, sexism, fatphobia, and a host of other topics that involve stereotyping, and I figured it was time to bring up another item in the same vein: ageism.

I'm willing to bet that almost all of us have experienced ageism to one degree or another - from "post-menopausal women represent the Crone" idea to "young pagans have no valid opinions", these things pop up over and over with little to no repercussions. In addition, people who don't tolerate stereotyping in other circumstances seem to overlook or ignore ageism.

So, with that in mind:

1. Do you think ageism is an actual issue?
2. Have you experienced it, in either paganism or daily life?
3. Why do you think ageism isn't as hot a topic as other stereotyping?

Is it right to Ancestor Worship non-pagan Ancestors?

Does this bother anyone else?

A number of pagan paths have ancestor-revering, ancestor-offerings, the-thin-veil-between-worlds at Samhain and so on, which in one way or another involves the practitioner's ancestors in either ritual or ceremonial remembrance.

I'm always put off by this kind of thing. It seems, well, non-consensual - I'm the only pagan in my family, and it seems disrespectful to involve the deceased in practices of which they probably didn't approved in life.

This is mostly an academic question - there's no pressure for me to follow traditions I'm not comfortable with - but I'm curious how other people view the ethics of it?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Creature Myths: The True, the frauds, and the Still Debateable

Kust wondering everyone's opinion about which "myth creatures" are true, fake or still in debate? I mean everything from big foot, to mermaids, to hell hounds, to megalodons. Pictures? Sites? Videos? All that good stuff if it could be provided.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Dumbest Thing You've Heard a Pagan Say

Many years ago, a (now ex) friend of mine and I were out, talking about Wicca. I was new to it all and curious, and she'd been into it on a solitary basis for a couple of years or so.

We were in a grocery store parking lot when a young woman walked by us with bright orange hair, wearing all black, sporting tattoos and piercings. I didn't think much of it, but my (now ex for many reasons beyond just this!) friend looked at her and said, "Oh. I bet she thinks she's Wiccan. She can't possibly be; look at her, she's overweight and doesn't take care of herself and she dresses like crap!"

...dumbest thing I've heard a pagan say. Ever.

Your turn.

Paranormal State

Anybody ever watch the show? Sometimes they have episodes where they investigate cases of poltergeists and demons in people's houses (and bodies). This particular episode has a family being tormented by six demons and it's so very dramatic. They're usually a bit dramatic and cheesy, but this is like dialogue is too stiff here, can't tell if it's worth an eye roll or not. The exorcism of one family member and the house failed. They're at a serious disadvantage here though, because they actually believed the six demons gave their real names Azazel, Beelzebub, and Lilith among them. Like really? Those are the most well known demons in Christianity, they have bigger fish to fry than a small suburban family who play with Ouija boards. They ought to know that names have power and demons are liars, so why wouldn't they pick some scary Big Boss names?

What do you think of the show and shows like it? Most of the time the show is kinda amusing and then you get episodes like the aforementioned and you just think "is this for real?"

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Are you satisfied?

I have always wondered the deeper aspects of my belief. I wanted to know exactly what I believed in and what I didn't believe in. From that I tried to build a spiritual practice that was fulfilling for me.

At first I used to look for that practice in religions that were already there (Wicca, Ásatrú, etc.). I read about religions and even tried to practice some of them, but eventually I decided I had to create my own. It was back to square one: what exactly do I believe? I kept doing that for some years.

Nowadays, I don't really care about that (the "deep parts of religion/spirituality" I call them). I just do. My practice focuses on two goddesses from different pantheons, and I do my devotions for them. That's it. There's obviously a deeper meaning to this, but I'm not actively looking for it. Right now I'm satisfied with what I do. I'm satisfied with my practice.

So, are you satisfied?
If not, what do you feel you need to be satisfied?
Can you ever be satisfied?
Is the satisfaction part of your spirituality or not at all?

Is it Possible for The Gods not to Love?

I wonder what your experiences are with this particular topic, which is a little difficult for me to face, in all honesty.

Is it possible for the gods you work with not to love? I'm not talking the peripheral ones, the deities you come to now and again and don't have a strong one-on-one working relationship with. I'm talking about the Main Ones. The first and foremost in your life, your patrons.

I understand that some pagan faiths, like branches of Heathenism, for example, might believe that the gods aren't as interested in you as you are them, and that's a cultural thing (right?). I get that, and maybe it's not those that I'm asking about, because that's sort of a given.

The others, though. The ones that you want to love you, you expect and want to love you.

Is it possible, that even though they chose you (does it make a difference if you chose them? I think so), even though you work with them every day and do offerings and want to love them, that they're not going to/don't want to/can't return that love?

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Grounding/Centering/Shielding Guided Meditations

I used to be great at concentrating and working through a visualisation in my head, even if I'd read it from a book. But these last few years I'm finding it harder and harder.

