“Samhuinn” God

I came across this in a Celtic myth collection, The Mammoth Book of Myths and Legends by Peter Berresford Ellis:

“Now the feast of the god Samhuinn drew near. This was the great feast which marked the beginning of the New Year, the period of blackness.” (p.300)

It’s (I think) an oral story written down in a Scottish Celtic context, and it’s the first time I’ve come across Samhain referred to as a deity. I tried a Google search without much coming up, but did come across an article (“The myth about the “Celtic god of the dead.”” on the site Religious Tolerance) which mentioned that the idea of Samhain as a god is a myth brought about by poor scholarship in the 18th c. and continued by conservative Protestants. If there was any figure relating to the name, it would’ve been a minor hero by the name of Sawan and not a deity.

I was curious about if anyone else has come across this sort of thing/if it’s cropped up anywhere else? I wasn’t sure if I should dismiss the appearance of the god title in the myth collection as just buying into the poor scholarship, but the other article would suggest so. (I did read around and it comes up in another article, mostly in a dismissive tone).

What are peoples thoughts and experiences with this? It’s completely new to me and I was surprised to hear it was something used in quite a negative context to spread misinformation.

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In Memoriam, 24 April 1967

lit candle imageVladimir Komarov

Today is the 52nd anniversary of the tragic death of Vladimir Komarov, the first human to die in space. The mission was Soyuz 1, the initial flight of the Soviet designed spacecraft which is still in use today. He was well aware that this first spacecraft had major, critical flaws but chose to make the flight in order to protect the life of his colleague Yuri Gagarin, who otherwise would have been ordered to make the flight. He made his funeral arrangements in advance. There were numerous malfunctions throughout the nearly 2-day flight which Komarov managed to overcome, but he was killed as a result of parachute failure during his re-entry.

“The conquest of space is worth the risk of life”–American astronaut Gus Grissom.

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Advice: CPU Cooler

I’m in the market for a new cpu cooler/fan. The one I’ve had for several years now has up and died, and I’m a bit worried that prolonged usage of my computer without said cooler will be bad for said CPU’s health…
So any recommendations? Should I go with a fan cooler (Which I have now) or use one of those new liquid coolers instead?
Currently, I have a CoolerMaster – don’t ask which model, because it didn’t come with a box – but it’s actually too big for my case. My CPU is an AMD® Phenom(tm) ii x6 1090t processor × 5 .

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Hi! i’m new here

Hello everybody,

i am a girl from Denmark who accidentally came across wicca one day, and i read about it on a Danish website made by two women who know wicca and are a part of it.
I wanted to learn more and i read a english book translated to danish by scott cunningham and it was really good! i want to be a part of wicca, i have never been a religious person but i grew up in a generally danish home were i was baptized and confirmated in a christian church, so i guess i am a part of christianity.
But i found wicca so much more appealing.
My biggest problem is to find the things you are supposed to have and use for rituals, because not very many in denmark are witches and things like that are rare.

But, thats me! i hope you can help me with questions and that you all will welcome me into this awesome forum 😉

-Moon1354
Sorry for any grammar fails or odd word use, i am from denmark and not that good at english xp

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My other goddess.

Alright. So I finally decided to share some of my UPG here. Those of you who know me probably know that my religious practice (mostly) consists of mainstream Hinduism with some other things, mostly Christian, tossed in as well. You may also have seen me refer to having a lot of UPG on occasion.

Well, I do have a lot of UPG, and I have been threatening to share it for a while now; here I am actually doing that. I decided to start with one of the bigger and more… out there, pieces of UPG I have. Something totally unsupported by historical practices and, as far as I know, not shared by any other modern pagans.

So, what is this piece of UPG? Well, there is a deity in my religious practice who I have heretofore never mentioned or alluded to having a relationship with. This deity is one who has a historical basis and a widespread modern following. There is literally zero chance that you haven’t heard of him; not sure of I am going to name him here or not, so just bear with me for now. He is a very well known god with a strong pop-culture presence.

This deity revealed himself to me when I was a kid; no older than eight, but I think it was considerably earlier than that. He came to me while I was daydreaming,  recurringly for a long while. I recognized him immediately both from his mythological similarities (my parents raised me with a lot of mythology) and from popular culture. In many ways, he presented himself almost identically to what you might expect; he was tall, strong, muscular, hairy, boisterous, and warrior-like. Unlike you might expect, however, he was black – African American. That obviously didn’t keep me from recognizing him because he was otherwise archetypically like himself, down to the smallest detail of his symbolism and regalia. At some point, this deity drifted from my daydreams into my actual dreams, before disappearing around the time I started middle-school, around when I reached puberty. Incidentally, this was around the time I started to experience gender dysphoria.

So, for about three years I was basically totally christian, with no other outside elements, before I began to drift into atheism in my early teens. I lost all connection to any religious powers of any kind, christian or otherwise. So, to cut the long story of my atheist trials and tribulations short, around the junior year of high school, I started to seek out religious beliefs and practices again. There was no ‘thwapping’ or UPG, it was just me, an atheist, consciously looking for theism: I found it, in the form of esoteric, Tantric Hinduism. I felt drawn to the Godess Kali, who is still my Ista-devata, as well as to many aspects of Hindu cosmology and theology.

Well, around this time, once I had started practicing religion again, I felt a feminine deity reaching out to me, and offering me support. A deity who felt kinda familiar but who I didn’t immediately recognize. She was very adamantly clear that she was not Kali or any other manifestation of Shakti. She appeared as a muscular dark-skinned woman of seemingly west-African descent, wearing modern athletic wear, with her hair in a long braid and with short sideburns on her face.

