Divine Punishment in the Afterlife?

deitys at altar
Deities at altar (Photo credit: xjanix)

Something that I am not used to when encountering many Pagans is the disassociation of divine punishment in regards to the afterlife. Dharmic metaphysical concepts like samsara(rebirth) are added into very odd folk traditions such as Nordic based mythology for example. Being a Muslim before becoming a pagan did not feel weird to me as scholarly examined research has provided that the historicity of an afterlife was common for pagans regardless the extent of it. Reincarnation in the general context it is used now is not though.

I am not criticizing the believe on reincarnation but I am criticizing the dislike towards divine retribution. Perhaps my Islamic frame of mind is still present and this is debatable but I feel as if many modern pagans are reforming paganism into something it never was.

I am not against reincarnation as I do believe you have the right to worship what you want and choose your own ‘afterlife’ but it should not become a social rule amongst the many that the few must live up to something without objective basis. If you are familiar with any mythology at all you should know that deities have no issues with retribution or divine punishment. Being a Semitic Pagan this is more applicable for me you could say.

So why do some of you reject the afterlife in favor of annihilation or reincarnation? Are you afraid that if you applied yourself to a deities’ standards you would fail? I myself have no issues letting a deity know that I am completely under his/her whims.

I should mention that I truly believe that death is the end of limitations for consciousness so in this sense the continuation of consciousness you choose is entirely up to you as divinity and humanity is very much associated with a medium(the human mind) and a dual reflection of both states.

Seed Catalog Time!!!

The front cover of a 1901 Burpee Seed-Sense ca...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Anyone else excited by this? The catalogs are arriving, and I’m going overboard planning my garden. So far, I have Cook’s Garden and Seed Savers Exchange. Burpee and Richter’s should be here any day now.

So, what will you grow? I’m eyeing up lemon cukes and purple pod peas.

Drawing Down the Moon/Contacting the Goddess — Questions

The crescent as a neo-pagan symbol of the Trip...
The crescent as a Neo-Pagan symbol of the Triple Goddess. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was introduced to this by a friend, but I fear the terminology is incorrect. When I research ‘drawing down the moon’ I see a lot about big group rituals and invoking the goddess through oneself. The way I was taught, it was simply a way to connect with the goddess during a full moon, to draw down Her essence into your life. Has anyone heard of this being ‘drawing down the moon’ or should I quit calling it that?

I’m a solitary witch, and I’ve done this ritual only once. What I basically did was, set aside a time around midnight during a full moon and lit a candle in the name of the goddess and some incense, and focused. I wrote a little introduction paragraph which I read, in order to introduce myself to the goddess and to declare my path. I asked her to come to me in whichever way she saw fit, and that night she actually did appear in a dream of mine (although it was a solar goddess as opposed to a lunar one).

My question is, I really want to connect with the goddess again. I can’t find a whole lot of information on moon rites like this, at least not solitary ones. I want to do the same kind of thing again, but I didn’t know whether or not it was only meant as an introduction sort of thing, because that’s how I originally did it.

Can anyone offer insight on this topic?

Charities by Deity

English: A mosaic of Tethys from the Antakya M...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I found this site some time back, but I think it is good to take a look at. It is about various charities that could match up with deities. It is listed by several pantheons: Gaelic, Greek, Norse, Roman, and Egyptian.

I personally think this is an awesome idea. As Hospitality is very important in my path, this is another way of providing an offering IMO for one of the deities I honor.

What do others think of this?

Goddesses or Not?

The Head of Medusa by Peter Paul Rubens, circa...
The Head of Medusa by Peter Paul Rubens, circa 1618. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Out and about on the interwebs, I’ve come across a few tidbits of information that I’d like to get your take on. I’m just a little curious about a few mythic figures. Namely, Medusa, Lilith, and Boudicca.

Do any of you consider Medusa a Goddess? I realize she was originally mortal in the myths, turned into a “monster” by Athena. A few places I’ve visited seem to see Medusa as the shadow aspect of Athena in an archetypal sense. Others seem to think she was originally a goddess demoted by the patriarchy. Of course, I don’t know if I buy the pre-patriarchal matriarchy myth. However, lurking around, I know people have worked with her as a deity. Has anyone here done so? If you don’t mind sharing, what was your experience like?

I have the same questions about Boudicca. I know she was a historical queen and somewhat (ok, no. Definitely) a badass. I’ve seen people mention her as a Goddess also. What is your take? Has anyone worked with Boudicca as a spirit/guide/deity?

