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Monica Soto

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    1. Starters Orders (basics)

      Ground work, foundations and basics. A good place to start for those new to paganism.
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    • I've just read an interesting article about a research project which has used artificial means to keep pig brains functioning (with capacity for normal brain activity) for up to 36 hours. 


      The ambition is to apply this to human brains to enable scientists to study the living brain more effectively. 

      Personally I can see the potential for benefits to humanity - future generations could have a better quality of life without succumbing to degenerative neurological conditions - but it opens up a huge ethics debate around the nature of the research itself and the potential for misuse in practical application down the line. At present we have no way of knowing if there is any form of consciousness in the test subjects and if so whether it causes distress or suffering to the individual. Is it just a functioning organ or is it the vessel for a conscious being? Surely the only way of knowing would be if scientists were to conduct a successful human brain transplant, and this research has arguably unlatched the gate to that path. 

      I found the research exciting and fascinating, and a little bit frightening. I imagine many people of a religious persuasion will have very strong opinions.

      What's your thoughts?
      • 9 replies
    • Right then how best to phrase the question......

      I've noticed on here there's quite a number of different belief sets(as you'd expect!)and although some seem to have set rituals and celebrations many are (as mine) an amalgamation of different"paths" and I'm curious as to whether people consider there beliefs" religious"..... for my own part I don't consider my beliefs religious,they are opinions formed from what I'd term spiritual experiences but are not in and of themselves religious

      Secondly how do you all define " religion" (don't go to Google I can do that myself I'm looking for your personal definition,how YOU define what's religious and what's simply belief).....does religion require texts,if it has them should they (the word of God/god's/deities ect)be followed to the letter and if you believe not then why when the instructions come from what you believe to be a higher,sacred source?.....if you don't follow the teachings or doctrine of your chosen path( if it has such) how do you justify discarding the parts you deem wrong?
        • Like
      • 42 replies
    • A bit of a clumsy question but I'm at the end of a long day with my two young children so my ability to articulate is a bit limited.

      I've just caught up with an old thread about Christian pagans and something said by Moonsmith got me thinking about belief in deities and how/why people interpret them in the way that they do. I consider myself to be an atheist and a pagan but Moonsmith's description of him/herself (sorry, I don't want to presume gender) as believing in a non-anthropomorthic deity struck a chord with me and now has me questioning my understanding of my own beliefs. I'm beginning to think I must have a very narrow view of what constitutes deity.

      I respect the belief in anthropomorphic deities but I've always struggled with the idea, particularly the notion of interventionist gods. And for that reason I've defaulted to self identifying as atheist. But now I'm wondering if that's lazy of me; if the connection I feel for the natural world is a connection to something that could be described as deity - energy, life force, creator, connecting all things - without it being anthropomorphised. 

      I'd really love to hear the thoughts of others on this subject. What's your perception of deity? Have you always felt that way? Have you challenged your own beliefs? Why does your belief (or lack thereof) make sense to you? 

      Thank you x 
      • 19 replies
    • What is sacrifice in the Pagan world?

      What does it achieve?

      Who or what initiates it?

      How do you decide what to sacrifice/do/give?

      Stuff like that!

      [Blame Ellinas]
      • 19 replies
    • We all went through the shiny new pagan phase. Very occasionally, I see someone post on a pagan forum asking "what next?"  They've read the books they found in their local New Age store, found a few online groups, and then, one day, realised that what they know isn't enough for them. They want to go deeper. But deeper into what? And how?

      So this is really about how you dealt with that stage. Did you ask for advice? What was the result? What did you pursue? Where are you now?

