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Thread: Pagan 101

  1. #1
    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Pagan 101

    Defining Paganism


    What *is* a pagan?

    Well...one way to look at it is that it is anyone that calls themselves a pagan .

    Or, if you go the dictionary route:
    The word pagan, according to Mirriam-Webster arises from 14th Middle English variation of the Latin paganus, meaning civilian or country dweller or from pagus, meaning country district.


    pagan
    c.1375, from L.L. paganus “pagan,” in classical L. “villager, rustic, civilian,” from pagus “rural district,” originally “district limited by markers,” thus related to pangere “to fix, fasten,” from PIE base *pag- “to fix” (see pact). Religious sense is often said to derive from conservative rural adherence to the old gods after the Christianization of Roman towns and cities; but the word in this sense predates that period in Church history, and it is more likely derived from the use of paganus in Roman military jargon for “civilian, incompetent soldier,” which Christians (Tertullian, c.202; Augustine) picked up with the military imagery of the early Church (e.g. milites “soldier of Christ,” etc.). Applied to modern pantheists and nature-worshippers from 1908. Paganism is attested from 1433.
    From http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?...earchmode=none
    While the dictionary definitions vary, each generally contains two to three from the following list:
    a. follower of a polytheistic religion as in ancient Greece or Rome
    b. follower of a Non-Abrahamic faith (is not afollower of Judaism, Christianity or Islam)
    c. someone that is hedonistic, or motivated by sensual pleasure
    d. one who is irreligious
    e. a follower of contemporary paganism (also commonly called Neo-paganism)

    Generally, among pagans, the definitions of hedonist or a person that is irreligious are not used, and are considered offensive…however, they might be used by someone that is not pagan, who may or may not know any better. Most of the time, when the term pagan is used, it is in reference to faith that is not Abrahamatic—Judaism, Christianity or Islam. This means that any number of religions in the world, from Shinto to Hinduism to Wicca follow this definition.

    To differentiate members of the modern pagan movement (I hate the term neo-pagan…it gives me weird mental images of the Matrix goes to drumcircle…I prefer contemporary paganism, or just Paganism…) from members other pagan faiths, another definition is needed. The most accurate and comprehensive definition I have been able to cobble together (and it IS a work in progress) is this:

    (Contemporary) Paganism is a term referring to one (or several) of many distinct spiritual paths, rather than one unified religious tradition. Pagans generally practice some form religious and/or spiritual path that incorporates earth-centered and/or nature based beliefs that is often polytheistic (though a good proportion of practitioners will focus on the polytheistic aspect first, and the connection with the world around them secondarily or not at all). Many incorporate the use of ritual and/or magic(k). Practices generally align themselves on a continuum from a loose inspiration to a reconstruction of, or an eclectic mix of one or multiple pre-Christian pagan faiths and occasionally other pagan (little p) religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, etc, and sometimes even with Christianity or Judaism.

    Within contemporary Paganism the largest tradition is probably Wicca, which is a distinct religious tradition founded by Gerald Gardner in the 1940s, and its various descendent offshoot traditions. Some other Pagan faiths include–though this is in no way a full list–Druidry, Asatru, Heathenry, Stregheria/Italian Witchcraft, Discordianism/Subgenius, Green Witchcraft, Celtic, Hellenic, Roman and Egyptian Paganism, and (yes, though many will certainly deny it) some forms of Satanism. Additionally, some individuals of the above paths may choose not to identify as “pagan”, for various reasons that range from disliking the term “pagan” due to its lack real meaning (since it is rooted in the idea of describing what someone is *not*) to the idea that the term holds no purpose and creates an idea of false unity.

    ***Notice the use of mostly, often, generally, etc in the above definition. There is no one working definition for what a pagan *is*. In fact, a common joke in the Pagan community is that “if you ask 10 pagans a question, you will get 20 answers.” Unfortunately, no one has been able to come to a consensus on what makes one "Pagan", or indeed, even if we should be calling ourselves that in the first place...and I doubt anyone ever will.***

    Other Views and Definitions:

    Our Ongoing, Never ending and somewhat tedious Debate on the Subject

    A Pagan or NeoPagan is someone who self-identifies as a Pagan, and whose spiritual or religious practice or belief fits into one or more of the following categories:
    *Honoring, revering, or worshipping a Deity or Deities found in pre-Christian, classical, aboriginal, or tribal mythology; and/or
    *Practicing religion or spirituality based upon shamanism, shamanic, or magickal practices; and/or
    *Creating new religion based on past Pagan religions and/or futuristic views of society, community, and/or ecology;
    *Focusing religious or spiritual attention primarily on the Divine Feminine; and/or
    *Practicing religion that focuses on earth based spirituality.
    from http://www.paganpride.org/who/who.html
    http://www.silver-branch.org/ssbcrea...bpagandef.html
    http://www.ourladyswarriors.org/dissent/defpagan.htm (this is–I think–a Catholic website and may piss some people off)
    http://www.religioustolerance.org/paganism.htm
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paganism
    http://paganinstitute.org/PI/what_is_paganism.html
    http://www.paganfed.org/intro.php
    http://agnosticwitch.catcara.com/pagan-perplexity.htm
    http://www.hermetic.com/dionysos/pagan.htm
    http://www.angelfire.com/ny5/dvera/p...ism-Pagan.html
    http://wicca.timerift.net/pagan.shtml
    http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4023
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

    Pagan Devotionals, because the wind and the rain is our Bible

  2. #2
    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: Pagan 101

    Defining Witchcraft
    Witchcraft is a practice…and in and of itself, it is not a religion, and indeed, a witch can be of any religious background and belief system.

    Witchcraft is the practice of any one (or all) of most of the various types and forms of magic (I say most, because many practitioners of certain types of magic will get pissy if you call them a witch…generally witchcraft is equated with folk/”low” magick). Divination, spell casting, contacting or channeling spirits, making amulets or talismans, etc are some practices that can be considered witchcraft. These practices are independent of any particular religion, though individual religions can incorporate particular forms and/or philosophies of witchcraft.

    Practices and beliefs that have been termed “witchcraft” do not constitute a single identifiable religion, since they are found in a wide variety of cultures, both present and historical; however these beliefs do generally involve religious elements dealing with spirits or deities, the afterlife, magic and ritual. Witchcraft is generally characterized by its use of magic.
    Sometimes witchcraft is used to refer, broadly, to the practice of indigenous magic, and has a connotation similar to shamanism. Depending on the values of the community, witchcraft in this sense may be regarded with varying degrees of respect or suspicion, or with ambivalence, being neither intrinsically good nor evil.
    From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witchcraft
    Witchcraft is a practice in the same way that weaving is a practice… Say I belong to some religion that sees the universe as a tapestry….it would then follow that I might view weaving as a sacred art. But weaving in and of itself is not a sacred art to someone that belongs to a religion that sees the universe as a garden…

    Who’s a Witch?


    A witch is a practitioner of witchcraft. If a person practices witchcraft, and acknowledges that they are a witch, then they should be considered to be a witch. There is no reason to get pissy just because they don’t practice Brand X Witchcraft. I would argue that willingness to identify as a witch is as important in defining who *is* a witch as the pracitice of witchcraft itself.

    While certian actions might technically be considered witchcraft, that does not mean that a person engaged in those actions is necessairly a witch. What practices are considered witchcraft differs from culture to culture and society to society, and in many cultures being a “witch” can be a negative thing. A person that practices beneficial magic (communicating with the ancestors, healing, curse breaking etc) may instead have a title other than witch, even if, technically, their practices can be constituted as witchcraft.

    Which Witch is Which?

    Many websites and even a few books will tell you that the terms witch and Wiccan or witchcraft and Wicca are interchangeable…in some cases, they can be, but overwhelimingly they are not.

    Wicca (big W, denoting the religion, rather than wica/wicca/wicce…etymological predecessor from which the name of the religion Wicca originated) is one of the oldest traditions of the modern pagan movement. Wicca as a religion was created (wether wholesale, or as a ‘modernization’ of an existing tradition/s is still debated, though academics lean towards the first) by Gerald Gardner as an amalgamation of anthropological ideas of the time (which have since been discovered to be largely false), ceremonial magic, and a whole bunch of other stuff from Mr. Gardner’s world wide travels and experiences… It has aspects of its practice that were believed to be continuances of a tradition of European Witchcraft (though they more than likely were not actual pracitices). Wicca itself is a religion, but most practitioners will incorporate some form of witchcraft into their practice. (and, just to confuse you more, there are “denominations” of Wicca as well)