And finally, Lilith. I know she’s probably a pure demon and not a Goddess at all. Though, again, people seem to invoke her as a deity in ritual, especially in women-centered circles. These are braver souls than me. That is for sure. Because as far as I can tell, there is precious little in her mythology that would make her more than a storm demon.

Of course, I guess the underlying question is at what point do you think a mythic figure becomes a Deity?

Like, in the Christian scriptures, there is little on the surface of the texts to make Mary anything but a young Jewish woman. However, with all of the devotion and love from her followers, the titles She’s accrued over time (Queen of Heaven?), I have no doubt She is a goddess. The same thing with Kwannon/Quan Yin. They both function as Goddesses.

So…again, what do ya’ll think?

Introducing Clann Bhride: Children of Bhride — a Brighid-centered path

By asterbreo Dear Reader,
Happy Imbolc!
Please accept my heartfelt apologies for having forsaken you for so long. It’s been a rough — and also, in some ways, wonderful — few months in AsterLand.

O’ahu = Paradise

Since I last wrote, my husband and I were hired for a short-term job in Honolulu, so we spent a blissful 2 1/2 weeks in Hawai’i, where I discovered what it feels like to be migraine-free. I did NOT want to come home. Hawai’i truly is Paradise! It’s unbelievably beautiful. We’re now hoping planning to move there. Someday.
I also had the opportunity to spend a month working as a stage manager on a beautiful ballet. Stage management is something I’ve been doing for a very long time, and I love it and am actually pretty good at it. Hmmmm… Maybe I should consider going back to work as a stage manager…? In Hawai’i.
But the most important thing I’ve done since I last posted here was working on Clann Bhride. This is the Brighid-centered spiritual path that I think I might have mentioned once or twice. I’ve been thinking about this — independently and with a few friends who …read more

Source: Liminal Lotus

The Nine Elements of Clann Bhride

By Clann Bhride 1- Clann Bhride, or the Children of Brighid, is a religious order for devotees of the goddess Brighid who feel called to a lifestyle of daily prayer and spiritual practice. Children of Brighid strive to live lives of extraordinary devotion and focus, and to do Brighid’s work in this world by any means possible under Her guidance.

Of course, the best way to discover what Brighid wants you to do is simply to ask Her, but it may also be helpful to think about the different aspects of Brighid as paths of service:

Poetry- This can refer not only to poetry, but to music, wisdom, literature, learning and mystical practice. All of these concepts were part of the path of poetry among the ancient Irish and other Celtic peoples.

Smithcraft- This can refer to any form of craftsmanship, sculpture or hands-on creative work.

Healing- This can refer to any type of physical, mental or spiritual healing.

Justice- This can refer to advocacy for the disenfranchised, as in the lore of Brig Ambue. It can refer to hospitality, the provision of food and drink without charge to whoever needs it, as in the lore of Brig Briugu. It can refer to …read more

Source: Clann Bhride

Feminism and the “Wussyfication” of Men

English: One of the symbols of German Women's ...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From the Huffington Post:

Elisabeth Hasselbeck asked a guest on Thursday whether he believes that feminism is hurting American’s national security.

Nick Adams argued in his new book “American Boomerang” that men around the world are no longer allowed to be “manly.” In an appearance on Thursday’s “Fox and Friends,” he said it was a “dangerous” phenomenon, claiming, “American men are of course very susceptible to it. It’s really important particularly in America given the leadership role that America has in the world that American men be allowed to be men.”

“Is this in direct relation to feminism on the rise?” Hasselbeck asked. “Is it a result just sort of society seeing men that are not as masculine and men that are as masculine being kind of demonized?”

Thoughts? In the meantime, my head will be meeting the desk…repeatedly.

Help identifying a Deity?

Jan 3: Ringtail Possum
Ringtail Possum (Photo credit: debtony)

So for the past month and a bit Ringtail Possums have been flocking to me, in the rain, in the heat, during the day and night; after asking around I found that this was possibly a sign of a Deity taking interest in me. After much G

oogling (and reading through terribly scanned documents) I discerned that there is only one Deity associated with possums, apparently the Mayan God Mam, however according to different sources this is either one God and a God of evil, or the name for one of three possible Gods.

I was wondering if anyone here had any knowledge of this or could point me in the right research direction? I know nothing of Mayan Gods as my faith has mainly centred around cultures I descend from.