      Back when I was a new pagan, I was accidentally mainlined directly into initiatory Wicca, through a relationship and working with the Pagan Federation Committee. That stage lasted about two years. Back then, there were only email groups - but the participants of the two or three groups I was on were all people who had been pagans for years and knew their stuff. And each other.  The discussions could be mind blowing. As a result of those, I began to realise Heathenry was a good fit for the things I felt. Plus, my paganism was always an aspect of my relationships with gods, and one of the gods associated with Heathenry began a working relationship with me.  All the recon religions involve reading the old texts of that religion, so that occupied a fair amount of my 'study' time. Since then, I've realised I could so easily have followed the breadcrumb trail to follow various other pagan religions and become Greek, Roman or Kemetic. But I'm happy as I am. 

        • Thanks
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      • 18 replies
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  • Posts

    • Moonsmith
      A witch friend of mine kept dreaming of a wolf, sometimes with a girl and sometimes she felt she was the girl.  This is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay out of my anything zone but I sent her this picture: The title is "Wolf Protecting Girl".  Now I am not into dream interpretation at all but we worked together on her thoughts. Like you she felt protected and calmed. We noticed that the eyes of both subjects are the same.  Perhaps they were the same person.  My friend laughed and pointed out that the wolf is better equipped to handle their current situation than is she in that weather. However she left with that thought: that girl and wolf were one. Later I mentioned the she-wolf and again she laughed.  She had always thought of the wolf as male. Make of it what you will but you are not alone.   [Deebs this picture is copyright - delete it if you think you should and I'll try and find a link.  Failed so far.]
    • WillowLily
      Wolfs are very special  for me  i keep seeing them in my  dreams one of the things i see is a white wolf  and an native American little  girl  they are calming and talk to me when i am feeling unwell  they soothe  me  when am scared or upset   i have seen wolfs in a nature reserve before there amazing  and beautiful and i wish they where free   i dont normally go to nature reserves  or zoo  i would like to see animals free  I just became Vegan  in the last  few months  i love animals  there beauty  and there uniqueness  wolfs more so 
    • UK Pagan
      MEDIA RELEASE – NOV 27, 2018 Lost Souls European Tour
      expands into summer 2019
      Includes outdoor concerts, festivals & heritage venues
      STRATFORD, ON – The multi-award winning Canadian singer-songwriter and musician, who in May 2018 released her first recording of original songs since 2006, has announced she is taking her Lost Souls Tour to Spain and Italy next summer, as well as adding performances in Germany. “We’re excited to be revisiting some places we’ve not been able to get to for some time, reconnecting with folks we haven’t seen for a while and to perform in some fabulous outside heritage venues.” says McKennitt. The Lost Souls Tour next summer will run from July 3rd through July 26th. Tickets go on sale November 30th, 2018. The summer performances follow a 25-concert spring tour encompassing ten countries in Central Europe between March 9th and April 8th 2019. In the event additional countries are added to the tour, they will be announced through McKennitt’s website and through newsletters sent to members of the Loreena McKennitt Community. Prior to embarking on the highly-acclaimed South American leg of the tour, McKennitt held several concerts in her home base, Stratford, Canada. Describing the show as “one of the finest performances McKennitt has ever given,” a reviewer for the Toronto-based online music publication spillmagazine.com said, “her voice is stronger than ever and the emotion coming from her as she sang is beyond words… Quite simply, one of the best shows I have attended this year.” The summer leg of the Lost Souls Tour will also feature fellow musicians Brian Hughes on guitars, oud and Celtic bouzouki, Caroline Lavelle on cello, Hugh Marsh on violin, Dudley Philips on double bass and Robert Brian on drums. While the concerts draw on her expansive catalogue of recordings, McKennitt also performs songs from her new album. Several of the songs on Lost Souls she composed some time ago. Others progressively took shape in the midst of more recent projects and journeys. A few draw on the poetry of John Keats and W.B. Yeats, while another evokes a distinctly Middle Eastern flavour. In Lost Souls, they all come together to create an artistically diverse and timely collection. The album was released in May as a CD and 180-gram vinyl record and through all music services, including iTunes, Apple Music and Spotify. Loreena McKennitt’s eclectic Celtic blend of pop, folk and world music has sold over 14 million albums worldwide. Her recordings have achieved Gold, Platinum and multi-Platinum status in 15 countries on four continents. She has twice been nominated for a Grammy Award and has won two Juno Awards, as well as a Billboard International Achievement Award. She has performed in some of the world’s most-respected and historic concert venues, from Carnegie Hall to the famous Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain and for dignitaries including Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and numerous heads of state. In addition to her musical career, McKennitt has been recognized for a number of noteworthy philanthropic initiatives, including: • The Cook-Rees Memorial Fund for Water Search and Safety
      • Falstaff Family Centre
      • Honorary Colonel of the Royal Canadian Air Force In 2004, McKennitt was awarded the Order of Canada and in 2013 was appointed Knight of the National Order of Arts and Letters of the Republic of France. -30- ON SALE NOVEMBER 30
      Jul 14 Abenberg, Castle
      Jul 15 Munich, Tollwood
      Jul 16 Berlin, Zitadelle
      Jul 17 Freiburg, ZMF
      Jul 18 Mainz, Zitadelle For more information or to request an interview,
      please contact press@quinlanroad.comor +1-519-273-3876   Share your thoughts and discuss this subject on our MessageBoard. The post Lost Souls European Tour expands into summer 2019 appeared first on Loreena McKennitt. View the full article
    • UK Pagan
      I try to give my family great holidays, and frequently, that has meant that I turn myself inside out trying to do that. My plans for Thanksgiving were not grand, in comparison to some years (no roasting, scrapping and pureeing pumpkin for days to make the pies from scratch this year), but on Tuesday night, I found myself melting down over a series of individually minor mishaps that turned my expectations into ash.

