collapse

Author Topic: What do you believe?  (Read 1830 times)

Nadja

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Join Date: Nov 2011
  • Posts: 5
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
What do you believe?
« on: November 16, 2011, 04:16:23 am »
I have been researching Paganism and it's many paths for the past few months and for the first time today I identified myself as a pagan. Now I know finding a path often takes years of research and meditation but I would like to here about different paths from the mouths of it's followers. Im not asking you to choose my path for me but I am curious as to what paths and beliefs out there especially if you are eclactic or follow a path that is not often mentiond. Thank you in advance for your input :)




Also as a side note, I know that sabbats and esbats are celebrated based on the seasons and phases of the moon but all the calenders I can find for them are based in the southern hemisphere where winter is November, December and January but I live in Australia and those same months are summer here, does this change the timing of the sabbats and esbats?

Jenett

  • Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Location: Boston, MA
  • Posts: 3028
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 558
    • View Profile
    • Seeking: First steps on a path
  • Religion: Initiatory religious witchcraft
  • Preferred Pronouns: she/her
Re: What do you believe?
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2011, 07:17:19 am »
Quote from: Nadja;30435
I have been researching Paganism and it's many paths for the past few months and for the first time today I identified myself as a pagan. Now I know finding a path often takes years of research and meditation but I would like to here about different paths from the mouths of it's followers. Im not asking you to choose my path for me but I am curious as to what paths and beliefs out there especially if you are eclactic or follow a path that is not often mentiond. Thank you in advance for your input :)


I'm a priestess in a small initiatory religious witchcraft tradition, founded in Minnesota (but I'm now living in Maine). (I don't describe what we do as Wicca because we've moved into focusing on different religious mysteries and we have some different specific practices, but more or less in the same neighborhood.)

I'm tight on time this morning, but last year, an awesome questionnaire/meme about Pagan practice was going around various places I was reading, and I answered it on my public blog at http://gleewood.org/threshold/2011/02/17/a-pause-for-some-background/ . It's a little dated in the practical aspects (as since then, I've gotten a new job and moved back across the country to Maine), but it's otherwise still pretty accurate.

Quote
Also as a side note, I know that sabbats and esbats are celebrated based on the seasons and phases of the moon but all the calenders I can find for them are based in the southern hemisphere where winter is November, December and January but I live in Australia and those same months are summer here, does this change the timing of the sabbats and esbats?

 
(I think you mean 'northern' above. Don't worry, we're used to those kinds of typos here.)

What I understand from the people I know who are in the southern hemisphere is that most people do flip them, so that the seasonal sabbats fall at a sensible time. That said, it may be worth looking at the larger picture: chances are your patterns of growing and harvest might also be a bit different than the patterns in western Europe (just like they are for people in California, or in Texas), and it might be worth looking more generally at other approaches to the Sabbats than seasonal.

I've got some info at http://gleewood.org/seeking/practices/sabbats/ that might help show some of the approaches - dates are (as noted) for the northern hemisphere.
Seek Knowledge, Find Wisdom: Research help on esoteric and eclectic topics (consulting and other services)

Seeking: first steps on a Pagan path (advice for seekers and people new to Paganism)

Nadja

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Join Date: Nov 2011
  • Posts: 5
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: What do you believe?
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2011, 01:55:32 am »
Quote from: Jenett;30439
I'm a priestess in a small initiatory religious witchcraft tradition, founded in Minnesota (but I'm now living in Maine). (I don't describe what we do as Wicca because we've moved into focusing on different religious mysteries and we have some different specific practices, but more or less in the same neighborhood.)

I'm tight on time this morning, but last year, an awesome questionnaire/meme about Pagan practice was going around various places I was reading, and I answered it on my public blog at http://gleewood.org/threshold/2011/02/17/a-pause-for-some-background/ . It's a little dated in the practical aspects (as since then, I've gotten a new job and moved back across the country to Maine), but it's otherwise still pretty accurate.

