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Galaemar Laerareon

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Showing content with the highest reputation since 08/24/20 in Posts

  1. 4 points
    As a matter of principle, I am suspicious of anything that uses the term "the true..." or "a real..." - be it pagan, alien, Christian, or whatever. I find the the terminology unacceptable. Regardless of what I think paganism is or should comprise, my view is not to be imposed on any other. Nor is Sheridan's. "The true..." and "a real..." is the terminology of imposition, the beginnings of doctrine, Yes, I find nature calming. I recognise beauty in it. I find it stirs sense and feeling. So do an awful lot of people, regardless of whether they are pagan. Yes, I do a lot of my thinking in an armchair and find a lot of ideas in written matter. So do an awful lot of people, regardless of whether they are pagan. Each to his own. There is no process (unless you wish to become a particular "type" of pagan within some organisation or other) and I reject any suggestion that I or anyone else has a "right" way or a claim to being particularly genuine.
  2. 3 points
    That worries me a bit. How far are we away from a bad situation in which an older man tells a younger woman she needs to get naked in the group to show her ongoing commitment to it? That's different from all deciding to work skyclad together as a means of achieving something, and it's different from an initiation setting where there needs to be some significant sign of crossing over into the group. I'm not sure of my logic here, but there has to be a line somewhere between appropriate challenge and never-appropriate abuse.
  3. 2 points
    A question that deserves a considered reply. I am a person for whom definitions need clarity. I am also a person who is not overly bothered if a definition is unidentifiable. It just means that there is no satisfactory definition. But that is not the issue. I have no problem with a clear, even a forceful, statement of a position - which may not come as any great surprise, I suppose. But that is not the issue either Nor do I think that this is a matter of "relationship with language". Whilst it is true that words can be interpreted in various ways, and that some are more precise than others in their habitual use of language, there are instances where the implications of terms used have a certain inevitability. As you are aware, I have a background in fundie Christianity. It's a strange world. All sorts of denominations, divisions and sub-divisions, quite a few of which (if not practically all) consider themselves to be trueTM, or even realTM, Christians. Only those who believe the same things (with some leeway round the edges. depending on to whom you speak) are regarded as "believers". That leads to inevitable conclusions: The more absolute the term, the less flexible the available interpretations ("true" and, in this context, "real" are pretty absolute concepts) The use of such terminology is exclusionary - it defines not the outlook, be it of paganism or Christianity, but the persons who are deemed acceptable; It is very difficult to conceive of a use of these terms that does not result in such exclusivity; It is very difficult to conceive of a method of maintaining the use of these terms that does not collapse into the "no true Scotsman" logical fallacy. For these reasons, I do not consider that this is just relationship to language. At the very best, Sheridan's terminology on this is extremely ill considered. At worst, it renders him a person whose views are based in prejudice rather than any serious thought process. Every experience is a conceptual model That is the nature of subjective perception. I know what you are trying to say, however. The answer is that there is a balance to be struck between pure theory and direct experience. However, the point of balance will differ according to the mental faculties and past experiences of the individual. I cannot exclude a person for having a different balance to mine - to do so is to condemn myself in the eyes of those who have that different balance, for their approach is as valid as mine. Just as the paganism of others might suffer if they adhere to your appreciation and baseline. That sounds to me like it might benefit from another thread.
  4. 2 points
    When written down, "and that my friends is how you become a real pagan" grates with me. It doesn't read well, partly for the implication that you have to pass a test and partly for the patronising tone. When spoken on the video, though, it doesn't grate with me at all. It sounds as if that's just the way he talks.
  5. 2 points
    I subscribe to sentiments such as Thomas espouses (and how could anyone (pagan or otherwise) not?) but I should also do more armchair and bookshelf duty. I don't think one makes sense without the other. I couldn't have "become a pagan" just by reading books. I found a path in nature and then gave myself the eventual task of understanding and explaining what I'd found, at least to myself, which needed a little reading just to discover what words to use.
  6. 2 points
    If you are seeking the initiatory Craft, it is likely to be difficult for all sorts of reasons: As has been said above - there are charlatans out there, ready to exploit people with promises of power and all sorts of other things - as there are in any walk of life IMO, the genuine coven is a family and you may not fit nor may you find the people in it ones with whom you wish to work - it works both ways There is not a coven in every city, town and village and you may have to travel far to find your right place Each coven is autonomous even though they adhere to one branch of the Craft or another - they may be different from one another whilst still using a common framework - in all sorts of ways - whether or not they usually or sometimes work skyclad; whether they have an outer training circle for seekers prior to initiation; whether they meet just for ritual or share social time with each other ... and so on and so forth! If any person or group makes you feel uncomfortable in any way whatsoever, you should leave them be and look for a compatible place - pagan conference, pagan magazines, the Pagan Federation, local moots ... are all places where you can meet up with potential teachers and leaders. Referring to some of the comments above: if you want to know the background of the Gardnerian Craft, there is no finer place to get accurate details than Philip Heselton's books about Gardner and the early Craft - there are several books including the latest which is "In search of the New Forest Coven". From that history, you will find that Gardner got his teaching and knowledge from many sources, including Aleister Crowley, the Golden Dawn, OTO and many other sources - before Alex Sanders ever came along! For most of us, we are interested and even fascinated by the history but in the end, it is just that - history and fascinating - if your magic doesn't work personally at least some of the time, then you are not a witch and no initiation will make you one. If magic does not work at least some of the time when your coven attempts it, then the coven is not a good working entity!
