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  4. Ellinas

    Daily Ritual

    Each to his own. I find ritual quickly loses meaning. By it's nature it is often repetitive, pre-planned, structured, in ways that quickly prove themselves stifling. Still, if it speaks to a given individual, go with it. It's just not for me.
  5. DavidMcCann

    Daily Ritual

    I find ritual important. To quote an anthropologist, Evan Zuesse
  6. QuercusRobur

    Daily Ritual

    Ritual is a way of connecting with your deities, if you have any. If you don’t need it (or don’t have any deities) or just choose not to do it, then that’s fine. I also like to do ritual for the festivals (if I can) because it marks them out as a special day. Apart from that, I’m not really a ritual person.
  7. Lehnah

    Daily Ritual

    Thanks for the suggestions everyone. Has given me much to think on.
  8. childofcirce

    Daily Ritual

    Hi Lehnah, I would echo what others have said, that there is no "right way" or "not enough" when it comes to communing with your deities. I think the quality of your conversations is much more important than whether or not they adhere to any kind of ritual process. Ritual certainly has its function, but please don't stress if you don't have the time and space to do it every day. I don't have quite the same challenge with my partner as I am very open and she very supportive of my practice, but when life gets really busy and I find myself losing touch with my spiritual side, I try to squeeze in some meditations (I sort of converse with some deities, sometimes, but am still exploring that) in bed, morning and/or evening. It makes for a nice start/finish to the day and I find it's a nice, quiet time with no interruptions or pressure to talk or anything. Any mundane tasks, like brushing your teeth, can also be a good time to check in. Also, showers! You're skyclad, you're cleansing yourself, and you're (presumably, at least most of the time) alone- what better time to have a conversation with your deities?
  9. Hillwalker

    Daily Ritual

    What I find useful is a meaningful mantra (repeated silently in the mind). When I'm out in the hills or fells it is a gateway to 'the other place' and during the day it helps me stay grounded , especially when at work. Another ritual I find useful is every morning on the way to work I stop at the beach and pick up a pebble and keep it in my pocket. During the day I hold it to remind me of 'the other place' - the next day I replace the pebble back on the beach and pick up another one. For me ritual is a practical way of keeping focus on what is important, it's all to easy to get lost in the world and overwhelmed by negative energy.
  10. Ellinas

    Daily Ritual

    As time has gone on, I've found ritual becomes increasingly unimportant. If we regard deities as intelligent, I don't really understand why we need to do anything more than talk to them. I suppose magical practice might be another matter, and it is of little importance to me, but even then, if magic is the use of will, why not just will what is desired? This is not to say that you need to adopt this approach. If you feel the need for ritual, carry on. Might I suggest that a statue need not be justified as anything other than aesthetic. If you can't say anything further to your wife, tell her it is there because you like it. Say "thanks" when she's not around. Or forget the statue and use your garden - create a sort of unobtrusive sacred space (perhaps just a stone). If you don't want to explain going outside in all weathers, position it where you can see it from a window. Or create a mental sacred space which you can visit anywhere and anytime there is sufficient peace. That has the advantage that you might meet some interesting unexpected images. Mine is a wide, grassed ledge on a steep hillside where I've built a mental stone altar. Mind, I've not been there for quite a while. And be aware that if you try this in bed at night, you will be liable to fall asleep.
  11. QuercusRobur

    Daily Ritual

    If you want to say hello and thank you, have you tried writing prayers? I have one to Brigid whenever I turn the hob on and I dedicate any divination to The Morrigan. You could also ask the deities to give you daily tasks to do, but be selective as you don’t want to end up inundated with things to do.
  12. Earthdragon

    Daily Ritual

    Hi Lehnah, Great to have someone post about day-to-day practical paganism 😁 I think ideally each person seeks a sort of balance to their spiritual life and practise that makes sense to them. I personally have never see one anything in a set format on a daily basis for more than a few weeks at a time. We hold to eight cyclic rituals each year and a member of our group undertook to give a daily offering to the grove's patron deity and the Celtic pantheon. I personally feel that my private unspoken, un-ritualised communications with deity have been every bit as meaningful to them and myself as the rituals I've done... In case it may be useful in any way I'll also add that in terms of statues, symbols etc. I practise several methods where the use of a visualised symbol, with its inherent conduit to that which it represents, has just as much presence and potency for me as the physical symbol itself. I think it's strength of intention and familiarity that help with that...
  13. Lehnah

