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Doretta Lowe

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Showing content with the highest reputation since 12/09/18 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
    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.
  11. 1 point
    I think what I get most is a sense of oneness with what's around me. That's almost always a good thing in the sense that whatever is happening to me is happening to everything else and obviously I react differently to the way a rock or tree would react but it's clearly my responsibility to manage my reactions to things. It's a lot like the old saying that sailors can't control the weather but they can trim their sails. The downside is that very occasionally I can get dragged down by situations I don't understand at all. I worked in a troubled building for a while - I never worked out what the problem was but even another colleague with no pagan leanings could sense something. He thought the building must be on the site of a cemetery but that wouldn't have troubled me. On balance, being at one with my surroundings is very much more beneficial than not and it's something I work at.
  12. 1 point
    I have experienced other religions and philosophies, I’ve tried to find whatever I was looking for at the time only to find too much emotional blackmail as in “if you do this...this will happen” and “if you don’t do that something else will happen”. This is not for me. I like to be able to love, think and act with caring throughout my life, being pagan enables me to do this and living this way enables me to call myself a pagan.
  13. 1 point
    Yay Pealbrook. Starter's Orders is the perfect place for a question like this. It is the only thread that we allow outsiders [Guests] to see. As well as being of general interest it is a showcase for the Valley. I quite often point outsiders here. What do I get from my Paganism? An explanation for the existence of the universe that suits my way of thinking and which is founded on thoughts, ideas and principles that accord with my philosophies. A bloody good fit. My Paganism carries no commandments, no sin, no guilt, no faith and no self [or other] judgement. Right action, by my own tenets, is my contribution to my beliefs not the result of them. As I've said elsewhere, learning, trying to understand how the universe works is the most important function that I can perform. In doing this it is important that DNA is nurtured so that the learning continues, hence my three legs of rectitude. Oh - those are on a different thread. Sorry to repeat them for those who only read them two days ago. Act legally Act socially and Act with kindness. Thanks for the post.
  14. 1 point
    Of course! The dark side thread refers to the very general concepts of good and evil, light and dark held by "people" [unspecified]. We are agreed in that thread that these concepts are subjective and vary with cultures and contexts. I doubt whether many individuals consciously act in ways that they believe to be evil. They will always rationalise and see justice in their actions. Why should they review their thinking? Societies look across borders and sometimes perceive evil in those who are not of their kind; as might those looking back. In general individuals in those societies are neither free nor motivated to look beyond their learned thinking for all the real and perceived reasons that we have discussed.. To do so might even be dangerous. This thread refers to my thinking which has been jolted out of its complacency by accident and by association with other societies and changed in ways permitted by my own. This post was my own thinking and advice to an individual. Yes, circumstance and liberalism coupled with inclination may allow a few of us the luxury of introspection. Even in a liberal society most of us are far too busy for that.
  15. 1 point
    Who else here doesn't identify with "fighting" or is it just me? I sometimes have mental models of how I do, or think about, things. Others may or may not identify with them but it's not a problem if they don't. I don't personally think of myself as fighting. Possibly wading through something. Possibly standing firm against something. Even the old "screaming in a cave" was useful for a while!! Maybe I do fight with aspects of my thinking that I don't like though.
  16. 1 point
    Well done 😀 Good luck with sales. Should we maybe call you VDAKALK now hehe. I think I pronouncing that veeda-kalk 😉
  17. 1 point
    Yay - well done! Looking forward to hearing it!
  18. 1 point
    Seems OED has it as no.3 ? https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/athame as I've heard it said similarly perhaps with a bit less emphasis on the "ee" at the end.... Best ED
  19. 1 point
    Dear Folks, It's a normal part of (initiatory) Wiccan practice a
  20. 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
  21. 1 point
    I regularly visit Castlerigg but nearly always in early December. While I almost invariably have it to myself I would not unzip my puffer jacket never mind getting anywhere near my base layer. ( I play a very competitive game of strip poker!!!!) Being naked for spiritual reasons simply does not work for me. .
  22. 1 point
    No! haha xD I was applauding the appropriate (?) use of the word bottom 😛
  23. 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 😛
  24. 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
  25. 1 point
  26. 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 🙂
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. 1 point
    1: Dont get hung up on names or labels. You dont have to box yourself neatly into a type. Explore what interests you and see where it leads you. 2: stay true to whatever it was that got you excited enough about being 'pagan' to decide to call your self that. If it was a connection with nature then focus on developing that, or if it was contact with gods or ancestors then develop that, whatever it was, dont get bogged down with what everyone else is doing, (though of course we can learn a whole lot from each other and be lead down new exciting paths) dont loose contact with whatever was your spark of inspiration, thats more real for you than anything you can read in a book.
  31. 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?".
