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Author Topic: looking for a resource for all seekers like myself  (Read 972 times)

brad

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looking for a resource for all seekers like myself
« on: September 22, 2013, 08:16:05 pm »
I've been struggling for years now with where to start.  I'm not particularly fond of the "pick a book and start reading" method, because it could take a very long time worth of reading the introductory chapters of book after book, and could end up costing a lot of money.

Rather, it would make a lot more since to read an article or something that looks like so:

Druidry - This group commonly believes in... but does not believe in...  When they practice, they ...  and... are considered sacred to them.  Their most recognizable hallmarks are... you can see them in everyday life doing... and wearing...

Fairie - This group commonly believes in... but does not believe in...  When they practice, they ...  and... are considered sacred to them.  Their most recognizable hallmarks are... you can see them in everyday life doing... and wearing...

Shamanism - This group commonly believes in... but does not believe in...  When they practice, they ...  and... are considered sacred to them.  Their most recognizable hallmarks are... you can see them in everyday life doing... and wearing...

Wiccan
- This group commonly believes in... but does not believe in...  When they practice, they ...  and... are considered sacred to them.  Their most recognizable hallmarks are... you can see them in everyday life doing... and wearing...

From there, I would think a person can then choose to focus a little more on the group, take a look at various sects (hellenic wicca, alexandreian wicca, etc).  When one resonates well, they may have a path or two to devote some time studying and perhaps spend some hard earned dollars into a book that we might have a chance of finishing and enjoying.

Does such a resource exist?
The hardest part about being pagan, is being pagan.

Cabal

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Re: looking for a resource for all seekers like myself
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2013, 08:31:41 pm »
Quote from: brad;122650
I've been struggling for years now with where to start.  I'm not particularly fond of the "pick a book and start reading" method, because it could take a very long time worth of reading the introductory chapters of book after book, and could end up costing a lot of money.

Rather, it would make a lot more since to read an article or something that looks like so:

Druidry - This group commonly believes in... but does not believe in...  When they practice, they ...  and... are considered sacred to them.  Their most recognizable hallmarks are... you can see them in everyday life doing... and wearing...

Fairie - This group commonly believes in... but does not believe in...  When they practice, they ...  and... are considered sacred to them.  Their most recognizable hallmarks are... you can see them in everyday life doing... and wearing...

Shamanism - This group commonly believes in... but does not believe in...  When they practice, they ...  and... are considered sacred to them.  Their most recognizable hallmarks are... you can see them in everyday life doing... and wearing...

Wiccan
- This group commonly believes in... but does not believe in...  When they practice, they ...  and... are considered sacred to them.  Their most recognizable hallmarks are... you can see them in everyday life doing... and wearing...

From there, I would think a person can then choose to focus a little more on the group, take a look at various sects (hellenic wicca, alexandreian wicca, etc).  When one resonates well, they may have a path or two to devote some time studying and perhaps spend some hard earned dollars into a book that we might have a chance of finishing and enjoying.

Does such a resource exist?
http://www.ecauldron.net/newpagan.php, This is the Pagan Primer for Ecauldron. The Teens and Paganism FAQ is very useful as well. http://www.ecauldron.net/teensandpaganismfaq.php!
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brad

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Re: looking for a resource for all seekers like myself
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2013, 09:32:40 pm »
Quote from: Cryfder;122651
http://www.ecauldron.net/newpagan.php, This is the Pagan Primer for Ecauldron. The Teens and Paganism FAQ is very useful as well. http://www.ecauldron.net/teensandpaganismfaq.php!

 
I appreciate the time it took you to read my message, track the info down, and post it here.  Thanks for the effort, but not what I'm looking for.   First, it's pretty much a list of links, you click them, then start reading.  Second, there aren't many listed.

I'm not entirely convinced I have the mental fortitude to keep working on this though.  I go through periods when I decide it would be nice to try to figure it out again, then I run in to the same problems and get so frustrated I just walk away from it for several months.
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Sunshine

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Re: looking for a resource for all seekers like myself
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2013, 09:59:17 pm »
Quote from: brad;122657
...Second, there aren't many listed.

I'm not entirely convinced I have the mental fortitude to keep working on this though.  I go through periods when I decide it would be nice to try to figure it out again, then I run in to the same problems and get so frustrated I just walk away from it for several months.