    Daily Ritual

    G'day folks, So I've always struggled with daily ritual. I know each day we should say hello to the Gods, thank them for all they do for us, but I've never found anything that feels quite right. As present the closest I've come to daily ritual is listening to pagan-ish music while thinking about/ talking to the Gods quietly in my mind. This works well during my commute to work, when others are around etc, but is it enough? It feels like I'm just "fitting them in," but with all the responsibilities of life it's really hard to find time. I'd love to have a statue at home, like a little figurine next to my bed or something, which I could say thanks to each day, but that would involve explaining what it is to my wife and I'm not sure I'm ready to do that. Anyway, any suggestions folks might have would be much appreciated.
  14. It’s a question I’ve been asked many times but it’s not something I’ve written about here on the blog so here goes! I’ll admit it. I’m a melody and riff man. I like pretty much straight forward music with a hook in the chorus and a great melody or riff. I stray into prog rock a little with a life-long love of Yes, Jethro Tull and Pink Floyd, but newer prog bands like Dreamtheater and Opeth? No. They leave me cold. I really want to like them because the musicianship is amazing, but the songs just send me to sleep, and watching them live is a grind. So it won’t come as any real surprise that the first thing that comes to me in a new song is the melody. I’ll sit with the guitar (or bouzouki, or mandolin) and just play chords, singing nonsense over the top. After a while I’ll sing a melody or a chord sequence that pricks up my ears. I’ll go back and then build on that. Ask questions. Is that a verse? A bridge? The chorus? Decide where in the song it might be best placed, then play it through to see where the melody naturally goes next. Eventually, I’ll have a verse tune, a chorus tune, maybe a middle eight or bridge to go with it. Out comes the iPhone and I’ll record it. The melody might stay on my phone for years before I go back to it, ask the question “what does this melody say to me?” and it might become a song on a new album. So the melody first, then the lyrics. Almost all my songs have been written that way apart from two – Only Human and Pagan Ways. Only Human was a rant. I was going to write about what led to that song being written but as I typed it just brought me down. I don’t want you to feel that way reading this article, so I’ve deleted it. But the words of that song came first, then the tune, and writing it was pretty cathartic. Sometimes, particularly with the songs from the Y Mabinogi albums, the tune and lyrics come together. I already know what the song needs to say because of where it comes within the tale. I also know the feeling I want from the song for the same reasons. So with those songs, it feels like the initial ‘noodling’ is getting ready for a hunt, and then I head off and literally hunt the melody. Some of the lyrics will often arise as that hunt takes place. Writing the Y Mabinogi songs has been, and continues to be, a magical process which has often felt as if another hand is guiding me towards the prey. With songwriting, you are constantly switching between the left and right sides of the brain. If possible, to keep the flow, it’s important to spend more time in the right side, the creative side. But then come the rhymes. Making rhymes is often a left hand, logical, process. It can influence the entire line of the song and can change it which is obviously a part of the creative process, but that rhyme can sometimes drag you out of the flow if it takes too long. So there is no shame in using a good rhyming dictionary. I always have Clement Wood’s Complete Rhyming Dictionary to hand, just in case. Some songs take a few hours. Some literally land on the page in what seems like minutes. Others take weeks, months, or years to complete. They’re the ones that need to stay in the cauldron and bubble away until the spell is ready. The Awen is an elusive mistress. I can’t force a song. If I sit down with the whole intent to write a song I often just spend time looking at a blank screen and flashing cursor. I probably could just write, but songwriting is a part of who I am, it reflects how I see the world, life, my spiritual path, so above absolutely everything else it needs to be honest. That’s how it’s always been for me, and it’s how it’ll always be. I hope you enjoyed that, and if it’s inspired you to write a song, get strumming! View the full article
  15. Earthdragon

    What do you get from your paganism?

