Reviving / Reinvigorating Your Practice

pagan practice photoWe call go through times when our connection to our god(s) feels off or wrong or distant, and our spiritual practice feels stale or rote. I’m in that place right now.

In my case, I think it’s largely because I’ve been so overwhelmed with family issues and some other stuff over the last few months that I’ve unintentionally “unplugged” somewhat from my own spiritual life. I’m still doing my nightly ritual (candles and prayers), but, right now, I just don’t feel that deep connection with Brighid that I used to feel — and that I cherish.

What do you do when you hit that point where your practice is mechanical and you need to rebuild or deepen your relationship with the Divine? What kind of inspiration do you seek and where do you look for it?

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<li><b>Message Board:</b> <a href=”http://ecauldron.com/forum/showthread.php?14636-Reviving-Reinvigorating-Your-Practice”>Join in our discussion</a></li>
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Almost here! Up All Night, the Cauldron’s solstice celebration

Just a reminder for everyone that 2016’s edition of Up All Night: A Technopagan Solstice Celebration will happen on the night beginning on Tuesday, December 20th, and ending the morning of Wednesday, December 21st! And I mean everyoneall are welcome, whether you’re popping in for a few minutes or going the distance for the entire night.

Not sure what Up All Night is? It’s an excuse for us to have a cyberparty–find out more here.

Local sunset and sunrise times for some Cauldronite locations to follow…

“Up All Night” 2016 is coming! (Night of December 20/21)

“Up All Night” 2016 is coming! A Cauldron Holiday Tradition

The night straddling Tuesday, December 20/Wednesday, December 21 marks the 2016 solstice: the summer solstice (longest day of the year) in the southern hemisphere, and the winter solstice (longest night of the year) in the north. At the Cauldron we have a habit of celebrating the December solstice with a cyber party that starts at sunset (wherever you are) and ends at sunrise (wherever you are), during which time we “gather” electronically in this space–posting anything and everything (but still within forum rules, of course) in a special Up All Night thread that opens on the solstice, and talking relentlessly to help each other stay up all night—or simply for as long as one wants to stay awake and participate. Northern hemisphere or south, pagan or not, staying up all night long or just dropping in while you’re awake…it doesn’t matter, because everyone is welcome at Up All Night: A Technopagan Solstice Celebration!

The festivities will begin at sunset on Tuesday evening, December 20. We have a non-theme each year—an idea that can serve as an inspiration/organizing thought for posts, but that can be completely ignored (which is why we call it a “non-theme”). This year’s non-theme is:

Making it through the dark times

(Seasonal, political, personal,…interpret that as you will, or turn a blind eye to the non-theme and post/chat about whatever you want)

So let’s use this space to start warming up: Who’s going to join in on the fun this year? And (regardless of whether or not you plan to pull the full all-nighter) what are your top suggestions for staying awake?

How does the Pagan Concept of God/dess differ from the Christian Concept of God?

As a new Pagan that was a Fundamentalist Christian for most of my life I am really interested in knowing the differences. God and even Satan was thought to be able to know our thoughts, be everywhere at once, be all powerful etc. He demanded absolute obedience and gave in return his love and blessings like meeting your basic needs. Not very much in return I think…

What are the fundamentals of the concept of god/dess as it relates to your relationship to your gods and goddesses?

What do your gods and godesses expect from you?

What do you do for your god/desses and what do they do for you?

What are the ways in which you worship? serve your god/desses?

I don’t only want to know the basics, but include those and what a more advanced path would entail.

These are probably repetitive, sorry, I don’t know anything.

Deity Contact Experiences

deity photoMostly I wanted to say: do other people feel that contact with deity/spirits feels more real with your eyes closed? Or is that just me?

But also after being atheist/agnostic for a year, I’m trying to get back into the swing of things & learn about other deities so does anyone have advice? Or rituals, or funny stories, or anything really? [I don’t really follow a tradition, I’m more a make-it-up-as-I-go sort of person.]

Tradition-Founding 101: Suggestions and Advice?

In short: if you find yourself interested in making your personal eclectic practice (or some aspect of it) into a tradition accessible to others, how would you go about it in a practical sense?

To be a little more lengthy…I’m naturally a creative person and inclined to share my ideas and work. I have a small but reasonably stable personal practice, and I’m slowly trying to create from this something I can share with others with mystic inclinations.

If you were in my shoes, how would you go about this work? What kind of groundwork would you lay? What questions do you think you’d need to answer? What sort of plan would you make?

Incense Offerings

incense photoSo I was wondering what types of incense offerings people here like to use.

I do not have a particular kind I use as long as I think it has a nice scent. I do not have a lot of money either. Usually I have used incense sticks, but in my rituals there are two places to offer incense and it can be a hassle because I do not need it to be burning the entire time in between.

I just need to waft a little incense and that is it. With the sticks I either have to light it and then put it right out, and it can be sort of messy with the ashes and distracting, or let it burn, and then I might have to use two sticks to make both the offerings.

I have thought about purchasing one of those incense burners used in the church to swing over my altar or table, but I haven’t decided yet. I do not have any experience with it.

Daily Practices as a “Stay At Home” Parent?

Parenting photoSpinning off a topic in “Faith in Everyday Life”, for those of you who specifically parent at home full-time, what kind of things do you do to integrate your beliefs into your average day? Does your practice/spiritually influence your parenting process or rhythm? How do you find time to engage with your concept of deity while driving the proverbial minivan?

And does anyone find the veneration of a deity associated with hearth and home helpful? If so, what does that look like for you?

Pentagram, Triquetra, or both on your altar?

For those of you who work with an altar or set up a sacred space for worship or divination; do you prefer using a pentagram or a triquetra to draw energy/represent earth/whatever else you choose to use it for.
I found a small pane of glass, a perfect little rectangle, and I want to make it into an altar piece. I’ve never placed either symbols on my altar before and I was considering both.

What do you prefer?

Why?

Do you choose both/neither?

Channeling Energy

English: A description of the major chakras an...

. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have been working on my energy work was wondering what is the best way to channel energy to get the desired effects other than using wands, rings, gemstones, necklace’s, bracelets and amulets.
Is it better to channel the energy through:

Your physical body.

Your energy body (I don’t know the real name for that)

Your aura.

Or perhaps all at once.

Depending on the type of energy you can access and work with the best.

I am open to ideas and suggestions.