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Showing content with the highest reputation since 10/23/18 in all areas

  1. 4 points
    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.
  2. 3 points
    What do I get out of it...? Principally, freedom. Freedom to think, to experience, to go my own way and to stick up two fingers and the doctrinal "we know better than you and you must agree with us" types. Been a part of that. Never underestimate the value of freedom. Also, a sense of mystery. I don't mean in some sort of "ooh - I'm so occult and strange..." way. Rather, it gives the latitude for me to explore my own mind, psyche, whatever you want to call it, whether logically, emotionally or meditatively, and to seek to synthesise these.
  3. 2 points
    There are two pronunciations given in the ipa, the first one corresponds to option 3 but the second is more like option 1/2, no accentuation is given so it could be either. Personally I go for uh-Thah-may where Th is an aspirated T rather than th as in thing or breathe. Just to be contrary 😈
  4. 2 points
    We celebrated Imbolc today. We stood among snowdrops beside a holly tree with just a single berry left and in sight of a hawthorn whose buds are not yet moving. Three of our four fire festivals all lined up. I went to a moot in Shrewsbury for the first time last week where we were led through a simple candle ritual for Imbolc. We were reminded that Imbolc is not necessarily a time for action but for preparing for action. For our own celebration in the grove we took this idea - not yet sowing seeds but a time for looking through a sort of spiritual gardening catalogue. All that potential and it is within our power to realise at least some of it. It is also a new year of the pig - If astrology is significant I am a fire pig! Sounds like crackling to me but the pig years have been wonderful. No daffodills yet. All as it should be this year.
  5. 2 points
    Dear Folks, It's a normal part of initiatory Wiccan practice and has been since the tradition emerged in the years following the Second World War. Whether it "works" for individuals is always going to be a very subjective matter but if it wasn't effective and valued by most of us then I doubt it would have survived as a ritual practice for so long. There's no single reason for it, nor should there be. Remember that it's mainly the practice of small, very private, very closely bonded, groups where everyone knows everyone else very well and there is a very high level of mutual trust. For many reasons, both practical and symbolic, it's effective in the contexts it's used for. Feeling cold isn't really an issue. Central heating plus a few generations of Mediteranean holidays may have given many people strange ideas about what a comfortable temperature is, but for most of the year you're not going to die of exposure that quickly in Northern Europe. BB, John Macintyre
  6. 2 points
    I like the idea of it but it's not something I do. I'd be too self conscious as part of a group to get anything from it. i do think there may be something in it if you can strip away (pun intended) your inhibitions and do it properly. when you have a baby they tell you about how important skin on skin contact is with the baby. The skin is an organ and there are a whole list of benefits of touching naked skin on skin with your baby, and also the baby feeling its own naked skin with its own skin is supposed to be beneficial. I read somewhere else that skin contact with your partner is also good for your health. So maybe opening our skin to contact with the air, water, the earth, trees or whatever might have a lot of potential. I'm sure it doesn't have to be TOTAL nakedness for you to get something from skin contact but maybe the more the better? Until more becomes too much for you to feel comfortable with and then I expect that outweighs the benefits. i suppose many of us might not go completely naked but find some bare skin useful in ritual. I do like to be bare foot and feel contact with the ground, and feel things against bare hands or even bare arms and legs.
  7. 2 points
    I just wanted to quote this again for any newbies/oldies who hadn't seen it. 12 years since the original query was posted, and yet I still see it debated within some of the Facebook groups I'm a part of.
  8. 2 points
    *reviving* It's not silly, fluffy, or dumb. I think it is very rare to find anyone who hasn't at least once doubted themselves, overthought a situation, or considered taking a side-step elsewhere to see where it leads. Life involves a lot of curiosity and experimentation. I think the one piece of advice I would share would be to follow and learn about what is intriguing you at the time. You don't have to be frozen by your past, nor do you have to think about a "final" destination. Be genuine, but also be honest in your experiences - do things because you want/feel a need to, not because someone "expects" it of you or tells you that it must be done that. exact. way. or. else. As for the gods being perfect... Regardless of whether you see them as literal or metaphorical, I think they make mistakes like the rest of us. Some are just less honest about it.