I have so much going on, I just figure to get me on a roll it might be a good idea to start back at the beginning and work on using some guided meditations, cliched as they are. I've some good books to get me restarted on centering, grounding, shielding again, but I just can't make it work in my head right now.

So my reason for posting... Wanted the opinion of a group of diverse people. Does anyone have any idea of some good guided mediations (cd/mp3) for grounding centering and shielding. There are so many possibilities out there it's a minefield and I don't want to end up spending money on something fluffy.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

All Pagans Should Celebrate the Wheel of the Year Regardless of Specific Religion?

Long time members of TC known that any discussion of "Pagan Unity" can quickly become a major thread with a lot of "hostility" here, so I am sort of reluctant to bring this up here, but the idea is at least interesting (note: "interesting" does not necessarily mean "good").

I received feedback on our web site asking me why we do not stress the Wheel of the Year more as while the wheel is a property of Wicca and Wicca-like religions more than Pagan religions in general, the public tends so associate the Wheel of the Year with Paganism. The author of this note believes that all Pagans should celebrate the eight Wheel holidays in some way even if they are not a part of their specific Pagan path -- just as many Christians celebrate secular cultural holidays like Memorial Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, etc. religiously even though they are not truly holy days in Christianity. Doing so would give Pagans more of a common culture and would be more visible to the general public than each group only doing their religion's own thing.

What you you think?

I'm very skeptical, but I figured it would make a good discussion.

How Can I Know Which Path to Take?

I seem to be having a bit of a spiritual crisis, here. Again.

I've always had a soft spot for nature, and Paganism in general. It may be because I've grown up a child of a family who caravan frequently, so I would go between country and city quite regularly, but my heart lies in the countryside, especially near the beaches and forests.

However, none of the gods have spoken to me; I don't know which path would be best for me to go: if I'm not receiving a signal from any of the gods (or from any divinities in general), how do I know if they are interested in my devotion or not?

I've looked into multiple religions, a lot, but I seem to be having another one of these crises; I just don't know what to do or where to begin. I'm sick of having these crises as well.

My only fundamentals, though, are panentheism, animism, an afterlife (interestingly, I've gone off reincarnation and sort of gone into a universalist 'everyone goes to Paradise'), and probably some form of polytheism, but I don't know whether I'd consider the gods as mere manifestations of the One like illusions, or as individual entities who have their own individual Consciousness/Consciousnesses.

I'll answer any questions asked; I'm sick of being in this rut and it keeps happening....

Magic and the Phases Moon

I'm wondering if anyone uses the phases of the moon in their magical practice, and what the benefits are of doing it. I personally haven't noticed they make a big difference, but I'm curious if others have had different experiences.

Generally, the waxing moon (from new to full) is traditionally for growth, increase, and to attract things to you. The full moon is the peak of the psychic tide, and is considered a magically powerful time for most things. The waning moon (full to new) is the time of banishment, decrease, release, and is also a good time for curses.

I don't know if the phases of the moon really makes much of a difference in my workings, and I thought it would be interesting to know whether people have had similar or differing experiences.

Paganism and Tithing

I was wondering if anyone here ever set aside money for tithing. Either for pagan organizations, non-traditional churches, or charities in your deities names.

I know it's mostly a Christian concept, though to be fair the idea is in a lot of other religions just in different forms, but I wondered if it was something some pagans might feel compelled to do to. Maybe with a different motivation or a different spin.

So do you tithe?

If so how and why?

If not, why?

Friday, August 03, 2012

Buying a Tarot Deck?

I don't know much about the Tarot, but I entered this board because I'm interested in learning more. I am the superstitious type, and I was always told one should not buy their own Tarot deck but wait for one to be gifted. Do you think there's any credence to this? It might sound silly to some of you, I know, but I can't help it that I take superstitions so seriously.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

I was just curious about faeries. I was reading other posts about them and was getting mixed results. Some claimed they were nice creatures and easy to communicate with, others said they were more reclusive and not so nice. So if someone could give me a little info or a good site to visit that would be awesome!

Do I Honor my Gods Properly?

I'm still in the middle of finding my path within the Norse pantheon, but I've already established somewhat of a comfort zone. To me, Odin the Allfather sees all, my Gods can see every move I make and every thought I think. I was thinking, if I were a God (or Goddess in this case :P) a pleasant thought about me would be more honorable than some purely symbolic offering.

My life is too busy for offerings, I'm always in and out of the house and my offering to the Trickster God Loki has been sitting there for a while. I have no idea how to appropriately dispose it.

To me, living my life to the full potential, being courageous and learning how to live with some issues I know are permanent, whilst keeping the Gods in my mind is all I need to win me a good spot in the afterlife.

The Gods are my drive to keep me going, whether they are real or just a coping strategy, they keep me sane and for some reason, offering food and lighting a candle doesn't really cut it for me. It feels like it's doing something worldly to achieve some sort of otherworldly connection.