 
If there is a master list of all the pagan paths in the world out there, I am sadly unaware of its location. And I kind of doubt any one would be complete, even with just the most cursory information.

There aren't cheat sheets for most of us who go religiously seeking. Some people may have direct contact steering them on their right paths, but certainly not all. Even those who do get tapped by specific deities often have trouble putting a name to them.

I understand your frustration, but my advice to you is honestly to keep hanging out in pagan spaces online and, if at all possible, in person. I went through a LOT of false starts as an early pagan - I always knew I wasn't an animist, or a Wiccan, for example, but trying to find something that did resonate with me took a lot more work than ruling it out, and in the end, it wasn't in any of the books I'd read on the history of neopaganism, or pre-Christian religions in Europe, because I was looking in the wrong places entirely.

What tipped me off to my path was a Kemetic prayer for the deceased, uttered to someone who had suffered a death in the family. (A thousand of bread, a thousand of beer, a thousand of all good things.) The prayer resonated very deeply with me, and so i followed the urge to learn more about Kemeticism, despite never having met a Kemetic or known anything at all about Egyptian mythology other than a few Romanized names and the image of Cleopatra clutching an asp. But the more I learned, the more it made sense with my own life and experiences, and the more I was comfortable finally identifying as something other than "spiritual but not religious."

So the only advice I can give you is keep seeking, keep learning. Go to your library. Request books from other libraries. Visit the religious SIGs here, and look at their stickies and resources lists. Read blogs on any and every path, looking for something that fits. Rule out what you know doesn't work for you.

I know that wasn't the answer you were hoping for, but it's the only answer I have. Good luck, and don't be discouraged by the journey.

Jenett

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Re: looking for a resource for all seekers like myself
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2013, 10:57:01 pm »
Quote from: brad;122650
I've been struggling for years now with where to start.  I'm not particularly fond of the "pick a book and start reading" method, because it could take a very long time worth of reading the introductory chapters of book after book, and could end up costing a lot of money.

Does such a resource exist?

Not really, because it's a really problematic sort of resource. Let me break down why, since it might help find something that would help that's more likely to exist.

There's a page on my website that gives some very general guidance (it's over here) but it's very general because every time I start thinking about getting more specific, I run into issues either of accuracy, of possibly over-simplifying other people's paths, or of just not being useful. I've got an idea for some of how to handle that, but it's not ready to get written quite yet.

In specific, let me break down some of what you ask about.

Sheer numbers: First, one reason no general resource of this kind exists is the sheer scope. There are hundreds, probably thousands, of distinct paths that have developed over the years. Many are very local - they've grown out of the hard work of a small group of people, they sustain themselves, but they may not have much presence online, or outside their own geographic area. So anything that talks about paths and doesn't include them is automatically leaving a lot out.

Belief/non-belief: Many Pagan paths are focused on shared practice, not shared belief - in my own tradition, we have a bunch of shared practices about the Gods (many of which presume there *are* Gods, and that they come to ritual sometimes), but people's beliefs about what the means, the nature of the Gods, and so on is widely varied. And that's okay - the practices still work.

However, it means that looking at Paganism like people break down, say, strands of Christianity (which is a credal religion, which means the divisions are largely about specific beliefs) just doesn't work well.

Practices: Again, there are some general similarities, but there are also a bunch of differences. (And for a number of paths, at least some of the specific details of the practices are kept either very private, or just not shared in general.) It's possible, for example, to say "This path general creates sacred space by casting a circle, recognising the four directions and elements, and calling in the Gods", but the actual experience of being in, say, my tradition's circle, a Reclaiming style circle, and a Blue Star circle are all very different. (And I can say that, because I've been in all three, within about a year of each other.)

Which is to say, there's only so far a description of practice goes, and only so far you can go in a general document without using thousands on thousands of words, or misrepresenting something.

Sacred symbols: Again, lots of variation. Most Wiccan paths use the pentagram or pentacle somewhere - but there are plenty of people who identify as Wiccans who, for example, never wear one. (I only own one, despite it being a common ritual tool in my trad, and it's on one of my trad pendants that has since been superceded by something else I wear in ritual more commonly. What I wear in public doesn't look like a religious symbol at all to most people. This is not that uncommon.)