 
Thank you for posting this questionaire. At first it went over my head which encouraged me to research more (which I have come to enjoy greatly). I was actually surprised to recieve such in depth explanations of your beliefs, most of the material I have found so far havn't delved past the surface.

After some research I have come to the conclusion that I believe there are a number of deitys, some having more control than others, and I feel pulled towards a goddess yet I don't know her name. I know there is much more research and trial and error ahead for me :)

Quote from: Jenett;30439
(I think you mean 'northern' above. Don't worry, we're used to those kinds of typos here.)

oops I didn't see that, I'm glad you could still gather what I ment.

Quote from: Jenett;30439
What I understand from the people I know who are in the southern hemisphere is that most people do flip them, so that the seasonal sabbats fall at a sensible time. That said, it may be worth looking at the larger picture: chances are your patterns of growing and harvest might also be a bit different than the patterns in western Europe


I don't mean to seem like a pain, especially as I am unsure of my path, but are you aware of where i could possible find a calender of one of these "flipped" practices?
I'm honestly not sure abouth the harvesting patterns here, people try and apply the European seasons (Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring) to Australia but I am of the opinion that our seasons are very much different.

KittyVel

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Posts: 366
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: What do you believe?
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2011, 03:43:39 am »
Quote from: Nadja;30435
I have been researching Paganism and it's many paths for the past few months and for the first time today I identified myself as a pagan. Now I know finding a path often takes years of research and meditation but I would like to here about different paths from the mouths of it's followers. Im not asking you to choose my path for me but I am curious as to what paths and beliefs out there especially if you are eclactic or follow a path that is not often mentiond. Thank you in advance for your input :)

 
This is copied and pasted from my facebook page.  Here's my beliefs in a nutshell.

Quote
I believe every living thing has a spirit and soul (I see them as two separate things, I do not use them interchangeably).  The spirit is an actual entity that adopts the bodies of other things (animals, people, inanimate objects, everything), and what sometimes remains in the physical world after its physical body dies (if it inhabits a living thing); aka ghosts.  The soul is what resides in the body and makes things alive, and what goes to the "spirit world" (for lack of a better term) after death.  Spirits, naturally, also reside there when not occupying a body in the physical plane.  I feel that everything has a spirit, living or not, associated with it.  The sun, the moon, the earth, the water, the wind, man-made objects, everything.  The spirits associated with them are very much alive, and very intelligent.  No, this does not make the object itself alive or intelligent.  (If I've confused you, contact me privately and ask any questions you may have, and I'll be happy to answer them for you.  :3)  I believe in balance; Yin and Yang; equality.  Light cannot exist without dark, love cannot exist without hate, life cannot exist without death.  Everything happens for a reason.  I am a follower of Anpu (aka Anubis).  He is the god of embalming, as well as a guide and guardian, and is the one that weighs a dead person's heart against a feather to see if that person makes it into the Afterlife or not.  I am also interested in Sekhmet, Mafdet, and Bast.  I am a follower of an Ancient Egyptian deity, but I do not follow Ancient practices.  I prefer to practice on my own as I feel guided.  I am spiritual, but I am also a natural skeptic, and have a hard time believing something unless I experience it myself or am presented with reliable proof.  I believe spirituality and science can easily coexist if one allows them to.  I love all life, and it is all equal in my eyes, be it a blade of grass or the Dalai Lama.  I respect the beliefs of others as long as they respect mine.  I will never shove my beliefs down another person's throat, and I expect people to do the same for me.  I will gladly debate or discuss as long as all beliefs are stated as beliefs, and not absolute fact.  (Belief does not equal truth.)  I believe there is Absolute Truth, but none of us will know it until we die and move on to the next world.  I believe in reincarnation, and feel that I have had at least two past lives (a male king cheetah and a female dire wolf), and I still feel a very strong connection to them.  I believe I am a therian.  A therian is someone who identifies on an integral, non-physical level as a non-human animal.  I identify as a shapeshifter with preferred "forms" being larger or wild canines and a king cheetah.  Shapeshifter, as in I shift to the mentality of many different animals, but they all feel like "me".  I also believe in totems and spirit guides (I feel that Crow is my Life Totem, and I may have a Jellyfish and a Hyena spirit guide).  Respect my views, and I will respect yours.


