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Author Topic: Just starting off  (Read 859 times)

rkrue633

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Just starting off
« on: April 23, 2013, 10:12:10 pm »
I'm hoping to get some guidance and opinions on where to go to further develop my interest/practice in my beliefs. This is kind of going to be a mish-mash of a post, so I apologize in advance for that.

Here is what I've done so far. I've read some basic books years ago. I've made a list of correspondances. I've read a few things online (about.com, other random sites) but as I'm sure a lot of you know, there is a lot of information and sometimes it's hard to keep track of what I've read.

 Based on my experience, I feel like I'm leaning towards Wicca. I believe in energies and the earth providing tools for us to tap in to, so correspondances, the elements, etc. However, and I'm certainly not trying to offend anyone, I don't really know how I feel about deities. I don't identify with any particular pantheon besides just having general interest in the history and stories. I don't know if I necessarily believe in an entity that could be referred to as a God or Goddess. I feel, based on what readings I've done, that this kind of goes against some traditional Wiccan thoughts. I know it is an open and, for lack of a better word, adjustable religion. But I feel that adjusting it too much kind of takes away from it and changes it so it's not Wicca anymore.

I'm very interested in at least learning about psychic connections and Divination. My problem here lies that I don't know how much faith I have this. I guess I'm one of those people who have to see it to believe it. If maybe someone could suggest some reading material (websites or links preferably) so I can read up on it and maybe understand how it works more I can be more open to the idea. Just to clarify, by divination I am referring to Tarot, Runes, palm reading, tea leaves, scrying...the whole shebang.

I'm also curious in the astrological affects on beliefs. I know that herbs and oils, as wells as cards in Tarot, are often linked to an element and a zodiac sign or a planet. If someone has information on that, it would be appreciated. The history of it, how it impacts it, and not just the affect but literally how it works.

My ultimate goal is 1) Get a better understanding and more knowledge on these topics, 2) find a specific sect (is that the right word?) that kind of combines these interests and possible believes and 3) find someone who can help me with this.

I showed a lot of interest in this a few years ago, but I became frustrated with all of the material and information, and not having anyone to help guide me. I would really be interested in getting to know those who are truly interested in helping and answering stupid questions when I have them. Having someone who can help me, can hopefully keep me focused, and lead me in the directions, would be amazing.

Thank you for any information and guidance you can provide!

On a complete side note, I find it FANTASTIC that there are Doctor Who avatars. Completely made my day.

Jake57

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Re: Just starting off
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2013, 08:46:12 am »
Quote from: rkrue633;106515
I'm also curious in the astrological affects on beliefs. I know that herbs and oils, as wells as cards in Tarot, are often linked to an element and a zodiac sign or a planet. If someone has information on that, it would be appreciated. The history of it, how it impacts it, and not just the affect but literally how it works.

 
As an astrologer, I can tell you that most pagans/wiccans do not really incorporate astrology into their practices, although any type of magic practiced in conjunction with the phases of the moon is, to me, related to astrology.  There are many good books on astrology, if you have a good bookstore in your area, go there and browse.

As far as Tarot is concerned, there is a very good but also very advanced book called The Rabbi's Tarot, not sure if it is still in print.

Hope this helps.

rkrue633

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Re: Just starting off
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2013, 09:53:02 am »
Quote from: Jake57;106533
although any type of magic practiced in conjunction with the phases of the moon is, to me, related to astrology.


I agree. And thanks for the advice!

Jenett

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Re: Just starting off
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2013, 12:02:54 pm »
Quote from: rkrue633;106515
Based on my experience, I feel like I'm leaning towards Wicca. I believe in energies and the earth providing tools for us to tap in to, so correspondances, the elements, etc. However, and I'm certainly not trying to offend anyone, I don't really know how I feel about deities. I don't identify with any particular pantheon besides just having general interest in the history and stories. I don't know if I necessarily believe in an entity that could be referred to as a God or Goddess. I feel, based on what readings I've done, that this kind of goes against some traditional Wiccan thoughts. I know it is an open and, for lack of a better word, adjustable religion. But I feel that adjusting it too much kind of takes away from it and changes it so it's not Wicca anymore.

Well, people use the term Wicca in a whole bunch of different ways. You're right that traditional Wicca honours a (very specific) God and Goddess. If you're not sure about the role of deity, that's going to be a little tricky.

You might find a couple of essays on my website handy, especially the Different Ways the Term Wicca is Used one.

Quote
I'm very interested in at least learning about psychic connections and Divination. My problem here lies that I don't know how much faith I have this. I guess I'm one of those people who have to see it to believe it. If maybe someone could suggest some reading material (websites or links preferably)


My essay on Divination is a place you might start: I go into more detail there, but basically, I think divination is about showing us (and helping us work through) choices and possibilities. I think that psychism can be a part of that, but it doesn't have to be: many forms of divination work perfectly well if you're simply using the tool to help you look at all aspects of a given situation.