Everyday life: Really, this is going to be the same for most paths. Pagans are teachers and doctors and computer programmers and librarians. We are parents and we have made choices not to have children. We are in blue collar and white collar and pink collar jobs, and taking care of things at home. We are living in cities, and we are living entirely off the grid, and everything in between.

There are some *very* rough tendencies in some paths (people who are in Reclaiming generally have at least some tolerance to magic as a political force, even if it's not their personal focus) but again, you're painting with a very broad brush, and it's easy to get that wrong.

So, what's the answer?
My usual answer to this is very pragmatic, and starts with three questions;

1) Do you want to do this with other people? If so, your best place to start is to look at the other people doing stuff in places you might reasonably be able to get to (at least once a month or so). We're just getting into the end of Pagan Pride season, but Pagan Pride events are usually a good one-stop shop to see groups who are active in a given geographic area (sometimes the program info or the vendor lists or the "who gave workshops" info will be helpful in pointing you at groups.)

Likewise, Witchvox at http://witchvox.com (which has been around for over 15 years now: it's very Web 1.0) remains a good option as a starting point for networking. It's not the only place (I'd also try Googling and searching Yahoo!Groups and Facebook and so on for terms like "Pagan" and your nearest big city/state/other geographical terms) but it can give you an idea of what's out there and lead you to other options.

2) Based on some very general ideas (like the page I linked to on my site), are you interested in learning a path that can *only* be learned from other people?

If so, your first step is going to be to start putting out feelers for such people.

(This is true for any of the initiatory Wiccan paths: you can keep an eye out in online fora for people from those traditions, you can join an email list like Amber and Jet and read through their massive archives, etc. But eventually, there's a step where you have to find other people who can teach you.)

3) If you're not sure of the above yet, then make use of free resources: find at least 2-3 general discussion fora that include people from a bunch of different paths. Read what people post. (It's okay to ask questions as appropriate about things, but it's not necessary for this step). Go find some blogs from people posting about their path or experiences. Browse when they link to other places.

(One good place to read for a lot of overview of what's going on the Pagan world is The Wild Hunt - http://wildhunt.org, which rounds up news and other details from across the Pagan communities. Following links out from there will get you a pretty wide exposure to a bunch of people in a bunch of paths.)

Over time, if you start doing this regularly (at least a few times a week) you will probably see that some stuff attracts your attention more than others. Someone will describe something, and you'll say "Oh, that." You'll read someone's posts and say "I'd like to grow up to be more like that." You'll read someone's description of their path or their practice or how they got there, and something will click for you.

Make notes when this happens. (This doesn't have to be a big deal, just a running log saying things like "The agricultural focus of the wheel doesn't work for me but [blog post link] talks about an application that feels better" or "I think I want to explore [whatever] a bit more")

As that happens (and you should keep trying to make it happen, by exposing yourself to lots of data) you'll eventually find yourself coming back to some things more than others. After a couple of months (again, if you're doing it regularly: you need a bunch of data points), you can sit down and look at whether there's a specific path or practice or area that those things are pointing to.

My biggest advice: You are probably *never* going to find a path that suits you perfectly and has no compromises at all, if it involves other people. That's just the reality of working with other people.

I love my tradition, and I find a great deal of value in it. But there are ritual things where I grit my teeth and do them a certain way because that's how the tradition does it. Where I learned things and will teach them because it's important to the tradition that  we pass that on. That are so not how I would have designed [whatever] if I'd been the one to do it.

None of them are things I hate, none of them are things I find unethical. But they're not what I'd choose if I could choose anything. But part of the compromise of being in a tradition and not having to come up with everything myself is doing those things.

On the other hand, I think anyone who has a healthy spirituality has to have parts of their spirituality that they do on their own. In many paths and traditions, what you do on your own time (so long as it's not counter to the commitments you make to the paths you commit to) is fine. So I can cast circle or create ritual space in one way in group work, and go home and do something different. (or not cast circle. Or not plan rituals the same way.)

In practice, there is often a bunch of overlap (because it's convenient, because generally as you learn a specific set of practices, you find there are ways they go together well, and changing one bit and not the others gets a bit more complicated). But you can also have things in common with group practice, and do other things on your own.