Good luck on discovering your path!  :3
<3 Rest in peace, Christiana. I love you so much, and I miss you like crazy already. At least you\'re not hurting anymore...May you ascend. <3

Jenett

  • Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Location: Boston, MA
  • Posts: 3028
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 558
    • View Profile
    • Seeking: First steps on a path
  • Religion: Initiatory religious witchcraft
  • Preferred Pronouns: she/her
Re: What do you believe?
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2011, 09:00:15 am »
Quote from: Nadja;30891
Thank you for posting this questionaire. At first it went over my head which encouraged me to research more (which I have come to enjoy greatly). I was actually surprised to recieve such in depth explanations of your beliefs, most of the material I have found so far havn't delved past the surface.


That's true a lot of places. There's also a bunch of stuff in my practice I don't talk about much in public, but one of my guides for what I write about is "what do I wish people talked about a bit more."

Quote

I don't mean to seem like a pain, especially as I am unsure of my path, but are you aware of where i could possible find a calender of one of these "flipped" practices?
I'm honestly not sure abouth the harvesting patterns here, people try and apply the European seasons (Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring) to Australia but I am of the opinion that our seasons are very much different.

 
Let me see if I can - I'll note here that all of my Pagan practice has been in areas that a) are northern hemisphere and b) are reasonably close matches for Northern Europe's harvest seasons, though winter is a bit longer on both ends. (Minnesota, and now Maine.)

Samhain is commonly seen as the end of one cycle and the beginning of the next: I'm putting it last here because it makes talking about the seasonal patterns a little easier. Likewise, the exact date of the solstices and equinoxes varies a little bit each year, so when I say "around X date" below, it could be a day or so either side.  

So, starting at Yule/Midwinter/Winter solstice: in the northern hemisphere, this would be celebrated around December 22nd. In the southern hemisphere, it'd be celebrated around June 22nd. This is the longest night and the shortest day, and it's a time when agriculturally, almost everything is sleeping. It's a time of rest, introspection, celebrating the returning light.

You then have the very first beginnings of seeds, at Imbolc, generally celebrated on February 2nd in the northern hemisphere and August 2nd in the southern. In the places I've lived, i refer to this as "Maybe sometime it will stop being winter" (because in Minnesota, you have to be well into Ostara before you really start seeing signs of the spring.) Many groups honor Brigid on this day, but another option for celebration is seeds and thinking about what goals or projects you will plant for the coming year (in a metaphorical sense.)

You then have the spring equinox, Ostara, a point of balance, which is around March 22nd in the north, and September 22nd in the south. You work some more on helping the project(s) you've chosen grow and develop, but you also look at how things are balanced in your life. More preparation.

On Beltane, May 1st (in the north) and November 1st (in the south), the focus is often on celebration of connection, fertility, the abundant growth of spring flourishing into what will be harvested in the fall.

Summer solstice (around June 22nd in the north, December 22nd in the south) is time when lots of stuff has been growing, should be moving forward - and we stop and take a day to celebrate the pause at the top of the arc of growth. It's the longest day, the sun in full power. We'd done a bunch of work on our plans, but now we need to start shifting our focus to thinking about how we're going to harvest them.

Lughnassadh/Lammas/various other names is August 2nd in the northern hemisphere and February 2nd in the southern, and it's generally seen as the first of the harvests. (In Northern Europe, this would mostly be grains and some berries.) You start gathering stuff in, doing things with it, making it useful to you long-term. (It's also often a ritual honoring the god Lugh, or the sacrifice of the sun king, as discussed in that Sabbat link I linked to in my previous post.)