  7. 1 point
    You're right, moonwolf. I never met him myself, but knew people who had a long and close relationship with him. I read his book, King of the Witches, and even remember a documentary, years back with him prancing around in gold lame budgie smugglers. A showman he most certainly was. Undoubtedly he had talent, and charisma, and hung out with rock stars back in the day. But perhaps he believed his own publicity a bit too much. Like all of us, he was a flawed human being who made mistakes. But you have to see it in the context of the period (gods, my childhood years are now an historical period!) At the time I felt that being ashamed of our bodies was pointless and a hangover from centuries of church inspired guilt. I still do, I would happily visit a naturist beach. Being naked, in a non sexual context is a wonderfully liberating, equalising experience. And ime, it definitely sets ritual apart from the everyday. It's a way of making an effort to present yourself before deity with respect and reverence. But whereas the church folks went in for sunday best, to many pagans it means stripping away the worldly distractions and deceits, and offering yourself humbly, unashamedly, trustingly, skyclad. It probably helped that the teachings chimed with my personal feelings on the matter. And with the influences of the hippy culture, feminism, the Age of Aquarius and everything else that was going on culturally and politically, a lot of people wanted to actively distance themselves from the mainstream. Dancing naked in the moonlight was in part an act of rebellion.
  8. 1 point
    Living in Glastonbury there are so many 'real' Pagans, Witches, Druids (take your pick) I'm surprised to hear of actual pagans etc living anywhere else...... This is the reason we are moving ASAP. Pagans is just a name so that the washed (we are the unwashed apparently) can put us into safe little categories i think we are the ones who couldnt be arsed in the actual participation of a religious practice but liked a good party so always found our way t the fires 😉
  9. 1 point
    I've heard a lot about Alex. He liked the attention, I think. He certainly made no secret of his flamboyant lifestyle, there was a lot written about his affairs at the time. Not to defend anyone who might have taken advantage, and probably plenty did, but this was the 70's. Sexist, racist, homophobic - prime time television was rife with perverts of every variety, and somehow, although it beggars belief now, this was seen as normal. It was a very strange time, political correctness hadn't been invented yet, feminism was still a new idea, sex and drugs and rock'n'roll, society was half prudish and often bigoted, and half wanting to shock and tear down the barriers. We have, thankfully, moved on from those times, fun though they certainly were occasionally. Young women today are more likely to call someone out if they think they are pushing boundaries. But unless a significant period of training has taken place and there is some kind of compatibility and trust between the participants, it almost certainly won't happen. It is a part of the bond and perhaps bonding process between coven members.
  10. 1 point
    Not necessarily 😄 Gerald was a naturist long before he was an initiated witch and belonged to more than one naturist club. He also wintered abroad to get the sun for health reasons and would have best benefited for that by being nude. I can fairly certainly say that Gerald brought naturism to ritual in the Craft for no reason other than he preferred to work naked and wanted that to be the norm for the Craft!
  11. 1 point
    I've seen this both on Twitter and IG - thinking of getting it for Christmas/Yule... hopefully with Lipscomb, it can't be too bad?
  12. 1 point
    This is published by DK so probably anonymous, but Suzannah Lipscomb has written the foreword, which should lessen the chance of it being complete twaddle.
  13. 1 point
    In larger circles I do work robed. In that case, i have used a handmade cotton robe, tied with cord, and cloak (which was gifted to me by my HPs and was velvet - it was her own, veteran of many a ritual - but if I need one in future, I'd rather natural materials. Or waterproofed.) Skyclad is only alone or with a closely knit group. There is an element of trust, literally opening up and revealing all involved, spiritual and emotional as well as literal. It would upset the group dynamic if you didn't have what Wicca calls perfect love and perfect trust. Which is part of the reason that the initiation ritual is so powerful, on so many levels. It just wouldn't have the same impact in everyday clothing, and I feel even robes somehow lessen that glimpse of understanding how we relate to Deity. But to each their own, of course. My viewpoint is merely that. It's and interesting topic, like everything else we do, there is no right or wrong way. I will just say though, that if you haven't worked skyclad on a beach, in the pouring rain, in a thunderstorm, you are missing one of life's greatest experiences
  14. 1 point
    I'll take your respective words for it. I'll stick with cotton clad.
  15. 1 point
    YES! This ^^^^^^^^^^ big time. I go bare foot everywhere at home. I have told the story before of a visitor who came to the door and said that '"there were human footprints in the snow on the drive". I was able to reassure her that this was only because humans lived here.
  16. 1 point
    This is Aberdeen, skyclad is not an option! Fine if you want to and you're somewhere warm but I'll stick to concerning myself with the communication, rather than the props.
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