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Does Anyone Else Have Issues with Tribalism?

For those of you who don't know what the term means, "tribalism" refers to the current within Neo-paganism that claims that in order to understand gods and practice religion properly the "culture" (often invented by the founder) must be adopted to some degree. First issue: being able to pick one's culture, invent it, and adopt a new ethnic identity. This is another manifestation of white privilege, as I learned from reading "Dealing with Race, Ethnicity, and Whiteness in constructing the Ethnic Folkway of Germanic Heathenry" by Jennifer Snook

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Which Came First, the Universe or the Gods?

I would love nothing more than to hear what you believe on the matter. I personally believe that the Goddesses/Gods are a product of the Universe rather than the thought that the universe was created by a God/Goddess or Gods/Goddesses. I feel that if one can find an understanding of a Deity's relation the the cosmos, it is only a stones throw from being able to understand our roll in the cosmos as well as our progression through time and space both physically and spiritually. Please let me know what you think! Message Board: Join in our discussion

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Your Pagan 'Mecca'?

If you follow a belief system that originated elsewhere in the world, have you been there? Do you plan to go someday or do you not feel it necessary or desirable to visit the place(s) in which your belief system originated and/or took form? Message Board: Join in our discussion

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The Ethics of Offerings

In this post, in the 'Honoring Land Spirits' thread, Ferelia talked about avoiding offerings of food, drink or items, as these involve (unneccessary?) consumption of the produce of the earth. I'm very keen to ensure that any offerings I give are ethical. I look at the processes of producing and shipping food etc., from as many perspectives as possible (from human rights to animal rights to environmental conservation), and this affects what I purchase (or grow or find) as offerings. But offerings themselves, as an expression of hospitality, are central to my religion. In an ADF context, we gi

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Honoring Land Spirits

I've lived in this town for several years now and I'm curious about the spirits of the land that may be here. I'd like to make a respectful offering to them but I have some questions. (I've been reading other threads but I keep coming up with questions and I don't want to derail people's discussions.) A) Who are they? How can I find out? Do I just make an offering and hope they accept it and never know who they may be? First Nations people lived here in the past. Would their land spirits still be here, or would they have followed the people when they left? Is it acceptable for someone not Nat

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Is a Wand Necessary?

I am wishing to start learning about magick, particularly after I had this strange and sudden craving for a wand. But I wish a few tips first; Number one: Is it actually necessary to have a wand? Are there other types of Magick directing instruments? Number two: Should a wand be found and hand made or bought at a store? and, finally, number three: Are there any particular preparations and precautions that need to be implemented before trying to use a wand in practise? Message Board: Join in our discussion

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Personal Responsibility (and Public Interactions)

I got to thinking this afternoon: how does your religion view personal responsibility? And in particular, how does it look at what your obligations are in public settings. (I work, as most of you know, in an academic library, but we allow and generally encourage community patrons to make use of our resources. I was talking to a co-worker today about the behaviour of a particular person, and we were particularly discussing how we deal with drawing the line about some things that are having a negative impact on other library users.) My own path has a high value on it, but my actual usual model

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Roman Religion in Celtic Lands

I was wondering if there are any good sources about how Roman and Celtic religions interacted historically. Specifically, I'm curious about a few things: 1) What elements of Celtic religion entered the empire? I know they adopted Epona as a goddess, but did any other Celtic elements spread throughout the empire as a whole? 2) How did Romans in Celtic lands practice their religion? I know that they would often conflate certain Celtic gods with Roman ones, but I'm just wondering what the average practice of a Roman in Gaul or Britain would look like. 3) How did the native Celts react to the i

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Impulse Buys of Pagan Books

1. What pagan-themed books have you bought purely on impulse? (NOT, for example, "I'm Asatruar and I've always wanted to read the prose Edda, so I finally picked up a copy") 2. How/where did you encounter/find out about this book? 3. What made you decide to buy it? Message Board: Join in our discussion

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Overcoming Personal Skepticism and Childhood Guilt

To give a little background, I was raised in a strict Christian household. My parents were (and still are) missionaries to India. I even went with them to India on a missionary trip when I was 13. This was an unexplainable wonder and joy to me for so many reasons but also became a catalyst for my religious curiosity, much to my parents dismay. There was a moment on that trip when we had stopped at a store and I wandered into a small Hindu temple next door to it. I was enthralled, it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen and so different from anything I had ever experienced. I felt thing

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The Cauldron’s web site sprawls over two domains and many subdomains. The material on is older and the material on is newer. holds material from 1998 to 2010, with several styles and page designs — some of them dating to the turn of the century. We tried to update this site in 2010 to bring it up to more modern HTML standards and improve the design. However, as each of the thousands of pages needed to be redone by hand, the one person trying to do this was soon overwhelmed and gave up. In 2011, we decided to leave as it was and simply start a new site — this site — on Our sites have a common front page and all the material on the old site is linked to from the new site so we really have one big site spread across two major domains. If the site design shifts from something new and modern to something old and poorly designed, then you are on our old site. We apologize for doing things this way, given The Cauldron is a hobby with no budget for updating thousands of old pages, we figured it was better to keep the old material available in its old and not very beautiful form while placing new material in a modern state of the art in 2011 web site. Thanks for putting up with this.