Fall equinox/Mabon is around September 22nd in the north, March 22nd in the south. This is the other point of balance, a good time to make sure that everything's still going hte way you want it to, and when you start gathering in more resources for the coming dark times. Harvest of more kinds of foods - root vegetables start coming in, the last of the tomatoes, all sorts of things, depending on your growing area.

Finally, we come to Samhain, on October 31st in the north or April 30th in the south, when it's a time to remember the ancestors and beloved dead, but it's also usually the final harvest, the time when animals are killed for the winter (so we have meat through the winter), and when we look back at the whole year, and see what worked for us and what didn't.

Now, if you look at all of those, there's a bunch of places you can adjust if your growing season is different. If you live somewhere where you have two growing seasons (one in the spring, one in the fall) with a really hot summer and a wet season in the winter (as is true in some of the American Southwest and southern California), you'd structure things differently than I did above - maybe you might figure out a way to make that pause in the middle at the summer solstice balance a pause at the winter solstice, and rest at both times.

If you live somewhere where one season is a lot longer than the other three, you might make adjustments in your ritual practice to reflect that - maybe find some other things to build into your practice (honoring a specific deity, or something else that isn't as seasonal). Same thing if you live somewhere with three seasons, more than four.

But working all of that out is takes some time. I moved from Minnesota to rural Maine this summer. The two places are actually almost at the same latitude, and they have very similar seasons and weather in a lot of ways (Maine doesn't get as cold, I understand, and spring is longer and muddier than it usually is in Minnesota - or so I'm told.)

But even with that close a similarity, I've already noticed a bunch of differences.

So, how do I learn about what my new home area is like? First, I pay attention when I'm outside. What's the weather like? How much does it change, day to night?  For example, over the summer, I'm used to Minnesota weather, which has several stretches of heat wave, and times when the temperature doesn't drop a lot overnight. In Maine, it doesn't get quite as hot (80s and 90s at the highest, not 100 degrees Fahrenheit) but it also gets cooler overnight.

I look at what things are growing outside. I am not, for a variety of reasons, really good at *identifying* plants and trees unless I've got a guidebook in hand. But I can look outside and say "Hey, lots of green" or "The leaves are changing" or "hey, look, fall berries."

And I listen a lot - I'm living in a rural area. One of my co-workers has chickens, and raises cows and pigs over the summer: I knew when they went off to be butchered, because she talked about it. There are farmer's markets, where I can see what's currently growing in the area very easily. People I work with talk about this stuff - their plans to make jam, or go hiking in the height of the changing leaf colors, or whatever. There are websites that can tell you a bunch of this, wherever you are - but hanging out listening to people is also fun.

So, I take all of those things (as I learn them for my new home) and I build them into the cycle of beginning, nourishing, harvesting, and resting that works well for less physical things (because part of the cycle of the Sabbats should be, to my way of thinking, about how we grow into being better people in some way.)

And I keep adjusting the layers until they fit together - a process that might take a couple of years, if I move or change something, to get just right. (But in the meantime, the individual rituals might be just fine, just not as well-integrated with each other as I'd prefer.)
Seek Knowledge, Find Wisdom: Research help on esoteric and eclectic topics (consulting and other services)

Seeking: first steps on a Pagan path (advice for seekers and people new to Paganism)

AmberHeart

  • Apprentice
  • ***
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Posts: 37
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: What do you believe?
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2011, 11:24:37 am »
Quote from: Nadja;30435
I have been researching Paganism and it's many paths for the past few months and for the first time today I identified myself as a pagan. Now I know finding a path often takes years of research and meditation but I would like to here about different paths from the mouths of it's followers. Im not asking you to choose my path for me but I am curious as to what paths and beliefs out there especially if you are eclactic or follow a path that is not often mentiond. Thank you in advance for your input :)




Also as a side note, I know that sabbats and esbats are celebrated based on the seasons and phases of the moon but all the calenders I can find for them are based in the southern hemisphere where winter is November, December and January but I live in Australia and those same months are summer here, does this change the timing of the sabbats and esbats?