    Hi Moonsmith, I wonder if you could flesh this out a bit? How does your action contribute to your beliefs and where does the tenets of your "right action ", as you put it, come from if the actions are a not a result of any of your beliefs?
  16. A blessed release from the week’s rain but the chalk still wet underfoot. Slippery too, as we walked along the old track to the South Downs. A blue sky battling with scattered clouds, and rooks sharing their wisdom on the wing, calling to those walkers below that it was time. The Old One was here early. No white cloak across the land just yet, yet Her breath was beginning its late Autumn exhale, and it wouldn’t be long before that gentle breeze became a storm, stripping yellow and red leaves from dozing trees to leave them bare and reaching into darker skies. The hill not far now. Flat. Round. People already there. Voices. And the Long Man standing in the Door to the Otherworld. The door open wide and the veil thin. Voices of those gathered on the hill joined by voices of those whose eyes looked through the veil, and the mists. A circle of people then. A circle conjured as the green turns to grey, grass becoming iron, and the hill, the hollow hill shape-shifts becoming the Great Cauldron with feet upon its rim. Before living eyes the mists of Annwn bubble and shift. And beyond, eyes of those who had gone before see those they love, those who love them. The Spirits called, the prayer spoken, the Awen sang – from The Deep it came. Safety. Community. Names spoken into the air, names of those gone before, names said out loud. Never forgotten. Tears. Helping hands. So many names. From the four directions, food, offerings, love, shared. The Bards speak their words. Truth. Honour. Remembering. An Oath of Peace then, from lungs, into breath, into words, spreads out from the hollow hill, from the rim of the Cauldron, across the land, and the Awen is sung. The Spirits thanked, the circle uncast, returns to the land, and the Cauldron withdraws its mist and withdraws its iron rim, turning grey to green as grass lay underfoot once more. But look now… Can you still see it there, just below the surface, spinning slowly, the veil still thin? The rooks know. They see it, and they call out to Her, to bring the first storms, to exhale, as the Earth sleeps, and Winter’s cloak moves ever closer. So may it be. View the full article
  17. Stonehugger

    What do you get from your paganism?

    I think what I get most is a sense of oneness with what's around me. That's almost always a good thing in the sense that whatever is happening to me is happening to everything else and obviously I react differently to the way a rock or tree would react but it's clearly my responsibility to manage my reactions to things. It's a lot like the old saying that sailors can't control the weather but they can trim their sails. The downside is that very occasionally I can get dragged down by situations I don't understand at all. I worked in a troubled building for a while - I never worked out what the problem was but even another colleague with no pagan leanings could sense something. He thought the building must be on the site of a cemetery but that wouldn't have troubled me. On balance, being at one with my surroundings is very much more beneficial than not and it's something I work at.
  18. Ellinas

    What do you get from your paganism?

    You beat me to it. There is no conceptual basis to assert that some people may not get out of their paganism a label which has some meaning or usefulness to them. So, querying whether that was what was meant in this instance was, as far as I can see, entirely within the ambit of the thread title. Still, it's not an issue - save insofar as it fascinates me how the same words can be interpreted in different ways.
  19. Earthdragon

    What do you get from your paganism?

    Seems like a clarification of what you get out of your paganism, Rosa, which is the title of the thread.
  20. Rosa

    What do you get from your paganism?

    I see. Having moderated a forum for many years I have got into the habit of keeping to the threads subject title. That’s where labels come into their own. 😜
  21. Ellinas

    What do you get from your paganism?

    That's clearer. It just struck me that one way of reading your previous post was that you attached some importance to the label, so I was curious as to whether that was what you meant and, if so, what was that importance.
  22. Rosa

    What do you get from your paganism?

    The way I live my life is important to me, I don’t think labels are necessary. My lifestyle is more pagan than anything else descriptively, which is what I understood the threads subject to be about.
  23. Ellinas

    What do you get from your paganism?

    Not sure how to interpret this correctly. Is being able to call yourself pagan of importance to you?
  24. Ellinas

    Book recommendations please?

    Woman's journey...man's journey... a journey's still a journey...
  25. Rosa

    What do you get from your paganism?

    I have experienced other religions and philosophies, I’ve tried to find whatever I was looking for at the time only to find too much emotional blackmail as in “if you do this...this will happen” and “if you don’t do that something else will happen”. This is not for me. I like to be able to love, think and act with caring throughout my life, being pagan enables me to do this and living this way enables me to call myself a pagan.
  26. Rosa

    Book recommendations please?

    I’ve read some of his work and enjoyed it. I also read Mutant Message From Down Under by Marlo Morgan which was excellent and would recommend it to anyone even though it’s basically about a woman’s journey.
  27. Ellinas

    Book recommendations please?

    Gibran wrote quite a bit of other stuff as well, which is worth a read. And you might like Paolo Coelho, though I find some of his writings better than other. "Manuscript Found In Accra" I would probably have liked better if I had not read Gibran's "The Prophet", which makes Coelho's version seem, to me at least, like a weaker version of the same concept.
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