  9. 2 points
    Hmm. Not sure how I missed the last couple of posts for so long. Anyhow: I rather suspect that the founding thoughts of most aged and ancient faiths are irrecoverable or culturally outmoded and impracticable. Therefore, if the followers have not allowed it to evolve, it is liable to be dead or dying. As to a formula - I am not a behavioural scientist. Unfortunately, those followers who claim "authenticity" generally seem to me to mean only that they are convinced that they hold the only truly true version of truth. Such are to be avoided, and a pox on all their authentic or inauthentic houses. No, the aged and ancient (or modern and youthful) faith never needs a controlling body to reinterpret original thinking for current conditions. Such bodies create orthodoxy and orthopraxy, and enforce their ideas by more or less overt oppression. Agreed thinking can only be agreed between those discussing it - and is very dangerous when the agreement takes on the character of a conclusion to regulate general belief and practice. Such are to be avoided, and a pox on all their authentic or inauthentic houses, Whether Anglicanism and Roman Catholicism "find their planetary conscience outside of their founding reference" rather depends on whether you are speaking to a bible bashing Anglican or Roman Catholic. I know bible bashers of neither persuasion who claim that the Anglicans and Romans both err from their founding reference. But there are as many versions of that founding reference as there are denominations of bible bashers. Such are to be avoided, and a pox on all their authentic or inauthentic houses. I suspect it is inevitable that the founding thinking is forgotten beneath dogmatic self interest. That is human nature. The "authenticity" of a long established faith lies with its' current followers - but, as hinted above, those who claim authenticity do so for the benefit of their own internal political ends within their faith. Such are to be avoided, and a pox on all their authentic or inauthentic houses.
  10. 2 points
    Wolfs are very special for me i keep seeing them in my dreams one of the things i see is a white wolf and an native American little girl they are calming and talk to me when i am feeling unwell they soothe me when am scared or upset i have seen wolfs in a nature reserve before there amazing and beautiful and i wish they where free i dont normally go to nature reserves or zoo i would like to see animals free I just became Vegan in the last few months i love animals there beauty and there uniqueness wolfs more so
  11. 2 points
    Totally agree ED ......but..... Desiderata was originally marketed as being of the seventeenth century but in fact written in 1927. Would it have been so popular originally published under its authentic attribution? Why not? How widely are his other poems known? What about this guy? He had a huge following. Would anyone have listened to Archibald Stansfield Belaney of Hastings? Are they any more authentic because we now know who these people are? Any less so? How has their credibility been affected? What about the effect of their writing; has that changed? Shall the Writings of Moonsmith lose all their value once my true identity is known?
  12. 2 points
    I find the whole thing about ghosts really interesting, even though I don't believe in the supernatural (well, I keep an open mind given that no matter how much we discover with science, you can always conceive of there being something beyond it, out of reach of what can be measured - but I don't believe anything specific of what that might be, if anything). I can think of rational/scientific explanations for most of the accounts of hauntings I've come across. The accounts of hauntings on planes as a result of aircraft parts being salvaged from a particular plane crash and put in other planes is particularly interesting https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90P6sWZPpCc (though what I find scary is the fact that they thought it was a good idea to use these parts in other aircraft to begin with - never mind supernatural, just from the fact that you can't tell there's been no damage at the microscopic level due to the impact and stresses on the parts that might make them unsafe.) But apparently they stopped doing this due to reports of hauntings, not safety concerns. Some interesting stuff in the comments of the video as well. What's hardest to explain from a scientific point of view is if any of the people who reported the hauntings weren't aware that the parts had been reused. If you know about it it might prime your brain to interpret ambiguous stimuli as something related to the crash, but if you don't know then your brain isn't primed that way...
