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What We Can Help You With - And What We Can't


Moonhunter
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We've had some applications from folks over the last few months who seem not to return when they find we don't do what they want us to do. So the mods thought it would be useful if we made it fairly clear what we can do on the forum, and what we can't - especially as non-members can read this forum before joining, so it might help them avoid disappointment. ;)

 

We can't do the following for you (though we might be able to offer some guidance on how to work at it and good books to read to learn about it):

  • find you your path or tell you what your path is or should be. Although there are very many pre-defined pagan paths, such as Religio Romana, Heathenry, Wicca, Kemeticism, Druidry, CR, Hellenismos etc, the great majority of pagans do not follow a predefined path, and work out their own spirituality within an eclectic framework that suits them.
  • find you a coven or grove or hearth/kingroup. For one thing, most of us are not in such a group ourselves. For another, participation in a group is a very personal thing depending on what you want from it, and we can’t tell you what kind of group you would feel most comfortable in
  • enable you to have a relationship with a god. Not all of us acknowledge the existence of gods; and those who do, don't always agree on how to interact with them.
  • teach you any magical skill. Again, we don't all use magic and some don't even believe in it

We encourage you to do your own research. We have been around for over a decade and in that time have covered many – but not all! – areas of discussion. Do have a look and see if your query has already been asked – our search function is excellent. We know that when you’re new, you will have questions about magick, about gods, about everything else from crystals to hexing – so do have a look and see what other people have thought about this over the years. If a thread interests you, feel free to resurrect it.

 

This is one of the most welcoming and informative pagan groups on the internet - possibly the most. We achieve that because:

  • we have a very wide spread of pagan religions represented here, and very many experienced and intelligent pagans whose spirituality is their own. Not all are practicing witches, and some belong to recon religions. We may even have a couple of practicing Wiccans! We certainly have some ex-Wiccans.
  • we have a wide spread of relationships with gods. Some members are atheists. Some are duotheists, or pantheists or polytheists or monolatrists - and every shade in between.
  • we practice light touch moderation which attempts to retain a sense of humour, but we will come down hard on personal abuse of members, or general abuse along discriminatory lines
  • we encourage intelligent debate - but this does mean that other people may become interested in your response and ask you how you formed your opinion This may mean you are challenged as to the foundation of any claims you make, or people may disagree with you. Please remember that in such cases, it is not you who is being challenged, but your opinion. We are all subject to having our views poked at: it is how we learn and is valuable for that reason.
  • we can offer you a mentor to help you learn your way around a pagan forum and how to engage in debates on pagan issues. Our mentors are experienced in their path and have been on the site for a long time. (They will not act as your tutor in your path, but they can help you develop confidence as part of a forum) Please contact a Moderator – or a Mentor direct – if you are interested in this

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    • Ellinas
      As I have said before, I knew on another forum, and maintain an occasional contact with even now, a person who was known to see himself as a Christian witch.  Pagan?  Well he was on a pagan forum and fitted in very well, and his concept of deity was not such as would be safely mentioned in many a Christian gathering.   Us lot, learned?  More like Moonsmith's favoured image of the "old farts" on a park bench.  If the concepts have no use to you, I'd leave them be - otherwise you are in danger of joining the realm of "Old Fartdom"
    • Moonsmith
      Up to you Nettle but I wouldn’t bother if I were in your place.  I think that your approach to your beliefs is where it needs to be right now.  This thread will move on and fade away.  I’ve done research because I give talks on belief and need to know from which end of my food tube I’m talking.  There are always Pagans in the audience who know their stuff.     What we believe is what we really believe - that might be as good a definition of Paganism as any.  There is no “truth” except our own.  Share what you will but never let it be a chore. I’m here in the Valley coz it’s fun😄
    • Nettle
      I am not as learned as most here when it comes to paganism and even religion.    Hence why I do not usually get involved in such discussions. It’s not that I don’t see value in someone analysing their belief system and tagging the most appropriate label. It’s just for me it’s not that important.    I don’t know what I am, and to be honest I am not really concerned. Yeah it assists in communication but it is not that important to me.    At one time I know I understood the meanings of polytheism/monotheism/atheism etc but I have forgotten what they mean. They have not stuck. And as such they are not required for me to engage with my path.   Lol I am getting older now and so find I have to purge information to allow for more information to be stored! Basically I empty my cup, keep what is useful to me and discard (“forget”) the rest.   However I will endeavour to reacquaint myself with such concepts as they seem to be important to other members here and so may be worth more investigating and gaining different perspective. 
    • Moonsmith
      I agree SH!  Some Irish, Polish and Hispanic versions of Catholicism (Inc. some of their priests) are very like Polytheistic Paganism.  Once Catholicism meets Voodun you’d be hard put to create a definition that divided the practice Catholicism from Paganism.  That said, the Christians in question would object to being called Pagan as I suspect a Voodunista might object to being called Christian but I don’t know that.  I’d keep definitions of religion well away from definitions of Paganism.  I certainly don’t have a religion and I’m Pagan.  The original use of the word Pagani - (those who lived out on the pagus; outside of citified civilisation = rustic) - distinguished between formal Roman polytheists who would be offended at being referred to as Pagani and the rustics who wouldn’t. I wonder if you can be Pagan and not know it?  Is it behaviour related rather than belief based?
    • Stonehugger
      Is it that kind of word though? Where would one find an authority about what it was formally meant to comprise? A dictionary will say how the word is used in practice, so that's not prescriptive enough. An act of parliament? A contract? Speaking in my capacity as humpty dumpty, I could use it to mean something that's not like Christianity, Judaism, Islam etc. It's a statement of difference but also perhaps of exclusion. I've never been a Roman Catholic but I imagine their attitude to the Virgin Mary could be a bit borderline-pagan sometimes, so I could therefore imagine a vicar advising someone that their understanding is "a bit too pagan for comfort."
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