Nadja,

Australia and New Zealand have a thriving Pagan population, that use the ‘flipped’ calendar. Just search with keywords like Australia Paganism or Australian Wheel of the Year. (I would provide links but my poor old computer can’t handle a lot of the jazzed up sites these days and just stalls out.)

I can’t offer much more by way of details of practice. I’ve been Pagan for nearly 30 years as well as a Witch but the (non-Wiccan) Dianic Witchcraft Tradition that I follow is oathbound. Other than the Tradition is women-only, who have chosen to relate to the Divine as Feminine-only and has a modern pantheon, I run right into what is oathbound. The Women’s Spirituality Movement was where the Tradition evolved and there is information online on the WSM if you are interested.  

I would add only this from my experience. Years of research will give you a firmer and hopefully broader foundation but it is consistent practice I believe that remains the most essential to actually being (a practising) Pagan. Wherever you are in your path (and it will change as you do), strive to practice your current beliefs as best that you can from day to day. That doesn’t mean you have to become the poster child for Paganism or that anyone even needs to know that you are Pagan unless you wish it. It doesn't mean you have to do formal rituals every day. Just be mindful each day and look for even the smallest ways to integrate those beliefs and the practises that evolve from such. This is living an orthopraxic faith or belief system. I have found that the cumulative layers strengthen and enrich your foundation and this too I have found. That the more consistently you practise, the more you learn and at depths more profound than from just reading or mediating.

Amber

Nadja

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Join Date: Nov 2011
  • Posts: 5
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: What do you believe?
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2011, 07:07:23 pm »
Quote from: KittyVel;30901
This is copied and pasted from my facebook page.  Here's my beliefs in a nutshell.



Good luck on discovering your path!  :3

 
I can't quote what you wrote because it's in a quote itself but I thank you so much, I feel that much of what you wrote explains a portion of my current beliefs and it encourages me to realise that I am not alone in some of these beliefs :)

Quote from: Jenett;30928
That's true a lot of places. There's also a bunch of stuff in my practice I don't talk about much in public, but one of my guides for what I write about is "what do I wish people talked about a bit more."


 
Let me see if I can - I'll note here that all of my Pagan practice has been in areas that a) are northern hemisphere and b) are reasonably close matches for Northern Europe's harvest seasons, though winter is a bit longer on both ends. (Minnesota, and now Maine.)


Thank you again for your willingness to help, I will take away with me this calender and I will pay careful attention to the nature surrounding me. The willingness for people to share on the site is overwhelming and I am glad I decided to give it a try, I am less lost than I was a few days ago.

Quote from: AmberHeart;30934
Australia and New Zealand have a thriving Pagan population, that use the ‘flipped’ calendar. Just search with keywords like Australia Paganism or Australian Wheel of the Year. (I would provide links but my poor old computer can’t handle a lot of the jazzed up sites these days and just stalls out.)


Thank you, I will have to look into this and see if I can find any within my area to find out more about the practices surrounding the flipped calender.

Quote from: AmberHeart;30934
I would add only this from my experience. Years of research will give you a firmer and hopefully broader foundation but it is consistent practice I believe that remains the most essential to actually being (a practising) Pagan. Wherever you are in your path (and it will change as you do), strive to practice your current beliefs as best that you can from day to day. That doesn’t mean you have to become the poster child for Paganism or that anyone even needs to know that you are Pagan unless you wish it. It doesn't mean you have to do formal rituals every day. Just be mindful each day and look for even the smallest ways to integrate those beliefs and the practises that evolve from such. This is living an orthopraxic faith or belief system. I have found that the cumulative layers strengthen and enrich your foundation and this too I have found. That the more consistently you practise, the more you learn and at depths more profound than from just reading or mediating.