  13. 2 points
    Right, I'll try to get my head round this, but there is a danger I'm misinterpreting you. I'm not saying that authenticity is dependent on consistency - merely upon honest self appraisal. A person who is spiritually "authentic" may be shown to be inconsistent and, therefore, mistaken. His or her reaction to that revelation will indicate whether he or she is "authentic". In my view the absence of doctrinal consistency between umpteen denominations suggests that there is, indeed, no "authentic" Christianity - or at least, none that is identifiable. That's not the same thing as saying there are no authentic Christians. Spirituality is - or should be - always personal, even within a framework that seeks some sort of orthodoxy. That's right. Just blame the poor old Hellene... Nope! That's Honest or even [i find] Integrous! Unless authentic spirituality is a special case of authenticity then: Oxford English Dictionary: 1. Of undisputed origin and not a copy, genuine. ..... made or done in the traditional or original way, or in a way that faithfully resembles an original. And 2. Based upon facts; accurate or reliable. I suggest that we don't pursue #2 regarding spirituality otherwise we will be attempting "spiritual truth" and that might get hairy. So applying this to the OP an Authentic Teaching or an Authentic Teaching Group might be expected to have have some original source, document, history, icon or recorded philosophy whose provenance is demonstrable. That each learner will create their own interpretation of such is inevitable. "The greatest illusion of the teacher is the belief that what is taught is what is learned" Boots and Reynolds. I'll post the reference when I can remember where it is. This has a significance where learning is passed from a teacher who was a learner and where the source is elusive. Up to a point, but I think "authentic" can only be used as a term of art with a fairly specific meaning in this context. The problem is that my spirituality is personal to me, as yours is to you. Whatever the sources and inspiration, we each establish our own "authenticity" not by following a tradition but by synthesizing the ideas and making them our own. In fact, I would say that, in spiritual terms, authenticity is the very opposite of following the tradition and the herd mentality; that results in a copy of the beliefs of others, which makes the individual the very opposite of "authentic". The problem is that spirituality is, by its' nature, subjective. It is difficult, therefore, to found it upon "facts". "Made in a traditional way" works for Melton Mowbray pork pies; I'm not sure that it works for a belief system which, in terms of its' relationship to the past, can only ever be an interpretation of what has gone before, and if too restricted in the interpretation, makes the individual a a rather unimaginative copy of what has been observed in the past with no personal depth or understanding. The dictionary definition would make the "authentic" teacher the one who steadfastly refuses to think beyond the surface. If that is what it means, then I'd rather avoid the authentic. So, I would return to the idea that those who are "authentic" in their spirituality are those who are constantly re-examining their beliefs, ideas, experiences etc and are prepared to act upon their ever changing conclusions. I think...
  14. 2 points
    Once again I've run out of editing time. Blame the bacon butty. Could a mod be kind and add = in order to practice Paganism. to the end of my last sentence. I wouldn't bother except that this is in starters orders. Oh and perhaps delete this post or leave it here so that readers can assess the mental capacity of the writer :)
  15. 2 points
    Hi :o_bolt: There are a few things here. Mental illness is that. It is an illness. It is not something you wish upon yourself or you asked for. It is a condition which you have and for which you need treatment in the same way that someone with diabetes needs treatment or someone with a broken leg. It's no different from that. So criticising you for being ill is just nonsensical. Would anyone criticise anyone with cancer? Another point is that having any illness does not make you any more, or any less, Pagan. You are Pagan because of your beliefs, because of the way your heart feels when you encounter certain things, because of the feeling in your gut when you are in certain situations. Harm none is something which gets debated often, here and elsewhere. There are different interpretations of it. Not everyone believes in it. Not everyone believes that they have to stick to it. It's not part of everyone's path. But it sounds as though it's part of yours. So, looking at that, I think the key statement is the one you made where you said that withholding this punishment (cutting) would cause a bigger problem in the future. Leaving aside the illness and necessity for treatment aspect, you've made the point that unless you cut yourself, you sincerely anticipate that there would be greater punishments to come. Which, to me, would indicate that you are seeking to minimise the harm. Which would, for me, tie in to some degree with the "harm none". Okay, it could be argued to streching the point, but you're not cutting others, and you're hoping that by cutting yourself you're avoiding far greater repercussions. Everyone's different hon, you don't need anyone to validate whether you're a Pagan or not.
  16. 1 point
    Hey, I know it is an old topic, but one I would gladly read further, if we’d have more comments here. So I share what paganism gives me. I grew up very close to nature in a small town surrounded by hills and woods and we spent enormous amounts of time outdoors, in the summer we even cooked outside on open fire every single weekend. I also had a strange and strong emotional connection with ’magical stories’ and folklore as a child, which I couldn’t manage to grow out at all, but rather created a base to the way I see the world. People tend to grow up and leave their birth place, I moved to different big cities and big city life exhausts me big time both emotionally and physically. My paganism takes the weight of life off from my shoulder, cleanse me from the stress of the artificial and processed life the city can offer and provides a site to bond with my truest inner self while making a connection with nature - like a soul-to-soul with the spark of life within the earth. When I take care of my herbs or cooking for a feast or preparing for celebration it feels like pouring balm on my soul. I feel content, happy and excited. Paganism provides traditions, inheritable ones which I can share with my family and can celebrate together, strengthening our relationship and deepening our love for each other. Also gives some quiet meditation, opportunities to self-reflect, make peace with myself and achieve internal equilibrium, which I believe is incredibly important for safe magical practice. Paganism is not a kind of religion for me, I do not worship any deities. I tried many times many different gods but all rituals felt very empty and honestly, a bit like ’let’s play’. I am truly amazed by people can believe in a god, sometimes I could envy them for their love. For me, the fact that the soil with the help of the other elements and effects of celestial bodies and physical laws can and does produce life is the source of all magic. As a healthcare professional my approach is also very scientific, but the science behind it gives the ground to truly trust it. I learn to know it. And no one said paganism must be belief. It can be based on knowledge, see the term WISE-wo/man {and lots of sentiment}. I listen to my body and soul and I modify my rituals every time to accommodate to the urge and inspiration I feel while performing it. Therefore my paganism is the way of my life, not just ’on weekends’, but it is my very existence, intervening with all and every decisions I make from my carrier choice to what to eat or when to sleep. Paganism is freedom. Well, sort of. As my paganism deeply roots in the respect to all organics, and REAL nutrients are like number 1 priority for me when it comes to nourishing my family we have no microwave oven in the house haha.