Tell me, am I misunderstanding something? None of the rituals I read about on here agree with me. How do I know if what I'm doing isn't enough for the Gods?

Rituals Upon or Involving the Water Elements

One of my earliest memories of water born offerings revolves around going out on to the Chesapeake Bay. I never really understood the significance of it but my uncle would always pour a beer upon the waves ahead of the boat as we got underway. He'd never make mention to who it was for or really the why of it but stress that we'd know the difference had he not done so.

Now my uncle was anything but pagan, yet that one act was something he did everytime. Perhaps a foolish superstition that he got from being a sailor and going to sea. Yet ironically similar to an act I witnessed years later as the ship got underway and one of the guys sprinkled salt upon the waves from the bow of the ship.

Having been a sailor for 23 years myself I probably picked up a few as well. Yet where those were aimed at deep water I've noticed other's i've used that I though might make an interesting thread discussion.

I follow Artemis and Hecate / Hekate who both have an association to water and the fecundity of sea life. One of the offerings I use actually falls into the catch and release program. Only keeping what was needed and above a certain size, releasing everything else back to the water. At times asking the released creature to carry a message to the water elements or to the god / goddess.

Though I do not use it myself I wonder about the offerings of birthing clothes or ones childhood toys to Artemis upon the waves.

Other times using paper boats or messages written upon some leaf or stick carved into a wooden boat. Strickly bio-degradable for sure and utilizes one of the green or standing people's to help carry the message. Other times using a type of oragami to make the image of some bird to carry the message upon the waves and send it upon its way. The same being used for offerings of poetry, drawings, paintings etc to be offered to the water elements or gods / goddesses via the water.

One form I use is for wind born water. Write something upon bio-degradable paper or regular paper in my youth and toss it into the storm. Granted in this form it utilizes both the elements of water and air and is used to make offerings to them or send requests upon them. Sometimes even inking a small gylph type image upon the fans of Maple seeds and tossing them into the storm to have the offering or message spun about like some natural Iunx or jinx. Maple seeds have worked best for this as they make natural spinners in my experience.

Similiar to the iunx or Jinx for me is the whistle water, not its formal name but what I call it. Basically I write or wash a honoring, libation or offering into a container then spin it about my head. The water then acting like a watering can and vaporizing the water and spending it forth. The alternate being to dump the item upon the altar or into the water to carry forth the offering, honoring, libation, etc.

I don't tend to use jewelry, coins, metallic items, etc as offerings with water regardless of it being river, lake, pond, sea or ocean. In many ways in part due to the goddesses and gods I am sworn to and make offerings and libations to seem to dislike it. The various spirits seem to dis-like it as it seem's to pollute thier environments unless it is natural to them. Also due to the association I have of it being used as a bribe for passage so to me that's not an offering.

Sometimes water itself is the offering or medium used. For instance its still an offering to the house spirits in my area when you hang a clear bag of water before the door to keep out the flies and such. When you leave a crystal or river stone in or near a well to keep it from going dry and appeasing the water spirits.

In Scotland it was the tossing of a shilling into the hole near the water and bridge. It kept the little people or spirits from dragging you down into the hole. Of course in some area's it was to prevent the Water Hag or Green Hag from rising up or being tricked. Probably similiar to stories of the troll beneath the bridge. Never forget the first time I encountered that one.

Today I am more aware of the influence upon the environment so use less intrusive things. Though I also can not ignore the influence the sea and its mysteries have had upon me. Perhaps that's why I still hesitate when I hear people whistling near the oceans as it reminds me of whistling up a storm or calling forth elementials from the depths.

Granted some of these have nothing to do with offerings but fall more into superstitions. Still I hope it generates some discussions that touch upon various pathways.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Isis and Her Greco-Roman Mystery Cult?

I don't fully identify with any particular tradition or religion (even if my foundation is a nebulous, recon-friendly syncretism of Celto-Germanic heathenry), but lately I've been feeling very interested in learning about, and possibly establishing a relationship with Isis.

I know quite a bit about her regarding her Kemetic counterpart Aset, but feel less knowledgeable concerning her Greco-Roman mystery cult, which is the forefront of my interest.

1) Anyone have some good resources about the goddess/her cult in general?

2) Any tips on establishing a relationship with her? What sort of offerings, rituals, etc.

I'll take whatever you have to give, personal experiences, scholarly sources, so on.

I'm more interested in her Roman mystery form, but Kemetic view points are welcomed too.

The Concept of Pilgrimage

While preparing to write a PBP entry, I did a Google search on "pagan pilgrimage" and the first hit was a thread from our old boards: Sacred Journeys and Pagan Pilgrimage. After reading it, I thought it might be an interesting topic to discuss on this incarnation of the boards as well.


What is the concept of pilgrimage, to you? Is it part of your religious path? Have you been on pilgrimage (I know Altair has) or are you planning one? If so, what do you plan to do? If not, why not?

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