  32. 1 point
    I think answering "What is my path" doesnt necessarily mean giving it a name or a label. I agree names can be limiting. I think expressing and describing one's path is healthy and due to the nature of things (things change) might be a useful thing to do periodically. As I mentioned it can involve looking at aspirations and insight into how and where they might be met (or not!) Agreed expressing one's path isn't the same thing as joining a group but the same issues affect a group's functioning I think. Sharing common goals and aspirations and the means to achieve them etc. The group that I am in encourages confidence in the expression of one's core faith or inner truth which is a personal thing. We have pantheists, polytheists, Buddhists and agnostics and atheists in our group. We have had monotheists too. I am reminded of the thread a while back on orthodoxy and orthopraxy. What one does as being distinct from what one believes... which is a different view from the OP namely "What you believe did what you do" ED
  33. 1 point
    Is it possible that quite a few new comers join with an expectation of being taught how to be Pagan, or expect a definitive answer to their question "what kind of pagan am I" I came here with an idea of what and where I was but with absolutly no idea of paganism except for what Christianity taught me. From Birth I was brought up in the Salvation Army. The doctrine was ingrained in me right through from Sunday School to standing on street corners on a sunday morning taking part in an 'open air' meeting preaching the 'good news' There was never any problem with guidence, this is what the bible says about this or this is what the bible says about that. Guidence in Paganism? Myths and Legends. Then you come across a site like UK Pagan and reading others experiences and gleaning hints of reading material is just fantastic. The downside is, just when you think you are starting to get a grip on the subject, someone comes along and makes your reading list even longer :D As a side line, one thing that amuses me is the way every one always talks of things like Norse Mythology yet no one talks of Christian Mythology...apparently it must be fact. I seem to have lost my track a bit, but what I mean to say is, Not all of us have a great deal to say on matters probably because of a lack of knowledge or understanding, so we remain as lurkers, taking in threads and learning from what we read while trying all the time to re-write all that has been fed into our minds over the years by Christianity. My thanks to all the regulars here.....I think you have the balance just right
  34. 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!
  35. 1 point
    I think that it often needs a third party to recognise that their friend is being drawn into something harmful by apparently imperceptible degrees. This whether the "teacher" is deluded, mistaken, fraudulent or malevolent. On the other hand if I have made a few million selling vinyl and I feel that I benefit from giving a few hundred thousand to a wily old Maharishi in exchange for his wisdom then it's a fair trade. If I subsequently feel that it is bullshit I might say so in my autobiography but I'd laugh. Overall: I would find it hard to put the words "Pagan", "Authentic" and "2016" into a single positive sentence unless I was only referring to myself. I do question myself and everything else exhaustively to try the ensure that the teacher who is deluding me is not me. If there is one thing that is common to Pagans it is that we take personal responsibility for our spirituality. We stand in no need of priest, saviour or guru. Teachers may be of interest and influence but we do not need them in order to practice Paganism.
  36. 1 point
    One Heathen's non-twaddle list Dictionary of Northern Mythology by Rudolph Simek Ecclesiastical History of the English People by Bede Egils Saga Futhark by Edred Thorsson Germania by Tacitus Gods and Myths of Northern Europe by H.R. Ellis Davidson Grettirs Saga Heims Kringla The Norse Kings Saga by Snorre Sturluson History of the Danes by Saxo Grammaticus History of the Vikings by Gwyn Jones Looking for the Lost Gods of England by Kathleen Herbert Lost Gods of England by Brian Branston Myth and Religion of the North by E.O.G. Turville-Petre Njals Saga Norse Myths by Kevin Crossley-Holland Our Troth by The Ring of Troth & Other True Folk Poetic Edda Translated by Lee Milton Hollander / Carolyne Larrinton among many Prose Edda Anthony Faulkes translation. Everyman's Classic Library Road to Hel by H.R. Ellis Davidson Rudiments of Rune Lore by S. Pollington Runelore by Edred Thorsson Runes by Ralph Elliot Saga of the Volsungs Teutonic Magic by Kveldulfr Gundarsson Teutonic Mythology by Jacob Grimm Teutonic Religion by Kveldulf Gundarsson Well and the Tree by Paul Bauschatz Heathen Gods in Old English Literature. Richard North The Cult of Kingship in Anglo-Saxon England. William A Chaney Rites and Religions of the Anglo-Saxons Gale R. Owen Witchcraft in England 1559 - 1618 Editor Barbara Rosen Persuasions of the Witches Craft, Ritual Magic in Contemporary England by T M Luhrman dav
  37. 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
  38. 1 point
    Anything by Ronald Hutton :)
  39. 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....
  40. 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!!!
  41. 1 point
    Perhaps it was suggesting that you feel you're going round in circles and that the barriers (ivy, strong and thick) are stopping you from getting what you want? Bronzy gold is sun coloured, so maybe its suggesting you need to seek/work on your male aspects? Unless that is, you see the sun as female not male :D
  42. 1 point
    It depends on which moon tool system your computer has, some don't seem to have the dark moon period listed and the time must have been adjusted accordingly ;) I'm another that doesn't hold with blessing the BoS (or the DoS - that's what anti-virus software is for :o_cat2: ) however if I thought myself to be wiccan then i would use the full moon for that. The Dark Moon is a great time for work but not for blessing. In this case then you would need to call the quarters, know your deities, know your personal correspondences so they're right for you so you know what will bless and protect your BoS and what ones won't encourage prying eyes to look through it :D Or the old drop back sometimes helps when yelled outloud, "Oi, Gods! Look after this will you, ta" :D and wave it at the skies and your work is done - and that's not quite as tongue in cheek as some might think either :D :o_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.
  45. 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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