  17. 1 point
    Well done 😀 Good luck with sales. Should we maybe call you VDAKALK now hehe. I think I pronouncing that veeda-kalk 😉
  18. 1 point
    Yay - well done! Looking forward to hearing it!
  19. 1 point
    Dare to be different...!
  20. 1 point
    Interesting Veggie: not only is it the Chinese new lunar year but two of the folk in the grove on Monday have been quite ill and have missed out January. For them too, Imbolc was the start of a new year.
  21. 1 point
    Dear Folks, It's a normal part of (initiatory) Wiccan practice a
  22. 1 point
    I do not know why we persist with these cod-Irish spellings. Yes: Samhain is pronounced [by me] as Sowen. As in female pig followed by a slightly apostrophised female foul. Tomorrow we celebrate Imbolc pronounced Immolc
  23. 1 point
    No! haha xD I was applauding the appropriate (?) use of the word bottom 😛
  24. 1 point
    *reviving* I think going skyclad or not is definitely a personal choice. No-one else's, and you shouldn't feel pressure to do anything in particular. The only difference it makes in my opinion is whether you feel comfortable or not. Some people like to be skyclad, some like to wear specific clothing, and others are happy to practice with civvies - various reasons why have been mentioned above for all three and I don't think I can add anymore. For me, I usually just wear the clothes I already have on. I personally don't think it makes any mystical difference - you are who you are no matter what you are/aren't wrapped up in. You might just feel a temperature change 😛
  25. 1 point
    Here’s to thee, old apple tree, May you bud, May you bow! Stand fast root, bear well top, Pray God send us a good howling crop. Every twig, apples big, Every bough, apples now. Hats full, caps full, full quarter sacks full, Holla boys holla, and blow the horn! The Wassail Chant The first Wassail I went to was at Middle Farm near the Long Man of Wilmington in Sussex. It was run by a fantastic local Border Morris side called Hunter’s Moon. Although there is much debate about the origins of Morris dancing, Hunter’s Moon wore their Pagan leanings on their sleeve, particularly at the Wassail. People gathered in the farm and then were led on a torchlit procession across the farm to the orchard. There amongst the boughs of the old apple trees the words above were spoken, other songs were sung, cider was shared, and toast was hung on the trees. A bonfire was lit that contained fireworks and horns were blown with loud cheering to awaken the spirits of the trees, offering a blessing for a good crop of apples. Yes, it might be about all forms of apples, but inside I have always thought it had more to do with cider. I went to the Hunter’s Moon Wassail for a number of years. It kicked off the year for me, being the first ritual of the year. It was always a great night. But then it began to get a little too big. It was one of the only Wassail nights in Sussex at the time, and Middle Farm is a very popular location, but in the end it became too big for me. I couldn’t get close to the orchard, let alone hear the words of the ceremony. Further away from the orchard there was lots of talking, and the world I was trying to leave behind for just a few hours, the world of football, soaps, cars, the everyday world of life, spilled over into that night as the further away you were from the ceremony, the less people felt involved, and so the focus was lost. In the end, for whatever reasons, the Middle Farm Wassail ended. It was a shame, but that opened the floodgates for a host of smaller Wassail events to begin. The Hunter’s Moon Middle Farm Wassail was the virtual parent of so many other Sussex Wassail ceremonies, and now there are loads, not only all over Sussex, but all over the country. The natural successor to the Hunter’s Moon Wassail is without doubt the Wassail run by the Pentacle Drummers in Pevensey. A huge event that this year drew 600 people. The photos I’ve seen are as amazing as ever, and long may it continue. For me though, I have always yearned for the feeling I had at those earlier Hunter’s Moon events. Quiet (at least for a while), time to reflect, intimate, and local. I’ve been to a few over the years, trying to find one that felt right to me. There was one at Slindon run on National Trust land that was organised by another Sussex Morris side, Mythago, and it was lovely. Exactly what I needed. But once more the curse of size and popularity reared its head, and the locals of Slindon complained so much about the incoming cars that the event was stopped. In truth I lost track of what Mythago did next, until this year I heard that they had been running a Wassail at the Community Orchard in Steyning. Brilliant, thought I. Steyning is 15 minutes away from me, so this year we went there. The