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  1. The Village Square

    1. Around the Web

      News from other sites around the Web.
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  2. The Circle (all pagans together)

    1. Starters Orders (basics)

      Ground work, foundations and basics. A good place to start for those new to paganism.
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  • Our picks

    • 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. 

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-43928318

      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 
      • 17 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. 

       
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      • 18 replies
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  • Posts

    • Veggie dancer
      Yep. I'm learning now how much our emotions colour our perception of a situation. Have begun using EFT to help free myself emotionally and it is helping look at situations more rationally.  
    • Stonehugger
      Are there different kinds of friendship though? I've struggled a bit for a couple of years with some mental health inconvenience which my very best friend in the world hasn't been much help with, but I have other friends who have carried me through the whole thing. There's not as much chemistry there but a huge amount of practical love. Nothing could ever come between me and "S" and their lack of empathy on this particular issue does nothing to cloud our friendship. The whole situation could easily have been the other way round. My general friendship group could be no help with something, or run out of patience very quickly, whereas S might be (and often has been) an angel (in the powerful sense). This year, in World Mental Health Week (or whatever it's called) I noticed quite a few public social media posts from people I know barely or not at all. They posted very general stuff like "make sure you talk to someone" or "make time for your friends" or "ask colleagues how they are". As an experiment, I replied to quite a few of them in a supportive but slightly needy manner. One post that I made got a few "likes" but nobody actually replied to any of them. So, just based on my tiny experiment, the personhood might make a few supportive noises on special occasions but basically does nothing. I'll stick with S.
    • Stonehugger
      I went to a Buddhist meditation session once (by mistake - I was told it was a group therapy self-help group with a good facilitator!) and the only thing that has stuck in my mind was the facilitator explaining that any negativity we feel towards a situation is inside our heads. It's about us, not the situation. One of his arguments was that even though we might get quite frustrated with our spouses, our best friends can generally do no wrong. My best friend is opposite-gender and that may colour what I'm saying but it's true that I could never possibly be cross with them for more than a few seconds. My longsuffering spouse, on the other hand, can sometimes do nothing right in my eyes for hours at a time, which is outrageous really, especially considering that my grumpiness is inside me, not in the situation itself.
    • UK Pagan
      Shownotes for DruidCast Episode 139 Forests – Willowolf – https://willowolf.bandcamp.com/releases Hallowe’en Song – Richard Tucker Talky Bit – The Use of Bones in Magic and Witchcraft – Gemma Gary – http://www.gemmagary.co.uk Troy books – http://www.troybooks.co.uk Children of the Sun – Willowolf – https://willowolf.bandcamp.com/releases Prologue (from Y Mabinogi – The Second Branch – Damh the Bard – https://www.paganmusic.co.uk DruidCast theme – Hills they are Hollow – Damh the Bard – https://www.paganmusic.co.uk For more information about the Druid tradition – https://www.druidry.org View the full article
    • UK Pagan
      The moon in astrology represents the instinct to fulfill our emotional needs. Yet, a thorough understanding of our Moon in a sign and house is not complete without the context of its relationship to the rest of our natal chart and the other planets. In this excerpt from Llewellyn's Moon Sign Book, Amy Herring discusses the power of the moon and its planetary aspects have on our emotions. View the full article
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