Keeping your spirituality out of sight

Some are practicing spiritualities that we may for various reasons wish to keep private.  This has been true of me for about 12 years, at least in regard to private practice, as I’m living in the Bible belt.

One side of my family I’ve kept in the dark about even the most conventional elements of my spiritual journey because they are particularly intolerant of anything outside of their religion which I have long left behind.  I keep lots of things from them, actually.

I have a religious landlord who I would not wish to disclose some of my spiritual practices to.

I keep obviously religious items in my home to a minimum or out of sight, or only display more generally accepted items like a crucifix or prayer book, though even those things I’ve had to hide from an entire branch of my family due to hatred of anything Catholic or reminiscent thereof.

Some items only come out during use and then I store them away, at least if I’m expecting visitors.

Since many of us probably practice spirituality in the home, I’m curious how others have gone about concealing their practices, or whether you have at all.  Perhaps some come from families or have homes in which that is not a priority.

I can imagine that keeping one’s spirituality private while carrying on a robust practice could be quite a creative endeavor, so I would love to hear more about it.

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Happy to be here!

Hello Everyone!  I am happy to join and look forward to connecting with new friends.  I am a Celtic witch, living in Ontario.  I had a few pagan friends that I celebrated with, but recently moved and because of this have felt alone.  I have been a practicing witch since 1980 and am now 57 years old.  I’m into Tarot, my pendulum, kitchen witchery, Natural Healing, and many other things that are common to all of us.  All of my rituals and spell work are done in both ASL and English because I am also Deaf (that being said, my spelling and grammar leaves a lot to be desired LOL).  Again, so happy to have found this site and look forward to chatting!

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Remote and together – what’re you doing that’s working?

Religious groups of all kinds and sizes are going virtual, so I’m interested (especially as someone in the process of figuring out what works for my own coven) in what you’re seeing in groups you’re part of or aware of, and what you think is working and what isn’t.

(I thought about calling this thread “Covens in the time of Covid-19” but of course I’m not just interested in covens here!)

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ADMIN: Honoring Chavi, Elspeth, and Marilyn on April 1st (2020)

The 14th anniversary of one of the saddest days in the history of The Cauldron is almost upon us. If you were a member of The Cauldron any time from about 2003 to early 2006, you will remember Chavi (aka Storyteller Cat and, in offline life, Cathlene Patricia McKenna) and starting in early 2005, her ever positive reports on her battle with a rare form of cancer. (Some of these posted used to be available on our 2005 Archive Board — but the software it ran on does not support modern versions of PHP.) The odds were against her from the beginning, but that did not stop her from fighting hard to try to be one of the rare survivors. And for a time it looked like she really might overcome those long odds. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be so. We lost Chavi on April 1, 2006.

Elspeth, one of the founders of this board passed over on April 19, 2010, after years of fighting congestive heart failure and other medical problems which kept her offline except for generally brief spells for the last five or six years before her death. She was a major participant here in the early years of this board and her posts can be found on our old Delphi forum. Some of her poetry and other writings can in old issues of our newsletter and in the Samhain section of our web site. The Cauldron would have never started if Elspeth had not wanted a forum to replace a small mailing list, The Grove, which she ran. Back then in cost money to run a user-ran forum on Delphi (where we were at the time) and I gave her a year of that cost and my help running the forum as a present.

Marilyn (aka Absent) was a long time active member of this board with many posts to her credit up until she suddenly passed on February 16th of 2013. She was a long time staff member whose expertise on the Tarot was appreciated by all.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020, marks the 14th anniversary of Chavi’s passing. Since the first anniversary of her passing, we have honored her on April 1st with 24 hours of candle burning. Eight years ago, we started honoring Elspeth on this day as well. Five years ago, we added Marilyn to this annual memorial. We are asking all Cauldron members who knew Chavi, Elspeth, or Marilyn; knew of Chavi, Elspeth, or Marilyn; or who did not know any of these three people but just want to help honor three wonderful people who meant a lot to many members of TC (and wish to participate) to light a candle in honor of Chavi, Elspeth, and Marilyn at 8pm your local time on April 1st and let it burn for at least an hour. The object is to have 24 hours of candles burning for them — one hour at a time around the world. Given things like oceans and the like, this may not be completely possible, but we have always come close — especially as some of us let our candles burn for much longer than one hour.