So, this deity kinda hung around the edges of my practice for several years, never asking for worship or prayer, just offering me support and motivation, especially with issues that were related to my transitioning and dysphoria. I didn’t know who she was, I just knew who was was not – not Isis, not Mary, not any of the Hindu goddesses, not Amaterasu, not… any goddess I knew by name. I just knew her as my “transgender godess” – because I got distinctly trans* vibes from her.

Well, about two or three years ago, for reasons I don’t exactly understand, she decided to reveal her true identity to me. I was having a rough time with life when she did, so maybe she wanted to let me know “Hey. Guess what? I went through this shit too. Yeah, me – your childhood idol.” I had a dream where I saw her shrouded in storm-clouds and lightning, and she dramatically  announced her name, when she did, for a moment I saw the male deity who I had seen as a child – the same deity – and I realized that this woman was that deity. It made sense to me. I never questioned it, because it just sorta clicked internally.

I have had a relationship with this female deity by name for a couple of years now. I still don’t worship her, and she is still more adjacent to my pantheon than an actual member of it, but I know who she is now. Something has made me kinda wanna actually include her in my worship now, though – maybe it’s the fact I am now out of the closet with a lot of people about my gender, or maybe it’s just the fact that I have felt a stronger pull toward her as an object of worship due to pop-culture having recently shown a lot of stuff featuring her traditional (white, male) representation.

See, I still feel like this deity fundamentally represents the same thing they always represented; they’re just female now. (I happen to think they were always black, and that representations of them as white were merely historical mistakes). Those things being strength, bravery, merriment, self confidence, and self-sacrifice.

My other Goddess… is Thor. Cue dramatic lighting and thunder.(Incidentally, that is precisely how she revealed it to me, too – “I am THOR!” with dramatic lighting and thunder swirling around her while she hoisted Mjolnir.)

…specifically an African-American, female Thor. I don’t think that’s just something she came up with for my benefit either, I am convinced that Thor, as a divine being, is actually feminine, and that her male aspects are just a facade. Thor is transgender.

So, there. Your first piece of my UPG puzzle. I assure you that most of the rest of it is just as weird. I am not remotely orthodox as I might outwardly appear. I have seen some strange things, and I tend to believe my own UPG over anything else.

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Duncan

Dawn and I have recently moved from a large city to a mini farm in a rural area.  We have always revered nature and consider ourselves as Earth’s stewards.  Living closer to the Earth and becoming more in tune with the land, we feel a stronger attachment to the Old Religion and celebrate it among ourselves.  As of now, we’re the only ones we know and hope to learn more and find other folk who share our ways and our beliefs.

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Any recs for books that focus on core skills?

I’ve hit a point in my studies where I’m being told that I need to go back to the basics. Having read a few 101 Wiccan and non-Wiccan books, I feel they didn’t quite cut it for me since they were more of a sampler platter of magical miscellany. I would greatly appreciate any recs, no matter the medium!

On a side note: I’ve read about Jason Miller here on the forums and would like to know your thoughts on his works. Was curious if they had the same tone as the blog he maintains? I’m interested in all his books, but I’m wondering which one to start with.

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Notre Dame fire and restoration of religious sites

I think we’ve all heard by now about the fire at Notre Dame cathedral in Paris. Talk about restoration work has already begun, and it has me wondering: will they rebuild it as closely as possible to the original, or will they go with more modern designs or materials?

I could see it going either way. It’s not the first time this has happened. St Peter’s in Rome burned down in the Renaissance and was rebuilt in the then-contemporary style. The idea of historical preservation of buildings is fairly recent, and was in part inspired by Notre Dame itself (and the novel that was written about it).

So a historical reconstruction would be a propos to the building itself. On the other hand, Notre Dame is not a historical artifact; it’s still very much in use as a church. So there’s an argument to be made that a restoration should reflect the living community.

This also got me thinking more broadly about restoration of religious sites. I was reminded of an old documentary about restoring Tibetan temple paintings, particularly this bit:

Quote

Sanday’s conservators did not intend to restore areas where painted images had flaked or eroded away, but in some cases they needed to rebuild and prepare sections of walls for painting or line drawing. The Raja, or King, of Mustang and the townspeople of Lo Monthang stressed that they wanted to worship entire, not incomplete divinities. It was agreed that, in order to meet international restoration standards while accommodating the wishes of the local people, some of the lost areas would be plastered and painted, to form linkages and continuity across small gaps. More expansive lost areas, often the lower portions, were completed only as line drawings without color fill, however, in order to restore the functional integrity of the paintings without attempting a “restoration.”

So there was disagreement there between the ‘preserve as-is’ attitude of the conservators and the local people’s view of the paintings as part of their current religious practices.

Does anyone else have thoughts on this?

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Psychic Ability Tarot Spreads and Card Interpretation

Hello!

I tried a tarot spread for psychic ability today.  I drew three cards to stand for three questions:

1. Do I have any psychic abilities?
2. What abilities might I have?
3.  How should I use my abilities?

I pulled:
1. The Star
2. The Devil
3. The Hierophant reversed

We were chatting about this in the discord chat and the idea of feedback from the larger community turned this into a thread (hopefully).

I’ve found one other spread: The Psychic Eye

Set up like this:
The Psychic Eye:

***********1************

2 *********456**********3

***********7***********

1. What does having a psychic gift mean to me?
2. Which psychic ability do I currently possess?
3. What ability would I most like to develop?
4.5.6. The Psychic Eye – What do I need to do to develop this ability or How do I work on making this ability stronger?
7. What I need to beware of when using this ability.

Would love feedback on any spreads used for this, any insight into specific cards with psychic significance/indicator cards, just tell us what you think about any of it!

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