Sun had set so me, Cerri, and a few friends, made our way to the Steyning Cricket Club, the meet up place for the Wassail. There was Harveys Ale (always a bonus) and Mythago started the evening with a few of their dances. There are a lot of traditional Morris dances and Mythago of course do those, but they also create new dances based on the myths and legends of Albion. Their dances tell stories, and I find this such a wonderful fusion of arts. As they told and danced their tales so more people turned up. I would say there was about 100 people there when the Mythago leader invited everyone to follow the torches and drums across the field to the Orchard. It was a lovely night, crisp and icy, just a little muddy underfoot. Exactly right for a Wassail. As we walked across the field the orchard came into view, and I could see that one of the apple trees, quite a large, old tree, had been hung with bunting, and it stood lit up by the flames of lit torches. A circle was formed around the tree, and quiet fell. Together we spoke the words of the Wassail Chant above, then everyone was invited to take a piece of toast, dip it in the Wassail cup, and hang it on the tree, offering a blessing for the year ahead. Those are moments that make me very emotional. In my life as a Pagan I organise, and am involved with, lots of rituals. In my personal life I make ritual alone to mark the seasons, and in reverence to my Gods. To me this is a normal part of life. But then you have moments like this, when people who would not identify as Pagan, or even any spiritual path, are moved to make a blessing such as this. Call it what you like but there is sympathetic magic at work here, and an honouring of a tree, a being with whom we share this planet, and whose fruits help us live, and brings us such pleasure. I saw burly bare-headed men lift their children up so they could hang their blessed toast. I saw young people engage in the moment along with silver-haired men and women. It was beautiful. Hung with toast and offerings, everyone then called out the Tree Blessing – May your roots grow strong and low, To drink from waters deep below, And as your branches reach up high, May you drink from the light of sunlit sky. Come forth now from Winter’s slumber, To bring forth leaves in countless number, And upon your branches blossom unfurl, To bring forth fruit from every bough. Laden with fruit, and always green, Now and forever fruitful be, Accept our offerings, that in thanks we give, May you grow in joy; long may you live! Wassail!! (with the response “Drink Hael!!”) We then sung the old Sussex Sugar Wassail and more dancing ensued, with all of us participating, finally turning to run screaming into the field to scare away any of those pesky spirits that may have not got the message. Then a thank you, and back to the Cricket Club for ale and cider, the Orchard honoured and blessed. As I was there in Steyning I also through of all of the other Wassails that were happening, and had been happening since 12th Night, all over Sussex. As we were there in Steyning, so the 600 people were also in Pevensey, raising their glasses high and shouting “Wassail!” with everyone responding, “Drink Hael!” I absolutely love seeing these old traditions alive and well. Some remain quite small and understated, but the Wassail seems to have got under the skin of people here, and long may that celebration continue. Wassail!! View the full article
  26. 1 point
    Me too. The physics/chemistry/biology of how it works means nothing to me, and probably would cease to be magic if it did. There was a book out a few years/decades ago (Supernature by Lyall Watson) that everyone thought was twaddle and maybe it was but he did speculate about trees being telepathic. We now know they communicate through fungus. Does that make trees more magickal or less magickal? It doesn't make us any more or less able to tune into their wisdom, so that's probably a bad example. If we understood how standing stones remember what's happened to and around them over the millennia and how they generate wisdom in people who manage somehow to tune into it, would that understanding make it any less real? I suppose it might. But things like consciousness and relationships, and wisdom for that matter, aren't about scientific explanations.
  27. 1 point
    Indeed. Truth is not the same as verified fact. It is, rather, something along the lines of the individual's grasp of his or her place within the cosmic jigsaw (that's off the top of my head, so don't be over critical of the terminology). Therefore, authenticity and truth are both personal. Truth is mutable for each individual also, but that mutability is a pre-requisite of authenticity. Consistency is no virtue if it does not reflect actual current beliefs and outlook.
