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  1. Moonsmith

    Moonsmith

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  2. Ellinas

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    Veggie dancer

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Popular Content

Showing content with the highest reputation since 08/20/18 in all areas

  1. 3 points
    When I was younger I was much more concerned about belonging to a group and doing the "right" things and getting my beliefs "right". I went through quite a loremastery stage, by which I mean if it ain't in the Eddas you don't do it, kind of thing. Then I reacted and started challenging anything and everything. Nowadays my beliefs are much more individual and I don't give a tuppenny dam if anyone agrees with me or not. Whether it's right for me is what works.
  2. 2 points
    The groups we leave behind are probably the more useful to us. I would be a touch concerned about getting comfortable and institutionalised.
  3. 2 points
    My 'need to join', combined with my being such an "oddball" and never fitting into any group of any description, had me join the Valley in the first place, and again returning now. 🙂 Up until quite recently I was a sucker for wanting to "belong" ... for having a perfect description/label for who I am and what it is that I am doing ... and for being part of a group of people exactly like me/on the same path ... Obviously that's a recipe for failure. It took me a long time to a) find my path, to b) be able to let go of too tight descriptions (moving ever so slowly towards the 'pathless path' - scary as that currently appears to me), and c) to accept that I probably won't encounter a great many people (in bodies) who walk this path too, respectively that it's not very likely that I will have a 'spiritual' community (satsang), and d) realise that all of this is just fine 🙂
  4. 1 point
    A Brief Introduction:The following introduction is offered here to help to dispel many of the myths surrounding Neo-paganism, Witchcraft and the Heathen and Reconstructionist religions. The ways of many Neo-Pagan traditions, religions and groups, as well as some of the Heathen and Reconstructionist religions, are described in even more detail on various other pages on this Web site and elsewhere on the net.This 'overview' is a very generalized rendit View the full article
  5. 1 point
    Thank you for your replies, that was all really useful! So far I've been reading a lot, gathering a reading list, and chatting with people. I've let my mind wander around all of the various subjects and I've worked out a few bits that I'd like to try. I've decided to do a few bits of Mabon/the upcoming equinox that appeal to me. Not sure why as yet, but it feels right. I've also found a couple of groups I'll be joining before the end of the month to see what they're up to and have a chat with like minded people. So far I feel quite relaxed, but also really excited and very good! But then, I know that not everyone will do things in the same way...
  6. 1 point
    Well that’s not such a big topic for a blog post is it… I was listening to the Rune Soup podcast the other day. His guest is someone I’ve heard speak before and I always find his viewpoints fascinating, and that is Dr. Rupert Sheldrake. He was essentially there to promote his new book Science and Spiritual Practices (I’ve just ordered it in hardback to take a proper look) and of course one of the topics that came up was ‘what is consciousness?’ It’s a fascinating philosophical question and is a major stumbling block for many in the materialist scientific community who seem quite happy to conclude that it is just chemical and electrical whatsits (a proper scientific term that, whatsits) firing in a ball of meat we call the brain. It’s reassuring that there are scientists for whom this is not a good enough explanation, and they are therefore continuing the conversation and research. Dr. Rupert Sheldrake is one of those. He’s quite a controversial figure, with many scientists calling his work ‘pseudo science’. In other words, he won’t just shut up and tow the party line. Keep going Mr Sheldrake. Anyway… There seems to be a growing number of materialist scientists for whom the electrical ball of meat theory is also beginning to show weakness. To take a small step away from that theory, some are now using the term ‘Panpsychism’ to describe how they are viewing consciousness. Panpsychism is: In philosophy, panpsychism is the view that consciousness, mind or soul (psyche) is a universal and primordial feature of all things. Panpsychists see themselves as minds in a world of mind. It’s not a new idea. In fact it’s a very ancient one that was popular for a long time, until the rise of ‘logical positivism’. The recognition of the very hard problem of defining consciousness has brought it right back. It’s a good place to start the discussion again. But back to the discussion on the podcast. So according to Panpsychism, consciousness is within everything. From the whale all the way to the electron. The human mind, being one of the greatest concentrations of electrons on the planet, makes us aware of our own consciousness. At least by our own definition of what makes consciousness. This struck me as very Animistic. That everything has consciousness – from the pebble to the mountain, from the raindrop to the ocean. Replace consciousness with the word Spirit and it’s getting very close to the way I know many Pagans view things. But then he went on. He said that this really was just phase one of the discussion – the door had simply been opened. Because if an electron held consciousness, and the human brain was one of the most intricate conglomerations of electrons on Earth, we then must eventually look away from the Earth. If the electron is conscious. Then the Sun must also be conscious. And because it is so huge, much much bigger than a human brain, maybe the Sun is aware of what is happening on the Earth. If the Sun’s electrons are conscious, then the Universe must also be conscious. The Earth is also conscious. Boom. This is something ancient religions, spiritualities, and indigenous peoples have been saying for thousands of years. It’s something I know many of the readers of this blog also believe. We might not express it in exactly the same way, but that’s it. For some years now I have heard the Sun dismissed as simply a giant ball of gas. Well I guess it is. But it has always been so much more to me. I like the fact that some scientists are beginning to explore these areas again, not just Dr. Sheldrake. Of course some in materialist science will dismiss it all as woo, as is their want. In the mean time rituals will be held, chants will be sung, candles lit, prayers made, consciousness made one with consciousness. A chalice of wine held aloft to the full moon, and the moon is aware of those rituals on Earth. White candles lit in honour of the snowdrop, and the returning Spring at Imbolc, and the Earth is aware of those acts too. Dr. Sheldrake’s book is arriving tomorrow. I can’t wait to dive right in. View the full article