      It started with the dishwasher dying at the beginning of the month, and the ensuing comedy of errors won't be resolved until December 3rd.  Doing dishes by hand eats a lot of time.  I fell behind on my holiday preparations, regular housework, and organization projects.  Then we had a twelve-hour power outage that caused us to have to toss everything in the fridge and freezer and replace it.  That was expensive and smelly.  Then all of the orders I've placed for clothes for the kids, a prepared meal from Whole Foods for the holiday, and solstice gifts I ordered well in advanced because they were coming from overseas have all had problems.  Add to that potty training the little one, a preteen with an attitude, and teenage snark, and you have me threatening to drink an entire case of wine at once.

      Thanksgiving came and went yesterday.  The china and silver didn't come out.  The tablecloth and candles stayed in their cupboards.  The pie came from a box. I used Cool Whip instead of whipping cream.  We had a good meal together.  At the end of the day, I found myself, tired, relaxed, and surprised.

      By focusing on all of the misfortunes, I had lost sight of why I cared about making a great holiday for my family- I love them and I want us to have happy times together.  Sometimes, it is so easy to miss the point.  There are many distractions in life that will happily lead us off course into unrealities that trap us in illusions.  We have to be careful to stop, look around, and be certain we know where reality is. View the full article
    • Moonsmith
      I've just been re-reading this thread and this caught my eye: [My weekly comic causes me to undertake this kind of review on an uncomfortably frequent basis.] So: Where the founding thoughts of a faith are aged or ancient; to what extent should its followers allow it to evolve?  Might it be possible to derive a formula for evolution from its tenets? or/and Does it always need a controlling body to reinterpret the original thinking into modern times?  Judaism has Shul and Islam has its madrassas where elders discuss these things but it must be very difficult to control the promulgation of agreed thinking. Anglicanism and Roman Catholicism are only just catching up with environmental issues and have for a long time struggled with the development of society in Britain.  I can only surmise that the solely bible based versions of Christianity find their planetary conscience outside of their founding reference. These re-thinks and add-ons tend to a natural diversity of thinking and often [historically] to schisms.  Is it inevitable that the founding thinking becomes increasingly diluted or stretched? Where does the authenticity of a long established faith lie in such circumstances?