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The following are just a few of the interesting things currently being discussed on our message board. Please join in any discussion that interests you.

The Avengers vs. the Christian Gospel

I stumbled across this today, from a Catholic website:

‘The Avengers’ and Friedrich Nietzsche

Joss Whedon’s “Avenger” films, the second of which has just appeared, work as a sort of antidote to Tolkien and Lewis, shaping the imaginations of young people so as to receive a distinctly different message than the Christian Gospel.

Read the entire article

One immediate problem I see with this contention is that the author pins it on writer-director Whedon and his atheism, when in fact Whedon didn’t just make this stuff up, but rather draws from well-established Marvel lore that predates him.

Anyway, discuss.

Deck Recommendations?

I feel like there was a different section for this or something (other than the book suggestions; maybe a mega thread), but I’m not seeing it so hopefully I’m not looking in the wrong place. I know I enjoyed the bad decks thread.

I’m looking for a tarot deck. I’ve got no money, so I’ve got plenty of time to pick it.

What I’m looking for
– Preferably tarot (vs oracle or other)
– Assuming tarot, preferably the symbolism similar to Rider-Waite (I’m pretty sure they’re not the only one who uses it)- eg the moon with dog/wolf/crayfish/moon, three of cups with clinking, stength with a lion, etc. I just really like this set up and I’m fairly familiar with it. (really, I greatly greatly prefer it, but I will take other examples especially if justified in not using this)
– Decent art (see below)
– On card stock (see below)

Particular benefits
– Non-mass produced (I see a lot of nice decks on kickstarter, actually- the ones that go into production must have websites or be available through someone’s), if only because I like the extra options and I think there are more with art that speaks to me (vs the wood-block-ish traditional or weird computer generated) (on the other hand, mass produced=easy to get, so I mean, go for it if you know good ones)
– As such, if they’re on etsy or whatever, not printed on printer paper and not download and print yourself (because the first one isn’t handleable and the second I’ll screw up)
– Smallish in size (like playing cards, not like mini tarot), because I have small hands and struggle with larger cards (I’ve had two sets that were like, 4″x6″; eek), but like indie decks, not super important as long as they’re not unusable

Don’t want
– Bad art (subjective, I know. I mean bad photoshopping, that sort of thing)
– Boring art (eg, non-face cards are like playing cards)
– Not available in/doesn’t ship to Canada

Game of Thrones

Is anyone else semi-addicted to this show and/or books? It’s a phenomenon in my workplace, 90% of the staff watches every new episode the day it airs and has either read, or is reading, the books.

I’ve already read all the novels that have been released (barring the Dothraki language book and the Encyclopedia of Ice and Fire).

Any other fans floating about?

“Fatherly” Gods?

Are there gods that have taken a more father figure type role in any of your lives? I’m not very particular on the pantheon as I’ve looked into honouring gods of various pantheons in the past. I guess with all of this happening, and the fact that I effectively no longer have a father, I feel a need to have a more fatherly god I can turn to for help and comfort on various issues in my life the way I can’t with my own father. I’ve been lacking in anything spiritual lately because of this and other things, and I think maybe trying to forge a connection with a god that can fill that spiritual gap as well as potentially take on a father figure role in my life, even as a deity, is something I really need.

Any advice, UPG, etc., would be strongly welcomed.

Learning About Past Lives?

How would a Gaelic polytheist go about learning of their past lives? Granted, I know that the concept of reincarnation is not mentioned that much in anything relating to the Celtic Isles (that I can find) but I have always been interested in learning about who I once was. Any tips?

Has Anyone Ever Had Their Magic Bound?

I met a new friend who turns out is a coven leader and I got really excited about it. He said I could join and I was all up for it til he started talking about some of the beliefs and rules of the coven. There’s a bunch I’m pretty iffy with since I’m a pretty gray witch and the coven seems snow white. But the main thing that I didn’t like is that they said it was their responsibility to bind witches they thought were dangerous. I was kinda like “mmhmm sure ok. tell it to the charmed ones.”

I never really thought of magic as something that could be taken away so it didn’t bother me at first. But I don’t actually know anything about it. Has anyone here ever bound someones magic? or had their own bound? And is there a way to unbind or protect yourself from being bound?

Faiths/Denominations within Heathenism

I’ve been searching online, and tried searching the forums, but I’m not having much luck.

I understand Heathen can stand as a catch-all for the pre-Christian faiths of the Germanic people.

I know that Asatru is the Icelandic expression. Beyond that, I’m having trouble.

Is Forn Siðr the Danish expression? What other “expressions” of the Heathen faith are there?

I’m sorry if this is a basic question, but I’m having trouble comprehending the different faiths within the greater whole of Heathenism.

Needed: Recommendations for Spell Books and Other Things

Looking for spellbooks, mythology (from anywhere, as long as it is as accurate to the culture in question as possible) books, reference books, history books (preferably ones that roughly pertain to mythology and religions of the time), herbology books (especially pacific northwest or BC specifically, can be well done magic ones or just botanical), and fairy tale and folklore books. Also interested in spiritual or philosophical texts (primary or textbooks).

I’m also always open to literature suggestions (steep me in allusions!) and to high fantasy and stuff, but spellbooks, lore books, and history, in that order, are my main priorities.

My collection of relevant items includes: Judika Ilkes’ 5000 Spells, Cunningham’s Encuclopedia of Herbs, Beyerl’s Master Book of Herbalism and a few stray herbal references. I also have the Element Encyclopedia of Secret Signs and Symbols and of Magical Creatures. I have Orientalism (Said) on the history/philosophy side.

I especially am looking for decent spell books and non-secular ‘practice’ books (eg working on meditation, household charms, etc), so if all that extra detail was boring, just go with those.

Drop in Activity on Pagan Websites?

Has anyone else noticed a massive slowing down of traffic on Pagan-related websites? I really miss Bewitching Ways and the old Covenspace. When my husband and I met on WitchVox in 2004 the sheer volume and quick-pace of resources being added was nearly overwhelming. There were pages upon pages of Pagan personal ads for my area alone. There were several metaphysical shops in my area. Now I have one. Covenspace was a wonderful alternative to Facebook and I made a lot of great friends and connections there. Paganspace is a little more difficult to navigate and I’m having trouble making connections as easily. Even the “New Age/Occult” section of my local bookstores has shrunk dramatically over the past decade. Is this a regional observation, or did the Craft reach its zenith in the 90s and early 2000s and is waning, or have we backed away from the public eye and become more guarded?

Any thoughts or perspectives on this?

Chaos Magic

Hey all. I’m fairly new, trying to find my place here. But I am very excited about Chaos Magick.

I was curious if anyone had some good books on it. After some research it seems that it has gone through some…stages. Carroll or Spare or… well I don’t know. I’ve read Phil Hine’s Condensed Chaos pdf and it helped quite a bit.

It’s a topic with an inherent desperate approach that I’m finding it a bewildering to get traction. I know it’s all individual and that’s the core of it. I guess I’m looking for some perspective and direction.

What are your thoughts or suggestions?