(The deities I do the most personal work with are not my tradition's deities. That's extremely normal for us, and for a number of other religious witches I know. The way I do magical work on my own is exceedingly music based, and I have met no one else who goes about it quite the same way. Works for me, I don't make other people deal with it when we're working together. And so on.)
« Last Edit: September 22, 2013, 11:00:04 pm by Jenett »
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Seeking: first steps on a Pagan path (advice for seekers and people new to Paganism)

brad

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Re: looking for a resource for all seekers like myself
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2013, 12:14:52 am »
Quote from: Jenett;122673
Not really, because it's a really problematic sort of resource. Let me break down why, since it might help find something that would help that's more likely to exist.

 
Thank you very much for the huge amount of time and thought this took you!  I went to your page, and that type of very broadness is very similar to what I'm looking for.  The concept of "if this broad list fits, you might look into it more" is perfect.  I have my own mental list of things I do like very much, and things I don't like much at all.

To answer your three questions:
1)  it would be nice to have other people I can talk to and visit at times.  routine face time with the people isn't a huge priority, but being able to communicate in some way is pretty important.

2)  my location, personal beliefs & preferences, and financial situation makes it unlikely that I would be interested in a tradition that can only be learned from others in a face to face way.  At the same time, some coaching on particular areas/aspects would probably be needed at some point... and I'm perfectly fine and even somewhat expecting that something like that would come up from time to time.

3)  lurking/reading others of a wide variety:  this is probably one of the biggest sources of frustration with me.  there seems to be a few basic paths that I am interested in.  I've bought some beginners books on them, read from cover to cover... a couple different times.  I enjoy most of them.  However, there seems to be some integral parts of each that I can't seem to wrap my head around.

Seems like as good of a time as any to talk about the parts I do and don't like.

Shamonic Witchcraft - It seems as one of the biggest authors on this is Penzkac.  I truly enjoy his style of writing.  I also like his step-by-step approach, each step building on the previous.  A big problem I personally have with witchcraft is spell work.  In the past, I have never seen spell work performed by anyone ever really pan out over the course of time.  To be fair, I can not be the one to judge what the effect ended up being, I can only draw from what I have observed... and from my own experiences.  Also, in "book 1" Inner Temple of Witchcraft, I can never seem to either will or allow myself to feel energy when I would like to feel it.  I've worked on this many times over the years, during different seasons, different times of the day, different phases of moon.  Nadda.  It really disheartens me because every once in a while, for no reason that's apparent to me, the moonlight catches my attention, I take a deep breath, and am filled with a joyful experience that I don't have the vocabulary to describe.  I end up with goosebumps standing out there.  Volia!!! Spirit really is there!  Sadly, I have never been able to do that "on demand", for lack of better words.

Druidry - I've read some of Greer's works on the topic.  Although I'm not particularly fond of his writing style, he has a wealth of information, and I can seem to absorb it quite well.  For the Druids though, it seems as if doing their work under the eye of the sun is bit and parcel to their beliefs.  I am not a sun person at all.  I would in fact rather use some halogen flood lights and mow or do other outside chores at night rather than bake and blind myself in the sun doing it.  Another integral part of their beliefs that I'm not fond of is their importance on family heritage.  That's not something I have any interest in.  I'd be about as interested in hearing a dentist talk about his plans for giving me a root canal as I would be in my family history.  The idea of sauna/sweat lodge also repulses me.  I almost want to shower at the thought of sweating.

Wicca - I absolutley ~love~ all the rhymes, poetry, and beautiful artwork.  My god though... remembering all the various gods/goddess.  I do good to remember the names of people that I know in real life and see on a semi-regular basis.  They also seem to have a fairly high importance on magick.

Shamanism - To be fair, the only time I can ever remember being in a trance was due to copious amounts of herbs that are commonly sold in sandwich bags while listening to the very catch intro to ICP's Great Milenko cd which was, at the time, new.  Beyond that, shamanism in general doesn't seem to catch my interest at all.  I've tried reading a few different resources... but get so bored with it my eye crackle.  

So... I dunno.  Maybe if I could some year (I've been trying for about 6 years to work on this one book) get past my hurdle with feeling energy I would like to explore penzcaks books more.  There are so many, they follow a progression, and I love his authoring style.
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Jenett

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Re: looking for a resource for all seekers like myself
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2013, 11:20:09 am »
Quote from: brad;122678

3)  lurking/reading others of a wide variety:  this is probably one of the biggest sources of frustration with me.  there seems to be a few basic paths that I am interested in.  I've bought some beginners books on them, read from cover to cover... a couple different times.  I enjoy most of them.  However, there seems to be some integral parts of each that I can't seem to wrap my head around.