  28. 1 point
  29. 1 point
    I personally (just me) try to avoid generalising as it doesn't work for me, but it does work for others. However, I agree that self examination, criticism and openness to change are important and that schools of thought that are convinced that they hold the only truly true version of truth are best avoided. Regarding "How To Tell If A Teaching/group Is Authentic", that word "authentic" needs careful handling. I see something as authentic if it works for me and if it's open to change, criticism etc. I'm less sure about what would cunt as universally authentic though. Yes (again, I'm personally wary of myself generalising too much, but...) cultures change so what worked in the past could be entirely irrelevant now. What worked in the past was presumably tuned into some far more abstract "?truth" that is still there today so we still need ways of approaching the same truth but in ways that are culturally meaningful for us today.
  30. 1 point
    I really must stop writing sentences containing multiple predicates. It isn't the reviewing that is in the least uncomfortable:- From nanometre to parsec I absorb new information about the cosmos like a sponge. This is, for me, the shifting image and nature of deity. Whether from new neuroscience or philosophy, new information concerning reality arriving faster than I can read it. This is my creed, my relationship with deity. All this is what makes being alive right now so invigorating and exciting. What is uncomfortable is the frequency with which I have to adjust image and relationship. 🙂 .......but that's postmodernism for you 🙂
  31. 1 point
    Shownotes for DruidCast Episode 140 The Gap of Dreams / Nia’s Jig / The Beekeeper – Altan – https://altan.ie The Talky Bit – The Anglo Saxon and Norse Runes – Suzanne Rance – http://www.suzannerance.co.uk Lady of the Lake – Lori Llyn – https://www.lori-llyn.com/index.html The Migration Medley – Afro Celt Sound System – https://www.afroceltsoundsystem.org.uk DruidCast theme – Hills they are Hollow – Damh the Bard – https://www.paganmusic.co.uk For more information on the Druid tradition – https://www.druidry.org View the full article
  32. 1 point
    I noticed this week just how quickly the year had flown by. One moment it seemed I was welcoming the Spring after the Beast from the East had left our shores. Smiling at the blooming Spring flowers, enjoying the Blackthorn, the Pussy Willow, the Mayflower, and what seemed like the next day watching the leaves turn red and yellow, hearing the Autumn storm winds outside, and the nights have drawn in once more. Boom. Gone. In past years I would now begin to retreat. I really enjoy the time between Samhain and New Year. I’m not a Bah Humbug when it comes to Christmas, but after new year, January to early April, I seem to wish the time away. I’ve had enough of dark evenings and cold by then. And this year, above all others, I’ve realised what a mistake that is. I literally wish away a quarter of the year. Sometimes if the S.A.D. hits early that wishing away can start as early as November. Not good. So this year I am making a pledge, a promise. I will find those things of beauty you Winter lovers enjoy. I will seek out the magic and wonder, and enjoy the rest of the Autumn and the approaching Winter, and embrace it all with open arms. If I find myself wishing for the Spring and the warmth of the Sun I’ll remind myself that every day is precious. Who knows if tomorrow will ever come? I will remind myself that the Now is here, and to live in the moment. Maybe that will help to slow down time a little, who knows, but there is no wisdom in wishing away an entire season. So, Autumn and Winter, I welcome you, season of mists, and of cold. Of the womb of darkness, and the embrace of the night, the crisp sunny day, and the wet, cold mud beneath my walking boots. I look to you with love, affection, and cast away my years of distaste, of turning away, of not seeing or feeling the power that resides within your cold and icy days and nights. Be gentle, be harsh, be what you truly are, and allow me to experience the wonders you bring. So mote it be. Are you a Winter person? What is it about the season that brings you so much joy? Help me out. Let me into your world. View the full article
  33. 1 point
    black elk speaks, is a good read, and a brilliant one for comparative thought, though it is a native american reference book. a general reading list for any specific religion or pantheon should include all the myths, stories and works, preferbaly the source material rather than an opinion piece, preferably with a thought to author bias at times, for the north the list would include, prose edda, poetic edda, saxo gramaticus gesta danorum and sagas of the icelanders, paired with a look at other resources, thats a good starter of books, with various authors and publication dates. more up to date material, me up to date? i will put in a different section as it isnt really book based. some editions have been written by dr jackson crawford, who although still having a habit of labeling things good and evil and continuing with that theme, does have good credibility and skill in translation and does think about the material. if its terry pratchett it is a good read, that is an excellent start for thinking.
