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"stupid" Questions - What Would You Have Asked?


shinicat
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So you're new to paganism, there's all these big words, more Gods that you could ever have imagined, about as many paths and so much information that your brain wants to run and hide...

 

To the more experienced out there: what questions did you want to ask but were possibly too nervous/worried about looking stupid to mention? Was there something about your path that you had to guess your way through because everyone just assumed you knew what they meant?

 

I'll start with one that still gets me sometimes (ok there's a couple but it's essentially the same one)

How exactly do you make an offering? If it's food and you're using an inside altar what do you do with it afterwards? And what if it's not something that will degrade and you're worried about causing injury to wildlife?

 

 

I hope someone else will join in, either with questions or answers.

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I'm going to answer the offerings question and have a think about my own question because I had a lot!

 

The offerings: I put food out upon an altar, a bird table, or drink I pour onto the altar (this is my outdoor altar I'm talking about) or onto the ground - usually in front of my apple and pear trees. If it's an indoor altar and it's food I put it out for the birds afterwards. Or on the compost heap. If it's something that wouldn't be good for wildlife I put it in the bin: the gods have taken the essence of it and what's left can be disposed of.

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Same here, I had sooo many questions.

 

I think the one that confused me was the elements and which direction they should be in. I'd worked it out logically and it didn't match what everybody else said.

 

As for offerings; my altar gets fresh water each day which is easily disposed off. Libations (beer & whiskey) go into the soil.

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I think I asked every stupid question out there. Briefly accepted a variety of very stupid answers too. Thankfully that all happened in a closed Yahoo group (and boy, were there a lot of Yahoos in there) some ten plus years ago now and I can happily pretend it all didn't happen!

 

Oh and offerings... I don't often. When I do it tends to be hallowe'en night and I plate up an extra sitting at the table for those who've gone before. I judge that when we're done, they're done and what's left is either eaten as leftovers is binned. If I bake for a spiritual purpose then a portion of the baking is put outside as an offering to the land and any of it's inhabitants that fancy it.

Edited by Esk
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I remember wondering why the so-called pagan festivals had to have strange names that weren't pronounced as written. and what on earth (or, as I might say now, in the Nine Worlds ;) ) was Imbolc all about? Let alone the equinoxes... :o_headscratch:

 

Oh... and how come "the god" died so many times. I attended festivals that killed him at the summer solstice (as the Holly king), Lughnasadh (as John Barleycorn), and Samhain. Shorely shome mishtake...

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Mine was mostly how you pronounce certain things. The only i gues daft questions i had were what colour candle do i use, and where does one buy an athame. Of course those were the days of children of artimis where to be a pagan you should own at least one velvet robe believe in the power of healing stones and say merry meet at all time. Of course i then joined witchweb and old ukpagan and it got beaten out of me.

 

Of course i have questions now but mostly to do with the array of new pagan terms you kiddies are using. like asked what a neo pagan, indigo child and green witch was.

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I was puzzled about the "quarters" and what exactly are the "Guardians" and what do they do when they are not guarding and which direction has which element ..... and do I start in the North or the East ..... ? Where should the altar sit exactly and what should be on it and how should things be placed .... and then I discovered that whilst many things were done the same or in a similar fashion, many other things were done as differently as there were circles to do them in :) So it eventually became true to say that "I do it my way .... " - well, in the company of like-minded others! For ritual purposes, though, I find it comforting to do things in a certain way each time - aids focus on the task in hand!

 

Offerings? Much the same as those who have written above. We have a young Pan statue in the garden - to focus on protection for our wild life and cats - and he gets the libations - the bird table gets cake and biscuits and bread and stuff like that and the rest goes in the bin! We also have a dedicated standing stone - to Odin - and specific offerings are made there - usually whisky! If we have a bonfire in the firepit, some stuff might get burnt - spell material and so on!

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Pronunciation of strange-looking words, I think, was my biggest question.

Even now, if I'm not sure of a word, it gets given a mild Welsh makeover. Which often seems to work when pronouncing old Saxon or Norse names, oddly.

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