Part of this, honestly, is that books do a very bad part of talking about some things. And some people learn much much better from face to face conversation, or demonstration, or experience with others than they do from books (especially some specific skills.) If you're one of those people, there may be *no* book that's going to do it for you, no matter how good the book is.

For example, it is much easier to teach trance or energy work in person in some ways than it is via a book. Or for people to help facilitate experiences where you can have profound spiritual moments (it is also possible on your own, of course, but when you're responsible for setting everything up *and* having the experience, it's a lot more stuff to keep track of, and you've got to sort out things like "This might work, but I'm not doing it in the best way to make it work because I've never done it before.")

And yet, they're things where someone demonstrating them for you can take 15 minutes and give you a tremendous amount to go forward with, because you have a multi-sensory experience of it.

And I sort of want to repeat something I think I've said before: you've been clear that you're in a very limited position right now. But those kinds of situations can and do change for people. You may be a person where figuring out how to move, or how to improve your financial situation, or how to be in even a somewhat different place, might open up a lot more options to you. Obviously, it takes work and time to make those kinds of changes, but since they would likely be good for you in other ways, it might be worth some serious poking at what could potentially shift there and how you could help it happen.

In terms of practical places to start, here's my short list:

Some things I'd suggest as possible things to consider:

- My standard recommendation for trance and meditation and basic energy sensing is Diana Paxson's book _Trance-Portation_. Part of the reason for that is that she does a much better job than almost anything else I've come across at explaining different practices for different ways people learn or experience meditation and trance work. (She suggests religious applications for the techniques, and goes into them in the later half of the book, but she's focusing more on the actual 'how to do this thing' parts, not the 'why you do this thing')

- You might also potentially find Marian Green's _A Witch Alone_ of use. There's something in the layout of how she writes that I think might resonate for you. (the book is focused on religious witchcraft, but not automatically Wicca.)

- You might also find _Twelve Wild Swans_ (by Starhawk and Hilary Valentine) has a model of learning and practice that might work for you. (Browsing through your old posts, I see I've already recommended that. Still do, though you'll need to weed through some things that probably don't suit you.) One reason I like it, though, is it's got lots of examples from different people, or different kinds of practice: it's as useful for 'how do you put this stuff together' as the specific content.  

Ok. Getting onto your specific questions. It may be that what you're looking for is a mix of practices. There are good things about that, but it's going to take more deliberate work on your part, and I think you've still got some assumptions going on that may or may not be serving you well in your search.

Quote
In the past, I have never seen spell work performed by anyone ever really pan out over the course of time.  To be fair, I can not be the one to judge what the effect ended up being, I can only draw from what I have observed... and from my own experiences.


This is one of those things where you have to look at the quality control. I *have* seen spell work work - but I have realistic expectations for what it might accomplish, and how long it might take to happen.

(I also define magic as change in accordance with will, recognise that that the easiest thing to change is *me*, therefore magic to change my approach or reaction is likely to be the fastest/most reliable magic, and have as part of my worldview that magic can do a lot of stuff, but it is mostly more subtle, at least one part psychology, and not generally going to cause big dramatic things to happen.)

Anyway. Before you can decide whether spellwork is effective, you have to know that a) the person doing it is competent to do it, b) that the spell is well-designed, and c) that it is is well executed.

Unsurprisingly, these things are hard to do if you're new to the subject! Or if you're talking to people who are caught up in the oooky-spooky-witch-in-the-night thing, rather than using it as a tool along with other things. (For example, I have a long-standing magical working about meeting new people, maybe a new relationship sometime. Part of my work for that is going out and doing something with people I don't see all the time at least once a month. Because if I never get out of the house or my standard patterns, how am I going to meet new people? Magic can't work in a vacuum.)