It can be a bit overwhelming to look at lots of different techniques, just because different tools will give you different kinds of information. My training had us start with a pendulum (they're easy to make, and easy to interpret - then you can move on to pendulum maps with more options) and then learn enough about Tarot to make some initial sense out of it, and then encouraged us to get comfortable with at least two tools.

I find it useful to have a nodding acquaintance with a tool that does big long-term issues and effects (astrology, for me, though I'm definitely only a studied amateur with it still) and one that does better for questions and specifics (Tarot, and I have a self-created quote deck that's very effective for me.)

I very much like Rachel Pollack's Tarot Wisdom for a massive compendium (and she looks at the history of the card's symbolic associations, which it sounds like you might be interested in.) I also like Barbara Moore's _Tarot for Beginners_ as a nice intro that also compares and contrasts multiple decks, so you get an idea how people can take the same basic idea and represent it in different ways.

Quote
I'm also curious in the astrological affects on beliefs. I know that herbs and oils, as wells as cards in Tarot, are often linked to an element and a zodiac sign or a planet. If someone has information on that, it would be appreciated. The history of it, how it impacts it, and not just the affect but literally how it works.

It's a little more complicated than Jake57 suggests, above, in my experience.

First, astrology encompasses a *huge* range of approaches. Natal astrology (the "what sun sign am I?" stuff is one. Electional astrology (when should I do this thing for best results?) is another. Horary astrology (determining an answer to a question based on casting the appropriate chart) is another. There are probably dozens more.

I'd say probably at least half the Pagans I know use astrology in some sense.

Some people (and groups) use natal charts as part of an evaluation process for students, potential group members, etc. (Generally not so much "do we take this person" but "which things should we make sure to ask about/who in the group would be a likely best mentor" kinds of filters.) I find that using astrology for this point helps me make sure I've looked at someone's background in every area of their life, even if I get some of that information from asking more questions rather than a chart itself.

Some people use electional astrology to determine the best time for a ritual. This can be relatively simple (the phase of the moon), more complicated (the moon in the correct phase and in a useful zodiac sign) or really really complicated (looking at a wide range of possible influences.) Most of the Pagans I know aren't usually that precise about every ritual, but are for things like initiations or other really important events.

In terms of the relationship with specific material objects (stones, herbs, etc.) it can be really complicated to track that: some of it's folklore (which rarely has good citations), some of it is individual experience, some of it is "we had a source for this once, and maybe it was a sort of lousy source, but meh, until something else comes along, it'll do."

Which is to say: if you are working in a specific magical tradition, they may have an opinion. If they don't, try stuff and see how it works, and poke around with what you think the associations are. (Often, they have something to do with either symbology or numerology, or they have something to do with the use. Uses are often linked to medicinal uses, which may help.)

Anyway. I know a number of people who use pieces of that information, but not necessarily all the time. And it's generally the sort of thing you build slowly, through your own practice, in terms of what you actually use and why.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2013, 01:42:38 pm by SunflowerP »
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rkrue633

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Re: Just starting off
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2013, 09:47:45 pm »
Quote from: Jenett;106553

My essay on Divination is a place you might start: I go into more detail there, but basically, I think divination is about showing us (and helping us work through) choices and possibilities. I think that psychism can be a part of that, but it doesn't have to be: many forms of divination work perfectly well if you're simply using the tool to help you look at all aspects of a given situation.

It can be a bit overwhelming to look at lots of different techniques, just because different tools will give you different kinds of information. My training had us start with a pendulum (they're easy to make, and easy to interpret - then you can move on to pendulum maps with more options) and then learn enough about Tarot to make some initial sense out of it, and then encouraged us to get comfortable with at least two tools...


...I very much like Rachel Pollack's Tarot Wisdom for a massive compendium (and she looks at the history of the card's symbolic associations, which it sounds like you might be interested in.) I also like Barbara Moore's _Tarot for Beginners_ as a nice intro that also compares and contrasts multiple decks, so you get an idea how people can take the same basic idea and represent it in different ways...


...First, astrology encompasses a *huge* range of approaches. Natal astrology (the "what sun sign am I?" stuff is one. Electional astrology (when should I do this thing for best results?) is another. Horary astrology (determining an answer to a question based on casting the appropriate chart) is another. There are probably dozens more.


I am finding your website extremely helpful, Jenett. A lot of information that is easily to understand, so thank you for that. I hope that I can just pace myself and not completely overwhelm myself and become frustrated and confused.

As for astrology, I had no idea there were different approaches to it, but it totally makes sense. Thank you for the response!

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