  34. 1 point
    Are there different kinds of friendship though? I've struggled a bit for a couple of years with some mental health inconvenience which my very best friend in the world hasn't been much help with, but I have other friends who have carried me through the whole thing. There's not as much chemistry there but a huge amount of practical love. Nothing could ever come between me and "S" and their lack of empathy on this particular issue does nothing to cloud our friendship. The whole situation could easily have been the other way round. My general friendship group could be no help with something, or run out of patience very quickly, whereas S might be (and often has been) an angel (in the powerful sense). This year, in World Mental Health Week (or whatever it's called) I noticed quite a few public social media posts from people I know barely or not at all. They posted very general stuff like "make sure you talk to someone" or "make time for your friends" or "ask colleagues how they are". As an experiment, I replied to quite a few of them in a supportive but slightly needy manner. One post that I made got a few "likes" but nobody actually replied to any of them. So, just based on my tiny experiment, the personhood might make a few supportive noises on special occasions but basically does nothing. I'll stick with S.
  35. 1 point
    As a relative newcomer to both Paganism and this community I think it is helpful to think about questions of identity and accessibility here. Many people will come to this site as a part of their spiritual journey (I am aware how contentious the word spiritual is but I think for many path seekers it is relevant). Newcomers are often looking for a name for their path that will help them make sense of it and also, possibly, feed into their sense of self and it is important, I think, to remember that this process of enculturation begins from a young age. Most of us are taught to perceive that a named path and a spiritual elder (Priest, Imam, and so on) are necessary for spiritual progression. In that sense, aren't many of the 'what is my path?' posts a kind of call for that Pagan spiritual guide or elder? It is perfectly fine to respond to that call with a push to self-direction and agency but that comes with a responsibility and a host of challenges that many seekers were simply not built or prepared for. I can't speak for others but I find the wonderfully nebulous diversity of Paganism both a gift and a challenge. There is also a lot of information in The Valley to navigate and digest along with a discourse that, once again, many newcomers may not be used to, and thus struggle to access. Thus, folk don't post or lurk or leave.
  36. 1 point
    I like to think all animals are sacred. . . Except perhaps the badger who seems to be trying to build his den under my garden wall! I've left him a note saying battle may be imminent if he doesn't stop it.
  37. 1 point
    When I wrote "What you believe is what you do"; I meant it in the context of the advice that we tend to give here in the valley. = If you are wondering what to do then do what you believe. Emphasis on YOU. My experience of a single formal religion and of a narrow view of Paganism have taught me many useful things from which to construct my own practical Paganism. [i say "narrow view" on the basis that Paganism is so idiosyncratic that a wide view in depth is probably impossible] From religion I learned the power of blind faith, the function of space, sound, light, movement and regalia, the function of theatre and the necessity for a reasonable level of oration. I learned not to fear being highly visible as I functioned before large groups. I learned the power of ritual and the importance of doing it well. I also learned that apparently authoritative statements are backed by varying degrees of authority, knowledge or reference right down to nil even when delivered by high ranking, well paid and respected members of the clergy. My scientific learning taught me that sermons can be completely made up. I lapsed. I learned that my personal authority stands with that of any other text, tradition or person living, dead or returned from same. I managed. When I found Paganism I was sufficiently reluctant to join that I "tagged along" with the Earthworks tribe for three years before "joining". I learned that Paganism had much to learn from the experience, psychology and professionalism of formal religion and that formal religion had much to learn about the psychology and individual & shared perception found in Paganism.[uPG and SPG]. I learned exactly the same lessons from both about sermons, talks, literature, stories, legends, sources and lack of them. I learned that neither had it "right" as far as I was concerned. I learned that both are "right" for innumerable others. From both I learned the power of my own thoughts. I chose my own way. I have literally become a heretic but could I have done so without both those experiences? I very often wonder where I would be and what I might believe without those two experiences? I often examine the validity of my belief against this history. What would I be doing now if I had come to the valley and asked "What is my path?".
  38. 1 point
    There is so much stuff on the internet - much is just plain rubbish and even more is Moonsmith's bullshit ... it is hard to know what to bother with ... what to think upon ... Here in The Valley, whilst we do have fun, it is also a place for quite serious discussion and contributors trust their readers and air their views accordingly with only the very occasional spat :) That is not what happens on most pagan sites! It may well be that newcomers, with little or no knowledge, find the lighter stuff on the internet in general, more enticing than serious discussion - that is getting a bit near to a sweeping generalisation which I abhor but ... those that stay and join in the discussions, are the core of The Valley membership and I for one, value each one greatly! Maybe we all have to start with the lightweight stuff - or come from some other religious background with which we are disenchanted - in order to start to chime with pagan ideas and beliefs. When I first discovered a sort of label for things that had lurked in my mind and thinking since I was a child, I was astounded - and so many newcomers here say similar things! If The Valley and those of us in it, provide even just a starting place for folk seeking paganism to bring to their life's journey (path), then that is good enough. If those fold stay a while and contribute as they learn ... all the better!