Quote

Also, in "book 1" Inner Temple of Witchcraft, I can never seem to either will or allow myself to feel energy when I would like to feel it.  I've worked on this many times over the years, during different seasons, different times of the day, different phases of moon.  Nadda.  It really disheartens me because every once in a while, for no reason that's apparent to me, the moonlight catches my attention, I take a deep breath, and am filled with a joyful experience that I don't have the vocabulary to describe.  I end up with goosebumps standing out there.  Volia!!! Spirit really is there!  Sadly, I have never been able to do that "on demand", for lack of better words.


This is a totally normal thing.

Learning to feel and sense energy is a skill: think of it like making music. Almost everyone has some potential for making pleasant noise or enjoying it - but some people naturally have songs in their head they make up, and some people have awesome voices, and some people have amazing senses of complicated rhythm. Most of us, though, have to work at a chunk of it, and we get better with practice.

The three books I recommended above all have stuff you can do that can improve your skills, if you do them regularly. In general, you need to be willing to try things a number of times (assuming there's no major negative reaction or problem) - and then if things sort of move forward, but not enough, you need to circle back, regroup, try a different approach. (Again, this is something that's possible for other people to help you trouble shoot, though it's way easier in person, because someone can demonstrate something/set up a situation, and see how you respond. It's possible to learn without that, but it's going to be slower.)

(Also, this is a thing where someone in person can do more in 15 or 30 minutes than a dozen books, sometimes. Which is a good reason to consider if you can work on shifting your life into a place where that might be a possible occasional option.)

Quote
For the Druids though, it seems as if doing their work under the eye of the sun is bit and parcel to their beliefs.  I am not a sun person at all.  I would in fact rather use some halogen flood lights and mow or do other outside chores at night rather than bake and blind myself in the sun doing it.


I am not terribly fond of heat, myself. (There are reasons I live in the northern US and always have.) That said, it's hard to tell without looking at specific language what's going on here. In general, though, most paths are totally fine with modifications for your health, safety, and ability to do the important parts of what needs to get done.

My religion values the natural world, but doing ritual outside is not something I do very often for practical reasons (starting with access to private space and going on to allergies, stamina issues, and the fact that hauling stuff out to do ritual is not very appealing to me.) So, instead, I spend more time doing things like eating seasonal foods, or walking to work so I can notice the change of seasons more directly, or paying attention to the movement of the moon and the stars. I have container gardens on my balcony, because they have dirt and living things, but they are easier for me to manage than digging in the ground is.

Quote
Another integral part of their beliefs that I'm not fond of is their importance on family heritage.  That's not something I have any interest in.  I'd be about as interested in hearing a dentist talk about his plans for giving me a root canal as I would be in my family history.  The idea of sauna/sweat lodge also repulses me.  I almost want to shower at the thought of sweating.


Again, there are likely to be parts of any path that don't have huge resonation for a particular person, or that are a bad fit for your personal body (Saunas are a longstanding tradition for purification, but no one's going to make you do one if you don't want to: you simply choose a different form of purification ritual.)

These are likely to only be an issue in group work, and even then, often pretty easy to work around if you're up front about your limits. (Most people? Do not have a sauna or a sweat lodge immediately handy in their home.)

On family - there are a bunch of threads around here if you poke around that talk about how to deal with honouring a path that includes ancestors when your own relationship with them is fraught. I have good relationships with my immediate family and recent ancestors, but most of my ritual work with ancestors and family heritage is way more far back than that, and I tend to focus on what they did (people I share things in common with) rather than direct bloodline. I might call on librarians of old, or witches, or priestesses, or I might call on people who lived in my geographic area, or farmers, or whatever.

Again, specific application will depend on the specifics of the path, but 'have a complicated history with my family' is a thing that any established path will have some solutions for (but may not be in their introductory material in much detail.)

(If you can reference specific books and ideally chapters for this kind of thing, people might be able to help out in more detail, too. Also, again, books are imperfect, and people sometime say stupid things in them, even though much of the rest of the book is really helpful. Everyone has stuff they don't notice, or don't realise is an issue, and books also have finite numbers of words and can't include every possibility.)

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Wicca - I absolutley ~love~ all the rhymes, poetry, and beautiful artwork.  My god though... remembering all the various gods/goddess.  I do good to remember the names of people that I know in real life and see on a semi-regular basis.  They also seem to have a fairly high importance on magick.


Traditional Wicca (the initiatory kind) has two deities: you don't actually get to learn their names until you're initiated. In the more general use of the term, people focus generally on a small number of deities. (Of course you can't learn every one in the world! There are thousands!)

