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  1. The Village Square

    1. Marketplace

      Somewhere to post queries and information about Pagan supply shops, both on and offline, and advertise your things for swap or sale. We allow limited notifications of your E-Bay adverts but don't overuse this. All deals are of course private between the individuals concerned.

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    2. 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

    • As the title suggests, this post and the accompanying poll are about the place of alternative medicine in modern culture. Should we be using it as a replacement for conventional medicine, as something to run alongside and compliment the conventional or not at all? Does modern life mean we have modern diseases beyond the reach of older alternative medicine?
       
      This series of questions has been somewhat sparked by the thread about why pagans 'should' embrace everything alternative and just general musings of mine brought to the forefront of my mind by the differing attitudes I see between a work colleague who uses homeopathy for everything and my partner who is by and large disdainful of alternative medicine.
       
      As for my personal view, I think that alternative medicine does have a place alongside conventional medicine as it can often help with the side effects of some conventional medicines or be used as a safer alternative for people who suffer from recurrent ailments where repeated doses of the conventional cure may do more harm than good. I am very much in favour of the use of alternative medicine to ward off and cure minor ailments such as colds, sore throats, toothache, headaches etc and the use of conventional medicine for more major or complex ailments. I suppose some of my view on this comes from personal experiences of the nasty effects of some conventional medicines such as SSRIs where alternative medicine has helped me to be able to function again and such.
       
      So what do other people think?
      • 21 replies
    • I've been reading a bit about how to reduce the waste in my household. Some things are quite straight forward but others would take a significant stepchange e.g. shopping at smaller, independent shops and bringing own containers. I would need to plan more and be more organised, which is a big ask given how busy my life is these days. I think it's going to be a case of making small shifts in the right direction and building it up until new habits are formed.

      In some respects I'm already on the right path, e.g. I used cloth nappies and wipes for my girls but I know there's so much more that I could be doing.

      Are you conscious about what ends up in your wheelie bin and have you made any changes lately? Have you swapped products or buying habits because of excess packaging or their disposable nature?
        • Like
      • 39 replies
    • 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 
      • 19 replies
  • Popular Contributors

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      Ellinas
      Ellinas
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      Pearlbrook
      Pearlbrook
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      Moonsmith
      Moonsmith
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  • Posts

    • DavidMcCann
      For me the religion springs from my ethics and not vice versa. Respecting the gods is like respecting the environment and other humans. I suppose the practice of making charitable donations as offerings is a spin-off. Tomorrow is the festival of Artemis, so the London Wildlife Trust benefits. Would I have thought of giving if I weren't a polytheist? I'd like to think so, but perhaps not. And there are practical benefits to me from hand-on gods like Asklepios.
    • Ellinas
      What do I get out of it...? Principally, freedom.  Freedom to think, to experience, to go my own way and to stick up two fingers and the doctrinal "we know better than you and you must agree with us" types.  Been a part of that.  Never underestimate the value of freedom. Also, a sense of mystery.  I don't mean in some sort of "ooh - I'm so occult and strange..." way.  Rather, it gives the latitude for me to explore my own mind, psyche, whatever you want to call it, whether logically, emotionally or meditatively, and to seek to synthesise these.
    • Pearlbrook
      Of course! 🙂 
    • Moonsmith
      Yes but let's see a few other responses first.
    • Pearlbrook
      Thanks, Moonsmith! If you don't mind me asking:  thinking back to when you first considered yourself a Pagan, how did you come to really formulate these ideas into a cohesive reality? Was there a process? And you say that the most important function for you is to understand the nature of the universe - can I ask what makes this the principle role for you? I definitely connect with that idea on an emotional level, and would love to hear your thoughts on it.
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