    While Gardner uses the term witch, and later authors down the line often use the terms witch and Wicca interchangeably, they were working under Gardner’s (and the claims of some other authors such as Margaret Murray) claim to a pre-existing witchcraft tradition which Gardner was privy to. His claims of being initiated into this tradition, and the claims that Wicca was a survivor of this tradition, led to the idea and use of the two terms being interchangeable…an assumption which has no real academic basis, but has been commonly found in the lexicon (I always wanted a reason to use that word!) of the Pagan community. (The debate over who “is”/”is not” Wiccan is another matter, which can be found here )

    Short Schpiel on Witchy Ethics

    Witchcraft, in and of itself is not seen within the pagan community as “good” or “evil”, though some practitioners will make a big distinction between “light” or “white” and “dark” or “black” magic. Other practitioners do not. There *can be*, depending on a practitioner’s specific tradition or personal beliefs a particular set of ethics and/or rules governing the practice of witchcraft/magic for that person, but it is in no way (regardless of what some websites and texts claim) universal among pagans.

    The most common ethic (that is in no way universal) is The Rede, “‘An it harm none, do as ye will”, occasionally short-handed as “Harm None”. This is taken literally by some, figuratively by others and not at all by everyone else (for a fantastic discussion on the Rede, consider these essays by Proteus Coven, “Exegesis on the Rede”, “An It Harm None: high-choice ethics”, “Do What You Will: best-choice values” ).

    My personal ethic is this: If you are willing to own the actions, and the results of your actions and to accept full responsibility for all that your actions cause, and you feel that it is necessary, then you should do as you see fit.

    Witchcraft References and other POVs:
    http://www.waningmoon.com/realm/pseudometaph.html
    http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9108515/witchcraft
    http://www.ghostvillage.com/legends/...02222003.shtml
    http://www.answers.com/topic/witchcraft
    http://www.witchvox.com/qotw/qwp_detail.html?id=2
    http://wicca.timerift.net/witch.shtml
    http://www.associatedcontent.com/art...lenge_for.html
    http://www.religioustolerance.org/wic_dict.htm
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

    Pagan Devotionals, because the wind and the rain is our Bible

  3. #3
    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: Pagan 101

    Pagan views of deity


    What gods do pagans believe in?

    Most pagans believe in multiple deities…however, we can run the gamut of belief in deity. For example, a pagan can have anyone of the following beliefs:

    hard polytheist—-generally believes in multiple, distinct and separate deities…in my experience, hard polytheists tend to fall into one of three categories–those that believe in the existance of ALL gods and choose a specific pantheon(s) of worship (I have seen this called omnitheism, though I favor calling it “inclusive” polytheism), those that believe in the existance of THEIR gods at the exclusion of others (what I call “exclusive” polytheism), and those that fall somewhere inbetween believeing in SOME but not all gods (I call this “selevtive” polytheism).
    variations of hard polytheism (or monotheism, depending on how you look at it):
    *henotheism–generally, the worship of a single god, but the belief in the existance or possibility of other deities
    *monolarity–generally, the belief in the existance of multiple deities, with only one chosen deity as being worthy of worship
    *kanthenotheism–generally, the worship of a single god at a time while recognizing the existance/possibility of other deities
    soft polytheist—-generally believes in multiple deities as separate facets/personalities of one greater divine spirit or source
    variations of soft polytheism that I have encountered:
    *All individual deities are literal manifestations of a single Divine (which is what most people associate it with).
    *All individual deities are archetypes of a single Divine and are symbolic, rather than literal.
    *Feminine deities are a part of the Goddess and masculine deities part of the God and the God and Goddess are both aspects of a greater Divine.
    *Feminine deities are a part of the Goddess and masculine deities part of the God and the God and Goddess are NOT both aspects of a greater Divine
    *Individual deities are manifestations of greater archetypal type deities, which are separate entities…I find this one a little confusing, but I only know a couple of people that believe it and it works for them…so, to each their own…
    pantheist—-generally believes that god is the totality of the universe, can be either monotheistic, or (soft) polytheistic belief
    panentheist—-generally believes that god is both immanent and transcendent…that god is within the universe, but also something apart; can be monotheist or polytheist

    duotheist—-literally “2 gods”…generally believes in a female and a male deity, duotheists can believe that the male and female are separate sides of one greater divine, or that they areseparate entities, or that all gods/goddesses are facets of the god/goddess…generally, duotheists are Wiccan, as Wicca has, since its conception, an established belief in the Lord and Lady

    deist—-the belief of the existence of a creator deity who does not intervene in the universe
    monotheist—-belief in one god…for Pagans, this is generally a pantheistic or panentheistic belief, or a belief in one universal consciousness/divinity (henotheism can also be seen as a form of monotheism)
    agnostic/atheistic—-some Pagans don’t believe in deity…or they may believe in a connecting universal force, but not see it as divine, or they might see it as not being important, or that there is no evidence for or against, or that there my be divinity, but they do not worship it, or…you get the picture.