  7. 1 point
    I also have certain sympathies in that direction.
  8. 1 point
    Almost exactly a year ago I finished recording my last album Y Mabinogi – The First Branch. If you’ve heard it you’ll know it was quite a different undertaking from my previous albums, and was both the culmination of one, and the beginning, of what would be four albums telling the entire Four Branches of the Mabinogion. This was something I had dreamed of doing since I wrote Oak Broom and Meadowsweet back in 1995. The day I uploaded the album to my distributors I took Oscar for our daily walk. We do the same walk every day. Down to the banks of the river Adur here in Sussex, and along the same stretch. I love walking that same route every day. During the course of the year you see the seasons change all around, and right now the Bramble is ripe and full, with people there every day with their Tuppaware containers, picking Nature’s Bounty for Summer Fruit pies. But I digress… On that day we walked across the field to the bank that leads us up to the river herself. The tide was high and full, the sky blue and clear, the air with just the slightest hint of Autumn. I walked over the bank, and there, right before me were two crows walking along the river bank. They each looked up at me, and took off into the air. They hovered before me. Then as I walked, they followed me along the river bank, sometimes landing just in front of me, sometimes literally making me duck as they flew low. Two crows. I had just finished The First Branch and was thinking about taking a little break before starting The Second Branch. It seemed fair. To let the experience of that album settle just a little before I turned my attention to the tale of Bran and Branwen. But here were two crows, behaving strangely. Not all birds, animals, trees, weather, are signs from the Gods, but when things are strange, when birds and animals are acting in ways that are not usual for them, well, then I take them more seriously. I had walked this same path everyday for about 4 years, and this had never happened before. I had seen crows here, of course, but never this close, never two who seemed to be a pair, never taking quite so much notice of me. If you know the story of Bran and Branwen you may well know the meaning of their names. Bran is Welsh for Corvid. His full name is Bendigeidfran, which means ‘Blessed Crow/Raven’. The suffix ‘wen’ in Welsh can signify that the name is of deific origin. It can also mean ‘white’ or ‘fair’. Thus Branwen’s name can also be seen as meaning ‘Blessed Crow/Raven’. Two crows. It was like they were there the day after I had finished The First Branch, dancing in the air before me, calling, and saying “Come on! It’s our turn now!!” I acknowledged them, there and then, and promised not to take that break, but to begin immediately with their tale. Last Friday I finished the audio for The Second Branch and uploaded it to my distributor. Once Cerri has finished the artwork I can press the button and set up a pre-release for the album. I’ll probably do that on Facebook Live again – that was quite fun last time. 2pm came around, I put on Oscar’s harness, and off we went to the river. Not such a nice day as a year before, but still the hedgerows were again dripping with Blackberries, and the air once more held that promise of Autumn. I walked up the bank and the tide was once more in and high. Two crows were there walking up the bank. When we walked over the bank they took off, and just as a year before they followed me along the banks of the river. Occasionally flying in front of me, sometimes so low I had to duck. This hadn’t happened since last year. Sometimes when I’m writing my songs or recording it can feel as if I’m completely alone with the process, but then something like this happens and I know that I’m not alone at all. Never. Ever. I stopped and bowed before these gorgeous birds. “Lord Bran, Lady Branwen, I hope you feel I have told your tale well, and shown you honour. Thank you for guiding my hand, and my voice. Blessed be,” I said. They stayed with me a while longer, and then flew off into the afternoon sky. View the full article
  9. 1 point
    Trust yourself MC. I am not at all sure that turning to the internrt will bypass the BS 🙂 Here in the Valley we are reasonably measured but we aren't "right". The following is not a set of instructions, it is a description as to how I, a complete stranger to you, goes about it. Don't work hard at it. The most important thing is living: ordinary, mundane, routine living. While you do that let your mind think. Don't try and channel it, just think to yourself. Think about what you really believe. Don't argue with yourself, just let the thoughts flow through your mind as you peel spuds and vac the rug. Play with ideas without commitment. Take time. After a while you will come to understand what you really believe and what you want to do about it. It may be very different from what your education told you. No one else has ever been where you are going. Their backgrounds, ways of thinking and potential are different from yours. I would advise not to decide upon a label or join a group too soon. We suspect that the majority of Pagans are solitary and without a specific label - they are simply what they are [but we can't know that]. Of course reading here in the Valley and elsewhere, listening to others, asking them questions can all go into the mincer of your thinking but I would suggest that you swallow nothing whole. Some of the thoughts that you read might resonate, a hell of a lot will end up on the midden. Once that is eventually settling in your mind THEN MAYBE it's time to see if others might be thinking as you do - It will never be the same but it might be sufficiently similar for you to enjoy and contribute to a group. [I mean a specific group 🙂 Here in the valley you can think whatever you want - it is a great sounding board] Or not. I didn't for thirty years. I originally wrote "once that is settled" but it probably never really will be completely settled.
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