There's maybe two or three dozen who come up all the time (and learning those over time will make things easier for you, yeah), and beyond that, Wikipedia or Google or a mythology index will give you the basics to have a conversation with someone or put a reference they make into context. (this does require an ability to filter out fictional, gaming, and other kinds of references, but again, that's a skill you can learn and that's useful in other parts of your life.)

Beyond that, Wicca is a witchcraft religion, so yes, magic. I've talked about spell craft above, but it's worth noting that there's other kinds of magic. Wicca uses ritual magic to create sacred space and set up what you're going to do next (which is a thing you can do by rote if you have to - it helps to be able to feel the energy, and most people do learn to, but a lot of it is also simply telling your brain in a consistent standard way "There is going to be ritual now." so that you're working from a consistent start point.

(This is something that takes time to build up, but I've used the same method of creating circle, with some modifications, for 12 years now, and you start into the process, and my mindset immediately shifts. This took about a year of regular work to set, but it's really really really useful.)

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So... I dunno.  Maybe if I could some year (I've been trying for about 6 years to work on this one book) get past my hurdle with feeling energy I would like to explore penzcaks books more.  There are so many, they follow a progression, and I love his authoring style.


If you've been trying the same thing for six years, it is probably time to try a different thing for a bit. (You can always come back to the first thing when you've sorted out more of what's blocking you.)
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Seeking: first steps on a Pagan path (advice for seekers and people new to Paganism)

brad

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Re: looking for a resource for all seekers like myself
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2013, 05:30:59 pm »
Quote from: Jenett;122739

If you've been trying the same thing for six years, it is probably time to try a different thing for a bit. (You can always come back to the first thing when you've sorted out more of what's blocking you.)


I think I'll take your advice and get two of the three books, Tranceportation and Witch Alone.  Probably hours worth of sitting on keen.  Not really a task I'm frothing at the mouth to do. ~sigh~  On the bright side though, perhaps this is a step in the right direction and the other powers will send me what I need to get this done.  :-)

You do have a good point about the magick rituals I've seen.  Who in the world is to say that any of the people I've seen do it actually had the right intentions?

I'm kinda anxious to get my hands on the tranceportation book... not being able to feel at will tears my to shreds.  Not being able to meditate to any degree doesn't set well with me either.  Perhaps this is the resource I've been missing.  Will be giving it a try as soon as I can!
The hardest part about being pagan, is being pagan.

Lykeios Lysios

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looking for a resource for all seekers like myself
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2013, 09:46:32 pm »
Quote from: brad;122650
I've been struggling for years now with where to start.  I'm not particularly fond of the "pick a book and start reading" method, because it could take a very long time worth of reading the introductory chapters of book after book, and could end up costing a lot of money.

Rather, it would make a lot more since to read an article or something that looks like so:

Druidry - This group commonly believes in... but does not believe in...  When they practice, they ...  and... are considered sacred to them.  Their most recognizable hallmarks are... you can see them in everyday life doing... and wearing...

Fairie - This group commonly believes in... but does not believe in...  When they practice, they ...  and... are considered sacred to them.  Their most recognizable hallmarks are... you can see them in everyday life doing... and wearing...

Shamanism - This group commonly believes in... but does not believe in...  When they practice, they ...  and... are considered sacred to them.  Their most recognizable hallmarks are... you can see them in everyday life doing... and wearing...

Wiccan
- This group commonly believes in... but does not believe in...  When they practice, they ...  and... are considered sacred to them.  Their most recognizable hallmarks are... you can see them in everyday life doing... and wearing...

From there, I would think a person can then choose to focus a little more on the group, take a look at various sects (hellenic wicca, alexandreian wicca, etc).  When one resonates well, they may have a path or two to devote some time studying and perhaps spend some hard earned dollars into a book that we might have a chance of finishing and enjoying.

Does such a resource exist?

Sounds like you might be looking for some form of comparative religion resource. The Cauldron has excellent sources and practitioners available for direct and firsthand information. You might start here then expand your search if somehow you don't find what you want.
"Man fears the darkness, and so he scrapes away at the edges of it with fire." - Rei Ayanami
"Flow with whatever may happen and let your mind be free. Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing. This is the ultimate." - Zhuangzi

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