    Depending on an individual’s personal preference, they may choose to any one of a number of individual gods from a number of pantheons, or may worship the gods of a specific pantheon. Some traditions are specific to a particular pantheon. For example, followers of Asatru honor the Norse gods, while Hellenic pagans honor the Greek gods. Often either a deification or at least personification of the Earth as a conscious being/entity is recognized by many (if not most—but definitively not all) pagans.

    Some Types of Pagan Practices:
    There are several different descriptors for different types of paganism–for example, Isaac Bonewits’s neo/meso/paleo-pagan categorization…however, these are the ones I hear the most in terms of contemporary Paganism.

    Syncretism: The attempt to reconcile separate systems into a seamless and unified new system.
    Eclecticism: The selection of elements from different systems of thought, without excessive concern for possible contradictions between the systems in an attempt to choose the best ideas and philosophies.
    Reconstructionist: The process of collecting examining the evidence of historic traditions and implementing those traditions in a modern sense, reconstructionists are attempting to reconstruct a historical religious (and often cultural) tradition that is as authentic as allowable.
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

    Pagan Devotionals, because the wind and the rain is our Bible

  4. #4
    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: Pagan 101

    Eveyonce in a while I come across what this or that person advises to some new soul that has just discovered paganism...sometimes the advice is good, sometimes it is fluff, and sometimes it is so freaking critical and mean it makes me wonder how anyone has a converstation with this person in the first place.

    So this is my two cents...my 7 step program to becoming pagan, so to say--really, IMO, to BEING pagan, since I really don't think you should ever stop doing any of these things...

    Thalassa's Guide for Newbies

    1. Read. Read everything. Read the boring academic stuff that puts you to sleep and read the fluff. Read what other people call crap--keep in mind that sometimes you can find something useful buried in it. Read what other people recommed, keep in mind that sometimes its crap. Read about mythology, philosophy, other religions, neuroscience, psychology, history, biology... Keep reading...and then use the stuff between your ears and think about it.

    2. Think. Think critically. Keep a journal to keep track of your thoughts, of the things you learn and of the things you like or dislike and why, of the things you agree with or don't and why. Make lists of the things that interest you. If you something interesting, research it--if you don't find it interesting, research it anyway...its always good to know what others think and why.

    3. Observe. Watch nature, follow her cycles. Learn about the place you occupy, geographically and ecologically. People watch. Find a group--or two---or ten that allow non-members to go to rituals, see how they do things. Go to a pagan festival or two, or ten--just to meet and talk to people and see what they do and why...you may learn something, you may not.

    4. Meditate. Meditate in whatever method and manner works for you, but try new things. Use visualization and guided imagry. Meditate to music, meditate to silence, meditate indoors and out. Try tai chi, or trance dance, get a drum, learn to play no matter how crappy you think you are. Use meditation to order your thoughts and your place in the cosmos. Be proficient in achieving a meditative state.

    5. Practice. Find what works for you. If it doesn't work the first time, try it again a few times. If it just doesn't work for you, find something that does. Practice only that which follows your sense of morality and ethics. Try new things. Try old things in new ways.

    6. Discuss. Exchange ideas. There few things that work as well for ordering thoughts and ideas and information that discussing them with others. Find someone to talk to about what you learn, find more than just someone to exchange ideas with if you need to. Take what everyone says with a grain of salt--for some people, you might need the whole shaker ...

    7. Remember: When you think you know everything is when you are the most ignorant.
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

    Pagan Devotionals, because the wind and the rain is our Bible

  5. #5
    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: Pagan 101

    A big list of (some) Traditions and Paths in Contemporary Paganism:


    This list is by no means comprehensive...it is meant just to illustrate the diversity of contemporary Pagan traditions.