  39. 1 point
    To be honest, inviting her round for a meal was a nice thing to do, leaving anything that might make her feel uncomfortable for when you were alone was also very considerate. If all she can do in response is take the mick about what you'll be doing when she's not there (and therefore things that are naff all to do with her) then I'd have withdrawn the invitation too if I was in your position.
  40. 1 point
    any and all folklore of any culture anything by Katherine Briggs or Christine Hole Ronald Hutton: Triumph of the Moon, Stations of the Sun or The Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles anything by Kathleen Herbert or Stephen Pollington (Heathenry) anything by Nora Chadwick (Celtic) or H R Ellis Davidson (Celtic/Heathen) The Dictionary of Celtic Mythology by James MasKillop A Dictionary of English Folklore (OUP) A Dictionary of Superstitions (Opie and Tatem, OUP) any and all genuine texts pertaining to pre-Christian cultures (Sacred Texts is a good online resource) all decent historical resources about any particular culture
  41. 1 point
    I've met people who, even in the domain of the so called mentally healthy, despise those who would turn to others for help. I've seen one of these hard liners put in a situation where she was unable to help herself and her opinions changed radically. She not only sought help but now has a voluntary job helping others in the same way she was helped. For a lot of people it's that sort of ignorance - they mistake their own lack of current need as (a) some sort of moral strength (and therefore those without it lack moral fibre), and (:o_rainbow: something that will always be so. Some never find the strengths to face their own weakness by being able to admit that they, too, have needs and dependencies. This is a form of emotional weakness, not a strength - whether emotional, mental or moral. And pagans are people as well - why shouldn't our own communities include those who cannot cope with things they fear, such as people very different from themselves? Yeah, it's sure depressing to meet such prejudice, especially when it's aimed at yourself, but it's just a matter of finding other pagans who are more understanding. Such as this forum. :) In the UK the government doesn't seem to be able to figure out how the break down the social prejudice surrounding mental health. Back in the 80s we used to lock people away in institutions. The then PM, Mrs Thatcher, seemed to think if we closed all the institutions and put the people in them back 'in the community' it would do the trick. Nope. To do that required proper financing of nursing and other support, which didn't happen. So there were a few high profile deaths that the media sprang on and published with shrill cries of alarm, which made a lot of folk even more prejudiced and fearful than before. Ho hum. There still isn't the support, though it's marginally better. One of my staff has a grown son with severe autism. He lives at home. His PCT reduced his medication a couple of months ago, which, as his mother says, is fine - but not when combined with moving the community nurses from a system of each patient having one nurse dedicated to them, to a rota system, where the patient is expected to tell each different nurse, once a week, their whole medical history and diagnosis. This particular lad can't cope with it. There are days when his mother (who suffers severe arthritis) and father can't get him out of bed because of this double whammy. Which means she picks up every cold going through sheer exhaustion and then she's ill - but still has to help her son. Aaarrgh! I'll go before this rant becomes extended....
  42. 1 point
    Please remember that the majority of people in the world suffer from some sort of mental health problems at sometime in their lives, whether that is minor stresses or mild depression, we all suffer from it. I get very angry when people think that just because someone has a mental health problem they should not be allowed to control their own lives. You have a right to follow whatever religion you want to, but, paganism in any of it's forms is, strangely, probably a safer bet than most forms of christianity............. LOL!!!
  43. 1 point
    I wouldn't say you should do anything. If she asks questions, answer them as you would to anyone else, but explain that those are your answers, they might not be anyone elses and they're not likely to be hers. If she wants to borrow your books, fine but I wouldn't guide her or tell her anything unsolicted or go terribly deep with your answers to her questions. If she is going to take this path, she will get there with or without your help but keeping your distance from it might be the best thing for you both. Should it turn out to be a phase at least you won't feel you've gone into more detail than you feel comfortable with later.
  44. 1 point
    I think it is a must for one to be comfortable. I'm more comfortable in just a T-shirt rather than being barefooted all over and tend to shower. For some reason I also like the house clean. It bothers me if there is clutter around when involved in either meditation or rituals. Most of my rituals involve candles or scrying and usually sit crosslegged on the floor or ground. The last ritual I did was when I moved into this apt. I did a protection ritual with Sage and smudged all the openings, including the front and back doors of my building.
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