 
Again thank you Amber, I do practice my beliefs in whatever ways feel I can and thanks to your kind words I will strive to do this more :)

sephira

  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Sep 2011
  • Posts: 151
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: What do you believe?
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2011, 10:58:15 pm »
Quote from: Nadja;30435
I have been researching Paganism and it's many paths for the past few months and for the first time today I identified myself as a pagan. Now I know finding a path often takes years of research and meditation but I would like to here about different paths from the mouths of it's followers. Im not asking you to choose my path for me but I am curious as to what paths and beliefs out there especially if you are eclactic or follow a path that is not often mentiond. Thank you in advance for your input :)

 
Now that you have the Wheel of the Year figured out...

I am a Solitary Eclectic Vedic Witch:

Solitary in that I practice alone (duh, right?)

Eclectic in that I like to use a plethora of things in my craft such as candle burning, stones, herbs, etc,

Vedic in that I follow the Hindu Pantheon, exclusively, and Ganesh whenever possible (Ganesh being my patron).

Witch in that I ride a broomstick ;)

I am creating my own path and doing what feels right to me. So far I love my path and am very comfortable on it and don't see myself straying from it.
Good Luck on yours!!
"If it ain\'t fun, it ain\'t worth doing!"

Nadja

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Join Date: Nov 2011
  • Posts: 5
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: What do you believe?
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2011, 05:42:50 am »
Quote from: sephira;31015
I am creating my own path and doing what feels right to me. So far I love my path and am very comfortable on it and don't see myself straying from it.
Good Luck on yours!!

 
Thank you Sephira, creating my own path is an option I have been looking at as being in a coven doesn't quite appeal to me and many different things feel right I just need to put them together like doing a puzzle. I have a group of basic beliefs I follow so far but I feel as if there is a goddess calling to me but I can not find her name yet and I feel that as soon as I figure out who she is I will be at peace within myself

Fagan_the_Pagan

  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Sep 2011
  • Posts: 249
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: What do you believe?
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2011, 06:11:57 pm »
Quote from: Jenett;30439

That questionnaire you mention looks like a useful tool.  I think I am going to have to go through it and fill out as much as possible.  A lot of the details still change, but I am thinking that the act of putting it all down is a good exercise, and valuable.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2011, 07:00:57 pm by SunflowerP »
(/|\\)  Fire in the Head: My Blog on Matters Spiritual, Political, or otherwise important to me.
Bardistry Wandworks: My Etsy shop for wands, athames, and other pagan crafts.

Tags:
 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
26 Replies
4197 Views
Last post December 07, 2011, 12:34:30 pm
by Maps
27 Replies
3055 Views
Last post May 23, 2012, 10:12:03 am
by Sobekemiti
17 Replies
3284 Views
Last post September 02, 2012, 04:07:29 pm
by Silverwing/Ataegina
15 Replies
2262 Views
Last post April 15, 2017, 08:38:17 pm
by Cinder
6 Replies
640 Views
Last post February 17, 2018, 11:15:05 am
by meno silencio

Beginner Area

Warning: You are currently in a Beginner Friendly area of the message board.

* Who's Online

  • Dot Guests: 31
  • Dot Hidden: 0
  • Dot Users: 0

There aren't any users online.

* Please Donate!

The Cauldron's server is expensive and requires monthly payments. Please become a Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor if you can. Donations are needed every month. Without member support, we can't afford the server.

* In Memoriam

Chavi (2006)
Elspeth (2010)
Marilyn (2013)

* Cauldron Staff

Co-Hosts:
LyricFox & Randall

Senior Staff:
Darkhawk

Message Board Staff
Board Coordinator:
Sunflower

Assistant Board Coordinator:
Aster Breo

Board Staff:
Allaya, Chatelaine, HarpingHawke, Jenett, Morag, rocquelaire, Sefiru

Discord Chat Staff
Chat Coordinator:
Morag

Reserve Staff:
Aisling

Cauldron Council:
Bob, Catja, Emma-Eldritch, Fausta, Jubes, Kelly, Phouka, Sperran, Star, Steve, Tana

Cauldron Assistants
[Non-Staff Positions]

Site Assistants
[Non-Staff Positions]
Webmaster:
Randall