If you log in on April 1st, you will probably notice that many longtime members of this board have changed their avatar for the day to either an avatar of a hat or their regular avatar wearing a hat. These hats are usually somewhat silly. We do this in honor of Chavi who had a thing for silly hats.

If you want to participate, please post in here. Everyone, regardless of religion, is welcome to participate. If you can’t participate at 8pm your time, feel free to pick a different hour, I can promise you that neither Chavi, Elspeth, nor Marilyn would have been sticklers about the time. Neither are we.

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Quarantine karaoke on Discord

As some of you know, attending weekly karaoke and singing is part of my practice; unfortunately, it’s not possible right now.

After some discussion on the Discord yesterday, I’ve decided to take a shot at hosting karaoke on the voice chat there. As an experiment, I’ll be joining the voice chat on our Discord to host some singing twice today: once from 1pm-3pm Pacific (8pm-10pm GMT) and once from 5-7pm Pacific (8pm-10pm Eastern). Don’t worry if you can’t join; I only expect a few people this first time, as a test of the concept. After all, it’s pretty short notice.

If everybody has fun, I’ll see about making it a regular thing until offline karaoke comes back.

If you’re curious about what to do: just look up your desired song as a karaoke track on Youtube (you won’t be able to find everything, but there’s a few good ones there), make sure you have some form of microphone, and fiddle with your sound settings until everything sounds nice. We’ll go from there!

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Am I a pop-culture pagan?

This is something I’ve been wrangling with for a long while now. Am I actually a pop-culture pagan? I work with a wide range of powers, but they are not, by and large, pop-culture powers. They don’t come from popular culture, anyway. I don’t worship Khorne or Slaanesh, I’m not a Jedi or Sith, I don’t pray to Sheogorath or give offerings to Eru Ilúvatar. Instead, the powers I work with are almost all drawn from real-world historical or modern religious traditions.

BUT—and here’s where I feel unsure—I tend to work with those powers through the framework of popular culture. I may not worship Wonder Woman, but I absolutely do see her as a modern manifestation of Shakti. I don’t believe in the Force, but I do see it as a useful tool for understanding Atman and Brahman. I could go on all day about these things; I see symbols of the gods and other powers I work with every day, in music, movies, games, book and other pop-culture media.

Lately, I’ve been drawn toward the Sept from Game of Thrones, as a useful model for understanding my own powers. To the point that I’m using hymns from the franchise in my own devotional work.

So all of this leaves me wondering if I am a pop-culture pagan or not? I don’t worship pop-culture figures, at least not conventionally or directly, but they do figure prominently in my practice and in my understanding of the powers I work with.

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Not having it work out

So, I’ve been trying for the last few months to work with the Christian God. Basically I had a dream where I turned away from a sign of Rhiannon and instead fell back on my bed. I prayed to God to remove from me the sin of Eve and the ceiling opened up. Eventually I did stop working with Rhiannon and instead worked on getting to know God. I even went to church for a few weeks. I’ve had a few strong experiences, such as *almost* having Jesus in a vision. But to be perfectly honest, I’m pretty unhappy. I find God much too jealous and restricting, The more liberal forms of theology seem to border of pantheistic, which isn’t my style. The God in Christianity is too ‘big’ for someone whose been a polytheist for years. I don’t feel compelled either to worship El or Yahweh in a pagan sense. I did get a card reading and her advice was to avoid pride, idol worship and to preform more rituals. It is very hard, however, to preform a to God whom you don’t have much of a connection with. I only feel guilty and like I’m obligated to do it. I just keep wondering why I even started this relationship with Him.

I think it was because of Mother Mary, though I’m not quite sure. My Mother keeps telling me that my problem is my lack of faith. I’m not sure what I’m supposed to have faith in however, as my Mothers god is very different from mine. I just feel really bad about it all, like I’m not trying hard enough to make things work out between me and God. But also, maybe we should part ways? I’m not really sure anymore. I did a bibliomancy reading about my anger and basically got a passage about throwing a broom in the fire and then asking why someone else threw your broom in the fire and demanding it back. Which makes sense, I did get rid of a lot that He didn’t ask me to, based on my own assumptions. But also, I feel like there is no going back from where we are now. Thanks for any advice and for listening to my ramble.

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