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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.

      Old posts are archived, and current posts are visible to guests.

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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
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  • Posts

    • UK Pagan
      Witchcraft and the spirit world are uniquely tied together, and building a deeper practice often means building bridges between ourselves and the spirit world. This isn't always easy, however. Here, author Devin Hunter presents 6 ways we can build bridges to the spirit world. View the full article
    • UK Pagan
      Shownotes for DruidCast Episode 146 The Dreaming – Damh the Bard – https://www.paganmusic.co.uk Interview with Awnangee (really not sure if the spelling is even close!) Angel – Deborah Cher – https://deborahcher.bandcamp.com Artorius Rex – Malkin Tower – https://www.malkintower.co.uk Arthurian story with Professor Roland Rotherham – https://www.rolandrotherham.co.uk Belthain – Belthain – http://www.belthain.com DruidCast theme – Hills they are Hollow – Damh the Bard – https://www.paganmusic.co.uk For further information on the Druid tradition – https://www.druidry.org View the full article
    • UK Pagan
      What do you do when you pull a court card in the outcome or action position in a tarot spread? Do you pull another card out to help get more clarification? Do you pretend it didn't happen, put the court card back in the deck, and pick another card? Or do you learn how to use the tarot court to problem-solve, get unstuck, and move forward? View the full article
    • UK Pagan
      I find myself thinking about echo chambers often.  The last couple of weeks have been bringing home to me how very unhealthy they are for us as individuals, but also as a society. One of my friends was recently recounting a meetup for therapists he attended that had a large number of people from the same geographic area in the same profession who were all echoing the same concern that something was missing from the field.  My friend was astounded at how often these people echoed each other but also failed to grasp that the answer to their concern was shockingly simple: it's time to start talking about intersections of race, class, and gender.   A few days before this conversation, I was listening to someone else make unhealthy choices with the support of her echo chamber.  Because their viewpoints were all too similar, they were missing just how messed up things sounded to everyone else. We've all seen how media outlets have begun to tailor their reporting to their perceived audience, and how that bias is straining relationships between groups.  A lack of diversity in thought is polarizing, misleading, and disruptive. I'm trying to challenge myself to look for the echo chambers in my life.  Without any challenge to my thought processes, I'm afraid of becoming both intellectually lazy, but also callous to the concerns and needs of others.  I'm afraid of withering from spiritual malnutrition caused by a too homogenous environment that lacks the strength that comes from adaptation. View the full article
    • UK Pagan
      The snow-capped mountains reach towards the blue sky, and as they do so the white begins to fall away. Rivers of melted snow rush downward and soon join as one with the river below. Soon the river is flowing so fast it’s uncontrollable. It has a life of its own, its own purpose. It grows as more snow-melt joins. The water is one being, one life, as it rushes through the valley, out, to reach the oceans. When the Awen is flowing, that’s what it feels like. Overwhelming, uncontrollable, exhilarating, and that’s the flow I’ve been swimming with for the past three years working on the First and Second Branch of Y Mabinogi. It has felt like these albums have had a life of their own, almost as if they were desperate to be created. I remember when I finished the First Branch and was instantly being mobbed by crows each day as I walked Oscar by the river as if Bran and Branwen were saying, “Come on! It’s our turn now! Get on with it!” But the Second Branch was quite some ride. By the end, after living with the tale for a year I had such mixed emotions. I loved the end result and was so happy to release it so you could all hear it. But I was also emotionally exhausted – the story had taken its toll on me, and so I decided I needed a break. I could feel that need before I finished, and I remember saying to my Bardic Buddy Arthur Hinds that I was done for a while and that I was going to have some time away from the Y Mabinogi albums to record some songs. His response was, “But what if the Lady wants you to carry on?” My reply was, “Well if that’s so, the Lady will get her wish.” The Awen is a complicated Mistress. Right now it feels like the river I had been enjoying so much for the past three years has slowed. The peaks have melted and now the waters have settled into an almost imperceptibly gentle meander. Life has been incredibly busy (with great stuff, but still very full) and at times like this, I sometimes wonder how I ever have any time to actually sit down and write songs. The temptation is to jump in and swim. To try and force the Awen to flow faster by trying too hard. But I know from many lessons in the past that this isn’t the way. It’s possible, but songs that spring from that kind of effort are always the ones that either don’t make the album, or that wait to be changed by a more free-flowing Awen dive. So I have been wondering if the Lady does indeed want me to remain focussed on the tales. To finish the task. But then I question that and ask if I’m just being lazy when it comes to writing new non-Mabinogi songs. Or is my life right now just so busy, with the Awen directed in other areas, that I should just surrender, leave things for a while, and go where the Awen is taking me. I’ve never been very good at ‘going with the flow’, but sometimes that is the best thing to do – to surrender and see where life is going, rather than trying to force it to go somewhere it doesn’t seem to want to go. I’ve never been torn between two projects before. I’ve always known what would come next, where I would point my wand. Now I think the best thing to do is to let the Cauldron bubble and brew. To allow the ingredients to do their work. To surrender, wait, and stir. And trust. View the full article
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