    Wicca
    British Traditional Witchcraft
    Gardnerian Wicca
    Alexandrian Wicca
    Blue Star Wicca
    Georgian Wicca
    Correllian Wicca
    Dianic/Femenist Wicca
    Seax-Wicca*
    Faery Wicca
    Tameran Wicca (Egyptian)*
    Kemetic/Egyptian Wicca
    Celtic Wicca*
    Norse Wicca*
    Eclectic Wicca
    Celtic Paganism*
    Celtic Reconstruction**
    Druidry/Druidism
    Norse/Germanic Paganism*
    Heathenry/Asatru**
    Egyptian Paganism*
    Neos Alexandria (egyptian-greek syncretic)
    Kemetic Reconstruction
    Yoruba (West African indigenous religion)**
    Syncretic African Traditions**
    Cadomble
    Santeria
    Vodoun
    Hoodoo
    Shamanism***
    Neoshamanism
    Peruvian/Andean Shamanism
    Huna (Hawaiian)
    Reclaiming
    Feriferia
    Satire Traditions****
    Discordianism
    Subgenius
    FSM
    Greek/Hellenic Paganism*
    Hellenic Reconstruction**
    Roman Paganism*
    Roman Reconstruction (Religio Romana)
    Christo-Paganism
    Ceremonial Magick
    Thelema
    Golden Dawn
    Witchcraft Traditions
    Green Witchcraft
    Hedge Witchcraft
    Kitchen Witchcraft
    Italian Witchcraft (Strega/Stregaria)
    Pow-Wow
    Appalacian Granny Magic
    Eclectic Paganism
    Unitarian Universalist Pagan
    Mesopotamian Traditions


    Religions that are not a contemporary Pagan path, but are sometimes included under the Pagan umbrella
    Taoism
    Confucianism
    Shinto
    Hinduism
    Buddhism




    *Eclcetic traditions that predominantly incorporate a particular culture or pantheon
    **practitioners may choose not to self-identify as Pagan, but some will
    ***various cultues have their own 'type' of shamanism
    ****this is a personal categorization, not an official one, but it works
    ***** This is formed from a fusion of a few paths, or is syncretic

    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

    Pagan Devotionals, because the wind and the rain is our Bible

  6. #6
    Copper Member Monk's Avatar
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    Re: Pagan 101

    Wow is my head spinning.
    Tons of useful information and very well presented. This will take me sometime to process all that you have written on your post/tread. Been trying to figure out were I fit in and I'm sure this will help me.

    Thanks
    Gargoyles watch over me...I can hear them snicker in the dark.


    Pull the operating handle (which protrudes from the right side of the receiver) smartly to the rear and release it.

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    Sr. Member calfhill's Avatar
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    Re: Pagan 101

    Well done. Thanks for the lesson. It's good for all of us to revisit the basics from time to time.
    Sleep, my friend, and you will see
    That dream is my reality

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    Bronze Member magusphredde's Avatar
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    Re: Pagan 101

    [quote author=Monk link=topic=37.msg23279#msg23279 date=1292682859]
    Been trying to figure out were I fit in and I'm sure this will help me.

    Thanks
    [/quote]Somewhere right between A and Z ...
    I won't be wronged. I won't be insulted. I won't be laid a-hand on. I don't do these things to other people, and I require the same from them ... John Bernard Books


    Indian Chief 'Two Eagles' was asked by a white government official; "You have observed the white man for 90 years. You've seen his wars and his technological advances. You've seen his progress, and the damage he's done."

    The Chief nodded in agreement.

    The official continued; "Considering all these events, in your opinion, where did the white man go wrong?"

    The Chief stared at the government official for over a minute and then calmly replied.. "When white man find land, Indians running it, no taxes, no debt, plenty buffalo, plenty beaver, clean water. Women did all the work, Medicine Man free. Indian man spend all day hunting and fishing; all night having sex."

    Then the chief leaned back and smiled; "Only white man dumb enough to think he could improve system like that."




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    Re: Pagan 101

    This is the URL to a symbolism dictionary, it's the best list I could find atm... if I find a better one or a completive one, I'll change/add the URLs, unless I am suggested one by PM or PPP message.

    http://symboldictionary.net/

    And also a Encyclopedia Mythica dictionairy to help you understand names and terms we use on this forum.

    http://www.pantheon.org/
    Last edited by Taiga Pagan; 12 May 2011 at 06:21.

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    Re: Pagan 101

    Great Pagan 101 lesson, very informative!

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